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Seven Morning News -

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blasts her way through the US Hurricane Katrina leaving thousands homeless. business leaders converge on Sydney. Security alert as the world's Still balancing the budget - will not commit to more tax cuts. the Treasurer with Chris Bath. This is Seven's Morning News Good morning. declared in three US States, A state of emergency has been explosive fury. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's Katrina has now weakened, without power leaving millions of people and many without homes. costliest single storm in US history, It looks like she could become the soaring over $33 billion. with damage estimates was driving along the highway, One moment this man was on the verge of being swept away. the next his car Katrina brings. Such is the extreme weather

The man owes his life who came to his aid. to the brave actions of a passer-by

the car door would not open. With the water pressure so great he struggled to safety. But eventually, the streets in Louisianna. Katrina has been battering for the damage to begin. It did not take long the sea front. The debris buffeted along to keep viewers up to date. Reporters have been doing the best

unusual... And now we're seeing really

You look up in the sky sometimes something unusual just fly by. and you'll just see

New Orleans is like a ghost town of thousands of residents to get out. after the major ordered hundreds entire walls destroyed Streets flooded, and windows ripped out by the storm. Those who could not leave, like the city's Superdome stadium. headed for shelters the hurricane's power. But even that has not escaped and secure environment for them. Well, we've got a very safe not going to be comfortable. It's just found shelter on higher floors. In hotels, stranded visitors in a college trip Started our vacation and who knows how it's going to end? at 6am local time. The hurricane made landfall

in Alabama Sea walls were quickly breached along the coast. as the storm began to roar major disaster declarations Already, the President has approved in Louisianna and Mississippi. for the clear-up. It means government money can be used because this is a dangerous storm. Take precautions, When the storm passes, has got assets and resources the Federal Government that we'll be deploying to help you. America will pray. In the meantime, the force is slowly weakening. As Katrina moves inland, Now a category 1, down from a 5, the winds are reaching 105m/ph. But still, In Baton Rouge, the damage left behind. home owners are already assessing

We saw the trees start coming down transformer. and take the lines off the started spewing oil everywhere. Then the transformer It's pretty scary. losses as high as $25 billion, Early estimates have put the insured and it's not over yet. to Biloxi, Mississippi We will cross live later in the bulletin for an update on Katrina. across Victoria overnight. High winds have caused havoc State Emergency Service volunteers more than 150 calls for help. are trying to deal with

and damaged roofs, The winds have felled trees mainly in the city's eastern suburbs. at Mt Waverley caused major delays A tree across the railway tracks

for their journeys. with commuters redirected to buses More gale-force winds are forecast. to take extra care The SES is advising motorists items and prepare for blackouts. and householders to secure loose most powerful business leaders 350 of the world's at the Sydney Opera House. are preparing to meet Prime Minister John Howard Rudi Giuliani and former New York mayor and former New York mayor

the $5,000-a-head Forbes conference. are among those attending have been closed off Roads around the Sydney Opera House police force is on alert and almost 10% of the state's to deal with protesters. Marguerite McKinnon We go now to Seven News reporter at the Sydney Opera House. Good morning, Marguerite.

for the three-day meeting. Violent protests have been predicted Any signs of protesters yet?

Good morning Chris, no sign of the

protesters yet, they are expected

to come any time from 3 o'clock

this afternoon but the police here

are ready. Everywhere you look you

get clusters of police, the whole

roads have been blocked up around

Macquarie street and there is an

exclusion zone out on the water

patrolled for police so they are

ready for anything

What are the protesters so upset about?

You could pick a protest really,

anti Iraq war, andy globilisation,

anti global warning, anti mandatory

detention and they are against

voluntary student unionism. Also

the unions are against John

Howard's industrials relations

policy so pick a protest and you

will find it here today

So that is who is outside. Who is

expected to attend the meeting inside?

