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Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. And

I'm Frank Coletta. Welcome to Ten's

Early News. Today's stories - Prime

Minister Kevin Rudd heads to East

Timor in a show of support for the nation's leaders. Timor in a show of support for the

Home-owners brace for another interest-rate rise after jobless

figures hit a 33-year low.

Anti-whaling activists return to

the Southern Ocean to continue the

chase of the Japanese whaling fleet.

And in sport - Australian cricket

captain Ricky Ponting warns of a player exodus to India.

Right now to finance and Frank with Right now to finance and Frank

the latest on the markets. Thank

you, Bill. Good morning to you.

Wall Street has dropped on the back

of comments by fed reserve chief

Ben Bernanke where he warned of

sluggish economic growth ahead.

When even good news is bad news -

the strong jobless rate could mean

more mortgage pain is on the way,

Bill! SphraHard to figure,

sometimes. Thanks, Frank.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will

visit Dili today as a show of

support for the East Timorese

Government. Mr Rudd will stop off

in Darwin to visit President Jose

Ramos Horta, who is still

recovering from Monday's attack.

The PM flies into an emotion-charged East Timor still

reeling from yesterday's funeral of

rebel leader Alfredo Reinado.

Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado's

funeral procession only had to

cover a few hundred metres, with

thousands lining the route straining to be close, it took

almost an hour. His coffin, draped

in the East Timorese flag, reached

a home where a large grave had been

carve under to the side yard. He

was lowered into the soil,

on Monday. alongside a lieutenant also killed

In the middle of the In the middle of the heaving,

sweating crush, a woman claiming to

be Reinado's second wife, who

according to her lawyer is pregnant

with the rebel's child - news that

will become a sensation when those

here become aware. Flowers and

tributes flowed for the man, where the

the government here and the

Australian Army maintains is a

criminal and murderer. Prime

Minister Kevin Rudd flys into this

emotion-charged city to discuss

with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

The Rudd Government will freeze pay

rises for Federal politicians until

the middle of next year to help

says stop inflation. The Prime Minister

says it's a modest measure aimed at

sending a message on wage restraint.

Some MPs are sceptical. Probably

the Prime Minister won't feel it. I

think he's worth $20 million, isn't

he? His wife certainly is! He's a

kept man! Politicians will not kept man! Politicians will not be

able to claw back any salary that

they lose under this pay freeze.

The PM is expected to invite the Opposition

Opposition Leader on a road trip to

remote Indigenous communities as he

works at closing the gap between black and white Australia. Labor

has asked the Parliament to back a

proposal to recruit 200 extra

teachers for Top End Aboriginal

communities. If we are to encourage

these young Indigenous people to

enough come to school, we need to have

enough teachers ready to teach them.

The plan will cost $64 million over

four years, with the first 50

teachers expected to start work this school year.

Meantime, a 44-year-old man is

reportedly planning to sue the

Victorian Government in the State's

first stolen generation claim. This

comes just two days after the PM's historic apology. The man says he

was taken from his mother when he

was five months old. It's claimed

the case could trigger legal action

Australia. by Indigenous people across

A young man has been critically

injured in a car crash in Brisbane

overnight. It's believed the

20-year-old was trying to avoid

another vehicle when he lost

control and smashed into a pole. control and smashed into a

Two female passengers escaped with

only minor injuries. The

investigation continues.

The bodies of two men killed in a midair collision in Western Australia's north are expected to

be retrieved today. The pair died

when their light plane collided

with a helicopter during a feral

goat shooting program over the

Kennedy Ranges. The plane crashed,

but the chopper managed to land safely.

Protest ship the 'Steve Irwin' is

on its way back to the Southern

Ocean. Its 3 thirty-two crew

members vowing to step up the fight

against Japanese against Japanese whaling.

It was a happy but nervous occasion

for family and friends being left

behind. Be safe. Thanks, mate. Give

me a big hug, you beast. Their

loved ones embarking on another

dangerous mission - saving whales

from Japanese hunters. I think we

can stop them for another 3-4 can stop them for another 3-4 weeks. I'm pretty confident we can make

sure they don't even get half their

quota this year. Next year, we'll

come back with two ships and stop

them completely. Last month, two

crew members boarded a whaling ship

and were detained for three days,

sparking an international row. The vessel left Melbourne overnight

after spending 12 days undergoing

repairs and refuelling. Its 32 crew

members including 15 Australians,

aren't ruling out a similar plan of

attack. Well, incircumstances that

we find ourselves in dictate the

strategy and tactics that we

we're in the utilise. I really don't know until

we're in the situation.

An Australian student has been

arrested in Bali on drug charges.

