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Seven Early News -

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(generated from captions) another opinion poll setback This morning - as Julia Gillard draws up a new-look ministry. A truck driver fights for life after a fireball ripped through a Melbourne servo. And wild summer storms set to bring hail and floods to New South Wales. VOICEOVER: This is Seven Early News with Natalie Barr. Good morning. Julia Gillard is reportedly set to shake-up her cabinet today and announce a range of promotions and demotions for ministers. The Prime Minister's been accused of rewarding her supporters but it appears she has a lot more work to do when it comes to approval from voters. Julia Gillard missed out on a lazy Sunday afternoon, instead she spent yesterday phoning ministers to deliver the news, both good and bad, on her pre-Christmas reshuffle. The Prime Minister is interested in showing people that she's trying to renew the government, she's trying to keep it going. Despite ongoing leadership tensions it's understood Kevin Rudd will hold on to Foreign Affairs. Our Kevin will stay there. I think she's hoping he'll be spending as much time as possible overseas. But the Opposition Leader says if this was a serious reshuffle the former PM would be the first to go. Unless she addresses the Kevin Rudd poison at the heart of her government it will continue to be dysfunctional. On the Prime Minister's Christmas list for a promotion is one of the backbenchers who helped her secure the top job. Bill Shorten could pick up the workplace relations portfolio and a spot in Cabinet. While Special Minister of State Gary Gray could also win a promotion despite his objections. I'm very happy doing what I'm doing I'm not looking for a change I don't think I should be changed. Health Minister Nicola Roxon is tipped to replace Robert McClelland as Attorney-General. Others tipped to face demotion are Industry Minister Kim Carr and Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans. But the big question for the Prime Minister is whether reshuffling her cards will bring voters back on deck. She can make it look newer, she can't make it look either fresh or new but she can improve it. While Julia Gillard is working on a new and improved front bench, Tony Abbott has no plans to change his frontbench I think that's the team I'm going to take to the election. As Julia Gillard works on a new Cabinet the latest Nielsen poll has dealt the PM a setback. Ms Gillard's approval rating has fallen 4 points to 35%. Tony Abbott has also edged ahead as preferred prime minister on 46% compared to Julia Gillard's 42%. The Coalition has increased its lead in the 2-party vote up 2 points to 57% while Labor lags behind on 43%. The Opposition's also seen a 4-point jump in its primary vote to 49%. Labor's primary rating is again in dangerous territory, falling 1 point to 29%. New figures show riots by asylum seekers in detention have caused $20 million in damage to facilities. The bill stems from five riots at Christmas Island, Villawood and Darwin detention centres. A violent protest at Christmas Island in March resulted in more than $5 million damage which is double what the government had estimated. Insurance covers most of the repair costs but taxpayers will reportedly foot 10% of the bill. A driver is fighting for life in hospital after his fuel tanker exploded at a petrol station in Melbourne's east. Security video caught the moment the tanker burst into flames yesterday. Tens of thousands of litres of fuel ignited a fireball that burnt down the driveway of the neighbouring Stamford hotel. Up to 600 people had to be evacuated. We could see the fire, we could smell the smoke and feel the heat. Just crazy trying to get out there, you know, a lot of people were starting to panic we just had to leave cars and get out. The blaze was started by a lightening strike but authorities still don't know what caused the explosion. An inquiry has begun in Western Australia to find out how a control burn led to a bushfire that destroyed homes. Former Australian Federal Police boss Mick Keelty yesterday met locals in the region south of Perth. He promised to get to the bottom of the fire that destroyed 41 buildings in Margaret River and Prevelly last month. What were the risks on the day, how they were determined and how were decisions made. The inquiry will run for seven weeks. A new report is calling for a drastic overhaul of the New South Wales police force. It recommends an increased police presence in regional areas and the creation of a state commander role similar to a deputy commissioner. 22 sweeping reforms have been put forward in a new police resources audit which is aimed at getting police officers back on the beat. Nurses in Victoria are planning a series of protests across the state this week as part of their ongoing industrial dispute with the government. Nurses and midwives will rally outside hospitals in Warrnambool and Seymour today in a bid to improve staffing levels. In Melbourne, nurses will gather outside the Northern Hospital at Epping. The protests come after talks between the unions and the State Government failed. The Queensland public servant who's accused of fleeing with $16 million from Queensland Health remains on the run. Premier Anna Bligh claims Joel Barlow allegedly forged the signature of the Department's Deputy Director General to secure the money. Officers have seized $12 million of the criminal's assets including a $6 million apartment and a luxury car. So, we have, I think, a very good prospect of recovering close to and potentially all of the funds. Police believe Barlow is still in