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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 Kathryn Robinson. Welcome to

Ten's Early News. Our top stories Ten's Early News. Our top

today - fears the death toll from

the cyclone in Burma could reach

50,000 as emergency supplies are

sent to the region.

The father of one of the survivors

of the Sydney Harbour boat crash

runabout. says his son was not driving the

The RBA warns another interest-rate

hike could be on the cards as it hike could be on the cards as it

leaves the cash rate on hold for another month.

And Democrats in North Carolina

cast their ballots in the largest

presidential remaining contest for the

presidential nomination.

Now. Finance. Kath. Latest on the

markets? Bill, thank you. Good morning again.

Wall Street has edged higher this

morning as crude oil surges.

There is speculation talks between

Microsoft and Yahoo could resume.

Coming up - what's in store for

interest rates. Those details in

under 10 minutes.

There are predictions the death

toll in Burma could reach 50,000. After Cyclone Nargis devastated the

country four days ago. Aid workers

are trying to deliver food and

water to the worst-hit areas as the

United States pledges more than $3

million to help the region rebuild.

In the aftermath of the storm,

those who survived gather in the wreckage of their communities. It's

quiet, now. In the devastated

countryside, and in the cities. But

no-one who live through this

cyclone will ever forget its fury.

This was the moment it announced

its arrival. With torrential rain,

driving winds and that

unforgettable sound. (Wind )

A tidal wave was driven onto the

coast. For many people living here,

there was no opportunity to run.

They were simply swept away.

The Burmese Government says 10,000

people perished in just one town.

As many as 50,000 are still missing.

The densely populated Errawadi

Delta, one of the poorest areas of

this country, is one of the this country, is one of the hardest

of hit. The new problem for thousands

of families is finding water that

hasn't been polluted. The Burmese

army has been distributing

emergency supplies to some of those

affected, buzz dut not have the

manpower or equipment to cope alone.

A Gold Coast couple has been tied

up and robbed onboard their yacht

in Fiji. Bandits assaulted the pair

before fleeing with a laptop, a

guitar, a phone and more than

$6,000 in cash. Australians

visiting Fiji are advised to be

very cautious.

The father of one of the survivors

of the Sydney Harbour boat crash

claims his son was not driving the

runabout. Charlie Reynolds says one

of the other survivors, not his son

Matthew, was at the helm. The boat

and a fishing trawler collided,

killing six people. In an interview

with News Limited, Mr Reynolds has

also cast doubt on claims the

runabout was to blame for the crash.

Matthew's lawyer says his client

did have permission to use the boat,

and it was not stolen, as earlier claimed.

For there is fresh hope that a

Perth toddler missing in the

outback is still alive. Detectives

are investigating an unconfirmed

sighting of 3-year-old Imran Zilic

at Timber Creek, 600km south of

Darwin in the Northern Territory. A

witness at a cabin park saw they

saw him run by himself on Anzac Day.

We're hopeful we may get some

forensic evidence from the cabin

that may be able to link Imran to

that particular location. Imran's

father booked accommodation at the

Timber Creek cabin park, but never

arrived he's being held in

Kununurra in Western Australia.

Economists are warning a rate rise

could still be on the cards before

the end of the year. Rates have

been kept on hold for now, bebut

Reserve Bank remains cautious about

signs of a slowing economy. his first Budget, Under the pressure of balancing like it's Groundhog Day. Wayne Swan is starting to feel

We've should stop meeting like this! But some respite, off on another interest rate hike, as the Reserve Bank decided to hold official rates at 7.25%. announcing it will leave This decision by the Reserve Bank today

for home owners, working families, is a welcome relief for businesses. and a welcome relief It could be short-lived - has shown signs of slowing - the Bank acknowledging the economy about inflation, but it still remains concerned the Governor warning: ..meaning - an interest rate rise. will only last for so long, Their patience so we interpret that as a signal to go again. that it won't take much for them The trigger could come the higher cost of living, from growing wages to cover due to higher commodity prices, or from a boost in export earnings

the Government's first Budget. or even from spending will be slashed, Mr Swan says not enough to rein in inflation, but economists predict if it's expect a rate hike by September. Brad Hodson, Ten News.

to scrap WorkChoices, claiming it Treasury has slammed Labor's plan

could lead to job losses and fuel

inflation. An assessment of the

plan says slashing AWAs will

ultimately trigger wage-price

spirals and force up interest rates.

Treasury also says limiting unfair dismissal laws will cut jobs and

business. increase red tape for small

New research reveals more than a

third of long day-care child

workers, or child day-care workers,

have no formal qualifications. The have no formal qualifications. The

national survey also found parents

often overestimate the skills of

childcare staff. 62% of parents

believe at least one in four

workers at their childcare centre

has a university degree. In fact, just

just 1 in 10 long day-care staff is

university qualified.

