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Ten Late Night News -

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kidnapped in the Gaza strip. Tonight - an Australian teacher Bushfire season blazes back into play across one State. with a total fire ban South China Sea need rescuing again. And why two men rescued from the Hello. Welcome to Ten's Late News. I'm Sandra Sully. Also tonight - to Australia three countries issue travel alerts over the recent race riots. Richard Pratt Australia's third richest man and collusion. facing charges of price-fixing And fans line up celebrity wedding of the year. for the controversial To our breaking story, Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip. an Australian teacher kidnapped by to a private American school He was with another teacher driving when he was ambushed. to Ten's Leonie Mellor in Canberra. To tell us more, we cross about the kidnapped man? Leonie, what can you tell us Good evening, Sandra. is Brian Ambrosio. The Australian man

at the American International School He is assistant principal in Gaza, of about 100 students. an elite school

a Dutchman named Hendrik Taatgen, He was with the school's principal, at gunpoint about 8:00 this morning. when the pair was ambushed Mr Ambrosio is 38 years old, the region for the past 18 months. he's been living and teaching in at the school. His wife Jeanette is also a teacher that she is in any danger. There's no suggestion in Australia earlier this evening. We spoke with his family here of the kidnapping They had just been informed worried for Mr Ambrosio's safety. and are obviously very concerned and family members The parents have gathered in regional Victoria around the house as they wait for any news. on the last day of term, The kidnapping happened but it has come after updated warnings in the region?

That's right. from the school The pair was about 2km stopped their blue Honda Civic. when an armed gang into another vehicle at gunpoint Witnesses say they forced the men and then drove off.

very upset, Now, the school was obviously to be released immediately, they've called for the pair staff are comforting each other, for the rest of the day. students were sent home I can also tell that you has been sent to the Gaza Strip. an Australian embassy official with Palestinian security services That person is in close contact

who are leading the investigation. who was behind the kidnapping Foreign Affairs is unable to say at this point. of foreign hostages there? What's the history

of the pair being released alive? By that I mean, what are the chances at this stage. Look, it's too early to say on several occasions in the past. Gunmen have seized foreigners They use their victims to make demands for things like jobs, money,

from Palestinian authorities. the release of jailed comrades Similar kidnappings have shown

within hours, that they've often been resolved unharmed. the captives have been released Sandra. So let's hope this is the case here, Absolutely. Thanks, Leonie. studio in Canberra. Leonie Mellor in our Parliament House issued tonight for Indonesia. Strong new travel warnings have been has revealed The Department of Foreign Affairs of terrorist attack exists. a very high threat intelligence It's continuing to receive advanced stages of planning attacks indicating terrorists are in the

against Westerners. authorities yesterday warned publicly The alert comes after Indonesian to kidnap foreigners that terrorists may be planning over the Christmas period. that's started in earnest tonight - To the bushfire season a total fire ban across the State. particularly in NSW, with late this afternoon. The emergency began northern beaches Residents of Sydney's roofs and gardens. forced to frantically hose down was burnt About 15 hectares of bushland to get the flames under control. before fire crews managed I can't tell you how scary it was. It was right up to the back fence. before it got up this high. I'd been hosing for a long time It started right from down the end It was really scary. Really high flames. There's a lot of fuel out there. and a lot of broken branches. The bush is really dry

It's still not over. Anything can happen. the threat will increase Fire crews fear over the Christmas long weekend. Rural Fire Brigade joins us now. Cameron Wade from the NSW

seems largely contained tonight, Cameron, the situation that have been put in place but the fire bans weather conditions. are ahead of some pretty extreme That's correct, Sandra. within containment lines Most fires are now under control. or at least being brought has issued a total fire ban However, the Commissioner of forecast weather conditions - for the next three days because across all of NSW. very hot, very windy When you say across the entire State, that means some regions are likely to be considered hot spots. Outline those for us. the western part of the State, Basically, part of the State the central west at the moment where we have huge grass fires and grass growth out in those areas. for there. We certainly are concerned around Port Stephens, Campbelltown, But also we have fires burning the fire at Allambie today. the Hunter and, of course, we saw should be fire-alert? So all residents Absolutely. We need people to be prepared, and Saturday, particularly for Friday extreme fire days. which are going to be Thanks, Cameron. from the Rural Fire Brigade. Cameron Wade

