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(generated from captions) when the storm unleashed its fury, No sooner had the sky turned black in autumn. wonderland late yesterday Sunny Brisbane became a winter just before the storm hit. why its warning systems failed is also struggling to explain The city's Weather Bureau after yesterday's freak hailstorm. as they clean up are knee deep in mush this morning and business owners Brisbane's residents Good morning. with Chris Bath. This is Seven Morning News breast surgery. as sister Kylie undergoes to lend support And Dannii Minogue arrives as they plead for drought assistance. But still farmers struggle as Perth cops another wild storm. Brisbane is hit by hail This morning - nature's fury. This program is LIVE captioned.

district of New South Wales in West Wylong is on this tour in Lake Cargelligo Chris, the Prime Minister hoping to achieve today? Gemma, what is the Prime Minister I spoke to her a short time ago. in the Victoria town of Mildura. is with the leaders Seven reporter Gemma Haines for more government assistance. and his deputy John Anderson to John Howard Today they will be appealing Australian farmers to financial ruin. the drought that is sending To the other extreme, as the danger of mud slides remains. against returning home in a hurry, are warning residents But Emergency Services the rain will begin clearing today. and forecasters say There are no reports of injuries were washed from their foundations. Cars were buried and homes and landslides. set off a series of flash floods after torrential rain or left to tally the damage bill Thousands have been either evacuated floods on the North Island. in the wake of those disastrous to slide down hillsides homes are still threatening In New Zealand, that have now been washed away. of thousands of dollars in crops these farmers could lose hundreds From the battles of drought, has contributed to major flooding. from Monday's storms, Debris blocking drains Debris blocking drains for the second time this week. after being battered by wild weather is still cleaning up Western Australia inside. as the rain poured down, whatever equipment they could Staff tried to salvage This is just a disaster. (laughs) they are facing bigger problems. but at the ABC, to thousands of homes, Electricity was cut the best they could. forced to brave the conditions many were caught out, from the Weather Bureau, With no warning ALL: Cheers to stormy days! what nature has to offer. making the most of exactly the time of their lives, but giving many but giving many for drivers, causing nightmare conditions at the side of the road a thick layer of hail piled high It looked like snow - and now it's like this. It was fine two hours ago blanketing the city in white.

by his Iraqi kidnappers. will be released that hostage Douglas Wood There is still hope today this morning. The driver is due in a court from under the rubble. for dragging his friend Police have praised one child could meet up with them. until their parents just to keep them at ease with classmates or a teacher, A number of them we actually sent in by the whole experience. The kiddies were quite terrified one's undergone microsurgery. leg injuries in the accident, Two children suffered serious leg injuries in the accident, and driving without a licence. is accused of being over the limit of Dandenong West school into the grounds into the grounds The Melbourne man who crashed his car if the incident was gang-related. and say it is too early to tell for witnesses to come forward Police are calling The second man has minor injuries. during the violence. Two men were stabbed at Meadow Heights. in the car park of McDonald's in the car park of McDonald's between two carloads of youths Police say a fight broke out a Melbourne fast food restaurant. during a brawl outside has been stabbed to death A 24-year-old man to keep up with the PM. Thank you. Alright, Gemma. We'll leave you they can make. and what further drought assistance to asses where to go listening tour to Cabinet He'll take what he learns from this today. there will be no announcements decision today, that he's not going to make a night The Prime Minister told us last they are raising. so that is one of the concerns ineligible for this assistance, that rendered them I guess And because they do go back to work, work. and the partners are going back to moment with the drought The incomes aren't so flash at the a challenge. and they're find that it is a bit of for exceptional circumstances the income testing were raising their concerns about that we were talking to there and some of the farmers to a property in New South Wales This morning we've been What are farmers there asking for? during the week. We've already had a summit in Parkes that the Federal Government can do. and whether or not there is any more assess how that helping farmers and today he is listening just to already in place drought-assistance packages and obviously there are drought-assistance packages on the farmers in these areas to assess the impact of the drought

