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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Welcome to Ten's Early News. Good morning. I'm Bill Woods.

Making news this morning, kidnapped by Palestinian militants two Australians freed after being in the Middle East. as violence erupts More bad news for Kim Beazley showing him trailing John Howard with another Newspoll on decisiveness and strength. with past and present politicians The Queen rubs shoulders at a black tie dinner in Canberra

of the Commonwealth Games until the opening ceremony And only hours to go

Kath with finance. a solid performance this morning. Offshore markets have again put in higher-ever quarterly profit. Goldman Sachs posting Wall Street's

confident Australian businesses are. And Bill, more shortly on just how seven Westerners kidnapped Two Australians were among in the Middle East. in the latest wave of violence foreign interests in the Gaza Strip Palestinian gunmen attacked looking for a senior militant. after Israeli forces stormed a prison

This morning and violence in the Gaza

Strip exploded against Britain.

Palestinians angry that Britain has

poured out of an agreement to as poured out of an agreement to

guard prisoners in Jericho.

Palestinian prisoners ordered to

strip. Some stayed inside to fight.

Our morale is high a. We do not fear

death. The stand-off carried on death. The stand-off carried on for

some time. But death. The stand-off carried on for

A preselection deal of Labor's National Executive stitched up at a special meeting

could reignite party brawling. Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy of last week's bloodletting. were the masterminds to install the union boss Now they're working last week who was defeated by Simon Crean into the Victorian Upper House. on internal party matters. I don't comment the uneasy truce The unrest could test between Kim Beazley and Simon Crean. tie dinner at Parliament House The Queen has enjoyed a gala black rich and famous. with the country's powerful, She's now on her way to Melbourne the Commonwealth Games tonight. where she will officially open in grand style Queen Elizabeth arrived unassisted. and climbed from her chariot a curtsy from his wife A welcome from the Prime Minister, the doors of Parliament and Her Majesty passed through to a rousing reception. APPLAUSE a sparkling white floor-length gown, Walking down the aisle in complete with glittering tiara, it looked a little like a wedding.

TRUMPETS PLAY attended by the rich and famous, The royal event, according to John Howard - is a marriage of sorts one of Commonwealth devotion. as the Queen of Australia. You come here tonight the Parliament of Australia You come to and you are welcomed and honoured. and parliamentarians of the present Prime ministers of the past, heaped praise on Australia. certainly listened as the Queen player in the 21st century, This country is already a key global a voice of wisdom and honesty. for indigenous Australians, She pointed out more needs to be done a prosperous global force but described the nation as

renowned across the world. with a generous spirit The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne to Australian's reputation, will only add sporting events, not only for winning world-class but also for hosting them. will open the Games today. Her Majesty Danielle Isdale, Ten News. a disease-stricken cruise ship Health authorities fear

a debilitating infection to Adelaide. may have brought

from the holiday ship 'Funchal' Several passengers have been hospitalised, while others have left the vessel. a cursed cruise ship. It's been called to the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Four passengers admitted Countless more are sick. 90%, I'd reckon. Oh, about 90% of passengers.

to sanitise the vessel. Staff have been instructed aren't taking the chance. Many tourists They're getting off.

infected with the mystery illness Passengers to walk the streets of Adelaide. have been free have been allowed ashore. Experts argue they should never You could make a case for saying leave the ship, that if you're going to

those people in the community you need to protect by wearing a face mask. airconditioning is to blame. Speculation is mounting the ship's Passengers reporting symptoms respiratory problems and headache. like chest and joint pain, Gabrielle Boyle, Ten News. from the Queen's baton relay Jana Pittman's late withdrawal hamstring injury because of a lingering Commonwealth Games community. has divided Australia's Pittman be left alone, While some supporters are demanding has slammed her theatrics. an Olympic gold medallist Jana Pittman's magic moment This should've been to Lauren Hewitt. but it was instead handed She couldn't believe of running the baton into Melbourne. Pittman surrendered the prestige I had a great time. No I can't but it's great for me the opportunity to hold the baton. I was really proud to have got divided the athletics community, Pittman's motives have again maintain but the Australian team hierarchy the 400m jog was too great a risk. absolutely right to run the race We want to make sure she's and the day she runs the final on the day she runs the qualifying the conservative view. so we've taken Pittman's antics aren't new, recoveries, cat fights whether it be miraculous Athens or competition no-shows. and people misunderstand me. Yeah, but it's not like that

