Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning, everyone.

I'm Ron Wilson. And I'm Frank

News. Coletta. Welcome to Ten's Early

Back to work - federal politicians

head to Canberra and we can expect

fireworks after new figures show

the Opposition is finally starting

Government. to take big bites out of the

One small step for man is proving

too big a leap for the US, which

has announced it can't afford to

send men back to the moon.

In sport, Roger Federer says now

the Australian Open tennis title is the Australian Open tennis title is

under his belt, he's determined to

schedule more rest time this year.

And in finance - we should prepare

for more pain. The Reserve Bank

meets today to decide how much more

homes. we'll be paying the banks for our

Federal Parliament begins the new

year today. All eyes will be on the

Opposition with Tony Abbott's

leadership starting to make inroads into the Government's popularity.

We've got our political mojo back

and we're looking forward to taking

the fight up to the Government.

However, Kevin Rudd remains the

clear popular choice for prime

minister and expect a big political

reaction this afternoon when the Reserve Bank makes its interest rate decision.

The PM and Mr Abbott are also

expected to clash over how to

tackle climate change when they

face each other in the Parliament

for the first time. The new Liberal

leader will unveil the Coalition's leader will unveil the Coalition's

climate change policy which Mr

Abbott claims will be simpler and

cheaper than the Government's

Emissions Trading Scheme. However,

Labor will hope it's third time

lucky when it reintroduced its

twice-rejected ETS. We're going to

give them the opportunity to do the

right thing and be responsible.

Former Opposition leader Malcolm

Turnbull will not be popular in some circles. He's reportedly

promised to cross the floor to

support the Government's scheme.

Australia will get a high-profile

visitor next month. The White House

has announced that President Obama,

First Lady Michelle and their First Lady Michelle and their

children will visit Australia in

March, coinciding with the 70th

anniversary of diplomatic relations

between our two countries.

This trip is an important part of

the President's continued effort to the President's continued effort to

broaden and strengthen the

partnerships that are necessary to

advance our security and prosperity.

President Obama told the PM of his

intentions to travel down hunt when

they met at the White House last

March. The Obamas will also visit

Indonesia. the President's childhood home in

The Liberal Party in Queensland is

in turmoil after a leadership

challenge from within by first-term

MP McLindon. Mr McLindon wants the

Deputy Leader's job, currently

occupied by Laurence Springborg. He

described the LNP as unelectable if

things don't change. Queensland is

about to witness a new era in

conservative politics. Despite Mr

McLindon's ambitions, a party room

meeting this morning is expected to

back Mr Springborg. I welcome him

being returned as my deputy and

expect that to happen. Mr McLindon

says if his bid fails, he will not

quit the party.

In Victoria, a new poll shows a

swing away from the Brumby

Government just months out from a

figures show Labor leads the State election. The 'Age'/Nielsen

Coalition 53% to 47% while on a

primary vote, support for Labor is

down to 40%, the Liberals steady on

39%. John Brumby's personal

approval rating is still 12 points

higher than Ted Baillieu.

The Government could be about to

chop off a popular political perk

as it looks for big budget savings.

Our ageing population is set to

cost the economy dearly and the

Government maintains cutbacks need

to be made.

The Treasurer's Power Point says it

all. In the next 40 years, the aged

population will quadruple and the

working population will shrink so

more revenue will be needed to

provide health and other services.

Yet another demonstration of why

the search for savings will

continue. Free life-time travel for

retired politicians in his sights

especially after revelations even

that generous perk has been abused

by some. It's rep henceible.

Savings there would be small beer

compared to means testing the

private health insurance rebate.

The Opposition is blocking it. That

is going to cost $100 billion. In

fact, the Opposition finds the whole intergenerational report a

bit of a stretch and downright bit of a stretch and downright

demeaning for oldies. The Prime demeaning for oldies. The Prime

Minister and Mr Swan talk about

them as the problem that has to be

solved. They're a burden for

everybody else. Healthy seniors a

joy, she says. They could also stay

longer in the workforce, if they longer in the workforce, if they

wanted to. The Treasurer at least wanted to. The Treasurer at least

agrees with that and has appointed

a businessman to advise on how to

encourage older Australians to keep

working through a $43 million

retraining package. That mean that

old people like me are a problem.

In Iraq, a female suicide bomber

has blown herself up among a crowd

of Shi'ite pilgrims, killing 54

people and injuring more than 100

others. The attack took place at a

rest station where the pilgrims had

stopped on their way to a religious

festival. Women and children were

among the did. The attack was an

embarrassment for security forces.

