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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Good morning. I'm Kathryn Robinson. Welcome to Ten's Early News. And I'm Frank Coletta. Our top stories this Friday morning - slapped with native title claims the Gold Coast and Melbourne in Western Australia. just days after a landmark ruling the mend from a mysterious illness A group of Queensland students on which left them hospitalised. shuttle 'Atlantis' back on Earth Safe landing - International Space Station mission. after a 12-day And in sport - from the Cronulla Sharks Stuart Raper reportedly sacked following their dismal NRL season. Now for our first look at the markets this morning? and Frank, Wall Street down sharply Yes, Kath. A weak report on manufacturing into negative territory has sent Wall Street deep continue to build. as fears the US economy is slowing shares Virgin profits. Sir Richard Branson I'll tell you why soon. will be pursued around Australia More native title cases successful claim in Perth. following Australia's largest massive legal bids in Victoria Indigenous people are foreshadowing and Queensland. title claims over Port Phillip Bay Indigenous people have filed native in Victoria and the Gold Coast in Queensland days after a landmark court ruling to empty crown land and parks which upheld Indigenous rights Perth, in particular. in Western Australia - going on quite productively Certainly there are negotiations major towns and cities. in and around some of our Council says if successful, In Victoria, the Bunurong Land channel cutting project they'll try to stop a $500 million Docklands plan. and speak on the Melbourne In Queensland, are claiming vacant crown land the Yugambeh people's descendants to the Tweed reaching from the Logan River and west to Tamborine Mountain. land in Brisbane and Adelaide. There are claims, too, over crown tribunal The role of the native title is to bring the parties together can be reached. and see if a mediated outcome The recent success of Perth people of the claims. focused attention on the rest The Federal Court ruling: in the famous Mabo High Court case. Native title rights were recognised The rights vary of the Aborigines linked to an area. according to the traditional customs Sharon Marshall, Ten News. fell ill on excursion in Sydney All but one of the 39 students who

from hospital. are believed to have been released The music students from Queensland

stomach bug came down with a suspected yesterday. in Sydney's Darling Harbour precinct were treated by ambulance officers The 12- to 14-year-olds at the tourist spot to three separate hospitals. before being rushed to be released this morning The last female student is expected for overnight observation. so is a teacher, who was kept in Police are expecting more arrests drug ring. after smashing a well-established and ecstasy haul Authorities seized a huge cocaine across two states. in a coordinated sting

and good intelligence Surveillance, phone taps of cocaine and ecstasy tablets helped authorities stop the 135kg from reaching the streets. In a 2-State sting, swooped on cue, Federal Police in Queensland and NSW inside computer monitors the drugs stashed shipped into Brisbane from Canada. initial customs X-rays, It slipped through drug smugglers moved in, but when the alleged so did Federal Police. container, accessed the material, And when they accessed the to close it all down. the operational decision was made are Canadians - Five of the men arrested at Brisbane's Treasury Casino, one detained another on his hotel's tennis court. was to receive the drug shipment, A sixth man, who police allege was picked up in Sydney. the criminal network as extensive Authorities described a high-level drug figure. and the man in Sydney will front court again in November. The accused drug smugglers Tim Collits, Ten News. has challenged the European Union The United States for lower US farm subsidies. to cut import barriers in return The offer comes of exporting nations as the Cairns Group of world trade talks. tries to save the latest round We've got to keep pushing for Australia. because there's a lot at stake

has next to no protection. Our agriculture sector the Europeans are torn The US believes to help poorer exporting nations. over the need to free up trade Shinawatra has broken his silence Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin three days after being deposed. Mr Thaksin issued a press release a well-deserved break in London. saying he was going to take returning to Thailand But he didn't say whether he would be where he faces possible arrest. in talks with military leaders In Bangkok, the King has been prime minister within two weeks. who have promised to install a new are back on terra firma The crew of space shuttle 'Atlantis' to the International Space Station. following a drama-filled mission

at the Kennedy Space Centre overnight NASA welcomed the astronauts back 12 days after lift-off. to assembly. Congratulations on return a great team effort. Thank you Houston, great to be back, The crew's landing had been delayed

was seen floating near the shuttle. after mysterious debris

by the return of star duo The Adelaide Crows have been boosted Andrew McLeod and Brett Burton against West Coast. ahead of tomorrow's preliminary final of Crow versus Eagle It was an early match got up close and personal. as Adelaide's Scott Thompson on the field as well, And the Crows are flying with two changes to their line-up - huge inclusions Andrew MacLeod and Brett Burton and Richard Douglas. at the expense of Kris Massie an Adelaide line-up The pair strengthening

