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Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

This program is captioned live.

Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. And

I'm Catherine Kennedy. Welcome to

Ten's Early News. Today - incoming

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to unveil

his hand-picked ministry. The Labor Cabinet to be sworn in before Monday.

Liberal MPs also meeting in

Canberra - they'll be voting on a new leadership team.

A bomb explodes outside a

department store in Sri Lanka, killing 16

killing 16 people.

And more fireworks in the NBL as

the Perth Wildcats upset the ladder

leaders Sydney.

Right now, the finance, and

Catherine with a check of the

markets. US stocks are extending

its gains from the previous day

after a Federal Reserve governor its gains from the previous day

raised hopes of an interest-rate

cut, offsetting the latest woes for the economy and the financial sector.

When I come back - BHP Billiton

vows to keep pushing

with rival Rio Tinto. vows to keep pushing for a merger

That story keeps on keeping on.

Thank you, Catherine.

Kevin Rudd will today unveil his Labor Cabinet. The Prime Minister-elect breaking with tradition to hand-pick his ministers. Meantime, Liberal

politicians will vote on a new

leadership team, the first step in

electoral defeat. picking up the pieces after

on the Prime Ministerial jet, Arriving in Canberra Kevin Rudd and his deputy are ready

the cockpit of the nation. to take over But they're keeping the make up of their crew a secret.

are talking amongst themselves, Labor members until the party room meets. but they won't find out the composition of the ministry, Kevin's stamp, in terms of that was understood beforehand. will be accepted by the Caucus for Therese Rein It was a commercial flight to discuss options with the PM-elect. The US Ambassador is also keen The Kyoto Protocol from Iraq on the list. and the promised troop withdrawal

Australian security forces Tere are going to be in Baghdad that relate to the embassy and airforces that are off shore. and there are naval forces over lunch with John Howard. Liberal forces regrouped for quite some time. It was a last supper at the Lodge of the leadership race Tony Abbott pulling out after colleagues indicated from the Howard era. it was time to make a break

I always regarded myself Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson The party room left to choose between

for Opposition Leader, be a woman, their deputy could for the first time across leadership teams. evening up the gender stakes If it's seen as an advantage I'm happy to take. then that's an advantage and the new in, With old MPs moving out Brad Hodson, Ten News.

While Tony Abbott has taken himself

out of the leadership

out of the leadership contest, he

hasn't ruled out a future challenge.

I'm certainly not guaranteeing that

I won't, in the future, challenge I won't, in the future, challenge

for the leadership. But I certainly

intend to try to be a very intend to try to be a very

the team. constructive and loyal member of

And former trade min ster Warren

Truss is firming as the next leader

of the National Party. The 59-year-old

59-year-old throw his hat in the

ring after frontrunner Peter

McGauran pulled out of contention.

Despite his age, Mr Truss says he's

in for the long haul.

Bad to worse for the Queensland

Liberals - a crisis meeting ended

in a stalemate, with challenger Tim in a stalemate, with challenger Tim

Nicholls unable to get the numbers,

and leader Bruce Flegg not allowing

a secret ballot. It's clear that Dr

Flegg does not have the support of

the majority of his colleagues as

leader. He Hasler that allowed a

vote to go forward. The State party

president is also demanding Mr

Flegg's resignation and has called an urgent state council meeting for tonight.

Former Guantanamo inmate Mamdouh

Habib pleaded with Iraq and Syria

for asylum while denouncing

Australia as a country full of ined

if els. A

if els. A Sydney court heard Habib

wrote to Saddam Hussein and Muammar

Gaddafi just before his arrest on

suspicion of terrorism in 2001. The

dictators are addressed as

'brother' in the letters, which

express disgust that Australian way of life.

It's claimed Mellarsburn's Alfred

Hospital was aware of concerns about

about its suspended head of trauma

three years ago. There are now

calls for a judicial inquiry into the surgeon's

the surgeon's operating methods.

Suspended surgeon Thomas Kossman

was in no mood to speak. He's being

unnecessarily investigated over allegations he

acted on road

acted on road victims. Documents

from 2005 show conflict between a

senior surgeon and professor

Kossman over his medical conduct.

The State Opposition calling for a The State Opposition calling for a

full judicial inquiry rather than a

report to hospital management. This

inquiry is not independent enough.

It is not broad enough. And the

reporting should not be to the

hospital, it should be to the government of the day and the people of Victoria. Kossman has one high-profile people of Victoria. Professor

Kossman has one high-profile backer

- former AFL footballer and Bali

bomb hero Jason McCartney. It's

fair to say without the outstanding

work of Thomas and his amazing

staff , I most likely wouldn't be here today.

A new study has found fish oil

could be the key to avoiding

schizophrenia. It's believed taking

a daily dose may stop or delay

young people from developing

young people from developing severe

mental illness. Omega 3 fatty acids

are being hailed as a safer

treatment option than other, often

debill tailing medications.

