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National Nine News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. over Telstra. The Prime Minister on the defensive on Sydney's sky-high petrol prices. Claims of profiteering Claims of profi eering

of Hurricane Katrina An Australian victim back in the arms of his wife. Good evening. and the Federal Government The controversy swamping Telstra continued today, the company's shareholders with the PM being accused of shafting from them. by keeping sensitive information it would have been illegal But John Howard claims for him to tell the public unsustainable dividend policy, about Telstra's to make necessary investments. massive line faults and its failure this morning, As soon as Parliament sat the first of the bills the Government introduced to sell the remaining 51% of Telstra. we've all been waiting for. This is the day an Opposition attempt Coalition MPs voted down to delay the legislation complete their investigation until corporate regulators to disclose information into whether Telstra failed to the stockmarket. This is John Howard's disgrace - mum and dad shareholders. ripping off nearly two million in an attack Labor hammered that theme that continued throughout the day. the Howard Government This house censure that Telstra shareholders for failing to ensure were properly informed. and the Australian community

of shafting shareholders Mr Beazley accused the Prime Minister by sitting on a report from Telstra in the company. outlining serious problems who bought shares, A whole lot of people and some of them at $9 odd, many of them at $7.40 of the PM's failure they took a bath as a result to defend their interests. Mr Howard quoted legal advice the information given to him to justify not making public a month ago. y elstra boss Sol Trujillo by Telstra boss Sol Trujillo

for the Government to have done so. It would have been against the law The Prime Minister claims rather than damages the argument the row bolsters, because it shows for full privatisation the Government conflict of interest and telecommunications regulator. as both majority shareholder of Telstra executives And he repeated his criticism for talking the company down - but Mr Beazley came to their defence. and the PM is the person Trujillo's the whistle-blower here who's the disgrace. Laurie Oakes, National Nine News. On the share market: up to a staggering $1.40 a litre, With petrol prices of profiteering and growing pressure there are growing claims to bring prices down. for something to be done it can't afford to cut taxes But the Government claims

at the pump and has blamed the squeeze on rising world oil prices. motorists to boiling point. The price of petrol has brought Give us a break, for God's sake. to see you, Mum, I won't be coming down every day it costs me nearly $10 each time. yesterday more than 15 cents a litre, The flash-point, when prices jumped to $1.39. are all over the place - Prices today $1.28 in Parramatta. $1.32 in Ryde, $1.40 in Dural, for the oil companies, I think there's the potential to profiteer. through the fuel cycle, four-wheel drives, For the owners of large an extra $422 a year a 15 cent price swing represents in running costs. an extra $215. For a small car owner, Hurricane Katrina is blamed. all around the world The Americans are trying to buy fuel by 10 cents a litre on Friday and the Singapore price went up in the Sydney prices this week. and that's being reflected Even worse - above $1.50 a litre. prices could peak be a bit of upward pressure It looks like that there will still on petrol prices over the next couple of months. $13 billion a year in petrol excises, The Federal Government collects

going to the States. with another $3 billion in GST But there's no relief in sight. for the Government to move. There is very little room by Hurricane Katrina Though the damage caused is many thousands of kilometres away, as a consequence. we're paying higher petrol prices Refineries are making record profits, of dollars in extra revenues - the Government's reaping in millions that motorists are frustrated. it's no wonder Ross Greenwood, National Nine News. have issued an urgent order In New Orleans, authorities to leave their flooded homes. for the hangers-on are still resisting evacuation, Several thousand people from water-borne bacteria, risking potentially deadly infections others who are trapped while air crews continue to find

to escape the devastation. and more than happy catches sight of movement - On patrol, a helicopter pilot smashing open the roof his line men investigate, after eight long days. and finding a woman, alive,

she was going to die - Suzette Walker thought of this nightmare. instead, she is hoisted out but the rescue is exhilarating. The ride is terrifying, boat crews have less success. In another part of town, are now the only living things Abandoned, starving dogs

in some streets. Dogs? Dogs, that's it. Any dead? Yeah, a lot of them. has warned again, The New Orleans mayor by the death toll the nation will be shocked to the public health crisis. and the bodies add there are gas leaks, There are toxins in the water, where we may have explosions. It is not safe dead people are starting to fly. and mosquitoes that are biting Analysis of the water shows above safe levels. sewage pollution is 45,000 times may be at risk, Even those who've escaped have a long incubation period. because some illnesses MAN: You gotta get out! No, we don't want to get out! OK. Call us when you wanna get out. Several new fires have broken out - over a candle inside their home. this one caused when people knocked Water bombing was ordered, to spread to other houses. as the fire threatened Further out on the devastated, but dry, coastal areas, the search for the dead is well under way, while President Bush has ordered an investigation