rejuvenated from a week off. We're the best prepared we could be. the boys have prepared very well, We've had a great week on the track, plenty of speed. plenty of enthusiasm, The boys look very sharp, to the weekend. so we're really looking forward The Crows's oponents, West Coast, star defender David Wirrpanda, arrived in Adelaide without who has been left home with hamstring tightness. Matt Rosa has also been dropped,

in favour of backup ruckman 23-year-old Jaymie Graham, while Drew Banfield has his name on the team sheet again. A crowd of more than 75,000 is expected for tonight's preliminary final between Sydney and Fremantle. Both sides have named unchanged line ups although Docker defender Luke McPharlin remains out with an ankle injury. Ian Cohen, Ten News.

Sharks coach Stuart Raper has reportedly been sacked due to the Clubs late season slide that saw them lose 10 straight games. The decision was made during a meeting at Sharks headquarters last night

although the board members were unwilling to divulge any details. We have discussed the caoching situation but other than that, no comment. It's been reported Raper has been given a $200,000 pay out

to leave the club. His likely replacement is former Roosters mentor Ricky Stuart.

Sydney FC has secured its first victory in four matches with a hard-fought 1-nil win over New Zealand. After a scoreless first half Sydney captain Mark Rudan slammed one into the net for the club's second win of the season. COMMENTATOR: Chance and that ball's just drilled

into the bank of the Knight's nets!

The match not without controversy, Sydney coach Terry Butcher complaining of a conspiracy against his premiership-winning side claiming they are victims of poor refereeing and match scheduling. Finance news now and Frank, a unwelcome prediction on the interest rate front? Yes, Kath. A warning from one of the country's biggest banks that interest rates will continue to rise. St George says Australians should brace themselves for at least one more rate rise this year but is confident mortgage charges won't get to ridiculous levels.

The news comes at the same time new car sales plunge. Higher interest rates and, of course, petrol prices are behind a 2% fall in sales over August. Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is committing nearly AU$4 billion to help save the ozone layer. Profits from Virgin companies will be used to help develop renewable energy initiatives for the next 10 years.

This must surely be the best way to travel. In style, comfort and using Mother Nature to power your flight. Richard Branson loves to show off with stunts like this. But he's made a lot of his money from trains and planes

which damage the environment. Richard Branson is one of the most interesting, creative,

genuinely committed people I have ever known. Today in New York, prompted by the former US president, Bill Clinton,

he acknowledged that and explained how he'd like to make amends. We're very pleased today to be making a commitment to invest 100% of all future proceeds to the Virgin Group from our transportation interests, both our train businesses and our airline businesses, into tackling global warming.

The money will be invested in companies which are seeking to develop environmentally-friendly fuels, Ethanol, which can be made by sugar cane or corn, is one method which Sir Richard hopes can soon power aeroplanes. Sir Richard is not giving his money to charity but he does now join the ranks of billionaire philanthropists

who are seeking to channel the proceeds of a successful business career into causes they value. In his case, not poverty or health, but protecting the planet. Let's take a look at the national weather:

Let's see what the newspapers are saying - health and education are the big winners in South Australia's state budget. The Adelaide 'Advertiser' has the story. In Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' - praise for a teenager who rescued a baby from the wreckage of a fatal car accident. In Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' - the Broncos in good spirits

heading into tonight's preliminary final against the Bulldogs. The PM reportedly tones down the controversial workplace laws. The details when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live. Welcome back to Ten's Early News. This morning - trade off. The US says it'll lower farm subsidies if the European Union cut import barriers. Workplace wind-back - the Government reforms its controversial package to protect employee sick days. Giddy up - the race that stops the nation, stops Time Square. And Prince William follows in his younger brother's footsteps joining the same army regiment. Time for another check of the markets now, here's Frank. Thanks, Kath. It's been a rough session on Wall Street this morning after a round of weak economic news.

