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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Welcome to Ten's Welcome to Ten's Early News.

Making headlines - no relief,

thousands stranded in North

Queensland as torrential rain

floods the coast.

Too slow - the Government urged to fast track its takeover of Too slow - the Government urged to

Aboriginal communities.

Claims Princess Diana was using

her relationship with Dodi to back a former lover. her relationship with Dodi to win

And in sport, Brad Hogg cleared of an

an abusive language charge.

US stocks have bounced back.

Investors buoyed by a better than

expected fourth quarter earnings

result from computer giant IBM.

Just a note too, investors, Centro is

is due to resume trading today.

Thousands of people are stranded in

North Queensland after torrential

rain flooded coastal areas between

Prosperine and Airlie Beach. Major

highways have been cut off and raillines

raillines damaged from a monsoonal

a tropical cyclone. low that's threatening to turn into

We headed north from Mackay last

night and made it to the town of

Prosperine which at that point was

as far as we could safely go. To

the south of here, the the south of here, the Bruce

two Highway has been cut in at least

two places. Trucks and heavy four

wheel drives have been able to make wheel drives have been able to make

it through. Worse, to the north,

the road here into the tourist town

of Airlie Beach is well and truly

flooded. The only way in and out is

cut, again to the north to Bowen and Townsville. While most people and

were stranded in Prosperine and

spent the night sleeping in their

cars, we didn't have to look too

hard to find those who were willing

to take a chance in the dark. We're not defeatist,

not defeatist, so we thought we

would give it a shot and see how

bad it was. We decided to come

through from the other awa it was

pretty scary coming through, the

road was running right over the top.

To make matters worse, it barely

stopped raining and we're already

hearing reports of damage to homes in Airlie Beach caused by

landslides T remains unclear how

bad some of that damage is to homes and properties until the rain bad some of that damage is to homes

finally let's up.

A postmortem will be carried out

today on the bodies of a young

married couple who died in the

central Australian outback. The

pair became lost over the weekend

near Alice Springs and ran out of

water after using the last of it to fill a leaking radiator. The couple's travelling companion couple's travelling companion was

found alive on Sunday.

The Rudd Government is being urged

to fast track the takeover of

indigenous communities in the

Northern Territory. The chair of

the Territory Indigenous Affairs

Sue Gordon says Labor hasn't given

them direction and says the project

will stall. Dr Gordon is calling on

Jenny Macklin to make Labor's plans clear for improving clear for improving health and

employment in the top end.

The Prime Minister is today

expected to unveil a plan to

attract qualified nurses back to

the workforce. It follows a

landmark health agreement between

the States and Commonwealth which

will see millions spent on

reducing the backlog of elective surgery patients.

An agreement to cut elective

surgery waiting lists nationwide is

just what the doctor just what the doctor ordered from

Commonwealth State relations. All

of the States and Territorys

working with the Commonwealth, we

can deliver a better outcome to the

community and it will have health

benefits. We put an end to the

blame game, and instead of head

butting each other, we put our

heads together. We put our heads

together in the national interest.

The Federal Health Minister giving

with NSW financial first aid. $150 million

with NSW getting almost one third of

it or $43 million. We've seen the

Commonwealth take responsibility

and make additional investment in an area where they haven't done

that before. Victoria getting glr34 million.

million. At last we've got a

Commonwealth Government that's

prepared to work with us, a Commonwealth Government that's

prepared to give us the funding

and resources that we need. The

Commonwealth cash buying the States and Territories additional and

and Territories additional procedures

procedures this year. Almost 9,000 extra surgeries in NSW alone.

Nearly 6,000 in Victoria, and 4,000

in Queensland. All up, the money

will fund 25,000 operations. This

will enable us to build on the work

that we've already done as a State

to reduce waiting times for elective surgery.

Thousands of Victorian students

will find out this morning if will find out this morning if

they've made it into their dream

university course. The ult-eager heading into the city overnight to see

see their results in a special

edition of the newspaper. I got it!

REPORTER: What did you get? Physio

therapy at La Trobe. 19,000

applicants will miss out on applicants will miss out on the

preferred korls. They'll have to wait

wait for second round offers in Surgeons have fortnight. wait for second round offers in a

Surgeons have begun a series of

operations to separate conjoined

twins in Melbourne. The orphaned

1-year-olds who were joined at the

head had been abandoned by their

parents in Bangladesh. They've now

undergone the first in a series of

rare procedures to separate them.

