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Seven Early News -

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for a wet and wild Christmas. Queensland warned to prepare of the AFL nude photo scandal The girl at the centre due in a Melbourne court today. wild weather lashes America's west. And a state of emergency declared as

with Natalie Barr. VOICEOVER: This is Seven Early News Good morning.

to prepare Queenslanders are being warned in years for one of the wettest Christmases and widespread flooding. with predictions of heavy rain In Brisbane,

shut down until further notice the city's ferry services have been became too dangerous. after the swollen river this morning Council inspectors will decide Brisbane ferry services. whether it's safe to resume by water and debris The river is being sandwiched coming downstream from Wivenhoe Dam a combination of warm water, and unusually high tides driven by and a huge whirlpool off the coast. a low-pressure system South-East Queensland. The diameter would probably cover With the gyre out to sea in the ocean current. it's just a bit of a cyclonic eddy of the Queensland capital It means low-lying parts intense flooding today. can expect more that it's come up this year. Definitely it's the highest, yeah, It's a little bit scary underneath there. because not quite up to our property Worse is to come. hundreds of millimetres of rain Forecasters are predicting the already saturated coast will fall along over Christmas and the New Year. from Cairns to the south-east corner management committee last night, Townsville activated its disaster of the January 1998 floods. fearing a repeat the coast on Saturday morning, As the tropical low crosses on Christmas Day itself. upwards of 400mL of rain well clear of creeks and rivers. People are being urged to steer These tourists had to be rescued suddenly became a raging monster. when a idyllic waterfall near Cairns MAN: We were snorkelling in there the water change and it just rose and then we could just see with the little girl. and it was too much of a risk 20 people die in Queensland In the last two years we have seen as a result of floods. flood-related deaths this Christmas. We don't want to see any more cut out. Authorities will have their work As these pictures of children near Kingaroy show, jumping into a swollen dam or don't care about the dangers. some people either don't understand More evacuations are expected today of Gascoyne Junction from the tiny township in WA's remote north-west. The community, east of Carnarvon, by floodwaters. has been virtually washed away The water was above roof level the historic local pub and powerful enough to lift off its foundations. of Gascoyne Junction? Is this the death

a reappraisal of the town It is going to mean

and what its future will be? And in Carnarvon, to conserve drinking water residents are being urged to restore essential services. as emergency officials struggle of AFL's nude photo scandal The teenage girl at the centre more damaging images has threatened to release

when she returns to Melbourne today.

with her parents in Queensland The 17-year-old is holidaying naked photographs from where she posted of three St Kilda players earlier this week. on her Facebook site Sam Gilbert claims computer without permission she took the photos from his against her in the Federal Court. and has launched legal action Lawyers for Gilbert and St Kilda on her USTREAM page have posted a message and to have a solicitor. urging her to attend today's hearing are due to arrive in Australia today More Qantas flights from London caused by the snow slowly eases. as the travel chaos to give up his million-dollar bonus The airport's boss has offered in the wake of the crisis to silence the critics. but it's done little Cleared for take-off in the wake of the winter weather but the turbulence left in London's Heathrow Airport is far from over. inside terminal one this morning This was the scene

far from resolved. with passengers frustrations will take days to clear. busiest international airport The huge backlog at the world's

It's tough, you gotta wait,

to fly out too. everybody else is trying So you just gotta wait a few days backlog clears up. until it all clears, everything - it's not the airlines fault. No vouchers - or food vouchers. So I can't get any hotel than I planned to when I came here. So having to spend even more money

operator, BAA, Colin Matthews, The Chief Executive of the airport's for the chaos who's come under intense criticism bonus because of what's happened. has announced he's forgoing his With both runways now open two-thirds of flights today. the company says it hopes to operate a schedule of flights We've published this morning will operate that the airlines tell us

if your flight's is on that list so if you're on - then please come to the airport, then keep in touch with your airline if your flight's not on that list to the airport. but please don't come region I think we found something in the

of 180 departures and arrivals but there's a good way to go yet. were making good, I think, progress, three days before Christmas, Any normal winter, were cancelled if 1-in-3 planes from Heathrow a national disgrace. that would be a huge story, as a success. Today it's being portrayed somehow at London's St Pancras At the Eurostar terminal

after the severe delays services are slowly improving over the past few days and cancellations the queues remain, but like Heathrow, with a backlog of passengers before Christmas. desperate to travel missing persons databases Police are searching of human remains following the discovery in Sydney's south-west. in a suburban backyard The bones were found was digging in thick bushland. while the property owner When I uncovered a bit of the reed there was just a bag of bones, basically there. Investigators hope the serial number on a surgical plate attached to the bones will speed up the identification process. Early indications are that the remains belong to an elderly woman who may have wandered away from a nearby nursing home around five years ago. The drugs probe into Sydney's Garden Island naval base has reportedly identified 17 sailors as alleged members of an importation ring.