Trouble on two fronts new industrial relations regime. for the Federal Government's a High Court challenge The NSW Government launching the business affairs and now a cloud over as the new Fair Pay Commissioner. of the man appointed Professor Ian Harper When John Howard unveiled of the new Fair Pay Commission as the head he said he was just the man for the job. He's worked very closely with Government and professional firms and business at the highest level. Now it's been revealed the economics professor was a director of a company that went broke and failed to keep superannuation payments for workers up to date. The Opposition wants an investigation. Is Mr Harper the appropriate person to head their so-called Fair Pay Commission given the nature of these allegations? The professor was a non-executive director of Australian Derivatives Exchange Ltd when it was allegedly trading while insolvent. A spokesman for Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said:

If they are relaxed, it just shows how low their standards are. Professor Harper also issued a statement saying to the best of his knowledge all employees did eventually receive their entitlements. The Federal Government's new IR arrangements are also under attack here at the High Court, where the NSW Government has today lodged a challenge to the Commonwealth move to take over the industrial powers of the States. And it won't be alone in the fight. I expect other States will follow. If they do, they'll be wasting taxpayers' money, according to the Federal Government. Greg Turnbull, Ten News. Two men rescued after 11 days adrift on a raft in the South China Sea need rescuing again. Despite the best efforts of Australian embassy staff, they remain stuck on a remote island, unable to get urgent medical help. They drank their own urine to stay alive and by now should be celebrating. But Aussie Mark Smith and Kiwi Steve Freeman are still suffering. Sydney salvage master Brett Devine cheering them up overnight. Thank God, you know, that something is happening. I explained that everybody is very concerned for them and we are doing everything we possibly can. Mark and Steve were delivering a $2 million cruiser to Sydney when it rolled in a wild South China Sea storm. They were plucked from their raft by Vietnamese fishermen 11 days later and taken to the primitive first aid station on Ly Son Island. And there they remain - traumatised, blistered and badly sunstruck. Steve's girlfriend upset that so little has been done for them. I don't understand how there wasn't a search party earlier. It's very frustrating and it just makes you angry. Makes you really angry. She's urging the boat's owner, Sydney real estate specialist Kirt Baume,

to help get them out of Vietnam. But he wasn't available today. I believe he is very concerned about them. Brett Devine says Canberra should help the two survivors who did so much to help themselves.

Millions were poured into the navy's Southern Ocean rescue of lone British yachtsman Tony Bullimore. Why can't we do something for our own Australian kin, you know? Getting the pair off the very remote island won't be easy. And the cost considerable, with long and expensive helicopter flights between the island

and the nearest qualified medical help. Family and friends desperate to have both men home by Christmas. Harry Potter, Ten News. Bail has been revoked for a teenager accused of carrying a weapon during a police crackdown on Sydney's racial violence. The boy's mother didn't help his case - she told a magistrate there was nothing wrong with her son's alleged behaviour. A mother's rage explodes as her son is taken into custody. Get lost! Get lost! Get lost! Get lost! Zara Azizi came to court unprepared for the development and clearly still seems baffled why Pahram Esmailpour was charged in the first place. Has your son explained what he was doing with petrol on the bus? Nothing, nothing. Esmailpour is accused of buying five litres of petrol at Epping, dividing it into two drink containers

and taking it with a friend to Bondi on a public bus.

Police say the pair used public transport to get around a police lock down and the teenagers didn't help their defence by giving conflicting reasons for having the fuel. Newly shaven and dressed in a business shirt, Esmailpour thought today's court appearance would be merely procedural,

but prosecutors had other plans, appealing the 19-year-old's bail, given there's supposed to be a presumption against it for charges relating to civil unrest. The boy's fate sealed when his mother was asked to give evidence. The Iranian-born interpreter telling the court: Her outburst continuing outside. Do you think that went against your son's ability to get bail?