A bomb has exploded outside a

crowded department store in Sri

Lanka's capital, Colombo, killing

at least 18 people and injuring

dozens more. Tamil Tiger rebels are being held responsible for the dozens more. Tamil Tiger rebels are

blast, which

blast, which blew out windows

ennearby buildings and sent piles

of concrete onto the street. The

bombing comes on the same day that

a suicide bomber blew herself up

outside the office of a Tamil A British teacher has been charged minister.

in Sudan with inciting hatred. 54-year-old Gillian Gibbons was

detained after allowing a student

to name a teddy bear Muhammad, seen

as an insult to the prophet.

as an insult to the prophet. The as an insult to the prophet. The

teacher from Liverpool now facing

40 lashes, a fine, or six months'

jail. She'll appear in jail. She'll appear in court tomorrow

OJ Simpson has pleaded not guilty

to robbery and kidnapping charges

in the US. The former American

football star was in court to enter

the plea, along with two alleged

accomplices. Simpson is facing accomplices. Simpson is facing 12

charges in all, relating to charges in all, relating to the

alleged armed robbery of sporting

alleged armed robbery of sporting

memorabilia. If convicted, he could be jailed for life.

Australian cyclist Cadel Evans has

been named the Sports Performer of

the Year. The Tour de France

runner-up awarded $50,000 for his

efforts at a gala presentation in Sydney. A

A glamorous occasion for the

richest independent prize in

Australian sport. The sport

performer of the year awards

attracting an A-list of sporting

celebrities, a chance to reflect on another

another incredible year of athletic endeavour. Tour de France hero Evans

Evans thev big winner for the night,

upstaging queen of the pool Libby

Lentonen , Casey Stoner, and Aussie Lentonen , Casey Stoner, and Aussie cricket captain Ricky Ponting to

the top honour. The winner of the

Sports Performer of the Year Sports Performer of the Year award is Cadel Evans. APPLAUSE

is Cadel Evans. APPLAUSE In Cadel's

absence, his mother picked up the

prize. The man himself donating the

hefty winner's cheque to charity.

Phras the $50,000, the Amy gillt

Foundation, I think, it is probably

a more worthy benificator of that

money than me. NRL premiers --

premiers the Melbourne Storm awarded,

awarded, folfolfolpicking up the

young performer prize after an incredible

incredible 12 months that saw him

rise from first-grade hopeful to Australian representative.

The Sydney Kings remain on top of the

the NBL ladder despite squandering

an 8-point 3-quarter-time lead over

Perth. They lost 87-84. As so often

happens in the interstate clashes, the teams

the teams were very physical throughout the game. Tempers

boiling over in the third boiling over in the third quarter.

COMMENTATOR: Not liking the contact.

Back-to-back three-pointers in the

last five minutes saw Perth take the lead for good.

The AFL inquiry into the conduct

and culture at the West Coast

Eagles will continue today in Perth.

Yesterday, former eagle Daniel Chick faced the chief investigator. What

What did you have to say in the

meeting today? That's meeting today? That's all

confidential, Lachy. Why did you

have to be interviewed for this

when youer not on the Eagles' list

anymore? Ah, I was asked to come in. Daniel Kerr was

Daniel Kerr was also grilled, and

Dennis kKometti was a surprise attendee.

BHP will keep pursuing that

takeover offurf from Rio Tinto. It

continues to develop. Boss Marius

Kloppers remains depoint to over

his company's bid, saying BHP's

3-for-1 scrip offer is both logicalal and compelling. He's

used the AGM to make clear he would not back down

not back down from the merger and

says he's ready to talk directly to

Rio Tinto shareholders. BHP says

its offer would allow both sets of

investors to benefit from predicted

cost savings of $3.7 billion US dollars.

Childcare group ABC Learning says

it's on track to add $500 million

to its profit facility. The

to its profit facility. The high

dollar has forced down earnings

from its operations in Britain, the

US and New Zealand. Mr Groves says

the new debt facility arranged

jointly by ANZ, the CBA, nabCapital

and westple would be in US dollars

and would be a natural hedge. The national picture for Thursday:

A look at the newspapers today now.

In Tasmania's 'Mercury', wildlife

authorities have found in my

opinion protected fur seals shot del dead. In the 'Financial Review',

Treasurer Wayne Swan has met with

the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia to discuss the

Australia to discuss the

possibility of making a new

monetary policy agreement. Racegoers, get prepared -

horseracing returns to Royal

Randwick, ending a 3-month ban

after the outbreak of equine influenza.

Small businesses have been urged

to sack workers ahead of Labor's

overhaul of the IR laws. Details

when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live.

You're watching Ten's Early News.

This morning, Prime Minister-elect

Kevin Rudd will unveil his

frontbench team, deniing he's

frontbench team, deniing he's under

any pressure from Labor factions.

And the embattled Liberal Party to

decide on a new leadership team.

Malcolm Turnbull is the man

expected to take the top job. A

British teacher in Sudan charged

with inciting hatred over a teddy

bear name Muhammad. And in sport,

David Hussey stars with the bat and

in the field, guiding Victoria to

victory. Finance right now, and Catherine, Wall Street continues to surge? That's right,

surge? That's right, Bill. US

stocks are extending gains from the

previous day after a Federal

Reserve governor raised hopes of an

interest-rate cut, offsetting the

latest woes for the economy and the financial sector.