The surgery to disconnect them is

very complex, and dangerous. The

chance of them dying as a result chance of them dying as a result of

the procedures we're doing is about

one in four. The pair remain in one in four. The pair remain in a

stable condition in intensive care. Princess Diana's former butler has

made explosive claims in the

inquest into her death. I'm joined inquest into her death. I'm joined

by our correspondent live from

London. Paul Burrell has made his

the highly anticipated appearance at

the inquest. Did he deliver? Like

all good butlers do, he did. The

former close confident of Princess

Diana, a man who described himself

as the hub of the wheel of her life,

he was thought to have some answers

to those murky questions

surrounding her love life. And Paul

Burrell, the most eagerly anticipated witness at this inquest

inquest certainly had plenty to say

on the matter. The first time he's

spoken of his 10 years at the

princess's side under oath. princess's side under oath. Mr

Burrell told the court that Dodi al

princess Fayed was not the one, that the

princess did not intend to marry

him as his father mohaepld Al Fayed

has said. Mr Burrell said that has said. Mr Burrell said that the

ring was not an engagement ring ring was not an engagement ring but

a friendship ring, and she had

conified o him that she needed

marriage like a rash. According to

the Royal aide turned reality TV

star, Dodi was simply star, Dodi was simply Diana's rebound relationship, designed to

get back to the man she really

moved, Dr Hasnat Khan. She split moved, Dr Hasnat Khan. She split

with him in 1997. Now, Paul Burrell

told the court that Princess Diana

confided in him that she wanted to

marry Dr Khan. She had inquired as

to the possibility of a private

marriage with him. She had

described him to Paul Burrell as

her soul mate and the only man that

she really loved. And has Mr

Burrell tried to put to rest all of the conspiracies that the Royals

were behind the deaths? He did. He

dismissed outright any suggestion

that Prince Charles in particular

could be behind any murder plot for

the woman who of course is the

mother of his children. He said,

knowing the royals the way that he

does, there is no way that he could

even begin to believe that they

could be behind any sort of murder conspiracy. Thank you.

20 members of a Greek cargo ship

have been winched to safety after

getting into trouble off Britain.

The crew decided to abandon ship

The crew decided to abandon ship

with fears that it could capsize in with fears that it could capsize in

the gale force winds. The vessel carrying timber was also carrying timber was also being

lashed by 6-metre waves. A

helicopter and rescue boats from

nearby Devon were called in to help

the group. One man has a broken

leg. The rest of the crew are a bit

cold but in good health. Australia's Brad Hogg has been

handed a lifeline by the Indians.

The all rounder's code of conduct The all rounder's code of conduct

charge for open fencive language

in the second Test has been dropped

at the request of the visitors.

Free to play the third Test after a

change of heart from the visitors.

India's skipper Anil Kumble withdrawing his offensive language

complaint following peace talks with Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting.

Cricket is larger than any

individual, it is important that we

forget about what happened in forget about what happened in

Sydney as one of those bad moments

and just an incident and it was

time to move on. It follows the

fiery second Test where Brad Hogg

allegedly called Anil Kumble a

bastard. It is a lovely gesture by the Indian team and much

appreciated by myself and the

Australian cricket team. The team

are now focused on the final training session ahead of training session ahead of tomorrow's must-win. Aussie

selectors now left with the task of

deciding whether to play Hogg or

Shane Tait and whether to risk Shane Tait and whether to risk the

hamstring of opener Hayden haid or

bring in Chris bring in Chris Rogers. Lleyton Hewitt begins his

Australian Open campaign. Alicia

Molik already heading in the right

direction. She's through to the

second round.

COMMENTATOR: Perfect way to end the match.

In the mens, Nadal was made to work hard against Serbian qualifier

Vikor Troyke. The world number two

eventually taking the match, 7-6, 7-5,

7-5, 6-1. Finance investors

Finance investors are not happy

with James Packer's casino. Shares

in Packer's Macau ks cast even owe

venture have plummeted by 50%.

Investors appear to be deserted MelcoPBL's stock over concerns of

its profitability and a $500

million short fall. And the

volatility is showing no sign of volatility is showing no sign of

ending shedding 3.8% of its value on Friday.

Fresh data has confirmed that the

economy is heating up. The Federal Treasurer warning that inflation

could be a problem for at least the

next 18 months. Fears are growing

that the Reserve Bank will act on official interest rates, official interest rates, with

unofficial figures showing

underlying inflation entensifying.

Wayne Swan says that the previous

Government is to blame. The

Government is to blame. The parting

gift of the Liberal Party to the

people of Australia was an

elevated period of Australia at or

above the Reserve Bank's target

band. There was a rise in the

number of job vacancies also number of job vacancies also adding

to inflation. Suncorp-Metway will

follow its competitors and lift

official interest rates on its home

loans. Customers will be hit with a

15 point base point hike. They say

it is in response to the higher wholesale costs caused by the wholesale costs caused by the

global credit crisis.

A look now at the national weather

details for the day ahead.

