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(generated from captions) This program is LIVE captioned. This morning, Telstra wars. divides politican and party. The telco's impending sale soldiers force settlers out of Gaza. Violence and grief as Israeli make a comeback. And Mars and Snickers chocolates And Mars and Snickers chocolates

with Chris Bath. This is Seven's Morning News Good morning. is considering a staggered sale The Federal Government in Telstra. of its remaining 51% holding Barnaby Joyce But outspoken Nationals senator to the deal still hasn't given final agreement have already begun. and the recriminations of Telstra The sale of the publicly held portion is likely to begin next week, but not necessarily all at once. We're examining the options, and we'll do it in a way of the Australian taxpayer. that suits the interests the best price. We obviously want to get What that price may be is not known. used to bandy about, $5.25, And the government says the figure was never a target. was merely an accounting assumption The $5.25 that people speak of

out policy objective for the purposes of incorporating

of selling Telstra into our budget. It has never been a target price. ponders the prospect And while government of getting less for the telco, have broken out bitter recriminations to back the sale. over the Nationals' decision to give us bribes. They're not only prepared They are prepared to take them. will withdraw that remark. will not withdraw. The Member for New England has hit back at a Coalition colleague And Senator Barnaby Joyce Alby Shultz, as "the creature from Queensland" who referred to him and who won't vote for the sale. he will be committed to the money You can bet your life when it shows up. Senator Joyce says instructions from his party he still has to receive his voting in Queensland before backing the sale the opening for this stunt. and that gave Labor is really simple. What I recommend people do Queensland number. They ought to call him on his 07 for Queensland 46 25 1500 know what you are thinking. and let Barnaby Joyce as to what he is thinking One MP who has left us in no doubt is Independent Tony Windsor. He joins us now. Good morning, Mr Windsor. Barnaby Joyce says the Nationals A pleasure

out of the Liberals have squeezed $6 billion

Joyce says the Nationals

have squeezed about $6 billion out

of the Libs that they were never

going to get. Isn't this a good

result for regional Australia?

No, it is not a good result and

they haven't squeezed $6 billion

out of the Libs at awe. What they

have done is put a billion dollars

in to the - to fix unthe

infrastructure. The CEO said last

week they needed $5 million to do

that. Then they have got $100

million over the next number of

years so it will take 40 years

under that definition, under that

logic, to bring Telstra up to

scratch and that is what this

debate has been all about, that

word scratch, to bring Telstra up

to scrum-half in 2005 terms. This

is an absurd deal and it should not

happen. There is no need for this

to happen, this is a money-making

business that returns to the

government billions of dollars

annually and to say you can sell it

off with a gift of $1 billion is a nonsense

Still $1 billion ace lot of money

on spend in the bush but you

probably know better than all

politicians late is going on in

regional Australia, so how

unpopular is the sale of Telstra there?

I think all electorates that have

been surveyed the results are over

90% of people opposed and I saw the

Newspoll the other day where 70% of

Australians are opposed. It

surprises me the Prime Minister has

stuck to his guns on this particular issue because normally

he reads the population Farley well

in my view but he has completely

miss red this

The Prime Minister has said once

the population find out where the

money is going to be spent,

upgrading, introducing a whole

raft of services, they are going to

go for this

That is the bluff and the bravado

to get the sale and that is exactly

what the National Party has fallen

for but the experts are saying that

cow have to spend far more than

that to bring it up to scratch,

that you can't future-proof, you

can't write into a sale contract

document that a company will

provide technology that has not

been invented yet. It is just - you

just can't do that. Our

constitution says that this

Parliament can't bind future

parliaments to any decision so to

say that we will give $100 million

a year for the rest of history is a

nonsense. It may well last for the

rest of this Parliament but there

is nothing that says that will bind

the future part to agree to that.

