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Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. I'm

early news. Belinda Heggen. Welcome to Ten's

Today - Brendan Nelson's bold

pledge to cut petrol excise in his formal Budget reply. Dumped

Dumped Olympic swimmer Nick D'Arcy

awaiting the results of his appeal

hearing overnight.

Extradition delay - Tony Mokbel

still waiting in a holding cell as

his luxury jet remains on the

tarmac in Athens.

And the death toll from the

earthquake in China now expected earthquake in China now expected to

reach 50,000 as the Government

makes a rare public appeal for help.

Now a check of the markets. Thanks,

Bill. US stocks have risen

overnight. Lower oil prices eased

concerns about the impact on consumer spending.

A sell-off in natural gas led the

price of oil lower.

When I come back, I'll tell you how much you're paying in bank fees. When I come back, I'll tell you how

You'll be amazed.

Brendan Nelson has promised to do

what the Howard Government would

not - cut fuel excise. The

Opposition leader has challenged

the PM to take up his proposal

during his break Budget reply speech.

Brendan Nelson admitted to some

jitters ahead of his Budget reply.

You always get a little bit nervous

before you speak to the nation. But

he was soon in top gear, accusing

the Government of inaction over the

rising cost of fuel. Watching

down. petrol prices does not bring them

LAUGHTER

In a challenge to the Government,

the Opposition's pledge to cut the

fuel excise by five cents a litre

at a cost in revenue of $1.8

billion. There is only one way that

an Australian Government can do

anything decisive about the price

of petrol and that's to cut taxes.

Dr Nelson has promised to use the

Coalition's numbers in the Senate

to block the tax increase on

pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, putting

at risk $3 billion in Government

decided revenue. We will oppose it. He's

decided to obstruct Labor's plan

to raise the income thresholds on

the Medicare levy surcharge,

worried it will push up premiums as Australians desert private health

insurance. We will oppose this

measure. Treasurer Wayne Swan's

Budget was branded a lost

opportunity. For all his talk of

Treasurer's slaying some dragon, the

Treasurer's breathed new life into inflation. They rated the surplus.

The Australian people understand a

of higher interest rates. lower surplus means a higher chance

This is a drowning man looking for

a few measures to prop up his

leadership and he's going to fail.

There will be the only

response he delivers. There will be the only Budget

Swimmer Nick D'Arcy's Olympic future

still hangs in the balance. The

Court of Arbitration for Sport has

reserved its decision after a five-hour

five-hour hearing. D'Arcy had

little to say outside court. Nick,

Nick, do you think it went well?

Sorry, guys. I can't comment. The

Queenslander was thrown off the

Olympic team last month for

bringing the sport into disrepute

after allegedly assaulting former swimmer Simon Cowley. swimmer

Drug fugitive Tony Mokbel remains

in an Athens jail cell but is due

to begin his journey back to

Melbourne today. The private jet

chartered to bring him home chartered to bring him home remains

on the tarmac, possibly delayed by

an air traffic controllers' strike

across Greece. Danielle Isdale is

in Athens with the latest.

Well, the private plane chartered

by Australian authorities has been

sitting on the tarmac here at the Athens airport now for a full Athens airport now for a full

evening a full day and now another

full evening. It's waiting to take

Tony Mokbel back to Australia. He's Tony Mokbel back to Australia.

been waiting too in a prison

holding cell in an Athens jail.

He's been visited by Danielle

Maguire, his partner, and his Greek

lawyers, who say he seems resigned

to what's about to happen. He's in

two minds. He's looking forward to

being reunited with family but he's concerned about those being reunited with family members

charges,

charges, two murder charges and a

series of drug charges that he

faces upon his return. He's also -

and he's said this before in his

appeals leading up to the

extradition - that he's worried

about attempts on his life. He

feelslies life is in feelslies life is in danger on

Australian soil. We're waiting for

him to board that plane. It is

expected that he will arrive in

Melbourne at some stage over the

weekend. As to when, it's still a

mystery. This whole operation has

been kept very secret and when he

arrives in Melbourne, we expect

that to be the same situation.

There are several secret

contingency plans as to where he

will land and to where he will be

taken. But of course he has to

leave here to get there so we're

still waiting for that to happen.

Thank you, Danielle Isdale with

that report from Greece.