The 23-year-old accused of possessing methamphetamine. He faces up to five years' jail.

A plane has crashed into a runway

during take-off in Armenia. The

aircraft, carrying 21 people,

flipped over and burst into flames.

All survived the accident. 10 passengers

passengers were taken to hospital

with minor injuries, and an

investigation is under way.

Militant group Hezbollah has

declared open war on Israel, as

thousands of supporters attended

the funeral of one of its top

commanders, killed in a car-bomb

attack. Hezbollah's chief, Nasrallah nads, is blaming Israel

for the assassination and has vowed

to retaliate Israeli targets abroad.

Israel has ord its military and

embassies around the world to be on the alert. Australian cricket captain Ricky

Ponting believes there is room in

the calendar for players to balance their

their Test matches with the Indian

Premier League. He's calling for

the sport's administrators to this new competition its own the sport's administrators to give

slot. this new competition its own time

Ricky Ponting, ju one of the stars

to sign on for the Indian Premier

League - the extravaganza that

could tear world cricket apart. With the tournament fast

approaching, the Aussie skipper

says it's time for home boards to

make a call. Maybe carving out a

window each year where this

tournament can sit in. Otherwise

there will be guys making the

decision of whether they continue

playing both forms of the game for playing both forms of the game for

their country, or they, you know,

have a bigger break every year and

play 44 days of Twenty20 cricket

and make even more money than they are internationally, probably.

Cricket Australia is yet to release

players keen to take part in the IPL, with the Pakistan tour still

on the agenda. That could on the agenda. That could all

charge. The Aussies possibly left

to face a second-rate team after 10

Pakistani players were banned for

signing up to a rebel Indian

cricket league. As far as we are concerned, right at the moment,

we've got a tour of Pakistan on. If

that does or doesn't go ahead, then

some individual players will have a

choice to make whether they want to

go and play the IPL or not. The

skipper has also admitted his team

is wary about travelling to Pakistan if

if the tour is given the green light.

Jana Rawlinson will be a frustrated

spectator as the cream of

Australian athletics competes in

Sydney this week. Speaking at landlandland's luncheon, Jana

Rawlinson admitted she will be Rawlinson admitted she will be a reluctant bistanding as she

recovered from towry. She can rest

easy - she's guaranteed a place on

the Beijing Olympic team. I get

really jealous. I love running. It's

It's what I was born to do. To be

sitting on the sideline puts a real

fire in my belly. Hopefully that's

the way I'll think about it in the

next few months to train. Jeremy

Wariner of the US is headlining the tournament.

Stephen Allanson has resigned in

disgraced. He racing Victoria has since discovered his betting

activity has been on a larger scale

than originally thought.

Investigations this afternoon

showed there were 42 total bets,

whose transactions are subject to further

further investigations. And after

handing in his Hong Kong licence,

the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey

will be returning to Australia next week.

The latest unemployment figures

could be bad news for home-owners,

Frank? When is good news good news?

Absolutely, Bill. The jobless rate

has hit a 33-year low - which is

good - but it's fuelled speculation

another interest-rate rise is

around the corner. The unemployment

rate dropped last month compared

with 4.3% in December. 26,800 jobs

were taken up in the job. Full-time

employment fell by 7,800. employment fell by 7,800. The

Reserve Bank has repeatedly warned

that a tight labour market risks fuelling wage inflation and that

will put upward pressure on

interest rates.

Companies continue to do it tough

during reporting season, being

punished by investors despite

posting solid profits. Leighton Holdings posted a 32% increase in

after-tax half-year profit to $250

million. But the result was below

market expectations and triggered a

fluctuation in the share price. AMP's profits also fell short AMP's profits also fell short of

expectations. The company reporting

an 8% increase in 2007 to $985

million. Its shares plummeted 4%.

The ASX also suffed - its shares

were sold off despite boosting its

interim earnings by more than a third.

Let's take a look at the newspaper

headlines right now - the herald rn

Vern has more on a Victorian man's

stolen generation compensation

claim - the first from that state.

Judges may be able to share the load of larger commercial cases in

a bid to speed up court proceedings

and litigation costs. The

'Financial Review' has more on that. The 'Sydney Morning Herald' looks

at the new crowding problems facing

that city's troubled rail system. Heated

Heated testimony from the police

chief who led the investigation

into Princess Diana's death - that

story when the Early News

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. This

morning - the Prime Minister Kevin

Rudd to arrive in Dili today,

sending a clear message of support

to East Timor's leaders.

Federal MPs to do their bit to halt

inflation as the latest jobs

figures point to another

interest-rate hike.