People are being conned by this and

this is why I made remarks in the

Parliament yesterday. The National

Party representatives are going

along with it and they are going

along with this massive con on country people

But horse trading is part of

politics, isn't it? It is a bit

strong to say the Nationals have

accepted bribes when horse trading

is an established method of doing

deals in politics

It is the National Party Chris

that has been wandering around

Australia for the last few years

saying they will not sell this

until it is up to scratch. The

expert comes down and says we need

this massive investment, there has

been an under investment by the

former CEO. The government says we

will address that by giving you 20%

of the money and the National Party

falls in line with that decision

and that is what has happened. That

is a bribe, that is taking the

money then trying to make it look

as though this is going to be good

for regional Australia and

Australians generally and there is

no need to sell this. The Prime

Minister says you shouldn't - the

Government should not be in the

business area. Telstra's main

competitor, Optus, is owned by the

Singapore government. Many other major telecommunications companies

around the world are owned or

partly owned by government and the

- what we have got now should be

the way it stays. It is making

money for the population, delivering an improved service and

that can be better if they get away

from this agenda of sale and get

back to re-investing the earnings in service

Mr Windsor, no doubt with a few

more interesting weeks ahead of us

when the T3 legislation comes down

in a fortnight. Emotions are running high in Gaza, as the forced evacuation of Jewish settlers continues. One desperate settler has shot dead three Palestinian workmen but the military claim there has been less violence than expected. It was meant to take weeks but it could now all be over within days. Those who refused to walk out are being carried out, still shouting that it's a crime for Jews to evict Jews. In Gaza's largest settlement, small fires and minor shuffles. Even the man behind all this, Ariel Sharon, said he was moved to tears. "Blame me, not the soldiers", he told the settlers. "Hurt me." He is already the target of death threats. In the West Bank, one settler took out his fury on the local Palestinians stealing a gun and shooting at least three dead.

The Palestinian militants want revenge for this and they may seek to reek it in Gaza adding to the chaos of the evacuation. The process of forced eviction began soon after dawn. Thousands of soldiers and police moving in to the settlements. The most dramatic protest came in Israel not Gaza. A woman set herself alight and suffered 60% burns. The negotiations are tense, but it won't be long before every building is cleared. sound mournful rather than defiant. The settlers' songs are starting to sound mournful rather than defiant. The men in uniform sympathise but they have work to do. One man dangled his child before the soldiers who have come to evict him. Others are still trying to pretend it's not happening but Israel's occupation of Gaza is coming to an end. A convicted paedophile could arrive back in Western Australia

this afternoon after agreeing not to stay in New South Wales. Otto Darcy-Searle was serving parole

in the North Coast town of Banora Point for 104 sex offences, but says he'll leave for the sake of his family. The 63-year-old may now be returned to jail until WA parole authorities can make alternative arrangements. Two parole officers have been stood down over the case. A post-mortem on a crocodile believed to have killed a Queensland fisherman has revealed it wasn't responsible for the attack. Police have resumed their search for the body of 60-year-old Barry Jeffries,

who was attacked while fishing on Tuesday. Authorities shot the crocodile yesterday, suspecting it had carried out the attack.

Rangers say the tragedy could have been avoided,

if the couple had heeded warning signs along the crocodile-infested river. The man who spent nine years looking after the books for celebrity businessman Steve Vizard has again raised allegations about his former boss. Roy Hilliard says a series of companies linked to Vizard avoided paying tax for six years. The claims were made in Mr Hilliard's first interview since pleading guilty to false accounting. For more details, we're joined by Seven reporter Nick Etchells. Steve Vizard's business dealings Nick, allegations about Steve Vizard's business dealings just won't go away.

Exactly Chris. Steve Vizard could

have been for given for thinking he

had finally put this issue to bed

and could get on with his life but

no, here it is again. The

allegations that Steve Vizard used

a network of trust to avoid paying

tax for six years, also that he

bought scores of paintings through

his charitable organisations and

then kept them for himself, and

that he even claimed some paintings

as tax deductions without ever

actually buying them. This is the

first time Roy Hilliard has spoken

publicly and openly about his time

with Steve Vizard since his

conviction for cooking the books an

he spoke with such venom it is hard

to believe the pair ever worked

harmoniously together.

How would I describe hip now?

I would have to go to scripture, I

think. He is a

- full of dead men's

bone and ...

How has Steve Vizard responded to

that?

