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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Welcome to Ten's Early News. Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. no food, no water, no power. Making news this morning - Cyclone Larry's victims ask the Federal Government's support. when they'll see

to this weekend's closing ceremony Games officials offer free tickets from the village. and more athletes missing the rain to snare the latest X-Box. Midnight rush - thousands brave And the first teams arrive next international sporting event - for Melbourne's starts next week. The Australian Grand Prix National weather for the day: the morning's first look at finance. Now here's Kath Robinson with

in positive territory this morning The markets are trading in General Motors' shares. after a jump

Bill, more shortly of Patrick Corporation. on Toll's battle to win control of cleaning up ahead Another heartbreaking day

for victims of Cyclone Larry. has been eased a little But their financial plight from the Federal Government. by a $100 million assistance package now fearing for its future. Babinda is a sugar mill town John Howard needed little convincing. to direct the millions of dollars His biggest question how best he knew would be needed national food producing area. to re-establish what is a major

$10,000 grants. Small business will be given up to $200,000. There will also be concessional loans the rest at 4%. The first $50,000 interest free, in the devastated region For all the locals has been great, for some too much. the strain of this week Driving out of town sped past hectares of banana trees the Prime Minister and his party flattened by the force five winds the multimillion-dollar crop. and with them But there was a firm assurance would not be waived Australia's tough quarantine laws to fill the gap. to allow imported bananas and a shortage. It's going to mean a price rise to a mass giveaway of tickets Poor ticket sales have led

closing ceremony. for the Commonwealth Games will be handed out free 23,000 tickets to Sunday's event

and Games volunteers. to cast and crew unsold tickets The decision to give away controversial pricing structure. is another blow for the Games' cost up to $420. Tickets for the closing ceremony medal tally Checking the Commonwealth Games to build its pot of gold. and Australia continues XBox 360 has arrived. Microsoft's highly anticipated out across the country last night Thousands of game enthusiasts turned of the expensive video game console. to get their hands on the first batch braved the rain in central Sydney Around 1,000 video game fanatics

XBox 360s. to collect their pre-ordered

I got it. I got it. from Microsoft The 360 is the latest offering it's yours. and if you've got a spare $650 Microsoft says in Australia and New Zealand alone it expects to sell $40 million worth over the next 24 hours. Some shops already sold out. who braved the queues overnight Fears some XBox enthusiasts never eventuated. could leave empty-handed is a win for Microsoft, The roll-out of the game system in the competitive video game market. which is going head-to-head with Sony the delivery date This month Sony pushed back of its latest Play Station offering until at least November. Matthew Taylor, Ten News. in a New South Wales court today A man faces an extradition hearing over an axe attack in Adelaide.

to their head and hands Two men suffered deep wounds at a powder coating company when they were attacked while working at suburban Wingfield last week. gave himself up to police Yesterday, a former employee on the New South Wales north coast. at Port Macquarie with two counts of attempted murder. He's expected to be charged At least two people are dead of a landmark building after the partial collapse in Nigeria's capital, Lagos. of the 24-storey building Part of the top 16 floors sheared off during a storm, main commercial street of the city. sending rubble crashing into the the whole block around the building Police have cordoned off begin digging through the rubble as rescue crews in search of possible survivors. on Sunday, The Commonwealth Games winds up next big world event, giving organisers of Melbourne's the Formula One Grand Prix, just one day to prepare. And there off. for the 2006 Melbourne Grand Prix. The race begins 670 tonnes or 70 truckloads From Avalon airport on Pit Straight from midday Monday will begin to descend is removed. once the Games security cordon very difficult site A very tight schedule, so it will be difficult. Games chairman Ron Walker, Helping to ease the transition Australian Grand Prix Corporation. who also happens to be chairman of

worked out time and time again. Planning for the Grand Prix has been were approved nine months ago. The engineering drawings Pit Straight is an ask, If you think 18 hours to set up to undo their work handlers have the same amount of time the cars heading to Europe races around the globe. as the Grand Prix

qualities Well, he's always had leadership indigenous players and particularly amongst our than any other AFL club and we have more sees him on our forward line and you know, Kelly O'Donnell a natural progression. so it's just kind of

from last year The Crows leading goalkicker to the season. will have a delayed start

fracture in his left leg Scott Welsh still battling a stress first four games. and could miss Adelaide's

have lost another big man And the Bulldogs with Will Minson to be sidelined against Richmond for at least the opening round after breaking a bone in his hand.

