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National Nine News -

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(generated from captions) A toddler back safe with his parents after being car-jacked. Al-Qa'ida's Aussie voice of terror. As you kill us, you will be killed. As you bomb us, you will be bombed. Violent scuffles in a protest over compulsory student union fees. Good evening. Also tonight - the shuttle returns safely to Earth, but further flights are now in doubt. A harrowing time for a Sydney family today after a car was stolen with their 2-year-old boy in the back seat - it was taken from a hospital car park at Auburn. The family joined police in their frantic search, until the car was found 50 minutes later, with the toddler safe inside. After fearing the worst, it was the best possible outcome. I'm very relieved, very relieved. The toddler's grandmother was helping her wheelchair-bound husband out of their car when a man offered to assist, but as just soon as he did, he stole their car, speeding off with 2-year-old Zane strapped in the back. It's pretty gut wrenching, when I first got told it took about 10 minutes to sink in. A massive police hunt began, while Zane's frantic aunty rang 2GB, pleading for help. A man was helping her put my father in the car and then he got in the car and took off with the car, with my nephew in the car. Almost an hour later, the car was found abandoned in a lane, with Zane still inside. I've just been told the police say the car's been found, the little boy is OK. Oh God, thank you very much, Rita, they found him. At the time the 2-year-old boy was found on the back seat, to be asleep and appeared unaffected by the incident. Andrew Smolinsky choked back tears as he held his son. You get to the point when you're used to them, but when there's a chance of them disappearing. It's gonna make me a lot more wary in the future and especially accepting help from strangers Zane's grandmother says it's distressing that someone with the worst of intentions can act so generously and says the incident has shattered her faith in human kindness. Police are still searching for the thief. Stella Lauri, National Nine News. A disturbing development today, with the release of yet another threatening al-Qa'ida video, but what makes this one different and more alarming is that one of the men preaching hatred and murder is speaking with an Australian accent. The balaclava hides the face, but there's no disguising the accent. Al-Qa'ida's man in Afghanistan is angry and sounds Aussie through and through. It is time for us to be equals. As you kill us, you will be killed. As you bomb us, you will be bombed. The tape was handed to an Arab TV network. It shows what's claimed to be an al-Qa'ida rocket attack on a US chopper in June - there's video of the ID tag of a US soldier. The Pentagon has confirmed 16 Americans died in the ambush. Also shown - militants building and planting a bomb, the location unknown. The Muslim world is not Germany, Japan or South America.

We showed the tape to Dr Felicity Cox,

a linguistic expert with Macquarie University, her speciality - the Australian accent. He says 'Japan' and 'hand' which is quite typical of young Australians today. Raised here certainly,

but Dr Cox can't say if he was born here. He probably grew up here, probably spent a considerable amount of his childhood and perhaps his youth in Australia.

Australian Federal Police are now analysing a copy of the tape, but already Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says he thinks the tape is authentic. We do have a small number of Australians who are jihadists, who have joined the jihad movement, who've trained with al-Qa'ida, so we can't rule out that it's an Australian. Mark Burrows, National Nine News. If you've just been hit with a speed camera fine, you might want to seek legal advice. One driver did just that and his lawyer not only got him off, he's also put a question mark over all similar fines. Lawyer Dennis Miralis has single-handedly thrown into doubt the credibility of all speed cameras convictions -

chalking up, for the second time in nine months, a landmark legal victory. It means there is a fundamental flaw with all speed camera prosecutions in New South Wales. Last November his client, a 24-year-old man, who claims he was wrongly booked for speeding through a school zone at Epping. Yesterday in court Mr Miralis challenged the RTA to prove the computer system, which is meant to confirm the authenticity of the speed camera photograph is totally reliable.

They were given the opportunity to come up with goods,

they failed to do so. In fact, the magistrate had given the Roads and Traffic Authority eight weeks to produce the evidence - there was even talk an expert witness would be made available, but no-one showed and the case was thrown out. This decision yesterday definitely opens the flood gates. And today the Government rushed to close them. In this specific case there was a witness who wasn't able to make it. So in future cases, obviously that witness will be available. Meanwhile, the new roads minister has demanded a report into claims that some fare evaders on the Harbour Bridge and tunnel are not being penalised because toll booth cameras have either been switched off or broken. It's not the case I can give a guarantee

that the cameras are operating every single minute of every day all the time. Damian Ryan, National Nine News. The trial of Bruce Burrell started again today after the jury was dismissed yesterday. He's accused of kidnapping and murdering Sydney woman Kerry Whelan. The prosecution claiming that he wrote a ransom note sent to Mrs Whelan's husband, Bernie. Bernie Whelan received a typed ransom note the day after his then-wife, Kerry, disappeared in 1997. It demanded he hand over US$1 million within 7 days and to place a newspaper ad when that was done and await further instructions. The prosecution claims the accused Bruce Burrell wrote that letter, which said: During a later search of his property, which the prosecution alleges police found two hand-written notes, were an early outline of the ransom.