Heated testimony from the British police

police chief who led a 3-month

investigation into Princess Diana's death.

And to sports news - the West Coast

Eagles release the results of an

investigation into the club's off-field culture.

Right now, finance, and Frank,

quick check of the markets? Will do.

Thank you, Bill. A fall on Wall Street this morning:

Coming up - we cross to Wall Street for

for all the latest, Bill. Thanks, mate.

The Prime Minister is due to The Prime Minister is due to arrive

in East Timor today in a show of support for the nation's political

leaders. The visit follows days of

unrest in the capital, Dili, after failed assassination attempts on the

the Prime Minister and President. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was

killed in those attacks. Kevin Rudd

says a clear message must be sent

to rogue elements that the current

government has Australia's full

support. Mr Rudd will also

reinforce Australia's commitment to

restoring law and order in that country. country.

Another interest-rate rise is

looming, as early as next month,

following the release of the strongest unemployment figures in

more than three decades Federal

Government says it's doing its best

to promote wages restraint. The drop in the national jobless rate is a green light for wages growth, leading to inflation and further interest rate rises. The Government is so alarmed by inflation it's agreed to freeze its own pay until the middle of next year. But it does, I believe, indicate to the public at large that the Government and, I hope, through the Parliament

is serious about the overall challenge of wage restraint. The Opposition Leader backing the move, but it's drawn a mixed response from MPs. It's a stunt, it's a total stunt. I agree totally with what the Prime Minister has done - it sends the right message. And there'll be no be clawback of salary lost under the pay freeze. Probably the Prime Minister won't feel it - I think he's worth $20 million, isn't he? His wife certainly is. He's a kept man.

The average backbencher's base salary is almost $130,000, and last year each received a 6.8% pay rise - more than double the inflation rate. The Prime Minister also calling on private sector executives to follow his lead in the year ahead. I think those who are getting very, very high wages, much more than I do, that they can show restraint too. Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

Protest ship the 'Steve Irwin' is

heading back to the Southern Ocean

this morning to continue its fight

against Japanese whaling. The

vessel left Melbourne last night

after spending 12 days undergoing after spending 12 days undergoing

repairs and refuelling. I'm pretty

confident we can make sure they

don't even get half their quota don't even get half their quota

this year. If this works, we will

come back next year with two ships,

and stop them completely. Last month,

month, two crew members boarded a

whaling ship. They were detained for three days.

Firefighters are expected to walk

off the job in NSW later today.

That's unless the Iemma Government

agrees to a 3.5% pay rise. When

firefighters walk out the door,

people's lives are in danger.

They've given the Government a

deadline of 5:00pm.

More SES officers are on they way

to central Queensland, with to central Queensland, with heavy

rain expected again. A mother and a

teenage boy have died in the

flooding in the past two days.

On their way to a fresh start, a

family of four are now devastated

by the loss of their brave mother. by the loss of their brave mother.

Carried her back to the road and,

um, given a CPR and, unfortunately, um,

um, by the time the ambulance

arrived, she was deceased. Her de

facto and their two sopbz were

trapped their 4-wheel hv-drive trapped their 4-wheel hv-drive

aquaplaned on a flooded road. The

mother clung to a tree holding her

6-month-old baby. A passing

motorist pulled them to safety, but

Kelly collapsed and died. A post-mortem examination will be

carried out today. Hours later,

rescue officers found the body of

the 17-year-old high-school student,

who fell into the local weir on

Tuesday afternoon. Fresh SES

officers have been sent to the iria

as a monsoonal trough heads north.

An outburst this morn from the British police chief who investigated

investigated the death of Princess Diana. John Stevens has told the

inquest into her death that he's

furious about allegations that he

failed to do his job properly and,

overlooked crucial evidence. His

conclusion that the death was an accident infuriated Mohamed Al

Fayed, the father of Diana's lover.

An Algerian pilot wrongly accused

of being involved in the September

11 terrorist attacks, has won the

right to claim compensation. 33-year-old Lotfi Raissi was

arrested in the UK and held in jail

for more than four months, accused

of training the masterminds behind

the hijacking. The case was later

thrown out after authorities offered no evidence. The former

pilot says his life has been ruined

and he's calling on the British

Government to formally apologise.

Australia will take on Sri Lanka at

the WACA today and it will be Adam

Gilchrist's last match on the

ground he calls home. Fans are

expected to turn out in big numbers

to celebrate Gilly's hurrah at the

ground that in December last year,

he belted his famous Test innings against England - the

second-fastest century of all time.

Brad Hogg will return, and

all-rounder James Hopes, at the

expense of Stuart Clark and Brad Haddin.