we're going to do I outlined some of the things murmuring going around the room, and there was a of very positive a lot of nodding heads. And last night at the NRL judiciary was suspended for two weeks. Newcastle winger Anthony Quinn To business news now on its bid for Patrick, Kath. and Toll ups the ante The stakes have been raised in the battle to win control of Patrick Corporation. Toll's upped its hostile bid for the Steve Doring Company to $7.52 a share and will raise the offer to $7.82 in should it achieve 90% of shareholder acceptances and if Patrick cans its bid for FCL. Toll's boss says the $5.4 billion offer is simple and compelling and falls within the range recommended by an independent valuation. And upmarket retailer David Jones has posted a 15% rise in first-half profit to $54 million, boosted by its credit card business. Chief executive Mark McInness is tipping 5%-10% earnings growth over the full year, noting that the sale of the Myer chain will re-invigorate the retail sector.

And that's the latest in business and finance, Bill. Now for a look at the national weather: Now to what's making headlines in Thursday's papers: The Ten Early News will return after the break.

Welcome back to Ten's Early News. Making news this morning,

the clean-up continues from Cyclone Larry as Wati hovers precariously off the Queensland coast. The Federal Government reportedly pushing for all children

to attend pre-school from the age of four. Separatist movement ETA declares a ceasefire in Spain after 40 years of bombings and shootings. And Australia's medal haul continues at the Commonwealth Games with John Steffensen scoring a gold medal on the track.

He's appealing the excessive jail term he received for acting dishonestly as a director of the failed insurance giant HIH. Last April Adler was ordered to serve at least 2.5 years

of his maximum jail term of 4.5 years but he's appealing the severity of the sentence on eight grounds, saying errors were made in determining the sentence.

Aid is pouring into cyclone-ravaged north Queensland from across Australia and overseas,

but it hasn't even begun to touch the sides. Sporting heros and major corporations are raising millions but residents are still struggling to find enough food and supplies to cater to their immediate needs. Sewerage systems have been restored but it could be more than a week before the power is back. The long-term effects for the region are escalating - on top of the damage done to banana and cane plantations,

the once thriving prawn industry is now a write off. Residents are now contemplating whether to flee before cyclone Watti hits - the Category 3 storm brewing north-east of Mackay. All four-year-olds could be forced to attend pre-school under a new Federal Government plan. According to the 'Australian' newspaper Education Minister Julie Bishop is proposing

all children from the age of four attend a pre-school or accredited childcare centre.

The plan is currently being drawn up by the Government and will discussed in greater detail in June. The Minister has highlighted the importance of early childhood education and says it prepares young children for school. Socialite Rose Porteous has apparently suffered a stroke. Porteous failed to turn up at court yesterday to answer charges of altering a prescription for painkillers. Her psychiatrist says he suspects a stroke but the court demanded more evidence. Thousands of enthusiasts stood in line across the country overnight to collect their XBox 360.

The highly-anticipated video game console is the latest offering from Microsoft and went on sale at midnight.

Microsoft says it expects to sales in Australasia and New Zealand to reach $40 million in the first 24 hours alone. The unit sells for around $650 and is now on store shelves. Almost 40 years of shootings and bombings in Spain appear to be over. Basque separatist movement ETA today declared a permanent ceasefire in its fight for independence. More than two million Basques have been demanding autonomy