Queensland. Wild thunderstorms and hail are again set to hit New South Wales today. The weather bureau says hail and flash flooding is likely with almost a 100mm of rain forecast for Sydney and the Hunter region. Strong winds of up to 55km/h are expected to hit the coastline from Grafton, in the state's north, down to the Victorian border. Wild seas are also predicted with swells up to three metres. A man has been arrested following a possible brawl in Sydney overnight. Police responded to a report of up to five males fighting on a street in the city's inner-west. They arrived to find one man with a wound to the head. He was transported to hospital while police questioned others at the scene. Another man was detained and taken to a local police station for further questioning. Hollywood royalty George Clooney will address a global forum at Darling Harbour, in Sydney, today. The most eligible bachelor in the world arrived yesterday for the event where he will deliver a speech on his humanitarian work. Clooney is rumoured have been paid a $600,000 appearance fee. Despite this being his first major trip Down Under the star will spend just three days in Sydney. Now for your first look at today's weather around the capitals: Feels like summer, doesn't de? Coming up on Sunrise at 6:00am - Telstra to head to the Privacy Commissioner to explain its email security breach. But next on Seven Early News - a new world record in Sydney for the longest ever interview. And, a milestone reached for two Aussies on an epic trek. Frustrated when baked-on food isn't cleaned away? Finish Quantum uses unique three-chamber technology and cleansing microbeads to target even the toughest baked-on stains. It's only dishwashing, but you deserve a brilliant shine - every dish, every time. Quantum with targeted cleaning. Proudly voted dishwashing Product of the Year. At YOUi, we believe the more time we take to listen to you your insurance will be. And the more personalised your insurance is, the more you could save. For car and home insurance, call YOUi on: has talked his way into the history books, setting a new world record for the longest ever interview. The ABC host started the marathon interview with author Peter Fitzsimmons at 10:00 yesterday morning. He's hoping to continue the talk-fest until 10:00am today, making it the longest one-on-one interview ever recorded on radio or television. So far, the talkative duo have covered topics like homesickness, the United States and the Ballarat gold rush. The previous record of 12 hours and 30 seconds was set in Madrid in 2009. American volunteers have made a holiday tribute to fallen soldiers at one of the country's largest military cemeteries. Thousands of people came together in Arlington to lay wreaths at the graves of around 90,000 war veterans. Organisers hope to one day honour all 220,000 servicemen buried at the site. It means a lot to those who are serving to know, you know, that what they're doing is important enough that we're gonna remember. The annual tribute is now in its 20th year. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation into allegations of fraud in the country's recent elections. The President used Facebook to voice his disapproval of the protests and has asked the government to check reports of vote rigging. Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets in Moscow on Saturday demanding electoral reform. Russian Nationalists have staged their own rallies in support of the President and his party. Thousands of torches have lit up the night sky in Jakarta to claim two new Guinness world records. The crowd of almost 4,000 people smashed the records for the largest torch-lit parade and image. The group has previously taken out the world record for the largest launch of floating lanterns. Two young Aussie adventurers to the South Pole on a record-breaking trek are halfway to their destination. But that's only half the battle. the men have to turn around Once they reach the pole and walk back to the start. are 41 days into their trek James Castrission and Justin Jones to the very bottom of the world. from Hercules Inlet On Friday they passed halfway. They're hitting 25Ks each day, or 9 hours on the trail each day. they're doing about 8 hours the first to trek unaided The men are aiming to become to the pole and back again. from the edge of the continent but it's still tough going - It's summer in Antarctica and bad chaffing. sub-zero temperatures, fierce winds and poured chilli on it. Feels like someone sandpapered it It's so painful, I can't sleep. They're no strangers to adversity. to kayak across the Tasman. In 2007 they became the first In contrast they said was a walk in the park that crossing the Ditch in Antarctica. versus what they've encountered of polar exploration In the great tradition they also have a rival. 100 years ago, this week, As Amundsen beat Scott to the pole is out in front. Norwegian Aleksander Gamme isn't the priority, The record though, cancer campaign is. raising money to help the You Can charity and helping They've always been about and You Can is a great charity their weight behind. that they are fully putting James and Justin Anyone wishing to sponsor on our website can do so via a link Your first finance this Early News: Wall Street finished higher last week after European leaders agreed on tough new budget rules. by George, Clooney's in town. Coming up on 'Sunrise' at 6:00am - The latest on his visit Down Under. But next on Seven Early News, the second Test against the Kiwis. Australia closing in on victory in in the Premier League. And, a remarkable last-gasp comeback we take to listen to you, At YOUi, we believe the more time your insurance