Voters in North Carolina and Indiana are packing the polls for

one of the biggest-remaining contests of the US presidential contests

primaries. Vote-counting is under

way with Barack Obama believed to have an edge over Barack Obama.

They've been on the scene for 20

years. They're not going to go down

easy. We've just got to keep on

delivering our message. The latest

polls show Clinton is ahead in

Indiana and gaining ground in North

Carolina. This is about rolling up

our sleeves and getting to work and

making life better. After these

primaries, there are six contests

left.

Trash talking is under way ahead of

Saturday night's AFL Hall of Fame match. Dream Team coach Mark Williams says the Victorians are not as good as they think they are. has really hit his straps - Mark Williams gun forwards, Buddy Franklin, even claiming that one of his during the game. will to kick a bag you'd expect that he'd kick eight Given the big stage, and be best on ground and win the medal. And he sized up the big 'V' and the crowd. I know that the Victorian crowd are going to come there and reckon that they're going to win and just waltz over the top of us. But the fact is we're coming to beat the Vics without any doubt and 80,000 people are going to be very disappointed to walk away and see they're not as good as they think they are. Victorian skipper Jonathan Brown still has to pass a medical to play, despite Leigh Matthews's best efforts to talk him out of appearing. He's a pretty intimidating character, Leigh, and I'm sure that they'll talk about it and commonsense will prevail -

if Browny's right to play, Browny will play. Club team-mates will momentarily become the enemy, including Lions pair midfielder Luke Power and ruckman Jamie Charman.

No, he doesn't tuck his elbows in much. I've been rooming with him all week and that's all he's been saying - he keeps coming home saying, "Jeez, I'm gonna smash you!" Ian Cohen, Ten News.

Australian Rugby League captain

Cameron Smith says New Zealand

representatives were rude at an

important function yesterday. Rows

of empty seats at the launch of

this year's Rugby League World Cup

- until the Kiwis arrived 40

minutes late. We just had a

training session that kind of went

over time and we were trying to get

back as quin as qeek -- as quick as

we can. Obviously training is a

priority for us. Australia takes on

New Zealand in Friday night's

centenary test.

Stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist

helped the Deccan Chargers off the

bottom of the IPL table with a

7-wicket win over Chennai. Their

lone highlight came from South African Albie Morkel.

COMMENTATOR: Oh, there's a big hit! That's

That's gone all the way! Oh, that's

gone out the stadium! Gilchrist not

quite as long, but much more

effective - he made 54 as Deccan

passed the 144-run target with passed the 144-run target with two overs to spare.

Finance again. Kath, a global

credit crisis claims another

victim? A local one this time. St

George Bank has been hit hard by

the credit crunch, announcing the credit crunch, announcing a

10% drop in half-year net profit,

as well as a cut in its earnings

target to below $1.3 billion. The

revision is partly thanks to a $20

million credit loss on a margin

loan relating to ailing property

group MFS. St George posted group MFS. St George posted a

half-year cash profit of $603

million, below analysts' forecasts

of up to $626 million. Investors

lopped 76 cents from the bank's price at the close price at the close of trade.

The deadline for Centro Properties

is fast approaching. The embattled

properties group needing to settle

a deal with its bankers to extend a

$4.2 billion debt deadline by later

today. Talks overnight are expected

to continue this morning. If an

extension is granted, it will be

the third lifeline since trouble struck in December. Since then,

Centro's market value has plunged

from $6.3 billion to just over $397

million. St George Bank, which has

a $458 million secured loan to

Centro, says it remains confident

the debt deadline will be extended.

Looking at the newspaper headlines - the 'Daily Telegraph' featuring

this interview with the father of

Sydney boat-crash victim Matthew

ren roan. He claims his son was not

driving the boat the night it crashed.

The 'Financial Review' has more on

the Reserve Bank's decision to

leave the cash rate on hold, with the

the Federal Government under pressure to cut spending in next

week's Budget.

And the 'Herald Sun' of course

looks at the details of the

Victorian State Budgeted, with

first-home buyers, new mums and

business the big winners.

A breakthrough in fertility test

details when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News.

This morning - aid workers race This morning - aid workers race to deliver emergency supplies to

cyclone-devastated Burma as the

death toll continues to climb.

Olympian Scott Miller to face a

Sydney court today on drugs charges.

The father of one of the Sydney

Harbour boat-crash survivors denies

reports that his son was behind the

wheel of the runabout.

And in sport - a TV star sings to

empty seats - the New Zealand rugby

league side cops a serve for

turning up late to the centenary Test launch.

