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National Nine News -

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(generated from captions) $100,000. A sharp one, this one.

"In your face!" You can ring Hamish and go, Yeah. once I get my phone back. First thing We'll see you tomorrow. Beat that kid brother. Well done. to the crosses on the radio We're looking forward with the boys. across the country as well tomorrow with our new champ We'll see you at the same time Silver Logie. and you, our little lovely

Goodnight. Same time. We'll tempt you again. Red Bee Media Australia Supertext Captions by

This program is captioned live.

Another bushfire breaks out - high-tech weapon to fight them. as we get to see the latest fleeing the Fiji floods - Australians back from holiday hell, but others are still going.

They don't recommend you don't go, either, it's your decision. but they don't suggest you go by even higher ATM fees. How you could be stung double after 6pm at night. You could see fees potentially And it's just not cricket -

to target cricketers. now lasers are being used Good evening. the high 30s again today, With temperatures hitting before another bushfire broke out. it was only a matter of time That's exactly what happened, at Kurrajong in the Blue Mountains. with a blaze now burning

from Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons Shortly we'll get the latest at Rural Fire headquarters,

who is at East Killara, but first to Denham Hitchcock where the fire there still burns. about how it started? Denham, there's already suspicion

There were no lightning strikes he

yesterday and displaces not overrun

with fire trier -- fire trousers so

It the most likely cause is our son.

It came on a date when the fire service unveiled its latest weapon. and water-bombing helicopters, We've already got aircranes

now this - to the fire service squadron, the newest addition a thermal imaging camera. a chopper with the latest toy, from the bushfire at East Killara, Today it sent back live pictures how we normally see it, with the thermal imaging turned on. and now It will, I believe, we can do firefighting greatly, greatly transform the way

in the future. Without the smoke screen, and water bombed. the hot spots can be identified You can be 150km away

on the ground and be filming the fire and we can see the light imagery. In soaring temperatures,

from the air and the ground. the fire was carefully handled today into the Davidson side. We can't afford to lose and more back-burning. Careful plans, mopping up, the mostly likely cause was arson. Firefighters and residents aware in our neighbourhood, We would hope that nobody would be doing that.

is a little bit kinder than that. I hope human nature Minister won't be. Because the Emergency Services

because effectively, It's basically attempted murder, in their houses and lose their life. people could be trapped was responsible for a fire A dumped and burning car at Kurrajong Heights,

was caused by a sparking substation. and another at Windsor And amidst all this, we're being told to stay inside. because of air pollution,

are to stay indoors The warnings today your level of physical exercise. and be careful about

are out of breath. No wonder our firefighters They

They expect a fight to be by

midnight although there will be

patrols tomorrow's. We now go to

the rural fire Commissioner Shane

Fitzsimmons. What is the situation

at Kurrajong, is there any threat

to property? Fortunately the fire

at Kurrajong is in remote country

and is not threatening property at

this stage. There are about 70

firefighters working a cross that

fire in some difficult terrain and

the focus is to get containment of

the fire ahead of the hot dry conditions predict again for

tomorrow. The temperatures are

expected to be in the high 30s or

even 40s, are you expecting the

worst? What we will see tomorrow is

a repeat of today, there will be a

There will slight increase in temperatures.

There will also be a shift in the

wind direction and in wind strength.

The other challenges that in the afternoon prayers the frontal

activity moves up the coast, we can

expect his erratic strong Windsor

was that change. It will be a real

challenge for fire behaviour and

the firefighters themselves, so

that is a focus for tomorrow.

To other news now travelling to Fiji tonight - and Australians are advised against

of Foreign Affairs, not by the Department who have just flown back. but by other Aussies their holidays into absolute hell, The ongoing floods turned

or the threat of a cyclone, but not even that, from heading off today. could convince others A hug from dad and mum, her sister Jess, along with a friend, and 16-year-old Grace Swain and relieved to finally be safe. Yeah, it's good to be home.

hopes up, kept each other laughing. The three of us kept each other's These are the lucky ones - at the airport for several days - despite being stranded they got out. The locals are trapped. people have copped it, It's pretty devastating for them, have copped it big time. people who live in the villages family on their long-awaited break. This is what greeted the Hackney This is the start of our holiday. the dangerous drive to the airport. They eventually decided to brave

The roads were submerged, in the fierce storms. some washed away tens of thousands are homeless. So far, eight people have died - are extremely low. Food and fresh water supplies flooding and gale force winds, Despite the threat of more severe hasn't issued a travel warning the Department of Foreign Affairs of unsuspecting Australians and plane loads

are still flying into Fiji. getting some sensible information, It has been very hard we're staying on, and when we rang the island they said, "Sure we're open." decided to risk it and go. In the end, this Adelaide family wasn't about to chance it. Tom Friedle my family into such uncertainty. It is just not worth taking

it was no place for children, And despite being told this mother was keen to continue.

