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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) Goodnight. Thanks for your company. Email - Captioned by Seven Network

I'm Naomi Robson. Hello and welcome to Today Tonight. I'm Naomi Robson.

who wants everything now, Tonight, the generation so-called interest-free offers, and how they've been trapped by of dollars in debt. leaving them up tens of thousands that they don't have Encourages people to spend money that can least afford it. and appeals to those Australia's best husband. Also tonight, we announce to make his wife feel like a queen. Wait until you see what he does I vacuum, I dust, I clean dishes, I mop the floors, and clean the light shades. I take down light shades Plus, diamonds galore.

as man-made diamonds hit the market. The panic starts to set in opposite sides of the country And two incredible rescues on to save more than 100 beached whales and a rare polar bear at Sea World. our big retailers have set - But first, the trap

buy-now-pay-later offers interest-free are falling into them. and how so many unsuspecting people Myer and David Jones set by the likes of Harvey Norman are following the lead to shore up slowing sales. But as you'll see, of people who want everything now. they're preying on a new generation And, as Sophie Hull reports, a lot more than they bargained for. in a lot of cases they're getting It's in your human nature - Fix us up later." If you say, "Do you want a couch? to take free stuff. Absolutely, it's in human nature Absolutely, it's in human nature

how many people don't make it. You've got to wonder out of these deals If they weren't making money then they wouldn't be offering them. Consumption today consists of to buy goods they don't want people spending money they don't own to impress people they don't like. of your credit card? REPORTER: What is the state REPORTER: What is the state

Um, dire. But I'm optimistic. with a deal like that? How can you lose pay us in four years. Take it home today - The sales have come early this year credit galore. and there is interest-free But what is the real price until 2009? of a purchase you won't pay for My credit is shot to pieces now, for a long time, so they won't give me anything which is probably a good thing.

too good to refuse. Tanya found the credit-free offers $30,000 on credit cards, Before she knew it, she'd racked up and buy-now pay-later deals. store cards They've expired, on the outstanding debt. leaving her to pay 29% interest

a smart financial thing to do It seemed like just for using it. because you get a discount I was using credit cards anyway. so my washing machine broke down, I use that for the big items, I wanted the video camera - just seemed easy. the buy-now pay-later thing just to get out of crippling debt. Tanya's now looking for a second job

With a slump in retail spending, interest-free deals the big stores are using and even giveaways...

The winter clearance sees Myer

offered a $500,000 house, David

Jones a $16,000 holiday. But do

shoppers really need the

cards are straining? encouragement, when our credit

I think it's really nasty. considerably in debt because of it - I've got a few friends who are and then 26% interest after that. two years interest free tap into people's desperation. Promotions like that People think that will change their life that this is going to be the thing more debt. but actually it's going to give them the Credit Consumer Legal Centre. Karen Cox is from

It's almost like they're doing us a favour, isn't it? not doing you a favour, The shop is certainly it's clearly trying to move goods

is usually not advancing the money - and, in fact, the shop itself the shop is paid. people are entering into a loan. This is a finance contract,

Mous credit cards charge at least

25% interest, and there's no

honeymoon period. Experts say it's

another way of fooling us into

thinking we have money to spend. It

encourages people to spend money

they calls it aspirational consumerism - Financial advisor Andrew Heaven than we actually are. we all want to appear richer Someone tells you a plasma screen or a European car you should be able to afford just are not in the door but the dollars on the never-never and you are buying

in the hope that in four years' time to pay for it. the money will be there in four years time? Do you think you'll be better off With a higher income, yeah. Yeah, definitely.