The West Coast Eagles The West Coast Eagles have

released the results of an

investigation they commissioned

into the club's culture. They

include 35 separate incidents of

poor off-field behaviour involving

13 different players.

its off-field image already

tarnished, yesterday's revelations

will do little to improve will do little to improve public

perception of the Eagles. An internal investigation alleging play

play links to underworld figures as

well as drug and alcohol abuse. In

the period up to 2006 we had holed

in the support structures and

processes managing player welfare

and behaviour. It wasn't helped by

the arrogant behaviour of key

members of the leadership group

there was a breakdown of trust in

communication between some of the

players and the administrators of

the board. Barnaba putting the acid

back on the players to repair the

club's shattered reputation when

outlining what now needs to happen. A greater commitment amongst

players to take more personal

responsibility for their actions.

With that, greater empowerment

among the player group in sanctions

and penalties for poor behaviour.

The AFL will unveil the finding of

its investigations into the Eagles next week.

Finance again. The ASX

investigating allegations of hedge-fund

hedge-fund collusion, Frank? An

ongoing one, Bill. The Australian

Securities Exchange says it will

examine allegations that hedge

funds are colludeing to push down

the shares of major Australian

companies. The ASX will investigate

market rumours that hedge funds are

working together in packs to target

specific companies. Meantime, the

securities exchange posted a 35%

rise in half-year net profit to

$187.4 million, but saw its share

price fall amid concerns about the

future outlook for the market.

Tricom is on the lookout for a

saviour. The embattled stock-broking firm has announced it

is in talks with possible merger

partners as it seeks a big partners as it seeks a big cash

injection. Tricom says no

agreements have yet been made.

Time for our weekly check of what's

making news on Wall Street. Joining

us live from New York is Alexis

Christoforous. Good morning to you.

Fed reserve chairman Ben Bernanke

has testified before Congress today,

Alexis. Has he hinted at any more

rate cuts? Oh, indeed he did, Frank.

And before he did that, he said the

economic outlook here has worsened.

Testifying before the Senate Testifying before the Senate today,

Bernanke said a deepening housing

slump and tightening credit market

here in the US continue to strain

the economy. He stopped short the economy. He stopped short of

predicting a recession. Instead, he

said he expects a period of

sluggish growth, followed by a

somewhat slower pace of growth this

year. Bernanke said the Fed is

ready to lower interest rates

further. They expect another aggressive rate cut next month, as

well as another in April. Yahoo is discussing a possible discussing a possible partnership

with News Corp? That's right. These

are tentative talks just now, are tentative talks just now, Frank.

It involves News Corp merging its

online division, which includes social-networking site MySpace,

with Yahoo. Experts say these talks

are designed to either

Microsoft's takeover bid of Yahoo

or force the software giant to

raise its $45 billion offer. US

stocks edged lower at the open. stocks edged lower at the open. Has

there been any sign of recovery?

Unfortunately, no. Stocks are lower

for the first time this week. They

fell after that Bernanke testimony

and also on news that Intel says it

will be hurt by slower computer

sales. So it is the tech and

banking stocks, once again,

bringing the stock market lowererse Frank. Alexis Christoforous there at Wall Street. Thank you very much.

Elective surgery cancelled in

Victoria today due to strike action.

That's coming. And the CommSec

finance report when the Early News returns.

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This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd heads to East

East Timor today in a show of support

support for that nation's leaders.

Home-owners brace for another

interest-rate rise after jobless

figures hit a 33-year low.

Anti-whaling activists return to

the Southern Ocean to continue

their chase of the Japanese fleet. their chase of the Japanese fleet.

And in sport - Australian cricket

captain Ricky Ponting warns of a player exodus to India.

Don't know if it's sunny in the

finance department! Here's Frank

with the latest on the markets. Not

particularly. Thanks, Bill. A bad

reaction by Wall Street on the back

of comments by Fed Reserve chief

Ben Bernanke where he warned of sluggish economic growth ahead.

A look ahead from our A look ahead from our CommSec

analyst coming up, Bill. Thanks, mate. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

will visit Dili today as a show

will visit Dili today as a show of support for the East Timorese

Government. He will first stop off

in Darwin to visit President Jose Ramos Horta, who's Ramos Horta, who's still recovering

from Monday's attack. The PM flies

into an emotion-charged East Timor

still reeling from still reeling from yesterday's

funeral of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado.

Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado's

funeral procession only had to

cover a few hundred metres. With

thousands lining the route,

straining to be close, it took

almost an hour. His coffin draped

in the East Timorese flag reached a

home, with a grave had been carve

under to the side yard. He was

lowered into soil, alongside a lieutenant who was also killed lieutenant who was also killed on Monday. In the middle of the heaving,

sweating crush, a woman claiming to

be Reinado's second wife, who

according to her lawyer is pregnant

with the rebel's child, news that

will be a sensation when those here

become aware.

Flowers, candles and tributes

flowed for the man, who the

government here and the Australian

Army maintains is a criminal and

murderer. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

flies into this emotion-charged

state visit troops and discuss our

military commitment with Xanana military commitment with Xanana Gusmao.

Federal MPs will be doing their bit Federal MPs will be doing their bit

to help rein in inflation, with the

Prime Minister ordering a freeze on

salary increases until the middle

of inest year. Kevin Rudd says it's

a modest measure aimed at sending a

message on wage restraint. I think

in this year, when we have a huge

inflation problem left to us

through our predecessors' inaction

in the war against inflation, that

we've got a responsibility to begin

leading by example. And politicians

won't be able to claw back any salary lost under the pay freeze.

The move has been backed by the

Opposition.

The bodies of two men killed in a

collision expected to be picked up today. The plane crashed but the

chopper landed safely.

A scare at Bondi beach overnight -

the police bomb squad was called in

affa large military flare

containing explosives washed up on

shore. The beach was closed while

the army collected the cylinder.

It's unclear where the device came from.

Protest ship the 'Steve Irwin' is

on its way back to the Southern

Ocean. Its 32 crew members strowing

to step up the fight against

Japanese whaling.

It was a happy but nervous occasion

for family and friends being left

behind. Be safe. Thanks, mate Give

me a big hug, you beast. Their

loved ones embarking on another

dangerous mission, saving whales

from Japanese hunters. I think we

can stop them for another 3-4 weeks.

I'm pretty confident we can make sure I'm pretty confident we can make

sure they don't even get half their

quota ths year. If this works, we

will come back next year with two

ships and stop them completely. I

think we've found the key up to too

stopping them from whaim. stopping them from whaim. Last

month, a the Sea Shepherds campaign

sparked a diplomatic row with Japan,

when two members boarded a whaling

ship and were detained for three

days. Thal left Melbourne last

night after undergoing 12 days of

refuelling and repairs. Its 32 crew

members, including 15 Australians,

aren't ruling outa similar plan of

attack. The I don't know until

we're in the situation.

Elective surgery will be cancelled

in Victoria today, as hundreds of medical

medical scientists walk off the job. They're stopping work for 24 hours because they want their pay to match that of public-sector nurses. The strike will effect public hospitals and health services across Melbourne and central Victoria, following yesterday's action by 25,000 teachersers who walked off the job in their fight

for better pay and conditions.

A new lead in the search for a man

who allegedly sexually assaulted a

woman in Adelaide. Police have

released closed-circuit television

of a man who was seen accompanying

the victim from a nightclub. the victim from a nightclub. Still

trying to piece together the exact

sequence of events. We believe that

this person it depicted in the

footage can assist our

investigation. The victim claims

her drink may also have been spiked. her drink may also have been spiked.

An Australian student has been

arrested in Bali on drug charges.

The 23-year-old is accused of being

in possession of methamphetamine.

He faces up to five years' jail if

convicted. convicted.

Militant group Hezbollah has

declared open war on Israel as

thousands of supporters attended

the funeral of one of its top

commanders. He was killed in a

car-bomb attack. Hezbollah's chief

Hassan Nasrallah is blaming Israel

for the assassination and has vowed

to retaliate against Israeli

targets abroad. Israel has ordered its military and embassies around the world to be on the alert. An Algerian pilot accused of

training the men involve in the

September 11 attack has won the September 11 attack has won the right to compensation. The

33-year-old has called on the UK's Home Secretary to apologise.

He claims he's lost his career, his

health, his reputation. No wonder Lotfi Lotfi Raissi Lotfi Raissi looked delighted as he

left court today, having won the right to claim compensation. I

always had faith in justice. And

justice is what I've got. He spent

4.5 months in prison, finally being released after no evidence was put

forward to support claims he was a

terrorist. Mr Raissi, who's

Algerian, was a pilot and was

arrested under the terrorism act 10

days after the September 11 atrocities of

atrocities of 2001. He was accused

of having trained the 19 hijackers.

He was cleared of any involvement,

but his subsequent claims for

compensation from the government were

were turned down because his were turned down because his detention was related to a detention was related to a US

extradition request, and therefore

not eligible. Now he's had that

decision overturned. As he left

court today, Mr Raissi said his

claim could run into millions of pounds. He says he's been

black-listed from working good for black-listed from working good for

any airline. The Home Office is

continuing whether to appeal

against today's ruling.