for their district in northern Spain

and now ETA says it will pursue that goal by political means. At least 800 have died since ETA began its armed struggle in 1968. John Steffensen talked the talk in the build up to last night's 400m event and he didn't let himself down, becoming the first Aussie to win gold in the event since 1990. Nobody's talked up John Steffensen's chances more than he has. This was the moment to let his legs do the talking. It's gold for Australia, good on ya boy, Johnny Steffensen. The 23-year-old celebrating in his trademark flamboyant style. You asked me am I over confident. Now you can see Aussies also making a splash in the inaugural 3,000m women's steeplechase. Melissa Rollison challenging the Ugandan world champion. Neck and neck really for the last three laps. Silver for Rollison, Donna McFarlane taking bronze. Kylie Wheeler's courageous run earning her silver in the heptathlon. Earlier Jana Pittman took centre stage. Qualifying fastest for tonight's 400m hurdles final. Jeremy Pudney, Ten News. To the Commonwealth Games medal tally: A French adventurer claims she's been swimming with sharks off Western Australia in preparation for a record sailboard crossing of the Indian Ocean. A self-confessed sailboard addict on her ultimate trip, Raphaela Le Gouvello is now tackling the world's toughest ocean after conquering the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. You have to listen to you and maybe to follow some of your dreams. Sailing solo from Exmouth next month,

she hopes to reach Reunion Island in just 75 days - 6,300km across the Indian Ocean. And then maybe I can go beyond this first panic. She'll sail in one hour bursts with 15 minute breaks, sleeping at night in a tiny compartment just 47cm high. Nick Way, Ten News.

New South Sydney rugby league team owner Russell Crowe has told players there'll be no clean-out of talent. The Hollywood star's assurance came during a surprise visit to Rabbitohs' training. He came bearing gifts. Russell Crowe giving his players some Hollywood memorabilia and a pep talk about the club's future. I outlined some of the things we're going to do and there was a of very positive murmuring going around the room, a lot of nodding heads. He just wants us to worry about our footy, they'll take care of everything else. Crowe also dispelling fears of a clean-out of players as the new management looks to attract some big-name signings to the club. I hope they wouldn't because that's not what's going to happen. Shaun McRae has been building the depth of the club

over the last couple of years. There was a time just a blink ago we didn't have eight legitimate first grade players. And last night at the NRL judiciary Newcastle winger Anthony Quinn was suspended for two weeks. I am disappointed and it's going to be sad to sit on the sideline and watch the boys for two weeks.

NRL Chief executive David Gallop

is willing to lose star players to rugby union in order to preserve the salary cap. Gallop believes the cap is responsible for creating one of the most even competitions in the game's history and won't change the rules to keep certain players from switching. The Australian Rugby Union has already held talks with St George Illawarra's Mark Gasnier about a lucrative switch as early as next year. Fremantle has elevated flamboyant forward Jeff Farmer to its 10-man leadership group. The move raised a few eyebrows after Farmer's controversial past on and off the field. But coach Chris Connolly has defended his decision, saying it's a natural progression. Peter Bell will remain the skipper with Matthew Pavlich again his deputy.

Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne predicts another seam-friendly pitch

for the second Test against South Africa in Durban. Warne says the pitch may play into Australia's hands with first Test hero Stuart Clarke expected to retain his place on the team after snaring 9 wickets on debut. And the United Cricket Board of South Africa's chief executive Gerald Majoola is calling for criminal charges to be laid against spectators found racially taunting cricketers. Now Kath with finance and the Aussie dollar continues to languish. It's trading at its lowest level this year - down below 72 US cents. For more I'm joined by Juliana Roadley from CommSec. Juliana, exporters must be happy with these levels but an eroding interest rate differential can't be the only reason behind the decline?

As we are not the only As we are not the only Durham's

chief feeling the pinch. The New Zealand dollar is at two

Zealand dollar is at 28 lower level.

The commodity prices should have

pushed the Aussie dollar higher

serum. We have a great result

yesterday from a Davy Jones. It's

Colorado will announce today. We are

expecting to see a profit of 30 expecting to see a profit of 30

million. New research shows women are

out there are spending. It's we are

buying cheaper items for one season. The Ten Early News will return after the break.

Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. Welcome to Ten's Early News. Making news this morning - no food, no water, no power. Cyclone Larry's victims ask when they'll see the Federal Government's support. Games officials offer free tickets to this weekend's closing ceremony and more athletes missing from the village. Midnight rush - thousands brave the rain to snare the latest XBox. And the first teams arrive

for Melbourne's next international sporting event - the Australian Grand Prix starts next week. National weather for the day: Now here's Kath Robinson with the morning's finance. James Hardie revealed after the market closed yesterday that it's facing an even bigger tax bill. The building products company says it now needs to repay $412 million to the Tax Office,

up from the $220 million announced earlier this week. The tax bill relates to ownership changes

involving one of Hardie's subsiduary companies prior to its move to the Netherlands. James Hardie will appeal the ruling. That's the latest in business and finance, Bill. Despair is hitting families in Far North Queensland, two days after Cyclone Larry tore their lives apart. Many are getting in urgent need of food, shelter and money and are desperately waiting for Government assistance to flow through. It's the sad but understandable frustration of people with nothing left. How long, how long?

We've eaten last night. I managed to get $50 from here for food for all of us. And that wasn't much. Coles is just about empty. What the hell are we supposed to do in this damn town? Sleeping on the floor in corner of room that's a little dry but the rain is pouring in on top of us. Everything is gone. We're being told if the rivers go up, we'll get stuck across here

Water may have been restored to Innsfail, but it won't be safe to drink without boiling for days. If you've got a generator at home in this area that you think we could use and you're not using it yourself if you could make it available, we'd be very grateful. Poor ticket sales have led to a mass giveaway of tickets

for the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. 23,000 tickets to Sunday's event will be handed out free to cast and crew and Games volunteers. The decision to give away unsold tickets is another blow for the Games' controversial pricing structure.

Tickets for the closing ceremony cost up to $420. A Sydney contractor shot five times while refilling a soft drink vending machine, has finally reached a compensation deal. Craig Pareezer was originally paid $3 million in damages after suing Coca Cola in 2004. But two weeks ago, another court ordered he repay $500,000 he'd already received from Coke. The beverage giant now says it's reached a generous agreement

but the terms of the deal are confidential. Microsoft's highly anticipated XBox 360 has arrived. Thousands of game enthusiasts turned out across the country last night to get their hands on the first batch of the expensive video game console. Around 1,000 video game fanatics braved the rain in central Sydney to collect their pre-ordered XBox 360s. The 360 is the latest offering from Microsoft and if you've got a spare $650 it's yours. Microsoft says it expects to sell $40 million worth in Australia and New Zealand alone over the next 24 hours. Some shops already sold out.

Fears some XBox enthusiasts who braved the queues overnight could leave empty-handed never eventuated. The roll-out of the game system is a win for Microsoft, which is going head-to-head with Sony in the competitive video game market. This month Sony pushed back the delivery date of its latest Play Station offering until at least November. Matthew Taylor, Ten News. The European Union has banned almost 100 airlines from flying in European air space. The union decided on the action after a spate of fatal crashes last year raised concerns about the safety and maintenance of aircraft.

Most of the 93 passenger and freight companies are based in Africa,

but some are from Thailand and North Korea. Farmers in south-west China have given a sick and aging panda a new lease on life.

They found the female panda stressed and trapped on a construction site. They called state experts who diagnosed fever, breathing problems and starvation. The 15-year-old animal is now recuperating at a conservation centre but it's expected to be some time before she can be nursed back to health.

And they're off. The race begins for the 2006 Melbourne Grand Prix. From Avalon airport 670 tonnes or 70 truckloads will begin to descend on Pit Straight from midday Monday once the Games security cordon is removed. A very tight schedule, very difficult site so it will be difficult. Helping to ease the transition Games chairman Ron Walker, who also happens to be chairman of Australian Grand Prix Corporation. Planning for the Grand Prix has been worked out time and time again.

The engineering drawings were approved nine months ago. If you think 18 hours to set up Pit Straight is an ask, handlers have the same amount of time to undo their work the cars heading to Europe

as the Grand Prix races around the globe.