More than 30,000 men had been More than 30,000 men had been

deployed to safeguard the festival.

It's believed the attack is

reemented to Iraqi general election planned for March 7.

A lack of money has formed Barack

Obama to give up plans to return US

astronauts to the moon. His

administration has killed off the

idea by ending funding for the $100

billion constellation next-

generation rocket program. Instead,

he's directed NASA to turn to long-

range research and development for

a manned program to Mars. The

President is also hoping to cut

space costs by encouraging private

enterprise to bid for contracts to

ferry astronauts to the

International Space Station.

Sports headlines this morning, and

Roger Federer says he will consider

scaling back his gruelling schedule

to balance family life on tour.

Showing off his 16th Grand Slam

trophy, after defeating Andy Murray

in the Australian Open final, the

world number one says more rest is

on his agenda this year. It's

supposed to be fun out there and if

you're not free mentally you can't

perform at the level I just did for

the last two weeks. That's why

breaks are important and even more

so now that I have a family. The

28-year-old's next big assignment

is defending his French Open crown.

Pakistan's nightmare tour of

Australia has taken yet another

turn. Just a day after acting

captain Shahid Afridi was banned

for two matches for bizarre ball-

tampering incidents, the tourists

achieve of selectors, Iqbal Qasim,

has resigned. His decision comes in

the wake of what has so far been a

winless tour. More sackings and

resignations are expected when the

team arrives back in Pakistan.

Soccer's A-League Match Review

Panel has reacted savagely to

Friday night's fiery Gold Coast-

Melbourne clash. Steve Pantelidis

has been hit with a 5-match ban for

this incident, which left Robbie

Kruze daysed and -- dazed and

nursing a shoulder injury. Kevin

Muscat faces two games on the

sidelines for this elbow on Jason

Culina.

It's the left elbow to the chops.

With just two games before the

finals, both players have until

midday to appeal their penalties.

Socceroos striker Scott MacDonald Socceroos striker Scott MacDonald

has agreed to a $7.2 million switch

to Middlesbrough from Celtic. The

26-year-old will reunite with 26-year-old will reunite with

former Celtic manager Gordon

Strachan. It marks his return to

English football after 126

appearances for the Hoops. McDonald

has scored 50 goals for Celtic and

was leading scorer this season. The

transfer will link Scott with

fellow Socceroos Rhys Williams and Brad Jones.

Time for a check of the finance

news now with Frank Coletta and it

looks like we've got another dose

of medicine to swallow today. I'd

like to say otherwise but I don't

think we can avoid it. The Reserve

Bank is set to raise the cash rate

for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time.

A raft of recent data suggests the

economy does not need relatively

new interest rates any more. News

on house prices which showed an

annual growth rate of 13% in the

capital cities. Building activity capital cities. Building activity is picking up and employment

remains strong. Financial markets

are betting on a 25-basis-point

increase in the cash rate to 4%.

The big question is, though, after

refusing to drop mortgage charges

by the same amount the RBA did last

year, how much of the increase will

the banks pass on?

They got together for a meeting

finally but the trouble between

workers and bosses at Woodside

Petroleum's Pluto LNG plant in

north-west WA is far from over. The

two sides met yesterday but the 2-

hour meeting ended in a deadlock.

The project manager insists it

won't back down on an accommodation

policy known as moteling. That

could lead to more strike action on Friday.

Toyota has apologised to customers

because of faulty cars. The world's

biggest car makers announced this

week it begin to fings the

technical problem with accelerator

pedals which has prompted the

recall so far of more than 8

million vehicles that. Is some

number - because it's more than all

the cars Toyota sold last year. The

President of the company's sales

arm says the motoring giant is

doing everything as it could as

fast as it could to make things right.

Wall Street rose this morning after

closing its worst month in almost a

year after American figures

expanded the most they have in six years.

Checking today's newspaper headlines: The 'Sydney Morning Herald' says

house prices posted the strongest

quarterly growth in more than half

a decade at the end of last year.

'Business Day' reports the NSW

Government is pressing for the

CSR's new sugar company to

guarantee the asbestos liabilities

of the building products company

left behind. The 'Australian' says

Kevin Rudd's bid for a UN Security

Council seat will likely be blocked

by the Arab League due to

Australia's support for Israel.

And the The 'Financial Review'

reports many companies are facing

refinancing headaches after a run

of equity lendings to repay lenders

in 2009. An aeroplane has caused

rush-hour chaos by landing on a

busy highway. We'll show you that

right after the break.

This program is captioned live.

