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National Nine News -

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(generated from captions) Exclusive - amid claims of union thuggery. embarrassment for the ALP

the city spared wild storms Great escape -

for surfers. but the swells provide a lucky break Winter blanket - dust the mountains with snow. sub-zero temperatures and wedding clues - for James Packer's big day. all in readiness This program is captioned live.

National Nine News can reveal tonight Good evening.

and intimidation. a new case of union violence affiliated National Union of Workers Two officials of the Labor Party a delegate have been charged over the assault of Transport Workers Union. from the rival The arrests coming

to damage the Opposition as the Federal Government tries

over its union links. political reporter Adam Walters. For more, we cross to state are causing plenty of concern Adam, these charges

all the way to Canberra? a physical assault Mark, under normal circumstances in Sydney's western the national interest would hardly stir campaign being fought but, with a Federal election on industrial relations, under pressure the Labor Party finds itself to crackdown on union thuggery.

of the National Union of Workers. They are officials and 36-year-old Bruno Mendonca, 46-year-old Charlie Morgan

in Sydney's west, last night. arrested at Marylands intimidation and assault One man was charged with with intimidation. and the other man was charged

at this DHL trucking terminal The alleged victim of the attack it in March of the Transport Workers Union. was an official of pain from the alleged assault. Obviously, he's been in a lot family as a result of this as well. There's a lot of pressure on his

and X-rays The victim has provided police photos to prove his feet were fractured and stomped on. and he was thrown up against a wall

level Police intervened at the highest Commissioner saying - after a TWU lawyer wrote to the

for quite some time We'll be working on this have spoken to witnesses, and the detectives closed circuit TV. we are currently reviewing the victim has also been threatened. Police allege two or more people get together The charge of intimidation is when in the mind of another person and put fear

cut this Union loose. Kevin Rudd now has to have been granted conditional bail. Both arrested men

assault, not to approach the victim He's under conditions that apply to and not to approach certain places. in July. They will appear in Bankstown court joins us live from Canberra. Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd our exclusive story. Mr Rudd, you've just seen

to the union movement, Given your party's strong ties very damaging for Labor? do you accept this incident could be

Well, look on the details of the

case, of course until they are

determined by the courts, I can't

comment on the individuals. Let me

just say this, this is the most

serious matter and allegations of

this nature, I believe, go to the

heart of how we want this country

to be in the future. My attitude is

simply this, a zero-tolerance to

any form of violence in the

workplace and that would apply to

these matters as well if they are

proven in the courts. Give an zero

tolerance must you now cut your

Party's ties with the National

Union of Workers? One tour dealing

with here are two individuals and,

as I said, the matters are still

before the courts. I believe the

matter is absolutely critical to

draw a clear cut nine in the sand.

I had done that in recent

statements I have made. If these

matters are proven and if these

policies are taking which is of

zero-tolerance, and if it comes to

these individuals if they are

linked in any way to the Australian

Labor Party to membership then I

would recommend their expulsion. breathed a sigh of relief today Sydney collectively with cyclonic winds after a forecast massive storm failed to eventuate. has defended issuing the warning The Weather Bureau and high winds for the weekend. while predicting more storms for the night, As Sydney bunkered down a swirling mass on the coast, the weather chart looked frightening cyclonic winds. threatening to unleash the first reports of damage - And, by midnight, near Homebush. a tree and power lines brought down the prime targets The coastal areas were considered but, as the hours ticked by,

the great escape. it seemed Sydney had pulled off

Very strong winds just offshore, just above the surface, very strong winds just by the skin of its teeth. so Sydney really did escape

to live up to its hype, While the storm may have failed it's still pretty nasty out here. It's bitterly cold, and driving rain, there's howling winds and the seas are massive. This coastline is in for a pounding. barrelled in Waves towering up to 10m high

paddled out. as only the best and bravest Just trying to keep it calm. Yeah, yeah excited. revelled in the conditions, And while the big wave riders further up the coast at Newcastle, continued to struggle, the stricken 'Pasha Bulker' and copping another battering. stuck in the sand the ferries ploughed on On the harbour,

a stomach-churning trip to work. with commuters facing

Delighted it was proven wrong, it was right to issue the warnings. the weather bureau insists people needed to be prepared. We couldn't take any chances - is from the catchment authority. The next prediction are out tomorrow The all-important dam levels nearing 50% capacity. and Warragamba is tipped to be Damian Ryan, National Nine News. also escaped the cyclonic conditions, While the Blue Mountains