what's going on The fact that we haven't told anyone in this media hoo-ha, is showing that we're not interested

and run for my country. I just want to play it low for fine weather for their events, Australia's triathlon team is hoping on the tram tracks if it rains. fearing our medal hopes could slip is already labelled challenging Saturday's course around St Kilda with its tough turns for bikes. is more of a concern But rain on the tracks to be laid over them. with a protective covering and Europe, We've raced all over the world terrible places, they've got cobblestones and as bad as other things we've done. so train tracks are probably not

The Aussies say they'd rather race in the 38 degree heat of last weekend. Geelong defender Matthew Scarlett is set to lead the side in Saturday night's NAB Cup grand final against Adelaide. The Cats are unlikely to rush skipper Steven King back into the squad, as he is still being nursed back from an Achilles operation. Vice-captain Cameron Ling says Scarlett is the ideal candidate to captain the side. I'd be hoping it'll be Scarlo. That would be great if he could do it And hopefully hold the cup up at the end. Geelong hasn't won a title for 43 years. To finance news and business confidence back on track? Yes, concern over interest rates, oil and house prices seem to be easing according to the latest NAB monthly business survey. The business conditions index rose by 2 points to 10, while the index which measure expectations of industry conditions climbed 5 points to 15. And personal finance is on the rise with Australian consumers returning to the lending market, shrugging off a year-long conservative stance on borrowing. An ABS survey has found total personal finance is up 3.6% to an adjusted $6.34 billion in January. Now for a look national weather for the rest of the day: Let's see what's making newspaper headlines this Wednesday: Ten's Early News continues after this break with more on the latest round of violence in the Middle East and a house fire claims two lives in Adelaide.

This program is captioned live. Welcome back to Ten's Early News. Among this morning's top stories, the latest Newspoll slams Kim Beazley's leadership qualities in yet another blow for the Labor Party. Two Australians caught up in violence in the Middle East as Palestinian militants kidnap Westerners in Gaza. The Queen praises Australia's generosity in the wake of the 2004 tsunami at a black tie dinner at Parliament House overnight. And final preparations under way for tonight's Commonwealth Games opening extravaganza.

Finance news with Kath now and it was a good day yesterday if you own shares in media companies? It was Bill - media stocks rocketed along yesterday after Communications Minister Helen Coonan unveiled the Government's proposed changes to media laws. Under the plan analogue TV broadcasts will continue until 2010 in cities and 2012 in regional areas after that viewers will need a digital receiver. That will allow access to two new digital TV channels and new multi-channels on the ABC and SBS. It's all about providing a richer and more diverse media environment for Australian consumers. Foreign ownership laws will be relaxed which could spark a round of mergers and acquisition. Shortly Bill, a look at what we can expect out of the retail sector later today. Two Australians were among seven Westerners kidnapped in the latest wave of violence in the Middle East. Tanks roll in crushing an outer wall at the Jericho prison. Inmates are stripped and marched outside as Israeli troops search desperately and violently for Palestinian militant Ahmed Saadat, blamed for killing a senior Israeli cabinet minister in 2001. The demands for surrender coming loud and clear. Initially, Saadat refused to surrender to the Israeli forces.

The prison stormed when United Nations peace monitors withdrew from the compound, blaming inadequate security. Palestinian militants were quick to take revenge, attacking the British Council building, venting their anger over the kidnap attempt. Two Australian teachers were also abducted as part of the Palestinian protest. They were released two hours later. Ahmed Saadat has now surrendered. Luke Waters, Ten News. Weeks of Labor Party infighting has taken its toll on Kim Beazley. His worst results since becoming leader 10 years ago show voters have lost faith in him. Prime Minister John Howard is now seen as more in touch, an area in which Mr Beazley has traditionally excelled.