who was also mentally ill, was illegally deported then lost by immigration for four years. The Federal government admits a mistake led to the deportation of Vivian Alvarez to the Philippines four years ago. Despite her ordeal, the dual citizen wants to avoid legal action. There is no desire on the part of Vivian to initiate any proceedings for compensation, if that is applicable and it can be avoided. Her lawyers say the 42-year-old just wants the government's help to pay medical bills, accommodation and other costs. There's been assistance being offered by the Australian consulate here and their staff and they have been tremendous. In the wake of the Alvarez deportation and the Cornelia Rau scandal, there are calls for a full judicial inquiry into Australia's immigration detention system. If there are ways into how Vivian Alvarez, by a separate investigation will not be delayed Mr Palmer says his report on Ms Rau wrongly detained for 10 months. was found to have been who is suffering mental illness, after Ms Rau, Mick Palmer began his inquiry Former Federal Police Commissioner within a month. in the Cornelia Rau case says he will conclude his findings by the Department of Immigration the treatment of detainees The man investigating captured by the same militant group. secure the release of a journalist The French are also trying to working for the engineer's freedom. after almost two weeks in Iraq prepares to return to Australia It comes as Sheikh al-Hilaly is alive and will be set free soon. the 63-year-old Australian hostage have received information French negotiators to improve this system, our view is, Tony, let's find out what went wrong and let's fix it up. The government concedes changes to the Migration Act in the 1990s may have resulted in a change in culture at the Department of Immigration. I'm looking at that, that the structure of the act itself may need to have amendment to create more flexibility for officers that are there. There is a new scandal today involving security at Australian airports. Federal Police are investigating revelations that Victoria's sniffer dogs have lost their ability to trace drugs, but have a talent for detecting baby powder. It appears the cocaine used to train the dogs went missing and a big of talcum powder was left in its place. The investigation will determine whether the switch was a case of corruption or just a bungle. Dannii Minogue has arrived in Melbourne to support her sister Kylie as she undergoes surgery for breast cancer. Kylie's illness has grabbed headlines around the world and there is no doubt the coverage has boosted the numbers of young women contacting breast screening clinics. Seven reporter Rebecca Maddern in Malvern is outside the Cabrini Hospital in Malvern where Kylie is expected to be admitted today. She joins me now. Rebecca, obviously Kylie Rebecca, obviously Kylie will draw strength from the fact her entire family is by her side. That is right. Dannii the last member of the family to be by her side arrived on a British airways flight at 4.15. She gave the media the slip. She didn't use the back door. A private car was on the tar mak. That car took her straight to her family home. That is the first time since she was diagnosed with breast cancer that Dannii has seen Kylie. She will take a lot of comfort in her support. How is she coping? In the statement release pd yesterday Kylie said she was doing quite well. She thanked her fans in that statement and she offered her support for all the other women around the world that are going through exactly the same thing. This story is creating intense media coverage. In saying that, the Minogues have been dealing with media and paparazzi so

they do know how to handle themself in this situation She seems to have the weight of public opinion on her side. What happens to her from today? She would be finishing off surgery and two to three days of recovery and radiotherapy and depending on how advance td it is she could undergo chemotherapy. She could become infert tile. We know from media reports and interviews that she does want to have a family in the future. Next in Seven's Morning News - business and finance, and a mother's dilemma to wash them or waste them - the great nappy debate. The banks are under fire again, following Reserve Bank figures showing they raked in $9 billion showing they raked in $9 billion in fees and charges from Australian households and businesses last year. For more, we are joined by Catherine Wolthuizen from the Australian Consumers Association. Good morning, Catherine. $9 billion is about 1% of the value of Australia's economy. That is a lot of fees and charges. Is it getting out of control? In our view it is because every year wht Reserve Bank releases these figures we see another steep increase that consumers are paying for fairly basic services. This year we see the fees paid on credit cards out strip on home loans which

