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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Good morning. Welcome to Ten's Early News. I'm Bill Woods. This morning. Ready and waiting - to head to troubled East Timor. Aussie warships poised

the PM in Ireland, A boycott fails to deter to a parliament with empty seats. delivering his maiden address Expensive visit - Canberra's airport tarmac $29 million spent repairing after a presidential touch-down.

And great balls of fire to jump from a balcony in Germany. force a mother and son at the weather. Let's take a quick look

at finance. Now time for our first look on Wall Street Stocks have rebounded overnight boosted shares as rising global commodity prices such as Exxon and Alcoa. of energy and metal companies have been upgraded, Travel warnings to East Timor in the capital Dili. following a surge of violence are on stand-by to go in. Australian warships Our security committee met overnight, of a mission. increasing the likelihood Our navy positioned off Townsville to be its next deployment. ready for what's expected the call expected any moment. Australia will help if asked, In the latest clashes has been killed, several injured. at least one government soldier and security personnel Rebel military destabilising the situation must cease to resolve their differences. and work with the government The Federal Government has warned as the violence flares. people to stay away

urged to leave immediately. Those who live in the troubled nation Australians under threat. If needed, the ships could evacuate to be rescued by embassy officials. SBS journalist David O'Shea the first David was on the run. through his mobile phone. We had contact with him David on how to behave under fire. Our security consultant was briefing on the increasingly tense situation The PM is expected to comment later this morning. and delivered. They promised a boycott 40 Irish politicians walking out to parliament on John Howard's maiden address commitment to Iraq. angry at the Australian Government's is there Ten's political editor Paul Bongiorno and joins me on the phone. to see the empty seats? Paul, was Mr Howard disappointed And did he push on regardless?

Not at all. A majority of MPs were

there. He did a bit of protesting

himself. He urged the Irish to

support the world trade talks. He support the world trade talks.

also defended the Iraq war by

praising the newly elected government

there. Bob Brown has sent a letter to there. Bob Brown has sent a letter

his counterpart here. It complained

about Mr Howard's push on Iranian. for working mothers. Relief this morning Federal laws will be strengthened to jump the childcare queue to allow them ahead of stay-at-home mums. will explore ways The Howard Government the needs of working mothers. to ensure childcare centres respect don't come cheap - Presidential visits down-under for example. take George Bush's 2003 trip his Air Force One arrival The 'Australian' newspaper reports airport to the tune of $29 million. damaged the main runway of Canberra's to foot the repair bill. Taxpayers were left the airport raised concerns A budget estimates committee heard on the runway about the impact of the plane before it arrived. spent 21-hours in Australia The American President backed the war in Iraq. after John Howard says Northern Territory's Chief Justice

on Aboriginal customary law he placed too much emphasis

to a month's jail when sentencing an Aboriginal man for raping a 14-year-old girl. preparations for a national summit The confession comes amid on abuse in Koori communities.

250km south-west of Darwin But life in this community has turned sour and lawless terrorising women and children. with armed rival gangs to camp out in a backyard In one case forcing people to achieve safety in numbers. The level of violence and crime communities is a disgrace. in some of the Aboriginal up to 300 people There have been suggestions from the township may need to be removed to avoid the continuing violence. has ruled out the use of the army The Federal Government to restore law and order. as a cultural defence There is no such thing to rape or child molestation. Under pressure to come on board

breakdown in Aboriginal communities, with a national response to the Labor Chief Minister Clare Martin the Northern Territory's in Canberra on Thursday. will meet federal minister Mal Brough

to premiers and chief ministers Formal invitations have now gone out

on the issue probably next month. to attend a national summit we have key Indigenous leaders I think it would only be fair that at such a critical meeting in attendance to discuss and look at issues

for some of those issues and the solutions that Government will be considering. Greg Turnbull, Ten News.