Now to today's newspaper headlines

- Brisbane's 'Courier Mail'

more on the northern Queensland

floods, with roads between Airlie Beach Beach and Prosperine completely cut off.

off. The NAB chairman has attacked

investors for being too short sighted after many sold their shares when the bank purchased

US-based Great Western Bank. The

financial review has more.

And claims university debts are

out of control. The 'Sydney Morning

Herald' says less than 50% of

public university graduates are

paying off their HECS debt.

A luxury hotel in Afghanistan

rocked by a suicide blast. The

details when the early news returns.

This program is captioned This program is captioned live.

Welcome back to Ten's Early News. This morning - torrential downpour.

Residents in North Residents in North Queensland

straned by flood waters.

Anxious wait - Victorian students

on tenner hooks with uni offers released today.

Deadly attack - a suicide blast

rocks a luxury hotel in Afghanistan.

And in sport, Brad Hogg clear of an abusive language abusive language charge.

A check of the markets now.

Thank you very much. US stocks have

bounced back in Monday's session.

Investors buoyed by a better Investors buoyed by a better than

expected fourth quarter earnings

result from computer giant IBM.

Woollies has hit the big time, I'll

tell you about that nicks E

Heavy rain is expected to pound

North Queensland for another day as

investors remain stranded. Act the

Premier Andrew Fraiser will go

there this morning to inspect the

damage. Locals and tourists in

Prosperine and Airlie Beach are

isolated after torrential rain cut

off highways and damaged railways.

More than 50 homes and businesses

have been flooded. Forecasters say

that the monsoonal low threatens to

develop into a tropical cyclone.

Erosion on Gold Coast beaches is

getting worse as waves continue to

wash away sand. Life savers are

concerned for the safety of beach

goers and there are fears that the

sand dunes could collapse, trapping

young children.

Gale force winds and huge swells

continue to eat away at Gold Coast

beaches. Tonnes of sand has been

washed out to sea, leaving small

cliff faces in the dunes. Certainly,

trying to get up and down the beach

and find ago track thinking, can I

make it up or can't I? Despite the weather, the beaches have been

popular. But life savers have

warned parents to keep a close eye

on their children. It is possible

that these embankments, some up to

6 metres high could fall. We don't

want to see a sand collapse that

results in a small child being

buried alive. But local council

says there's no immediate danger

and have played down calls to close

beaches. If the beaches were so unsafe, and you were unhappy to

have people on the beach, we would

close it. That wasn't necessary

during this event. Bulldozers have

begun repairs but stronger winds

are expected in the coming days.

Healthcare remains on the agenda

with the Rudd Government with the

PM expected to announce a plan to

attract nurses back to the

workforce. It follows a landmark

meeting of Australian Health

Ministers where millions of

Commonwealth doctors is being

diveied up to slash surgery

waiting lists. This is $150 million

that is going to relieve 25,000

people around the country who people around the country who have

been waiting too long for their

elective surgery. Rural doctors

have urged Health Ministers not to

forget about waiting lists in country hospitals.

And Kevin Rudd is taking a knife

to his former employer, the

Department of Foreign Affairs. The

PM is slashing the department's

budget and withdrawing 19 overseas

diplomatic positions. $57 million will

will be axed from the budget,

including cuts to travel and entertainment

entertainment allowances. Concerns have been raised about

the cost of higher education

contribution scheme. $14 billion is

currently owed in HECS debt, which

is underwritten by the Federal

Government. Fairfax Newspapers

reports, due to higher course fees,

graduates from private colleges and

universities are now costing

taxpayers more than those from

public universities. The tax

payer's subsidy for private

graduates is between 18% and 28%,

while it is less than 5% for ub

public students.

Thousands of Victorian students

will find out this morning if

they've made it into their dream

university course. Early edition

newspapers offering faith to the newspapers offering faith to the eager.

After 12yeerls of study, two years

of exams and a lifetime of learning,

it comes down a name printed it comes down a name printed in a university.

For many, all of the hard work was

finally rewarded. I got it.

REPORTER: What did you get? Physio

therapy. Is that what you wanted?

That's exactly what I wanted. It's

such a relief, you don't understand. So nerve racking. You have

expectations waiting for you and

you want to accomplish those

expectations and yeah, I'm happy.

More than 52,000 Victorian students

applied for a HECS place at

university this year. Health and

business courses attracting the

strongest demand. Thousands have

missed out on a first round offer, but they shouldn't give up hope.

I'm still pretty happy. Students in

NSW receive their results later

this week. I'm so excited.

There's fresh hope for people

suffering heart problems. In a scientific breakthrough,

researchers in the US have rebuilt

rat hearts from scratch. It's hoped that the technique can one

day be used to repair damaged human

human hearts, or even grow new ones

for transplant. Scientists say that

the technique was so successful,

the new hearts started beating

within days.

