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to the Cole Inquiry Alexander Downer about to answer This morning,

following Mark Vaile's vague turn. are forced out of Villawood New protests as Immigration detainees over asbestos concerns. at Christie's last auction. $2 million for an Australian painting This is Seven Morning News with Samantha Armytage. Good morning. Alexander Downer's turn It's Foreign Minister at the Cole Inquiry to be star witness into the wheat bribery scandal. at the Sydney hearing shortly Mr Downer is due to arrive intense questioning and is expected to face about illegal payments to Iraq. over what he knew Mark Vaile Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister or didn't have an answer said he couldn't recall by counsel assisting the inquiry. to many of the questions put to him is outside the commission again, Political editor Mark Riley and joins me now. from the Foreign Minister today? Can we expect a similar performance

Good morning. It sure is lively.

There is a bit of street activity

down here. The street rz normally

bustling but more so. Some

protesters have camped out

protesting against aid and to

protest the war. Mr Downer will

probably arrive around midday. We

suspect he will be in the

commission answering questions for

around two, maybe three hours. He

has the responsibility for the

department of foreign affairs and

trade he has probably the most

serious questions to answer

regarding those 21 cables that the

AWB may have been providing kick

backs to Saddam Hussein, what he

knew about them and what he did

about them Did yesterday's

testimony shed any light on what

the government knew? It did shed

some light but he sounded more like

the minister for amnesia. He said

he couldn't recall receiving any

information regarding this affair.

Probably most damaging, he admitted

that some of those warnings did get

to him, there were red flags and

that he didn't do anything about it.

He took the AWB's word at face

value and he took the department's

word and defended the AWB at a time

to his own political detriment. He

also said being new to the

portfolio at the time he was a bit

new to it, he was snowed under and

couldn't give attention to it

Yesterday you said you thought the

Prime Minister would appear before

this federal inquiry. I think he

will. It is almost certain the

Prime Minister will provide his

statement to commissioner Colebee

the end of today and that as we

under it relates to specific issues

of the inquiry. It would be unusual

for him not to be called. I am sure

the Prime Minister wants to be seen

as receiving the same treatment,

not preferential treatment to this

very serious inquiry We will let

you back inside. Enjoy another day. controversial new workplace laws The Federal Government's in terms of voter support. are still hurting the Prime Minister The latest Newspoll shows rating John Howard's voter-satisfaction

to 47%, has dropped 6 percentage points

Kim Beazley's gain. but his loss hasn't been level has plunged 3 percentage points The Opposition Leader's satisfaction to a new record low of 26%. on a two-party-prefered basis Labor is still in front at 52% to the Coalition's 48%. the Cairns-based Australian Airlines. Qantas has just axed Boss Geoff Dixon has conceded marginal routes wasn't making money, the flying kangaroo's expansion into planes to be repainted with the distinctive ochre-coloured and returned to the Qantas fleet. Instead, the international routes Jetstar will take on through Asia and Hawaii with its running costs than Australian Airlines. expected to be about 30% less both Qantas and Australian Airlines. It has a much lower cost base than Qantas will maintain the Cairns base most Australian Airlines staff. and absorb Aboriginal demonstrators in a Melbourne park fighting to save a protest camp to the Supreme Court. are taking their case during the Commonwealth Games, Camp Sovereignity was set up but has remained in Kings Domain from the City Council. despite an eviction order offered to buy back the land Camp leaders last night with tea, flour, sugar and blankets. and now we want our land back. We're giving this back they will pull down the tents Protesters say permanent flame are established. provided a memorial and has reopened The Hume Highway near Gundagai staged a protest overnight after four truckies and low pay. against rising fuel costs out there losing houses. There's a lot of desperate people there's people committing suicide. Marriages are breaking up, was held up by the blockade Traffic, including other trucks, for more than eight hours. Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre Detainees are being transfered from in the compounds. after the discovery of asbestos

To tell us more spokesman Alex Leszczynski. we're joined by refugee action Good morning, Alex. right now to a number of sites. The refugees are being moved where they are going? What can you tell us

As far as we are aware about 160

are being transferred to Army bear

racks and a further 63 out to the

Baxter , and three to Maribyonong

and other forms of detention and 14

of what they call high-risk

detainees are being transfer today

Long Bay jail. The reason why they

are being transferred there is that

the police, the government, are

concerned for the safety of the

police and protesters as a result

of the asbestos there. We were made

aware of the fact that there was

asbestos as a result of an

emergency services training session

last year Have you spoken to any

of the detainees. Can you tell us

how they are feeling this morning?