I think is a shocking figure. Is this where we see the sharpest rise? Yes, a few years they took a round of fees. Since that time, we have seen other fees being introduced such as late payment and over limit fees which hit those consumers who are struggling with their debt. Sometimes .d $15 for just being late. We think it is unfair There is that question why we have interest rates that are so far. Should they be looking at that? When you see interest rates as high as 18% when official rates are so much low search than that it raises the question how on earth do banks get away with it. They don't have the same competitive market we see on home loans. En though the Federal Government and the treasurer has criticised them for keeping rates so high they know they can get away with it and continue to gouge many consumers. Even as we go deeper and deeper into debt The Reserve Bank are looking into that. What reforms are needed. Do you have any hope that reform will be implemented. We need to take a hard look at these penalty fees. Why are companies allowing consumer to go past their credit limit. Similarly why do they get away with charging people $50 for being late. The banks say they are trying to discipline people but are hitting people who can least afford it. The good place to start is to prohibit those charges on Australian consumers who are already struggling with the debt Interesting questions and I am sure many Australians would like answers. Thank you. There have been dramatic developments at the Michael Jackson child abuse trial. US chat show host Larry King has turned up at the court to give evidence. But the judge ruled that his testimony wasn't relevant, turning him away. The defence wanted King to tell jurors about comments made to him by a lawyer who once represented Jackson's young accuser. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are on an official tour of south-west Britain. The Prince of Wales is taking his new bride to the Isles of Scilly, where he holidayed with Diana. But residents aren't expected to give the couple a warm welcome. There are a lot of people who are quite upset about it, who didn't think she should be made the Duchess of Cornwall because Diana was much loved here. It is the couple's first visit to the region since their marriage last month. Miss Universe contestants are creating quite a frenzy on the Thai island of Phi Phi as it recovers from the tsunami. They are using the next couple of weeks before the pageant to perfect their pouts and poses. Reigning Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins delivered a donation to Patong Hospital. With regards to the tsunami, it's great that we can show our support and generate some tourism back here. Hawkins will hand over her crown on 31 May, with Perth University student Michelle Guy hoping to take over the tiara. It is a dilemma faced by every new parent whether to use disposable or washable nappies. Now answers are at hand. A new study carried out in Britain says disposables aren't as bad as we might think. These mums are taking part in a real nappy trial to see if cloth nappies are as good as the disposables they normally use. Today's study says the electricity used to wash and dry cloth nappies is just as damaging as disposables despite the fact that millions of these are thrown away every day. The conclusion is something The conclusion is something many

find hard to believe. My own feeling disposable throw disposable nappies can't be a good thing. Think how many millions of babies there are all over the world. That's a hell a lot of nappies 95% of parents use disposable nappies. For many it is the inconvenience. They are both in disposable. I haven't potty trained my eldest yet. A lot of nappies a day. I don't have the time to be washing and I heard they leak a bit more and I can't be changing her six, seven times a day especially with two of them The makers of disposables are not surprisingly pleased with the study. All of them have shown there is no environmental concern with disposable or cloth nappies. We are pleased that this independent government report is now out in the open With nearly a quarter of a million born each year the nappy market is a competitive one. They say there is plenty for parents to do. For cloth, wash at lower temperatures and disposable ones use this new fibre. To business and finance news now, and joining us is the ANZ's David deGaris. David, what's making news in the market today? It is pretty quiet this morning. We saw base metal prices off last night so some of the resource stock is selling here this morning. We have that huge rise in the stock et market up 58 points. They managed to eek out some more. The market is in positive territory up by one point but that is pretty good after nearly 58 yesterday And some more data due out today? Yes, motor vehicle numbers out. Oil prices are considerablely higher than they are now. Expectations of another