on the dramatic failures in security and the relief effort. What I intend to do is lead an investigation to find out what went right and what went wrong. The pumping operation in New Orleans is starting to have an impact, but it will take at least 24 days to clear the deluge. RADIO: It has definitely gone down, not - not a whole lot. As the water starts to drop, the neighbourhoods now are turning into infected swamps and the city is going to lose a fair bit of its history as well. It'll take so long to pump all the water out of here, many of the historic wooden homes will have rotted and they'll have to be demolished. I've heard statistics of 50%, 70% of the homes in that area under water will have to be destroyed. Spared from serious flooding, the French Quarter may be the only part of the old New Orleans which survives. It's not gonna die, it's gonna go on. Life goes on. Against yesterday's declaration by the police chief that all of New Orleans is destroyed, the mayor has promised - one day, an even better city, but that is years away. Robert Penfold, National Nine News. A 75-year-old Australian expat has confessed to the worst decision of his life - trying to ride out the hurricane. Former merchant sailor Keith Faulkner has told how he was trapped in his New Orleans home before finally being rescued. Suffering from cancer, Keith Faulkner's battle with Katrina was nothing short of extraordinary. After deciding to face the storm, he became trapped in his New Orleans home for five days. I knew I was getting weaker, I wasn't feeling too happy. It dawned on me it wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever done. His wife of 35 years, who did evacuate, thought he was dead until a relative found Keith's name on an Internet list of survivors. Keith is alive. (cries) Keith too thought it was the end, although he had food and water and his house was dry. He was too weak to attract the attention of helicopters but when neighbours returned to pick up supplies he alerted them by sounding the horn of his car, using a remote control. Today, the couple was reunited for the first time

with the help of Australian consular staff. He said I looked better today than I did on the day we married. She does too. For now, this nursing home, 350km outside New Orleans is home for Keith Faulkner and his wife - their house is surrounded by floodwaters. They expect it will be at least four months before they can return. And there was hope today that another missing Australian, 30-year-old Ashley McDonald from Melbourne, had been found. His parents are in the United States searching for him. His mother telling the 'Today' show she believed he was still alive. This afternoon, Alexander Downer told Parliament that Ashley had been traced to a Baton Rouge motel through credit card transactions.

But Australian Federal Police in America have told Channel Nine he's no longer there. His parents are unhappy

that the Foreign Minister announced the latest news before anyone contacted them. He knows more than what he's telling us. It's just been a horror week. In Louisiana, Christine Spiteri, National Nine News. A 30-year-old Sydney man has been arrested at Rome airport, accused of carrying cocaine worth more than $8 million. Italian authorities say he was on a flight from Venezuela with 10 kilos of the drug hidden in the false bottom of his luggage. Believed to be a former police officer, the man, who's yet to be named, faces up to 20 years in jail. The mother of two boys found dead in their Melbourne home has been ordered to give police a DNA sample. 46-year-old Donna Fitchett has not been charged and is now on suicide watch at a psychiatric hospital. The boys, aged 9 and 11, were found by their father last night when he returned home. My heart goes out to him, you know, a shocking sort of thing to have occured. This morning students from their school received counselling, while flowers have been delivered to the family home. For cricket fans, there are some nervous and sleepless nights ahead with the fifth Ashes Test beginning in London tomorrow. Australia must win or suffer the unthinkable - losing the Ashes for the first time since the '80s and desperate Aussie fans are doing everything they can to be inside the famous Oval to support them. The Ashes - that tiny urn which has been ours for 16 years, while it's under lock and key at Lord's, south of the Thames at The Oval, they're preparing for battle. The deciding Test which been sold out for months, but optimistic Aussie James Walder tried his luck anyway. At the moment, it's looking a bit sad. He's travelled from Mildura and wrangled a ticket for every Test so far. And fortunately for James, the confident English are feeling sympathetic for Australians. Just to show there is a bit of love between the English and the Australians, these are a couple of tickets for you. I think this is magnificent, I didn't think - my luck's changed. Unbelievable. Zac, you're a bloody legend. Some fifth Test tickets listed on eBay for $2,500. This apartment overlooking the ground, for the five days of the Test only, has rented for $55,000. National pride is at stake here,

and the thought of beating the old enemy, and it will be here if it happens, is just fantastic. So here's where we'll see Ashes history. Win or lose,

England still enter a new era of performance and support. For Australia, it could be a great fight-back or a lot of soul-searching.

