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Seven Morning News -

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(generated from captions) return from Afghanistan This morning - Australian soldiers

as more prepare to fill their place. Who's her daddy? Anna Nicole Smith's baby. DNA tests prove who fathered

for rugby league's Joey Johns. And what's next This program is captioned live. Morning News with Rebecca Maddern. VOICEOVER: This is Seven

welcome to Seven's Morning News. Good morning, reconstuction effort in Afghanistan Australian troops helping with the returned home last night

will soon be sent to the news that hundreds more to the war-torn country. The Government has warned to prepare for casualties as fighting in the region escalates. The Prime Minister is carrying a heavy burden having announced more Australians will be sent to war. The first of a new batch of troops for Afghanistan within weeks. are expected to leave on the ground By mid year, the number of boots and exceed 1,000 by mid 2008. will have more than doubled to 950

of risk involved here. I just can't downplay the high level There have been many occasions in fire fights. where troops have been involved a special forces task group, Defence has put together drawn from the SAS and Commandos. about 300 combat soldiers the Taliban and al-Qa'ida The plan is to hunt down who are becoming increasing active. It's tailored for the purpose.

It's a more robust group than last time. We've applied all the lessons from last time. The 400-strong reconstruction team and its protection detail

will remain for at least another two years. All of the intelligence advice suggests that there is a heightened security risk. Labor supports sending more troops to Afghanistan. It argues the decision should have been taken before now and that the Government got sidetracked by Iraq. I'm always prepared to say when I think the Prime Minister is doing something right. It's just that I think his policies in Iraq have been absolutely wrong. The latest Australian troops to serve in Afghanistan last night. returned home to Townsville will be fighting in Afghanistan Military experts believe our troops for years. Australians travelling to Thailand bombings over the next week. are being warned of potential its travel advice The Government has updated following an attack outside a Bangkok shopping centre

two days ago. Buddhist holidays begin today and the Foreign Affairs Department says predictions of attacks during the period are credible. A teenager is dead after falling down a cliff on the NSW central coast. The 16-year-old girl was walking with a friend near North Avoca beach late yesterday when she fell. Her friend climbed down and called for help. Paramedics were lowered to treat the girl, but she died at the scene. An elderly man and his son have been taken to hospital

after fire destroyed their home in Melbourne's Ascot Vale. The blaze started in the 100-year-old house

just before midnight. Firefighters say the flames took hold quickly

because the property was full of newspapers and rubbish the men had collected over the years.

The 79- and 50-year-old residents have been treated for smoke inhalation. Rugby league has been hit by a fresh scandal this morning with a Penrith player facing a police investigation for allegedly bashing a mother of four. Panthers half-back Craig Trindall is accused of repeatedly striking a 27-year-old woman with a children's blackboard during a confrontation in Sydney over Easter.

The woman was reportedly taken to hospital with a broken nose and several splinters in her face. Penrith say its waiting to hear from police before taking any action. A controversial experimental treatment for type 1 diabetes seems to have cured a handful of patients of the disease. Research was carried out in Brazil and doctors in the US are closely monitoring the results. It is highly experimental and potentially very dangerous

but it could make a big impact on type 1 or juvenile diabetes. How's the sample looking? Dr Richard Burt of Northwestern Feinberg Medical School

chooses his words carefully. I do not use the word 'cure'.

But so far 14 of 15 patients treated seem to be cured because they have not needed insulin shots for as long as three years. It's an exciting result. About 1 million Americans, including 7-year-old Sophie Elder, suffer type 1 diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease where the body's disease-fighting system goes haywire, destroying the cells that make insulin. In the treatment the researchers actually knock out the patient's own immune system, putting them at high risk for infection, then they coax the immune system to rebuild itself

with adult stem cells from the patient's own blood. Sophie wasn't in the experiment. No Americans were. The subjects were all diabetics in Brazil. Why Brazil? There really was no interest or support in America. Many experts say a big reason is that hospitals in this country would be very reluctant to give permission for such a potentially life-threatening experiment. An Australian, who died in the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, has been identified through DNA tests. Alberto Dominguez was visiting the US in 2001. Seven correspondent Mike Amor has the details. Good morning, Mike. Alberto Dominguez was on board the plane which hit the north tower? That is right.