When I come back

When I come back - more When I come back - more trouble ahead for Qantas over a

price-fixing scandal. Bill. Thank you, Catherine.

The Rudd Government will be

revealed today. The Prime

Minister-elect unveiling his first

ministry, with more from Canberra,

political reporter Brad Hodson. The Labor Caucus will today meet

for the first time since the

election, and where normally it

would elect the members of the

Government's frontbench, this

Government's frontbench, this time,

Kevin Rudd has taken the internal

power away from the factions of the

Labor Party, and will choose his

own ministers based on performance.

He says he will fire them on that

basis as well. The Liberal Party

will meet to elect their first leadership

leadership team also. Tony Abbott

pulled out of the race late yesterday, leaving Malcolm Turnbull, who's expected to have the numbers,

and Brendan Nelson to fight it out. Dr Nelson

Dr Nelson is not giving up without

a fight. The party will also

consider whether to have its

first-ever female deputy leader in Julie

Julie Bishop to go head to head

against Julia Gillard. Andrew Robb

and Christopher Pyne are also in the race for that position.

Thank you, Brad.

Small businesses are reportedly

being urged to sack staff before

Labor overhauls workplace

Labor overhauls workplace laws.

Online business magazine

SmartCompany is reportedly telling

employers to take WorkChoices and

get rid of unsuitable staff before

the law is scrap. This comes as

Telstra rushes to sign up 15,000

staff to new contracts. The staff to new contracts. The workers

currently employed under AWAs well

not be guaranteed pay rises under the new the new deals.

Musing promoter Glenn Wheatley will

today appeal the length of his jail

sentence for tax fraud. Lawyers for the stkpwon-year-old are the stkpwon-year-old are expected

to argue the judge made an error in

handing down the 15-month jail term.

The former manager for John Farnham

was found guilty of evading more

than $310,000 in tax.

Sydney Airport has been branded the

worst in Australia. News Limited

spaipers slamming it as an

spaipers slamming it as an

overpriced disgrace, accusing the

airport of ripping off travellers

and visitors. Refreshments,

including coffee, are often double

the price of elsewhere. It follows revelations a major security

upgrade at the airport could take

more than a year, severely

disrupting thousands of residents

and passengers.

James Hardie has denied it tried to block compensation -- compensation

for asbestos victim bant

for asbestos victim bant bapt bant

in the last days of his life. It

follows claims the company hid a doctor's report for seven years. As Karen Banton emerged through a guard of honour formed by construction workers, she was celebrating the beginning of work of a $12 million centre dedicated to asbestosis research. Named the Bernie Banton Centre, the first sod was turned by his grandson Jack. Give it a good one, mate. But the campaigner's wife was also shocked at apparent revelations James Hardie used a doctor's report it had hidden for seven years to show it didn't have to pay Mr Banton's latest claim for compensation. They never cease to amaze me with their actions. Just - beyond belief. James Hardie has responded in a statement to the Stock Exchange. Mr Banton died at his Sydney home aged 61. He forgave James Hardie in his final hours. His family may not be so willing. Josh Murphy, Ten News. Homicide squad detectives are

investigating the death of a woman

in her house in Victoria's in her house in Victoria's Latrobe

Valley. Police were called to the

home in Morwell last night after

ambulance officers found the body

of the 46-year-old woman. At this

stage, she hasn't been identified,

and her cause of death is not known.

A 40-year-old man was arrested at

the scene and taken in for

questioning. No charges have been

laid. It's believed the man was

laid. It's believed the man was in

a relationship with the woman.

Meningococcal disease has been Meningococcal disease has been

blamed for the death of a baby boy

in NSW. The 8-month-old died in a

hospital in the hunter region

yesterday morning. It's the 12th

case of the deadly infection in the area.

Three people have been killed as raging

raging floodwit withers swept through

through a coastal town in Algeria.

Homes have been destroyed, power cut

cut to several villages, and

streets left caked in mud. Locals

are blaming illegal construction in

a nearby river for this disaster.

The death toll is expected to rise.

A British primary-school teacher

arrested in Sudan after arrested in Sudan after her pupils

called a teddy bear Muhammad has

been charged with insulting Islam.

If convicted, Gillian Gibbons

If convicted, Gillian Gibbons could

face 40 lashes and several months in jail.

in jail.

Gillian Gibbons was looking for

adventure in Sudan, moving to

cartime from a Liverpool primary

school a couple of months ago. Now

she's headline news, charged with she's headline news, charged with

inciting hatred and showing

contempt for religious beliefs. She

asked 7-year-olds to name a class

teddy bear. They apparently chose

the name Muhammad after a boy in

the class. His parents, like

millions of others, were honouring

the prophet of the Muslim face. It

angered the authorities, and the

education ministry displayed a

letter from Ms Gibbons written in

September. "The bear would love to

visit your family and write about

his experience." Muslims are

divided about the action. Many call

it an innocent mistake, a it an innocent mistake, a miscalculation. Others say she

ignored strict local laws. The Muslim

Muslim council of Britain says the

decision to charge the teacher is

disgraceful and defies common sense.

British diplomats in cartime are

working to try to get Gillian

Gibbons released. She still faces

the possibility if convicted of

prison, a fine, and up to 40 lashes.

