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(generated from captions) Tonight - exclusive. in western Sydney. A young boy attacked by a pit bull of bashing his ex-wife and daughter. A State Government Minister accused

I am not, by nature, a violent person.

to capacity before Christmas. Sydney animal shelters filled to the V8 Supercar Championship. And a thrilling finish

It's taken me 10 years to get here. for the opportunity. Thanks so much with Samantha Armytage. VOICEOVER: This is Seven News

Good evening. horrific injuries A young boy has suffered in a backyard in Sydney's west. after being mauled by a pit bull on a shed roof at Tregear, The 9-year-old was sitting and pulled him to the ground. when the dog grabbed him by the foot This is Sugar... DOG BARKS ..an American pit bull terrier. Not as sweet as her name suggests. and I was screaming. I was in shock and I was scared 9-year-old Laine Burns last night. Plastic surgeons operated on

and mauled his arms and legs. Sugar mutilated his foot on Friday are too graphic for us to show you. Photos of his injuries Saw his foot and I panicked. in Tregear. Laine was at his friend's house on top of a neighbour's shed He says he was sitting and dragged him off. when the pit bull grabbed his foot No, I couldn't see him, on the other side. I could just hear him screaming jumped into the backyard Chris McMaster waving a stick at the dog through a fibro fence before punching a hole and dragging Laine to safety. coming from his feet. Yeah, a lot of blood You must have been scared, too? Yeah, I was. has never attacked before, The dog's owner says Sugar is 10,

and she wasn't roaming the streets. that she's often teased

its own backyard during the attack The fact the dog was in to save it from the gallows may not be enough or save its owner from punishment. Tough laws introduced two years ago be kept in an enclosure. mean dangerous dogs

wants the dog destroyed. Laine's mother It's like, bitten once, it's going to bite again

what it's going to do next. and you don't know instead of going for the foot, It could actually, and kill somebody. it could go for the throat Environment Minister Phil Koperberg and step-daughter 20 years ago has denied bashing his ex-wife

during a violent domestic dispute. in an affidavit The allegations were made written by his former wife, is standing by his man. but the Premier

The Premier has struggled of violence to shake off allegations against members of his Government. was called up And today his Environment Minister to publicly air his dirty linen. I did not bash my wife. I did not bash my step-daughter. was accused of 20 years ago Something the then-bushfire chief

for an Apprehended Violence Order. in an application

he'd pushed her against a wall, His now ex-wife Katherine alleged

across the face. repeatedly struck her When his step-daughter intervened several blows to the face, it was alleged he hit her the affidavit suggest I did. I did not do the things Were they exaggerated in nature? They may well have been exaggerated.

says the Minister, It was a turbulent period, to last a further seven years. but the marriage recovered Good enough for the Premier.

He gave me an absolute assurance towards any women. that he had never been violent

in the same Parliament Mr Iemma refused to sit as backbencher Stephen Chaytor, of violence charges. convicted and later acquitted was dumped from the Ministry, MP Paul Gibson were never proven. but violence allegations against him it's double standards. The Opposition says against Mr Koperberg were resolved The Premier says the claims the Minister's emphatic denial. and he accepts Mr Gibson's denial The Premier's also accepted to embarrass Mr Koperberg, that he leaked details of the AVO a bitter political rival.

at work here in New South Wales. It's very robust democracy may be to blame Police say a truck driver of a cyclist in Sydney's south-west. for the hit-and-run death

early yesterday morning. The man was killed at Punchbowl

Investigators say from a large- to medium-sized truck they've found a mud flap at the crash site. Being a truck that he struck this cyclist it is possible and he may never know. that he hit someone. He may not have known

still hasn't been identified. The cyclist is dealing with a new headache - Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson of his most experienced colleague. the resignation

Philip Ruddock says Outgoing Attorney-General he wants to make way for new talent to the backbench. and will follow Peter Costello for 34 years - Philip Ruddock has sat in Parliament longer than any other current MP. But now the 64-year-old has announced

from the Liberal frontbench he'll be stepping down on the Opposition backbench. to serve out his term when it may come to an end. One never knows in public life

Immigration Minister has no regrets And Australia's longest serving of the 'Tampa' affair. over his handling I'm opposed to refugees, That doesn't mean of a proper system. that means I am in favour new Liberal leader Brendan Nelson Mr Ruddock's departure leaves with fewer options his shadow ministry. as he tries to finalise is urging his colleagues Already Dr Nelson to consider laws

to homosexual couples, which will give equal legal rights but not gay marriage.

is to say to ourselves, Our challenge "How would I feel if that were me?" or a daughter, "How would I feel if I had a son, who's in these arrangements? or a brother, or a sister As the Liberals try to rebuild their team after the election, and his Labor frontbenchers Kevin Rudd to Yarralumla tomorrow will come here as the next Government. to be officially sworn in The woman who'll be Australia's first female Deputy Prime Minister is being forced to defend the size of her workload which will cover Education, Employment and Industrial Relations. These portfolios go together. They're all about productivity, all about participation,

now, and into the future.