And Kath, Coles reports a big profit as it cuts jobs. The details in a moment. The US has offered hope of salvaging world trade talks in Cairns flagging cuts to US farm subsidies. But it's conditional on the Europeans slashing import tariffs. The Cairns group of 18 exporting nations wants greater access for more countries to the world's agricultural markets. But not everyone thinks free trade is such a great idea. I hope they're having a nice holiday in there because that would be the only benefit that would accrue to anyone on planet Earth. The Prime Minister wants to school the United States and Europeans

in the benefits of scrapping farm subsidies and tariff protection. But the Americans won't budge unless the EU does. We've got to keep pushing because there's a lot at stake for Australia. Our agriculture sector has next to no protection. The Americans also want to keep the trade talks alive and believe the Europeans are torn over the issue of opening up trade to benefit poor nations. There are a lot of member states of the EU which believe in development, feel very strongly about development and helping alleviate poverty in developing countries. But time is running out. We have got six months left to bring this round of trade negotiations to a successful conclusion. Murray McCloskey, Ten News. A raft of amendments have reportedly been made to the Federal Government's controversial workplace laws. 'The Australian' newspaper says in readiness for next year's election, the PM has responded to complaints from unions and toned down the IR package. Provisions, ensuring employees aren't penalised when they're sick and forced to cash out leave entitlements, come into effect today. Indigenous people have filed major native title claims in Victoria and Queensland. One of the new claims is over Port Phillip Bay. If the legal bid succeeds, Aborigines say they'll try to stop a $500 million channel cutting project. They'll also try to influence the Melbourne Docklands Development. In Queensland, there's a new claim over most vacant crown land on the Gold Coast.

Indigenous people there are targeting an area reaching from the Logan River and outer islands to the inland mountains. In Australia it's a big deal and the 2006 Melbourne Cup is now in the Big Apple. The Cup has begun its world tour before heading for the straight at Flemington

on that first Tuesday in November. The boys from the NYPD mounted division might not be on Makybe Diva but they were keen to hold the Cup high. My money's on this. Taking in Time Square, the 18 Carat gold Cup is on tour to promote bilateral trade investment and Australian tourism in the lead up to the Spring Racing Carnival. The Melbourne Cup has been around since 1861. It's quintessianly Australian, it's Australia's greatest sporting icon and it includes fashion, food and wine. It represents all those wonderful qualities that Melbourne, Victoria and Australia likes to showcase to the world. Come that first Tuesday in November, Australia won't be the only country to stop to take it all in. 700 million people in one 140 countries around the world will watch the Cup. We'd like to think it's the race that stops the world, but it's certainly the race that stops a nation, and in fact, expats all around the world do in fact stop and listen and watch the Emirates Melbourne Cup every year. Mignon Henne, Ten News. Police have clashed with protesters during a third night of unrest in Hungary. Hundreds of riot police took to the streets of Budapest firing tear gas to try and disperse the crowds. Demonstrators are calling for the Prime Minister to step down after he admitted lying to win the election. Hungary's opposition party has called off its planned anti-government rally at the weekend for fear it could escalate into more violence.

Prince William is to follow in his brother's footsteps and join the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. He'll go on a 6-month training course to be a troup leader in an armoured reconnaissance unit just like Harry. They've always been close, now William is set to follow his younger brother into one of the oldest and most senior regiments in the British army. It had been predicted that Prince William of Wales would go for the Welsh guards, but in a show of independence

he's offered to be cavalry officer in the Blues and Royals. As part of the household cavalry, the Blues and Royals escort the sovereign at events like the trooping the colour. But William won't be on horseback like Harry, he'll be operating in armoured vehicles and before he joined up he was determined about one thing. The last thing I want to do is be wrapped up in cotton wool because if I was to join the army I'd want to go anywhere and I'd want to do what they did. But with British fatalities in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence says there could be situations or areas where it's too dangerous

for the second in line to serve. Prince William will want to serve with his regiment, with his soldiers, in command of them on operations. As a future head of the armed forces there were also plans for William to do stints in both the RAF and the Royal Navy. Fremantle's Luke McPharlin remains in serious doubt for tonight's preliminary final clash with Sydney. The star defender was expected to line-up on Barry Hall

but has been struggling all week with an ankle injury. More than 75,000 fans are expected to pack Telstra Stadium with the Swans hot favourites to win through to another grand final.

And estranged Brisbane Lion Jason Akermanis has admitted if he's not traded to the Western Bulldogs he will see out the last year of his contract at the Lions. Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has started the mind games ahead of tonight's preliminary final with the Bulldogs. He says two key Dogs returning from injury won't measure up to finals footy. It's been billed as the battle of the packs and Wayne Benett believes he has the upper hand. The coaching guru warns players returning from injury, like the Bulldogs Roy Asotasi and Reni Maitua, may be left underdone in the finals arena. Oh, there's no doubt you are. One of the best things you can have going for you is playing consistently week after week

and we've certainly been in that boat at this time of year, bringing players back from injury and hoping they reproduce the form they had before the injury, but that invariably doesn't happen unfortunately. Meanwhile, Mark Gasnier doesn't know if he's coming or going. The Dragons star centre didn't train with the team yesterday afternoon

and remains in doubt for Saturday's clash with the Storm.