Headlines every 15 minutes on Ten's Early News.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has

welcomed news that US President Barack Obama is to visit Australia

next month. Just a short time ago,

the White House announced that Mr

Obama will be joined by First Lady

Michelle and the children for the

visit, coinciding the 720th

anniversary of diplomatic relations

between our two countries.

This trip is an important part of

the President's continued effort to

broaden and strengthen the

partnerships that are necessary to

advance our security and prosperity.

President Obama told the PM of his

intentions to travel down under

when they met at the White House

last March. The Obamas will also

visit the President's childhood

home in Indonesia.

Federal politics will take centre

stage for the first time this year.

Parliament resumes this morning and

interest rates and climate change

will be the main issues. All eyes

will also be on the new-look

Opposition under Tony Abbott, which

is starting to make serious inroads against the Government.

Having dispatched Malcolm Turnbull

before Christmas, a more hardline

Opposition is spoiling for battle.

We've got our political mojo back.

The latest Newspoll shows the

Government still in front but the

gap has narrowed to four points,

half of what it was, just two weeks

ago and the Coalition has sneaked

ahead on primary vote. Parliament

resumes today exactly where it left

off - the Government reintroducing

the very same climate change

legislation that fell along with Mr

Turnbull in December. And we're

going to give them the opportunity

to do the right thing and be

responsible. The Opposition will

release costings for its climate

change policy which it claims can

match the Government's targets at

much less disruption and expense.

But Tony Abbott does have problems.

Newspoll might have the Coalition

making ground but has Kevin Rudd

far and away the preferred prime

minister. His lead over Mr Abbott

is still a daunting 32 points.

There are other numbers that matter

today. The Reserve Bank is holding

its first meeting of the year. It

will decide whether interest rates

go up for a record fourth time in a row.

Flood alerts are current for

coastal and inland centres across

Queensland this morning as Tropical

Cyclone Olga continues to make

things damp. King tides and gale-

force winds are playing havoc with beaches.

There's an upside to everything.

Human tides along the Queensland

coast have the board-riders

grinning. I got pulp yelled. It was

great! Heaps of fun. And the wind.

I'm finding it hard to stand up

straight in the wind. Dozens of

coastal river systems are on flood

watch from Rockhampton in the north

as far south as Moreton Bay near

Brisbane. Inland, falls of up to

500mm of rain have been recorded in

some parts of the channel country

asology yarks the ex-cyclone, now

rain depression, moves south,

weakening as it goes.

Heavy rain fall but not as heavy as

we've seen so far. Beach erosion

remains a problem as well as minor

flooding in any coastal centres. A

test for any cars - rust proofing.

Oh, they're idiots! It's saltwater.

The weather bureau says things

should start to dry out from the

north by about Friday ahead of another severe weather system

expected by the weekend. But anyway,

what can you do? You can't do

anything. You just hope for the best.

Perth has officially sweltered

through its fourth hottest January

on record. New figures show the

average temperature through

December/January was 32.1 degrees.

The city hasn't seen a measurable

amount of rain in the past 73 days.

We're honing in on that 83-day

record that we had back in 1974/'75

with the longest dry spell for the

Perth metro site.

The run of hot days is taking its

toll on the dams with Perth

households using more than a

billion litres of water over just three days.

More questions have been raised

about Victoria's bushfire alert

system. Some anxious residents say

they weren't notified over the

weekend, even though a blaze bore

down on towns around them.

Glenda King has been an Emerald

resident for 28 years but is ready

to pack up permanently to escape a

constant fire threat.

Why should have we live with our

clothes in suitcases in the car and

everything packed in the en suite

ready to evacuate? She's angry her

neighbourhood never received a

phone message alert about a

bushfire which threatened nearby

towns. I assumed the fire wasn't

heading in our direction or wasn't

close enough but then the

neighbours started heading off and

the supermarket I work at closed

down early so we cleared out.

Evacuation was prompted only by

word of mouths and radio reports.

It's a recipe for disaster. The CFA

says with 150 fire tighters and 40

trucks on the blaze, the risk the

not high enough to text alert

nearby towns. Just as we were about

to push the button, the fire was

brought under control. There's

never been any suggestion that it

would be used in the case of every

fire across the State. That's

little assurance for fire-

vulnerable communities. It was a

big enough threat for us.

It's Government still hasn't slowed

the flood of illegal immigrants

into Australia. Another boat load

has been intercepted across

Christmas Island. Crew from the

patrol boat boarded the vessel last

night. It carried 181 passengers

and crew. They've been taken to

Christmas Island for health and

identity checks. It's the eighth

asylum seeker boat to arrive in a month.