Bashing victim Lauren Huxley says

her life starts today. A jury has

convicted 39-year-old Robert Farmer

over the attack nearly four years

ago. 21-year-old Lauren was beaten,

doused in petrol and left to die

in her Sydney home. Farmer has been

found guilty of three charges and

prosecutors are calling for prosecutors are calling for a

maximum 25-year jail term. He'll be sentenced at a later date.

Actress Jessica Jacobs will be

farewelled at a funeral service farewelled at a funeral

today in Melbourne. The teenager

was hit by a train at the weekend.

It's believed she tripped on the

station platform and fell on to the

tracks. Jessica starred in the hit

TV show 'The Saddle Club'.

Entertainer Todd McKenney is due to

face court today on drugs charges.

The 42-year-old was arrested last

month after being found unconscious

in a park. He was charged with

possessing GHB. McKenney claims his

drink had been spiked and the drug

night before. was planted on him at a party the

earthquake The death toll from China's

earthquake is now expected to rise

to more than 50,000. The Government

has made a rare plea for help and

neighbouring rival Taiwan has been

the first to answer their call.

Brick by brick, the search for

survivors continues in central

China. It's been more than three

days since disaster struck and

grieving relatives know the chances

are dwindling. But amid the are dwindling. But amid the despair,

scenes like this are inspiring

rescue workers not to give up.

About 130,000 troops are in the

disaster zone doing what they can

to ease the pain for thousands now destitute. Soldiers are destitute. Soldiers are removing

the dead as quickly as possible to

prevent the spread of bacteria and

is working to make sure drinking water

is safe.

Supplies are being dropped from the

air in remote areas while in cities survivors flock to makeshift

centres. So many volunteers have

showed up at this aid centre that

they've had to come up with a

simple way to identify themselves using

using a piece of rag that's been

tied into an armband. International

aid is arriving but Beijing is

appealing for more, especially

rescue equipment, tents, food and

medicine. Some supplies are medicine. Some supplies are coming

from neighbouring Taiwan. The two

governments are usually rivals. But Taiwan's

Taiwan's incoming president sees

this as a good tonight to improve

relations and help thousands in need.

Barack Obama has received a timely

boost to his White House campaign, winning the support of fellow

Democrat and former presidential

hopeful John Edwards. The

announcement takes the focus off rival Hillary Clinton's domination

of the west Virginia primary. The

Democratic voters in America have

made their choice and so have I.

The Obama camp believes Edwards'

support will help them atrack votes

from low-income earners, a

demographic that Obama is having a

little trouble connecting with.

The hate campaign continues in the

build-up to State of Origin I. NSW

has thrown more barbs across the

border but the Queenslanders don't

seem to notice. He's the Blues fans' favourite... ..and Paul Gallen's hatred of the Queensland jumper has proven popular with his team-mates as well. as NSW players. Gall's come out and said what he's thinking - which I love. Look, we're backing Gal up 100% with everything he says - he's our team-mate. Tough talk balanced out by finesse, the Blues halves put through a kicking master class by Andrew Johns. Just little things about the game that you don't really look at

and how to play and stuff like that, mate. I'm just learning off him every time I go out there. Flu hitting both camps - Anthony Quinn sidelined for the Blues, Greg Inglis spent a day away from a Queensland squad not short on options. If the forwards get a little bit tired, we've got the option of moving Karmichael in there 'cause he's a robust player. So I might spend 5 or 10 minutes there maybe. Cameron and myself can both play in the halves could slot in there at lock. and, if need be, Cameron or myself The mind games continue. Paul Cochrane, Ten News.

Collingwood ruckman Josh Fraser

will not play against St Kilda

tonight. He's failed to recover

from his knee injury. Better news

for the Pies with forward Anthony

Rocca set to return from an ankle complaint.

Works very hard, Anthony, contrary to

to what some people think. Works

extremely hard to get right. So

we're highly optimistic that he'll play.

The Saints have named Max Hudgeton

after two weeks after he strained a hamstring.

More upsets at the Billabong More upsets at the Billabong Pro

Tahiti with the world number two,

Bede Durbridge and the current

ratings leader Michale Slater

knocked out in round 3. Slater was

upstaged by the local wild card

Manoa Drollet and clearly flustered

after losing one of his scoring

waves due to an interference waves due to an interference call.

This is just one of many events,

though. You're going to have

throwaways and it's just a little

bit of a bumer to lose.

Australia's Taj Burrow also fell,

while six Australians remain in the draw.