Get lost! Get lost! Get lost! As the reversal of decision was handed down, sheriffs told Esmailpour to remove his tie, jewellery and personal possessions to prepare for custody. He'll be remanded there until at least mid-January when the saga continues with yet another bail application.

No crime has happened. Don't worry. Now get lost! Get lost, OK? Amber Muir, Ten News. Sydney's recent race riot

has tarnished our image internationally. Britain, Canada and Indonesia have issued travel warnings for their citizens intending to holiday in Sydney. Well, I'm pleased that they're at the very mild end of a travel advisory. They're not saying, "Don't come to Sydney." They're saying, "If you are in Sydney "then watch out for a couple of trouble spots." But it doesn't stop there, British tourists are being warned to be careful of muggings, petty theft and even terrorism. But holidaymakers are ignoring the warnings. People of Sydney have been great. I'd recommend anybody to come and visit Sydney, it's fantastic and I've not felt threatened one little bit. A crash course in driving for a 5-year old boy - he's taken to the wheel of the family car, driving it straight into a neighbour's house. Meet the newest and youngest superhero on the block. Nathan Millar may be dressed like Spiderman but has more in common with stunt king Evel Knievel after surviving a crash which destroyed his mum's sedan and caved in the front corner of this house. Didn't even hurt me. I didn't cry.

With dad David working on another car nearby, 5-year-old Nathan climbed into the driver's seat of the late model Camry. I did pull the handbrake. He hurtled 50m down a steep hill, over a road and up an embankment before crashing through the neighbour's living room windows. Just moments earlier, Amelia's Corvell's 3-month-old daughter was saved from peril by a hug from her house mate. She'd picked her up to say hello. Had she not picked her up she would be under the television, where you can now see the baby's mat. It was the first time the neighbours had been introduced. I said, "If he wanted a cup of flour "he could have just come over and asked." With barely a scratch on him, Nathan's passion for cars remains just as healthy, but more in perspective. As an eyewitness to his son's daredevil antics David Millar is still counting his blessings. Nathan was actually on the ground crawling out from under the car and I just grabbed him and picked him up and said, "Are you all right mate?" He goes, "I'm fine, I've scratched mum's car." In true superhero style Nathan was refusing to rest, instead preparing for his next big challenge - his final day at kindergarten. Cameron Baud, Ten News. When the Late News returns - the city that never sleeps grinds to a halt. A transit strike strands commuters - how New York is fighting back. And Spiderman at it again - what the French demonstrator is protesting this time from 28 storeys up. This program is captioned live. Returning to our breaking story tonight and a Palestinian militant group has claimed responsiblity for the kidnapping of an Australian teacher in the Gaza Strip. Australian Brian Ambrosio was abducted by armed gunmen as he arrived at the American International School. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is demanding some of its leaders be released from jail, where they've been held since 2002.

New Yorkers are entering their second day of transport chaos as a transit strike grinds the city's subway and bus systems to a halt. The transport union behind the walk-out has been slapped with a million-dollar-a-day fine. The city that never sleeps wasn't going to let a transport strike stop it. It's cold out here!

More than 7 million commuters braved near freezing conditions to get to work in the Big Apple. Mayor Michael Bloomberg among those walking. Others chose to carpool, cab, even cycle with every subway station and bus route closed. The leadership of the TWU has thuggishly turned their backs on New York City. With the strike estimated to cost more than $500 million a day in lost business, the city sought payback in the courts. A judge ruling it was illegal and fining the union $1 million for each day the workers stay out. No contract!

No work! The union is demanding improved salaries, health plans

and pensions for its transit workers with threats of more strikes on the way, the only people celebrating are the taxi drivers. Oh, yeah, are you kidding? I'm making a fortune. It's New York's first mass transit strike in 25 years and the mayor is refusing to return to the negotiating table until workers are back at their posts. In the United States, Leisa Goddard-Roles, Ten News. A controversial celebrity wedding in London tonight - rockstar Elton John and his partner of 12 years, David Furnish, joining hundreds of same-sex couples to become the first in England and Wales to tie the knot in a civil ceremony.