The world's biggest annual human

migration has begun. An estimated

210 million Chinese people have

begun heading home to celebrate the

annual spring festival. Rail

tickets are becoming harder to buy

and queues at the main rail

stations stretch on for hours. The

lunar New Year this year falls on

February 14th and most Chinese

traditionally get the following

week off to celebrate. For many of

the country's millions of migrant

workers, the spring Festival Hall

days are their only opportunity to

visit families and children back home.

A small aircraft caused morning

rush-hour trouble in New Jersey

when it was forced to land on a

free way. It was providing traffic

reports for a local TV station when

they noticed there was no oil

pressure. They put it down safely

but caused a traffic snarl. It was

carted off on the back of a truck eventually.

The International Cricket Council

has ordered a detailed report after

a push invader crash-tackled Kahlid

Latif on the WACA on Sunday night.

An ICC spokesperson says the

governing body is disappointed at

the security breach which led to

the attack. 37-year-old David James

Fraser is facing assault and

trespass charges and has been

banned from the ground for land.

-- for life.

Richmond says it has support

networks in place for draftee Troy

Taylor after NT police charged the

18-year-old over a fight on New

Year's Eve. Taylor will face Alice

Springs Magistrates' Court later

this month after allegedly

assaulting three men at a street

party. The teenager, who has spent

time in a Darwin youth detention

centre, was selected by the Tigers

in last year's draft.

North Carolina's Brett Barley has

stunned the crowd at Hawaii's

Volcom Pipeline Surfing Pro,

pulling out a perfect-10 ride to

advance to the semifinals. Barley's

superb ride wowed the crowd and,

for the record, he did make it out

the other side.

It's so hard to read and it's

anybody's game. There's nothing

that anyone's really doing more

special, except for just happening

to be in the right spot. That ride

puts him in the final eight along

with Australians Mark Matthews and

Anthony Walsh.

Us stocks have started the new

month on a brighter note this

morning. Here with the details is

Nick Walter from Macquarie Private Nick Walter from Macquarie Private Wealth.

Investors were buoyed by the

release of the Obama

Administration's new budget and

Toyota's plans to fix their cars.

Yes. A new month and a Newmarket

trend. Looking back on January, the

Australian market gave up 6% of its

value. That was the worst month for

some time and certainly, um, the

worst month for some time and we

were amongst the worst markets the

world. Investors can breathe a sigh

of relief this morning when they

see the Dow Jones up 100 points.

Excuse me.

The Dow Jones up 100 points last

night. They certainly reacted to

some positive earnings results from

Exxon. Also some ongoing

manufacturing data and thirdly the

Obama - excuse me - thirdly the Obama - excuse me - thirdly the

Obama government releasing that

budget which was certainly received

well. Looking ahead to this

afternoon, the RBA is due to meet.

There's a talking point there. What

do you expect on our market as a

result? Well, the Australian market

was quite weak yesterday. We lost 90 points throughout the day. We

started well but lost 90 points

throughout the day. We should

recover some of that value but

perhaps not all of it. Our SPI

perhaps not all of it. Our SPI

futures up this morning by 40

points. Strangely, the Reserve Bank

meeting this afternoon may not have

much impact on markets. The

expectation is so widespread that

it may, in fact, not have much

impact when it actually comes. impact when it actually comes.

Thank you for that.

Briefly in other business news today:

We'll see the results of the

Commonwealth Bank business

expectations survey for the

December quarter. Similarly, we'll

see results of the National

Australia Bank's month byly

business survey tour dice. And

first-half results for home and

hardware supplier, Hills Industries.

One small step for man proved to be

too big for America. The US will

not be going back to the moon any

time soon. We've got the details

next. And one giant leap for

next. And one giant leap for

mortgage-holders when the Reserve

Bank meets today to raise rates.

More on that when we return.

This program is captioned live.

You're watching Ten's Early News.

Main stories this morning:

Federal politicians head back to

work today. It should be

entertaining with the Opposition

proving more competitive under Tony

Abbott than it's been for ages.

Brasm announces plans to cut the

$1.5 trillion US debt but has only

made everyone even angryer at him.

Roger Federer says now the

Australian Open tennis title is

under his belt, he's determined to

schedule more rest this year. And

the Reserve Bank meets today to

determine how much more we'll be

paying the banks for our homes.

Federal Parliament begins the New

Year today. All eyes will be on the

Opposition with Tony Abbott's

leadership starting to make inroads

into the Government's popularity.

Today's Newspoll shows the

Coalition has narrowed the gap on

the Government to four points.