In his usual fashion which is to

say nothing at all. He came and

went this morning without anything

more than a cursory wave. In fact

he is out the back right now with

his tennis coach whacking a few

balls around, no doubt taking out

a few frustrations but he is

rumoured to be absolutely furious

about the things Roy Hilliard has

said and the reason is that all his

allegations were made by Roy

Hilliard at the commitment

proceedings at which time they were

denied by Steve Vizard. Since then

the judge in Roy hill yard's case

has said he was extremely skeptical

about Roy Hilliard's version event

but he couldn't say for sure either

way, he had to accept them because

Steve Vizard was not in a position

to give evidence tat trial. Chocoholics will be able to tuck back in to Mars and Snickers bars when they return to shop shelves in New South Wales today. MasterFoods was forced to recall and destroy three million of the chocolates after threats that some bars had been poisoned. Police revealed the real target was Sydney's Star City Casino. MasterFoods president Andy Weston-Webb joins us now. Good morning, Andy. So the chocolates are back on the shelves now?

Yes, I'm really pleased we are

bringing fresh product back on the

the shelves of New South Wales

today, Mars Bars and Snickers

How much money did the company

lose?

Probably over $10 million but we

think bringing in fresh product

today is a new chapter. We are

pleased we have the support of the

police and the food thrts in the

decision we have made adds the

police who are the experts in this

area believe the risk has

diminished and now is the

appropriate time to come back on

the shelf so we looking to the future now

You are giving advice to customers

We have put fresh product back on

shelf, clearly distinguishable. The

product removed and destroyed had a

green flash, a flash object it and

this is frarb, fresh bars as you

can see behind me very easy to

distinguish

Have you had many chock holics

contacting the company asking when

they are coming back?

We have had great support from the

community to help us pull product

off shelf. We have had emails, all

sorts contact since which has been

really reassuring add we are very thankful

Thank you for your time and good

luck with selling all that chocolate. Next in Seven's Morning News, we'll have our business and finance report. And a community rebuilds after last year's school tragedy in Beslan.

More than 40 people have died in a series of car bombings in a series of car bombings in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The latest attacks have added urgency to the effort to approve a new constitution to help end the violence and unrest. SIRENS WAIL Three car bombs struck at the heart of Baghdad. A coordinated attack determined to further destabilise Iraq as it battles to secure its constitution.

SIRENS WAIL

First, a suicide car-bomber activated his device outside the al-Nahda bus station. A second vehicle laden with explosives detonated inside the bus station car park next to pick up points for passengers destined for Amarah and Basra - both heavily Shiite areas. Both attacks came shortly after 8.00 this morning. The area was busy with people travelling to work. SHOUTING AND CRYING The third cruelest explosion came a few minutes after that close to the Al Kindi Hospital where many of the injured from the previous two attacks had been taken. Despite the frequency with which such attacks happen in Iraq the grief of victims and bystanders was plain for all to see. SHOUTING Police say that more than 40 people were killed in a seemingly well-planned attack. This was the bloodiest insurgence in Baghdad for some weeks. There is speculation that it was timed to coincide with resumption of the failed talks on Iraq's constitution. Villages and ethnic divides among delegates meant that talks had ended in deadlock. But with the Iraqi Parliament now giving until 22 August for a completed constitution, ordinary Iraqis hope that success will bring with it some element of stability. Two people, including a young boy, have been killed and more than 100 have been injured when 350 small bombs exploded simultaneously across Bangladesh. Officials believe the blasts are the work of a banned Islamic group. 45 people have been arrested. Leaked details from an inquiry into the mistaken shooting of a suspected bomber in London reveal inconsistencies in the police reports. Security video shows Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, was not running from officers and was not wearing a bulky coat, hiding explosives.

The information that has come out has proved that Jean Charles acted innocently. The Police Complaints Commission is investigating his death. The British Government has won the right to have one of the accused 21 July bombers extradited from Rome. Ethiopian-born Osman Hussain involvement in the failed attacks. has already admitted to his involvement in the failed attacks.

But says they were only meant to scare people, not kill them. He is planning to appeal. Two new schools have been built in Russia's Beslan in last year's tragic siege. to replace the one destroyed in last year's tragic siege. The schools will open in September, one year after the hostage crisis that killed 330 people. The original building was destroyed when Chechen rebels holding students and teachers hostage set off a bomb in the gym. More than half the dead were children. Moscow's mayor presented ceremonial keys to the head teachers, signalling the beginning of a new era. The old school will remain as a shrine to the dead. To business and finance news now. Joining us is Kylie Macdonald from ABN AMRO Morgans. Good morning, Kylie. Let's start with Telstra. What is the share price doing this morning?