A Year 9 student is suing Victorian education authorities and write properly. for not teaching him to read

The boy's father claims the school ignored his son's serious learning difficulties, and let him pass each year. Beau Abela is 14 but he can't read, write, count or tell the time. Well, I need to be able to do my maths. I need to be able to read and I need to be able to know what tools I need and all that - His father Peter blames the Education Department. He's missed out on all his education. He's just been left behind. He's failing 100% every year - he fails 100% and they're just putting him up. Beau who suffers from a mild intellectual disability will go into year 9 at Eltham High School next year despite struggling to read simple sentences. Teaching...the...st-st-sta - I don't know, nah. I want to know how to read and write but I don't know why I can't. He's now suing the Government for $300,000. It's his future and if I do succeed out of this, for him at least he's got something - if he can't get a job he's got somewhere to live for the rest of his life. But the Education Department believes Beau's story is an isolated case. It says the State's literacy and numeracy standards are at an all-time high.

I've done my job as a parent to send him to school and do all the proper things that I should, as a parent and, um, yeah - the education have - they owe him an education. Kevin Rudd will push Australia's new direction on climate change at the Bali Conference starting tomorrow. The Prime Minister-elect will go there next week, but already he's winning praise from the United Nations' top climate official. Until now,

Australia has looked the odd man out on global warming, holding the dubious honour of being the world's biggest greenhouse polluter per head. But here at Bali all that's about to change. And the UN's top climate official is pleased, believing Australia's new stance will make a big difference. Strengthen, I think. I think the international community very much welcomes that Australia has decided to ratify the protocol is an important step forward. From climate-change pariah to climate-change partner, Australia is now committed to ratifying the Kyoto protocol - the legally binding

international agreement that will force Australia to make huge cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions. And Australia will have to report on what it's doing in order to meet its Kyoto target.

If it were to fail to meet its target - which I, incidentally, don't expect - then there would be penalties in place. The Kyoto deal ends in five years so this conference is about establishing a new agreement to replace it. We need a road map and we need a process for beyond 2012 for the globe to tackle climate change.

Here in Bali they will argue, discuss and debate it for 11 days. 15,000 delegates in all - an environmental talkfest like no other.

Sydney's biggest animal shelter is filled to capacity with the RSPCA desperate to find homes for hundreds of cats and dogs. Families considering pets as Christmas presents are being urged to help save the lives of lonely and abandoned animals. It's stretched to breaking point. Too many pets and not enough owners. We've had a rather early cat and puppy season this year, so we're currently trying to find as many homes as possible. There are 400 animals here at the RSPCA in Yagoona, more than half of those are up for adoption. The Kerchberger family are on the hunt for their first family pet. He's very playful! This 10-week-old kelpie is going to a safe new home. But it isn't always the case. The RSPCA says it's important to have a pet to suit your lifestyle. You have to know what you want, I guess. We wanted a small to medium dog, an active dog - we're pretty active as a family. Every dog here is put through a behaviour test. If they fail that test and get a bit growly,

they're then put through an intense rehabilitation program, such is the dedication of these people to save these animals and get them to a good home. So it is sad for our staff to actually see them go because they're not going to see their faces every day. But it's fantastic that they're going to a wonderful and beautiful home. While a pet might seem a good idea for a Christmas present, the RSPCA says to think carefully so these pets don't end up back here in the New Year. A stocktake of Sydney wildlife has discovered some hidden surprises about what furry creatures are living in our backyard. While some animals are thriving in the bush, others are becoming increasingly rare. The survey took four years and a lot of looking. It covered 800,000 hectares of southern Sydney from the coast to the Blue Mountains. And it found a lot of animals. This is basically bigger than Bali. We've looked through it all alive and well. More koalas than they thought, black cockatoos, and in the Burragorang Valley, part of the Warragamba catchment, emus everywhere. Strange things, emus. It's hard to know what emus are ever doing. The one doing the wacky dance is, I think, trying to demonstrate either, how sexually attractive it might be, or how scary and dangerous and the other male should bugger off. And where's he going? Wallabies, we see, are good swimmers. The one that was swimming is some kind of wallaby. Wet wallabies are quite hard to identify and it's probably a redneck, but we're not quite sure on that one. Most of the animals are doing well because of the green belt around Sydney - the national parks, reserves and waterways. But the survey found 92 native animals that are rare in the region and will need looking after. The brush-tailed rock wallaby, southern brown bandicoot and the unfortunate stuttering frog. FROG CROAKS The poor, poorly named stuttering frog, in fact, is one of our most endangered species. It's called a stuttering frog because that's the call it makes during mating season to harken its mate to it. Imagine a minister who knew that. Ahead in Seven News, the illegal drug that could help beat breast cancer. Also, a New South Wales police woman in trouble over a joyride. And how Australia fared at the Miss World pageant.