The conference is host by Steve

Forbes the CEO of Forbes magazine

and Rudi Giuliani the major of New

York at the time of the 11

September attacks and big business

litres, the United Arab Emirates,

Hong Kong big bankers coming from

over there, the US, Australia, Peru

and even Brazil so a lot of very

important people here who are

making very important decisions

about what is happening in our world

Given how tight security is can

tourists still enter the Opera

House and will it be open for shows?

I suppose we will just have to

wait and see but police have doing

everything they can to stop

terrorists or any one wanting to be

a protester. As far as few wrists

are concerned the daytrippers,

there is absolutely no chance for

tourists to come in except for

people who have prebooked bus tours,

they are allowed in and also the

Opera House is still having three

shows, two open practices,La Boheme

and hand sell and Gretel and the

Judy Garland story but as far as

Thank you. that no-one else is allowed in.

has finally spoken out Treasurer Peter Costello a cut in the top income tax rate. on the growing push for with John Howard on the issue Mr Costello denies he is at odds but says he is more interested in cutting tax for the majority of Australians. Peter Costello has been silent until now on proposals to cut the highest marginal rate. The Prime Minister says it is always under consideration but will not commit to a timetable. Mr Costello is not opposed to a cut for the 3% of Australians who pay 47c. Am I interested in them? Yes. But let me tell you, I'm very interested in the 97%. He says everything must be seen in the context of the economy. Can we balance our budget? Can we restrain our expenditures? Can we keep interest rates low? Will our economy continue to grow? The Treasurer has been drawn back into the debate about John Howard's future and how long he is prepared to wait to take over. Issues of next year will be taken care of in good time. Mr Howard gave his Treasurer a big wrap at a meeting of Liberals in Sydney last night. He has been, in my view, the best Treasurer that this country has produced and he deserves enormous credit

for the tremendous work that he has done. APPLAUSE Meanwhile, Labor's see-sawing fortunes have taken a turn for the better, according to the latest Newspoll. The Opposition's primary vote has lifted three percentage points while the Coalition has dropped three points. On two party-preferred Labor leads 51% to 49%. Deputy New South Wales Liberal Leader Barry O'Farrell is the favourite to become the party's fourth leader in six years. But Transport spokesman Peter Debnam says he is receiving increasing support. A third candidate may be named today. John Brogden resigned yesterday after admitting he called the wife of former premier Bob Carr

a mail-order bride, and harassed at least two female journalists. I'm not proud. I'm not at all proud for what I've done. The new leader will be elected tomorrow morning. The former boss of collapsed insurer HIH has declared himself bankrupt. Returning now to the US. For an update on Hurricane Katrina, we are joined by NBC's Jay Gray in Biloxi, Mississippi. Jay, what is happening where you are?

Right now night is begining to

fall. We saw the sun peak through

the clouds for a bit at the end of

the day, what it was shining down

on was total devastation in this

area. This areas was probably hit

hardest by this category 4 storm.

We were on the north-east side of

the storm and went strong enough to

twist around and toss this metal in

the parking lot. Very severe winds

over 10 onm/ph for an extended per

for several hours and the rain was

intense, flooding is a very serious

issue here and we are six miles off

the beach off the Gulf shore coast

line but at that coast at the beach

there we understand there was a

storm surge like no other, 25 to 28

feet, we are told that entire area

is wiped away. Buildings were torn

away, the wind and the water just

too much for them to withstand.

Right now conditions are too severe

for the oh fish allegation, the

thrts to move into the lowest

hardest hit areas to really survey

the damage, that will come on

another day. For now they are

trying to regroup, reassess what is

going on at least in the higher

areas until they can move in and

take a deep breath it was a tough

ride through the night and day here

Jay, do you have any wrd on whether

there have been any casualties from

the storm, people who have been injured or killed?