The sailors under investigation are members of the Fleet Support Unit which maintains ships at the base. They have virtually unfettered security access to all ships at Garden Island. It's expected dozens of sailors will be interviewed over the drug ring which is thought to involve steroids, ecstasy, and possibly cocaine and heroin. A Malaysian national is behind bars charged over one of Australia's biggest ever drug hauls. Police stumbled across 90kg of ice during a routine search of a home in Sydney's west. The drug has an estimated street value of $14.4 million. Ice is extremely addictive and it has a raft of health issues associated with it but more importantly, it's extremely volatile to manufacture ice. The drugs were stashed inside four suitcases at an apartment near Campbelltown. With just two more sleeps until Christmas shopping centres across the country are expected to be jam-packed as shoppers pick up their last-minute gifts. Retailers nationwide are hoping the late rush will boost sales

which are significantly down on last year's figures. Many of the larger shopping centres will stay open for the next 24 hours to meet demand while the Sydney Fish Markets will stay open for 36 hours to keep up with the Christmas rush. Now for your first look at Thursday's weather. Coming up on 'Sunrise' at 6:00am - we'll get the very latest on Queensland's flood threat. But next on Seven Early News, extraordinary pictures as a home is washed away in Arizona. And, children orphaned during the Haiti earthquake begin a new life. The kids have talent, and with the Commonwealth Bank's help, they have the gear to prove it. Championship's on the line.

The final batsman stares down his English nemesis, then digs in for the biggest moment of his career. All kids deserve their dreams, and with the Commonwealth Bank's Grassroots grants, they can play like their heroes and create memories to last a lifetime. Be prepared and keep your legs perfectly smooth. Now with essential oils, new Veet Suprem'Essence Wax Strips - simply apply, remove and enjoy beautifully smooth results. Veet - what beauty feels like. A young boy orphaned by last week's asylum boat tragedy at Christmas Island is back in the arms of family members. The 8-year-old Iranian boy is 1 of 3 children who lost their parents when the boat went down. Two of the boy's aunts arrived on another boat six days after the tragedy. We were able to reunite them for the first time since the tragedy last week. There are 442 unaccompanied minors being held in Australia's detention centres. Wild weather is causing chaos and destruction in parts of the US state of Arizona with homes literally washed away by floodwaters. Luckily, there was no-one inside this home as it broke apart, slipped into a swollen river and was carried away. At least three other homes have been destroyed in western Nevada which has been hit hard by the flooding. Parts of the region have been evacuated with more rain on the way. The New Zealand military is adding to the belief

there is something out there releasing hundreds of reports detailing claims of alien encounters and UFO sightings.

The previously classified documents describe close encounters

from members of the public, military personnel and commercial pilots. Some of the accounts, which date back to 1954, include drawings of flying saucers and descriptions of what aliens look like. The Defence Force says it will not be commenting any further on the files. More than 300 children orphaned after the devastating Haiti earthquake nearly a year ago

have been adopted by French families just in time for Christmas.

The children were collected by their new mums and dads from Port-au-Prince. The happy parents have described the moment as a wonderful Christmas gift. On arrival into France, the families will be met by doctors and psychologists to help them go through the adoption process. Two Australian friends may have hit the Hollywood jackpot with their first novel set to become a new TV series. Their LA version of 'Sex and the City' has been snapped up by British producers before the book has even been published. Sall Grover and Emma Jensen could be Australia's answer to Carrie Bradshaw. MOVIE: What if everything isn't the man's fault? They've written a book about looking for love and following their dreams in Los Angeles. It's sort of 10 years before 'Sex and the City'. When you're just trying to work out what you want and celebrating dating. We're still getting our heads around it, to be honest. It really is the dream, I suppose. The book is expected to be published next year. But already, Working Title, the production company behind 'Notting Hill' and 'Billy Elliot', has bought the rights to make a television series. We've just celebrated everything with champagne. "We've finished a sentence, let's drink some champagne. "Working Title's optioned it - drink some champagne." So, who'll play them in the series? Every day I just keep whispering, "Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston." Working Title keep going, "I think you're delusional." While the friends seem to be well on their way to success here in Hollywood they're certainly not resting on their laurels. They're already working on a second book. While they love LA life, they do miss the comforts of home. Savoury Shapes, I crave them. I have one box left. I'm dying for more. Your first finance this Early News: The world-famous pedestrian crossing that featured on the cover of The Beatles 1969 'Abbey Road' album has been heritage listed. The crossing is fast becoming one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations and will now be protected by the government. It's a place where you can remember what the Beatles stood for, the whole peace and love and everything like that. It's believed to be the first time heritage listing has been given to a piece of road. Coming up on 'Sunrise' at 6:00am - the sports stars who saved the day after a boat trip went wrong. But next on Seven Early News, Peter Siddle steps up the Ashes war of words. And Perth pull off a major upset, in the A-League. These holidays, I have some questions for you. Would you rather: Would you prefer to: Too often I see the trauma when drivers get it wrong. Choose wisely. (ABORIGINAL SINGING) MAN: The Canning Stock Route is a white man road, but it's always been our country - blackfella country. This is our story