That is right. Alberto Dominguez had been visiting family here in the US

when he found himself on the tragic

flight. He left his wife in Boston

to look after her sick sister. Just

last week as a result of the

coroner's office deciding to retest coroner's office deciding to retest

existing remains. They were able to

identify six people and Alberto

identify six people and Alberto was

one of them and his family in Sydney

agreed to release that information.

He was 66 years old and a baggage

handler. Of all the victims only

1600 have been identified. I have 1600 have been identified. I have

spoken to many families and they say

that finding something of their

loved ones has helped them find

peace. It has been 4 bt 5 years

since lta tack and authorities are

still finding victims. They

underestimated how widespread

underestimated how widespread it would be across New York and the

initial collapse was just so

initial collapse was just so

devastating. This week authorities closed devastating. This week authorities

closed a busy highway for a month so

they can dig it up again and believe

human remains may have been buried.

human remains may have been buried. The search was called off but

The search was called off but started again late last year and

more remains have been found and 800

in nearby office buildings. It is an

inconvenience for busy New Yorkers

inconvenience for busy New Yorkers

and a sad reminder but they seem to

understand. They have to have

understand. They have to have

closure. It is sad that they have to

come and rebig and bring up old

wounds but for the families they

still need closure. When they find

remains, they should do everything

they can to find all they can. DNA

test procedures continue to improve

so let's hope for victims

so let's hope for victims will be so let's hope for victims will be

identified BHP Billiton isn't too

popular in California at the moment.

That is right. Thankfully generally

we Aussies are pretty popular over

here. They are not too keen on

here. They are not too keen on BHP. here. They are not too keen on BHP.

1,000 residents of Oxnard and Malibu

protested against the giant,

including actor Pierce Brosnan. They

including actor Pierce Brosnan. They

had a victory. BHP wanted to build a

floating gas terminal, about 22

kilometres off the coast of Malibu.

It would allow ship loads of

Australian gas and it would give

billions of dollars for the

Australian economy. Local residents

have been fighting very hard to stop

it. The air pollution that will

result from the off-loading of the

liquified natural gas will bring an liquified natural gas will bring an unacceptable increase in air

pollution to a part of California

that is known worldwide for its air that is known worldwide for its air

pollution problems. It is a

pollution problems. It is a bad

thing for local kids. Those kids

won't have to worry. Late last

won't have to worry. Late last night a planning authority here in

California voted against the plan.

So their plan for the moment has been

been scuttled. Perhaps James Bond

helped them out. Thanks. Still in the US, a showbiz mystery has been solved

with DNA tests finally confirming the father of Anna Nicole Smith's 7-month-old daughter, Dannielynn. Sunrise entertainment reporter Nelson Aspen has the story.

The sordid who's the daddy saga

surrounding the daughter of the late

Anna Nicole Smith. Photographer

turned to aspiring TV pernltd was

all smiles and tears as the DNA test

results proved that he was 99.

results proved that he was 99.999% guaranteed

guaranteed as Dannielynn's

biological father. After an arguably

deserved moment of gloating he

thanked supporters and that he hoped

to raise her in the home state of

Indiana. Custody details are still

to be worked out this Friday. It has

been a long road and I am happy to

have this behind me and start a

have this behind me and start a life with my daughter. Under Bahamian with my daughter. Under Bahamian law

and the child's own birth

certificate, Anna's long time

companion Howard Stern had been

considered the father. Howard stated

he has the same feelings for the

baby and promised to work with the

Birkhead. And Virgie seemed jovial

Birkhead. And Virgie seemed jovial and she told the crowd that and she told the crowd that she

looked forward to being part of her.