I haven't spoken to them and they

are scared. If you have been

locked up, some of them for a few

years, to psychological and

physical abuse and you are told you

have to be transferred you would be

very concerned about that. Some are

being told that after two weeks

time they will be transferred back

but with the government lying on

many things, you can understand why

some of them are not believing the

information that they will be

transferred back What should the

government do to improve the

situation? They have to move them

while the asbestos is cleared up

They should be released and the

physical and psychological abuse

that they are suffering as a result

of their detention is a far greater

risk to their health than any

asbestos threat. We call on the

government to release its people

and meet its international treaty

obligations Thank you for your time. are marching across the US today Tens of thousands of people to demand dignity and better rights for millions of illegal immigrants. Seven's US correspondent Mike Amor has more. How many people in how many cities are involved in these protests?

Good morning. Some people's

estimates a million people in 100

cities from Washington, DC to

Arizona. This is part of ongoinging

protest that's would make 11

million immigrants criminals. The

bill didn't pass the Senate but it

is causing all sorts of anger. The

truth is the economy is very

dependent on the Latino population.

They spent 10% of the American

economy and they are prepared to

use that weight and a lot of

illegal immigrants came out on the

street I came to this country in

2000 but we want to make it legal

for everybody in this country I am

marching because of my kids. My kid

wrz born here, I was born here and

we want equal rights. We came to

work and we are here to stay Others

are saying that today's

demonstrations provided a perfect

opportunity for authorities to move

in and make mass arrests but that

didn't happen What is the

government saying about this? They

are divided basically but the

people who are protesting say they

want amnesty. They want the chance

to become American citizens. A lot

of these people have been here a

long time, 20 years, 30 years, they

own houses and children who were

born here. There is opposition,

don't fear that. This is what

happened to one man who voiced a

different opinion, hit in the head

with a bottle. In the main, it was

a peaceful protest. There was a

small plane carrying some banners.

The banner says no immigration. Love

it or leave it. Even the president

knows that this is a very emotional

debate We have a huge immigration

march today and it is a sign that

this is an important issue Both

parties here are very concerned

that they could be made to pay at

the next election Big issue over

there. Thanks for that. A painting by the late Fred Williams has sold for a record price at a Christie's auction in Melbourne overnight. Upwey Landscape fetched almost $2 million. That's the most ever paid for a modern Australian painting and falls just short of the Frederick McCubbin work Bush Idyll. Christie's director John Dwyer says it was arguably the most important Williams painting to come onto the market in the past 40 years. Christie's will hold one final auction this afternoon before moving its operation into Asia. Two people have been arrested over the theft of a baby meerkat from Adelaide Zoo. This three-month old was found abandoned in a local park last night after she was stolen from her enclosure on Sunday. Zoo authorities had issued a public plea for her return, fearing she wouldn't survive the night. She'd been given a medical check and is now back with her mum. A 17-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man have been released on bail. Just six months after the birth of Prince Christian the Danish Royal family has a new addition. and Princess Mary Crown Prince Frederik

have accepted four Tassie devils as a gift from Mary's home State to mark the happy occasion. The animals will be kept in the Copenhagen Zoo. Next in Seven's Morning News, we will have business and finance, the Italian election count

and the sandwich to beat all sandwiches. At least 51 people have died after a fire broke out at a trade fair in northern India. Hundreds of people were inside the electronics tent when the blaze began.

The flames spread quickly to plastic sheeting

covering displays of televisions and home appliances. 100 people were taken to hospital. Many are in a critical condition. Officials say a short circuit caused the fire. Italians are anxiously waiting the outcome of their country's general election. Exit polls originally predicted a victory for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's rival, Romano Prodi, but counting has been going on through the night and there is still no clear winner. Sky London reporter Ashish Joshi filed this report a short time ago. Everyone said this election was too close to call and they have been proved right. Throughout the night it has been fluctuating between both camps, Silvio Berlusconi's and Romano Prodi's.

Both men feel they may have won this election. What's happened is Romano Prodi was supposed to give an election victory speech right after the first exit polls. That's when they predicted Romano Prodi had won, but throughout the evening we've seen fluctuations. Now it's swung back towards Silvio Berlusconi and we could be walking towards a nightmare situation for the Italian electorate. It could happen that Silvio Berlusconi wins the Senate, Romano Prodi wins the House of Representatives. In that case what you have is a draw. The president, President Ciampi would be asked to pick a leader. If that happens, you'll have a minority government which could fold. Now there is a likely scenario where if there is a draw there will be a re-election, and that, after six weeks of intensive campaigning

is exactly what the Italian electorate does not want to see. It's been acrimonious, it's been bitter. Today they thought they would have a decisive result but that hasn't materialised so far. The humble lunchtime favourite has gone upscale. Selfridges department store in London has launched a sandwich with a difference. The gourmet delicacy comes with a price tag of $204 and could possibly be the world's most expensive.

The humble sandwich, a British institution. From low fat to luxury, dainty to doorstop, they have come a long way in the last 250 years, but it is hardly a snack you would call indulgent. Unless it's this sandwich. It's big, it's beautiful and made with only the very best ingredients. It's rich and you'll have to be too if you want one. Fois gras, black truffle, brie de meaux cheese, plum tomato, rocket, mustard and red pepper confit on sourdough bread, but the crowning glory is wagyu beef, at ?58 a kilo. It's that one-off treat I think we'd all make an exception to indulge in such a sandwich. The man who created it thinks his customers are getting value for money.