New South Sydney rugby league club owner Russell Crowe has promised his players there'll be no clean-out of talent at the club. The actor made a surprise visit to Rabbitohs' training

and came bearing gifts for the players.

He passed on some Hollywood memorabilia before giving them a pep talk about the club's future. I outlined some of the things we're going to do

and there was a of very positive murmuring going around the room, a lot of nodding heads. And at the NRL judiciary last night Newcastle winger Anthony Quinn copped a 2-week suspension for a dangerous throw. The AFL has won another round in its ongoing stoush with the media. Fairfax and News Limited once again been prevented from naming three players whove twice tested positive to illicit drugs. A trial date set for May 22, at which time 'Sydney Morning Herald' journalist Jacquelin Magnay, will be asked to explain who leaked the players names. Fremantle has elevated flamboyant forward Jeff Farmer into its leadership group as one of nine deputies. Peter Bell will remain the main man. Well, he's always had leadership qualities

and particularly amongst our indigenous players and we have more than any other AFL club and you know, Kelly O'Donnell sees him on our forward line so it's just kind of a natural progression. The Crows leading goalkicker from last year will have a delayed start to the season. Scott Welsh still battling a stress fracture in his left leg and could miss Adelaide's first four games. And the Bulldogs have lost another big man with Will Minson to be sidelined for at least the opening round against Richmond

after breaking a bone in his hand. Kelli Underwood, Ten News. Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne predicts another seam-friendly pitch for the second Test against South Africa in Durban. Warne says the pitch may play into Australia's hands with first Test hero Stuart Clarke expected to retain his place on the team after snaring 9 wickets on debut. And the United Cricket Board of South Africa's chief executive Gerald Majoola is calling for criminal charges to be laid

against spectators found racially taunting cricketers.

It seems the hangover from last year's petrol prices spike weighed on new car sales in February

with new motor vehicle sales falling 2.1%. Sales over the year to February fell 4.6%. Some economist say consumers are waiting for the release of more fuel efficient models to hit the market later this year before they shell-out their cash for the big purchase. And the jobs market remains resilient with the number of skilled vacancies rising 1.2% in March. The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations said vacancies for professionals rose 0.5% while trade vacancies rose 1.6% over the month. The only falls occurred in the areas of accounting and health. Now for a look at the national weather: Now to what's making headlines in Thursday's papers: The Ten Early News will return after the break with more on the Government's plan to force children into pre-school. BUT FIRST, THE PRIME MINISTER HAS ANNOUNCED A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PACKAGE FOR THE VICTIMS OF VISIT TO FAR NORTH CYCLONE LARRY, DURING HIS QUEENSLAND YESTERDAY. JOHN HOWARD OFFERING 10-THOUSAND DOLLAR TAX-FREE GRANTS, FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY THE DISASTER. THE CHIEF MINISTER SAYS THE SUCCESS OF PERMANENT WATER RESTRICTIONS FOR CANBERRA, "DEPEND ON THE ACTIONS OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US". THE NEW WATER SAVING MEASURES START AT THE END OF MARCH, LOCALS IN CANBERRA ALREADY SAVING 73-GIGALITRES OF WATER SINCE RESTRICTIONS BEGAN FOUR YEARS AGO. THE SEARCH HAS STARTED FOR A REPLACEMENT IN THE A-C-T

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, WITH FORMER TED QUINLAN FORMALLY RETIRING ON TUESDAY. AN ADVERTISEMENT PLACED IN THE MEDIA ON TOMORROW, CALLING FOR FAILED CANDIDATES FROM THE LAST ELECTION TO EXPRESS INTEREST. STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT NARRABUNDAH PRIMARY WILL MEET ROBERT DE CASTELLA THIS MORNING, TO ENCOURAGE KIDS TO GET MOVING FOR "WALK SAFELY TO SCHOOL DAY" ON APRIL SEVEN. THE DAY IS DESIGNED TO SEE LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOLERS BECOME MORE ACTIVE. THE CANBERRA HOSPITAL'S BONE MARROW AND STEM CELL TRANSPLANT UNIT, WILL BE OFFICIALLY NAMED AFTER PETER FIELD THIS MORNING. MR FIELD HELPED SET UP THE UNIT, AND WAS ALSO A SUPPORTER OF THE HAEMATOLOGY-ONCOLOGY UNITS AND A FINANCIAL DONOR.