Labor's lead has been halved in

just the past two weeks.

We've got our political mojo back

and we're looking forward to taking

the fight up to the Government.

Kevin Rudd, however, remains the

clear popular choice for Prime

Minister. And expect a big

political reaction this afternoon

when the Reserve Bank makes its

interest rate decision.

Tony Abbott was playing down the

positive poll when quizzed about it

during his morning bike ride.

I haven't seen it, but I have heard

of it. And, look, it's encouraging

but that's all.

That's all.

It's encouraging but there's a long

way to go.

Tony Abbott without his budgey smugglers...

The PM and Mr Abbott are also

expected to clash over how to title

climate change when they meet

across the Despatch Boxs for the

first time. The new Liberal leader

will unveil the Coalition's climate

change policy, which he claims is

cheaper and simpler than the

Emissions Trading Scheme. Labor

will hope it's third time lucky

when it reintroduces the ETS for

the approval. We'll give them an

opportunity to be responsible.

Malcolm Turnbull won't be popular

in some circles, though. He's

reportedly promised to cross the

scheme. floor to support the Government's

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has

welcomed news that US President

Barack Obama is to visit Australia

next month. The White House has

announced a short time ago that Mr

Obama will be joined by First Lady

Michelle and their children for the

visit, coinciding with the 70th

anniversary of diplomatic relations

between our two countries.

This trip is an important part of

the President's continued effort to

broaden and strengthen the

partnerships that are necessary to

advance our security and prosperity.

President Obama told the PM of his

intentions to travel down under

when they met at the White House

last March. The Obamas will also

visit the President's childhood

home in Indonesia.

A farmer who went on a 52-day

hunger strike will today address

hundreds of other farmers at a big

protest gathering in Canberra. The

primary producers will march on

Parliament House at noon to protest

against state-based laws which

prevent graziers from clearing

their land. They'll be addressed by

NSW farmer Peter Spencer who didn't

eat for nearly two months to draw

attention to his own plight. His

sink against his wishes. property was turned into a carbon

The Liberal National Party in

Queensland is in turmoil after a

leadership challenge from within by

first-term MP McLindon. Mr McLindon

wants the Deputy Leader's job,

currently occupied by Laurence

Springborg. He described the LNP as

unelectable if things don't change.

And Queensland is about to witness

a new era in conservative politics.

Despite Mr McLindon's ambitions, a

party meeting this morning is

expected to back Mr Springborg.

He's the father of the LNP and I

would welcome him being returned as

my deputy and I expect that to

happen. Mr McLindon says if his bid

for the deputy's job fails, he

won't quit the party.

In Victoria, a new poll shows a

swing away from the Victorian

Brumby Government just months out

from a state election. The

'Age'/kneelsens figures show on a

primary vote for Labor is down tour

3040%, the Liberals down to 39%.

But John Brumby's personal approval

rating is still 12 points higher rating is still 12 points higher than Ted Baillieu. than Ted Baillieu.

The Government could be about to

chop off a popular political perk

as it looks for big-budget savings. as it looks for big-budget savings.

Our ageing population is set to

cost the economy dearly and the

Government maintains cutbacks need to be made.

The Treasurer's Power Point says it

all. In the next 40 years, the aged

population will quadruple and the

working population will shrink. So

more revenue will be needed to

provide health and other services.

Yet another demonstration of why

the search for savings will continue.

Free lifetime travel for retired

politicians in his sights -

especially after revelations even

that generous perk has been abused

by some. That is completely rep

henceible. And its days are

numbered. Savings there would be

small beer compared to means

testing the private health

insurance rebate. The Opposition is

blocking it. That is going to cost

$100 billion. In fact, the

Opposition finds the whole

intergenerational report a bit of a

stretch and downright demeaning for

oldies. The Prime Minister and Mr

Swan talk about them as "the

problem that has to be solved",

they're a "burden for everybody

else". Healthy seniors are a joy,

she says. They could also stay

longer in the workforce if they

wanted to. The Treasurer at least

agrees with that and has appointed

businessman Everald Compton to

advise on how to keep older

Australians working through a $40

million repackage. That doesn't

mean old people like me are a problem.

Flood alerts a current for coastal

and inland centres across

Queensland this morning, as former

Tropical Cyclone Olga continues to

dump heavy rain. Gale-force winds

and king tides are playing havoc with beaches.

There's an upside to everything.

Huge tides right along the

Queensland coast have all the

board-riders grinning. Yeah. I got

pulp yelled out there. It was great.

Heaps of fun, though. Then the wind

- nearing gale force at times. I

find it hard to stand up straight.