# Let's realise that AIDS is part of our lives. #

New South Wales police have been embarrassed by an Internet video of an officer joyriding on a trail bike. The YouTube clip shows a policewoman lose control of the bike inside the station at Tweed Heads

on the far north coast. Police say the officers involved have been dealt with, but won't say how. Researchers have discovered a link between marijuana and breast cancer which is offering new hope to thousands of Australian women. A compound from the illegal drug

could help slow the spread of the disease. Breast cancer kills more than 2,500 Australian women every year so the research being carried out in this San Francisco lab could bring hope to many. But the key ingredient in this study may come as a shock -

marijuana. What we found is that this compound called cannabidiol was particularly effective in inhibiting aggressive breast cancers. First, scientists discovered a gene to spread which enables breast cancer

then they tested the marijuana compound and found that it inhibited the gene's destructive path stopping the spread of tumour cells. That's crucial. Women whose cancer is still confined to the breast when first diagnosed have a 90% chance of surviving five years compared to just 20% when the cancer has spread. We know this compound extracted from cannabis is non-toxic in patients because it has already been used for different kinds of disease. But it might not stop at breast cancer. The marijuana compound could also be used to fight other aggressive forms of the disease including prostate cancer. I think it's a promising avenue in terms of the treatment for aggressive cancers which is really where we need treatments for. But more tests still need to be carried out before patients can benefit from this latest weapon against cancer.

Nelson Mandela has taken the fight against AIDS centre stage, at a star-studded rock concert in Johannesburg. The former South African president received a hero's welcome at the World AIDS Day event. Together, we have the power to change the course of destiny. One in nine South Africans is HIV positive. Mandela told the crowd it's up to all of them to slow the rate of infection. The Miss World contestants put rivalry aside to sing about AIDS awareness at their pageant in China. # Let's realise that AIDS is part of our lives. # A 23-year-old Chinese business graduate was crowned the winner. It's the first time China has taken out the competition. Australia's entrant Caroline Pemberton didn't reach the final stages. More than 40 hopefuls have been fighting it out in Germany for the title of World's Top Santa. The men in red suits have to prove they can handle a sled, wrap gifts and ride reindeers. In Berlin, already qualified Santas have held their annual meeting. BELLS RING ALL: Ho, ho, ho! With rehearsals over and licences in hand, they're now ready to hit the streets. Santa also made a special appearance in Sydney last night. With the reindeer resting up, he had to jet ski into Darling Harbour, to join stars Georgie Parker and David Campbell for a Christmas concert. Hundreds of families lined the waterfront and helped light the brightest Christmas tree in the Southern Hemisphere. Three - two - one! Woo! The concert ended with a fireworks spectacular. The celebrations are also under way at Phillip Island as Matthew White joins us with sport. And there's some very happy Holden fans. It's going to be a long night, Sam. I'll talk to the new V8 Supercar champion shortly on the day Garth Tander captured his first V8 title in dramatic style. Also tonight - Beckham magic casts a spell over the Kiwis. COMMENTATOR: Boom! Bangs it in, David Beckham. UPBEAT SONG PLAYS (Man giggles) VOICEOVER: With Dynamic Stability Control and seven airbags as standard, the new Ford Mondeo, from $29,990, has more than just good looks.

Welcome back to Phillip Island where we have seen one of the most dramatic finishes to the V8 Supercar Championship. It all came down to the last race and a duel between Holden's Garth Tander and Ford's Jamie Whincup, with Tander holding his nerve to take the title. All eyes on the prize. Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup, dead-even in the fight to be number one. COMMENTATOR: So off we go for the second race in the grand finale. apart from some rally driving from Mark Skaife... Serious moment down at turn one - I wondered what was going on there. ..and some bush bashing by a few of the back markers. Jason Richards, so deep. Tander and his pit crew kept their cool. A sharp stop and Holden's man emerged in front. He's got lots of room to move. Enough room to stay there till the finish. (Driver) Mega job... Whincup was third - with one race to go. Who will deliver in the final race? Todd Kelly took the lead ahead of Tander with Whincup just behind. The order changed after pit stops.

