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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Welcome to Ten's Early News. And I'm Danielle Isdale. Good morning. I'm Richard Davies.

another case. Our top stories this Thursday - Randwick Racecourse A horse at Sydney's tests positive to equine flu. to contract the illness. The first thoroughbred New lead - the country's oldest mysteries. a possible breakthrough in one of the missing Beaumont children. A man questioned over Nelson Mandela honoured in London - the British Houses of Parliament. a bronze statue erected outside And in sport - embarrassing scenes as AFL players continue to boycott Channel Seven.

mate. I'm not answering your questions,

and some relief on Wall Street. To finance now

Yes, Richard

for the battered US market. and it couldn't come soon enough as we head to the bell Stocks have surged

When I come back - Wall Street's sub-prime storm. how Westfield is weathering

to some breaking news out of the UK First this morning - Andrew Johns has been arrested and former NSW rugby league star in London. The former Newcastle skipper at Kings Cross station was caught with one ecstasy tablet after he left an all-day club. He was cautioned and released without charge.

Johns has been in London for a few weeks

Trainers are waiting for confirmation

made its way to the racing industry. but it's now believed the flu has Randwick Racecourse this morning An air of uncertainly looms over from the Anthony Cummings stable with fears a horse has equine influenza. almost certainly are yet to confirm the infection Secondary tests the virus is present. but the initial results show If so, it would be the first case of the flu

within Australia's racing industry. that are not well. You don't like having horses particularly unwell, I must say. This fellow doesn't look there is something going on. With the temperature declaration of a natural disaster Event organisers calling for the looking to the Government for help for answers. and hounding the Prime Minister

a public inquiry, If it were necessary to hold

were seen to be a band-aid solution Phantom races to prop up an industry on its knees. in front of empty stands Horses running with punters watching on elsewhere. the stand-still. We would not be abandoning Randwick has 700 horses. For instance,

in Randwick's history, Now, possibly the most crucial result within hours. should be determined by vets Rakhal Ebeli, Ten News.

to a string of unsolved murder cases has linked a convicted child killer Fresh evidence

dating back more than 40 years ago. order to question Derek Ernest Percy Detectives will today seek a court connecting him to several cases after finding documents Wanda Beach murders including Sydney's of the Beaumont children. and the disappearance longest serving prisoner Percy is Victoria's of a 12-year-old girl. being held for the murder

later this morning Ford workers will find out to resume today. if production is likely Output was stopped Venture Industries went on strike. after workers at plastics supplier to work hit a snag yesterday A deal that would see them returned at 11:00 this morning. with staff scheduled to meet as a result of the strike Ford was forced to stop production costing it $66 million. stand down nearly 2,000 workers It's likely it will also have to as a result.

the Prime Minister to bring it on Kevin Rudd has challenged on the third anniversary and call the Federal Election he called the last poll. The Opposition Leader also wants an immediate debate has brushed aside both demands. But John Howard It looks like a campaign... Can I have a hug? for John Howard, But there's no sense of deja vu

since he called the last election. despite it now being three years That had passed my attention. Oh, really? on Kevin Rudd. The anniversary wasn't lost Prime Minister's seat of Bennelong He chose to visit the to say "it's time". is three years to October 9, The holding of the election for Mr Howard to confirm I think it's useful an October poll. whether we're going to have of doing that. No, no, I have no intention

to spell out his workplace agenda Also dismissed - a challenge for the next term. Let's have a debate now -

Mr Howard and myself industrial relations for the future. on our plans for is already facing pressure But Kevin Rudd IR policy. to change his more business-friendly the lowest-paid workers in Australia The union representing angry and disappointed. is to take Kevin Rudd for a day What I've offered

to sweatshops, around to clothing factories, out there. to see what's actually happening We're witnessing this pantomime where the union officials in front of the cameras are wringing their hands in private. but popping champagne corks Brad Hodson, Ten News. Maxine McKew has stepped up her bid

of Bennelong. to oust John Howard out of his seat Bob Hawke and Bob Carr She called on Labor heavyweights forum in Sydney last night. to be guest speakers at a public

in a number of forums It was the second organised by the Labor candidate. This one focusing on Iraq. Nelson Mandela Former South African leader a memorial in his honour in London. has been honoured at the unveiling of as the bronze statue was revealed. The 89-year-old watched with his wife He says he's touched by the gesture all those who fought apartheid. stressing the statue represents And he's in good company, will sit outside British Parliament the bronze figure and Winston Churchill. alongside Abraham Lincoln are rallying to raise funds Greek communities across Australia devastating fires. for the victims of their homeland's destroyed thousands of hectares Most are now under control having of a weekend flare-up. but there are fears A black scorched nation. Firefighters from 17 countries

are winning the week-long battle against most of the wildfires. But on the island of Evia they are proving harder to contain. TRANSLATION: This fire needs to be put out. We are all going to be burnt. I'll be burnt. The Air Force is evacuating some areas. This man's broken leg is kept rigid with make-shift splints. Television crews have been told to leave sections that will be left to burn.