26 Indonesian sailors are feared

dead after their boat hit rough

seas off Taiwan. Coastguards

managed to lift one to safety, but

authorities hold grave fears authorities hold grave fears for

the e-- for the remaining crew. Pakistani President Pervez

Musharraf will be sworn in as a

civilian head of state today after

surrendering his post as the

nation's military commander.

International pressure had been

mounting on him to step aside as

the army chief in a bid to quell

political unrest. The former prime minister Benazir Bhutto welcoming minister Benazir Bhutto welcoming the changing of the guard.

Finally, the David Beckham show has

rolled out of Sydney, with slightly

less fanfare than his arrival.

After playing in his side's 5-3

loss to Sydney FC on Tuesday, the

have superstar took a little time

to sign a few more autographs for

some very devoted fans. The team

bus leaving Sydney's Star City

Casino in the small hours of this morning.

morning. The Galaxy now heads to

New Zealand to take on the Wellington Phoenix.

Opener Matthew Hayden is the

Opener Matthew Hayden is the latest Australian player to join the

injured list. He will miss

Queensland's Pura Cup match with

tend nites in his knee. Meantime

the massive partnership between

David Hussey and Rob Quiney has

steered voibgt Victoria to a

steered voibgt Victoria to a sick-wicket win in the Ford Ranger sick-wicket win in the Ford Ranger

Cup match against NSW at the SCG.

Earlier, Hussey showed he could

field as well, with what must rank

as one of the catches of the season.

Brad Haddin was forced off the

pitch after clopping an edge.

Quiney smashing the Blues' bowlers

all over the park. The bushrangers reached their target with four

overs to spare.

Retired Kangaroo Brian Fletcher has

become the victim of identity fraud,

with more than $50,000 spent in his

name over the past two years.

Returning from a stint in the

English Super League, the grand final-winning

final-winning back rower discovered the

the fraud while attempting to buy a

new car. Fletcher has confirmed he

will play a non-playing role at the

Roosters this year.

Roosters this year.

To finance again, and Catherine,

Qantas's woes continue. The airline

could now face lawsuits from could now face lawsuits from

hundreds of Australian companies

over a price-fixing scandal. Qantas

has been hit with a $70 million

fine for its role in freight-price

fixing. Hundreds of companies

across a broad range of across a broad range of industrys

have now registered their interest

in joining the case. Potential

damages have been estimated at $200

million for customers who will

claim they've been ripped off by

the airline. Macquarie

Macquarie Media Group has gone on a

shopping spree in the United States.

The company spending $182 million

on 33 publications. It's now the

fifth-largest owner of small-market community

community newspapers in the US. It comes just weeks after completing

a $1.35 billion takeover of Southern Cross Broadcasting.

Checking the weather around Australia for today:

OJ Simpson pleads not guilty to

robbery and kidnapping. Details

next. And the CommSec finance

report when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. Our top

stories this Thursday morning - incoming incoming Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

to unveil his hand-picked ministry.

The Labor Cabinet to be sworn in

before Monday. And the Liberal MPs

also meeting in Canberra to vote on

their new leadership team.

A bomb explodes outside a

department store in Sri Lanka. It's

kill 16 people.

And more firework in the NBL - the Perth

Perth Wildcats upsetting the ladder leaders Sydney.

A quick check of the markets. US

stocks extended its gains from the

previous day after a Federal

Reserve governor raised hopes of an

interest-rate cut, offsetting the

latest woes for the economy and the financial sector.

When I come back, we'll cross live

to CommSec for a look at today's

markets. Thanks, Catherine.

Kevin Rudd will today unveil his

Kevin Rudd will today unveil his Labor Cabinet. The Prime

Minister-elect breaking with

tradition - he will hand-pick his

ministers. Meantime, Liberal

politicians will vote on a new

leadership team - the first step in

pick up the pieces after electoral defeat. Arriving in Canberra on the Prime Ministerial jet, Kevin Rudd and his deputy are ready to take over the cockpit of the nation. But they're keeping the make-up of their crew a secret. Labor members are talking amongst themselves, but they won't find out until the party room meets.

Kevin's stamp, in terms of the composition of the ministry, will be accepted by the Caucus that was understood beforehand. The US Ambassador is also keen to discuss options with the PM-elect. The Kyoto Protocol

and the promised troop withdrawal from Iraq on the list.

Tere are going to be Australian security forces that relate to the Australian Embassy in Baghdad and there are naval forces and airforces that are off shore. Liberal forces regrouped over lunch with John Howard. It was a last supper at the Lodge for quite some time. Tony Abbott pulling out of the leadership race after colleagues indicated it was time to make a break from the Howard era. I always regarded myself The party room left to choose between Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson for Opposition Leader, their deputy could for the first time be a woman,

evening up the gender stakes across leadership teams. If it's seen as an advantage then that's an advantage I'm happy to take.

And while Tony Abbott has taken

himself out of this leadership contest, he hasn't ruled out a

future challenge. I'm certainly not

guaranteeing that I won't, in the future, challenge for the

future, challenge for the

leadership. But I certainly leadership. But I certainly intend

to try to be a very constructive

and loyal member of the team of

whoever wins tomorrow.