for a woman and her son, An amazing tale of survival their burning apartment building. forced to jump from

of yesterday morning, The fire broke out in the early hours but to leap to safety. the pair left with no alternative suffered only minor injuries, The mother and son was able to escape down the stairs. the woman's daughter A Greek fighter pilot is dead airforce F-16 over the Aegean Sea. after his jet collided with a Turkish was rescued by a passing ship The Turkish pilot after ejecting from the aircraft. over international waters The accident happened off the island of Karpathos. about 20km had intercepted two Turkish planes, Two Greek fighters to a photo reconnaissance plane. reportedly acting as an escort

and 60 injured 9 people have been killed on a highway in China. in a dramatic pile-up

were caught up in the crash. 28 trucks

and slippery roads were to blame Officials say heavy fog for the traffic chaos. Of the 60 people injured, life-threatening injuries. 16 were taken to hospital suffering by lunchtime today Hawthorn will decide the four match ban whether or not to appeal handed to captain Richie Vandenberg by the AFL tribunal last night. A poor record meant Vandenberg received the season's harshest penalty for striking Melbourne's Russell Robertson. We thought the penalty offered was more severe than the action warranted so we'll have a look at that. Essendon's Andrew Lovett was suspended for three matches for striking, but team-mate Dean Solomon was cleared of charging. An injury to New South Wales half Craig Gower has lifted Queensland's hopes for a breakthrough victory in the first State of Origin. The Blues tried unsuccessfully to enlist Andrew Johns and Matt Orford, eventually selecting the Roosters' Brett Finch. As the Blues' injury toll mounts, the side welcomed their newest addition late last night. Everyone who plays Origin will jump at the chance if they've got five days to prepare or one day. While the status of skipper Danny Buderus

and centre Timana Tahu remain in doubt, it's the newcomer Finch facing the biggest adjustment to a team that's been together for over a week. He's played one Origin before. He played well in the City/Country match so we've got confidence in him. Earlier Cronulla utility Tevita Latu had his Sharks contract torn up by the club. The NRL will back up the move refusing his re-registration

as police continue to investigate an alleged assault on a 19 year-old woman early Monday morning. It wouldn't be fair on Cronulla to see a player like this turn up at another club. The Socceroos' preparations for tomorrow night's friendly against Greece at the MCG

have been dealt another blow. Back-up striker Josh Kennedy hobbled from training yesterday with an Achilles injury,

breaking down under coach Guus Hiddink's tough training program. It is harder work but, you know, we're enjoying it and it's great to be amongst the players.

We've got a great team spirit so it's all good. With injuries to Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, Josip Skoko will be given extra responsibility in the midfield. Finance and another Aussie company falls into foreign hands? Uncle Toby's is set to be offloaded to Swiss company Nestle for $890 million. Current owner Burns Philp is selling the snackfood and breakfast cereals business to Nestle's Australian unit after it began looking at possible sale options earlier this year. The sale still requires regulatory and shareholder approvals, but any sale is likely to leave Burns Philp cashed up and ready to pursue a number of large scale acquisitions. National weather for the rest of the day: Let's see what the newspapers are saying. An investigation launched into the handling of the Joan Zhang disappearance. The details after the break on Ten's Early News. This program is captioned live. Welcome back to Ten's Early News. Making headlines. 40 MPs boycott John Howard's maiden speech to Ireland's parliament. Australian warships on stand-by to head to yet another trouble spot. A special interview with Aussie musician Keith Urban And in sport, Roosters league halfback Brett Finch

thrilled at his New South Wales Origin call-up.

Finance news and BHP succeeds in its plans to lock out its smaller rival? The Treasurer has refused to allow Fortescue Metals access to BHP's Pilbara iron ore railway assets. Yesterday Mr Costello said he would not act on Fortescue's formal application

which asked for access to the line under national competition rules.

Earlier this year the National Competition Council granted Fortescue access but the Treasuer has sided with BHP that argued the decision would be detrimental. Warm applause and empty seats greeted John Howard as he adressed Ireland's parliament. 40 Labour MPs joined independents in boycotting the historic address.

A handful of protesters jeered John Howard as he arrived at the parliament. The mixed tone of the day continued when the Greens leader handed the Prime Minister a protest letter from his Australian counterpart.