Australian cricket captain Ricky

Ponting believes there is room in

the caleneder for players to

balance their Test commitments with

the Indian Premier League. He's

calling for the sport's

administrators to allocate the new

competition its own time slot. Ricky Ponting, just one of the

stars to sign on for the stars to sign on for the Indian Premier League. The extravaganza

that could tear world cricket apart. that could tear world cricket apart. With the tournament fast

approaching, the Aussie skipper

says it's time for home boards to

make a call: Maybe carving out a window window each year where this

tournament can sit in. Otherwise

there will be guys making the

decision of whether they continue

playing both forms of the game for

their country, or have a bigger break every break every year and play 44 break every year and play 44 days

of Twenty20 cricket and probably

make more money than they make

internationally. The Pakistan tour

is still on agenda. That could all change. The Aussies possibly left

to face a second-rate team after 10

Pakistani players were banned for

signing up to a rebel Indian

cricket league. As far as we are concerned right at the moment,

we've got a tour of Pakistan on. we've got a tour of Pakistan on. If that does or doesn't go ahead, then some individual players will have a

choice to make whether they want to

go and play the IPL or not. The

skipper has also admitted his team

is wary about travelling to Pakistan

if the tour is given the green light.

Jana Rawlinson will be a little

frustrated as the cream of

Australian athletics competes in

Sydney this week. Speaking at John Sydney this week. Speaking at John Landy's luncheon, Rawlinson

admitted she will be a reluctant

bystander as she recovers from bystander as she recovers from tow

surgery. However, she's guaranteed

a place in the Beijing Olympic team.

I get really jealous. I love rung.

It's what I was born to do. To see

my -- love running. It puts a my -- love running. It puts a fire

in my belly to watch. Hopefully

that's the way I'll think about it in the next few months to in the next few months to train.

Headlining the international commitment, Jeremy Wariner, the

world 400m Olympic champion from

the United States.

Racing Victoria chief calStephen

Allanson has resigned in disgrace.

He originally admitted to five bets

in last year's spring carnival.

Racing Victoria recently discovered

his betting had been on a larger scale. Investigations this

afternoon revealed there were 37 further bets

further bets dating back to January

'07. Those transactions are now

subject to further investigations.

Meantime, jockey Shane Dye is

planning a surprise return to the

Sydney riding ranks after handing

in his Hong Kong licence. The

Melbourne Cup-winning hoop will be back in Australia early next week.

As we've reported, the unemployment As we've reported, the unemployment

rate has hit a 33-year low. But rate has hit a 33-year low. But

that's fuelled speculation of a

another interest-rate rise. For

more, we're join by CommSec. Good

morning. How concerned should

mortgage holders be, then? Well,

there are concerns. We should there are concerns. We should focus on the Reserve Bank's monetary

policy statement from last week.

That really showed the Reserve Bank

is forecasting inflation to is forecasting inflation to remain above the target above the target rate till at least

2010. It's really likely that we

will see an interest-rate hike come next month. And yesterday's

employment figures continued to

add to that speculation. The

unemployment rate fell to for.1%,

with Australian job seek whose are

looking for full-time employment

falling to 3.8%. That's the lowest falling to 3.8%. That's the lowest

level since November, 1974. So it level since November, 1974. So it

is looking like we will see a rate hike

hike in March, and possibly another

one Maine. At the least the

unemployment figures are a sign that the Australian economy re

mains fairly resilient against the

world market turmoil. We continue to see the Australian economy

travelling along quite strongly. Our

terms of trade are at record level.

We're continuing to see strong

prices for our Australian

commodities. That's been fuelling commodities. That's been fuelling

the mining boom that we are seeing.

We're seeing a shortage of skilled labour as well, despite the

population growing at the best

levels in 18 years. For a while to

come, we will see unemployment continue to remain low. Wall Street

has taken a slide. What can we

expect from the local market today,

then? There is no local economic

news coming out today. We will take

our lead from Wall Street. There

were concerns by chairman Ben

Bernanke - he did testify in front

of the Senate committee. And did of the Senate committee. And did specify that specify that there may be some more

financial losses for the big

financial stocks in regards to

subprime mortgages. That really

will affect our financial shares

today. Also, base-metal prices were

weaker in London overnight, despite

aluminium rising largely. The

resources sector will be weaker.

The energy sector will see some

strength, with the oil price rallying almost 2% with rallying almost 2% with concerns

over the supply of oil. Thank you very much for the very much for the update. Thank you.

Now, for a look at today's Now, for a look at today's newspapers - former Queensland

minister Pat Persell is set to stay

in politics, despite admitting he assaulted two emergency-service workers.