We've lost perspective. The little

Aussie battler has turned into the

great Australian whingeer. The

trend of wanting more and spending

money that isn't there is making us

ill. "affluenza", Researchers are calling it by a desire to seem well off. all the flu-like symptoms brought on a book on the subject - Clive Hamilton has co-authored of modern Australia. and it's not a pretty snapshot

For more aultsens, going out and

buying stuff, shocking. Retail

therapy is the reason for living -

entertainment system, it's what

they look forward to. At some stage,

people will wake up to themselves

and realise there's no dollars to

continue to pay for this.

by a "buy now, pay later" scheme So have you ever been trapped

or a huge interest rate?

your stories. If so, we'd like to hear you're about to meet Now, the 81-year-old is Australia's oldest shoplifter. with the grandmother Karryn Cooper caught up who has a penchant for pinching. REPORTER: Adelaide! why you've been stealing? Hi. Can I just ask you of stealing, haven't you? You've got a long history is a spritely 81 years of age Adelaide Smith and a convicted thief. a little bit old to be stealing? Don't you think you're make any difference to us. She's the oldest, but it doesn't A thief is a thief. And she's been caught out.

two bottles of Scotch in her handbag Watch as Adelaide puts not one but so as not to arouse suspicion, then, casually, before leaving the store. reads the specials board

there's no walking stick. Take notice, Today in court to answer charges of stealing from the Mr Cork's Liquor Barn in Brisbane, Adelaide appeared frail and unwell, fronting up with a walking stick. But on every occasion she was captured on surveillance camera, there was no sign of it. Here she is again... same bottle shop - one bottle of Scotch, then, brazen as you like, another, and out. Our manager walked outside and asked her to come back in. She kept walking, and kept walking, kept walking,

and she hopped on a bus. Our manager hopped on a bus, followed her, rang the police on his mobile.

Trevor Perrin from Mr Cork's says they installed the cameras when they noticed the same item was regularly coming up short on stocktake - about $350 of missing whisky. Up to 12 to 14 bottles over a six-week period, that's what our discrepancies were showing.

While she wasn't talking outside the court, Adelaide told the judge she wasn't an alcoholic or even drinking it herself. Can you tell me why you did it?

Because if it wasn't for you, was it? One was a birthday gift? Adelaide, who lives in this nice home in Brisbane's west, says but was obsessive compulsive. she could afford to buy the Scotch but was obsessive compulsive. The court also heard she had a criminal history and has stolen before. You'd probably have to be

You'd probably have to be one of Australia's oldest thieves. Would that be fair? Who would have suspected an 81-year-old? But that just is testimony to the fact that you can't put a stereotypical view around - "This is a shoplifter." Schoolkids, middle-aged people, elderly people... ..there is no one profile

that does fits what is your typical store thief. Brett Parker from the Retailers Association of Queensland says store owners are being forced to resort to a number of security measures to combat theft. Around $1.5 billion a year is stolen from stores around the country and it's ultimately the customer who ends up footing the bill. It's on the increase and it does have a large impact on retailers. she was fined $100 for her theft As for Adelaide, she was fined $100 for her theft and ordered to pay back the cost of the Scotch

she was caught on camera stealing. We just like to see the police prosecute them and hopefully they won't do it again.. Are you going to do it again? Now to an incredible rescue effort by hundreds of volunteers to save a pod of beached whales south of Perth. And a short time ago,

I spoke to one of the volunteers, for the latest.

Terry, thank you so much for

joining us. It's obviously a race

against time. How has it been going

today? It's been an amazing

community effort down here, one of

those things you see and it brings

warmth to your heart. How many

whales have you saved? 80 beached

themselves, 60 in the main pod and

20 down the beach. They've all been

saved. You filmed thiz vision. It

must have been an emotional day for

you? It was. I was at Sharan Burrow

The primary school, and I thought

it was a great opportunity to film

it for the kids. Part of a pod

broke away and headed towards the

beach and you could see them

driving themselves on to the beach.

People were saying why, they

couldn't understand why the whales

did it. It must be so frustrating

for you to be trying to help them

when they're hurting themselves?