However, voters do still find him marginally more likeable than the Prime Minister. A preselection deal stitched up

at a special meeting of Labor's National Executive could re-ignite party brawling. Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy masterminded the blood-letting that saw federal Labor implode last week. In a sequel, union boss Martin Pakula, who was spectacularly defeated by Simon Crean, is now being parachuted into a Victorian upper house seat. I don't comment on internal party matters. You can ask me 10 different ways for the next hour, and waste all of our time. The latest fix could reignite the bitterness that saw Mr Crean accuse Kim Beazley of failing to confront the faction bosses.

An uneasy truce just forged at a meeting between the two men. The Opposition Leader not commenting. He was busy meeting the Queen.

It was an historic day - his lowest support in seven years as leader. John Howard has been there and done that - has won four elections, so the moral of the story is keep working at it, never give up.

Supporters of Simon Crean say Kim Beazley doesn't seem to accept there is a problem, and they point to eight sitting MPs in NSW now being targeted as dead wood. The Queen is on her way to Melbourne to officially open the Commonwealth Games. Her Majesty spent the night in Canberra after finishing late at a black tie dinner. Past and present parliamentarians along with the nation's rich and famous, gathered to rub shoulders with royalty

and hear the Queen heap praise on Australia. The Commonwealth Games will only add to Australia's reputation for not only winning world-class events but also hosting them. The much-hyped opening ceremony will be held this evening. A massive crowd welcomed the Queen's baton to central Melbourne as the countdown to the Games nears its end.

With less than 24 hours until it's Games-on, Melbourne is ready for a party.

Sprinter Lauren Hewitt carrying the Queen's Baton through the city centre. A crowd of more than 20,000 creating an incredible atmosphere, one likely only to be matched when the athletes take the track. There definitely were butterflies. I felt like I was floating to go up there. Everyone was really excited and I think it's just the start of a very big couple of weeks. Melbourne now well and truly in the grip of Games fever. (Sings) # My island home # But the relay wasn't without another Jana-drama, the star sprinter a last-minute no-show thanks to a hamstring twinge. She's putting the team and her performance in about 5-days time in the right perspective as far as we're concerned. It's a exactly a year since the Queen handed over the Baton at Buckingham Palace for the longest, most inclusive Games relay of all time.

180,000km later it's just a day and a few kilometres away from its final destination. Police in Adelaide are investigating the deaths of a man and woman in a house fire that's believed to have been lit deliberately. First came the smell of smoke but then fierce flames triggered panic among neighbours. First I thought, "Oh my God my house is alight," because I had fire trucks right by my house. Fire crews initially thought the home was vacant until closer examination revealed the grisly truth. Once the fire was put out we located two people deceased. It's understood the bodies are that of a man and a woman found in the front of the home. A couple in their 40s were the known occupants. We hammered on the front door which was very hot, tried the roller door and that was hot and I could see the front room was well gone. Police say there are signs the blaze was deliberately lit - evidence some type of accelerant may have been used. Gerda Jezuchowski, Ten News. The Australian Commonwealth Games team is buzzing over Jana Pittman's late withdrawal from the Queen's baton relay. It's claimed she has a lingering hamstring injury, but not everyone agrees with that assessment. Either way, it was good news for one athlete. What should've been the hurdler's magic moment, was instead handed to Lauren Hewitt, who couldn't believe Pittman surrendered the prestige of running the baton into Melbourne. No I can't but it's great for me I had a great time. I was really proud to have got the opportunity to hold the baton. The Australian team hierarchy maintains the 400 metre jog was too great a risk. The AFL is tired of not knowing whether the MCG will be ready for next month's Anzac Day blockbuster. But its hands are tied, while a stand-off continues between the Victorian Government and building giant Grocon. It's still 42 days away, but the league is growing increasingly concerned about its traditional Essendon/Collingwood blockbuster.

The location of the home and away season's biggest match still up in air because of a building dispute. We're not privy to what the dispute is but other than that, we're being informed along the way. We've got the sell tickets to AFL members, club members, get ticket sales going. It's a huge game that gets sold out pretty quickly. Telstra Dome the obvious choice if the 'G isn't finished. The other option, of course, is to play it here at Telstra Dome but that would be in front of 50,000-odd people so we're going to deprive 40,000-odd people of being able to watch the game. Demetriou will also seek an urgent meeting with the Federal Government over positive drugs test. It follows the leaking of confidential information revealing 15 players have tested positive to illicit drugs. Confidentiality is vital and it's so serious that I'll have to take that up with the Minister for Sport. Kelli Underwood for Sports Tonight. The weather for today: Now Kath with finance news and we'll get a snapshot of the Australian consumer later today? Today we'll find out just how the retail sector is fairing when the monthly consumer sentiment report is released. To find out more I'm joined by Donahue D'Souza from CommSec. Donahue, what is the forecast for consumer confidence?