The Australian Stock Exchange has

posted a $187 .4 million first-half

net profit, up 35.5% on last year. Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph' reports the jury

the jury which acquitted Julianne

Austin of killing her daughter was

not given detailed of the mother's past.

Victoria's first stolen generation

claim. The details when Ten's Early News returns. Good morning, i'm Lachlan Kennedy The A-C-T's unemployment rate has fallen again.

The jobless rate has fallen by point one of a per cent. Now just TWO POINT THREE per cent, well below the national average of four point one. However it's not all good news, with fewer Canberrans now looking for work, and the low unemployment rate putting more pressure on inflation The A-C-T is divided over the future sale of fireworks on the June long weekend.

A Government survey has found roughly half of Canberrans want to buy their fireworks while others want them banned or more strictly regulated due to noise and safety concerns. The Government is planning further reviews in coming weeks Budget Airline Tiger airways has begun flying into Canberra. The A-C-T Government's hailing Tiger's daily flights between Canberra and Melbourne, as a great opportunity to boost local tourism and business activity

Canberra will today officially join the annual earth hour event for the first time

We're all being encouraged to turn our light's off between eight and nine P-M on the twenty ninth of March, to save electricity and fight climate change. TO SPORT Manuka Oval staff are busily preparing the ground for an A-F-L pre-season cup match to be held on February twenty three. The Oval's centre pitch and grass length needs

considerable work to be ready... after Tuesday's

cricket match NOW TO THE WEATHER.. A high over the Bight is sending a ridge over the state, meaning scattered showers on the Coast, but mainly fine for inland areas Around the capitals... fine for Canberra ... early showers up the road in Sydney ... a little further up the road, monsoonal showers for Darwin Looking locally... partly cloudy for Dubbo ... mostly sunny and 27 in Wagga ... fine and mostly sunny for Orange Fine for Bathurst ... cloudy for Batemans Bay ... while a morning shower is likely about Bowral Fine for a hike around Thredbo today ... an early shower for Nowra ... partly cloudy for Parkes Looking ahead... A pretty sunny and mainly fine weekend ahead. Temperatures hovering around the mid twenties...but cool overnights getting down to

low teens. (That's the latest from Southern Cross

Coming up - more on Yahoo and

Microsoft - the stand-off there,

Bill. That is a big deal. Thank you, Frank.

The Prime Minister is due to arrive

in East Timor today to show his support for the nation's political leaders.

leaders. The visit follows days of

unrest in the capital, Dili, after

failed assassination attempts on

the Prime Minister and President.

Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was

killed in those attacks. Kevin Rudd

says a clear message must be says a clear message must be sent

to rogue elements within the nation that the current government has that the current government has

Australia's full support. Mr Rudd will also reinforce Australia's

commitment to restoring law and order in that country.

Another interest-rate rise is

looming as early as next month.

This follows the release of the

strongest unemployment figures in three decades. The Federal

Government says it's doing its best to

to promote wages restraint. The drop in the national jobless rate is a green light for wages growth, leading to inflation and further interest rate rises. The Government is so alarmed by inflation it's agreed to freeze its own pay until the middle of next year. But it does, I believe, indicate to the public at large that the Government and, I hope, through the Parliament is serious about the overall challenge of wage restraint. The Opposition Leader backing the move, but it's drawn a mixed response from MPs. It's a stunt, it's a total stunt. the Prime Minister has done - I agree totally with what it sends the right message. And there'll be no be clawback of salary lost under the pay freeze.

Probably the Prime Minister won't feel it - I think he's worth $20 million, isn't he? His wife certainly is. He's a kept man. The average backbencher's base salary is almost $130,000, and last year each received a 6.8% pay rise - more than double the inflation rate. The Prime Minister also calling on private sector executives to follow his lead in the year ahead.

I think those who are getting very, very high wages, much more than I do, that they can show restraint too. Murray McCloskey, Ten News. The Prime Minister is expected to

invite the Opposition Leader on a

road trip to remote Indigenous

communities as he works at closing

the gap between black and white

Australia. Labor has asked the

Parliament to back a proposal to Parliament to back a proposal to

recruit 200 extra teachers for Top

End Aboriginal communities. If End Aboriginal communities. If we

are to encourage these young

Indigenous people to come to school,

we need to have enough teachers

ready to teach them. The plan will

cost $64 million over four years,

with the first 50 teachers expected

to start work this school year.