Let's talk finance again. Belinda, the banks reaping literally

billions in fees. Listen to these

figures, Bill. Households and

businesses forked out more than $10

billion in bank fees and penalties

last year according to figures from

the Reserve Bank. Fees from credit

cards have increased by 170% over

the past five years, with the

average penalty for late credit

card payments now $31. A report

from the banking industry shows

households paid an average $220 a

year in bank fees and duties not

including charges on home loans.

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens

has defended the RBA's has defended the RBA's longstanding

inflation target during a speech in

Sydney overnight. Mr Stevens says inflation could rise to levels

inflation could rise to levels seen

in the 1970s if the 2% to 3% target

isn't followed. He's cast doubt on

the use of the Federal Budget to

combat inflation. Help is great.

Any help's appreciated but I think,

you know, fundamentally in some

long-run sense that's actually the

central bank's job. Mr Stevens says

there would be few countries in the

world, if any, that wouldn't envy Australia's fiscal position. Now,

Now, the national weather forecast for

for today. Cloud in Queensland's

north. Brisbane might see a shower.

25 degrees. Clearing showers in

Sydney and Canberra, a late shower

and only 17 for Melbourne. Rain and wind

wind for Adelaide but it will be sunny in Perth and Hobart.

Let's look at the newspaper headlines. The

The 'Sydney Morning Herald' has

more on Brendan Nelson's Budget

reply, in which he's promised to

redue petrol excise. The 'Australian' reports Andrew 'Twiggy'

'Twiggy' Forrest's Fortescue Metals

has broken open the iron ore

strangle hold of BHP Billiton and

Rio Tinto. And the 'Daily

Telegraph' has more on the

conviction of Robert Farmer over

the bashing of Sydney woman Lauren Huxley.

Fans riot after the UEFA Cup final

in the UK. Pictures coming up.

BRAKES HISS, LAID-BACK MUSIC CAR ALARM DRONES G'day, mate. Hey, how you going? Oh, good to see ya. There's nothing like catching up with a friend, like your old friend McFeast Deluxe at McDonald's. And now we only make it when you order, so it's as fast as ever, and tastes fresher than ever before.

This morning - Opposition leader

Brendan Nelson responds to the

Labor Budget promising to slash

fuel excise by five cents a litre.

Swimmer Nick D'Arcy waiting to find

out if he's heading to Beijing following his appeal hearing overnight.

Chinese authorities make a rare

appeal for help as the earthquake

death toll is expected to reach 50,000.

And the swan ready to soar again.

Nick Malceski's bid for a stunning

return, just 88 days after knee surgery.

Finance news and Belinda, some gains on Wall Street.

That's right, Bill. US stocks That's right, Bill. US stocks are

up this morning, largely due to

lower oil prices, easing concerns

about the impact on consumer

spending. The Dow Jones is up 93 points, the NASDAQ ahead 37.

When I come back, we'll cross live to Wall Street.

Thanks, Belinda.

Brendan Nelson has placed tax cuts,

health and education at the centre

of his reply to the Budget. He's

challenged the Rudd Government to

cut fuel excise by five cents a litre.

There is only one way that an Australian Government can actually

do anything decisive about the

price of petrol and that's to cut taxes.

Dr Nelson says the Coalition will use

use its numbers in the Senate to

stop the tax hike on alcopops and

block moves to exempt 2 million

Australians from the Medicare levy surcharge.

surcharge.

Swimmer Nick D'Arcy is waiting Swimmer Nick D'Arcy is waiting to

find out if he'll compete at the

Olympic Games. The Court of

Arbitration for Sport has reserved

its decision after a five-hour hearing.

With his swimming career in the

balance, Nick D'Arcy had little to

say about the hearing that will

decide his Beijing fate.

Nick, how are you doing? Do Nick, how are you doing? Do you

think it went doing? Was it a fair

hearing? Sorry, guys, I can't

comment. His lawyers unable to say

much more. The proceedings

much more. The proceedings are

still confidential so we can't make

any comments until it's public. The

Queenslander was thrown off the

Olympic team last month for bringing the sport into

bringing the sport into disrepute

after allegedly assaulting Simon

Cowley. The Australian Olympic

Committee says D'Arcy received a

fair hearing. Each side made their submissions.

submissions. There was an

opportunity for Nick to be

cross-examined, me to be cross-examined.