Consumers are failing more

optimistic. It hit six-month highs in

February. Interest rates are not in

issue. Interest rates haven't been

raised for a year. Had it stops react

to media ownership laws. The media

sector came alive yesterday.

sector came alive yesterday. The

market began factoring in takeover bids.

After the break, the latest Newspoll adds to Labor's woes and more asbestos found in Sydney. CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS Home loan? At Aussie, we'll save you. This program is captioned live. Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. Welcome to Ten's Early News. Making news this morning, two Australians freed after being kidnapped by Palestinian militants

More bad news for Kim Beazley with another Newspoll showing him trailing John Howard on decisiveness and strength.

The Queen rubs shoulders with past and present politicians at a black tie dinner in Canberra And only hours to go until the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games with Melbourne well and truly in party mode. National weather: Kath with finance. Bovis Lend Lease has won a major deal to manage the construction of the controversial memorial and museum at Ground Zero in New York. The company will mange the $500 million construction of the Reflecting Absence memorial at the World Trade Centre site. It will be erected near the Twin Towers' original footprints with two stones reflecting pools at street level. Two Australians were among seven Westerners kidnapped in the latest wave of violence in the Middle East. foreign interests in the Gaza Strip Palestinian gunmen attacked foreign interests in the Gaza Strip after Israeli forces stormed a prison looking for a senior militant. Tanks roll in crushing an outer wall at the Jericho prison. Inmates are stripped and marched outside as Israeli troops search desperately and violently for Palestinian militant Ahmed Saadat, blamed for killing a senior Israeli cabinet minister in 2001. The demands for surrender coming loud and clear. Initially, Saadat refused to surrender to the Israeli forces. The prison stormed when United Nations peace monitors withdrew from the compound, blaming inadequate security. Palestinian militants were quick to take revenge, attacking the British Council building, venting their anger over the kidnap attempt. Two Australian teachers were also abducted as part of the Palestinian protest. They were released two hours later. Ahmed Saadat has now surrendered. Luke Waters, Ten News. Support for Labor leader Kim Beazley is crumbling. His worst results since becoming leader 10 years ago show voters have lost faith in him. Prime Minister John Howard is now seen as more in touch, an area in which Mr Beazley traditionally excels. However, voters do find Kim Beazley still marginally more likeable

than the Prime Minister. A preselection deal stitched up at a special meeting of Labor's National Executive Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy

were the masterminds of last week's bloodletting. Now they're working to install the union boss who was defeated by Simon Crean last week into the Victorian upper house. I don't comment on internal party matters. The unrest could test the uneasy truce between Kim Beazley and Simon Crean.