will be. your insurance is, And the more personalised the more you could save. call YOUi on 139684. For car and home insurance, to help families in need. has been working with Kmart under the Kmart Wishing Tree, By placing a gift to someone else's Christmas. you can make a difference on Christmas morning. The more gifts, the more smiles another setback in the opinion polls Julia Gillard has suffered her Cabinet. as she prepares to re-shuffle fall in the PM's approval rating The Nielsen survey shows a 4-point in the 2-party vote. while the Coalition has edged ahead on life support A truck driver remains after a tanker exploded into flames in Melbourne's east. at a petrol station was started by lightening. The blaze at Rowville yesterday for more wild weather today And New South is bracing to hit Sydney and the Hunter region. with large hailstones and heavy rain with all the day's sport. Now it's over to Mark Beretta Thanks, Nat. Good morning. Australia is 169 runs away the Test series against New Zealand. from completing a 2-0 clean sweep of in the second Test The Aussies will resume at 0/72 at Bellerive Oval today. from his maiden Test half-century David Warner is three runs away to reach 20 not out. while Phil Hughes rode his luck He dodged a bullet on zero referring a caught behind chance. when the visitors decided against Oh, glove. COMMENTATOR: at the umpire, No wonder he looked up of glove. a little bit for their immediate Test futures Warner and Hughes are both playing set to return with Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh against India. for the upcoming series in the race for Olympic gold Rival nations are upping the ante caught spying with European swimming coaches James Magnussen. on our world champion is unfazed by the extra attention Magnussen's coach, Brant Best, his star pupil focused. and is just trying to keep Stephanie Rice Meantime, triple Olympic champion will consult doctors today of her latest shoulder injury. to learn the extent You always worry. in the shoulder, She's got that little niggle you just have to push ahead. hopefully nothing major, be able to get into racing again. Hopefully right in a week's time and to pull out The injury forced 23-year-old Rice of the Queensland championships. will arrive Down Under World number one Luke Donald for this week's Australian Masters, fresh from making golf history. The Englishman's third-place finish overnight at the Dubai World Championship made him the first ever player money titles in the same year. to win the American and European I'm glad I came here and gave myself a chance to win. And it's just capped off an amazing year for me. won the tournament by two strokes Spaniard Alvaro Quiros for eagle at the final hole. after draining a monster putt for Olympic gold in London next year The Kookaburras are on track fourth Champions Trophy. after clinching a record in a hard-fought decider yesterday. The Aussies edged out Spain 1-0 it's put away by Eddie Ockenden. COMMENTATOR: And eventually A really clever touch. four straight Champions Trophies. They're the first team to win Martin O'Neill New Sunderland manager in his return to Premier League, has made an instant impact come-from-behind win over Blackburn. guiding his troops to a Rovers led until the 84th minute a long-range thunderbolt. when David Vaughan unleashed the escape act in stoppage time. Sunderland then completed have surely won it. COMMENTATOR: And Sunderland What a turnaround! he's going to start with a win. Martin O'Neill looks like took a huge hit Tottenham's top four hopes when they were beaten 2-1 by Stoke. were handed out A massive nine yellow cards at Skilled Park yesterday with Sydney FC. in Gold Coast's ugly 0-0 draw almost won it for Sydney A blistering drive from Nicky Carl in the dying minutes was equal to the task. but Gold Coast keeper Glen Moss on the A-League ladder. The result leaves Sydney in fourth just to make the wildcard play-off, She needed a wildcard now teenage tennis sensation Ashleigh Barty will tackle the world's best in her first ever grand slam. The 15-year-old took out yesterday's Australian Open wildcard play-off to book a spot at Melbourne Park. I really don't know. I'll probably just go out there and play some horrendous tennis and be nervous. But I'll go out there and have some fun. Barty is the world's number three ranked junior and is likely to be the youngest player at next month's Open. Champion Aussie jockey Craig Williams has gained some redemption for missing the ride on Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden through suspension. Williams piloted the French stayer to victory in yesterday's $1.8 million Hong Kong Vase. RACECALLER: Dunaden, Dunaden goes to Thumbs Up and Red Cadeaux and the Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden pulls away for Craig Williams. The horse Dunaden nosed out to win the Cup. Red Cadeaux dead-heated for third. That's all for now. Great to see Ash doing well in the tennis, off to the Australian dpn open. We met her this time last year on Sunrise. And I think her parents are going on holidays so no pressure. But next, the weather Out an about on a weekday morning? You can watch Sunrise live for free on your compatible Telstra Next G mobile. Click on the Sunrise logo and you are away. Sunrise, on your compatible Telstra next G mobile, the most convenient way to watch Australia's No.1 brekky show on the move. Now for a closer look at how the weather's shaping up around the country. Not a lot of sunshine around. And that's Seven Early News for this Monday, December 12. I'm Natalie Barr. Stand-by now for 'Sunrise'. Supertext captions by Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au