Finance, though, right now. A reprieve, Kath, for home-owners for the time being. That's the point,

Bill. As expected, the RBA has left

interest rates on hold at a 12-year

high of 7.25%. The bank has warned

we're not out of the danger zone

just yet. Governor Glenn just yet. Governor Glenn Stevens

indicating inflation is still a

major concern and the outlook may

need to be reviewed. More on the

RBA's rates decision later in the bulletin.

Wall Street has edged higher this

morning as crude oil surges.

As mentioned, the RBA leaves rates

on hold for now. But for how long?

We'll have more throughout the

bulletin. Thank you, Kath.

There are fears the death toll from

Cyclone Nargis in Burma could reach

50,000. Ait aid workers are racing

to deliver food and water to the

worst-hit areas. Many people are

left homeless. The houses in the

area are very basic. And, um, with

the very strong winds they had and

the tidal surge, there is hardly

anything left in some areas. The

United States will send more than

$3 million to help with recovery $3 million to help with recovery efforts. George Bush wants to send

navy ships to the area, but Burma's

military rulers say foreign-aid

experts must negotiate before being

allowed to operate in the country.

A woman has been hit and killed by

a car near Ballarat in Victoria.

The woman, in her mid 20s, had been

walking along the Western Highway

when she was struck. The driver

and the passenger in the car were

not injured. No charges have been

laid. Police are still investigating.

Police in the Northern Territory are investigating the possible

sighting of a missing Perth sighting of a missing Perth toddler.

The 3-year-old boy is believed to

have been abandoned by his father

after being taken on an access visit.

There's renewed hope of finding

Imran Zilic alive after an unconfirmed sighting of the

3-year-old at a Northern Territory

cabin park. Wee he was sighted at

the cabin, which may have been

Imran. The staff at the hotel

remember Imran's father. They

remember him well. The sighting

about 600km south of Darwin was on

Anzac Day. Imran's father had

booked accommodation at Timber

Creek but never arrived, instead Creek but never arrived, instead

heading over into Western Australia.

He's being held there under the

mental health act. We're hoping we may get some forensic evidence from

the cabin that may be able to link Imran to that particular location.

It's understood Imran was left by

his father in South Australia after being

being taken on an access visit from

his Perth home. We're open-minded

as to where the boy might be. We're

hopeful he may still be alive.

Olympian Scott Miller will face Olympian Scott Miller will face a

Sydney court today on drugs charges.

The 33-year-old was arrested last

month after a police raid on a

storage facility in Sydney's northern beaches. It's claimed

officers found a pill press and a

professional tablet counter while a

raid on his home allegedly netted

capsicum spray and steroids. The

former swimmer was granted bail and

will appear in court this morning.

The lawyer for one of the survivors

of the Sydney Harbour boat crash

has rejected claims that his client

stole the runabout involved in the

collision. He says 31-year-old

Matthew Reynolds had permission to borrow the vessel. Meantime,

borrow the vessel. Meantime, Matthew's father said his son was

not driving the boat when it

collided with a fishing trawler.

Six people were killed. Matthew is

still recovering in hospital and is

yet to be formally interviewed by police.

The NSW Premier will today hold

peace talks with Labor opponents to

his planned power sale. Morris

Iemma secured a vital win at

yesterday's caucus meeting. Labor

MPs chose not to challenge his push

to privatise the industry. Mr Iemma

says today's talks with Labor

officials including union boss s

and senior MPs will be about coming

together and starting the healing process. process. Victorian Premier John Brumby will

begin the hard sell of the 2008

budget to business leaders this

morning. Families and home buyers were the big winners with cuts to

land tax.

It's been dubbed the baby boom

budget. A growing population brings

new joys, but it also brings new

challenges. Young families are the

target of a property-tax overhaul,

with stamp-duty relief for

first-home buyers and a $3,000

bonus for building a house in

regional Victoria. It's a budget

which takes action and it's a

budget which provides solutions to

some of our challenges. There'll be

an extra 703 million for hospitals

to treat an extra 16,000 elective

to treat an extra 16,000 elective

surgery and 60,000 emergency patients. Business will benefit from:

These initiatives will significantly significantly reduce costs for

Victorian business, especially our

manufacturers. With the

Government's tax take at record

levels, the projected surplus for

next year is over $800 million.

Women who plan to delay Women who plan to delay motherhood

could soon be able to test how many

fertile years they have left. A

team of Australian and Dutch

scientists has developed a model

for a blood test that estimates when

when a woman is likely to start menopause. With a menopause date,

women can then count back a decade

to work out when their fertility

will start to decline. Experts warn

the test is still in a developmental stage.