of a different kind. it did get a downpour towns were blanketed in snow, Overnight,

and delight in the parks. causing havoc on the roads, By midnight it was sub zero a make-over. and the mountains were given in the street... Cars and trucks abandoned Three hours stuck on the road. ..others difficult to find. since...2000. I haven't seen this sort of fall Blackheath could well have been a ski field with a farmhouse as a chalet and cattle on the slopes. More than 10cm settled by morning, and for some it was Christmas. MAN: He wasn't up for long before there was a lot of pressure to get out of the house. It was a chance to use a boogie board two hours from the beach. Or give Dad some much needed exercise.

It was rolled up, piled high and tossed around. Although not everyone knows the rules. Up here in the mountains, they were expecting a super storm - heavy wind and rain - but when residents woke up this morning, they may well have been in Thredbo. We went to bed about 11:00, it was was a bit of sleet

and that was it and then we woke up to this this morning.

With some schools cancelling classes

and adults unable or unwilling to go to work... Great excuse for a day off. left plenty of time for this. Have you been throwing snowballs at your mates? Yep, all of them. Have you? (Girl laughs) Denham Hitchcock, National Nine News. Hells Angel bikie Christopher Wayne Hudson has just surrendered to police in a small town, about 40km north of Melbourne.

He's wanted over this week's shooting murder in the heart of the city, in which a father of three was killed and two others were wounded, including Hudson's girlfriend. He walked into the police station in the town of Wallen about 4:30 this afternoon. There are fears a 67-year-old Sydney taxi driver may have been murdered after his vehicle was found abandoned in Eastwood early this morning.

Police searched nearby bushland after a substance believed to be blood was found inside the cab.

They said they weren't really sure what they were after but that they needed to have a look down there because they were concerned someone or something was down there. The taxi, which also has panel damage,

is undergoing further testing. Federal MPs from both major parties have defended their latest pay rise,

even though it is well ahead of the inflation rate. The Prime Minister says

politicians get lower salaries than people in business and a rise of nearly 7% is not excessive. Greens senator Bob Brown got it right. There is nothing that brings the big parties together faster than a pay rise. Coalition and Labor parliamentarians are all holding out their hands for the 6.7% rise,

an extra $153 a week for backbenchers, it'll come into effect in less than a fortnight. Here's how brand new Queensland Liberal Senator Sue Boyce - she was sworn in only last month - reacted to criticism of the increase. Other major party MPs took the line, "Don't blame us, blame the Remuneration Tribunal." The independent umpire is delivering this. Well, I'm not going to criticise them. I mean, they're giving me a pay rise. You just set up an independent body and take what comes. This was a former minister when asked how he justified the rise. Well, madam, I don't have to, madam. I don't have to. We have a judge and other members of the community that actually to do that for us. The minor parties in the Senate and independent Peter Andren in the lower house will try to have the increase voted down. But the combined numbers of Liberal, National and Labor MPs

will swamp them. The Prime Minister, who'll get an extra $20,000 a year, conceded that pay rises for politicians are never popular but said 6.7% is not excessive. People in the business community and the professions carrying no greater responsibility are often remunerated at a much higher rate.

Thank you. Laurie Oakes, National Nine News. There's been a muted reaction to the State Government's budget sweeteners for home buyers.

Premier Morris Iemma insists the cuts in land tax and mortgage duty will kick start the property market but some in the industry don't agree. The Premier is out to fire up the property market. Give the place a kick along. Open for inspection today, a townhouse in Telopea on the market for $585,000. After September,

the buyer would save $2,000 with the abolition of mortgage duty,

but will the cuts really turn around the market? Even Treasurer Costa doubts it. Certainly not true that by cutting land tax and cutting mortgage duty that you would reverse the natural cycle. And buyers seem to think the cuts are small beer. A few thousand dollars here and there is just really a drop in the bucket, really.

The Real Estate Institute says more rental properties are what's really needed and the way to do it... Simple the answer would be remove land tax on property invesment in NSW. There's potentially a big hole in the Budget, included as revenue - $400 million in taxes from the sale of Sydney Airport. Only problem - the Federal Government is not about to pay up.