a Canon typewriter - Police also found to write the ransom note the same type used and a street directory, Mrs Whelan disappeared. highlighting the exact location Allison Langdon, National Nine News. a protest rally and police Passionate university students, are always a volatile mix in the city today. and there was another example of that to let students decide The issue was Canberra's plan

if they want to pay union fees. It began peacefully enough. It didn't last.

On the left, almost 2,000 students plans hotly opposed to Federal Government to scrap compulsory student unionism. who want a voluntary system, On the right, a dozen or so to support left wing causes. claiming fees are used full of water Someone hurled a plastic bottle and the police moved in - not very successfully. then another. First one officer was pushed over, of being the bottle tosser. Underneath, a young man suspected in the incident, none seriously Three officers were hurt and the protest ended with an hour-long sit down

in George Street. outside the Town Hall a lot more of this sort of thing, The students are promising

of action for later in the month planning a national day at the Federal Government's policies to protest generally not just voluntary student unions. Peter Harvey, National Nine News. Barnaby Joyce New National Party senator the Prime Minister's claim has rejected to the Coalition party room. that his first loyalty should be The outspoken Queenslander says to represent his state, the constitution requires him

and Mr Howard should understand that. in the Senate, For his second day of chauffeur-driven Commonwealth cars Barnaby Joyce spurned the fleet and arrived by tractor, fruit and vegie growers supporting Tasmanian favouring imports. protesting against grocery chains from Liberals He was still copping it over the sale of Telstra for his threats to cross the floor and other issues. getting particularly personal... Wilson 'Ironbar' Tuckey just doesn't understand. This dopey so and so party room attack on Senator Joyce ..but following yesterday's Bill Heffernan, by Liberal power broker to play down Coalition divisions. the Prime Minister was trying and Barnaby's a good bloke. Bill is a good bloke and they're both my blokes. They're both good blokes Mark Vaile National Party Leader and Deputy PM within families. said there were always differences between my two brothers and myself, It happened in my family a bit of a stoush, sometimes there might be someone might get a bloody nose, and the family'll stick together. but attack the family of Coalition MPs, At yesterday's meeting was clearly targeting Senator Joyce Mr Howard himself when he warned, is to this party room." "Your first loyalty the outspoken new senator said today. Not true, of this nation says The constitution and it's been that way since 1901. that I must represent my State the Coalition disunity, The Opposition is enjoying though Kim Beazley pretends concern. of the nation It is not in the interests and National parties falling apart. to have the Liberal Laurie Oakes, National Nine News. of the 'Columbia' disaster, After two lobg years in the shadow NASA has enjoyed success to Earth last night. with the 'Discovery's safe return during the mission mean But problems encountered is now on hold. the next shuttle launch far off in the sky, It appeared as a tiny light to bring a sigh of relief from NASA. but more than enough has the runway in sight. Houston, 'Discovery' Edwards Air Force Base in California, The last minute decision to land at on America's east coast, instead of home base in Florida bad weather. was made because of ongoing during take-off With pieces breaking off to do repairs, and an unscheduled space walk from the perfect mission - this was far of the grumblings back on Earth. The crew was well aware stop flying the shuttle, Some people say we should in this mission but we are people who believe and we are going to continue it. But with the homecoming, the family of Australian Andy Thomas. the end of two weeks of anxiety for This, possibly his last mission. There it is...aaaah! than I would wish. It's been more stressful to the Kennedy Space Centre, The shuttle will now be piggy-backed but it won't be cheap. aboard a modified 747, out of the Californian desert Getting the shuttle and back home to Florida to the cost of this mission, will add more than a $1 million but for NASA, that's small change, returning the shuttle to space It had already spent $1.5 billion but it was short-lived - until safety concerns are addressed. the fleet is now grounded We're not going to be satisfied that we have rectified the situation until we prove to ourselves and we're safe to go fly again. When that will be, is anyone's guess. National Nine News. In California, Christine Spiteri, In business news -