A former mental patient has been convicted

convicted of stalking Hollywood

actress Uma Thurman. 38-year-old

Thurman told a US court Jack Jordan

stalked and harassed her for two

years. Bombarding her with letters,

phone calls and visits to her New York home. He also threatened to

kill himself if he didn't see the

actress. He faces up to a year in jail.

A bit of spice in the lead-up to

Friday night's centenary rugby

league Test between Australia and

New Zealand. The Kiwis have been

accused of being rude for turning

up late to an important function.

The launch of this year's Rugby League World Cup drew one of the country's hottest entertainers... (SINGS) # And then a hero comes along... # ..but Natalie Bassingthwaighte was singing to rows of empty seats, New Zealand representatives finally turning up 40 minutes late. I guess it's probably rude to the international game, to promote the World Cup. We're disappointed we didn't turn up -

I'm sorry we let everybody down. The Kiwis were delayed after a training session under former Australian coach Wayne Bennett, Bennett's change of allegiance followed with interest in Brisbane. by the players he's left behind He was getting all in there with all the cuzzy bros and doing high fives and stuff, a good time down there. so I think he'll have He said he was gonna come back with some mean tats. He was gonna get a muku on his face. Not that anyone believes it - but just in case he is serious, here's a sneak preview from a graphic artist. Bennett not so scary to the rookie coach he's helping out. I must say I was a little nervous coming into camp, and he certainly has that calming influence. I think Wayne's input will really get under the skin of the boys and make them understand what the game is all about. Leanne West, Ten News.

AFL news now, and at besieged

Fremantle, a few more cracks are

appearing in the wake of that loss

to Melbourne. Injured star Paul

Hasleby taking aim at the Dockers'

character. It's probably been a

culture problem since I've been out

of the club. Unless we change it,

there's going to be another period

of time where the players go

without success. And no luck for

esdp at the tribunal - Adam McPhee

and Nathan Lovett-Murray failing to

have their one-week bans overturned.

Geelong's stoke stoke stoke --

Matthew Stokes copped one week after

after taking the guilty plea.

Queensland Reds flanker David Croft

will retire at the end of the season. The 29-year-old will say

goodbye to the game he loves

against the team he hates - NSW.

I'll just take one last shot at

them and go out from there. Croft

has played nine straight years for

Queensland and he hasn't missed a game.

Let's talk finance, though. Kath,

possible boost for our iron ore

miners. That's right, Bill. Reports

China may concede to Australian

demands to include a demands to include a freight

premium in iron ore price talks. It

could boost this year's price rise

to 85%, exceeding a 65% rise

already agreed to with a key Brazilian miner.

Economists warn a rate rise could

still be on the horizon as

inflation continues to bite. The Reserve Bank yesterday left rates

on hold, but remained cautious

about signs the economy is slowing.

Since we'll only last for so long.

We interpret that as a signal that

it won't take much for them to go

again: Increased commodity prices

and wages pressures could force another rate hike, though.

A court win for Britney Spears -

that's next. And the CommSec finance report when the Early finance report when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live. This

This is Ten's Early News. Today -

fears the death toll from that

cyclone in Burma could reach 50,000

as emergency supplies are sent to the region.

The father of one of the survivors

at the Sydney Harbour boat crash

says his son was not driving the runabout.

The RBA warns another interest-rate

hike could be on the cards as it

leaves the cash rate on hold for

another month.

And Democrats in North Carolina

cast their ballots in the largest

remaining contest for the presidential nomination.

Let's talk about the markets for

now. Kath, Wall Street edges a

little higher in late trade. little higher in late trade. Yes,

it has, Bill. US stocks have closed

in the black after a relatively

weak start. Stronger oil price and

positive comments from mortgage

finance group Fanny May boosted the

Dow, up almost 60 points.

Coming up - we'll be crossing to

CommSec to have a look at what's in

store for the day ahead on the

local market. Thanks, Kath.

There are predictions the death

toll in Burma could reach 50,000

after Cyclone Nargis devastated after Cyclone Nargis devastated

the country four days ago. Aid

workers are trying to deliver food

and water to the worst-hit areas as the and water to the worst-hit areas as

the United States pledges more than

$3 million to help the region rebuild.

In the aftermath of the storm,

those who survived gather in the

wreckage of their communities. It's

quiet, now. In the devastated

countryside, and in the cities. But

no-one who lived through this

cyclone will ever forget its fury.

This was the moment it announced

its arrival. With torrential rain, driving

driving winds, and that unforgettable

unforgettable sound ( Strong wind and rain).

A tidal wave was driven onto the

coast. For many people living here,

there was no opportunity to run. They were simply swept away. The Burmese Government says 10,000

people perished in just one town .