in art and new media. Yiwarra Kuju - the Canning Stock Route. Only at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra. Now showing. The stories we're following on the Early News - Queenslanders are being warned to prepare for one of the wettest Christmases in years

with predictions of heavy rain and widespread flooding. The teenage girl at the centre of AFL's nude photo scandal has threatened to release more damaging images when she returns to Melbourne today. And a home in the US state of Arizona has been washed down a flooded river as wild weather causes chaos and destruction. Now it's over to Mark Beretta with all the day's sport. Thanks, Nat. Good morning. Aussie speedster Peter Siddle has cranked up the heat on pace-bowling counterpart James Anderson ahead of the fourth Ashes Test starting on Boxing Day.

Anderson is battling a side injury in the lead-up to the all-important encounter but Siddle has told the Englishman to harden up daring him to play through the pain.

Just depends how tough the person

is, I guess, it's probably the

biggest thing with it all, if he's

tough enough to bowl through it he

does, if not he miss the game, we'll

have to wait and see. As the build-up to the MCG showdown escalates,

England is doing its best to tone down the war of words.

Things happen, you are playing for

that little urn, it's historic, it's

huge, but there is nothing that's

been overboard. Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting is expected to overcome a broken finger but will require painkilling injections to get through the match.

A grim weather forecast for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart is expected to bring red-hot line-honours favourite 'Wild Oats XI' back to the field. The supermaxi has assembled a world-class crew but forecast rough conditions mean it's unlikely 'Wild Oats XI' will be able to utilise its superior speed. It's a pretty tough forecast

Ahead of us and I think everyone's,

you know, preparing themselves for a

pretty tough trip so we'll see what happens. Skipper Mark Richards is aiming to be first to Hobart for the fifth time after being beaten by 'Alfa Romeo' last year. Greg Inglis has told Essendon coach James Hird

he's serious about switching to AFL if his proposed move to South Sydney doesn't eventuate. The disgruntled NRL star met with Hird in Melbourne yesterday and told the Bombers mentor he is genuinely intertested in crossing codes. Hird insists he's not prepared to sign Inglis solely as a publicity stunt.

Unless he can help us on the

football field we're not interested.

He's got to be a player who can help

us. Greg Inglis is an amazing

athlete, no doubt about that. There's speculation rugby's Melbourne Rebels are preparing to make a play for the 23-year-old. Perth Glory has hauled itself off the bottom of the A-League ladder with a 4-2 win over Adelaide United. Robbie Fowler bagged a second-half double for the home side. Perth provided an early Christmas present for their long-suffering fans with Chris Coyne opening the scoring in the sixth minute. Former Socceroo Mile Sterjovski celebrated his return to the starting side with a classy finish. COMMENTATOR: Mile Sterjovski! Just his second start in seven weeks. Puts the Glory back in front. At Bluetongue Stadium, a first-half header from Adam Kwasnik powered Central Coast to a 1-0 win over North Queensland. The win moves the Mariners into third on the ladder. Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are doing battle in the second match of their charity exhibition series. After losing the opening match of the series in Zurich yesterday Nadal looked determined to protect his home turf in Madrid. COMMENTATOR: Oh! What a shot.

The match is currently locked at 5-5 in the first set. All funds raised go to African children in need.

A great series and a great concept

too, more sport in Sunrise shortly. Next on Seven Early News - we'll take a closer look at how the weather's shaping up around the country. And, Santa embarks on his annual worldwide present drop. (UPBEAT EUROPEAN MUSIC) (CLAPPING AND CHEERING) WOMAN: When every moment counts, reach for Nurofen. It gives targeted relief for headaches by going straight to the source of pain. No wonder 9 out of 10 users would recommend Nurofen to relieve a headache. Now for a closer look at how the weather's shaping up around the country.

A trough will produce rain and widespread flooding over the Queensland coast in the coming days. A high in the Bight is providing fine and sunny weather for most of the country and hot nor-easterly winds to Western Australia. Around the capitals - He's made his list and he's checked it twice and now Santa is on his way around the world. Rudolph pulled Santa on his sleigh through the thick snow

as he left Lapland. Going high-tech this year, Santa's armed with a new mobile phone and his sleigh has been decked out with a GPS to ensure he will make it to everyone's house by Christmas morning. And that's Seven Early News for this Thursday. I'm Natalie Barr. Stand-by now for Sunrise

Stand-by now for Christmas, and Sunrise.