Bob Brown said to give you this. But Mr Howard was warmly welcomed to the chamber. Australians will always maintain a deep affection for Ireland and the Irish people. A quarter of the parliament, 40 MPs stayed away. Many Labour politicians joining the six independents in a boycott. The voice of the anti-war movement is being heard that's why we're boycotting it. Mr Howard struck a protest note of his own urging an end to massive farm subsidies as practised by his Irish hosts. Travel warnings to East Timor have been upgraded, following a surge of violence in the capital Dili. Deployment of the Royal Australian Navy to the small nation is looking increasingly likely. The Federal Government's security committee met last night and our warships are on stand-by in northern waters. Troops can be moved in if needed, the ships could also be used to evacuate Australians. The marriage of Australian hostage Douglas Wood might not be over after all. His American wife Yvonne Given, who comforted him after his six week ordeal in Iraq, says she's not aware of any split. The revelation comes less than a day after the 64-year-old engineer announced their partnership was over. Hardline Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir could out of jail in a few weeks after serving 29 months for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings. He had his sentence sliced back by more than four months on Indonesia's independence day, angering relatives of the 88 Australians killed in the October blasts. Bashir - the alleged spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiah - was the bombers' spiritual leader. Heath Ledger's future father-in-law is this morning waking up in a police cell even though he's been granted bail while on charges of tax evasion. American stock-broker Larry Williams, father of Ledger's fiancee Michelle, is facing three charges in the United States. It's claimed he owes authorities $1.9 million.

Williams denies that. He was arrested in Sydney ahead of a month-long speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand. He's been unable to raise the $1 million for his bail. The Chief Commissioner of Victoria's police force is demanding answers over the early handling of an abduction case. Police twice missed crucial evidence, eventually found by the victim's workmate. Abducted, killed then dumped in the boot of her car, the remains of Joanne Zhang were discovered yesterday in Melbourne's south-east. While Yiwen Pan - a workmate of the 35-year-old - has been charged with her murder, questions are still being asked

about the initial police reaction to the case. Victoria's Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon ordering a report on her force's response. Ms Zhang was attacked last Thursday night while leaving work with the day's takings - over $9,000. Alerted to her disappearance, uniformed police attended the crime scene twice but missed a large pool of blood and human hair. It was eventually found by a workmate of the victim, nearly 12 hours after she'd disappeared. Police claim they couldn't get access to the carpark. Christopher Still, Ten News. Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in Washington for talks with the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. This is the first official visit to the United States for Mr Olmert who took over earlier this year after Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke. A meeting with President Bush is also scheduled to take place later today before Mr Olmert addresses Congress tomorrow. Work has finally begun to pump water from the flooded Chinese mine where 57 workers remain trapped. The men have been underground for five days now

after the shaft they were working in flooded. There's still no word on whether the trapped men are alive but hopes for their safe return are fading fast. A series of technical problems and no power has delayed the rescue effort. New South Wales halfback Craig Gower is out of tonight's State of Origin match against Queensland. He has a knee injury. It was a late call-up for Brett Finch who joined the side last night, but only after Andrew Johns and Matt Orford made themselves unavailable due to their own injuries. Everyone who plays Origin will jump at the chance if they've got five days to prepare or one day. A decision on injured Blues skipper Danny Buderus will be made today. Hawthorn will decide by lunchtime today

whether or not to appeal the four match ban

handed to captain Richie Vandenberg by the AFL tribunal last night. The Hawks believe the punishment did not fit the crime. The Hawks rolled the dice tonight and lost - four weeks for the skipper whose recent bad record did not help. But Hawthorn are considering appealing the decision. We thought the penalty offered was more severe than the action warranted so we'll have a look at that. The Hawks challenged the Match Review Panel's decision that Vandenberg's forearm fend on Melbourne's Russell Robertson was a strike but without success and he'll miss until after the split round. The news also wasn't good for Essendon's Andrew Lovett, who was given a 3-match ban for striking Eagle Adam Hunter. Extremely disappointed in the outcome. A relatively minor strike can receive a 2- or 3-week penalty in circumstances where other - what we would consider - more serious conduct gets the same sort of sanctions. But team-mate Dean Solomon walked away happy, after being cleared of charging Ben Cousins. Finance and some good news for Coles Myer? Coles Myer has reported a surprise rise in third quarter sales to just over $9 billion. Revenue gained nearly 5% despite record high petrol prices eroding consumer spending. Coles has reaffirmed full-year profit forecasts of $785 million and announced plans for a $1 billion share buyback. Construction company Multiplex has given the England football team a sneak peak of the new look Wembley Stadium. The multimillion-dollar reconstruction has plagued the construction giant, but the stadium is still a long way from being ready. Sven Eriksson once told me that one of his ambitions was to lead England out at Wembley. And this is as close as he'll get. For the first time the England squad gathered at the new national stadium. It's absolutely amazing coming out and seeing it, being here and seeing it, it's unbelievable. To lead England out at Wembley