They don't seem like big creatures,

but the minimum weight was about a

ton. The volunteers couldn't do anything because they kept rocking

on to the beach, flipping around

trying to roll themselves on to the

beach. They had to wait till the

conservation people came down to

organise them all. Congratulations. Now to a remarkable surgery success story,

not in one of our top hospitals, but at Sea World on the Gold Coast, where staff have helped rescue one of only a handful of polar bears in captivity here in Australia.

If you're all set up in the back there, do you want to let him out and we'll see how he goes? 18-month-old Hudson is home for the first time in 90 days. BOUNCY PIANO MUSIC He's been quarantined with a broken leg and separated from his brother Nelson. We don't know exactly how he broke his leg so, of course, we look at the exhibit and we think, "Could he have done it there? Could he have done here?" So, yes, it makes me really nervous when he comes out on the exhibit and you think, "Don't play up there" or "Don't play like that". It's the first time in Australia a polar bear has broken his leg. And it's also the first time vet Richard Eaton-Wells

has performed surgery to repair broken bones on an animal as big and heavy as the 200kg Hudson. The interesting thing about this one was we did a 200kg polar bear on the Sunday and a 3kg Chihuahua with exactly the same fracture on Monday. Only a little bit of difference to the procedure. This remarkable operation took Richard

and his six-person team of the country's top animal specialists

four hours to repair the break in Hudson's front leg. You can see both bones are severely broken. In the post-op film, we've applied a plate to both bones and multiple screws. REPORTER: How many screws are in there? There's 23 or 24, I think. That's a lot of screws. It is a lot of screws. I don't think he'll get through airport security. With two steel plates in his front leg it's vital Hudson's recovery is closely monitored so that his leg has a chance to heal properly and that means being quarantined from all the other bears in the Seaworld exhibit. It's really been really hard on the staff. Zoo-keeper Kerry Haynes-Lovell is like a nervous mum. Nicknamed "Mama Bear", she's the only mum young Hudson has known. His real mother was killed when he was just five months old, and together with his brother, Nelson, these Canadian polar bears were adopted by Seaworld on the Gold Coast. They flew to us here when they were about 11 months old in November

and they've been at the exhibit ever since. Now given a clean bill of health, Hudson is slowly being integrated back into the exhibit. And he's finally being reunited for short periods every day with his favourite furry friend, his brother, Nelson. His leg's healed really well so I guess we've just got to let him be a boy again. Michelle Tapper reporting there. Coming up later in the program, Aussie couples rush to have their diamonds tested breed of gem has hit the market. following revelations that a new Australia's best husband revealed - And after the break, you'll meet the winner.

QUIRKY FAST-PACED MUSIC and do all those good things. He likes to cook and clean QUIRKY MUSIC CONTINUES My favourite chore is vacuuming.

and I got him. They broke the mould, I think, It's Franklins' birthday! And you can save big and win big ith our Birthday Cash Jackpot. with our Birthday Cash Jackpot.

in prizes. There's a total of $150,000 Every $20 spent gets you an entry form. Plus, you'll save big - soft drink varieties, $1.65. like two litre Coca-Cola 750g Sanitarium Weet-Bix, $1.97. Jackpot. With Franklins' Birthday Cash Australia's laziest husband, Now, when we went looking for we were inundated with emails and calls from our viewers. Surprisingly though, most of you wanted to tell us about the good qualities of your husbands, those men who were prepared to do just about anything for their wives and partners. And tonight, Chris Simond and our panel of celebrity judges come face to face with Australia's best husband. I have the best husband anywhere. I wouldn't swap him for the world, I really wouldn't. (laughs) Did we tell you she was blind? It's a stress release for me.