All I care about is the wellbeing of

Dannielynn. I am happy that

Dannielynn knows who her father is

and I look forward to raising my

granddaughter for what is best for

her. This is nothing what Anna

Nicole wanted for Dannielynn. It is

a soap opera that will continue

a soap opera that will continue to play out and fascinate us. Absolutely. Supermodel Elle Macpherson has arrived in Sydney to launch her new lingerie line. The 43-year-old mother of two looked as glamorous as ever after the flight from Auckland and didn't miss an opportunity to promote her Boudoir collection. REPORTER: Is it comfortable enough to wear on the plane? Absolutely, I've got it on at the moment. I'm not going to show you, no. Elle launches her new knickers at an exclusive male-only party tonight.

Next in Seven News - our business and finance report. And fire destroys the former Tennessee home of the late Johnny Cash.

A second round of voting is likely in East Timor's presidential elections. Preliminary results show the country's biggest party, Fretilin, trailing in third place prompting fears of more violence by their supporters if they lose. But Fretilin officials are challenging the unofficial figures. Current Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta has a slender lead in a provisional count of 20% of the vote. The Federal Government is sending another plane-load of relief supplies to tsunami-devastated areas of the Solomon Islands. Regional authorities say it will take at least three months to properly house the 7,000 people left homeless by the earthquake and subsequent tidal wave. At least 40 people died in the disaster. Two United Nations inspectors have begun a week-long tour of a nuclear facility in Iran. The officials will inspect a plant in which Iran claims to be enriching uranium to generate power. Iran says the visit is routine though it comes a day after Tehran declared its nuclear production had reached an industrial scale. The sprawling home once owned by the late country music legend Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter, is no more. The 3-storey Tennessee mansion has been destroyed by fire. Huge clouds of smoke could be seen billowing from the timber house. It was bought last year by former Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb as a holiday home. Authorities believe building materials from a large renovation project, caught fire. To business and finance news now.

Joining us is Bill Evans, Global Head of Economics at Westpac. Good morning, Bill. The US earnings reporting season is starting this week.

What is the market expecting?

The share market in the US had its

eighth up day and that is the

longest string of up days. They are

expecting about 3.

expecting about 3.3% average erngz

growth. The first company to report

beat their earnings. I think the

market is quietly optimistic. We

have seen some very strong

have seen some very strong employment numbers indicating employment numbers indicating that

the huge scare we had about the

subprime housing market may have

been overdone. That

been overdone. That has been

been overdone. That has been our

view for some time. The Australian

dollar is at

dollar is at its highest level since

1990. What is driving it? A number

of factors. Base metal prices are up 10%

10%. People have been expecting 10%. People have been expecting that

base metal prices were so high would

fall. To rise by 10% when it was

expected to fall, that has been a

big positive. The take-over activity big positive. The take-over activity

and the expectation that there will

be significant buying to finance

that take-over activity has been

buoying it. We have the $

buoying it. We have the $20 billion

at some point with Coles and Qantas at some point with Coles and Qantas around $

around $11 billion. Still

expectation thaz interest rates will

rise

rise again in Australia. Thank you,

rise again in Australia. Thank you, Bill. Next in Seven News - sport, with all the action of the cricket World Cup. And rugby league's big debate - should Joey become one of the greats.

Just hours after he pulled the pin on a stellar career, there are already calls for Andrew Johns to be awarded rugby league's greatest honour - to be named an Immortal. It's a campaign that's already received support from some of the code's greatest players. For more, we're joined by Seven sport reporter Ben Damon. Good morning, Ben. For the uninitiated, can you take us through just what it means to be a rugby league Immortal?