its biggest ever cash profit the Commonwealth Bank has posted of $3.53 billion, up 31% on the last financial year. $10 million a day. That's means the bank made almost Bank bosses credit re-structuring with job losses. but the union say it was more to do In the news ahead - now battling for her own life. the widow of Christopher Reeve for scientific achievement. And due recognition to Australians Space is an important thing because it's a big country. comfortably and relaxed People want to arrive at the end of their journey. the most spacious Our new car will be

we've ever built. and the most powerful car much bigger inside - McILROY: It's gonna be more shoulder room, more leg room. going to revolutionise And I think it's the 6-cylinder market. People will think, "Hey, if I want this type of car, "I better look at the Mitsubishi." In fact, it's going to be better built, better backed than any other car built in Australia.

And Oxford 2-for-1 pack of towels at $9.99. That's 2-for-1 towel packs. Our water situation is still critical, which is why Stage 2 Restrictions are now in force, so let's work together to follow them

and help sustain our water supply. For full details, call: New figures out today show there were more than 1,300 assaults on our trains over the past year. That sounds a lot but it is in fact 10% down on last year's figure, not that the Government is crowing. The Transport Minister is the first to admit the high crime rate on our trains is unacceptable. There are too many assaults on our rail network, but we are driving that down. The 600 transport officers, who patrol Sydney's rail network, have helped reduce the number of robberies and thefts, but the rate of assault remains alarmingly high -

there were more than 1,300 in the past year alone. Any level of crime on our rail network is unacceptable, any level of crime, it offends me, it offends the commuters. Law and order was the theme of the day. The Opposition said a Coalition Government would make parents more responsible for the anti-social behaviour of their children and make them pay for damage caused by young offenders. If the kids are are out of control

and the parents are doing nothing about it, we want the parents to take some responsibility. Why should we, as victims of crime, be out of pocket, because someone just decides the child has no capacity to pay. And today the Premier indicated he may be softening his stance on one of his predecessor's more controversial decisions, flagging a possible rethink of plans for a water desalination plant at Kurnell. Further detail will be revealed as I sit down with my ministers and we work through that. But no firm guarantee that the project will go ahead. Nigel Blunden, National Nine News. A crusading medical researcher was 1 of 24 people honoured last night at the Eureka Awards, the Oscars of Australian science. Ian Frazer has developed vaccines which could eradicate cervical cancer in one generation. For years, Professor Ian Frazer and his team have had one quest - to eliminate cervical cancer. 250,000 women worldwide die of cervical cancer every year at the moment and we're hoping this vaccine will make a significant impact. His perseverance and virtually 100% success results

from three international trials of the vaccine were rewarded last night with his Leadership in Science prize. AMANDA KELLER: Professor Ian Frazer from the centre for immunology in cancer research at Queensland University has created not one but two vaccines to fight the papilloma virus, responsible for cervical cancer. After discovering all cervical cancers are caused by this one virus, Professor Frazer says his vaccine to fight it is designed to be given three times over six months to young women or school girls, giving them protection for life. So they're just like every other vaccine we give at the moment

to prevent infection, this one produces antibodies and then the person is protected against the virus. Apart from his preventive vaccine, which should be available within a year, Professor Frazer is also developing another type of vaccine to treat women who are already infected and at risk of developing cancer.

These two vaccines working together cancer experts say have the potential to virtually eliminate cervical cancer within the time frame of one generation. Sheryl Taylor, National Nine News. The widow of actor Christopher Reeve has been stricken by lung cancer. 44-year-old Dana Reeve, who's a non-smoker, nursed her paralysed husband for nine years until his death last year. She says she's using her husband's spirit to help her through her own struggle, saying Reeve was the ultimate example of defying the odds with strength, courage and hope. Two jurors from the Michael Jackson trial have appeared on American television, claiming And Stuart Clarke bowled over by his call up. A lot of people have the attitude that the NSW outback is a barren and desolate place. You visit places like Bourke, Broken Hill, you'll have a completely different perspective. The sky, it's enormous. Everything you look at is like a painting. It's a magic place. When you come out to Silverton, over the range, you are greeted with Mundi Mundi Plains. And I swear you can see for three days. The NSW outback, there's no place like it. To plan your holiday, visit our website. FEMALE VOICEOVER: The Red Hot Home Sale is on at Kmart. With 40% off Royal Club quilt covers and sheets. What a difference a year makes - just ask the Roosters and the Bulldogs, the 2004 Grand Finalists have both fallen on hard times. The Roosters have no chance of making the finals, while the injury-riddled Dogs are a loss away from joining them as also-rans. They could easily be the Bulldogs' magnificent seven, instead, the likes of El Masri, Tonga, Patten and Williams can only keep each other company as the premiers season goes on the line. You can bet we'll be enthusiastic and trying, this week at least. Sherwin's fractured thumb doesn't help and don't be surprised if you don't recognise this face - little-known Luke Young will come into the team