and if I've I've had a rough day, I come home from work, or whatever I'll just grab the Spray and Wipe and go and clean the house. in Australia. He's definitely the best husband and it's always good to help You have got a partner and share the load. It makes life a lot easier. How long has this been going on? From the word go. 30 years? 30 years. Yeah. all the time. He just finds something to do is vacuuming. Yeah, my favourite chore I can't see the TV! Sharon, the kids are fighting. dobbed in their couch potatoes While thousands of wives Laziest Husband in Australia, for the title we were also deluged with mail nominating fellas who did more than their fair share when it came to domestic duties. Some of them were saints. Some were a bit of a worry. Are you looking for a husband here, Cornelia? Yes, but they're all married! Not for long, by the sound of some of them. The task of sorting the angels from the oddballs was sharing by TV personality, The Weakest Link's Cornelia... Goodbye. Tipple M's breakfast show, The Cage. ..Francis, and Brigitte Duclos from to four finalists. They reduced a mountain of mail Australia's Best Husband is... And the winner of after we've reviewed the field. be announced in a moment, First up, Dennis and Ena Arndt. I clean benches. Cooking, shopping.

I clean dishes. Washing, ironing. Mop the floors. You name it, he does it. I vacuum. you don't have to ask him to do it. And what's the best thing about it - Yeah, I am a neat freak. A neat freak? around the house, Dennis is happy to do anything only minutes before - even the same things Ena did polishing furniture, a favourite pastime. then polishing it again seems to be

But it does have its consequences. pulled out a chair, A girlfriend came over, walked in, went to sit down and sort off slipped right off.

You're a partnership. When you take

your vows, it's a partnership.

How about get a life? Doesn't he

get under your feet a bit? When is too much help around the house too much? I've got the best husband in Australia. Anything he doesn't do that you do? Dust. That's my job.

Robert has been her guardian angel Sherryl MacLucas reckons husband for the past 30 years, and now three grandchildren helping to raise four boys at an aluminium plant. on top of working a 12-hour shift for household chores, He still finds time a little testy... and just to make things to my legs and arms now... I have nerve damage ..because of the operation. left Sherryl somewhat incapacitated Back surgery over 10 years ago

but even before that, hands-on dad and domestic whiz. she says Robert was a fully when he was born and I got him. They broke the mould, I think, pitched in He's always been fantastic, anywhere they wanted to go. and helped run the kids are about to celebrate Sony and Tony and Suzanne Girdler their 29th wedding anniversary. who we're very proud of. She's given me two great daughters She's worked very hard all through her life but she needs to be looked after now so I'm quite happy to look after her. Even before Suzanne was diagnosed last year with a form of motor neurone disease, she says he always took on the lion's share of the domestic duties. He's never complained, not one word, and Lord knows he's got reason. get enthusiastic Tony, very few blokes about washing, cleaning, ironing. What's the secret? I don't do this voluntarily. You realise

She carries a big stick. as she feels awful about herself, In the last 12 months or so as she used to, doesn't feel as strong her husband is so beautiful and she said says, "You haven't changed a bit." because he looks her in the eye and I think that's a beautiful husband. and that's that." "You're the girl I married If I came home and there was a mess, straightaway. I'd start cleaning it up I'd start cleaning it up

He's going to do it for me?" Half the time I think, "Why do it? to win best husband. I'd feel ecstatic Kirsty Clarke says around their place husband Jamie does most of the jobs before she even asks. he does outside, he does the mowing. He does the bathrooms, the toilets, I've been told I'm meticulous. I've been told I'm meticulous. I'm a perfectionist about what I do. I think you might be, Jamie - especially when friends come round to dinner, I gather. He's too busy cleaning up after dinner and making everything spotless. Sometimes they can be ready to go when he's ready to sit down. put you in the best category. That to me is obsessive and doesn't when Kristy emailed his nomination. He was even cleaning the house (laughs) Some husbands out there will swallow them up right now may be hoping their lounge chairs that knowing look as wives shoot them around the house. about all those unfinished jobs we'll announce the winner. So quickly moving along, Australia's best husband is... And the winner of Tony Girdler from New South Wales. The best husband in Australia. It's official now. I feel like a bit of a fraud! a shopping spree on us And we would like you to have at a department store and go spoil yourselves rotten. We need a new bed.