Tony Abbott. Controversial sleeping pill Stilnox

will now be sold in smaller packs

with extra warnings about side

effects. This follows reports of bizarre sleep-time behaviour,

including driving, rage and binge

including driving, rage and binge eating. The therapeutic goods

administration has warned that, for

the first time, and regular users

can suffer side effects.

James Hardie has rubbished reports

it used dirty tricks to try to

block compensation for asbestos

campaigner Bernie Banton. campaigner Bernie Banton. Friends

and family of Mr Banton have slammed the building-products

company following claims it planned

to use a doctor's report hidden for

seven years to avoid paying his latest

latest compensation claim. Mr

Banton passed away on Tuesday. He

was 61.

It's been revealed Melbourne's

Alfred Hospital knew of concerns

about its suspended head of trauma

three years ago. There are now

calls for a judicial inquiry into

the surgeon's operating methods. Suspended surgeon Thomas Kossman

was in no mood to speak. Professor

Kossman? The professor's being investigated

investigated over allegations he

unnecessarily operated on

road-accident victims to claim Transport Accident Commission

payments. It's because of the draft

report that we found we needed to

take this step of standing

professor Kossman down. Documents

from 2005 show conflict between a senior senior surgeon and professor Kossman

Kossman over his medical conduct.

The state Opposition calling for a full

full judicial inquiry rather than a report to

report to hospital management. This

inquiry is not independent enough.

It is not broad enough. And the

reporting should not be to the

hospital. It should be to the Government

Government of the day, and the people

people of Victoria. Professor

Kossman has one high-profile backer,

former AFL footballer and Bali bomb

hero Jason McCartney. It's fair to

say without the outstanding work of

Thomas and his

Thomas and his amazing stuff, I

most likely wouldn't be here today. Queensland's corruption watchdog

has been asked to investigate

claims that a hospital's heart unit

was shut down because of bitter

staff fighting. The cardiothoracic

unit at Townsville Hospital was

temporarily closed earlier this

month because of reported poisonous

relations between staff were puttish patients' lives at

patients' lives at risk. Concerns

have been passed on to the and

misconduct commission.

The 82-year-old mother of a moon

who's wanted for murder has urged

him to surrender to police. 60-year-old schizophrenic Stanley

Maguire has been on the run since

the weekend. He's accused of

shooting dead father of four Stephen Holmes.

OJ Simpson has pleaded not guilty

to robbery and kidnapping

to robbery and kidnapping charges

in the US. The former American

football star was in court to the

inter the pleas, along with two

allegedplaces. Simpson facing 12

charges in all. If convicted, he

could be jailed for life.

A bomb exploded outside a crowded

deParliament store in Sri Lanka's

capital, Colombo. It's killed at

least 16 people and injured dozens more. Tamil Tiger

more. Tamil Tiger rebels are being

held responsible for the blast,

which blew out windows in nearby

buildings and cept piles of

concrete onto the street. The

bombing comes on the same day that

a suicide bomber attack the office

of a Tamil minister.

Dogs may be man's best friend, but

it's a different story for a young

boy in Cambodia. Since birth, the

youngster and this 4.8m

youngster and this 4.8m python have

been inseparable. They sleep

together, they eat together, they

even have similar dietary habits.

No, they don't eat rats or frogs

live. The large snake is simply part of the family.

The David Beckham show has rolled

out of Sydney with slightly less fanfare than his arrival after

playing in his side's 5-3 loss to Sydney

Sydney FC on Tuesday, the superstar

took a little time to sign a few

more autographs for some very

devoted fans. Why were they very

devoted? The team bus left Sydney's Star City Casino in the small hours of this morning! The Galaxy

Galaxy will head to New Zealand mow

to take on the Wellington Phoenix. Australian

Australian cyclist Cadel Evans has

been named the Sports Performer of

the Year. The Tour de France the Year. The Tour de France

runner-up awarded $50,000

runner-up awarded $50,000 for his

efforts at a gala presentation in Sydney.

A glamorous occasion for the richest independent prize in

Australian sport. The Sport

Performer of the Year awards

attracting an A-list of attracting an A-list of sporting

celebrities, a chance to reflect on

another incredible I year of another incredible I year of

athletic endeavour. Tour de France

hero Cadel Evans the big winner of

the night, overshadowing Libby

Lenton, Casey Stoner and Ricky

Ponting for the top honour. The

winner for the sports performer of

the Year award is Cadel Evans. In

Cadel's absence, his mother picked

up the prize. The man himself

donating the hefty winner's cheque

to charity. As for the $50,000, to charity. As for the $50,000, the

Amy Gillett Foundation I think is

probably a more worthy

probably a more worthy benificator

of that money than me. NRL premiers

the Melbourne Storm were duly award

-- dually awarded - Craig

the coach of the year, Israel Folau

picking up the young performer

prize after an incredible 12 months

that saw him rise from first-grade

hopeful to Australian

representative.