I find it unbelievable that they would seek to cheat their way out of paying tax and behave in this cowboy-like fashion. Treasurer Costello says it was his understanding

stamp duty didn't apply to the sale five years ago. They must be desperate to be going back looking for this money now. Mark Burrows, National Nine News. Protest groups have accused police

A crane driver in Hobart has had a remarkable escape after his rig toppled over on the Tasman Bridge, dangling over the edge. Luckily he managed to crawl out to safety.

He was shaken but otherwise unhurt. There are new clues on the exact location of the wedding between James Packer and Erica Baxter on the French Riviera later tonight. One of the luxury hotels booked for the guests appears to be preparing to stage the ceremony but it's raised another question about these billionaire nuptials. On the grand, seaside terrace at the Hotel du Cap, signs that James Packer and Erica Baxter could be taking their vows here instead of the 'Arctic P'. An aisle has been created, stretching more than a 100m from the main building to a podium overlooking the Mediterranean. James Packer's sister, Gretel, was taking a stroll with a friend, inspecting the set-up.

This apparent likelihood of a ceremony on land seems to contradict French law. Marriages can only be sanctioned if couples have been living here for a minimum of 30 days. Whatever takes place in these grounds may not be legally binding. Earlier in the day, 30km along the coast, the bride and groom were throwing a party on a secluded private beach. Mr Packer was seen in animated conversation with Tom Cruise

while Katie Homes took a dip in the shallows with the couple's daughter, Suri. Security was tight and media attention certainly wasn't welcome as the couple and their guests continued the pre-wedding revelry.

Every element of this 4-day celebration has been planned with almost military precision, but despite that attention to detail, day two was affected by the one thing planning can't fix - bad weather. The original plan

was for everyone to board a flotilla of boats to be taken to the party but conditions were so rough, they didn't make it. Quickly recovering their land legs, they were ferried in a fleet of vans instead. The weather forecast for the wedding, though, is expected to treat the couple much more kindly - warm and clear for an afternoon service and, whatever the precise nature of the ceremony, they'll be coming down this aisle late tonight Australian time. In Antibes, France, James Talia, National Nine News. In the news ahead - fatal inferno - nine firefighters killed by a roof collapse. And, road rules - the Vatican's 10 commandments for getting behind the wheel.

Australia will spend $11 billion on five new Spanish-designed war ships for the navy. Most construction for the the air warfare destroyers and two large landing ships

will take place in Spain. One quarter of the construction will take place in Australia and that will provide about 600 jobs. The first ships will be delivered in 2014. In the United States, nine firefighters have been killed as they raced to save lives in a burning furniture store.

The building collapsed on top of the men, and even worse - it turned out to be a tragic case of confusion. The firefighters had already rescued two people

but went back into the burning furniture store believing that others were trapped. The tragedy was, everyone was out The sides of the store were burning which then spread to the roof. It was a tall ceiling being held up by metal supports. They soon started to glow red hot

then the burning roof came down on them all. I can't say enough for these nine guys. These nine guys were my friends.

I lost nine of my best friends. The nine killed included three captains who'd been firefighters all their working lives and several who were new to business. Now in the small southern city, where so many people know so many other locals, memorials are being created,

people are heartbroken for those who, this time, didn't make it out safely as they had so many times before. In the US, Robert Penfold, National Nine News. Hoping to increase harmony on the roads, the Vatican has issued its 10 commandments for drivers, including showing care and courtesy for others. On top of the expected road rules

against killing and drink driving, one commandment warns against immoral acts inside vehicles. Finally, there's one which may be a challenge in modern, wealthy societies, not using cars as an expression of power or domination. Ken with sport is next, and South Sydney pay back the Roosters

for spoiling their party. Claims Petero Civoniceva is about to join the tri colours. Also, it's finally official - Wing signs up with the Rabbitohs.

And, Aussies turning it on top hats and tails at Ascot.

It's Franklins' birthday. Join the celebrations with our Catalogue Carnival. You'll make big savings on all catalogue items like... 1kg Fab laundry powder concentrate varieties. 20% off all Kellogg's breakfast cereals. Plus you could win big. Every three catalogue items gets you an entry form to share in $150,000 in prizes, but only during Franklins' Birthday Catalogue Carnival. It'll blow you away.

Souths owner Russell Crowe dropped a bombshell today, saying Brisbane prop Petero Civoniceva was heading to the Roosters.

It continues the sniping between the clubs after the Roosters released Craig Wing's signing with Souths on the Roosters' website. Today was supposed to be all about the homecoming of one of Souths favourite sons. The Rabbits junior coming back to the club where it all began. And, of course, there was the money shot, inking his commitment to the club. I do see it as my destiny that, you know, to finish in the red and green.