Six people have been killed and five

five others injured in two separate gas

gas explosions in Russia. The first

blast ripping a massive hole in a

five storey apartment building. A 4-month-old

4-month-old child was among those

killed. Just hours later, there was another household gas blast in

the Samara region, with five people

taken to hospital. And

And a foreign journalist has been

And a foreign journalist has been

injured in a suicide bomb attack on a luxury hotel in Afghanistan. The a luxury hotel in Afghanistan. The

bombers first attacked the hotel's

security, before making their way

in. Up to three people were killed

in the blast. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The Golden Globes ceremony may have

been cancelled due to the Writer's Strike, but that didn't stop the stars

stars getting their free goodies. stars getting their free goodies.

The gift suites opening, allowing

celebrities to pick up a swag.

Crocodile bags and make-up and

watches some of the thing on offer. watches some of the thing on offer.

A portion of the proceeds from the

gift, Drive will go towards those

on the pict picket line.

Sport now, and peace talks between

Test captains Anil Kumble and Ricky

Ponting will settled the rift between Australia between Australia and India in time

for the third Test in Perth. That's

great news for Brad Hogg, his

charge for using open fencive

language after allegedly calling

Anil Kumble a "bastard" has been

dropped at the request of the skip

ep. It is a lovely gesture by the

Indian team and much appreciated by myself and the Australian

cricket team. Most teams will cricket team. Most teams will have

the final practice sessions today

ahead of tomorrow's game.

Woollies hits the big time? It

certainly has. It's become the

first Australian company to crack

the top 25 global retailers list.

Woollies jumping from 29th spot to

25th out of 250 worldwide companies

listed in the reportment not so

good news for Coles, the good news for Coles, the retail

joint slipping down to 31st. All of

the sales rates have stood at a

touch under 12% for the past five years.

Gold Coast property group MFS has

welcomed a $33 million offer from

smaller rival City Pacific. MFS

yesterday confirming that it has

been approached. Just five months been approached. Just five months

after a dumped plan to buy after a dumped plan to buy out City

Pacific. Under that, City Pacific

will buy out its rival property and fund operations.

A look now at the national weather

details for the day ahead.

Claims Princess Diana was using Dodi to make a former lover jealous. That's next.

And the Commsec finance report when the

the Early News Returns.

Imagine if smoking was a friend. Send you out in the middle of the night, keep you away from your mates, take a few hundred off you a month. And if you do all that for smoking, what's smoking give you?

Bad health, heart disease, cancer. If smoking was a friend you'd want him out of your life.

This program is captioned live. Top

stories this morning, no relief.

Thousands stranded in North Queensland as torrential rain floods the coast.

Too slow - the Government urged to

fast track its takeover of

Aboriginal communities. Claims Princess Diana was using

her relationship with Dodi to win

back a former lover.

And in sport, Brad Hogg cleared of

an abusive language charge.

A brief check of the weather:

To finance now, and Jackie has a

quick look at the markets.

We've seen a bit of a bounce back

on Wall Street in Monday's on Wall Street in Monday's session.

Investors buoyed by a better than

expected fourth quarter earnings

result from computer fient IBM.

I'll be back with the Commsec

finance report shortly.

Thousands of people are stranded in North Queensland after torrential

rain flooded coastal areas between

Prosperine and airlyibaefl. Major

highways have been -- aerly

highways have been -- aerly beach.

Major highways have been cut off

and the monsoonal low is

threatening to turn into a tropical

cyclone.

Well, we headed north from Mackay

last night and made it to the town

of Prosperine which at that point

was about as far as we could safely

go. To the south of here, the Bruce

Highway has been cut in at least

two places. Trucks and heavy four

wheel drives have been able to make

it through. Worse, to the north,

the road here into the tourist town

of Airlie Beach is well and truly

flooded. The only way in and out is

cut, again to the north heading to

Townsville, xnt Bruce Highway has

again been flooded over. While most

people were stranded in Prosperine

and spent the night sleeping into

in their cars, we didn't have in their cars, we didn't have to

look too hard to fine those who

were willing to take a chance in

the dark. We're not defeatist, so

we thought we would give it a shot

and see how bad it really was. We

decided to come through from the

other way and it was pretty scary

coming through. The road was running

right over the top. To make matters

worse, it barely stopped raining

across the region all last night,

and we're already hearing reports

of damage to homes in Airlie Beach

caused by landslides. It Republic

mains unclear how bad the damage is

to homes and properties, until the

rain finally let's up.

A postmortem will be carried out

today on the bodies of a young

married couple who died in the

central Australian outback. The pair

pair became lost over the weekend near

near Alice Springs and ran out of

water after using the last of water after using the last of it

to fill up a leaking radiator in

their cars. The couple's travelling companson

companson was found alive on Sunday.