The Sydney Kings are still on top The Sydney Kings are still on top

of the NBL despite squandering an 8-point three-quarter-time

8-point three-quarter-time lead

over Perth. They lost to the

Wildcats 87-84. As so often Wildcats 87-84. As so often happens

in the interstate games, the teams

were pretty physical throughout the

match. Tempers boiled over in the

third quarter. COMMENTATOR: Not

liking the contact.

Back to back 3-pointers in the last

five minutes saw Perth take the lead for good.

BHP has made clear it won't back

down from its takeover bid for Rio

Tinto. Boss Marius Kloppers describing

describing his proposal as logical

and compelling. For more, Craig

James from CommSec joins us live.

It seems the ball is back in Rio's It seems the ball is back in Rio's

court? Yes, Catherine. BHP Billiton

held their annual general meeting

yesterday. BHP's boss thrdz was

overwhelming support for investors for

for the logic of BHP's plan. It

gets down to what Rio Tinto does.

It's up likely to do anything

unless BHP raises its

unless BHP raises its bid. This

stand-off is probably going to last

a little longer. New figures show

home sales rose by just 0.8% in

October. Qis a disappointing result

when you consider the population is

growing at the fastest rate in 17

years. We're just not building

enough apartments and units. The represental crisis will only get

worse. After the rate hike in November, the November figures are November, the November figures are up likely to make

up likely to make for happy reading.

There've been some huge moves in

offshore markets overnight. Dow

Jones soaring by over 300 points on

expectations the US Federal Reserve

will have no alternative but to cut

interest rates. Good news for

motorists - oil price plunging by

$3.40 a barrel to $91 a barrel.

With petrol prices around $1.

With petrol prices around $1.

5-$1.50 in capital cities, this is

welcome new. Thank you for the welcome new. Thank you for the

update. Thank you. The Thursday forecast:

Looking at the headlines in

Looking at the headlines in today's

papers now - Brisbane's

'Courier-Mail' says factional 'Courier-Mail' says factional warfare within the Queensland

Liberals is set to ignite after some members took extraordinary

measures in a bid to oust leader

Bruce Flegg.

More on BHP's fight-back at Rio Tinto's claim that shareholders

deserve greater returns if the two

mining giants were to merge. And Adelaide's 'Advertiser' And Adelaide's 'Advertiser' says

police have sealed off a

police have sealed off a house

where they believe missing South

Australian woman Glenys Heywood may

have been killed.

An invitation to the White House

as Middle East peace talks continue.

Details and more when we come back.

A-C-T POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A BURGLARY AT GOLD CREEK CONSTRUCTION SITE YESTERDAY MORNING. A RANGE OF MACHINERY WAS STOLEN FROM THE PETROL STATION SITE, INCLUDING A SMALL FRONT END LOADER AND GENERATORS.. THE GOODS ARE WORTH AN ESTIMATED HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. POLICE BELIEVE A TRUCK MAY HAVE BEEN USED TO TAKE THE ITEMS

QUEANBEYAN CITY COUNCIL'S URGING RESIDENTS TO SECURE THEIR HOMES IF PLANNING TRIPS AWAY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. THEY RECOMEND INFORMING NEIGHBOURS OF YOUR WHEREABOUTS, HAVING FRIENDS CHECK YOUR HOME, AND HAVING FRIENDS CHECK YOUR HOME, AND SECURELY LOCKING ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS TO DETER THEIVES.. VALUABLES SHOULD BE ALSO PHOTOGRAHED AND SERIAL NUMBERS RECORDED.. AND ANY SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR SHOULD

BE REPORTED TO POLICE.

MEANTIME, A DRIVER SAFETY CAMPAIGN'S BEEN LAUNCHED TO TARGET LOCAL HOLIDAY MAKERS ON THE KINGS HIGHWAY.

A THIRD DISCOUNT AIRCRAFT CARRIER MAY BE HEADED FOR MAY BE HEADED FOR THE CAPITAL. JETSTAR'S BEEN IN TALKS WITH THE CANBERRA AIRPORT GROUP TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF FLYING HERE. THE AIRPORT GROUP'S HOPEFUL OF ATTRACTING THE BUDGET CARRIER, TO FURTHER BOOST VISITOR NUMBERS FROM SYDNEY AND ACROSS AUSTRALIA. JETSTAR'S PARENT COMPANY QANTAS IS YET TO DECIDE WHETHER IT WILL JOIN VIRGIN BLUE AND TIGER AIRWAYS IN

CANBERRA'S BUDGET FLIGHT MARKET A SNAPSHOT OF LIFE IN CANBERRA AND ITS SURROUNDS WILL BE LAUNCHED TODAY. THE A-B-S HAS PUBLISHED ITS LATEST STATISTICAL REVIEW, ENTITLED 'A-C-T IN FOCUS,' IT INCLUDES UP TO DATE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR REGION AND IN SPORT, FORMER QUEANBEYAN RACE HORSE TAKE-OVER TARGET WILL BE TAKEN TO SYDNEY TODAY, TO PREPARE FOR THE FIRST OF HIS THREE SUMMER RACES.

THE SPRINTER WILL COMPETE OVER TWELVE HUNDRED METRES

AT RANDWICK ON SATURDAY, BEFORE TWO MORE RACES ON DECEMBER TWENTY TWO AND JANUARY FIVE.