Dozens of coastal river systems are

on flood watch from Rockhampton in

the north as far south as Moreton

Bay near Brisbane. Inland, falls of

up to 500 mm of rain have been

recorded across some parts of the

Queensland channel country as Olga,

the ex-Cyclone, now rain depression,

moves slowly south, weakening as it

goes. We'll see still heavy rain

fall, but probably not as heavy as

what we've seen already. Beach

erosion remains a problem, as well

as minor flooding in many coastal

centres - a test for any cars -

rust proofing.

-- a test for any car's rust

proofing. They're idiots. It's

saltwater. The weather bureau says

things will dry out from the north

by Friday ahead of another severe

weather system expected by the

weekend. Anyway, what can you do?

You can't do anything. You just

hope for the best.

President Barack Obama has unveiled

his new budget, which includes

money to fight unemployment, but it also

also includes cuts in other areas

like ditching plans to send

astronauts back to the moon.

In these thousands of pages of

numbers, the one that stands out is

$1.6 trillion, the deficit in the $1.6 trillion, the deficit in the

new budget. He says the Government

needs to spend the money to get

Americans back to work. The

spending plan for 2011 totals

almost $4 trillion. It gives more money to education programs,

research and clean energy

development. It freezes spepblding

on some domestic programs. It

includes a new tax on banks. And

increases taxes on families making

more than $250,000 a year.

President Obama argues it's the

right blend of short-term spending

to create Johns and long-term

savings to cut the deficit. We have

to do what families across America

are doing - save where we can so

that we can afford what we need.

The White House's budget is not

popular with either party. Liberals

want the President to spend more to

shore up the sagging job market.

Republicans want more cuts to bring

down the deficit. But the budget is down the deficit. But the budget is

just a blueprint and both sides

agree there will be major changes

before Congress approves it.

Roger Federer says he'll consider

scaling back his gruelling tennis

schedule to balance family life on

tour. Showing off his 16th Grand

Slam trophy after defeating Andy

Murray in the Australian Open time,

the world number one says more rest

is on his agenda this year. It's

supposed to be fun out there and if

you're not free mentally, you can't

perform at the level I just did,

you know, for the last two weeks.

That's why breaks are important and

even more so now that I have a

family. The next big assignment is

defending the French Open crown.

Pakistan's nightmare tour of

Australia has taken another turn. A

day after Shahid Afridi was banned day after Shahid Afridi was banned

for two matches for a bizarre ball-

tampering incident, the tourists

achieve of selectors, Iqbal Qasim,

has resigned. His decision comes in

the wake of what has so far been a

winless tour. More sackings and

resignations are expected when the

team arrives back in Pakistan.

Socceroos striker Scott MacDonald

has agreed to a $7.2 million switch

to English championship club

Middlesbrough from Scottish giants

Celtic. The 26-year-old reunites Celtic. The 26-year-old reunites

with former Celtic manager Gordon

Strachan. The Australian has netted

120 goals for the Hoops after

joining them from Motherwell. The joining them from Motherwell. The

transfer will link him with fellow

Socceroos Rhys Williams and Brad Jones.

More on finance now with Frank and

D-Day on interest rates. It doesn't

look good. It doesn't. For home

buyers we can't avoid bad news. The

Reserve Bank is now likely to raise

the cash rate for an unprecedented

fourth consecutive time when it

meets this afternoon. There's been

a raft of data lately which

indicates the economy does not need

relatively low interest rates any

more. News on house prices, for

more. News on house prices, for

example, which showed an annual

growth rate last year of 13% in the

capital cities. Also, building

activity is picking up and

employment remains strong.

Financial markets are betting on a

25 basis point increase in the cash

rate to take it to 4%. The big

question is after refusing to drop

mortgage charges by the same amount

the RBA did last year, how much of

the increase will the banks pass

on? They got together for a meeting

on? They got together for a meeting

finally but the meeting between

workers and bosses at Woodside

Petroleum seems far from over.

The project manager insists it

won't back down on an accommodation

policy known as moteling and that

could lead to even more strike action this coming Friday.

Toyota has apologised to customers

because of faulty cars. The world's biggest car maker announced it

would this week begin to fix a would this week begin to fix a

technical problem with accelerator

pedals which has prompted the

recall so far of more than 8 recall so far of more than 8

million vehicles. Now, that is some

number because it is actually more

than all the cars that Toyota sold

last year. Jim Lentz, president of

the company's sealsz arm, says the

motoring giant is doing everything

it can as fast as it can to try and

make things right.