There goes Whincup and Lowndes wants to buy into it as well. Tander snuck back past. Lowndes avoided the temptation to take one for the team. Leanne Tander prayed for her husband to hang on. But Lowndes couldn't help himself. He's having a bit of a shove now. He's actually got him. He's got him! Got into me and just pushed me out of the way! He wasn't angry for long. Whincup couldn't catch Kelly, so Tander won the championship by just 2 points. Absolutely awesome, thanks so much. It's taken me 10 years to get here, thanks so much for the opportunity. The HSV Cup - Tander. So here's how they ended up for season 2007. Garth Tander winning the title by just two points from Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes finished third ahead of Rick Kelly and Mark Winterbottom. Over the page and race three winner Todd Kelly finished in sixth with Steven Richards, Mark Skaife, James Courtney and Will Davison rounding out the top 10.

, It's all about this man. We stood

here yesterday talking about if if

it would happen, you could tell

what it's like to be the it would happen, you could tell me

what it's like to be the V8 champion. It's

champion. It's unbelievable, hasn't

sunk in, winner by 2 points. I have

had championships close, to have one

go my way

go my way by 2 points. A real

go my way by 2 points. A real credit to the guys, a big disappointment at

Bathurst. It was nerve wracking for

us to watch. Your

us to watch. Your wife has no

beginninger nails left. How was it

for you I had it all under control?

When we came When we came out behind When we came out behind Jamie, I

knew I had

knew I had to keep the pressure on

him and see if he could make a

mistake. He drove well and didn't

give me an opportunity. Craig elbow

ed his way by. I thought maybe that was at the was ed his way by. I thought maybe that

was it. But the guys got on the

radio and said don't worry about

him, finish the race. That is the

best communication I have had in my

driving career. Once you finish a

championship like that, it's a wirl

wind of press conferencees. You have

had a moment to sit down by

yourself. Is it slowly starting to

sink in? It certainly is. As we have

a beer or two tonight it will sink a beer or two tonight it will

in. It will take a week or two, the

gravity of the situation shall

what a big deal it is for me. I have gravity of the situation shall and

wanted this for a long time. wanted this for a long time. For me

to get it is sensational and I will

enjoy the Christmas break. Thanks

for the ride. Congratulations. You

enjoy it. Thanks. The champion for 2008.

2008. - 2007. of a showdown with Cricket Australia Adam Gilchrist has played down talk over plans by some of our stars in the Indian Premier League. to play Cricket Australia is unhappy a memorandum of understanding that several players have signed with the IPL.

James Sutherland Cricket Australia boss was the one on the front foot today. in their place Keen to put his players Ricky Ponting after the likes of captain and fast bowler Brett Lee Twenty20 Premier League next April signed undertakings to join India's without checking with him. are international players in domestic competitions can't be cleared to play from the home board without authority or approval and that's an absolute given. the boss But Gilchrist has today assured that the players will tow the line their Australian spots. and not jeopardise There's certainly no crisis here. where local hero Mutiah Muralitharan And all sweet in Kandy too needed five wickets against England of 708 Test dismissals. to break Shane Warne's record for the record-taking wicket? Who do you want Anybody. it will be lovely. If I can take it in this innings Michael Vaughan. First down was England's skipper and got one. COMMENTATOR: An inside edge as Murali edged ever closer Vaughan gone for 37 but not happy to Warne's magical mark. And in the Pura Cup, a century from Greg Mail

of more than 200 has given New South Wales a lead with Victoria at the MCG. on day three of their clash David Beckham attracted And finally,

the biggest soccer crowd in New Zealand history beat Wellington last night. as his LA Galaxy side for the game, More than 32,000 fans turned up and they weren't disappointed the full 90 minutes with Beckham playing all four Galaxy goals. and having a hand in And as a bonus, also got on the score sheet. the great man can he hold his nerve? COMMENTATOR: Beckham, Here's Beckham. Boom! Bangs it in, David Beckham. Despite the loss, Ross Aloisi at least Wellington skipper of Beckham's shirt. got the treasured memento

Does he sell it. I reckon he will Does he sell it. I reckon he will

hold on to it. What a great day we

have had here, the closes finish we

can remember. It looks like it was

an exciting day. Have a great week. an exciting day. Have a great

Summer arrived a day late in Sydney. the sun is here to stay, I'll tell you whether

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across Sydney today The sunshine was out in force while you could. but I hope you enjoyed it this morning The city hit a top of 24 and it's hardly dropped all day. in most suburbs today Just the odd morning drizzle but Gosford had 40mm of rain. Penrith had the top at 27 degrees. with 24 in Cronulla Cooler on the coast in the mountains. and down to just 17 Around the nation tomorrow -

On to Sydney's waterways - before a mainly fine day tomorrow Another humid night tonight

with just a few afternoon showers. A top of 29 in Penrith. Looking further ahead - and those showers are hanging around until Thursday. Mainly fine on Friday before another wet weekend. but I'll be back with updates later. And that's Seven News to now, thanks for your company. I'm Samantha Armytage, Goodnight.

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