Go. Go. REPORTER: Why? Is it very dangerous? Yes. Yes. As the government tracks down landowners said to have burnt land for later development, it's facing increasing criticism. Why was it slow to react? Why did at least 64 people die? Aid workers have estimated relief will cost more than $400 million. Australia's 700,000 Greeks are contributing to a fund already. They, and weary firefighters, hope scorching weekend temperatures won't cause more outbreaks. Mark Suleau, Ten News. Things certainly got messy at the annual tomato throwing festival in Spain. The mass food fight took over the town, truck loads of the ripe fruit on offer. There's no real rules, tomato-tossers given one hour to make their mess.

Up to 40,000 turned out for this year's fight. Many say it's a good way to de-stress. AFL players are still refusing to talk with the Seven network. The blanket boycott in place until the station apologises for airing players' confidential medical records. Relations between the AFL and broadcast partner, Channel Seven, hit a new low with players enforcing their ban on speaking to the network. It was a stunning display and unprecedented. I'm not answering questions, mate, I just said that before, OK. CHANNEL SEVEN JOURNALIST: Not answering questions? No, not with Channel Seven. I thought you'd turn up and ask the first question, so I'm not answering. Leo the coach was talking about resting some of the bigger name players, just to get a week off. I said I'm not answering questions. It's not a question about drugs, buddy. That's alright. Mate, I'd love to answer your question the rest of the boys in the AFL but I'm toeing the line along with and we won't be answering your questions, I'm sorry.

I guess an apology is all that's needed and we'll all go back to normal. Reports indicate that Seven may drop the court injunction chase as part of a peace deal with the AFL, but the players' action has drawn widespread support. And police say they may yet take action against Seven, for airing players' confidential medical records. First of all I don't think they should've been bought and second, I don't think they should've been publicly aired. I think it's an invasion of privacy, one of the worst cases.

Ian Cohen, Ten News. hasn't ruled out a return to the National Rugby League. He'll play his last game for the Panthers on Saturday night before taking up a two-year deal to play rugby union in France. of years and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully I'll make a good go of it and be successful. Gower's place at Penrith could be taken by in-form South Sydney five-eighth Joe Williams. Aussie wild card Alan Jones is impressing on court in the first round of the US Open against Rafeal Nadal. The 27-year-old from Canberra serving up a shock to the world number two breaking Nadal in the first set. COMMENTATOR: Wow, that was good. What a game.

Nadal forced to fight back from a break down to take the first set 7-5. Jones has the break in the second and leads 4-2. Back to business now and rock bottom consumer confidence in the US is affecting Westfield shopping centres there? That's right, Richard. Shopping centre giant Westfield says but that hasn't stopped it bagging a strong interim profit. Net profit including property revaluations rose to $1.97 billion but strip out those gains and earnings were up more than 7% to $844 million. Westfield owns 1189 shopping centres across the world valued at around $62 billion. The company says it earned 40% of profits from its 16 shopping malls in the United States.

And packaging company Amcor also reported numbers yesterday turning in a 52% rise in annual profit. Profit came in at $533 million, which was better than expected, sending shares up 5%. The company has also announced a $350 million share buyback and is planning to spend $500 million on new projects. at $7.35. Shares closed up 33 cents

Let's look at the national weather:

Let's take a look at the headlines across Australia. Hollywood star Angelina Jolie visits Iraq.

Those details next.

QUIRKY MUSIC (Barks questioningly) Hmm! (Blows whistle) FANFARE QUIRKY MUSIC

(Blows whistle) SONG: # Live a Lotto life. #

This program is captioned live. Welcome back to Ten's Early News. This morning - crisis talks.