Basically, from our point of view as a group,

we're preparing as if Mark Gasnier won't be playing the game. If he passes a fitness test and plays, that will be an added bonus.

And there could be an added bonus for Ben Hornby. The Dragons halfback is in the frame for a Kangaroos jersey. I'm just trying not to think about it, to be honest. It'll help if you didn't ask me too many questions about it. LAUGHTER Scott Mackinnon, Ten News. Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting concedes the Aussies are yet to work out their most potent combination ahead of the Champions trophy. Ponting was joined by fellow batting maestros Brian Lara and Rahul Dravid ahead of tonight's Tri-Series match against India. Yeah, right now we don't really know what our best 11 is to tell you the truth. After being belted by the West Indies, Stuart Clark has been given a chance to redeem himself but Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Nathan Bracken will miss out.

Tonight's winner will meet the Windies in Sunday's final. Finance news again and Frank, a rocket under Mayne Pharma shares yesterday? Shares in Mayne Pharma jumped a massive 34% yesterday after the drug company agreed to accept a $2.6 billion takeover offer. US-based drug manufacturer Hospira is the predator. It's offering $4.10 a share for the business. The board is recommending shareholders accept the offer which values Mayne Pharma at $2.64 billion. Shares closed at $4.16, that's an increase of more than $1 Coles Myer will slash more than 2,000 jobs as it works to fend off another takeover approach. The news came as the retailer unveiled its full-year profit - up 14% to $787 million. Coles shares surged 3% after unveiling a better-than-expected 14% rise in net profit to $787 million. It's a turnaround for the once struggling retailer and boss John Fletcher is forecasting a $1 billion result

in the coming years. A journey that kind of culminated in the impossible being delivered.

Things that people five years ago said could not be done, have been done. But success will come at a cost with 2,500 head office jobs to go saving the retailer as much as $360 million a year. 2,500 jobs out of 65,000 employees is not really a great reduction. Coles will also press ahead with its aggressive restructuring plan integrating the Bi-lo, Liquorland and Kmart brands under the Coles banner. It's all part of a plan to make the retailer super strong, a defence mechanism Coles hopes will prevent any further takeover offers. Last month the retailer rejected a $17 billion bid by a group of private equity firms and there are suggestions more rival offers are on the way. Matthew Taylor, Ten News. Let's take a look at the national weather: The Gold Coast and Melbourne the subject of native title claims. The details when the Early News comes back.

This program is captioned live.

Welcome back to Ten's Early News. Our top stories this Friday morning - the Gold Coast and Melbourne slapped with native title claims

just days after a landmark ruling in Western Australia. A group of Queensland students on the mend from a mysterious illness which left them hospitalised. Safe landing - shuttle 'Atlantis' back on Earth after a 12-day International Space Station mission. And in sport - Stuart Raper reportedly sacked from the Cronulla Sharks following their dismal NRL season.

Now for a look at the markets and Frank, Wall Street down sharply this morning? Yes, Kath. A weak report on manufacturing has sent Wall Street deep into negative territory as fears the US economy is slowing continue to build.

More finance news coming up shortly. More native title cases will be pursued around Australia following Australia's largest successful claim in Perth. Indigenous people are foreshadowing massive legal bids in Victoria and Queensland. Indigenous people have filed native title claims over Port Phillip Bay in Victoria and the Gold Coast in Queensland days after a landmark court ruling which upheld Indigenous rights to empty crown land and parks in Western Australia - Perth, in particular. Certainly there are negotiations going on quite productively in and around some of our major towns and cities. In Victoria, the Bunurong Land Council says if successful, they'll try to stop a $500 million channel cutting project and speak on the Melbourne Docklands plan. In Queensland,

the Yugambeh people's descendants are claiming vacant crown land reaching from the Logan River to the Tweed and west to Tamborine Mountain. There are claims, too, over crown land in Brisbane and Adelaide. The role of the native title tribunal

is to bring the parties together and see if a mediated outcome can be reached. The recent success of Perth people focused attention on the rest of the claims.