D'Arcy is due to appear in Sydney

local court next month to face a

charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm. Drug fugitive Tony Mokbel is

expected to leave Athens today

after his extradition was delayed

by an air traffic controllers'

strike in Greece. Secrecy still

surrounds his long awaited return

to Melbourne. The luxury Gulfstream

jet, estimated to cost taxpayers

more than $400,000, remains on the

tarmac in atheps. He's been visited

by his girlfriend, Daniel Maguire,

and his lawyer, who says Mokbel is

looking forward to the chance to looking forward to the chance to clear his name.

A 4-year-old girl remains in A 4-year-old girl remains in hospital with serious injuries

after what appears to have been an

attempted murder suicide in

Sydney's north. Police understand

the girl's 29-year-old mother

stabbed the child in the neck, then

turned the weapon on herself. The

girl's 5-year-old sister was also

taken to hospital with minor

injuries. The woman's husband was

at home at the time and police have

refused to rule him out as a suspect.

The death toll from China's

earthquake is now expected to rise above

above 50,000. As rescue crews

continue to comb the rubble for

signs of life, the Chinese military

is now air dropping vital supplies

and Paratroopers to the worst hit

areas. The Government has also made

a rare public appeal for aid. Its

neighbour and rival, Taiwan, has

been the first to answer the call.

UK police have released CCTV of a

riot by soccer hooligans. Upset at

losing the UEFA Cup final, more

than 10,000 people from Scottish

club rangers took to the streets of

Manchester with bricks, bottles and

pieces of wood. One group of

supporters set upon a lone police

officer, bashing and kicking him to

the ground, leaving him with a

broken arm. Another 14 police

officers were injured. 42 people

have been arrested.

Sydney Swans defender Nick Malceski

is poised to complete a remarkable

comeback. If he makes it through

training today he's expected to

play against Essendon on Sunday just 88 days after surgery. It what looms as a glimpse to the future Nick Malceski's is poised to return to the Senior Swans' side less then three months after he injured his knee. radical surgery The defender underwent where the ruptured ligament is replaced with an industrial-strength synthetic fibre. Popular with the NFL players in the US, his return will be closely monitored by club doctors here in Australia. Collingwood takes on St Kilda tonight minus Josh Fraser - he's out with his knee problem, while Anthony Rocca has been named to play with that screw in the bone of his foot. The injury wasn't a good injury from last year, but he works very hard, Anthony, contrary to what some people think, works extremely hard to get right. Richmond veteran Joel Bowden is back from the VFL but jinxed Tiger Mark Coughlan is facing his third straight year on the sidelines, after re-injuring his hamstring. I've given it - Nah, it's a reasonable strain the third in a few weeks - so a little bit disappointed personally.

Rugby league and NSW is hoping the

expertise of Andrew Johns will help

its new halves combination match

Queensland's kicking game in Origin

I. The league great holding a

kicking master class with Greg kicking master class with Greg Bird

and Peter Wallace. It's all part of

the tuition for the young halfback

who is heading into his Origin debut. Little things about the game that

that you don't really look at and

how to play and stuff like that.

I'm just learning off him every time

time we go out there. And spwrepgs

for the Queenslanders. Greg Inglis

has been sidelined by a virus.

After being dominated by batsmen

early in the competition, the

Indian preying is being taken over

by the bowlers. Another hat-trick

sparking Delhi's win over the

Deccan Chargers. Legy Amit Mishra spinning

spinning the Chargers' batting

line-up into disarray. Only a mishap stopped him from taking four in a row.

And this is a stumping chance that

has gone down. That would have been four.

four. Glenn McGrath Church of

England in for two wickets as Delhi

successfully defended 194 runs.

Adam Gilchrist managed 14 for the Chargers.

To finance again. Belinda, To finance again. Belinda, plenty

of action on Wall Street. That's

right, Bill and for the latest right, Bill and for the latest in

New York we're joined live by Alexis Christoforous. Hello, Alexis.

Tech stocks have been boosted by

news of a big deal. Yeah, it's been

a pretty nice day for tech stocks.

The big deal of the day is CBS.