if Matt Utai is suspended tonight, for a careless high tackle. Everyone who has stepped up has handled it this year, it's been difficult through injuries, but I think Luke will do a good job. At Manly, Anthony Watmough has missed the last six games with a knee injury but wants to play the full 80 against danger team Newcastle.

Fullback Brett Stewart continues his good form and is expecting a busy game, with Andrew Johns sending plenty of work his way. When you're coming up against players like him, his calibre,

you want to be at your best and show what you can do as well. And the Wallabies have lost Chris Latham for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney, with more hamstring problems. comes ueensland's Drew Mitchell, Into the team comes Queensland's Drew Mitchell, who'll make his run on debut. It's my preferred position there at fullback, with Chris Latham not getting through today's session, it's given me the opportunity to play there. Matt Giteua replaces Stephen Larkham in the number 10 and Mark Gerrard takes Wendell Sailor's spot on the wing. Clinton Fletcher, National Nine News. Despite his infected knee, Brett Lee says he'll be fit to play in tomorrow night's third Ashes Test. Still to name a team, selectors are taking no chances, NSW paceman Stuart Clarke plucked from county cricket to bolster Australia's depleted fast-bowling stocks. Emerging in Manchester from playing for Middlesex, Stuart Clark knows call-ups from county cricket are rare. They don't happen very often and I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones. I knew I was coming to play county cricket but to actually be here, sitting here wearing this hat, this shirt and these pants, no. Despite being bailed up in a Birmingham hospital on a drip for a knee infection, Brett Lee vows he'll be fit to play. Clark, also cover for the still-injured Glenn McGrath. While squad member and fellow speedster Shaun Tait has hardly played in the past three months, Clark's playing at the right time in the right country, taking five wickets in his last match for Middlesex. It must be fate. One bowler bound to play is poised to become the first to take 600 Test wickets. Old Trafford, the very venue where Shane Warne made his Ashes debut, bowling Mike Gatting with what became known as the ball of the century. Yeah, look, it was something that I s'pose was meant to be - it was a pure fluke.

It was a fabulous ball and I think my captain at the time, Mr Gooch, was a bit unfair when he said had it been a cheese roll I wouldn't let it pitch, but I mean, yeah, one of those things. Warne predicting victim 600 will be his latest bunny.

My 100th wicket against England in England was Andrew Strauss last Test, which is probably one of the best balls I've ever bowled. I just managed to spin one past Straussy, who is the new Daryl Cullinan.

Andrew McKinlay, National Nine News.

Libby Lenton is really running hot at the Australian Swimming Short Course Championships. For the second time in 24 hours, Libby has broken the world record in the 100m freestyle. Her time was 51.70 - a result she put down to her lucky hot pink swim suit. Bullfighting has always drawn plenty of criticism. For those who believe the bull always gets the wrong end of the horn, this is politically correct bull acrobatics. This ancient form of confronting 400kg bulls by leaping over them forwards, backwards and sitting down has the fans dancing in the bleachers. Those most at risk do so by their own choosing, while it's a great result for the bull. After the break - Jaynie Seal with all the weather details. You could: Our water situation is still critical, which is why Stage 2 Restrictions are now in force, so let's work together to follow them and help sustain our water supply. For full details, call:

Good evening all. Settle in for a windy and nippy night. A few showers in the south-west of WA from a weak trough.

But of course the main action is in the south-east with widespread snow falling in places that have not seen the white fluffy stuff since the '80s, like Victoria's Gippsland and the Great Ocean Road. Temperatures were well and truly below the average, a lot of fun for some but slippery roads lead to closures. A definite plus for skiers with a big dump over the alps. Snow will continue to fall overnight down to low levels of about 600m for many parts of Tassie, Victoria and the Southern Highlands of NSW contracting to the alps throughout Thursday. The rest of our State should be dry with cool south-west winds. At least the weekend is looking good though, Mark. And that's National Nine News for this Wednesday. A Current Affair is next. I'm Mark Ferguson. Goodnight.