Wall Street rose this morning after

closing its worst months in almost a year.

Here are some of the headlines on

news websites around the world this

morning. The Jakarta post says

police believe there are almost

certainly more victims of a man who

has already confessed to sexually

assaulting and murdering 14 street

children. The 'Guardian' reports

Pope Benedict has criticised

Britain's gay equality laws,

particularly legislation that came

in last year preventing adoption

agencies from discriminating

against gay couples.

The and the 'Moscow Times' says the

website of Russia's Opposition

party newspaper has been paralysed

by hackers for the sixth day in a row.

Still ahead - I know Frank thinks

he's tough. I heard you use the

line, "You talking to me?". That's

right! In the UK, the annual tough

guy competition has been held.

We'll have the details next. AROUND SOUTH EAST NEW SOUTH DEAL... DESPITE HEAVY TEACHERS IN COOMA SAY IT'S FIRE CREWS WERE KEPT BUSY POLICE ARE APPEALING FOR THE LIGHT AIRCRAFT CRASHED CIVIAL AVIATION EXPERTS PREPARE A REPORT, ONCE A HURRICANES IN NEW ZEALAND INJURED QUAD, AND BEN PERSIST ACROSS NEW SOUTH LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION WALES - A POSSIBLE SHOWER 16 28 THURSDAY - POSSIBLE SHOWER

This program is captioned live.

Headlines every 15 minutes here on

Ten's Early News.

Better polish the silver ware.

We're about to get a very important

visitor. A short time ago the White

House announced that US President

Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle

and the kids will visit Australia

in March, coinciding with the 70th

anniversary of diplomatic relations

between our two countries.

This trip is an important part of

the pts's continued effort to

broaden and strengthen the

partnerships that are necessary to

advance our security and prosperity.

President Obama told the PM of his

intentions to travel downed under

when they met at the White House

last March. The Obamas will visit

the President's childhood home in

Indonesia. Federal politics will

take centre stage for the first

time this year. Parliament resumes

this morning. Interest rates and

climate change will be among the

top issues. All eyes will be on the

new-look Opposition under Tony

Abbott, which is starting to make

serious inroads against the Government.

Having dispatched Malcolm Turnbull

before Christmas, a more hardline

Opposition is spoiling for battle.

We've got our political mojo back.

The latest Newspoll shows the

Government still in front but the

gap has narrowed to four points,

half of what it was two weeks ago

and the Coalition has sneaked ahead

on primary vote. Parliament resumes

today exactly where it left off,

the Government reintroducing the

very same climate change

legislation that fell along with Mr

Turnbull in December.

We're going to give them the

opportunity to do the right thing

and be responsible. The Opposition

will release costings for its

climate change policy which it

claims can match the Government's

targets at much less disruption and

expense. But Tony Abbott does have

problems. Newspoll might have the

Coalition making ground, but also

has Kevin Rudd far and away the

preferred prime minister. His lead

over Mr Abbott still a daunting 32

points. There are other numbers

that matter today. The Reserve Bank

is holding its first meeting of the

year. It will decide whether

interest rates go up for a record

fourth time in a row.

Tony Abbott was playing down the

positive poll when quizzed about it

during his morning bike ride.

It's encouraging but there's a long

way to go.

He says the Coalition still has a

lot of work to do this election year.

The Government still has not slowed

the flood of illegal immigrants

into Australia. Another boat load

has been intercepted off Christmas

Island. Crew from the patrol boat

boarded the vessel last night. It

carried 121 passengers and crew.

They've been taken to Christmas

Island for health and identity

checks. It's the eighth asylum

seeker boat to arrive in the space

of just a month.

Dozens of Queensland's coastal

rivers are in flood and communities

remain on alert as former cyclone

Olga continues to dump huge amounts

of rain across the state. The

coastline between Rockhampton and

Moreton Bay is taking a battering

from destructive tides and near

gale force winds. The sand is

blowing right up here and stinging

your face. I don't think I can stay

here much longer. Inland areas are

also enjoying the big wet with the

channel country in the far west of

Queensland already under water in many places.

Perth has officials sweltered

through the fourth hottest January

on record. New figures show the

average temperature through

December-January was 32.1 degrees. December-January was 32.1 degrees.

There hasn't been measurable rain

for 73 days. We're honing in on the

83-day record from 1974/'75 with

the longest dry spell for the Perth

metro site.

The run of hot days is also taking

its toll on the dams with Perth

households using more than a

billion litres of water over just three days.