The Federal Court ruling: Native title rights were recognised in the famous Mabo High Court case. The rights vary according to the traditional customs of the Aborigines linked to an area. Sharon Marshall, Ten News. All but one of the 39 students who fell ill on excursion in Sydney are believed to have been released from hospital. The music students from Queensland came down with a suspected stomach bug in Sydney's Darling Harbour precinct yesterday. The 12- to 14-year-olds were treated by ambulance officers at the tourist spot before being rushed to three separate hospitals. The last female student is expected to be released this morning so is a teacher, who was kept in for overnight observation. Fresh ammunition for lawyers challenging a control order against freed Melbourne terror suspect Jack Thomas. Fairfax newspapers claim

there's no evidence the man dubbed Jihad Jack

planned a terrorist attack down under. The paper quotes a transcript of court proceedings previously unseen by the media or Thomas's counsel. The former taxi driver's legal team will have the opportunity to fight his interim control order which limits his movements and conversations next month. The Federal Government is meantime applying for a retrial. Police are expecting more arrests after smashing a well-established drug ring. Authorities seized a huge cocaine and ecstasy haul in a coordinated sting across two states. Surveillance, phone taps and good intelligence helped authorities stop the 135kg of cocaine and ecstasy tablets from reaching the streets. In a 2-State sting, Federal Police in Queensland and NSW swooped on cue, the drugs stashed inside computer monitors shipped into Brisbane from Canada. It slipped through initial customs X-rays, but when the alleged drug smugglers moved in, so did Federal Police. And when they accessed the container, accessed the material, the operational decision was made to close it all down.

Five of the men arrested are Canadians - one detained at Brisbane's Treasury Casino, another on his hotel's tennis court. A sixth man, who police allege was to receive the drug shipment,

was picked up in Sydney. Authorities described the criminal network as extensive and the man in Sydney a high-level drug figure. The accused drug smugglers will front court again in November. Tim Collits, Ten News. Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has broken his silence three days after being deposed. Mr Thaksin issued a press release saying he was going to take a well-deserved break in London. But he didn't say whether he would be returning to Thailand where he faces possible arrest. In Bangkok, the King has been in talks with military leaders who have promised to install a new prime minister within two weeks. The crew of space shuttle 'Atlantis' are back on terra firma following a drama-filled mission to the International Space Station. NASA welcomed the astronauts back at the Kennedy Space Centre overnight 12 days after lift-off. Congratulations on return to assembly. Thank you Houston, great to be back, a great team effort. The crew's landing had been delayed after mysterious debris was seen floating near the shuttle. The Adelaide Crows have been boosted by the return of star duo

Andrew McLeod and Brett Burton ahead of tomorrow's preliminary final against West Coast. It was an early match of Crow versus Eagle as Adelaide's Scott Thompson got up close and personal. And the Crows are flying on the field as well, with two changes to their line-up -

Andrew MacLeod and Brett Burton huge inclusions at the expense of Kris Massie and Richard Douglas. The pair strengthening an Adelaide line-up rejuvenated from a week off. We're the best prepared we could be. We've had a great week on the track, the boys have prepared very well, plenty of enthusiasm, plenty of speed. The boys look very sharp, so we're really looking forward to the weekend. The Crows's oponents, West Coast, arrived in Adelaide without star defender David Wirrpanda, who has been left home with hamstring tightness. Matt Rosa has also been dropped, in favour of backup ruckman 23-year-old Jaymie Graham, while Drew Banfield has his name on the team sheet again. A crowd of more than 75,000 is expected for tonight's preliminary final between Sydney and Fremantle. Both sides have named unchanged line ups although Docker defender Luke McPharlin remains out

with an ankle injury.

Ian Cohen, Ten News. Sharks coach Stuart Raper has reportedly been sacked due to the club's late season slide that saw them lose 10 straight games. The decision was made during a meeting at Sharks headquarters last night although the board members were unwilling to divulge any details. We have discussed the caoching situation but other than that, no comment. It's been reported Raper has been given a $200,000 pay out to leave the club. His likely replacement is former Roosters mentor Ricky Stuart. Finance news now with Frank. Health and education are the big winners. An extra $640 million has been committed to the public health system over the next four years and a surplus of $91 million forecast for this financial year. Kevin Foley's fifth Budget relies on savings and increased borrowings to meet election promises. Most new spending comes in health - $640 million over four years.

It's counting on a 100,000 patient admissions over four years, but there's also major works at Flinders and Lyell McEwen. I don't want to be alarmist but the biggest issue the Government is facing is an ageing population. The Budget includes a series of major projects - six new schools, two new prisons at Murray Bridge to replace Yatala and Northfield women's prison. There's $152 million for law and order, including 400 new police and extra prosecutors. And $67 million for public transport, including new buses. This is a Budget of broken promises and missed opportunities.