The Queen has enjoyed a gala black tie dinner at Parliament House with the country's powerful, rich and famous. She's now on her way to Melbourne Queen Elizabeth arrived in grand style and climbed from her chariot unassisted. A welcome from the Prime Minister, a curtsy from his wife and Her Majesty passed through the doors of Parliament to a rousing reception. APPLAUSE Walking down the aisle in a sparkling white floor-length gown, complete with glittering tiara, it looked a little like a wedding. TRUMPETS PLAY The royal event, attended by the rich and famous, is a marriage of sorts according to John Howard - one of Commonwealth devotion. You come here tonight as the Queen of Australia. You come to the Parliament of Australia and you are welcomed and honoured. Prime ministers of the past, and parliamentarians of the present certainly listened as the Queen heaped praise on Australia. This country is already a key global player in the 21st century, a voice of wisdom and honesty. She pointed out more needs to be done for indigenous Australians, but described the nation as a prosperous global force with a generous spirit renowned across the world. The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne will only add to Australian's reputation, not only for winning world-class sporting events, but also for hosting them. Her Majesty will open the Games today. Danielle Isdale, Ten News. The start of the Commonwealth Games is just hours away, with officials putting final touches on tonight's opening extravaganza. The Queen's baton began the final stages of its worldwide journey, entering the Melbourne CBD. Sprinter Lauren Hewitt among those lucky enough to carry the baton, but another star of the Games Jana Pittman was forced to pull out of the relay after a hamstring injury. The baton has travelled 180,000 kilometres in the past year on its trek from Buckingham Palace to Melbourne. A 35-year-old Indian man faces Melbourne Magistrates' Court today, charged with indecently assaulting a teenager at the Commonwealth Games village. A masseur with Team India, the man is charged with one count of unlawful assault and one of indecent assault. Village commander Matthew Ryan says the man is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old cleaner in his room at the village. The son of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, has collected his father's remains from a Dutch forensic centre, still insisting he was murdered. Controversy still rages over exactly where the former president will be buried. Some want it to be the capital, others say his home town to avoid future problems. Marko Milosevic flew to Holland from Moscow, accompanied by a team of Russian forensic experts, who will examine the results of the autopsy. There's been another asbestos scare, this time at two Sydney train stations. Traces of the potentially deadly material have been discovered at Edgecliff station in the eastern suburbs and Camellia in the west, forcing a ticket office to be closed down. A safety audit of Sydney train stations was ordered two weeks ago after contractors disturbed asbestos while working at Eastwood station in the city's north. The Australian Commonwealth Games team is buzzing over Jana Pittman's late withdrawal from the Queen's baton relay. It's claimed she has a lingering hamstring injury, but not everyone agrees with that assessment. What should've been the hurdler's magic moment, was instead handed to Lauren Hewitt,

who couldn't believe Pittman surrendered the prestige of running the baton into Melbourne. No I can't but it's great for me I had a great time. I was really proud to have got the opportunity to hold the baton. The Australian team hierarchy maintains the 400 metre jog was too great a risk. A huge boost for the Australian rugby 7s team competing in the Commonwealth Games with captain Shawn Mackay cleared of a groin injury. But some New Zealanders think the Aussies aren't playing fair by stacking the side with Super 14 stars. Their complaints certainly haven't phased the home team. We're all Australian and can get picked and they picked us. They can do what they want. The Australians had their final hit-out in a practice match against Canada yesterday.

He fears rule-makers are putting

shoulder charges in extinction.

shoulder charges in extinction. The

we can't afford to lose characters

like if Adrian Morley. The last

couple years I've been working on

couple years I've been working on why

it is tackling technique. It looks

like I'll have to do more work. But now the world's fastest growing economy says it will impose unspecified restrictions on prices and quantities to help regulate iron ore reliant industries. And we'll find out today just how the retail sector is fairing when the Westpac and Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index is released. Economists say they expect consumer confidence to remain at above average levels. While there has been some moderation in consumer spending over the past year the survey should reflect upbeat attitudes consistent with above average domestic demand.

Let's see what's making newspaper headlines this Wednesday: Ten's Early News continues after this break THE RAIDERS NAME THEIR TEAM FOR THEIR ROUND TWO CLASH BUT FIRST, THE DANGERS OF SPEEDING AND USING A MOBILE PHONE WHEN DRIVING, IS THE FOCUS OF A NEW ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN WHICH STARTS TODAY. A-C-T POLICE WILL RUN A TRAFFIC OPERATIONS CAMPAIGN.. IT WILL ALSO BE SUPPORTED BY T-V ADS, WHICH IDENTIFY SPEEDING AND NOT PAYING ATTENTION AS TWO SIGNIFICANT FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO ROAD TRAUMA. POLICE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR WITNESSES, AFTER A DISTURBANCE OUTSIDE THE CANBERRA CENTRE. A 36-YEAR-OLD MAN AND 35-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WERE ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN A DISPUTE WITH SECURITY STAFF ON SATURDAY. THE MAN FROM TORRENS, AND WOMAN FROM O'CONNOR HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. THE CHIEF MINISTER WILL OPEN A NEW COUNSELLING SERVICE FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN, THIS MORNING.