They don't recommend you don't go, but they don't suggest you go either, it's your decision. Allison Langdon, Nine News. A murder in the quiet suburb of North Ryde has left police puzzled. A father of two had simply been renovating his home when he was found covered in blood in a bathroom. Carried out of the home that he bought only recently,

dead at 28, found bleeding by his father in a bathroom.

There's evidence of foul play and police are looking at the matter as being suspicious.

The home was being renovated by the Chinese father of two, his family yet to move in. Last night, they were just doing the last few things, finishing the painting, finishing the carpets, on the floorboards.

The man's current address, just a short distance away, cordoned off by police.

Officers searched the area between the two homes for a weapon. Seven people, including relatives at the home last night, were held for questioning. Today, one returned with police. All have since been released. The community stunned by such a mysterious death. It was very scary and shocking. This is a very quiet neighbourhood. It's pretty family-oriented area. Never heard any troubles around here before.

Police are still unable to confirm exactly how the victim died, but say that will become clearer

when a post-mortem examination is carried out. Chris Urquhart for Nine News. They say a bit of competition is a good thing, but that might not be the case for a plan involving ATMs. From March, the cap on fees will be removed. The hope is that operators will compete with each other to drive down prices.

The reality is, they can charge whatever they like. Rightly or wrongly, most of us are deeply suspicious about just what could happen to ATM fees. I don't that's right.

I don't think it's very fair, 'cause the banks make enough money as it is. Which may be a bit tough on the banks.

They own less than half of all ATMs and say there are no plans to impose any fees on customers using their own bank's machines.

Most cash machines - more than 13,000 of them - are independently owned. And, in theory, their $2 fee should come down from March. It could go down to 80 cents. That's what the competition and transparency of the new system delivers so that is a definite plus. But deregulation could still prove painful. You could see fees potentially double after 6pm at night. Tim Wildash is Australia's biggest independent ATM operator.

And while he agrees that the new flexible system would allow increases at night and on public holidays, he says he won't be doing it. Our machines are $2 today and we are going to be charging $2 in the future. Speaking very personally,

a hefty increase in charges for using these things

wouldn't be all that bad - at least it might make me think twice before swiping that card.

Peter Harvey, Nine News. Thousands of Sydney drivers have disappeared from the Harbour Bridge and suddenly popped up on Victoria Road - dodging the new cashless toll system, but further clogging one of the city's busiest roads. Reporter Lauren Harte joins us from Gladesville with the details. Peter, the RTA says an extra 2,000 cars used Victoria Road on Monday

for their run into the city. It is seen by some as a protest by drivers who are deliberately avoiding the now cashless Harbour Bridge. It already has the unenviable reputation as the State's slowest road. And now Victoria Road could get even slower. Things are tough, so people are trying to avoid paying for the tolls, I guess. I'm going to avoid it because sometimes I go over the Bridge,

so I'll probably come this way, too. And it's tipped to get worse later this month, when more people return to work after holidays and the peak period congestion tax kicks in on the Harbour Bridge in two weeks time. We could well see thousands more cars using Victoria Road and the Gladesville Bridge. It will be like a car park unless something's done now. But the Government says it's too early to link cashless tolling to increased congestion,

pointing out that traffic on Victoria Road yesterday dropped back to normal levels. Experience in previous changes is that there is some fluctuations

in day-to-day basis, in the short term but then it settles down to more normal travel patterns. Peter, we'll find out on the 27th of this month whether the Transport Minister is right.

That's when everyone's back at work and the extra tolls are introduced on the Harbour Bridge. It's the blind spot in the eye that can so easily become a black spot on the road. Now, in a new campaign, older drivers are being urged to get themselves checked for the disease macular degeneration that can seriously cut their vision. Jean Morton was diagnosed with macular degeneration 16 years ago. She is now unable to easily recognise her five grandchildren.

I have no central vision - I don't see faces, I don't see my hands or feet - so it's very hard to cook. Also unable to drive, she is totally reliant on husband Des. It has restricted, quite a bit, my activities.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia. But many are unaware they have it, or ignore the symptoms.

Blotches in front of your eyes, distortion, suddenly not being able to see faces clearly. Now the Government is urging people to get their eyes checked by an optometrist when they renew their licence. The RTA is putting a flyer into all licence renewals in NSW on behalf of the Macular Degeneration Foundation. Macular degeneration causes damage to the centre of the retina.

While you never go completely blind, your sight can be severely impaired. One-in-seven people over the age of 50 is affected by the disease, but early detection is crucial. If it's treated early, there is the potential to save sight. You should have regular check-ups as you're getting older. Jodie Noyce, Nine News. Cricket Australia has apologised to the South African team

after a laser pointer was flashed at player Wayne Parnell during Australia's Twenty20 victory at the Gabba last night. The laser could clearly be seen targeting Parnell as he tried to catch Mike Hussey in the outfield. But the Proteas didn't lodge a complaint.