Nothing for first-home owners, nothing for businesses, no concessions for elderly citizens. This Government have missed the opportunity to take the tax burden off ordinary, everyday South Australians.

Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is committing nearly AU$4 billion to help save the ozone layer. Profits from Virgin companies will be used to help develop renewable energy initiatives for the next 10 years. This must surely be the best way to travel. In style, comfort and using Mother Nature to power your flight. Richard Branson loves to show off with stunts like this. But he's made a lot of his money from trains and planes which damage the environment. Richard Branson is one of the most interesting, creative, genuinely committed people I have ever known. Today in New York, prompted by the former US president, Bill Clinton, he acknowledged that and explained how he'd like to make amends. We're very pleased today to be making a commitment to invest 100% of all future proceeds to the Virgin Group from our transportation interests,

both our train businesses and our airline businesses, into tackling global warming.

The money will be invested in companies which are seeking to develop environmentally-friendly fuels, Ethanol, which can be made by sugar cane or corn, is one method

which Sir Richard hopes can soon power aeroplanes. Sir Richard is not giving his money to charity but he does now join the ranks of billionaire philanthropists who are seeking to channel the proceeds of a successful business career into causes they value. In his case, not poverty or health, but protecting the planet. Let's take a look at the national weather: Let's see what the newspapers are saying - More news coming up after the break. GOOD MORNING, COMING UP IN SOUTHERN CROSS TEN NEWS: LOCAL POPULATION GROWTH - DRIVEN BY MIGRATION. BUT FIRST, TODAY'S TOP STORY. AND MORE ON A STORY - SOUTHERN CROSS TEN NEWS - WAS FIRST TO BRING YOU YESTERDAY ..... ABOUT THE TASMANIAN MURDER OF 40-YEAR-OLD CANBERRA PUBLIC SERVENT, (CARMEN SHRAY-DA) KAMEHN SCHRADER. THE DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION WORKER WAS FOUND DEAD IN A TASMANIAN HOTEL ROOM YESTERDAY. 28-YEAR-OLD HOBART MAN KEITH JAMIE LYNCH-WHITTON,

HAS BEEN REFUSED BAIL IN HOBART MAGISTRATES COURT, AFTER HANDING HIMSELF INTO POLICE. MS (SHRAY-DA'S) SCHRADER'S FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS HAVE BEEN SHOCKED BY HER DEATH. THE MEMBER FOR EDEN MONAO GARY NAIRN, HAS STEPPED UP THE FIGHT AGAINST THE HUME GAOL. HE'S WRITTEN TO STATE M-P STEVE WHAN, ASKING HIM TO HELP TALK CANBERRA A-L-P MEMBERS - OUT OF GOING AHEAD WITH THE PROJECT. AUSTRALIA'S POPULATION HAS NOW PASSED THE 20-AND-A-HALF-MILLION MARK. ACCORDING TO THE BUREAU OF STATISTICS, THE POPULATION

GREW BY ONE-POINT-THREE PERCENT IN THE 12 MONTHS - UP TO MARCH THIS YEAR. IF YOU'RE FEELING FRUSTRATED BY THE LACK OF MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE, THE COMMUNICATION CHIEFS IN CANBERRA - WANT TO KNOW ABOUT. LOCAL PHONE USERS ARE STILL HAVING TO DEAL WITH SO-CALLED "BLACK HOLES: IN THE COVERAGE SYSTEM. TO SPORTS NEWS NOW, AND 8 POLICE OFFICERS ...INCLUDING SERGEANT GREG WILES - FROM THE GOULBURN POLICE COLLEGE... ARE CYCLING NORTH TODAY AS PART OF THE TORCH RUN - FOR THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS. NOW TO THE VERY LATEST LOCAL WEATHER DETAILS. (FOR THE A-C-T) ON THE SATELLITE, A WINDY DAY ACROSS THE REGION AS A COLD FRONT MOVES IN.... WARMER CONDITIONS EXPECTED TOMORROW. LOOKING AROUND THE NATION NOW, AND A FINE - SUNNY DAY IN CANBERRA...... GUSTY NORTH WESTERLY WINDS, AND A TOP TEMP OF 26 DEGREES. A HOT DAY ALONG THE COAST... WITH STRONG GUSTY NORTH WEST WINDS, AND 28 DEGREES, IN WOLLONGONG. A WARM DAY TOO IN THE WEST. WINDS WHIPPING UP IN BOWRAL, BATHURST, AND BATEMANS BAY.