The beef alone is just the most stunning beef in the world and the bread is 24-hour ferment bread, the truffles hand-picked, they're not intense. The flavours, they're subtle, they blend well with the sandwich. It's amazing, it's tasty, it's the right texture. Maybe a little bit naughty on the waistline but, hey, we only live once. Very nice sandwich, fantastic to eat, great bread, the sweetness of the peppers combines very well with the pepperiness of the rocket, the creaminess of the fois gras and the pungentiness of the truffles in there and also the beef, fantastic beef, it melts in your mouth, fantastic flavour. But is it too rich for the public's wallet? I wouldn't consider buying it, not in a million years. No, I wouldn't pay that much, definitely. Bad for the bank balance, and under 2,500 calories a pop, it's bad for the waistline too. Five people placed advance orders. However good it tastes, most of us may find the price tag a little too hard to swallow. To business and finance news now. Joining us is Joe Youssef from Macquarie Financial Services. Good morning, Joe. How is the local market performing after yesterday's sell-off? Sport is next in Seven News,

Good morning. Yesterday's breather

picked up a slack. We are up pa

points. Once again it is the

resources leading the charge

forward. Rio Tinto is out at 2%.

Wes pack is stronger at 2430.

Telstra that's recovered and

fosters is 5 cents higher and blue

cap has added as well. Gold surged to

how are those sectors reacting? At

the 25-year high naturally you

would expect the gold stocks to be

stronger. Newcrest has added and

gold is at its all-time high. Oil

is $69 a barrel. Resources are up

29 22 and Santos is firmer as well

Where is trading today It has been

helped by recent retail sales

figures which has put interest

rates hikes back on the agenda and

ha tha has been a positive

influence with the Aussie dollar.

with the Waratahs waiting to hear if Mat Rogers will be fit to play and Bangladesh proving too good for Australia. Australia is facing the prospect of another embarrassing defeat at the hands of Bangladesh, this time in the Test arena. The world No.1 Test nation is 6/145 in their first innings still trailing by 282 runs.

Adam Gilchrist is the Aussies' top scorer, unbeaten on 51. Day 2 went from bad to worse for the Australians with all six batsmen falling cheaply. Bangladesh has won just one Test match in 42 attempts.

Tennis Australia will investigate security measures for our Davis Cup team ahead of September's semifinal clash with Argentina. Tensions have been high between the two countries, and Aussie star Lleyton Hewitt is regarded as one of the most-hated sportsmen in Argentina. The tie is set down for 22 September. Geelong will decide this morning whether or not Matthew Scarlett will face the AFL Tribunal

for striking Leigh Harding. Scarlett is facing a three-match ban after the Cats' spiteful game against the Kangaroos on Saturday. Several players from the Bulldogs and Melbourne

were lucky to escape suspension after clashes in their game. The Waratahs will learn today if Mat Rogers will be fit to take on the Brumbies this Sunday. Rogers missed New South Wales' loss to the Crusaders last week with a rib cartilage injury. The fly-half will undergo a fitness test later this morning.

Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink has announced he will be Russia's new head coach after this year's World Cup in Germany. Hiddink made the announcement on Dutch TV. He will leave both Australia and his club side, PSV Eindhoven, to take up the position. The supercoach will continue to live in Amsterdam and travel to Russia whenever he is needed. Speaking of the World Cup, this is the French team's accommodation during the tournament. Yes, it is a castle, but there will be some modifications. Every TV in every room will be changed from German programs to French ones to make the players feel more at home. Next in Seven News, we'll take a look at the weather, and The Rolling Stones take in the local night life.

Have you seen how many different repayments we have each month? Mmm. I just wish there was a simpler way. POP! (Gasps) Uh, hi. I'm a GE Money Genie.

I can help, because with a GE Money Personal Loan you can consolidate your debts and take control. You'll have just one simple monthly repayment and no monthly fees. Sound like what you've been wishing for? (Laughs) Yes! Whoo-hoo! FESTIVE MUSIC TV STOPS You want to see that again? Imagine being able to pause and rewind live TV. Cut! Just picture it. Let's take a look at the weather forecast now. A trough over inland Queensland will trigger showers and thunderstorms to the east. A high in the Tasman will keep New South Wales dry A front is bringing showers to coastal South Australia, Tasmania and western Victoria. The Rolling Stones and their entourage have enjoyed some satisfaction, taking in the sights of Sydney. Band members Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood dined out with family at Circular Quay before heading off to a nearby night-spot. Fans can catch The Stones at Sydney's Telstra Stadium tonight and in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday. 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 Samantha Armytage.

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