TO SPORT, AND ACTAS BOXER STEVE RUDIC IS IN THE HEAVY-WEIGHT DIVISION SEMI-FINALS OF THE SUPER ACROSS THE COUNTRY NOW, CANBERRA FINE, SHOWERS IF

YOU'RE HEADING TO SYDNEY, WITH ANOTHER SUNNY DAY FOR THE MELBOURNE GAMES

DUBBO PARTLY CLOUDY TODAY, WOLLONGONG AND BEGA A SHOWER OR TWO, WITH A BIT OF CLOUD ABOUT IN ORANGE, BUT SUNNY ACROSS THE RIVERINA

BATHURST PARTLY CLOUDY, SHOWERS ALFOR THOSE ON THE COAST, PERISHER FINE MUDGEE AND PARKES, PARTLY CLOUDY, SHOWERS FOR NOWRA, THEDBO SUNNY SOME VERY HIGH FIRE DANGER WARNINGS TODAY ..LOOKING AHEAD TO FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND, SHOWERS FOR THE Welcome back to Ten's Early News. Making news this morning, the clean-up continues from Cyclone Larry as Wati hovers precariously off the Queensland coast.

The Federal Government reportedly pushing for all children to attend pre-school from the age of four. Separatist movement ETA declares a ceasefire in Spain after 40 years of bombings and shootings. And Australia's medal haul continues at the Commonwealth Games with John Steffensen scoring a gold medal on the track. Babinda is a sugar mill town now fearing for its future. John Howard needed little convincing. His biggest question how best to direct the millions of dollars he knew would be needed to re-establish what is a major national food producing area. Small business will be given $10,000 grants. There will also be concessional loans up to $200,000. The first $50,000 interest free, the rest at 4%. For all the locals in the devastated region the strain of this week has been great, for some too much. Driving out of town the Prime Minister and his party sped past hectares of banana trees flattened by the force five winds and with them the multimillion-dollar crop. But there was a firm assurance Australia's tough quarantine laws would not be waived to allow imported bananas to fill the gap. It's going to mean a price rise and a shortage. The New South Wales north coast city of Coffs Harbour is known for its Big Banana. Now its farmers are making big profits to match as desperate wholesalers offer record prices in the wake of Cyclone Larry. Coffs Harbour is now at the centre of a big banana price boom. In the wake of Cyclone Larry, the Australian market has become dependant on its supply of bananas. Even small players are cashing in on the supply shortage.

It was about $14 a carton now I hear $40-$45 a carton. That price hike already being reflected at the check-out. Yesterday is $1.59 now its $4 a kilo. Distributors warn regardless of the record prices, there soon won't be enough of the fruit to go around. A carton really irrelevant to the problem we have at hand. Supermarkets are expecting major shortages by the end of next week. Ebbeny Faranda, Ten News. All four-year-olds could be forced to attend pre-school under a new Federal Government plan. According to the 'Australian' newspaper Education Minister Julie Bishop is proposing all children from the age of four attend a pre-school or accredited childcare centre. The plan is currently being drawn up by the Government and will discussed in greater detail in June. The Minister has highlighted the importance

of early childhood education and says it prepares young children for school. It's any parents worst nightmare, arriving to pick up their child from day care to find them missing. But it did happen to one Victorian couple.

Secure again in her family home a day after a big scare for Casey Smith. A vacation care program took a busload of children to Ballam Park but at home time, Casey was left behind to find a lost cap. And then I had to go and find it. She came back, cap in hand, but no-one to say thank you. I was left alone and scared.

A distraught dad did not know how the $25-a-day program could do this. It was just disbelief. You have faith in the system, in that she should be there.