26 THE TOP TEMP IN GOULBURN.

IT'S HEADED FOR 29 DEGREES IN NOWRA, AND MUDGEE. A WINDY ONE IN COOMA.

LOOKING AHEAD NOW WITH THE SIX-DAY FORECAST ... AND NOT THE BEST OF WEEKEND OUTLOOKS. PARTYL CLOUDY TOMORROW, A FEW SHOERS ON SUNDAY.

AN CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? PERFECT WEATHER - COME BACK TO WORK MONDAY. (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE.) my little boy wouldn't be speaking, and he is now. Two owls, two motorbikes, two clocks... They care about what they do. I've been aware of the great work of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children for many years now. I help them where and when I can, and I urge you to do the same. This program is captioned live. Welcome back to Ten's Early News. This morning - trade off. The US says it'll lower farm subsidies

if the European Union cut import barriers. Workplace wind-back - the Government reforms its controversial package to protect employee sick days.

Giddy up - the race that stops the nation, stops Time Square. And Prince William follows in his younger brother's footsteps joining the same army regiment. The US has offered hope of salvaging world trade talks in Cairns

flagging cuts to US farm subsidies. But it's conditional on the Europeans slashing import tariffs. The Cairns group of 18 exporting nations

wants greater access for more countries to the world's agricultural markets. But not everyone thinks free trade is such a great idea. I hope they're having a nice holiday in there because that would be the only benefit that would accrue to anyone on planet Earth.

The Prime Minister wants to school the United States and Europeans in the benefits of scrapping farm subsidies and tariff protection. But the Americans won't budge unless the EU does. We've got to keep pushing because there's a lot at stake for Australia. Our agriculture sector has next to no protection.

The Americans also want to keep the world trade talks alive and believe the Europeans are torn over the issue of opening up trade to benefit poor nations. There are a lot of member states of the EU which believe in development, feel very strongly about development and helping alleviate poverty in developing countries. But time is running out. We have got six months left to bring this round of trade negotiations to a successful conclusion. Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

A raft of amendments have reportedly been made to the Federal Government's controversial workplace laws. 'The Australian' newspaper says in readiness for next year's election, the PM has responded to complaints from unions

and toned down the IR package. Provisions, ensuring employees aren't penalised when they're sick and forced to cash out leave entitlements, come into effect today. Indigenous people have filed major native title claims in Victoria and Queensland. One of the new claims is over Port Phillip Bay. If the legal bid succeeds, Aborigines say they'll try to stop a $500 million channel cutting project. They'll also try to influence the Melbourne Docklands Development. In Queensland, there's a new claim over most vacant crown land on the Gold Coast. Indigenous people there are targeting an area reaching from the Logan River

and outer islands to the inland mountains. In Australia it's a big deal and the 2006 Melbourne Cup is now in the Big Apple. The Cup has begun its world tour before heading for the straight at Flemington on that first Tuesday in November. The boys from the NYPD mounted division might not be on Makybe Diva but they were keen to hold the Cup high.

My money's on this. Taking in Time Square, the 18 Carat gold Cup is on tour to promote bilateral trade investment and Australian tourism in the lead up to the Spring Racing Carnival. The Melbourne Cup has been around since 1861. It's quintessiantly Australian, it's Australia's greatest sporting icon

and it includes fashion, food and wine. It represents all those wonderful qualities and it includes fashion, food and wine.

It represents all those wonderful qualities that Melbourne, Victoria and Australia likes to showcase to the world. Come that first Tuesday in November, Australia won't be the only country to stop to take it all in.

700 million people in 140 countries around the world will watch the Cup. We'd like to think it's the race that stops the world, but it's certainly the race that stops a nation, and in fact, expats all around the world

do in fact stop and listen and watch the Emirates Melbourne Cup every year. Mignon Henne, Ten News. One of the BBC's top television presenters remains in a critical conditions in hospital after a high speed car crash. Richard Hammond is one of the stars of car program 'Top Gear' which is shown in Australia. It's believed he was trying to break the land-speed record in a rocket-powered dragster when it flipped while travelling at 450km/h. Prince William is to follow in his brother's footsteps and join the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. He'll go on a 6-month training course

to be a troup leader in an armoured reconnaissance unit just like Harry. They've always been close, now William is set to follow his younger brother into one of the oldest and most senior regiments in the British army. It had been predicted that Prince William of Wales would go for the Welsh guards, but in a show of independence he's offered to be cavalry officer in the Blues and Royals. As part of the household cavalry, the Blues and Royals escort the sovereign at events like the trooping the colour. But William won't be on horseback like Harry, he'll be operating in armoured vehicles and before he joined up he was determined about one thing. The last thing I want to do is be wrapped up in cotton wool because if I was to join the army I'd want to go anywhere and I'd want to do what they did. But with British fatalities in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence says there could be situations or areas where it's too dangerous