Workers to discuss options this morning aimed at restarting production at Ford's Melbourne plants. Another case - tests show a race horse in Sydney has contracted equine influenza. Two years on - President Bush tours New Orleans commemorating the anniversary of the deadly hurricane. And bringing down the house - Silverchair and Powderfinger kick off their anticipated national tour in Newcastle. To finance now and Wall Street's had a dismal week? The widespread fear the US economy is in for a major slow-down keeps rearing its ugly head. News of weaker consumer confidence and a drop in house prices sparked heavy losses yesterday.

And when I return - the money burning a hole in Macquarie Airports' pocket. More on that breaking news out of the UK that former NSW rugby league star Andrew Johns has been arrested in London. The former Newcastle skipper was caught with one ecstasy tablet at Kings Cross station after he left an all-day club. without charge. He was cautioned and released Defiant workers have stalled hopes of a resolution to the car parts dispute that's crippled Ford. yesterday, but fell through Production was expected to resume with talks now set down for later this morning. After exhaustive talks, the union felt it had secured a good deal. Venture Industries guaranteeing workers would receive their $25 million in entitlements.

This has come a million miles from where we started. But the 550 striking workers Venture kept saying to us, "We'll open the books, trust us." (Bleep). They demanded signatures before resuming work, as ordered by the Industrial Relations Commission.

The company has always done backflips on us.

They've never bargained in good faith - well, they have bargained in good faith but then they'll say something

and they'll turn around and they'll change it. The company have a responsibility to get the trust back. But after almost three hours, with a blank page. union leaders returned The setback means Ford also remains at a standstill. The 1,850 workers that were stood down last Thursday are now facing at least another day without pay, as are a further 1,000 employees at firms that rely Kellie Morgan, Ten News. The New South Wales ambulance crisis is set to continue with call centre workers the latest to join the industrial action. From today, ambulance call-takers will only process emergency patient transfers to hospitals saying there's a critical staff shortage. It comes as paramedics declare ambulance rides will be free until Saturday

and have threatened to strike over the APEC long weekend. Shoot-to-kill orders have been given to Australia's top gun pilots guarding the skies during the APEC summit in Sydney. The RAAF staged a dramatic fly-past yesterday to show off its capabilities in the event terrorists try an aerial attack on world leaders. Hostile planes flying into the APEC zone will be intercepted and, if they don't follow orders to leave, will be blown out of the air with short-range air-to-air missiles. The equine influenza virus has almost certainly struck the heart of Australia's racing industry. Initial tests on a horse from the Anthony Cummings stable at Randwick Racecourse show the virus is present. Secondary results are expected to confirm the worst fears of all in the industry within hours. It comes as event organisers push for the declaration of a natural disaster

hoping to clear the way for government compensation. A man is in danger of losing an eye after being attacked in a nightclub on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Police are interviewing a group of footballers after the victim was slashed with a beer glass. Unable to see and likely to lose his eye,

a mate's 21st birthday party quickly became the most traumatic experience of Luke Thomson's life.

I always thought it wouldn't happen to me or someone like me.

The 24-year-old builder was jumped from behind and slashed across the face with a broken glass as he left the toilets of Mooloolaba's Zink nightclub. The people around me told me I had a big gash hanging out the side of my eye

so I knew it was pretty bad and I couldn't see. I thought I'd lost my eye or something real bad like that. For someone to use a glass as a weapon - I couldn't understand what would go through their mind. The viciousness of the unprovoked slashing has also surprised police. Luke was attacked on a Sunday night. The venue caters to families, and

This has seriously affected the rest of his life now

and we really need to identify the perpetrator. Police believe several people witnessed the attack. They're especially keen to speak with members of a local football club.

Luke hopes his attacker will be a man and hand himself in. The police are gonna get ya soon. Brett Mason, Ten News. The WA Government has introduced a bill that would legalise brothels. Prostitution is currently legal in the state but running a brothel isn't. The State's Attorney-General Jim McGinty says the bill is a practical approach to protecting sex workers' health and safety. However, Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey has called for MPs to oppose the bill. New Orleans still has a long way to come, two years after Hurricane Katrina. It's been a slow recovery for the area which lost 1,600 people during the ferocious storm. Funding is still a big issue, locals again calling on the President to do more. A new memorial has been built to honour those who died.

Hollywood beauty and UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie has made a visit to Syria and Iraq. She met hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by the ongoing conflict in Iraq. Jolie is the UN's High Commissioner for refugees.