TRAINER JOE JANIAK IS STILL WEIGHING UP HIS RACING OPTIONS FOR AUTUMN, AHEAD OF A LIKELY RETURN TO THE U-K FOR THE NORTHERN SUMMER TAKING A LOOK WHATS IN STORE WEATEHRWISE NOW AN INLAND TROUGH'S LINGERING OVER WESTERN QUEENSLAND AND NEW SOUTH WALES, CREATING MORE UNSTABLE CONDITIONS THROUGH TO THE WEEKEND

AFTERNOON SHOWERS IN SYDNEY AND A TOP OF 25 TODAY .. POSSIBLE STORMS IN CANBERRA MELBOURNE AND ADELAIDE .. MORNING SHOWERS IN BRISBANE SHOWERS ACROSS OUR REGION TOO .. WOLLONGONG AND BEGA HEADING FOR 25 DEGREES .. POSSIBLE THUNDERSTORMS IN ORANGE WAGGA ABND DUBBO BATHURST A FEW SHOWERS AND 26 DEGREES .. BATEMANS BAY

COOLER EXPECTING 24 .. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN MORE SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE STORMS IN PARES AND MUDGEE, AND POSSIBLE STORMS IN PARES AND MUDGEE, TEMPS IN

TO THE OUTLOOK .. THE CHANCE OF STORMS TOMORROW AFTERNOON A TOP OF 26 IN THE CAPITAL .. // SAME SATURDAY BUT SLIGHTLY WARMER .. // AND CLEARING UP SUNDAY FOR A MOSTLY FINE THIRTY DEGREES (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE)

This program is captioned live. This

This is the Early News this morning.

Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd

will unveil his frontbench team,

denying that he's under any

pressure from Labor factions.

And the embattled Liberal Party

will decide on a new leadership

team. Malcolm Turnbull expected to

take the top job.

A British teacher

A British teacher in Sudan charged

with inciting hatred over a teddy

named Muhammad.

And in sport, David Hussey stars

with the bat and the field, guiding

Victoria to victory. US stocks

extended gains from the previous

day after a Federal Reserve

governor raised hopes of an

interest-rate cut, offsetting the

latest woes for the economy

latest woes for the economy and the financial sector.

When I come back - why IAG's

profits have taken a hit. Thank you, Catherine.

Kevin Rudd will today unveil his Labor Cabinet. The Prime

Minister-elect breaking with

tradition to hand-pick his

tradition to hand-pick his

ministers. Meantime, Liberal

politicians will select their new

leaders at a party-room meeting.

The field for the top job now narrowing

narrowing to two - Tony Abbott

pulled out due to lack of support.

I think I have something to offer

the future of the party. But I

think it's true that just at the

moment, the party thinks that it's important to move on from important to move on from the

Howard era. And I obviously have

Howard era. And I obviously have

Former trade minister Warren Truss

is firming as the next leader of

the national party. The 59-year-old

throwing his hat in the ring after

frontrunner Peter McGauran pulled

out of contention. Despite his age,

Mr Truss says he is in for the long

haul frae. small businesss are

reportedly being urged to sack staff before Labor overhauls the

workplace laws. Online business magazine SmartCompany is

magazine SmartCompany is reportedly

telling employers to use WorkChoices to get rid of unsuitable staff before the law is

scrapped. And this comes as Telstra

rushes to sign up 15,000 staff to

new contracts. The workers

currently employed under AWAs will

not be guaranteed pay rises under

the new deals. Music prumoter Glenn Wheatley will

today appeal the length of his jail

sentence for tax fraud. Lawyers for the 59-year-old are expected

the 59-year-old are expected to

argue that the judge made an error

in handing down the 15-month jail

term. The former manager for John

Farnham was found guilty of Farnham was found guilty of evading

more than 310,000 dollars in tax.

The Queensland Liberal Party has

imploded as leader Bruce Flegg and

his challenger remain locked in an ugly

ugly stalemate for the top job. The

State president has now called for

a crisis meeting tonight.

a crisis meeting tonight.

With no change in the embarrassing

leadership stand-off, the Liberal

State president stepped State president stepped in, urging embattled leader Bruce Flegg to do

the honourable thing and stand down.

It fell on deaf ears. This is not a

matter for the president. He should

butt out. He was do to retire this

weekend in any case. The calls came

after a 9-minute meeting of the

imploding party. Challenger Tim

Nicholls and his supporters attempting

attempting to a spill -- attempting

a spill, then a confidence vote.

Bruce Flegg and his supporters

stormed out: It's clear that Dr

Flegg does not have the support of

a majority of his colleague snooze.

The matter was resolved once and if

all. It couldn't be further from

the truth. Neither has the numbers

to fight it out. The meltdown

continues with an urgent state council meeting tonight.

This is unchartered territory. To be be quite frank, I don't

be quite frank, I don't believe

that many people would know where

this will end up.

A new study has found that fish oil

could be key to avoiding

schizophrenia. It's believed

taking a daily dose may stop or

delay young people from developing

severe mental illness. Omega-3

fatty acids are being hailed as a

safer treatment option than

safer treatment option than other,

often debilitating, medications.