It is amazing because this storm

really smacked the Gulf coast here,

so far to this point we have not

heard of any fatalities but the

governor of Mississippi warned that

he was very quick to point this out,

in the lowest-lying areas there are

a lot of people who apparently tide

ride out this storm and tried to

wait to see what happened. He warns

that those people to this point are

unaccounted for and he is very worried about their safety

Is there any word on how many

people have lost their homes? Yeah,

I have heard that in this area

alone 60,000 to 80,000 people may

be home less at this point, the

power is still out and it will be

some time before the power is

restored. It is a ghost town, a

curfew is in place, we have seen a

few people walking out to survey

the damage but they don't wander

too far from their safe haven, they

wan to make sure they are not out

after dark, powerlines are down, debris scattered although over the

town and it is a dangerous

situation still at this point

Jay thank you for leaving your safe

haven to bring us up to date on that. Next in Seven's Morning News - How the hurricane has affected world oil prices And a new twist on border security. How one man is avoiding Customs.

Australians are again being advised to defer all non-essential travel to Indonesia amid renewed fears of terrorist attacks. Indonesian President Susilio Bambang Yudhoyono has warned that terrorists could strike as early as next month or in October. He has told a seminar in Jakarta that terrorist cells are still active and planning more attacks. The Department of Foreign Affairs says Australians should be extremely cautious. Countess of Wessex Sophie Rhys-Jones, the wife of Prince Edward, is mourning her mother. Buckingham Palace released a statement saying Mary Rhys-Jones died saying Mary Rhys-Jones died in hospital after a brief illness. She was 71. An international fashion war is brewing, with millions of clothes impounded by European Customs. The EU trade commissioner has stepped in to resolve a dispute with China that could see shops run out of the latest fashions just before people stock up for the winter. up-beat music.

Things are getting frought on the

High Street as China flexes its

trade muscles. It is holding out

for the best deal it can get on

quotas of in expensive fashion

allowed in to our stores. At one

level this is all about EU

bureaucracy but at another it is

about funky in expensive High

Street fashion and the prospect of

not being able to get that

must-have item fills the people

here are horror.

I will go crazy, I love my clothes and my fashion

It wouldn't be the worst thing in

the world but yeah ...

A lot of girls especially love

their fashion and come up here and

do their shopping so it would

affect tourism as well

The goods have piled up because the

EU having opened its borders to

more trade in textiles faced an

influx of goods weigh in excess of

quotas agreed with China because

there was a month's delay in

finalising the quotas during which

time orders were placed. EU Trade

Commissioner Peter says millions of

garment are held by cos toplgs

I do not think the scare stories

about clothing shortagees

comparable to those experienced in

the last world war are remotely

justified and I hope that such

things can be put aside

But he gave no details of how he

proposes to break the deadlock and

the Chinese sensing an advantage

are out to drive a hard bargain. The newest exhibit at London Zoo is aiming to emphasise just how much humans and animals have in common. Crowds of curious onlookers have been flocking to see the latest resident,

species Homo sapiens. In an enclosure usually reserved for bears the humans are fitting in well. I picked a few fleas out of one of their hairs and found a ladybird as well. The eight fig-leaf-wearing humans won their place in the pen in an online contest. The display is a way to draw attention to the way we are having an impact on the rest of the animal kingdom. Now to something you definitely should not try at home. American stuntman Dave Smith literally shot past Customs literally shot past Customs on the US-Mexican border six metres above the ground. The human cannonball was blasted from a beach in Tijuana, Mexico before landing safer and sound in a huge net on home soil. To business and finance news now. Joining us is Martin Lakos from Macquarie Financial Services. Good morning, Martin. Oil prices are up again after Hurricane Katrina disrupted production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Good morning, we saw the oil price

in fact above $70 at one stage, the

US government came out saying they

will be able to draw on strategic

reserves and the oil price fell

closing $67.40 up a dollar on the

previous day's close. Yesterday in

our time the oil stocks were strong

with oil prices ring towards $70 in

Asian time zone and today they have

come off not surprisingly. Woodside

down 48 and Santos down about 20

cents to $11.62

Retail trade figures out today

Yes, picking up and retail sales

picking up 1.3% for July and

certainly moving to warmer weather

retailers on the clothing side

expecting to see their spring farb

objects start to take off

How is the local market looking so

far apart from the resource stocks

you have mentioned?. The market

took a fright yesterday with the

Hurricane Katrina rise in oil price

in our time zone. We have recovered

37 points of yesterday's 51-point

loss and we are signing this across

the board apart from the energy

stocks I mentioned before. The

banks are firmer, National

Australia Bank up 26 to 3121, the.