The actress also took time out to visit US troops in Iraq. and two of Australia's biggest rock bands have kicked off their national tour.

in the Chair's hometown of Newcastle last night. sees both groups teaming up for the next two months rolling into every capital city plus 13 regional centres across the nation. Venus Williams is on track for another US Open title moving through to the third round in straight sets. World number two Rafael Nadal wasn't expecting this. Aussie wild card Alan Jones pushing the French Open champion in the opening set.

Nadal forced to fighting back from a break down to take the first set 7-5. Marat Safin moving through to the second round in straight sets but he did it the hard way. The big Russian feeling the pressure. Forced into a tie-breaker in the second and third set against Canadian Frank Dancevic. Safin determined to close the match out in straight sets. The former world number one sealing the win with his biggest weapon. And he wraps it up in style! No surprises with Venus Williams, through to the third round. 18-year-old Romanian Raluca Ioana Olaru her victim. Willams searching for her third US Open title taking the match in straight sets. What a disappointment for the youngster. Fifth seed Ana Ivanovic also through to the third round, too strong for France's

Victoria Murphy, Ten News. Several more AFL players have announced their retirements. Carlton veteran Matthew Lappin has succumbed to injury and the 251-gamer has retired immediately. If it had've been a big game and I needed to get up, I might've pushed meself but as I said, I'm not 100% and the opportunity's there to blood another young player. Melbourne defenders Nathan Brown and Clint Bizzell

will play their last AFL game on Sunday. And Port Adelaide defender Darryl Wakelin says he'll retire at the end of the season. Distance star Craig Mottram has arrived in Osaka brimming with confidence after finalising his world championship preparations in China. He'll race the heats of the 5,000m tonight ready to once again take on the mighty Africans. Anyone can beat them, there's no rule against beating them. No-one ever said that you couldn't. It's just that I think some people build them up to be impossible to beat. The 5,000m final will be run on Sunday.

Finance now and Macquarie Airports is cashed up and looking to buy? Macquarie Airports says it remains on the hunt for more acquisitions after reporting 367% lift in interim profit. The result came in at $953 million

but that was inflated by one-off gains associated with the sale of its stakes in Rome and Birmingham airports. The company confirmed it had acquired an additional 3% stake for $85 million and added that it hopes to grow its current portfolio of airport assets. And in other profit news out yesterday,

country airline Regional Express has turned in a $23 million result.

The airline which operates on 39 routes across the country says revenue jumped 29% to $225 million. with higher fuel costs and increased charges associated with security. The company that rose from the ashes Hazelton and Kendell Airlines says of failed carriers it expects profits to rise by 10% this financial year.

Let's look at the national weather: After servicing Russian and European royalty for more than 120 years, Faberge has launched its world-first stand-alone store in Sydney. The exquisitely crafted jewellery has found a select market in Australia

prompting the luxury brand to set-up its flagship store here. Faberge, famous for be-jewelled eggs, was first made for the Russian emperor in 1884. Horse flu strikes at the heart of the Australian racing industry. That's next. And the CommSec finance report when the Early News returns.

Put a smile on Dad's face this Father's Day and help others at the same time. Purchase a barbecue apron at Bunnings Warehouse for only $7.95 and all profits will be donated

to The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Over 50,000 sick kids are looked after each year

This program is captioned live. A horse at Sydney's Randwick Racecourse tests positive to equine flu. The first thoroughbred to contract the illness.

New lead - a possible breakthrough in one of the country's oldest mysteries. A man questioned over the missing Beaumont children. Nelson Mandela honoured in London - a bronze statue erected outside the British Houses of Parliament. And in sport - embarrassing scenes as AFL players continue to boycott Channel Seven. I'm not answering your questions. I just said that before, OK?.

We won't be answering your questions, I'm sorry.

I guess an apology is all that's needed. and recovery in the US. To finance now Yes, Richard Stocks have surged as we head to the bell. A welcome recovery from a brutal two session sell-off.

When I come back - the latest from CommSec. First this morning - to some breaking news out of the UK and former NSW rugby league star Andrew Johns has been arrested

in London. The former Newcastle skipper was caught with one ecstasy tablet at Kings Cross station after he left an all-day club. He was cautioned and released without charge. Fresh evidence Secondary results

are expected to confirm the worst fears of all in the industry within hours. It comes as event organisers push for the declaration of a natural disaster hoping to clear the way for government compensation. Defiant workers have stalled hopes of a resolution to the car parts dispute Production was expected to resume yesterday, but fell through with talks now set down for later this morning. After exhaustive talks, the union felt it had secured a good deal. Venture Industries guaranteeing workers would receive their $25 million in entitlements. But the 550 striking workers weren't convinced. Venture kept saying to us, "We'll open the books, trust us." They demanded signatures before resuming work, as ordered by the Industrial Relations Commission. The company has always done backflips on us. They've never bargained in good faith - in good faith well, they have bargained