It's making a big bet on the

Internet. It's buying the online

news and information provider news and information provider CNet networks. Among other websites they

own TV.com and game spot.com. This

will make CBS one of the ten most

popular Internet companies in the

country. Some say CBS is overpaying

but at mit the company needs deals

like these to make up for a drop in

television commercial sales. Who's

the winner between Google and ya

-oo? Well, search engine Google

beats Yahoo! as the most popular

website. Google has long been the

Internet search leader but until

now its audience has trailed

Yahoo!'s when it comes to other

online services like email and sharing

sharing photos. Yahoo! is in the

news today before Carl Ikon is

buying $2 billion in Yahoo! stock.

He wants to overthrow their He wants to overthrow their board and push

and push for the buy-out with

Microsoft. Shares in Tiffany and co

have soared. You bet. Shares in

Tiffany rallied 6% today. They've

raised fiscal first quarter

earnings guidance and quarterly

dividend and you can bet that

upbeat Jute look surprise ad lot of people on Wall Street. They

expected Tiffany and Ko to hurt

because of the soft US economy. I

think the guys got the message and

they're buying the Julie. Alexis

Christoforous, thank you.

Where's Tiffany?

Looking at the forecast for today now.

A social worker pockets thousands

of dollars by faking brain cancer.

That's next. And the CommSec

finance report when the early news returns.

This is Ten's early news.

Brendan Nelson's bold pledge to

quit petrol excise in his formal

Budget reply. We'll have details on that.

Dumped Olympic swimmer Nick D'Arcy

awaiting the results of his appeal awaiting the results of his appeal hearing.

Tony Mokbel still waiting in a

holding cell as his luxury jet

remains on the are McIn Athens.

And the death toll in China expected to rise.

Now for a quick check of the

markets. Thanks, Bill. A strong

session on Wall Street overnight

thanks to lower oil prices and some

strong performances from tech

stocks and jeweller Tiffany and Co.

When I come back, we'll cross live

to CommSec. Thanks, Belinda. Brendan Nelson has

promised to do what the Howard

Government would not and that is

cult fuel excise. The Opposition

leader has challenged the PM to

take up his proposal during his break Budget reply speech. Brendan Nelson admitted to some jitters ahead of his Budget reply. You always get a bit nervous before you speak to the nation. But he was soon in top gear, accusing the Government of inaction over the rising cost of fuel. Watching petrol prices does not bring them down. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) In a challenge to the Government, the Opposition's pledged to cut the fuel excise by 5 cents a litre at a cost in revenue of $1.8 billion. There is only one way that an Australian government can actually do anything decisive about the price of petrol and that is to cut taxes. Dr Nelson has also promised to use the Coalition's numbers in the Senate to block the tax increase on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, putting at risk $3 billion in government revenue. We will oppose it. And he's also decided to obstruct Labor's plan to raise the income thresholds on the Medicare levy surcharge, worried it will push up premiums as Australians desert private health insurers. We will oppose this measure. Treasurer Wayne Swan's Budget was branded a lost opportunity. the Treasurer has breathed new life into inflation. They raided the surplus. The Australian people understand a lower surplus means a higher chance of higher interest rates. This a drowning man looking for a few measures to prop up his leadership and he's going to fail. This will be the only Budget response he delivers. Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

Swimmer Nick D'Arcy's Olympic future still

still hangs in the balance. The

Court of Arbitration for Sport has reserved its decision after a

five-hour hearing. D'Arcy had little to say outside court.

How are you doing? Do you think it

went well? Did you get a fair

hearing? Sorry, guys. I can't

comment. The Queenslander was

thrown off the Olympic team last

month for bringing the sport into

disrepute after allegedly

assaulting former swimmer Simon Cowley.

The private jet September to Greece

to bring back Tony Mokbel remains

on the tarmac in Athens. An air

traffic controllers' strike is

believed to be causing a delay in

his extradition. Danielle Isdale is

at Athens airport and joins us now on the phone.

Is there any word on when Tony

Mokbel will get on this plane? Well,

Bill, that seems to be the $400,000

question. That is the amount

reportedly that Australian

taxpayers are forking out for this

privately chartered jet to come to

Athens and take Tony Mokbel Athens and take Tony Mokbel home.

It is still sitting on the tarmac.

It's been here for well over 24 hours

hours now. We did have some strikes at the airport today which

at the airport today which may have

held up the process somewhat. The

best information that we've got so

far, and there is plenty of

information flying around, is that

he could board at around 5 pm

Australian time today. So we're

waiting to see if that's the case.

Of course it's by no means certain.

He could go before then or after.