would be an amazing occasion for myself. The pitch is little more than a sand pit. But with the World Cup finals barely two weeks away there was time for a kick-about. If Wembley had been built on time warm-up matches would have been played here next week. But Wembley isn't ready. Even though the retractable roof is now in place as are the 90,000 seats. The FA doesn't expect to use Wembley for an international until next February at the earliest. National weather: Aussie troops prepare for another overseas deployment, all the details when Ten's Early News returns.

This program is captioned live. Good morning. Welcome to Ten's Early News. This morning. Ready and waiting - Aussie warships poised to head to troubled East Timor. A boycott fails to deter the PM in Ireland, delivering his maiden address to a parliament with empty seats. Expensive visit - $29 million spent repairing Canberra's airport tarmac after a presidential touch-down. And great balls of fire force a mother and son to jump from a balcony in Germany. Let's take a quick look at the weather. Finance, how are the markets looking? Better than yesterday with a spike in commodities.

Travel warnings to East Timor have been upgraded, following a surge of violence in the capital Dili. Deployment of the Royal Australian Navy to the small nation is looking increasingly likely. The Federal Government's security committee met last night and our warships are on stand-by in northern waters. Ten reporter Brett Clappis is in Townsville where Australian Navy personnel and ships are on stand-by. Brett, how many are there and when is it likely they'll get a call on their involvement?

It has been a waiting game for the

troops for almost a fortnight. I have

spoken to some soldiers spoken to some soldiers who were

confident they wouldn't have to go a.

That looks to have changed. The

Foreign Minister has briefed Foreign Minister has briefed the Prime Minister in Ireland. The

situation is being monitored closely. Warm applause and empty seats greeted John Howard as he adressed Ireland's parliament. 20 Labour MPs joined independents in boycotting the historic address. A handful of protesters jeered John Howard as he arrived at the parliament. The mixed tone of the day continued when the Greens leader handed the Prime Minister a protest letter from his Australian counterpart. Bob Brown said to give you this. But Mr Howard was warmly welcomed to the chamber. Australians will always maintain a deep affection for Ireland and the Irish people. A quarter of the parliament, 40 MPs stayed away. Many Labour politicians joining the six independents in a boycott. The voice of the anti-war movement is being heard that's why we're boycotting it. Mr Howard struck a protest note of his own urging an end to massive farm subsidies as practised by his Irish hosts. Presidential visits don't come cheap - take George Bush's 2003 trip down-under for example. The 'Australian' newspaper reports his Air Force One arrival

damaged the main runway of Canberra's airport to the tune of $29 million. Taxpayers were left to foot the repair bill. A budget estimates committee heard the airport raised concerns

about the impact of the plane on the runway before it arrived. The American President spent 21-hours in Australia

after John Howard backed the war in Iraq. Suspended sentences are to be abolished in Victoria. It follows a series of high-profile cases

in which defendants walked free, only to be jailed by superior courts. While judges often described suspended sentences as a jail term served in the community, there's been public anger in Victoria over their use. Defendants will still be able to avoid jail, but their liberties will now be restrained. Northern Territory's Chief Justice says he placed too much emphasis on Aboriginal customary law when sentencing an Aboriginal man to a month's jail for raping a 14-year-old girl. The confession comes amid preparations for a national summit

on abuse in Koori communities. But life in this community 250km south-west of Darwin