A fireman found the little girl lost and contacted police. There was no explanation from the community centre. We are investigating the circumstances of this incident. Margaret Dekker, Ten News. Almost 40 years of shootings and bombings in Spain

appear to be over. Basque separatist movement ETA today declared a permanent ceasefire in its fight for independence. More than two million Basques have been demanding autonomy for their district in northern Spain and now ETA says it will pursue that goal by political means. At least 800 have died since ETA began its armed struggle in 1968. Thousands of enthusiasts stood in line across the country overnight

to collect their XBox 360. The highly-anticipated video game console is the latest offering from Microsoft and went on sale at midnight. Microsoft says it expects to sales in Australasia and New Zealand to reach $40 million in the first 24 hours alone. The unit sells for around $650 and is now on store shelves. To the Commonwealth Games medal tally: The first Aussie to win gold in the event since 1990. Nobody's talked up John Steffensen's chances more than he has. This was the moment to let his legs do the talking. It's gold for Australia, good on ya boy, Johnny Steffensen.

The 23-year-old celebrating in his trademark flamboyant style. You asked me am I over confident. Now you can see. Aussies also making a splash in the inaugural 3,000m women's steeplechase. Melissa Rollison challenging the Ugandan world champion. Neck and neck really for the last three laps. Silver for Rollison, Donna McFarlane taking bronze. Kylie Wheeler's courageous run earning her silver in the heptathlon. Earlier Jana Pittman took centre stage. Qualifying fastest for tonight's 400m hurdles final. Jeremy Pudney, Ten News. New South Sydney rugby league team owner Russell Crowe has told players there'll be no clean-out of talent. The Hollywood star's assurance came during a surprise visit to Rabbitohs' training. He came bearing gifts. Russell Crowe giving his players some Hollywood memorabilia and a pep talk about the club's future. I outlined some of the things we're going to do and there was a of very positive murmuring going around the room, a lot of nodding heads. He just wants us to worry about our footy, they'll take care of everything else. Crowe also dispelling fears of a clean-out of players as the new management looks to attract some big-name signings to the club. I hope they wouldn't because that's not what's going to happen. Shaun McRae has been building the depth of the club over the last couple of years.

There was a time just a blink ago we didn't have eight legitimate first grade players. And last night at the NRL judiciary Newcastle winger Anthony Quinn was suspended for two weeks.

I am disappointed and it's going to be sad to sit on the sideline and watch the boys for two weeks. NRL chief executive David Gallop

is willing to lose star players to rugby union in order to preserve the salary cap. Gallop believes the cap is responsible for creating one of the most even competitions in the game's history and won't change the rules to keep certain players from switching.

The Australian Rugby Union has already held talks with St George Illawarra's Mark Gasnier about a lucrative switch as early as next year. Sydney FC chairman Walter Bugno

has confirmed he will remain boss of the inaugural A-League champions. Speculation about Bugno's future left Sydney's influential supporter group the Cove seeing red. But the tempers have eased since Bugno released a statement assuring fans he has the backing of shareholders and the team's big spending strategy would remain, despite a dire financial performance in its first year. Markets positive:

And sad news - Bernard Lacoset, the man behind the clothing empire has died at age 74 in Paris hospital. New York police have captured a wily fugitive who's been hiding out in Central Park. Officers spent two days trying to corner this wild coyote who repeatedly outsmarted them in Manhattan's largest park. He's in the water! Wildlife experts believe the coyote wandered out of bushland several kilometres away before making his way through the Bronx and into the park. Another coyote was captured in Central Park in 1999. The national weather for Thursday:

Quick recap of the morning's top stories.

Quick recap of the morning's top stories. The clean-up from Cyclone Larry continues as Wati slowly creeps closer to the coast bringing with it strong winds and high seas. More athletes missing from the Commonwealth Games village as organisers promise free tickets to the closing ceremony to fill seats. And separatist movement ETA declares a ceasefire in Spain after 40 years of bombings and shootings.

And that's all for this edition of Ten's Early News. The morning news is at 11:00am and we'll wrap up the day in our news hours 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