THE "MARYMEAD CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICE" IS A COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE SUPPORTING FAMILES FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS. THE NEW COUNSELLING SERVICE INCLUDES INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP THERAPY, AND IN-HOME SERVICES. TO SPORT, RAIDERS COACH MATT ELLIOTT HAS NAMED A 17-MAN SQUAD TO THEIR FIRST HOME GAME OF TAKE ON THE KNIGHTS, IN THE SEASON THIS WEEKEND. AND, BRUMBIES COACH LAURIE FISHER WILL NAME HIS 23-MAN TOURING SQUAD, BEFORE THE TEAM LEAVES FOR AUCKLAND TOMORROW.. THE BRUMBIES PLAY THE BLUES ON SATURDAY.

NOW LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT TODAY'S WEATHER.. SOME RAIN ABOUT IN CANBERRA TODAY. FINE, WITH A FEW CLOUDS IN MELBOURNE. IF YOU'RE HEADING TO SYDNEY, THERE MAY BE A SHOWER OR TWO. CHANCE OF A SHOWER OF TWO IN ORANGE.

THERE COULD BE SOME SHOWERS OR AN AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORM IN WOLLONGONG. SHOWERS IN BATHURST. THE CHANCE OF A SHOWER IN GOULBURN, WITH NORTH-WEST WINDS. THE RAIN SET TO CONTINUE ACROSS THE CENTRAL WEST, IN MUDGEE AND PARKES. SHOWERS IN COOMA AS WELL. MORE SHOWERS AND STORMS ON THE SOUTH COAST.. BUT STAYING WARM. SIMILAR CONDITIONS ON THE TABLELANDS, WITH NORTH EAST WINDS. AND SOME RAIN EXPECTED IN THE ALPS AS WELL. (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE.) STILL A THICK BAND OF CLOUD ACROSS THE STATE-- BRINGING Among this morning's top stories, the latest Newspoll slams Kim Beazley's leadership qualities in yet another blow for the Labor Party.

Two Australians caught up in violence in the Middle East as Palestinian militants kidnap Westerners in Gaza. The Queen praises Australia's generosity in the wake of the 2004 tsunami

at a black tie dinner at Parliament House overnight. And final preparations under way for tonight's Commonwealth Games opening extravaganza. Palestinian militants have now freed two Australians among eight foreigners

kidnapped in retaliation for an Israeli raid on a Palestinian prison. Palestinian gunmen attacked the British Council offices in Gaza, peppering it with automatic rifle fire. Some broke into the compound, wrecking vehicles and office equipment before setting them on fire. They accuse Britain and America of condoning the Israeli raid. Another grisly discovery in Iraq with police uncovering at least 87 bodies in and around Baghdad. Police say all of them had gunshot wounds in the head and chest, and had been bound hand and foot. Relatives of the dead flocked to city morgues to collect the bodies. The mass killing is the second in less than a month and follows the attack on a sacred Shi'ite mosque in Samarra three weeks ago.

His worst results since becoming leader 10 years ago show voters have lost faith in him. Prime Minister John Howard is now seen as more in touch, an area in which Mr Beazley traditionally excels. However, voters do find Kim Beazley still marginally more likeable than the Prime Minister. A preselection deal stitched up at a special meeting of Labor's National Executive could re-ignite party brawling. Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy masterminded the blood-letting that saw federal Labor implode last week. In a sequel, union boss Martin Pakula, who was spectacularly defeated by Simon Crean, is now being parachuted into a Victorian upper house seat. I don't comment on internal party matters. You can ask me 10 different ways for the next hour, and waste all of our time. The latest fix could reignite the bitterness that saw Mr Crean accuse Kim Beazley of failing to confront the faction bosses. An uneasy truce just forged at a meeting between the two men. The Opposition Leader not commenting. He was busy meeting the Queen. It was an historic day - his lowest support in seven years as leader. John Howard has been there and done that - has won four elections, so the moral of the story is keep working at it, never give up. Supporters of Simon Crean say Kim Beazley doesn't seem to accept there is a problem, and they point to eight sitting MPs in NSW now being targeted as dead wood. The Queen is on her way to Melbourne to officially open the Commonwealth Games. Her Majesty spent the night in Canberra after finishing late at a black tie dinner. Past and present parliamentarians along with the nation's rich and famous, gathered to rub shoulders with royalty and hear the Queen heap praise on Australia. The Commonwealth Games will only add to Australia's reputation for not only winning world-class events but also hosting them. The much-hyped opening ceremony will be held this evening. A massive crowd welcomed the Queen's baton to central Melbourne as the countdown to the Games nears its end. With less than 24 hours until it's Games-on, Melbourne is ready for a party. Sprinter Lauren Hewitt carrying the Queen's Baton through the city centre.