has turned sour and lawless with armed rival gangs terrorising women and children. In one case forcing people to camp out in a backyard to achieve safety in numbers. The level of violence and crime in some of the Aboriginal communities is a disgrace. There have been suggestions up to 300 people may need to be removed from the township to avoid the continuing violence. The Federal Government has ruled out the use of the army to restore law and order. There is no such thing as a cultural defence to rape or child molestation. Under pressure to come on board with a national response to the breakdown in Aboriginal communities, the Northern Territory's Labor Chief Minister Clare Martin will meet federal minister Mal Brough in Canberra on Thursday. Formal invitations have now gone out to premiers and chief ministers to attend a national summit on the issue probably next month. I think it would only be fair that we have key Indigenous leaders in attendance at such a critical meeting to discuss and look at issues and the solutions for some of those issues that Government will be considering. Greg Turnbull, Ten News. An amazing tale of survival for a woman and her son, forced to jump from their burning apartment building. The fire broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning, the pair left with no alternative but to leap to safety. The mother and son suffered only minor injuries, the woman's daughter was able to escape down the stairs. A Greek fighter pilot is dead after his jet collided with a Turkish airforce F-16 over the Aegean Sea. The Turkish pilot was rescued by a passing ship after ejecting from the aircraft. The accident happened over international waters about 20km off the island of Karpathos. Two Greek fighters had intercepted two Turkish planes, reportedly acting as an escort to a photo reconnaissance plane. Aussie actress Cate Blanchett has graced the red carpet at Cannes for the premiere of her new firm 'Babel'. Set in three countries the film examines the breakdown of communication

across cultural divides, especially when tragedy strikes. Cate stars alongside Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt who wasn't at the premiere. Pitt's in Africa with partner Angelina Jolie awaiting the birth of their first child, which is reportedly imminent. An injury to New South Wales half Craig Gower

has lifted Queensland's hopes for a breakthrough victory in the first State of Origin. The Blues tried unsuccessfully to enlist Andrew Johns and Matt Orford, eventually selecting the Roosters' Brett Finch. As the Blues' injury toll mounts, the side welcomed their newest addition late last night. Everyone who plays Origin will jump at the chance if they've got five days to prepare or one day. While the status of skipper Danny Buderus and centre Timana Tahu remain in doubt, it's the newcomer Finch facing the biggest adjustment to a team that's been together for over a week. He's played one Origin before. He played well in the City/Country match so we've got confidence in him. Earlier Cronulla utility Tevita Latu had his Sharks contract torn up by the club. The NRL will back up the move refusing his re-registration as police continue to investigate an alleged assault on a 19-year-old woman early Monday morning. It wouldn't be fair on Cronulla to see a player like this

turn up at another club. Hawthorn will decide by lunchtime today whether or not to appeal the four match ban handed to captain Richie Vandenberg by the AFL tribunal last night. A poor record meant Vandenberg received the season's harshest penalty for striking Melbourne's Russell Robertson. We thought the penalty offered was more severe than the action warranted so we'll have a look at that. Essendon's Andrew Lovett was suspended for three matches for striking, but team-mate Dean Solomon was cleared of charging. The Socceroos' preparations for tomorrow night's friendly against Greece at the MCG have been dealt another blow.

Back-up striker Josh Kennedy hobbled from training yesterday with an Achilles injury, breaking down under coach Guus Hiddink's tough training program. It is harder work but, you know, we're enjoying it and it's great to be amongst the players. We've got a great team spirit so it's all good. With injuries to Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, Josip Skoko will be given extra responsibility in the midfield. Finance, a win for Babcock and Brown. The country's second biggest listed investment bank has finally reached an agreement to buy Irish phone company Eircom. Under the deal, Babcock's Irish investment vehicle along with Babcock and Brown Capital will pay $4.1 billion

for 100% of the business,

with BNB Capital holding 65%. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter. And James Packer's PBL is planning to float part of its Macau casino joint venture on the Nasdaq. The media and gaming company is reportedly working with three investment banks and looking to float 20% of the venture

with Hong Kong's Lawrence Ho. The float is reportedly worth $6.5 billion. National weather for the rest of the day: Let's see what the newspapers are saying. Ten's Early News returns after the break. TO THE SATELLITE, MORE RAIN CLOUDS ALONG THE COAST THIS MORNING, BRINGING ANOTHER DAY OF RAIN AND POSSIBLE THUNDERSTORMS LATER THIS AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF AN EARLY SHOWER, IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL, CLEARING TO FINE DAY, AND A TOP OF 15 DEGREES. SOUTH IN MELBOURNE, FOG CLEARING, TO A CLOUDY DAY. SCATTERED SHOWERS, WITH FRESH SOUTHWEST TO