Meantime, a 44-year-old man has

reportedly -- is reportedly -- is reportedly planning

to sue the Victorian Government in

the State's first stolen generation

claim. It comes just two days after

the Prime Minister's historic

apology. The man says he was taken

from his mother when he was five

months old. It's claimed the case

could trigger legal action by

Indigenous people across Australia.

Protest ship the 'Steve Irwin'

heading back to the Southern Ocean

this morning to continue its fight

against Japanese whaling. The vessel

vessel left Melbourne last night

after spending 12 days undergoing

repairs and refuelling. I'm pretty

confident we can make sure they

don't even get half their quota

this year. And if this works, then

we're going to come back next year

with two ships and stop them completely. Last month, two crew

members boarded a whaling ship and

were detained for three days.

More SES officers are on their way to to central Queensland where more heavy rain is heavy rain is expected. A mother

and a teenage boy have died in the

flooding in the past two days.

On their way to a fresh start, a

family of four are now devastated

by the loss of their brave mother.

Carried her back to the road, Carried her back to the road, and

um, given her CPR. Unfortunately,

by the time the amblps a rived, she

was deceased. Cell Kellie Bokk, her

de facto and their

de facto and their two sons were

trapped on a flooded road. While

her partner grabbed the her 2-year-old

2-year-old toddler, Kelly held onto

her 6-month-old, clinging to a tree.

She the baby was saved. The mother

died hours later. And a

died hours later. And a school-house captain who slipped and

fell into a local weir on Tuesday

afternoon has been found. More

flooding is expected as a monsoonal

trough moves north. trough moves north.

An outburst this morning from the British police chief who

investigated the death of Princess

Diana. John Stevens has told the

inquest into her death that he's

furious about allegations that he

failed to do his job properly and

overlooked crucial evidence. His

conclusion that the death was an accident infuriated Mohamed Al

Fayed, the father of Diana's lover.

A plane has crashed into a runway

during take-off in Armenia. The aircraft, carrying 21 people,

flipped over and burst into flames.

All on board survived the accident,

although 10 passengers were taken

to hospital with minor injuries. An investigation is under way.

Australia will take on velanka at

the WACA today and it will be Adam

Gilchrist's final match on the

ground he calls home. Fans are

expected to turn out in big numbers

to celebrate Gilly's last hurrah at

the ground where he belted his

famous Test innings against England

- the second-fasts century of all

time. The game will also see the return

return of fellow Western Australian

Brad Hogg and all-rounder James Brad Hogg and all-rounder James

Hopes. They're replacing Stuart Clark and Brad Haddin. The beingivals released the

results of an investigation they results of an investigation they

commissioned into the club's

culture. They include 35 separate incidents of poor off-field

behaviour involving 13 different players. Its off-field image already tarnished, yesterday's revelations

will do little to improve the will do little to improve the

public perception of the Eaglesism

an internal investigation revealing

player links to underworld figures,

assaults, as well as drug and

alcohol abuse. In the period up to

2006, we had holes in the support

structures and processes for

managing player welfare and

behaviour. A culture that was

materially impacted by the arrogant

and risk-taking behaviour of some

key members of the player leadership group. A club leadership group. A club where there was a breakdown and betrayal

of trust and communication between

some of the players and the

administrators of the board.

Barnaba putting the acid back on the

players to repair the club's shattered reputation when

outlining what now needs to happen.

A greater commitment amongst

players to take more personal

responsibility for their actions

and, with that, greater empowerment

amongst among the player group in sanctions

sanctions and penalties of poor

behaviour. The AFL will unveil the

findings of its investigations into

the Eagles next week.

Let's talk finance now. Frank, I hew discussing a possible

partnership with News Corp?

Microsoft won't be happy. Yahoo

tries to repel Microsoft's $45 billion billion takeover bid. It's believed

the discussions are focused on

combining properties including

combining properties including social-networking site MySpace - social-networking site MySpace -

with Yahoo. Under the deal, News

Corp would get a stake in juhew,

possibly bigger than 20%. It comes

a week after News Corp a week after News Corp chairman

Rupert Murdoch ruled oought rival

bid for all of Yahoo. Companies continue to do it tough

in reporting season, being punished by investors despite posting profits. Leighton Holdings profits. Leighton Holdings had a

32% increase in after-tax half-year

profit. But the result was below

market expectations. AM pft's price

also fell short of expectations,

the company posting $985 the company posting $985 million

profit. Its shares plummeting 4%.

The ASX's shares were sold off The ASX's shares were sold off

despite boosting interim upperings by more than a third.

Bill, that's all in finance for

this morning. And this week. We'll

see you on Monday. Thank you, Frank Coletta.

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

Bill Woods. Bye for now. And I'm

Frank Coletta. Have a great day.

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