From our point of view, it's just not cricket. It's completely unacceptable. And if we find people doing this sort of thing, we will react to the maximum extent that we can.

Even though a complaint wasn't made, Queensland police have now begun an investigation. In the news ahead - George W. Bush's parting gift to our former prime minister, John Howard. Then fasten your seat belts for a car which really takes off.

Doug, she's getting worse. We really should find a doctor. (PANTS) For the answers you seek, 1234 gives Telstra customers information from Yellow, Whereis and more. and how to get there. Eugh! What? Ah! I've got the plague! Ow! I don't want to die! It's getting dark!

(PANTS) That's nice. Keep doing that. Oh, oh, oh. (CARNIVAL MUSIC PLAYS)

Ajay Rochester, the host of the TV show 'Biggest Loser', got the biggest relief today - managing to escape a conviction for welfare fraud. I'm just so happy to put it behind me and move on with my life

and go home and be with my boy. She pleaded guilty to receiving $14,000 in single parent payments, despite knowing she wasn't eligible. The 39 year old, who has an autistic child, repaid all the money and today was given a 12-month good behaviour bond. John Howard might not be the flavour of the month with Barack Obama, after pinching his bed, but he's still a great guy -

a man of steel in the eyes of George W. Bush. Mr Howard has been to the White House to receive one of America's highest honours. It was a reunion of the so-called 'Coalition of the Willing'. President George Bush thanking his two most loyal allies in the Iraq conflict - former British PM Tony Blair and our former leader John Howard - with the highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

And with a pat on the back - the praise flowed. He can make a decision, he can defend it and he stands his ground. That's why I call him a man of steel.

The outgoing president,

remembering Mr Howard's compassion for the victims of the Bali bombings and his political comeback after a crushing defeat in the 1980s. A comeback he said would be like Lazarus with a triple by-pass,

the man's got an unusual way of speaking.

I certainly appreciated it and I felt honoured and I felt touched.

As for that overnight stay at the official White House guest residence, which left President-elect Barack Obama and his family forced to check into a nearby hotel: It was very comfortable.

Robert Penfold, Nine News. Israel's air and ground assaults are moving deeper into Palestinian territory. Jets pounded more than 60 targets in an 18th day of attacks. Meanwhile, tank shellings in the northern Gaza Strip injured dozens of civilians, many of them children. Israel says the war is far from over.

TRANSLATION: The soldiers are doing exceptional work.

We have caused lots of damage to Hamas, to Hamas's reign and its armed branch. Almost 1,000 Palestinians have been killed.

American authorities have caught a fugitive businessman who faked his own death in a plane crash to escape financial fraud charges. Marcus Schrenker made a bogus emergency call before he switched the plane to autopilot and safely parachuted to the ground.

The 38 year old was seen on security camera soon after, leaving a Florida hotel. He was on the run for two days before he was arrested by police. And two British adventurers are about to fly - that's right, fly - this bio-fuelled car all the way to Africa. The modified buggy uses a fan and paraglider wing to keep it up in the air. It flies at a top speed of about 70mph and drives on the road at about 120mph.

So it's a pretty quick, fun kind of buggy to drive around in. The world's first trip is expected to take six weeks. Andrew Voss with sport is next - and still no decision on Michael Clarke's fitness? Peter, he's hoping to play in the one-dayers but there is concern over his thumb injury. And Australia to into that series with plenty of confidence - but what a catch by South Africa's J-P Duminy in last night's Twenty20.

Plus - Rodger Federer on course for the Australian Open.

(SWEEPING MUSIC PLAYS) (PIANO PLAYS) ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow, your energy will be kinder to the environment.

will be more efficient. Tomorrow, your energy and your water supply

will be even more secure. And that's just tomorrow. The day after that will be even better, because every day at ActewAGL, we're working hard to make your world a better place to live in. ActewAGL:

Australia's selectors are giving Michael Clarke all the time he needs to get over a thumb injury, but he remains just a 50-50 chance of playing in the one-dayers

which start on Friday. Last night, the Aussies comfortably wrapped up the Twenty20 series against South Africa,

winning game two at the Gabba by six wickets. On a clear and still Brisbane night, South Africa searched for its first win in the Twenty20 series.

COMMENTATOR: That could well be six and it is! Amla tried to get things going, but went down slugging for 26. And J-P Duminy was the only other batsman to take up the fight.