A crowd of more than 20,000 creating an incredible atmosphere, one likely only to be matched when the athletes take the track. There definitely were butterflies. I felt like I was floating to go up there. Everyone was really excited and I think it's just the start of a very big couple of weeks. Melbourne now well and truly in the grip of Games fever. (Sings) # My island home # But the relay wasn't without another Jana-drama, the star sprinter a last-minute no-show thanks to a hamstring twinge. She's putting the team and her performance in about 5-days time in the right perspective as far as we're concerned. It's a exactly a year since the Queen handed over the baton at Buckingham Palace for the longest, most inclusive Games relay of all time. 180,000km later it's just a day and a few kilometres away

from its final destination. Gerard Scholten, Ten News. A Queensland high school teacher's been granted bail after being charged with molesting one of her female students.

The 25-year-old woman will reappear in court in June, on 93 charges of indecent treatment and dealing of a child. It's alleged she molested the girl, who is now 16, over a two year period. Detectives arrested the woman on Monday at her home in Brisbane's south. A heartbreaking car accident on the Gold Coast overnight. A 3-year-old girl crawled unhurt from the wreckage of a smash that killed her mother. Police say the 32-year-old woman was driving north when she clipped the rear end of a vehicle travelling in the same direction. That car was only slightly damaged, but the woman lost control, crossed to the other side of the road and rolled several times. The driver of the second car escaped uninjured. Jana Pittman's late withdrawal from the Queen's baton relay because of a lingering hamstring injury has divided Australia's Commonwealth Games community. This should've been Jana Pittman's magic moment but it was instead handed to Lauren Hewitt. She couldn't believe

Pittman surrendered the prestige of running the baton into Melbourne. No I can't but it's great for me I had a great time. I was really proud to have got the opportunity to hold the baton. Pittman's motives have again divided the athletics community, but the Australian team hierarchy maintain the 400m jog was too great a risk. We want to make sure she's absolutely right to run the race on the day she runs the qualifying and the day she runs the final so we've taken the conservative view. Pittman's antics aren't new, whether it be miraculous Athens recoveries, cat fights or competition no-shows. Yeah, but it's not like that and people misunderstand me. The fact that we haven't told anyone what's going on is showing that we're not interested in this media hoo-ha, I just want to play it low and run for my country. Saturday's course around St Kilda is already labelled challenging with its tough turns for bikes. But rain on the tracks is more of a concern with a protective covering to be laid over them. We've raced all over the world and Europe, they've got cobblestones and terrible places, so train tracks are probably not as bad as other things we've done.

The Aussies say they'd rather race in the 38 degree heat of last weekend. The demand for employees rose in February suggesting the local market is not necessarily slowing. The Seek employee index revealed new online jobs rose by 0.6% in February. Now for a final recap of the markets.

We've all heard of the Miss Universe contest, but some young women in Lithuania are entering a more specialised beauty show - the Miss Longest Hair competition and this year 19 ladies with luxuriant locks took part. The rules of entry are simple. You just need hair more than one metre long! Contestants are judged on the length and quality of their tresses. They're also required to impress the judges

with a 2 minute hair-raising performance. This year's winner had hair measuring a whopping 132 centimetres. First prize is a mountain bike

with of course, a really big helmet! The weather for today: Looking ahead: Now a recap of this morning's top stories on Ten Early News. Two Australians have been freed in the Gaza Strip after being kidnapped by Palestinian militants. More woes for the Federal Labor Party with another Newspoll showing Kim Beazley's popularity continues to slide. And the Queen the guest of honour at a dinner last night in Canberra. Today she'll head to Melbourne to open the Commonwealth Games. And that's it for Ten's Early News this morning.

The morning news starts at 11:00am and we'll wrap up the day in the Ten News at 5:00. I'm Bill Woods. And I'm Kath Robinson, bye for now.

Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au