interest rate rise. Probably in March sales were down 3% In light of all that, how is the Aussie dollar looking? It has been pretty soft. Down to about soft. Down to about 75.5. It is has really been the US dollar story. We had the softness in the commodity prices and the buying of the US dollar with the Aussie dollar is on the back side of that. Next in Seven's Morning News - the latest in sport as Lleyton Hewitt confirms he's out of the French Open. GIRL: My name is Agnes. My mother died last year. My sisters and I live with our grandmother. Grandmother is very poor. Even though we work so hard to grow enough to feed us, our crop was not good and we will go hungry. We have no clean water nearby and what I fetch is dirty and is making us sick. She is worried that she's getting old and who will care for us when she dies? ANNOUNCER: Sadly, Agnes's story is not unique. Sponsor a child like Agnes and help provide them with the basics every child deserves. Sponsor online or call World Vision now on: It's hard finding time for the things you love. When I do, I like to make the most of it. I don't like letting myself or the team down. So it's fair to say I don't have time for headaches. That's why I choose Panadol Rapid. The name says it all. WHISTLE BLOWS It's absorbed twice as fast as regular Panadol tablets. Panadol - it's my choice. State pride is at stake on Wednesday night when Queensland takes on New South Wales in game one of the State of Origin series. Even party allegiances have been cast aside with Premiers Peter Beattie and Bob Carr making their annual bet. Bob Carr may not know when game one of the Origin series is. Are you coming to the game next week? Oh yeah. Oh, hold on, what night is it? But he has prepared to bet on it with Queensland counterpart Premier Peter Beattie. If we take out the series our State flag flies above the Story Bridge in Brisbane, and if they take it out, we've got to agree, sadly, to have it fly over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Blues spent last night with a supervised beer in hand, rubbing shoulders with former New South Wales captains. Our ex-captains all have passion and pride and self belief and I wanted that transferred to our players. This time of year frustrates the greats like no other as they relive classic moments. Oh, I hate being a fan at this time of the year. Andrew Johns has been training overtime in a bid to be selected for game two, but his plans for Wednesday's game are a little less strenuous. No, I'll be in the stands watching with a pie. Johnathan Thurston's selection in the Queensland side over Scott Prince doesn't sit well with everyone in the Blues camp. The Cowboys playmaker is out to prove the critics wrong and make Maroon's fans scream. (all shout) Queenslander! St Kilda is set to re-sign three key stars within weeks. Nick Dal Santo, Lenny Hayes and Justin Koschitzke are all expected to put pen to paper on new deals. The Saints have made four changes to their side ahead of tonight's match against Adelaide. to the defensive line. Aussie Jones returns to the defensive line. Adelaide has brought back Ken McGregor and dropped Trent Hentschel in a bid to turn around a two-match slump. The Waratahs have recalled Brendan Cannon to the starting line-up for Saturday's Super 12 semifinal against the Bulls in Sydney. Cannon replaces Adam Frier at hooker. It is part of a plan to field a more intimidating front row against the South Africans, who have the biggest pack in the competition. Lleyton Hewitt has ruled himself out of the French Open - the first time he will miss the tournament in seven years. Hewitt has not recovered after cracking his rib at home in Sydney last week. He will now concentrate on preparing for the Wimbledon. In Formula One, Renault's Fernando Alonso has topped the time sheets after the free practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix. Australia's Mark Webber was 12th fastest in his Williams. Next in Seven's Morning News - the weekend weather outlook. And the lost puppy collared by the cops. Let's take a look at the weather. Expect more localised hailstorms in south-east Queensland. Cold air along the east coast will also produce some cloud will also produce some cloud and showers in New South Wales. A cloud band is crossing WA and South Australia ahead of another cold front. Elsewhere, a broad high will keep most of the country dry and push warm winds over Victoria. There should be a little cloud cover around. It will remain unsettled in Perth and Darwin will remain sunny. A furry little vagrant has gone from the doghouse to the jailhouse overnight. Police found the Alaskan malamute puppy wandering near Sydney's State Library early this morning. The female pup was hungry and thirsty but officers say she appears well cared for. Only problem, she hasn't any identification tags and police don't know who owns her. Anyone with any information should contact The Rocks Police. And you think you've had And you think you've had a dog of a week. That's Seven's Morning News for the week. We will keep you up to date We will keep you up to date throughout the day and in our bulletins at 4.30 and 6.00. I'm Chris Bath. I'm Chris Bath. Thanks for your company. Have a great weekend and we'll be back with you on Monday. Captioned by Seven Network Email -