As many as 50,000 are still missing.

The densely populated Irrawaddy

Delta, one of the poorest areas of

this impoverished country, is one

of the hardest hit. The new problem

for thousands of families is finding water that hasn't been

polluted. The Burmese army has been

distributing emergency supplies to some of those affected. But does some of those affected. But does

not have the manpower or equipment to cope alone.

The father of one of the survivors

of the Sydney Harbour boat crash

claims had his son was not driving

the runabout. Charlie Reynolds says

one of the other survivors, not his

son Matthew, was at the helm. The

boat and a fishing trawler collided.

Sic people were killed. In an

interview with News Limited, Mr

Reynolds has also cast doubt on

claims the runabout was to blame

for the crash. Matthew's lawyer

said his client did have permission

to use the boat and was not stolen as earlier claimed. as earlier claimed.

Demss are warning a rate rise could still be on the cards before the still be on the cards before the

end of the year. Rates have been

held for now, but the Reserve Bank

is cautious about the signs of a slowing economy. Under the pressure of balancing his first Budget, Wayne Swan is starting to feel like it's Groundhog Day.

But some respite, as the Reserve Bank decided to hold off on another interest rate hike, announcing it will leave official rates at 7.25%. This decision by the Reserve Bank today is a welcome relief for home owners, working families, and a welcome relief for businesses. It could be short-lived - the Bank acknowledging the economy has shown signs of slowing -

but it still remains concerned about inflation, the Governor warning:

..meaning - an interest rate rise. Their patience will only last for so long, so we interpret that as a signal that it won't take much for them to go again. The trigger could come from growing wages to combat the higher costs of living,

or from a boost in export earnings due to higher commodity prices, or even from the Government's first Budget. Mr Swan says spending will be slashed, but economists predict if it's not enough to rein in inflation, expect a rate hike by September. Brad Hodson, Ten News.

Treasury has slammed Labor's plan

to scrap WorkChoices, claiming to scrap WorkChoices, claiming it

could lead to job losses and fuel

inflation. An assessment of the

plan says slashing AWAs will

ultimately trigger wage-price

spirals and force up interest rates.

Treasury also says limiting unfair

dismissal laws will cut jobs, and

increase red tape for small businesses.

Victorian Premier Brumby brul will

begin the hard sell of the 2008

budget to business leaders this

morning. The Premier will meet with

the top end of town to trump cuts

to land and payroll tax. These

initiatives will significantly

reduce costs for Victorian business,

especially our manufacturers. It's

been dubbed the baby boom budget, been dubbed the baby boom budget,

with millions of dollars in

incentives for first-home buyers. incentives for first-home buyers.

Stamp duty and land tax have been

reduced, while there's a $3,000

bonus for building a house in a

regional area.

Former AFL player Wayne Carey could

face jail after being charged with three counts of assaulting police

and three of resisting arrest. The

charges follow an alleged domesting

dispuelt at his luxury apartment in

Melbourne this year. He is also

facing charges of assaulting police

in the US after an argument with

girlfriend Kate Nielson.

A US court has granted pop star

Britney Spears expanded visitation

rights to her two sons. Spears was

there when and on time to the child

custody hearing in Los Angeles. The

legal team for the singer's e husband, Kevin Federline, says it

shows the progress the singer is

making. There's been no change to

orders granting Federline custody

see of both boys, but Spears can now

see her children for longer periods.

Voters in North Carolina and

Indiana are packing the polls for

one of the biggest remaining

contests of the US presidential

primaries. Vote-counting has begun,

with Barack Obama believed to have an edge over Hillary Clinton.

They've been on the scene for 20

years. They're not going to go down

easy. And we've just got to keep on

delivering our message. But latest delivering our message. But latest

polls show Clinton is ahead in

Indiana and gaining ground in North

Carolina. This is about rolling up

our sleeves and getting to work and

making life better. After these primaries, there are six contests primaries,

The trash talk is on ahead of

Saturday night's AFL Hall of Fame

match. Dream Team coach Mark

Williams saying the Victorians are Williams saying the Victorians

not as good as they think they are. has really hit his straps - Mark Williams gun forwards, Buddy Franklin, even claiming that one of his during the game. will to kick a bag you'd expect that he'd kick eight Given the big stage, and win the medal. and be best on ground and the crowd. And he sized up the big 'V' are going to come there I know that the Victorian crowd and just waltz over the top of us. and reckon that they're going to win we're coming to beat the Vics But the fact is without any doubt very disappointed to walk away and 80,000 people are going to be as they think they are. and see they're not as good still has to pass a medical to play, Victorian skipper Jonathan Brown to talk him out of appearing. despite Leigh Matthews's best efforts intimidating character, Leigh, He's a pretty they'll talk about it and I'm sure that and commonsense will prevail - Browny will play. if Browny's right to play, become the enemy, Club team-mates will momentarily including Lions pair midfielder Luke Power and ruckman Jamie Charman. No, he doesn't tuck his elbows in much.