The Rudd Government is The Rudd Government is being urged

to fast track the takeover of

indigenous communities in the NT. The chair of the Territories

intervention taskforce, Sue Gordon,

says Labor hasn't given them any

direction for the next six months,

and fears the project will stall.

Dr Gordon is calling on idge didge

NSW affairs minister Jenny Macklin

to make Labor's -- Indigenous

Affairs minister Jenny Macklin to

make Labor's plans clearer.

How to make it easier for bowerers How to make it easier for bowerers

to swap lenders. Wayne Swan urged

home owners to vote with their feet,

but said he won't be forcing but said he won't be forcing banks

to lower their exit fees. We don't

regulate the banks when it comes to

charges. It is not a charges. It is not a centrally

planned economy. Mr Swan says he

plans to talk with the big banks soon.

Concerns have been raised about

the cost of higher education

contribution schemes. Affording to contribution schemes. Affording to Fairfax newspapers, $14 billion Fairfax newspapers, $14 billion is

owed in HECS debt which is

interest free and underwritten by

the got. But due to higher course

fees, graduates from uni are

costing more than public students.

The subsidy is currently between

18% and 28%, while it is less than

5% for public students. Princess Diana's former butler has

made his much-anticipated

appearance at the inquest into her

death. Paul Burrell claims Diana

carried out a high profile

relationship with Dodi in an

attempt to win back her

ex-boyfriend, Hasnat Khan.

The word's media was waiting outside

outside court for the man who

arguably knew more of Diana's

secrets than any other person. And

Paul Burrell, Diana's butler didn't disappoint. His first revelation

concerned this man, Hasnat Khan.

Burrell said that he was the true

love of the princess's life.

The princess met Dodi on holiday

shortly after that relationship

broke up. Mr Burrell said in his

view, the princess never intended

to marry Dodi, but had talked about marrying

What about this note, he was asked

in court, allegedly written in court, allegedly written by

Diana to Burrell in which she says

that "my husband is planning an

accident in my car, brake failure

and serious head injury". The

butler, who was at Diana's side

through her separation and divorce

said that he hadn't taken it

seriously, and that he couldn't

possibly imagine the father of her

children murdering the princess. Mr Burrell's Burrell's cross-examination will

continue tomorrow, before he left

court today, he was forced to

admit by Mr Al Fayed's lawyers that he destroyed some of the documents

that would back up his evidence. Troubled pop star Britney Spears

has failed to turn up to a child

custody hearing in Los Angeles. Her

ex-husband Kevin Federline did

arrive on time which follows a

decision to suspend her visitation

rights. Her no-show is becoming

too common. She's missed a number

of court appearances in the last

month. The custody saga took a

bizarre turn when Spears locked

herself inside her mang with one herself inside her mang with one of her sons.

There's fresh hope for people

suffering heart problems. In a scientific breakthrough,

researchers in the US have rebuilt

rat hearts from scratch. It is

hoped that the technique can one

day be used to repair damaged

human hearts, or even grow new ones

for transplants. Scientists say

that the technique was so

successful that the new hearts

started beating within

days.. Surgeons have begun a series

of operations to separate conjoined

twins in Melbourne. The orphaned

1-year-olds who were joined at the

head had been abandoned by their

parents in Bangladesh. They've now

undergone the first in a series of

rare procedures to separate them.

The surgery to disconnect them is

very complex and dangerous. The

chance of them dying, just as a

result of any of the procedures

we're doing is about one in four. They

They remain in a They remain in a stable condition They remain in a stable condition in intensive care.

Australia's Brad Hogg has been

handed a life line by the Indians.

His code of conduct charge for His code of conduct charge for

offensive language has been dropped

at the request of the visitors.

Free to play the third Test after a

change of heart from the visitors.

India's skipper Anil Kumble withdrawing his withdrawing his offensive language

complaint following peace talks

with Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting. Cricket Cricket is larger than any

individual. It is important that we

forgot about what happened in

Sydney as one of those bad moments

and just an incident and it was

time to move on. It follows the

fiery second Test where Hoggard,

allegedly called Kumble a bastard.

It is a kind gesture, a It is a kind gesture, a lovely

gesture by the Indian team and much

appreciated by myself and the

Australian cricket team. The team are fou focused on the are fou focused on the final

training session ahead of

tomorrow's must-win for the visitors. visitors. Aussie selectors now left with

with the task of whether to play

Hogg or Shane Tait, or whether to

risk the hamstring of Matthew

Hayden or Chris Rogers.

Lleyton Hewitt begins his Australian Open Australian Open campaign today on

Rod Laver arena. Compat riate

Alicia Molik already heading in the

right direction. She's through to the second round. the second round. COMMENTATOR: Perfect way to end the match.

In the men's, Nadal was made to

work hard against Victor

work hard against Victor Troyke.