I think the signing as significant as our signing last year of Roy Asotasi. It's a gigantic move for the club. Wing thought he wasn't wanted by the Rabbits despite always having a desire to return. A phone call to to Crowe straightened him out. It's been eight years now and nobody's asked. There's was a little bit of silence and I said, "Craig, would you like to come and play for South Sydney?" and he said "Yes". But there's bad blood between the Rooster's and the Rabbits after Wings current club got in first

and announced his signing at Souths on their website. So today Crowe fireback when Homes a Court was asked if the Rabbits were interested in signing Petero Civoniceva. We'll know, I think, you know particularly where he's going. Just keep checking the East's website. And later Holmes a Court re-emphasise the point. Sorry, that's what I read.

I thought that was already public, sorry.

REPORTER: Where did you read it? It was all over the Internet.

Souths all but ruled out the signing of another big name, Wendell Sailor. I spoke to Sailor today, he confirmed that he has had a preliminary meeting with the Dragons and he'd like a two-year deal with the club. My information is very strong that Sailor will become a Dragon. Dragon's fans shouldn't be too surprised, he made this comment to National Nine News last September in his first television interview after his drugs ban. Would probably love nothing more

than to run out there in a red and white jersey. Danny Weidler, National Nine News. Horse racing, and the Australian invasion of Royal Ascot has been a complete success with Miss Andretti romping to victory in record time in the King's Stand Stakes.

In all, three Aussie champions filled the first four places, with Magnus third and Take-Over Target completing the picture. The arrival of the Queens signalled the start of the the royal meeting.

It's here where the best of British breeding gather, in the stands and on the track. But this year, the opening day at Royal Ascot could well have been renamed Australia Day, with four of our star sprinters here to take on the best in Europe. Gai Waterhouse has been visiting Ascot for almost 30 years but Bentley Biscuit was her first runner. You just want to get on with it, get it going now. We've been here for the last three weeks nearly. The King's Stand Stakes has been run since 1837 but it first came to Australia's attention in 2003 when Choisir became our first horse to win at Royal Ascot, Takeover Target repeated the feat last year. Miss Andretti was favourite this time and the punters were right on the money. COMMENTATOR: ...and now Takeover Target, Dandy Man is finishing fast as well. Miss Andretti's digging deeper - and Miss Andretti, she's a champion! She goes on to win the King's Stand. She shattered the course record by two seconds. Trainer Lee Freedman comparing it to winning the Melbourne Cup. REPORTER: An Aussie speechless, this says it all, almost. I've lived all my life to do this, it's an enormous thrill for me. This mighty mare now ranked alongside the world's very best sprinters. She's the sprinting queen of Australasia and now the world. In London, Chris Hodgkinson, National Nine News. After the break, the CommSec finance report, Jaynie with the weather details then the baby judged Australia's cutest kid.

Mitre 10. All the help you need.

To finance, and it was a record day for the sharemarket. Leighton Holdings was among the improvers after joining the consortium to buy the Cross City Tunnel. But Ten Network shares fell on concerns about earnings. Thanks, Mark. Yes well thankfully last night was much calmer than expected. Winds were still gusting between 60km/h and 80km/h. But the good news, 23mm landed over Warragamba and a total of 466mm in Sydney this month, making it our second wettest June on record. Winds stayed fresh today, with maximum temperatures in the high teens.

17 for the city - that's one below average. The low was there overnight, it was actually further away than forecast, and is now well and truly away from the coast. Severe weather warnings in force with waves over 5m and significant beach erosion from the South Coast and up to the mid-north coast. A cold front will move up the NSW coast tomorrow. Nothing severe but we can expect showers for the Central Coast. Along with fresh southerly winds, and very cold air behind it. Official dam figures will be in tomorrow,

and, as we heard earlier, it's looking like we'll get very close to 50%, Mark. Finally tonight - a contest that's as cute as they come. 'Mother and Baby' magazine has been scouring the country for Australia's cutest kid

and, today, we had a winner - 1-year-old Zachary Brownjohn. Mum was clearly over the moon but remaining modest.

I think that all the babies are gorgeous and any of them probably could have won. Little Zach has won himself a 12-month modelling contract. That's National Nine News for this Wednesday. I'm Mark Ferguson. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.