Three people have been killed after

raging floodwaters swept through a

coastal town in Algeria. Homes have

been destroyed, power cut to

several villages, and streets left

caked in mud. Locals are blaming

illegal construction in a nearby

river for this disaster. The death

toll is expected to rise.

To some breaking news now

To some breaking news now - and

police are searching for the

parents of a little girl found

wandering along the Pacific Highway

on NSW's Central Coast. The child,

believed to be 2-3 years old, was

found by a passing motorist on his

way to work. Anyone with

information is being urged to

contact Crime Stoppers.

The Israeli Prime Minister and the Palestinian President will meet with President Bush at the White

House today for a new round of

peace talks. But as negotiations

resume for the first time in seven

years, concerns still remain.

A British teacher has been charged

in Sudan with inciting hatred. 54-year-old Gillian Gibbons was

detained after allowing a student

to name a teddy bear Muhammad. This

was seen as an insult to the prophet. The

prophet. The teacher from Liverpool

now faces 40 lashes, a fine, or six

months' jail. She'll appear in court tomorrow.

The ARL's inquiry into the West

Coast Eagles' conduct and culture

will continue today. Among those

facing the inquiry yesterday were Daniel

Daniel Kerr and the delisted Daniel Chick. Despite no longer being an Eagle Daniel Chick made himself available to the AFL chief investigator. What did you have to say in the meeting today? That's all confidential Lockie. for this Why did you have to be interviewed

when you're not on the Eagles list anymore? I was asked to come in.

Eagles boss Trevor Nisbett also faced Justice William Gillard. It's proceeding as well as it can

and hopefully Mr Gillard is getting the information he needs. New Captain Darren Glass was next. His time on the stand lasted for over an hour. The only player to have legal representation Daniel Kerr snuck in and out. And a surprise arrival was commentator Dennis Commetti - snuck in and out. commentator Dennis Commetti - expected to offer an outsiders view of the club culture. It was just deep background really, just talking about the football club. The Adelaide Crows six new recruits were shown first-hand

Opener Matthew Hayden is the latest Australian to join the Australian to join the injured

list. He'll miss Queensland's Pura

Cup match with tend nites in his

knee. Meantime, a massive partnership between David Hussey

and Rob Quiney has steered and Rob Quiney has steered Victoria

to a 6-wicket win in the Ford

Ranger Cup match in NSW at the SCG.

Hussey showed he could field as

well. This must rank as one of the

catches of the season. Brad Haddin

was forced off the field after

copping an edge from Klinger.

Quiney smashing the Blues' Quiney smashing the Blues' bowlers

all over the park. The bushrangers

reaching the target with four overs

to spare.

Retired Kangaroo Bryan Fletcher has

become the victim of identity fraud,

with more than $50,000 spent in his

name over the past two years.

Returning from a stint in the

English Super League, the grand

final-winning back-rower discovered

the fraud while trying to buy a new

car. Fletcher has confirmed he will

take up a non-playing role at the

Roosters this year. Australian cyclist Cadel Evans

Australian cyclist Cadel Evans has

been named the sport's performer of

the year. The Tour de France

runner-up awarded $50,000 for his efforts

efforts at a gala presentation in Sydney. Sydney.

A glamorous occasion for the A glamorous occasion for the richest independent prize richest independent prize in

Australian sport. The sport

performer of the year awards

attracting an A-list of sporting

celebrities. A chance to reflect on

another incredible year of athletic endeavour. Tour de France hero

Cadel Evans the big winner for Cadel Evans the big winner for the

night, upstaging queen of the pool

Libby Lenton, MotoGP world champ

Casey Stoner, and Aussie cricket

captain pant Ponting to the top

honour. The win of the Sports

Performer of the Year award is

Cadel Evans. APPLAUSE In Cadel's

absence, his mother picked up the

prize. The man himself donating

the hefty winner's cheque to

charity. As for the $50,000, the

Amy Gillett Foundation is, I think,

probably a worthy benificator of

that money than me. NRL premiers the Melbourne Storm were dually

awarded for their dominance in 2007.

Craig Bellamy named coach of the

year. Rookie sensation Israel Folau

picking up the young performer

prize after an incredible 12 months

that saw him rise from first-grade hopeful to Australian representative.

representative.

Finance now, and Catherine, IAG

defends a drop in profits. That's

right. Boss of Insurance Australia

Group has blamed storm claims

rpblgs and soft markets for the

loss. Their earnings fell 27% in

2006-2007, while shares have fallen

more than 30% since July. The

Hunter Valley storms in NSW and Cyclone Larry enQueensland are

Cyclone Larry enQueensland are

being blamed for the drop in profit.

Workers at Holden's Australian

manufacturing plants can rest easy

today. The company has resisted

plans to -- plans to move

operations to China, keeping the

jobs of 3,500 workers in the

country. General Motors' manufacturing boss has dismissed

speculation the Commodore or a

derivative might be built overseas. Thank you, Catherine.

That's it for the Early News. I'm

Bill Woods. By for now. I'm

Catherine Kennedy. Enjoy your day.

We'll leave you with highlights

from Elton John's concert in Sydney last

last night. See you in the morning. Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia. www.redbeemedia.com.au