I've been rooming with him all week and that's all he's been saying - he keeps coming home saying, "Jeez, I'm gonna smash you!" Ian Cohen, Ten News.

An inspiring half-century from

stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist has helped the Deccan Chargers lift

themselves from the bottom of the

IPL table. A 7-wicket victory over

Chennai. Chennai's batsmen

restricted by a brilliant night in

the field from Deccan. Their lone

highlight came from South African Albie Morkel. Albie Morkel. COMMENTATOR: Oh,

there's a big hit. That's gone all

the way. Oh, that's gone out the

stadium! Fantastic stuff! stadium! Fantastic stuff! Gilchrist

not quite as long, but much more

effective. He made 54 as Deccan

passed the 144-run target with two overs to spare.

San Antonio's NBA title defence is

on shaky ground after the on shaky ground after the Spurs

dropped their second straight game

against New Orleans in the Western

Conference semifinals. Chris Paul

spearheaded the Hornets' 184-82 win,

a 2-xerosereies win.

Orlando trails Detroit 2-0 in the

East, despite 22 points and 18

rebounds from Dwight Howard. The Magic lost 100-93.

Well, as expect, the Reserve Bank

has left interest rates on hold at

7.25%. Relief for home owners may

be short-lived, though, with the bank indicating it's still concerned about inflation. With

more, Craig James from CommSec

joins us live. Reserve Bank

governor Glenn Stevens has warned

of opposing forces at work in the

economy. Should mortgage holders

prepare for another rate hike

before year's end? We certainly

believe if interest rates move this

year, it will rather be up rather year, it will rather be up rather

than down. Hopefully it won't be

necessary. It depends on whether we

continue to cut our spending measures.

measures. That has been the case over the last couple of months. Credit-card debt and spending has

gone down - encouraging for the

Reserve Bank. All eyes will be oen Reserve Bank. All eyes will be oen the wage price index due out today.

What's on the cards? We expect rage

growth in the order of 1% in the March

March quarter. 4.25% over the year. Wage growth has basically held

around 4% for quite a while now,

despite the fact that the jobless

rate has fallen to 33-year lows. It

has been well-behaved. If it continues to be well-behaved, then

Reserve Bank will stay on the

sidelines. Due out next sidelines. Due out next week,

actually - my mistake there. What

can we expect on the local market

today? It should be a good day for

our share market today. The Dow

Jones closed higher by over 50 points. Oil prices, gold points. Oil prices, gold prices, base-metal prices were all up. It

will be good news for our mining

sector. After the bell, Walt Disney

and cisco have surprised with their

earnings ruts. So it looks like a

gain of 40-45 points for our market

at the start of trade. Sounds good.

Craig James from CommSec, thank you. Thank Thank you. Let's look at the newspaper

headlines now.

The 'Sydney Morning Herald' looks

at yesterday's Labor Caucus meeting

where MPs decided not to take on

Premier Morris Iemma over the sale

of the power industry.

'The Financial Review' looks at the

effects of the global liquidity

crisis on St George Bank, which has

downgraded its annual earnings

guidance by up to 20%. 'The

Advertiser' shows the new high-tech

mini cameras that will be used to

get a closer look at AFL games.

That will start at this weekend's

Hall of Fame match.

An Olympian facing court on drugs

charges - details when the Early

News returns. The A-C-T Government will today continue its hard sell of this year's budget. Chief Minister and Treasurer Jon Stanhope will meet with local business and welfare groups, to outline how yesterday's big announcements on areas including roads, housing affordability and skills training will benefit the Canberra community. A protest is due to be held outside the A-C-T legislative assembly later today, against plans to re-develop NORTH WESTON. The WESTON CREEK COMMUNITY COUNCIL is angry over Government plans to build homes on recreational

areas, close to an existing school and Bahai Centre The Council has already had one win, with the

Government halting plans to remove an arboretum near the Weston C-I-T. Departing Snowy River Shire Council mayor Richard Wallace, has taken a swipe at the State Government. Wallace is accusing the State of cost shifting over many local services ... leading to frustrating choices on what Councils can and can't afford to provide for their residents. Wallace will not contest September's local government elections, ending six years in the shire's top job. TO SPORT The Canberra Raiders will welcome back second rower NEVILLE COSTIGAN for Saturday's match against the ROOSTERS. His return drops MARSHALL CHALK to the bench, while JOSH MILLER and TREVOR THURLING are on stand by for injured forwards SCOTT LOGAN and NIGEL PLUM