but then they'll say something and they'll turn around and they'll change it. The company have a responsibility to get the trust back. But after almost three hours, union leaders returned with a blank page. The setback means Ford also remains at a standstill. The 1,850 workers that were stood down last Thursday

are now facing at least another day without pay, as are a further 1,000 employees at firms that rely on Ford being in production. Kellie Morgan, Ten News. Fresh evidence has linked a convicted child killer to a string of unsolved murder cases dating back more than 40 years ago. Detectives will today seek a court order to question Derek Ernest Percy after finding documents connecting him to several cases including Sydney's Wanda Beach murders and the disappearance of the Beaumont children. Percy is Victoria's longest serving prisoner being held for the murder of a 12-year-old girl. Stand-by for a hike in the price of strawberries. Queensland growers hit hard by frost only a few weeks ago are now counting the cost of last week's floods. Some say it will take weeks to get up and running again after losing as much as half of their crop. Fruit-pickers have also lost thousands of dollars in wages. the Prime Minister to bring it on Kevin Rudd has challenged and call the Federal Election on the third anniversary

he called the last poll. The Opposition Leader also wants an immediate debate on Industrial Relations. But John Howard has brushed aside both demands.

It looks like a campaign... Can I have a hug? But there's no sense of deja vu for John Howard, despite it now being three years since he called the last election. Oh, really? That had passed my attention. The anniversary wasn't lost on Kevin Rudd. He chose to visit the Prime Minister's seat of Bennelong to say "it's time". The holding of the election is three years to October 9, I think it's useful for Mr Howard to confirm whether we're going to have an October poll. No, no, I have no intention of doing that. Also dismissed - a challenge to spell out his workplace agenda for the next term. Let's have a debate now - Mr Howard and myself on our plans for industrial relations for the future. But Kevin Rudd is already facing pressure to change his more business-friendly IR policy.

The union representing the lowest-paid workers in Australia angry and disappointed. What I've offered is to take Kevin Rudd for a day around to clothing factories, to sweatshops, to see what's actually happening out there. We're witnessing this pantomime where the union officials are wringing their hands in front of the cameras but popping champagne corks in private. Brad Hodson, Ten News. Former South African leader Nelson Mandela has been honoured at the unveiling of a memorial in his honour in London. The 89-year-old watched with his wife as the bronze statue was revealed. He says he's touched by the gesture stressing the statue represents all those who fought apartheid. And he's in good company, the bronze figure will sit outside British Parliament alongside Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.

A 3-year-old girl has escaped unharmed

during a shooting in London that's left three people dead. Two men and a 15-year-old boy were killed during an apparent home invasion. Neighbours called police when they heard gunshots coming from the home. Two women were also shot and remain in a critical condition in hospital. Police believe the victims may have known the shooter. Outgoing US presidential aide Karl Rove has received a special send-off from his colleagues at the White House. His last official day is tomorrow, but that didn't stop colleagues from literally marking the wrapping up of his career. But the White House pranksters didn't stop there. They mounted two stuffed toy eagles on the boot of his parked Jaguar, adding signs reading 'King Karl'. AFL players are still refusing to talk with the Seven network.

The blanket boycott in place until the station apologises Relations between the AFL and broadcast partner, Channel Seven, hit a new low with players enforcing their ban on speaking to the network. It was a stunning display and unprecedented. I'm not answering questions, mate, I just said that before, OK. CHANNEL SEVEN JOURNALIST: Not answering questions?

No, not with Channel Seven. Why's that, mate? I thought you'd turn up and ask the first question, so I'm not answering. Leo the coach was talking about resting some of the bigger name players, just to get a week off. I said I'm not answering questions. It's not a question about drugs, buddy. That's alright. Mate, I'd love to answer your question but I'm toeing the line along with the rest of the boys in the AFL and we won't be answering your questions, I'm sorry. I guess an apology is all that's needed

Reports indicate that Seven may drop the court injunction chase as part of a peace deal with the AFL, but the players' action has drawn widespread support. And police say they may yet take action against Seven, for airing players' confidential medical records. First of all I don't think they should've been bought and second, I don't think they should've been publicly aired. I think it's an invasion of privacy, one of the worst cases. Ian Cohen, Ten News.