The world number one eventually

taking the match.

Gold has smashed the US $900 an

ounce mark. And for more, let's ounce mark. And for more, let's

head across to Commsec and talk to Craig James. Craig James. What's behind the

surge and do you think it can be

maintained? Gold is seen as a good

buy in difficult times, and

certainly we have that at the

moment with US recession fears

bounding, but also European

currencies and Asian currencies are

stronger. That helps buyers in

those regions buy more gold, with

Valentine's Day approaching, it

looks like a nice investment. Buy a

bit of gold this time. The latist bit of gold this time. The latist

inflation figures show that

consumers are paying more for

everyday items. Tell us about that?

This is bad news. This is the

latest monthly securities inflation

gauge. It shows inflation up 3.7%

over the past year. Higher prices

for petrol and particularly rent.

Bad news for home boy owers too.

The high rate of inflation could

see them lift interest rates in February.

And finally, jobs growth still as

healthy as ever? Certainly,

companies are on the look-out for

staff at the moment. We saw the ANZ

job advertisements series yesterday showed

showed job advertisements rose over

7% in the latest month to record 7% in the latest month to record highs.

OK, many thanks.

A look now at the national weather

details for the day ahead:

now for a look at today's newspaper now for a look at today's newspaper headlines.

headlines.

The Australian has more on calls

for Kevin Rudd to fast track

intervention in the NT. And the

Sydney Morning Herald's bliss section says James Packer's

Business section says James

Packer's casino in Macau is losing value. value.

And Kylie reveals her excitement And Kylie reveals her excitement

about meeting John Travolta.

F A foreign journalist injured in a

hotl bombing in Afghanistan.

GOOD MORNING SECURITY MEASURES FOR LOCAL CABBIES IS AGAIN ON THE AGENDA IN THE CAPITAL - MORE ON THAT STORY SOON THE A-C-T OPPOSITION'S RENEWING CALLS TO EXPAND

EXHIBITION PARK. THE GOVERNMENT LAST WEEK SAID IT WON'T RUSH INTO A DECISION ON GRANTING AN ADJOINING BLOCK OF LAND TO EPIC, IT CLAIMS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MEASURES TO BE CONSIDERED FIRST.. BUT THE OPPOSITION SAYS EPIC'S BOARD HAS BEEN SEEKING MORE LAND FOR FIVE YEARS TO EXPAND THEIR OPERATIONS. THEY'RE CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT TO GRANT THE LAND, TO ATTRACT MORE PROFITABLE EVENTS TO THE

AREA CANBERRANS ARE BEING WARNED TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE DANGEROUS EUROPEAN WASP. TERRRITORY AND MUNICIPAL SERVICES HAVE RECEIVED MORE THAN THIRTY REPORTS OF THE WASPS, WITH MANY NESTING IN LOCAL HOMES. TAMS SAY THE WASP IS ALSO DANGEROUS TO THE ENVIRONMENT, PREYING ON ALL OTHER TYPES OF INSECTS. ANYONE WITH A EUROPEAN WASP NEST IN THEIR HOME IS URGED NOT TO TOUCH OR SPRAY THEM, BUT TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP A-C-T GOVERNMENT AND TAXI OFFICIALS WILL MEET TOMORROW TO DISCUSS A BEEF-UP OF SECURITY MEASURES IN CIVIC. DRIVERS HAVE BEEN PROTESTING FOR IMPROVED SAFETY, FOLLOWING THE ASSAULT OF FIVE CABBIES IN A BRAWL ON FRIDAY NIGHT. THE FUNDING OF MARSHALS TO SUPERVISE TAXI PASSENGERS IS LIKELY TO BE A STICKING POINT THOUGH, WITH TAXI COMPANIES SAYING THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO SHARE THE COST. IF THEY DO THOUGH.. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS MARSHALS COULD BE IN PLACE BY NEXT MONTH. A GRIFFITH P-PLATER HAS HAD HIS LICENCE SUSPENDED, AFTER HE WAS DETECTED DRIVING MORE THAN TEN TIMES POLICE ALLEGEDLY STOPPED THE THIRTY EIGHT YEAR OLD IN GRFFITH ON SATURDAY NIGHT, WHERE HE RETURNED A READING OF POINT TWO ONE SEVEN.

HE'LL FACE COURT NEXT WEEK. AND IN SPORT, CANBERRA MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDERS HAVE TAKEN OUT SUNDAY'S FINAL ROUND OF THE NATIONAL FOUR CROSS SERIES IN SYDNEY. CAROLINE BUCHANAN TOOK OUT THE OPEN WOMEN'S DIVISION, COMPLETING A CLEAN SWEEP OF THE SIX ROUND SERIES. WHILE LEIGH DARRELL'S SECOND PLACING WAS ENOUGH TO SECURE HIM VICTORY IN THE ELITE MEN'S DIVISION.