Either way, everyone here is saying that the entire series has been played in a nature of good sportsmanship and they're using heavily that old sporting cliche, that for England, cricket has been the real the winner. In London, Michael Usher, National Nine News. In the news ahead - bifocal glasses blamed for falls and injuries. And the death of TV's Gilligan. I'll save you, Skipper! The commander of HMAS 'Kanimbla' has broken down at the naval inquiry into the Sea King helicopter crash, which claimed nine lives in April. He's told of the terrible emotional toll the disaster took on the ship's crew. Just minutes before the crash, Commander George McGuire was in a reflective mood. After answering yet another SOS call, HMAS 'Kanimbla' and her crew were in full swing, helping and treating victims of the earthquake. But then, disaster - Commander McGuire said he was in disbelief when news came through over the ship's radio - one of their helicopters had crashed in a remote village. On several occasions, Commander McGuire wiped tears from his eyes - his voice choking with emotion as he recalled the moment he announced to the ship's company that nine members of their family had died in the crash. He said the tragedy was made worse by misinformation from Jakarta, which stated there were no fatalities.

Commander McGuire later led the mission to recover the bodies. In exhausting heat, the grim task took several hours. Damian Ryan, National Nine News. The death today of a TV favourite - Bob Denver was best known as the bumbling, but loveable first mate on the '60s hit 'Gilligan's Island' - one of 7 stranded castaways who went on a 3-hour tour, but who remained on television for three years. Of course, the show has been entertaining generations ever since - in repeats. I'll save you, Skipper! In the late '90s, Denver was arrested for marijuana possession

and in more recent years he underwent a quadruple heart bypass.

Today he died of complications from thyroid cancer. four children were at his bedside - Denver's second wife and he was 70. Bifocal and multifocal glasses are being blamed for alarming numbers of people falling over and injuring themselves. Apart from the personal suffering, the accidents cost the health system $1 billion a year - now Sydney doctors are trying to find a solution.

Rosemary Stuart is being tested for sight and balance problems her glasses smashed, gashing her brow. I had blood running down my face and yes, I was a bit shaken up. Falls in Western societies are an epidemic - and indeed 1 in 3 people over 65 are going to fall each year, and half of those will fall multiple times. Many sustain major fractures. The hip fracture is the most serious, because if people suffer them, about a third never recover mobility, and a number of people also die within six months. Many blame their multifocals and research shows they're right. People who wear those kinds of glasses are about twice as likely to fall over. These pictures compare what a street looks like with single lens glasses. You've got a footpath, there's a shadow and there's an edge now the edge is often reported by older people as the cause of falls. But multi- or bifocals blur the lower visual field. The footpath crack is completely out of focus and if an older person trips on that they may not be able to recover. Now doctors at Royal North Shore and Prince of Wales Hospitals are now running the first study to solve this problem - they're looking for 600 volunteers, aged over 65, who will be trialed different types of glasses, to try and prevent these falls. Volunteers need to be multifocal-wearers and have had a recent fall. Sheryl Taylor, National Nine News. Ken with sport is next, and the tense build up to the fifth and deciding Ashes Test continues for both teams. England's lost a strike bowler while Glenn McGrath's injured elbow is responding well. And a big send off from Townsville as the Cowboys ride into town. To get important information about your destination, visit: It's a must see destination for smart travellers. This Thursday's Powerball jackpot is $9 million. For more chances to win, ask for a Powerball Megapick. $9 million Powerball jackpot. You could: The Cowboys are hoping last night's Dally M success will help make the difference in Friday night's final against Wests Tigers. Johnathon Thurston was the big winner at the awards and today the rest of the North Queenslanders also felt like heroes. This was a farewell party that rivalled last year's efforts. Once again the people of Townsville were out in force as the Cowboys headed south, and waiting for them was Johnathan Thurston, still in a spin over his award. My heart was pounding, I was so nervous, sweating. It was crazy. Thurston is the first Cowboy to win the Dally M. Not bad for a player who struggled to get a contract