Telstra very much the hot topic at

present after being given the

go-ahead yesterday for T3 in late

2006. Telstra shares fell yesterday

and are weak today offering around

$4pnt78 about 20 cents lower than

when the company reported last week

Oil dropped more than 4% overnight.

About time. Is that having an

impact on the market?

Yes, oil plunged overnight shed

incorporated 3 and falling on

demand. Wall Street closest up

after a good report and rocky day

Woodside hire, the market generally

mixed. Overall though down due to

weaker resource and oil stocks

The reporting season is in full

swing fplg which companies are up?

We have got lots of companies

reporting today. The main names,

AMP, flight centre, perpetual and

Qantas, Mutiplex shares down more

than 5%, AMP surprised the market

with a capital return and shares up

2% but plenty more to come Thank you Kylie. I'll be back with the latest in sport after this break. I've always had sensitive teeth. I thought about using a sensitive toothpaste but I didn't want to give up other things like having white teeth. So I tried a sensitive toothpaste that also whitens. I switched to Colgate Sensitive Whitening.

It's really made a difference. Colgate Sensitive Whitening targets the source of the sensitivity, for unbeatable pain relief that's clinically proven, while it gently removes stains. My teeth feel and look great.

Plus whitening. It's my choice. The AFL is considering taking the unprecedented step of forcing St Kilda coach Grant Thomas to face the Tribunal over his recent criticism of umpires. AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou says Thomas' comments will be dealt with under the same rule governing players.

Demetriou labelled Thomas' comments as demeaning and unnecessary. Fellow coaches Mick Malthouse, Dean Laidley and Rodney Eade, have also expressed concerns about umpiring standards. Manly centre Steve Matai is free to take his place against the Sharks this weekend after the NRL Judiciary found him not guilty of a careless high tackle charge. Matai was placed on report for this tackle on Newcastle prop, Craig Smith, that left the Kiwi international unconscious. a hand injury in the same match The 20-year-old also suffered a hand injury in the same match but is expected to play.

Rugby League stars and sporting greats turned out last night for a charity testimonial dinner to honour former Kangaroo prop, Jason Stevens. Ian Thorpe and Australian Idol star Paulini were amongst guests celebrating Stevens' career. All proceeds went to Youth Mission Team Australia. He's already given in excess of $250,000 to the organisation. Stevens played eight Origin games for New South Wales and 10 Test matches for Australia.

Saturday night's Tri-Nations clash with South Africa is shaping as a farewell match for Wallaby captain George Gregan. Coach Eddie Jones has indicated the end-of-season European tour will only be for players with World Cup prospects. That could also spell the end for a number of other high-profile Wallabies,

as pressure mounts following two under-par performances in the Tri-Nations. Lleyton Hewitt has fought back from a set down to defeat Britain's Greg Rusedski in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters. Hewitt swapped his trademark cap for a Pat Cash-style headband but it didn't bring much success. He lost the first set 6-1. He returned in the second without the chequered headband to show off a new hairdo before going on to win in three sets. He will now play Mario Ancic in the third round. Next in Seven's Morning News, all the weather details. Then a new recruit ensures his soldiers are up to scratch. Let's take a look at the weather now. A calmer day in store for WA after the recent wild weather. A band of cloud streaming across the State and into South Australia and the Bight will continue to spread light rain and drizzle across the region. A high in the Tasman is pushing warmer winds across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Finally, a Norwegian Army unit has turned out in force to welcome its latest Colonel in Chief. With back straight and head held high Nils Olav the penguin took his new appointment of inspecting the troops very seriously. Taking the utmost care, he made sure trousers were pressed and shoes polished to the highest degree. And, like a good colonel,

he also made sure onlookers didn't step out of line. After a job well done, Nils Olav was off for a relaxing swim and a bite to eat. That's Seven's Morning News to now. We will keep you up to date throughout the day and in our bulletins at 4.30 and 6.00.

I'm Chris Bath. Thanks for your company. Have a great day. Captioned by Seven Network Email - captions@seven.com.au