We have been going in this country

since 1908 and there has been only

seven inducted.

seven inducted., Bob full to be,

seven inducted., Bob full to be,

John Raper, there are calls for

John Raper, there are calls for

Johns to join him. Usually it takes

a while. Ricky Stuart and even

a while. Ricky Stuart and even the

Prime Minister saying he should

Prime Minister saying he should be

ip ducted immediately. Absolutely.

His statistics and his ability that

he has shown over the years he has shown over the years on the

big stage, the biggest games that

you can play as a rugby league

player proves that he deservedly owns

owns that right. A huge loss to the

owns that right. A huge loss to the game, to Newcastle and

representative football that he had

to pull out of before. It is a

to pull out of before. It is a lost

and he will join the Immortals. He

is a great of the game and I wish

is a great of the game and I wish

him well. What now for the Newcastle

Knights and joey. Especially

Knights and joey. Especially for Jarrod Mullen, he has been the

Jarrod Mullen, he has been the likely replacement when he is

injured. Now he will have to do the

job full time. It will be a lot more

difficult for him. It will

difficult for him. It will be interesting over the next couple of

years how Jarrod Mullen copes. They

have gone to $

have gone to $9 as soon as Johns

announced his retirement. So a lot

of people don't expect of people don't expect

of people don't expect mullen to

fill Johns. Johns carried

fill Johns. Johns carried Newcastle

and without him obviously they are

going to struggle. For Andrew Johns

himself, he won't have too much time himself, he won't have too much time

on his hands any way. He is off on his hands any way. He is off to

Oaks Day. He won't be a punter for

too long. There are book deals,

too long. There are book deals,

commentator, all sort of things he

will be doing. We wish him all best. will be doing. We wish him all the

To AFL news now and Melbourne will be without captain David Neitz and Russell Robertson for the next month. Both are out with knee injuries sustained in Monday's loss to Hawthorn. Neitz has a slight medial ligament tear while Robertson has bone bruising and swelling. Meanwhile, Hawthorn's Luke Hodge will stay with the club after signing a 2-year deal reportedly worth $1 million. South Africa has beaten the West Indies by 67 runs in their Super 8s game at the cricket World Cup. The Proteas smashed 24 fours and 14 sixes as they surged to 4/356 from their 50 overs. A.B. de Villiers was the star for South Africa, topscoring with 146 runs off just 129 balls as the Proteas made short work of the Windies bowlers. All rounder Jacques Kallis also got amongst the runs adding a stylish 81 off 86 balls. It was too much for the West Indies who could only manage 9/289 off their 50 overs. Captain Brian Lara was bowled out for just 21 runs. Stay with me here on Seven's Morning News,

I'll be back with all the weather details after this break.

Let's take a look at the national weather now. Fresh south-easterly winds are bringing showers

to the Queensland coast. A high is keeping New South Wales and Victoria dry. While a low is causing showers in southern WA and western South Australia. Around the capitals:

Finally there was more drama than usual on 'Dancing With The Stars' last night as one of the contestants tried to withdraw before the final elimination. Farmer David Graham started the night with a fabulous quick step then it was down to the final two contestants, Dave interrupted the nail-biting announcement with one of his own.

You can't make an interruption now, Dave. Oh, you have to, there's no way I can let Kate go. She is a much better dancer than me and I have to withdraw. There's no way I can go on. Daryl wouldn't let him but he was voted off anyway. Maybe good entertainment for the giggle factor, but it was hard. that feeling of I wanted to go because I didn't want

if it was possible that I would stay and someone like my hero like Kate Ceberano would possibly go,

I was just like, nah. But no hard feelings, farmer Dave is off to recover with a holiday then head back to the land. And that's Seven's Morning News to now. We'll keep you up to date throughout the day and in our bulletins at 4:30 and 6:00. We'll leave you this morning with some images from the past as Sydney's Royal Easter Show celebrates the 100th anniversay of its Grand Parade today.

I'm Rebecca Maddern, thanks for your company. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre www.auscap.com.au