TO THE WEATHER NOW A weak cold front is currently moving through the region and is bringing some shower activity, chiefly over the ranges in the west of the ACT Nationally... fine and mostly sunny for Sydney and Canberra... a light shower or two for Adelaide... wet for Melbourne as well To our backyard... a fine and partly cloudy day for Dubbo... sunny skies for Wollongong ... fine in Wagga as well... 19 in Bega today A few clouds for Goulburn... some possible

snow is forecast about Perisher Valley And that cloud will extend to Parkes and Cooma today as well Looking ahead: While it should be fine and mostly sunny for today, tomorrow and the rest of the week. There is the chance of scattered showers over the

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. This

morning - aid workers race to

deliver emergency supplies to cyclone-devastated Burma as the death

death toll continues to climb.

Olympian Scott Miller to face a Olympian Scott Miller to face a

Sydney court today on drugs charges.

Father of one of the Sydney Harbour

boat-crash survivors denies reports

his son was behind the wheel of the

runabout. In sport, a TV star sings

to empty seats - the New Zealand

rugby league side cops a serve for turning up late to an important function.

To finance, and Kath, a reprieve

for home owners for the time being. For

For the time being, Bill. As

expected, the RBA has left interest

rates on hold at a 12-year high of 7.25%.

7.25%. The bank has warned we're

not out of the danger zone just yet.

Governor Glenn Stevens indicating inflation is still a major concern,

and the outlook may need to be

reviewed. More on the RBA's rates

decision shortly.

Wall Street has closed in the black.

The Dow Jones up over 50 points thanks

thanks to a stronger oil price and

positive comments from Fanny May.

Investors speculate talks between Microsoft and Yahoo could resume.

St George's bottom line takes a hit.

Those details soon. Thank you, Kath.

There are fears the death toll from

Cyclone Nargis in Burma could reach

50,000. Aid workers are racing to deliver

deliver food and water to deliver food and water to the worst-hit areas. People are left

homeless. The houses in the area

are very basic. And with the very

strong winds they had and the tidal

surge, there is hardly anything

left in some areas. The United States

States will send more than $3

million to help with recovery

efforts. George Bush wants to send

navy ships to the area, but Burma's

military rulers say foreign-aid

experts must negotiate before being

allowed to operate in the allowed to operate in the country.

17 people have been taken out after

a fire in a boarding house in Brisbanorveinate. It's understood

the blaze was started by a faulty

television at the West End television at the West End across.

Quick thinking by one of the

tenants to distinguish the fire

ensured no-one was was hurt.

Investigations continue.

Police in the Northern Territory

are investigating the possible

sighting of a missing Perth toddler.

The 3-year-old boy is believed to

have been abandoned by his father

after being taken on an access visit.

There's renewed hope of finding Imran

Imran Zilic alive after an

unconfirmed sighting of the

3-year-old at a Northern Territory

cabin park. He was sighted at the

cabin, which may have been Imran.

The staff at the, ah, the hotel,

remember Imran's father. They

remember him well. The sighting

about 600km south of Darwin was on

Anzac Day. Imran's father had

booked accommodation at Timber

Creek, but never arrived. Instead, heading over into Western Australia.

He's being held there under the

Mental Health Act. We're hoping

that we may get some forensic

evidence from the cabin that may be

able to link Imran to at it particular location. It's

understood Imran was left by his

father in South Australia after

being taken on an access visit from

his Perth home. We're open-minded

as to where the boy might be. We're

hopeful, of course, that he's

Stiller alive.

Olympian Scott Miller will face a

Sydney court today on drugs charges.

The 33-year-old was arrested last

month after a police raid on a

storage facility on Sydney's northern beaches. It's claimed

officers found a pill press and a professional tablet counter while professional tablet counter while a

raid on his home allegedly netted

capsicum spray and steroids. The

former swimmer was granted bail and will appear in court this morning.

The lawyer for one of the survivors

of the Sydney Harbour boat crash

has rejected claims that his client

stole the runabout involved in the

collision. He says 31-year-old

Matthew Reynolds had permission to

borrow the vessel. Meantime,

Matthew's father says his son was

not driving when the boat collided

with a fishing trawler, killing six

people. Matthew is still recovering

in hospital and is yet to be

formally interviewed by police. Victorian Premier John Brumby will

begin the hard sell of the 2008

budget to business leaders this

morning. Families and home buyers

were the big winners, with cuts to

land tax.