He is ready and waiting. He's in a

holding cell in an Athens prison but he may not

but he may not be getting much tonight but he may not be getting much sleep

tonight in what will probably be

his last night in Greece. He's

apparently had some visitors in

that cell? That's right. His partner partner Danielle McGuire has

visited, as well as a few of his

Greek lawyers. Now, they've said

that when they met with him he

seemed OK. He seemed resigned to

the fact that this is about to

happen. They said he had mixed

emotions, in two minds about the

trip because in one hand he feels

that he's looking forward to being

reunited with his family but on

the other hand he's obviously very

concerned about these charges that

he faces, two of pushed and other

drug charges and he's concerned for

his -- two of murder and other drug charges

charges and he's concerned for his

safety. He fears for his life on

Australian soil. Danielle Isdale

reporting from Athens:

A teenager has been killed and

another injured in a high-speed car

crash in Brisbane overnight. The

17-year-old driver lost control of

the white sedan and hit a try. It's

concerning how many people are

dying on the roads, particularly

young people and I would urge

everybody to slow down. An 18-year-old man is in hospital 18-year-old man is in hospital with head injuries.

A big clean-up effort is under way

in Brisbane after a tanker full in Brisbane after a tanker full of

hot bitumen spilled into a suburban

street. It ran into yards and drains

drains and then set like concrete.

The boiling hot bitumen quickly

spread around this elderly

resident's home. It's not the best,

is it, to have it in your front

yard? Her lush garden was transformed

transformed into a sticky mess. It

was a bit scary. Neighbours were

shocked at the extent of the damage.

At first we thought it was fuel.

He's At first we thought it was fuel.

He's got my sympathy. It's a big

mess. Quick thinking from firefighters to cool the bitumen

prevefpbted it from spreading into

storm water drains. We had to stop

the flow getting into drains around

the corner. We used a chemical

absorbent we have on board. The

tanker slammed into a tree in front

of the house and burst. 11,000

litres of tar oozed out. The truck

was examined three weeks ago by

was examined three weeks ago by

Queensland Transport. I'd say it

was an unfortunate accident.

Landscapers will be called in to

restore the garden. Just tidy it up.

I'm not asking for much.

The death toll from China's

earthquake is expected to rise

above 50,000 as rescue crews

continue to comb through the rubble

for signs of life, the Chinese

military is dropping vital supplies and Paratroopers

and Paratroopers to the worst hit

areas. The Government has made a

rare public appeal for aid. Its

neighbour and rival, Taiwan, has been

been the first to answer the call.

A social worker in the US has been

accused of faking brain cancer to

avoid work. Police have charged

40-year-old Sandra De Martinez with theft claiming she received more

than $22,000 in paid

than $22,000 in paid leave, even

using sick leave donated by

other workers. She was too sick to

cook so we fed her every day. A

neighbour found her fake doctor's

certificate.

Collingwood ruckman Josh Fraser

will not play against St Kilda tonight after failing to recover

from his knee injury. Better news

for the Pies with forward Anthony

Rocca set to return from an ankle problem.

Works very hard, Anthony, contrary

to what some people think, works

extremely hard to get right to

we're highly optimistic that he'll

play. The Saints have named Max

Hudgeton to play three weeks after

he strained his hamstring. The

The top seeds keep tumbling at Teahupoo

Teahupoo with wildcards knocking off Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow.

Manoa Drollet took full advantage

of his local knowledge. He overcame

nerves and took Kelly Slater down.

To beat Kelly is as good as it gets.

It was a controversial win. Slater

copped an interference penalty and

lost half the points for his best

wave. You're going to have

throwaways and you know this has

historically been a good event for

me. I've had three wips here in

eight years. World number four Taj

Burrow fell victim to a wildcard.

Bruno Santos claiming another

Aussie champ after -- scalpel after

knocking out Mick fang yesterday.

Today I relaxed and I hoped to beat

Taj. Top Aussies continue to bow

out. Chris Ward accounting for Bede

Durbridge. But Joel Parkinson made

it through after his opponent had a

penalty called on him as well. It

was an ugly win. It's not pretty

but a win's a win. The weather is

expected to close in tomorrow and

the swell to drop off but

organisers say the event will finish.