Fans lined the streets early to catch a glimpse of the couple

arriving at the Guild Hall in Windsor, the same place that Prince Charles and Camilla wed in April.

The low-key private ceremony was only attended by immediate family, but the reception is expected to be one of the hottest invites of the year, costing a cool $2.3 million. The star-studded guest list is rumoured to include A-list celebrities Victoria Beckham, Tina Turner and Liz Hurley. The well-known French Spiderman Alain Robert has done it again. This time his target was a 28-storey building on the Left Bank in Paris. His aim - to protest what he calls unfair treatment by American police, who nabbed him and dumped him in a cell for 24 hours, when he was about to climb a building in Texas. The 43-year-old had a much easier time today after scaling the 94m Cristal Tower. He was escorted away but released without charge.

Stick around when the Late News continues. The cashed-up canine -

why this farmer is putting aside $20,000 for his four-legged friend. Then in 'Sports Tonight' - Australia's cricketers back skipper Ricky Ponting after the first Test draw with South Africa. This program is captioned live. Cardboard king and billionaire businessman Richard Pratt and his Visy packaging businesses are being sued by the ACCC amid charges of price-fixing in the cardboard box industry. The competition watchdog has launched legal action

after a year-long investigation into the $1.8 billion packaging industry. Mr Pratt has rejected the allegations. At CommSec tonight, Tom Piotrowski. Tom, the market in record territory for the first time since the end of September?

The market certainly struck a

purple patch today, every sector

finished in positive territory.

Developments in the US had a strong

bearing on today's affairs. Strong

housing data boosted the fortunes

of companies which sell products

of companies which sell products into that market. Several gained in

the order of 3% to 4%. A lower

reading on inflation put a dent in

the gold price, which fell by more

than US$10 per ounce. It wasn't

that along ago that it was breaking

through the 4,000 point mark. It's

surely not far away from the 5,000

point mark. Shoppers seemingly

having no hesitations over the

holiday period? Figures collected

by BayCorp Advantage suggest that

in the three months to end December,

almost 875,000 Australians will

have applied for credit cards,

90,000 more than this period last

time. Plenty of firepower for the

sales, which will bring a smile to retailers' faces. A one-time death row dog is now a cashed-up canine thanks to his caring new owner. A farmer is setting aside $20,000 for his 4-legged friend. The dog proved poor at rounding up cattle, but surprised his owner Mike, two weeks ago when he came to the rescue when some wayward sheep wandered into suburbia. I was amazed. He just lay by the truck buggered. It was about two, there hours work. So impressed with his dog, Mike has set aside $20,000 in his will should anything happen to him. You know he's going to get the same treatment, the same love and care, and you can look down and see the dog is well cared for. The national weather report is coming up next, so to the day in sport with Bill Woods. Bill, another incident involving one of rugby league's big names? Yes, Test player Craig Gower has been at the centre of allegations of misbehaviour.

We'll have that story. And tennis player Nicole Pratt believes

someone might have stolen her wildcard. It's Mark Phillipousis. He is a crowd drawer.

He does put bums on seats as you said. So you know, I can only do what I can do. This row is far from over. Meet the man who won the World Cup lottery and the kid who's mowing 'em down on the greens. I was a bit nervy at the start but then I overcome it.

This program is captioned live. Now to the national weather. On the synoptic chart - a high edging to the Tasman will clear to the southeast while another high keeps Queensland dry. Hot northerly winds will persist across western parts of Queensland and New South Wales. A cold front will cause winds to increase and showers to develop in south west WA. And tomorrow, Cairns can expect showers. Increasing sunshine for Canberra and Melbourne. It'll be mostly sunny for Hobart and Adelaide. A late shower for Perth. Darwin can expect a possible shower, and fine and sunny for Alice Springs. And that's the latest from the Ten News desk. 'Sports Tonight' with Bill Woods is next. We'll leave you with pictures of the happy couple about to embark on their honeymoon. I'm Sandra Sully. From the Late News team, goodnight. Supertext captions by the Australian Caption Centre.