BOTH RIDERS ARE NOW PREPARING FOR THE NATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMPIONSHIPS AT MOUNT STROMLO ON THE AUSTRALIA DAY WEEKEND NOW TO THE WEATHER... A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE REGION IS KEEPING CONDITIONS FINE AND SUNNY TODAY ..BEFORE A TROUGH EARLY SHOWERS AND 28 IN SYDNEY .. FINE AND 33 IN CANBERRA .. MELBOURNE GETTING UP TO 31 .. RAIN IN MELBOURNE GETTING UP TO 31 .. RAIN IN BRISBANE

SHOWERS CLEARING IN WOLLONGONG .. FINE AND PARTLY CLOUDY IN WAGGA AND DUBBO .. MOSTLY SUNNY IN ORANGE GETTING UP TO 29 DEGREES A BIT OF CLOUD AND 29 IN GOULBURN AND BATEMANS BAY AND BATEMANS BAY .. MOSTLY FINE AND 31 IN BATHURST ..

COOMA EXPECTING 31 TODAY .. PARTLY CLOUDY IN NOWRA A TOP OF 29 TAKING A LOOK AT THE REST OF THE WEEK .. THE CHANCE OF SHOWERS OR STORMS TOMORROW BUT STAYING HOT .. FINE AND MILD ON THURSDAY .. // SIMILAR CONDITIONS TO

END THE WEEK, A TOP OF 26 ON FRIDAY

This program is captioned live.

Welcome back to Ten News.

This morning, torrential downpour -

residents in North Queensland

stranded by flood waters.

Anxious wait - Victorian students

on tenter hooks with uni offers released today. Deadly

Deadly attack. A suicide blast

rocks a luxury hotel in Afghanistan.

And in sport, Brad Hogg cleared of

an abusive language charge.

A final check of the markets now.

We have seen US stocks bounce back in today's session. Investors

buoyed by better an expected fourth

earnings by computer giant IBM.

I'll be back in a few moments with

details on News Limited's latest purchase.

Heavy rain is expected to Heavy rain is expected to pound

North Queensland for another day as

thousands remain stranded by flood

waters. Acting fremier Andrew

Fraser will visit flood ravaged

areas. Locals and tourists in

Prosperine and Airlie Beach remain

isolated after major highways were

cut off and railways were damaged.

More than 50 homes and businesses

have been damaged.

Erosion on Gold Coast beaches is

worsening, as waves continue worsening, as waves continue to

wash away sand. Life savers are

concerned for the safety of beach

goers and there are fears that the

sand dunes could collapse sand dunes could collapse trapping young children. Gale

Gale force winds and huge swells

continue to eat away at Gold Coast

beaches. Tonnes of sand has been

washed out to see, leaving small

cliff paces. Navigating the beach

and finding a track thinking, can I

make it up here or can't I. Despite

the wild weather, beaches have been

popular. But life savers have

warned parent to keep a close eye

on their children. It is possible

these embankments, some up to 6

metres high could fall. We don't

want to see a sand collapse that

results in a small child being buried alive. But local council

says there's no immediate danger

and have played down calls to close

beaches. If the beaches were so

unsafe and you were unhappy to have

people on the beach, we would close

the beach. Bulldozers have begun

repairs, but strong winds are

expected in the coming days.

Healthcare remains on the agenda

today for the Rudd Government, with

the PM expected to announce a the PM expected to announce a plan

to attract nurses back to the

workforce. It follows a landmark meeting of Australian Health

Ministers, where millions of Commonwealth dollars is being divied up to slash surgery waiting

lists. This is $150 million that is

going to relieve 25,000 people

around the country who have been

waiting too long for their elective

surgery. Rural doctors have urged

Health Ministers not to forget about waiting lis in country hospitals.

And Kevin Rudd is taking a knife

to his former employer, the

Department of Foreign Affairs. The

PM is slashing the department's

budget and withdrawing 19stkwrofr

seas diplomatic positions. $57

million will be cut from the

budget, including travel and entertainment

entertainment allowances. Thousands of Victorian students

will fine out this morning if

they've made it into their dream

university course. Early edition newspapers

newspapers revealing the offers to

the super eager overnight.

After 12 years of study, two years

of exams and a lifetime of learning,

it all comes down to a number and a

name prainted in the newspaper. I

got in. For many, all of their hard

work was finally rewarded. I got in.

What did you get? Physio therapy.

Is that what you wanted? Exactly

what I wanted. It's such a relief,

up don't understand. So nerve

racking. You've got expectations

laying for you and you want to

accomplish those expectations and

yeah, I'm happy. More than 52,000 Victorian students applied for Victorian students applied for a

HECS place at university this year. Health and business Health and business courses

attracting the strongest demand.