Australia's best hopes at the world athletics championships

are all-in action tonight. Jana Rawlinson goes for gold in the 400 hurdles,

Steve Hooker and Paul Burgess begin their pole vault campaigns and Craig Mottram lines up for the heats of the 5,000 metres. Meanwhile, disappointment for outspoken John Steffensen. Despite a season best time, he's missed the final of the men's 400m by just nine hundredths of a second. Departing Penrith star Craig Gower

hasn't ruled out a return to the National Rugby League. He'll play his last game for the Panthers on Saturday night before taking up a two-year deal to play rugby union in France. I'm going over there for a couple of years and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully I'll make a good go of it and be successful. Gower's place at Penrith could be taken by in-form South Sydney five-eighth Joe Williams.

Back to business now and merger talk on the local market today That's right, Richard. It looks like we could be in for some consolidation in the fertilizer and explosives market. Melbourne based Incitec Pivot has confirmed in Dyno Nobel in a deal that would be worth $6 billion. Dyno Nobel's shares have fallen to record lows following cost blow-outs at a project in Queensland. A merger between the two companies is seen as a logical step.

Turning now to the corporate reporting season and Westfield was among a group of companies to report yesterday. Joining us now from CommSec with more is Martin Arnold. Martin, Westfield was the highlight, which other companies did we hear from?

We also thought earnings report from

from Origen energy, the second-

largest energy Rita Allah and

Australia posting a 38 % gain

sewers or good generation of energy

but disappointing saw its shares a

man - Dallas a but. man - Dallas a but. Angkor, the

packaging company posted an 11 %

profit. Suggested there was going

to have a good outlook for coming

here benches around 5%. Globe International, they also Wholesaler

net cash results today.

net cash results today. There was a

solid day for the US share market.

Dow Jones was up 250 points. Nomura

was encouraged by the fact that the

Fed Reserve for Fed Reser e fwr

Fed Reserve for cut interest rates

Deverson next meeting. A rise Deverson next meeting. A rise in crude art or oil prices.

Let's look at the national weather: Let's take a look at the headlines across Australia.

America remembers Hurricane Katrina two years on. The details when the Early News returns.

MOTION FOR QUEANBEYAN'S NEW TWO MILLION DOLLAR TRADE SCHOOL - MORE ON THAT SOON BUT FIRST - THE A-C-T GREENS SAYS THE GOVERNMENT CAN DO A LOT MORE TO REDUCE WASTE IN THE CAPITAL. THE CAPITAL. LEADER DEB FOSKY IS CALLING FOR MORE RECYCLING BINS IN

MORE RECYCLING BINS IN PUBLIC PLACES, GREEN-WASTE MULCHING, FOR BUSINESSES TO BE FORCED TO RECYCLE PAPER AND CARDBOARD.

SHE ALSO THINKS HAVING WASTE TARGETS WILL HELP, SO WE HAVE SOMETHING TO WORK TOWARD. THE SALE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN THE A-C-T HAS RISEN. HOME PURCHASES HAVE GONE UP BY TEN POINT NINE PER CENT IN THE YEAR TO JULY, REFLECTING A HIGH LEVEL OF INTEREST IN THE LOCAL HOUSING MARKET. THE GOVERNMENT IS HOPEFUL NEW LAND RELEASES WILL HELP

INCREASE INTEREST FOR THE COMING YEAR.

THE CONSTRUCTIONS OF QUEANBEYAN'S NEW TWO MILLION DOLLAR TRADE SCHOOL IS EXPECTED TO START SOON. THE STATE GOVERNMENT'S APPOINTED BUILDERS TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT, WHICH SHOULD BE READY FOR NEXT YEAR METAL AND ENGINEERING TRADES WILL BE AMONG THOSE TAUGHT AT THE FACILITY. AND IN SPORT THE GUNGAHLIN EAGLES AND QUEANBEYAN WHITES ARE GEARING UP FOR SATURDAY'S JOHN I DENT RUGBY GRAND FINAL AT VIKING PARK.