Well, that surely is a sixer - yep, maximum for Duminy. Once again, Duminy was in a class above his team-mates. His power-hitting kept the tourists in the contest. Get out of the way of this one. Duminy's 69 off 41 was the mainstay of South Africa's total. As promised, the retiring Matthew Hayden did a lap of honour,

and he was already thinking about tomorrow. Mate, I reckon I'm missing one thing, though - and that's a boat on the back of this Mustang. Chasing 158 for victory, the Aussies quickly jumped on board. Oh, a beautiful shot. They weren't all classics - Warner went for 7, but Duminy's effort to dismiss David Hussey will go down in the books.

Ohhh! He's caught it, he's caught it! In the end, Cameron White and Michael Hussey guided the Aussies to their 6-wicket win. The laser incident, involving the tourists Wayne Parnell, was the low point of the game. Clinton Fletcher, Nine News. Lleyton Hewitt played his best tennis since returning from injury at the Sydney International today.

Australian Open finalists Novak Djokovic and Jo Wilfred Tsonga were also comfortable winners in round two, while Hewitt beat a quality opponent in Janko Tipsarevic. Plenty of Serb fans in Lleyton Hewitt's home town...

..and Janko Tipsarevic had them screaming. Tipsarevic was troubled by a blister and when the dressing came off, he made a ball girl play nurse. Eventually, a professional had to be called in.

But Hewitt gave him something else to think about, and got his own fans going. COMMENTATOR: There's an Aussie. Tipsarevic took it out on a racquet, while Hewitt went from strength to strength. Solid tennis from Lleyton. It was a straight-sets result but by no means an easy victory, and Hewitt needed to be at his best.

Obviously every match gets tougher, so it's a good chance to go out there, and you know, great preparation for the Aussie Open next week. In Melbourne there weren't too many missteps from the master... Roger Federer put the classic into Kooyong. Oh, if you don't mind! How sweet was that. Veteran Carlos Moya has never beaten Federer, and it's highly unlikely he ever will. Oh too good. Gee-whizz.

It was a nice way for the world number two to ease into the Aussie summer and much tougher matches are ahead. It's going to only get better, the more hours I get on these courts. Bence Hamerli, Nine News. And finally, swimming sensation Michael Phelps has denied reports he is set to retire. Back in the pool for the first time since winning eight gold medals at the Bejing Olympics, Phelps admits he has thought about giving it all away.

There are times when I'll wake up and say to myself, "I don't want to do this anymore," but there are so many goals and times that I want to hit. Phelps says only then

will he seriously consider hanging up the towel. In finance - the share market rallied in late trade:

After the break- Mike Bailey will tell us more about Sydney's heatwave and the rest of the weather. Coming up on WIN News... Police and S-E-S volunteers

scour farmland for signs of a missing South Coast grandmother.And.. Will a closed Ca school become a child care centre? Join me for all the details

SONG: # Sometimes you gotta keep it real # You gotta keep it real # Oh, maybe it's just another thing # And you need to step off

# And hang loose for a mo # Maybe it's just another thing # And I found me a space # It's a place you gotta know # Sometimes you know you gotta go # Sometimes you gotta keep it real # Sometimes you know you gotta go # Sometimes you know you gotta go # Oporto. # Around a third of the water we use inside our homes is in the shower, so if we all used water-saving shower heads

and limited our showers to 4 minutes or less, think how much water we'd save! Shorter showers: Now here's Mike with the weather - and when can we expect some relief from the heat? Peter, late tomorrow afternoon is the best bet. And there could be a thundery shower with it. There has been some rain off the coast today,

but none registered at official land stations that could really use it as fire danger levels rise - with more fire bans across the inland tomorrow. Temperatures are telling something of a tale of two cities - sea breezes kept Sydney's range from 21-29 degrees, just 3 above average, while the west hit 40 and Ivanhoe in the southern inland reached 45. Another day of hot, northerly winds is tipped for tomorrow

ahead of the change. One hit Melbourne this morning, making for reasonably pleasant conditions after temperatures had been hovering around 30 at midnight. The monsoon trough in the north is showing signs of strengthening, so more rain is expected about the Top End. And there will be isolated showers and thunderstorms near the change in NSW.

They are also ahead for Canberra.

A shower or two for Hobart and more gusty storms in Darwin. Hot and sunny at first in Sydney tomorrow, then cloud increasing with the chance of late showers or storms near the change. There is a strong wind warning for coastal waters. Sea breezes should give the city a range of 22-33 degrees, but parts of the west will be up to 40.

Milder for Friday with a shower or two, but the showers should clear on Saturday, Peter. And that's Nine News for this Wednesday 14 January. I'm Peter Overton, goodnight. Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia

Tonight ... Authorities comb land on the South Coast in the search for a missing grandmother,

Police launch a taskforce to catch a violent gang in Canberra's south. And, the Flynn community's push for a childcare centre in its shutdown school. Good evening, Police and S-E-S volunteers have started scouring land south of Bombala in the search for a fifty-three year old South Coast grandmother, who' s been missing since Christmas Eve.