when he first came to Sydney. He beat Andrew Johns by one vote and Ben Kennedy was third. Spoke to Mum. I haven't spoken to my Dad yet. He had night work last night so I'll give him a call this arvo. Thurston's win has lifted all the Cowboys but it was also a big night for their opponents. The Tigers picked up three awards and they'll go into the NRL's first final on their own high. I know they've lost two recently but that doesn't take away the fact they won eight in a row before that. At Parramatta, the rookie of the year was enjoying his moment. Half-back Tim Smith says an unbelievable year just gets better. We've had a few tough games leading in to the semifinals, so if it's any indication of that, it's gonna be tough, so, I'm just really looking forward to it. The Eels have a couple of worries heading into Sunday's final against Manly. Nathan Hindmarsh is back training, but won't be playing, and tonight at the judiciary Fuifui Moimoi is trying to beat a high tackle charge. The Cowboys' Carl Webb is also fighting for his season -

he's attempting to have a striking charge down-graded. All we'll do is support him in this period of time. He's doing it a bit tough. Clinton Fletcher, National Nine News. A boost for Australia and a blow for England ahead of the crucial fifth Ashes Test at The Oval. While England's Simon Jones will miss the match due to an ankle injury, Glenn McGrath is almost certain to play, having recovered from his elbow injury. The Oval - birthplace of the Ashes, way back in 1882. The last 16 years of Australian domination could ride on this elbow. With those who will decide looking on, Glenn McGrath gave plenty during a 45-minute net session - afterwards, only smiles. A step-by-step recovery, but confident of playing. REPORTER: Ready to go tomorrow, ah, Thursday? I think he'll be fine because I think he's a champion and I think in these situations the champions come to the top and if he's anywhere - if he can get the ball down the other end I reckon he'll play. An ankle injury means England's Simon Jones won't play -

the successful swing bowler to be replaced by either all-rounder Paul Collingwood or James Anderson. Not even their first team change for the series

can damage England's morale. It is a blow, but not something to worry about too much. Win, lose or draw, for the world champions, this match will be the end of an era. It's probably the last time a few of us are going to be together,

um, which is quite sad. I don't know about changing of the guard, but it might be time for changes. Warne giving this game top billing. As far as cricket terms, this is probably the biggest cricket match of all of our careers. England may not be the only enemy - rain disrupted training and is forecast throughout the match. Andrew McKinlay, National Nine News. At the US Tennis Open, Lleyton Hewitt is into the quarterfinals. Kim Clijsters also won along with Roger Federer, while Hewitt defeated Dominik Hrbaty. The Australian fired down 11 aces and 25 winners. Hewitt's next opponent is Finland's Jarkko Nieminen. After the break, finance and Jaynie with the weather details. In an ideal world, the girls should be hot, the guys, cool. Your favourite song should be played everywhere and your Coke should be icy cold, served with a dash of lime. Did we mention the lime? With every sip, your throat should burn, your eyes should water, your lips should do the merengue, taking refreshment to a whole new level. You should try one right now. New Coke with Lime. Same great Coke taste, now with a dash of zesty lime flavour. Oh Brad .. How can we possibly save money? But Brad has a bright idea, if we bundle four services with ACTEW AGL and TransACT, we'll get a free privileges card, saving us 0-50% at over 2 0 restaurants and attractions. Plus we'll save 10% off electricity and other selected services. so we'll hav to be quick. Oh Brad, you're my hero. Don't miss out, call 13 16 46. You could reel in a whopper with Lotto's massive $19 million Super Saturday. You beauty! $19 million! How big is that?! So get your entry in by Saturday, September 17th. SONG: # ..dreams come true. # In finance, the Reserve Bank's decision to leave interest rates on hold pushed up local banking shares. Multiplex fell as it faces a potential class action from shareholders.

Now Jaynie with the weather, and some help on the way for our farmers. We have seen a few splashes so far but hopefully more tomorrow. Good evening everyone. Dry in Sydney, though, with the current city temperature on 17. And after fog in the west, was down o 400m this morning, where Richmond's visibility was down to 400m this morning the skies were bathed in blue sky. So a massive dose of vitamin D, more to come tomorrow.

Strong to gale force winds are pounding the south-west of WA. A few storms in eastern SA and possibly in the far west of NSW but it will remain fine for the rest of us tonight. Fingers crossed for storms and showers for the west and southern inland parts of NSW tomorrow. If you like it warm, you can thank these northerly winds for dragging down the heat. And a new front will deliver a burst of showers and squally winds to WA. That's National Nine News for this Wednesday. A Current Affair is next. I'm Mark Ferguson. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.