SOUTHEAST WINDS, AND A TOP OF 17, IN WOLLONGONG. A COOL DAY, AND 13 DEGREES, IN ORANGE. SCATTERED SHOWERS, AND 17, IN BATEMANS BAY. THE BUREAU STILL HOLDING FOR RAIN, IN GOULBURN. COOMA CHASING ALSO CHASING, 13 DEGREES. THE RAIN AND WIND, CONTINUES IN NOWRA. THERE'S A GALE WARNING FOR NSW COASTAL WATERS, FROM GABO ISLAND TO ULLADULLA. CANBERRA BOATIES STILL TOLD TO TAKE CARE ON THE LAKE. AND SKIIERS ARE CELEBRATING, AS SNOWFALLS

CONTINUE. This program is captioned live.

Welcome back to Ten's Early News. Making headlines. 40 MPs boycott John Howard's maiden speech to Ireland's parliament. Australian warships on stand-by to head to yet another trouble spot. A special interview with Aussie musician Keith Urban And in sport, Roosters league halfback Brett Finch

thrilled at his New South Wales Origin call-up. John Howard's historic address to Ireland's parliament has been dogged by protests. Outside the chamber a vocal group bombarding the PM. Inside around 40 empty chairs. Members of the Labour Party joined with independents in a boycott of his speech. Australia will always maintain a deep affection for Ireland and the Irish people. The mixed tone of the day continued as the Greens leader handed the Prime Minister a protest letter from his Aussie counterpart. Bob Brown said to give you this.

The letter condemns Australia's Iraq involvement.

Our navy positioned off Townsville

ready for what's expected to be its next deployment. Australia will help if asked, the call expected any moment. In the latest clashes

at least one government soldier has been killed, several injured. Rebel military and security personnel must cease destabilising the situation and work with the government to resolve their differences. The Federal Government has warned people to stay away as the violence flares. Those who live in the troubled nation urged to leave immediately. If needed, the ships could evacuate Australians under threat. SBS journalist David O'Shea the first to be rescued by embassy officials. David was on the run. We had contact with him through his mobile phone. Our security consultant was briefing David on how to behave under fire. The PM is expected to comment on the increasingly tense situation later this morning. The marriage of Australian hostage Douglas Wood might not be over after all. His American wife Yvonne Given, who comforted him after his six week ordeal in Iraq, says she's not aware of any split. The revelation comes less than a day after the 64-year-old engineer announced their partnership was over. Hardline Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir could out of jail in a few weeks after serving 29 months for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings. He had his sentence sliced back by more than four months on Indonesia's independence day, angering relatives of the 88 Australians killed in the October blasts. Bashir - the alleged spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiah - was the bombers' spiritual leader. A woman has undergone surgery after a train accident in Sydney. She fell off a platform and onto the tracks at the Sutherland station around 11:00 last night. Her legs were pinned by a passing train. It's possible they'll have to be amputated. The accident is the third on Sydney's rail network in a fortnight. The Chief Commissioner of Victoria's police force is demanding answers over the early handling of an abduction case.

Abducted, killed then dumped in the boot of her car, the remains of Joanne Zhang were discovered yesterday in Melbourne's south-east. While Yiwen Pan - a workmate of the 35-year-old - has been charged with her murder, questions are still being asked about the initial police reaction to the case. Victoria's Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon ordering a report on her force's response. Ms Zhang was attacked last Thursday night

while leaving work with the day's takings - over $9,000.

Alerted to her disappearance, uniformed police attended the crime scene twice but missed a large pool of blood and human hair.