In Iraq, a female suicide bomber

has blown herself up among a crowd

of Shi'ite pill grips, killing 54

people and injuring more than 100

others. The attack took place at a

rest station where the pilgrims

stopped on the way to a religious

festival. Women and children were

among the dead. The attack

embarrassed security forces. More

than 30,000 men had been deployed

to safeguard the festival. It's

believed the attack was related to

the Iraqi general election planned

for March 7.

The world's biggest annual human

migration has gone. An estimated

210 million Chinese people have

begun heading home to celebrate the annual spring festival. Rail

tickets are becoming harder to buy

and queues at the main rail station

stretch on for hours. The lunar New

Year this year falls on February

14th and most Chinese traditionally

get the following week off to

celebrate. For many of the

country's millions of migrant workers, the spring festival

holidays are the only opportunity

threat they get to visit families back home.

Thousands of people have taken part

in a tough guy event in Britain.

Competitors plunged into freezing

lakes, waded through thick mud and

negotiated barbed wire and flames

to reach the finish line. Freezing

temperatures this year added to the

extreme mental and physical test to

the competitors. Amazingly, no-one

was seriously injured on the day.

The International Cricket Council

has ordered a detailed report after

a pitch invader crash-tackled

Kahlid Latif at the WACA on Sunday

night. An ICC spokesperson says the

governing body is disappointed at

the security breach which led to

the attack. 37-year-old David James

Fraser is facing assault and

trespass charges and has been

banned from the ground for life.

In AFL, Richmond says it has

support networks in place for

draftee Troy Taylor after nfpltd T

police charged the 18-year-old over

a fight on New Year's Eve. Taylor

will face Alice Springs

Magistrates' Court later this month

after allegedly assaulting three

men at a street party. The teenager,

who has spent time in a Darwin

youth detention centre was selected

by the toyingst in last year's draft.

Brett Barley has stunned the crowd

at the Volcom Pipeline surfing at the Volcom Pipeline surfing

propulling out a perfect ten ride

to advance to the semifinals. He

wowed the crowd. For the record, he

made it out the other side of this.

It's so hard to read and it's

anybody's game. There's nothing

that anyone's really doing more special except for just happening

to be in the right spot.

That ride puts him in the final

eight along with Australia's Mark Matthews and Anthony Walsh.

American stocks started the new

month on a bright note this morning.

Investors were buoyed by the

release of the new budget and

Toyota's plan to fix their cars.

Yes. That's right, Frank. A new

month and hopefully a Newmarket

trend. The Australian market gave

up 6% in January. That was the

worst month for some time and worst month for some time and

Australia was one of the worst

markets around the world. Investors

can breathe a slight sigh of relief

this morning, seeing the Dow Jones

up 100 points. We may have bucked

the downed with trend.

There have been strong results from

Exxon and a strong manufacturing

data from the US and the Barack

Obama budget seemed to be a

responsible one. The reaction in

both the bond market and the equity

market was very positive. With the

RBA due to meet this afternoon, all

eyes will be on that. But will it

affect our market when it opens

today, do you think? The today, do you think? The

expectation for a 25 basis point

rise is so widespread that I don't

know that we'll have a huge

reaction unless they do something

that's seen to be radical.

Yesterday, our market was weak,

losing 90 points throughout the day.

That's a worrying concern. But I

think with the strong lead from the

US, we'll see a positive start to

today. Our SPI futures up about 40

points. Thanks, Nick Walter from

Macquarie Private Wealth.

There's been a hiccup in improving

employment numbers. The number of

job ads slumped in January. The ANZ

says ads in newspapers and on the

Internet fell 8.1%. The bank says

despite the fall, the trend is

still up. There was solid

employment growth through the final

quarter of last year, which helped

to Queen the unemployment rate well below expectations.

Briefly in other news today, we'll

see the results of the Commonwealth

Bank business expectations survey

for the December quarter and we'll

see the NAB's monthly business

survey for December. And also out

today - first-half results for home and hardware supplier Hills Industries.

Ron, yes, I'm talking to you.

We'll keep an eye out for the RBA We'll keep an eye out for the RBA

board meeting this afternoon and

all the details tomorrow. You're a

tough guy, Frank. Stimulating enterprise.

Recapping our main stories this

morning. Federal politicians head

back to work and it should be

entertaining with the Opposition

proving more competitive under Tony

Abbott than it's been for ages. Get

set for more pain. The Reserve Bank meets today to determine how much

more we'll be paying to banks for our homes.

And Barack Obama announces he's

coming to Australia for a visit next month.

That is it for Ten's Early News.

I'm Ron Wilson. We'll catch you

again tomorrow morning. Have a great day.