Thousands have missed out on a

first round offer, but they

shouldn't give ep hope. I'm still

pretty happy, maybe we'll wait for

second round offers. Students in

NSW get their results later this week.

Police are still waiting to speak

to the parents of a 16-year-old

whose house party turned into a

riot in Melbourne. The couple have

cut short their holiday to return

home, while police consider sending

the teenager a bill for $20,000.

Still unrepentant, Still unrepentant, 16-year-old

Corey Delaney seems oblivious to

the outrage his wild party had caused. I didn't think there would

be this much media over it. Despite

bottles being hurled at police cars

and neighbour's yards trashed by

the 500-strong crowd, the teenager

seemed to be revelling in the noteriety. The police noteriety. The police commissioner

left unimpressed. I thought it was

appalling to see the way the police officers were treated. Warning that

the teenager could pay a hefty

price. We will consider the expense

involved and I will get a report

as to what it was and what we might

do about it. I think that he needs

to learn a lesson and I think that one

one way or another, we'll do that.

But, Corey and his mailts say

that's unfair. Indon't reckon

they'll charge it, because he

didn't chuck it. Police are continuing their search for the culprits from Saturday night's

bottle throwing, but they're also bottle throwing, but they're also

waiting to speak to Corey's parents

who are yet to return from their

holidays. Destroyed, just destroyed

our faith in him. We don't know what

what to do as parents.

A foreign journalist has been

injured in a suicide bomb attack on

a luxury hotel in Afghanistan. The bombers

bombers first attacked the hotel's security

security before making their way

in. Up to three people have been

killed in the blast. The Taliban killed in the blast. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

A man accused of murdering five

British Peter Costello ut tuets has

gone on trial. -- five briesh pros

tuets -- five British prostitutes

has gone on trial. The bodies were

discovered through a 10-day period.

Princess Diana's former butler Paul

Burrell has made his much

anticipated appearance into her anticipated appearance into her

death. Burrell telling the court

that he knew intimate details about

the princess's love affairs. He

told the court that Diana had no

plans to marry Dodi when she died, plans to marry Dodi when she died,

because she was still pining for

her ex-lover Surgeon Hasnat Khan.

He said that Diana described him

as her soul mate and said she

wanted to marry him.

Sport now, and peace talks between Test captains Ricky Ponting and

Anil Kumble have settled the rift

between Australia and India in time

for the third Test in Perth. That's

great news for Brad Hogg. His charge for using offensive

language has been dropped at the

request of the Indian skipper. It's a

a kind gesture, a lovely gesture by

the Indian team and much preached

by myself and the Australian cik team.

Both sides will have their final

practice sessions today ahead of

tomorrow's must-win for tomorrow's must-win for the visitors.

Ten Aussies take to the court at Ten Aussies take to the court at

the Australian Open today. World number one, Roger Federer also

starting his campaign. Overnight,

Nadal beat Vict or Troyke in

straight sets, but the world number

two was made to work for it. Make I two was made to work for it. Make I

didn't play my best, sure. But I

was practising very well before the tournament,

tournament, so I know today I

didn't play my best, because it is

typical of the beginning, but I hope

to play better in the next round. A

big win also for Aussie Alicia

Molik. He downed Kanepi in straight

sets. She'll now play Czech

Vadesova in the final round.

News Limited buys into the travel

market. Yes, they've snapped up a

stake in bezurk.com. The new

digital media devision reportedly

beating Microsoft's msm SN Group

and Yahoo to the bos. Bezurk group

says that the deal is worth

millions of dollars and represents

a significant minority stake. The

site was launched two years ago in

a bid to crack the booming Asia

Pacific travel market. And general motors says that

switching to electric cars is all but inevitable. The chief executive but inevitable. The chief executive

says that oil supply has peaked and

time is running out for petrol

powered cars. Wagner branding

ethanol just a temporary solution

until battery technology is up to

standard. The shock announcement

came on the opening day of the

Detroit Car Show. Suncorp-Metway will follow its competitors today and lift competitors today and lift interest rates on its variable home loans.

Customers will be hit with a 15

basis point hike. Sun corp says

that the move is in response to the wholesale funding costs wholesale funding costs caused by

the global credit crisis. And

that's it for finance this morning.

Thank you. A look now at the Thank you. A look now at the

national weather details for the day ahead. A quick recap now of the morning's

top stories. No relief - thousands

straned in North Queensland as

torrential rain floods the coast.

And too slow, the Government urged

to fast track its takeover of

Aboriginal communities. And claims

Princess Diana was using her

relationship with Dodi to win back a former lover.

That's it for Ten's Early News. That's it for Ten's Early News.

Goodbye for now. Good morning. Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media

Australia www.auscap.com.au