for the second in line to serve. Prince William will want to serve with his regiment, with his soldiers, in command of them on operations. As a future head of the armed forces there were also plans for William to do stints in both the RAF and the Royal Navy. Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has started the mind games ahead of tonight's preliminary final with the Bulldogs. He says two key Dogs returning from injury won't measure up to finals footy. It's been billed as the battle of the packs and Wayne Benett believes he has the upper hand. The coaching guru warns players returning from injury, like the Bulldogs Roy Asotasi and Reni Maitua, may be left underdone in the finals arena. Oh, there's no doubt you are. One of the best things you can have going for you is playing consistently week after week and we've certainly been in that boat at this time of year, bringing players back from injury and hoping they reproduce the form they had before the injury, but that invariably doesn't happen unfortunately. Meanwhile, Mark Gasnier doesn't know if he's coming or going. The Dragons star centre didn't train with the team yesterday afternoon and remains in doubt for Saturday's clash with the Storm.

Basically, from our point of view as a group, we're preparing as if Mark Gasnier won't be playing the game. If he passes a fitness test and plays, that will be an added bonus. And there could be an added bonus for Ben Hornby. The Dragons halfback is in the frame for a Kangaroos jersey. I'm just trying not to think about it, to be honest. It'll help if you didn't ask me too many questions about it. LAUGHTER Scott Mackinnon, Ten News. Lleyton Hewitt will play Jose Acasuso in the second singles rubber on day one of the Davis Cup. The teams have come together for the first time

since the Australians arrived in Argentina. Hewitt claiming his first opponent commands respect despite being eight places worse off in the rankings. Obviously he's an extremely good player and it's going to be a tough match.

Aussie number two Mark Philippoussis is pitted against world number four David Nalbandian in the first match of the semi-finals. Finance news again with Frank. Coles Myer will slash more than 2,000 jobs as it works to fend off another takeover approach. The news came as the retailer unveiled its full-year profit -

up 14% to $787 million. Coles shares surged 3% after unveiling a better-than-expected 14% rise in net profit to $787 million. It's a turnaround for the once struggling retailer and boss John Fletcher is forecasting a $1 billion result

in the coming years. A journey that kind of culminated in the impossible being delivered.

Things that people five years ago said could not be done, have been done. But success will come at a cost with 2,500 head office jobs to go saving the retailer as much as $360 million a year. 2,500 jobs out of 65,000 employees is not really a great reduction. Coles will also press ahead with its aggressive restructuring plan integrating the Bi-lo, Liquorland and Kmart brands under the Coles banner. It's all part of a plan to make the retailer super strong, a defence mechanism Coles hopes will prevent any further takeover offers.

Last month the retailer rejected a $17 billion bid by a group of private equity firms and there are suggestions more rival offers are on the way. Matthew Taylor, Ten News. For a final check on the markets. It's been a rough session on Wall Street this morning after a round of weak economic news.

Before I go, the big Australian BHP Billiton is copping some big criticism in the US. Some of Hollywood's hottest celebrities are joining forces to stop the miner building an offshore gas project off Malibu. Just half an hour out of Los Angeles, Malibu is home to many very rich and very famous Americans, and they're very unhappy about a proposal by Australia's BHP Billiton to put a liquid natural gas terminal 23km offshore. As a father and as a citizen of this community,

I just feel that it's not fair, it's not right. The terminal will accept gas shipments from Australia which will be piped onshore to power US homes and businesses. But stars like Tom Hanks, Barbara Streisand, Danny de Vito, Charlize Theron and Sting are concerned the facility will be an eyesore, a terrorist target, an environmental pollutant and a safety hazard. Other communities have opposed it and we are opposing it. But, according to BHP Billiton,

it's these very residents who need it most. We only produce 15% of the gas that we use here in California. But success for these Malibu superstars

will come as a blow to the Australian economy - the project potentially worth $15 billion to Australia in exports. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave the terminal the thumbs up last year, but now, just weeks out from an election, the embattled California Governor

will have to weigh up the concerns of his very influential constituents. In California, Rahni Sadler, Ten News. Let's take a look at the national weather: That's it for Ten Early News. I'm Kathryn Robinson, 'bye for now. And I'm Frank Coletta. Have a great weekend.

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