It was eventually found by a workmate of the victim,

nearly 12 hours after she'd disappeared. Police claim they couldn't get access to the carpark. Christopher Still, Ten News. Work has finally begun to pump water from the flooded Chinese mine where 57 workers remain trapped. The men have been underground for five days now

after the shaft they were working in flooded. There's still no word on whether the trapped men are alive but hopes for their safe return are fading fast. A series of technical problems and no power has delayed the rescue effort.

9 people have been killed and 60 injured

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in Washington for talks with the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. This is the first official visit to the United States for Mr Olmert who took over earlier this year after Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke. A meeting with President Bush is also scheduled to take place later today

before Mr Olmert addresses Congress tomorrow. A woman is in critical condition after an horrific bear attack in the US. 36-year-old Rachel Supplee suffered serious gashes to her face and body after the 200 kilo bear escaped from a nearby breeder. I ran back in the house closed the door and after the door was closed it knocked through the door ran past me and grabbed my Mum at the doorway and dragged her over here in the walkway. Daphne lured the bear away with food. It was later shot by its owner. It's the countdown to the Country Music Awards in America and the star couple everyone wants to see walk the red carpet is our own singing sensation Keith Urban and fiance Nicole Kidman. Ten's US bureau chief, Leisa Goddard-Roles, is in Las Vegas where the hunt for the celebrity couple is intensifying. Bill, I'm on what is the orange carpet at this year's awards. Organisers have done away with the traditional red carpet as part of a publicity stunt for its new sponsor - Home Depot. But I can tell you there is at least one singer here who is doing everything he can to avoid publicity and that is our own Keith Urban. As you know, Nicole Kidman finally confirmed last week that the pair are engaged. If they do arrive here together it will be the first time

they have walked a red - or I should say orange - carpet as a couple. New South Wales halfback Craig Gower is out of tonight's State of Origin match against Queensland. It was a late call-up for Brett Finch who joined the side last night, but only after Andrew Johns and Matt Orford made themselves unavailable due to their own injuries. Everyone who plays Origin will jump at the chance if they've got five days to prepare or one day.

A decision on injured Blues skipper Danny Buderus will be made today.

Hawthorn will decide by lunchtime today whether or not to appeal the four match ban

handed to captain Richie Vandenberg by the AFL tribunal last night. The Hawks rolled the dice tonight and lost - four weeks for the skipper whose recent bad record did not help. But Hawthorn are considering appealing the decision. We thought the penalty offered was more severe than the action warranted so we'll have a look at that. The Hawks challenged the Match Review Panel's decision that Vandenberg's forearm fend on Melbourne's Russell Robertson was a strike

but without success and he'll miss until after the split round. The news also wasn't good for Essendon's Andrew Lovett, who was given a 3-match ban for striking Eagle Adam Hunter. Extremely disappointed in the outcome. A relatively minor strike can receive a 2- or 3-week penalty in circumstances

where other - what we would consider - more serious conduct gets the same sort of sanctions. But team-mate Dean Solomon walked away happy, after being cleared of charging Ben Cousins. Finance, an Aussie icon sold off. Godrey's vacuum cleaners has been picked up for $350 million in cash. A consortium of two private equity firms have joined forces to win control of business after first pitting rival bids against each other. The decision to sell the 70-year-old iconic chain followed the death of founder Godfrey Cohen in 2004.

With just two weeks to go before the World Cup football fans in Japan have found a unique way to celebrate the sport. Ladies and gentlemen, this is fish-tank football. On the blue team, representing Japan, the surgeonfish soccer stars. Take on the yellow tang species of Brazil. Some flowing moves and fancy fin-work saw Brazil take the lead in this game.

Pele would be proud. And why wouldn't these fish want to follow the ball. It's made of shrimps. National weather: Looking ahead: A quick recap of the morning's top stories. Royal Australian Naval personnel likely to be deployed to East Timor after a surge in violence. John Howard adresses just three quarters of Ireland's parliamentarians after a boycott. And no where to go but down -

a mother and son in Germany escape this blaze by diving off their balcony. And that's it for Ten 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, bye for now. I'm Kath Robinson, have a great day. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au