It's been dubbed the baby boom budget.

budget. A growing population brings

new joys, but it also brings new

challenges. Young families are the

target of a property-tax overhaul,

with stamp-duty relief for with stamp-duty relief for

first-home buyers and a $3,000

bonus for building a house in

regional Victoria. It's a budget

which takes action and it's a

budget which provides solutions to

some of our challenges. These initiatives will

significantly reduce costs for

Victorian business, especially our manufacturers.

The projected surplus for next year The projected surplus for next year

is over $800 million.

Women who plan to delay motherhood

could soon be able to test how many

fertile years they have left. A

team of Australian and Dutch

scientists has developed a model

for a blood test that estimates

when a woman is likely to start

menopause. With a menopause date,

women can count back a decade to

work out when their fertility will

start to decline. Experts warn the

test is still in a developmental

stage.

A former mental patient has been

convicted of stalking Hollywood

actress Uma Thurman. 38-year-old

Thurman told a US court Jack Jordan

stalked and harassed her for two years, bombarding her with letters,

phone calls and visits to her phone calls and visits to her New

York home. He also threatened to

kill himself if he didn't see the

actress. He faces up to a year in jail.

A bit of spice in the lead-up to

Friday night's centenary rugby

league Test between Australia and

New Zealand. The Kiwis have been

accused of being rude for turning

up late to an important function. Rugby League World Cup The launch of this year's drew one of the country's hottest entertainers... (SINGS) # And then a hero comes along... # ..but Natalie Bassingthwaighte was singing to rows of empty seats, New Zealand representatives finally turning up 40 minutes late. I guess it's probably rude to the international game, because we're trying to promote the World Cup. We're disappointed we didn't turn up - The Kiwis were delayed after a training session under former Australian coach Wayne Bennett, Bennett's change of allegiance followed with interest by the players he's left behind in Brisbane. He was getting all in there with all the cuzzy bros and doing high fives and stuff, so I think he'll have a good time down there. He said he was gonna come back with some mean tats. He was gonna get a muku on his face. Not that anyone believes it - but just in case he is serious, here's a sneak preview from a graphic artist. Bennett not so scary to the rookie coach he's helping out. I must say I was a little nervous coming into camp, and he certainly has that calming influence. I think Wayne's input will really get under the skin of the boys and make them understand what the game is all about. Leanne West, Ten News.

A besieged Fremantle, there are a

few more cracks appearing after the

embarrassing loss to Melbourne over

the weekend. Injured player Paul

Hasleby taking aim at the Dockers'

character. It's probably been a cultural problem since I've been

out of the club. Unless we change,

it there'll be another period of

time where the players go without

success. Essendon not too success. Essendon not too happy

after the tribunal - Adam McPhee

and Nathan Lovett-Murray failing to

have their one-week bans overturned.

Geelong's Matthew Stokes took the

guilty plea and, with that, one week.

Rugby union is preparing to say

goodbye to one of its most

dedicated players, Queensland Reds

David Croft retiring at the end of

the season. The 29-year-old will

farewell the game he loves against the team he hates - NSW. I'll just

take one lost -- last shot at them

and go on from there. Croft has

played nine straight years for

Queensland without missing a game. To

To finance - interest rates on hold,

but it may not be for long. That's

right. Economists warn a rate rise

could still be on the horizon as

inflation continues to bite. The inflation continues to bite. The

Reserve Bank left rates on hold

yesterday, but remains cautious

about signs the economy is slowing.

Their patience will only last for

so long. We interpret that as a

signal that it won't take much for

them to go again. Increased

commodity prices and commodity prices and wages pressures could, though, force another rate hike.

St George Bank has been hit hard by

the credit crunch, announcing a

10% drop in half-year net profit,

as well as a cut in its earnings

target for the current year to

below $1.3 billion. The revision is

partly thanks to a $20 million

credit loss on a margep loan to MFS.

St George posted a half-year cash

profit of $300 million -- $603

million. Investors reacted quickly, lopping 76 cents from the bank's

price at the close of trade.

Now in the diary today, Bill, the

April sick employment index is out,

April sick employment index is out,

and the HIS construction index is

and the HIS construction index is

due out. More later tonight in Ten News and in the morning.

Quick recap of the morning's top

stories now. Fears the death toll

from the cyclone in Burma could

reach 50,000 as emergency supplies

are taken into the area.

Shock claim - the father of one of

the survivors of the Sydney Harbour

boat crash says his son was not

driving the runabout. And as Kath

reported, the RBA warns another

interest-rate hike could be on the

cards as it leaves the cash rate on hold hold for another month. That's it

for Ten's Early News. I'm Bill

Woods. Bye for now. And I'm Kathryn