THE EAGLES WILL BE COMPETING IN THEIR FOURTH GRAND FINAL IN FIVE YEARS, WHILE QUEANBEYAN ARE COMING OFF A COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN OVER TUGGERANONG LAST WEEK. NOW TO THE LATEST WEATHER... A COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO AFFECT SOUTHERN NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE A-C-T ON FRIDAY, BRINGING A RETURN TO COOLER CONDITIONS AND SOME SHOWERS

IF YOU'RE HEADED TO SYDNEY MOSTLY FINE AND 26 TODAY .. LOOKING GOOD AND 21 .. FINE ALSO IN BRISBANE AND DOWN

IN HOBART

A BIT OF CLOUD IN WOLLONGONG TODAY TOPS OF 24 .. WARMER AND 25 IN DUBBO .. ORANGE A SUNNY 19 .. WAGGA WINDY AND 23 BATHURST MOSTLY SUNNY AND A TOP OF 22 .. THE CHANCE OF THUDNERSTORMS IN BOWRAL .. PARTLY CLOUDY IN GOULBURN

COOMA FINE AND 20 . WINDY AND A TOP OF 8 IN THREDBO

LOOKING AHEAD AND THE CHANCE OF SOME AFTERNOON SHOWERS MOVING INTO THE REGION TOMORROW .. FINE AGAIN AND 18 ON SATURDAY .. // AND LOOKING MOSTLY SUNNY ON SUNDAY (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE) GOOD MORNING, I'M AMANDA HUGGENKISS EUROBODELLA'S PUBLIC POOLS ARE SET TO RE-OPEN UNITL

GOOD MORNING, I'M AMANDA HUGGENKISS

Nissan X-Trail is running out, See your Nissan dealer now.

This program is captioned live. Welcome back to Ten's Early News. This morning - crisis talks. Workers to discuss options this morning at Ford's Melbourne plants. aimed at restarting production Another case - tests show a race horse in Sydney has contracted equine influenza. Two years on - President Bush tours New Orleans commemorating the anniversary of the deadly hurricane. And bringing down the house - Silverchair and Powderfinger kick off their anticipated national tour in Newcastle.

Our last check of the markets, how has Wall Street ended up? In the black for the first time in three seasons. But it's not out of the woods yet. Analysts warn this doesn't signal a new period of stability.

When I come back -

a nice surprise for SA copper gold prospectors. More on that breaking news out of the UK that former NSW rugby league star Andrew Johns has been arrested in London. The former Newcastle skipper was caught with one ecstasy tablet at Kings Cross station after he left an all-day club. He was cautioned and released without charge. Ford workers will find out later this morning if production is likely to resume today. Output was stopped after workers at plastics supplier Venture Industries went on strike. A deal that would see them returned to work hit a snag yesterday with staff scheduled to meet at 11:00 this morning. Ford was forced to stop production as a result of the strike costing it $66 million. It's likely it will also have to stand down nearly 2,000 workers as a result. The New South Wales ambulance crisis is set to continue with call centre workers the latest to join the industrial action. From today, ambulance call-takers will only process emergency patient transfers to hospitals saying there's a critical staff shortage. It comes as paramedics declare ambulance rides will be free until Saturday and have threatened to strike over the APEC long weekend. at Sydney's Randwick Racecourse At least one horse locked down may have contracted equine influenza. Trainers are waiting for confirmation but it's now believed the flu has made its way to the racing industry. An air of uncertainly looms over Randwick Racecourse this morning with fears a horse from the Anthony Cummings stable almost certainly has equine influenza. Secondary tests are yet to confirm the infection but the initial results show the virus is present. If so, it would be the first case of the flu within Australia's racing industry. You don't like having horses that are not well. This fellow doesn't look particularly unwell, I must say. With the temperature there is something going on. Event organisers calling for the declaration of a natural disaster looking to the Government for help and hounding the Prime Minister for answers. If it were necessary to hold a public inquiry,

of course I'd support it. Phantom races were seen to be a band-aid solution to prop up an industry on its knees. Horses running in front of empty stands with punters watching on elsewhere. We would not be abandoning the stand-still. For instance, Randwick has 700 horses. Now, possibly the most crucial result in Randwick's history, should be determined by vets within hours. Rakhal Ebeli, Ten News.

Maxine McKew has stepped up her bid to oust John Howard out of his seat of Bennelong. She called on Labor heavyweights Bob Hawke and Bob Carr to be guest speakers at a public forum in Sydney last night. It was the second in a number of forums organised by the Labor candidate. This one focusing on Iraq. New Orleans still has a long way to come, two years after Hurricane Katrina.

It's been a slow recovery for the area

which lost 1,600 people during the ferocious storm. Funding is still a big issue, locals again calling on the President to do more. A new memorial has been built to honour those who died. Most of the wildfires that have devastated Greece are now under control or out.