BHP up $20.40 and Rio up. We have a

couple of major results, Fosters

reported a strong result up about

1% and stocks firmer today as well

and Tabcorp rubbing ahead of its

result not yet released up 27 cents

to $16.47. Those investors wanting

to play the recovery of the Florida

and the New Orleans era will be

buying stocking like James Hardie,

big building materials businesses

in the US and those stocks are

firmer today as well. James Hardie

is up 19 to $8.34 Thank you Martyn. I'll be back with latest I'll be back with latest in sport news after this break.

Adelaide captain Mark Ricciuto will miss his side's qualifying final against St Kilda after accepting a one-match ban from the AFL match review panel. Ricciuto was booked for this collision

with West Coast's Adam Selwood. The Crows were worried Ricciuto could be sidelined for the entire finals series, but the panel took into consideration a medical report clearing Selwood of bone damage to his jaw. Adelaide accepted the decision, saying the risk of losing its skipper for several weeks was too great. North Queensland prop Carl Webb is expected to take the early guilty plea to avoid penalty for a grade 1 dangerous throw. Webb was charged for this lifting tackle on Rabbitohs' centre Adam McDougall during the Cowboys' 30-16 win. If Webb fights the charge, he'd risk missing Saturday night's home match against Melbourne. England fast bowler Simon Jones remains in serious doubt for the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval starting next week. Jones injured his right ankle during England's thrilling win at Trent Bridge and is suffering swelling from a bone spur. The paceman has frustrated Australia with his reverse swing and is vital to England's hopes of reclaiming the Ashes

for the first time since 1987. He'll undergo intensive treatment to try and be fit. Next in Seven's Morning News, we will check the weather around the country. And the glitz and glamour of the MTV Music Awards

as Green Day cleans up.

Save $40 on this 8-drawer tool chest and trolley combo for Dad. Repco - it's where to go for Father's Day. Let's take a look at what the weather's doing. Eye-popping performances, over-the-top bling and a room packed full of stars. It was rock'n'roll all the way at this year's MTV Video Music Awards in the US. The boys from Green Day were the big winners of the night, picking up seven awards.

SONG:# I walk alone

It was only right that grey day

should open the show that they

would go on to dominate. Seven

awards for the veteran punk rockers.

And video of the year goes to - Green Day!

They didn't waste the opportunity

to bring a political note to the proceedings.

I think there are a lot of people

in this world and I think it

strikes a note in this world now so

here is to this and our soldiers

let's bring them home safe

But that was about as controversial

as it got on a night hosed by the

rap music mogul once men as puff

Daddy now plain kidy.

Please follow his instructions

SONG:# I fall asleep ...

# And she is taking a drag

The MTV music video awards might

have been fronted by a hip hop

superstar but this was the night of rock. What Green Day start the

Killers carried on winning best new


Missy Elliot

But Missy Elliot was on hand to fly

the flag for wrap taking home a

pair of the night's aI awards known

as moon men for best hip hop video

All of you I love you, usual usual,

Beyonce, I love you all baby

There were awards for Ludicrous

It is about dam time

Alisha keys and two for Kelly

Clarkson who made an impression

performing under pouring rain.

White there was success for the

UK's Guerillas the only Brits to

per form on the night were Coldplay SONG:# Where do I go?

But it wasn't all about music.

The winners of it kidy fashion

challenge are Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dog

Both were awarded $50,000 as prize

money to give to charity. During

the show kidy promised anything

could happen. In fact the lack of

out rayus antics might have left

some disappointed but when it comes

to superstar spoting few nights can

compare. 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. We will leave you now with pictures from Russia where thrill seekers raced down the rapids of a freezing river with the help of some intriguing plastic floatation devices. I'm Chris Bath.

Thanks for your company. Have a great day. Captioned by Seven Network Email -