You deserve that. You need a lawn mower. Thank you. Thank you very much. Chris Simond with that report, and the producer was Romy Page. Coming up, the big rush by couples to test their diamond rings following our story on a new, much cheaper, breed of diamond hitting the market. VOICEOVER: The big, juicy burger that started it all - the Whopper. 100% flame-grilled beef with all the trimmings. # Love it at Hungry Jack's. # The burgers are better at Hungry Jack's. we've demolished our prices At Mitre 10, and 40% off selected products and Sunday only. this Friday, Saturday for three days only. Mitre 10's price demolition - on the new breed of diamond Now, our story last night which is manufactured in a lab

than natural diamonds, and costs significantly less a flurry of activity. has certainly caused the value and authenticity It's prompted people to question of their own diamonds. And here's David Richardson reporting of getting your jewellery inspected. on the traps and pitfalls Where's your engagement ring? Right here. How long have you had that? About six months. Do you know the value of the ring? About $5,500. ..or is it? Cath Turner is, like tens of thousands of women across Australia, of their precious diamond ring. today worried about the true value of their precious diamond ring. What did you get with the ring that says it is authentic? I got a certificate of authenticity as well as a certificate of its value.

So you're fairly confident you've got the real McCoy? Yes. It's Today Tonight's special report on the arrival of cheaper man-made diamonds that has women everywhere wondering - a synthetic diamond not made in the ground, but grown in a lab. It's an emotional purchase. Women especially are attached to their diamonds so it's going to strike a chord. Roy Cohen is one of Australia's most trusted diamond experts. He runs the Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia, and agreed to put Cath's ring to a preliminary test to see if she really got her money's worth. If it passes on this machine, then there's no problem with any treatment or anything synthetic. Cath's ring is a princess cut half-carat in a bezel setting, so it has to be removed to check its authenticity.

That done, a simple optical scan will reveal all.

The results shortly. Last night, we revealed that an American company, Gemesis, is selling its made-made diamonds in Australia, and they're up to 200 times cheaper than the real stones. A Gemesis diamond is a real diamond that has been grown in a laboratory, so physically, chemically and optically, it is identical to a natural diamond. Ben Gratzas from Gemesis Australia will, by the end of the year, be importing dozens of the cheapest diamonds Australia has ever seen. And they're not fake. These diamonds are absolutely not fake. A cubic zirconia, glass, crystal - they're fake. Gemesis makes its diamonds from a tiny sliver of natural stone. It's then force-grown in this machine. What used to take millenia now takes just three to four days, and when complete, it's impossible to tell from the real stone. So what chance do you have So what chance do you have of knowing? The best way to protect themselves - when you go to a jeweller, when you're looking for a diamond, make sure the diamond has a certificate. And he's not talking about a jeweller's valuation certificate, which is only good for insurance. He's talking about a certificate of authenticity from a lab. If it doesn't have that certificate, don't buy it. Now back to Cath's ring, and in seconds, its authenticity is determined. So that ring's fine? It's fine. It passed, which means it is not a synthetic and it has not been treated. A man-made Gemesis stone would not get past this basic test. Phew. Thank goodness. The wedding can still go ahead? The Diamond Certification Laboratory can check diamonds,

but you don't deal directly with the public. You have to go through a jeweller. best friend better than anyone else, But from someone who knows a girl's this advice - The emphasis is on the public. you're taking a risk. If you buy without a certificate, David Richardson reporting. Coming up, 200,000 drivers can't see well enough the shock findings which reveal and shouldn't be on our roads.

I'll have for you tomorrow. Now a look at one of the stories The shock findings which reveal can't see well enough to drive. 200,000 Australians every motorist. Now the call to re-test every motorist.

but you just wonder. You think you're good, vision has actually slipped some. People are often unaware that their I'll take chances with my eye sight. have got to realise You've pretty much

to drive anymore. that you aren't allowed I'll have for you tomorrow night. And that's one of the stories So until then, I hope you enjoy your evening. Please take care, and goodnight. Captioned by Seven Network Email -