But some still burn on the island of Evia and firefighters hope

scorching temperatures expected on the weekend won't cause more outbreaks. The Air Force has been evacuating some remote mountainous areas still under threat. Meanwhile, Australia's Greek community is starting a fund to help raise some of the $400 million needed for relief. Tourists have been told to stay indoors following violent riots near the Taj Mahal. Angry mobs set fire to cars and blocked streets in the northern Indian city. The violence was sparked by the deaths of four men who were killed when a truck hit them as they returned from a religious festival. Things certainly got messy at the annual tomato throwing festival in Spain. The mass food fight took over the town, truck loads of the ripe fruit on offer. There's no real rules, tomato-tossers given one hour to make their mess. Up to 40,000 turned out for this year's fight. Many say it's a good way to de-stress.

Time now for our weekly check of conditions in the snow field and joining us now from Thredbo is Fiona Gwyther.

Fiona, how are conditions looking for this weekend?

The Today is day eight of blue skies and skies and sunshine but the good

news is the bureau has forecast a

change what of Meyrick Sir will

have to sit tight and wait. The

cover will start out firm and fast.

The bureau has for crass now it is

a make sure you keep everything

crossed and hope that comes our way.

Premiership-winning Penrith captain Craig Gower is preparing for an emotional farewell from the club this weekend. But the sometimes controversial number seven is keeping the door ajar for an NRL return. His farewell's set down for Saturday night,

but Craig Gower's not prepared to say this is his NRL swansong.

So you going to tell us this is definitely your final NRL game? I'm going over there for a couple of years and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully I'll make a good go of it and be successful. After playing the Warriors, Gower will switch codes with French rugby club Bayonne. in a two-year deal But he has an escape clause. Some believing the overseas stint might actually freshen him up for another shot at the NRL. I haven't seen a great deal of French rugby union in England but I have seen a lot of club rugby and I don't think it's going to take much out of him. So he'll have plenty of juice left in him. The Panthers are set to give South Sydney's in-form Joe Williams Gower's replacement the chance to become provided Williams can get a release from his contract to play in France. Leanne West, Ten News. Distance star Craig Mottram brimming with confidence has arrived in Osaka after finalising his world championship preparations in China. He'll race the heats of the 5,000m tonight ready to once again take on the mighty Africans. Anyone can beat them, there's no rule against beating them. No-one ever said that you couldn't. It's just that I think some people build them up to be impossible to beat. The 5,000m final will be run on Sunday. Aussie wild card Alan Jones is impressive on court at the US Open against Rafael Nadal. The 27-year-old from Canberra serving up a shock to the world number two in the first round. Nadal forced to fight back from a break down to take the first set 7-5. Jones coming up with some brilliant tennis to take the second set 6-3. The Aussie on the verge of a massive upset. Jones currently has the break in the third set. Finance now and Macquarie Airports is cashed up and looking to buy?

Prospectors at a copper gold mine in South Australia believe it's triple the size than they first thought. The mine will begin exporting next year and inject more than $1 billion a year into the national economy. What was barren land 12 months ago is now a 70m deep gaping hole in the middle of the Outback. In a decade, the pit will be 500m deep. But Oxiana's drilling deeper - one kilometre below the surface,

and they still haven't found the ore's limit. It's early days but the initial indications are very good. Mining could continue until at least 2030. The region set to expand. Oxiana has announced

the copper concentrate will be ready for export from Darwin to Asia by late next year, injecting $1 billion a year into the local economy. Excavators are only 20m from hitting the precious ore. It's literally a non-stop operation. Each truck makes the 15-minute trip from the bottom to the top of the pit all day long. Combined, they haul 3,000 semi-trailer loads of material each shift. for skilled labourers There are 500 vacancies during the construction phase, which ends in July. Brett Clappis, Ten News.

Richard, just when you thought the iPpod craze was easing there's news today Volkswagon and Apple are discussing collaborating to build an iCar, featuring all the latest iPod products. Back home and two of Australia's biggest rock bands have kicked off their national tour. Powderfinger and Silverchair rocked the stage for fans in the Chair's hometown of Newcastle last night. The Across the Great Divide tour sees both groups teaming up for the next two months

rolling into every capital city plus 13 regional centres across the nation. Let's look at the national weather: That's it for Ten Early News. The morning news starts at 11:00am and we'll have a full wrap of the day in Ten's News at 5:00.

I'm Richard Davies. See you tomorrow. And I'm Danielle Isdale. Have a great morning. Supertext captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au