Reserve Bank chief Glenn Stevens

has defended the RBA's long standing inflation target warning

the CPI could blow out to levels

seen in the '0s if the target is

not followed. For more Savanth

Sebastian joins us live from

CommSec. Good morning. Glenn

Stevens says the target inflation

is the best system so far. Do you

agree? The inflation targeting

system we have is not perfect but

it's the best we have at the present time. Inflation continues

to be a problem not just faced by

our central bank but central banks

around the world. We see the

Reserve Bank is more forward

looking and it's focusing more on

inflation in the medium term than

the short term and really trying to

preserve the value of the yawns

dollar rather than raising and dropping

dropping rates constantly over time.

It's probably the best system we've

seen in the Australian economy.

High interest rates have taken

their toll on credit card use.

We've seen the average credit card

dealt in Australia fall to the

lowest levels in 14 years. We've

got - it's growing by 3.7% over the

last year and it stands at $3,054. The

The high cost of living and further

stress on the household budget is

addsing to pain and seeing

consumers cutting spending. Cash

advances have dropped by 7% over

the last year so certainly interest

rate hikes are working.

It's all adding up. Thank you. Thank you. Looking at the national weather today:

Looking at the newspaper headlines

today, the 'Advertiser' reveals

that Mike Rann will meet

Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today during his world tour.

The 'Financial Review' reports

Leighton Holdings has warned the

cost of project bidding is crippling

competition in the construction

industry. And the 'Herald Sun' has

more on Jessica Jacobs, who died

after being hit by a train in Melbourne at the weekend.

An Aussie entertainer to face court

today on a drugs charge. Details when we return.

The A-C-T Greens are calling for more open discussion, over a planned gas-fired power station near MACARTHUR. Greens M-L-A DEB FOSKEY says the public has been left in the dark, by the Government's failure to announce alternative sites, to the one now being considered. Dr Foskey also says she's received several complaints over the plan, and its possible health and environmental impacts The COOMA and SNOWY RIVER Shire Councils are considering setting up a community airline to fly skiiers into town this winter. The Mayors of both shires are considering the move... after Rex airlines pulled out of the Cooma to Sydney route Canberra's Australian National University has joined forces with the Uni of South Australia. The deal will allow each uni to put more funding toward their respective strengths, while offering students greater access to research and learning opportunities.

Former Anglican Bishop for Canberra and Goulburn, Owen Dowling, will be laid to rest today. BISHOP DOWLING, who served the local area for a decade during the EIGHTIES and early NINETIES, died last week, aged SEVENTY-THREE TO SPORT The TUGGERANONG HAWKS will head to Sydney's Olympic Stadium this weekend, for their A-F-L Canberra match against the SWANS Reserves. The unlikely battle of the competitions bottom two teams, will be a curtain raiser to the match between

SYDNEY and ESSENDON. NOW A high over the Tasman sea is generating a band of showers and thunderstorms today along the coast, ranges and in the state's west Nationally... an early shower to start the day off in Sydney ... showers in Canberra and a possible storm... late rain in Melbourne Closer to home... a possible shower or two in Dubbo tomorrow... maybe a storm in Wagga ... an early shower to start the day in Bega Wet weather in Goulburn as well... that's extending

across the snowy mountains. Storms looking likely in Mudgee... 21 the top in a damp Parkes Looking ahead: It's wet, damp, moist, soaking... however you want to describe it... that's how our weekend is looking. Today will also see the chance of a late storm, while Sunday will be particularly chilly. (that's the latest from Southern Cross Ten ... stay with us for all your national and local news

(NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE)

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's early news. This

morning:

Opposition leader Brendan Nelson

responds to the Labor Budget

promising to slash fuel excise by

5 cents a litre.

Swimmer Nick D'Arcy waiting to find out if he's heading to Beijing following his appeal hearing overnight.

Chinese authorities have made a

rare appeal for help as the

earthquake death toll is tipped to

reach 50,000.

And the swan ready to soar again.

Nick Malceski's bid for a stunning

return just 88 days after knee surgery.

Let's look at finance now. How did

Wall Street close? US stocks ended

the session firmly in the black

today, led by lower oil prices and

strong tech stocks.

When I come back, another big bank tips higher interest rates.

Thank you, Belinda.

Brendan Nelson has placed tax

Brendan Nelson has placed tax cuts,

health and education at the centre

of his reply to the Budget. He's

challenged the Rudd Government to

cut fuel excise by five cents a

litre. There is only one way that

an Australian Government can

actually do anything decisive about

the price of petrol and that's to

cut taxes.

Dr Nelson says the Coalition will

use its numbers in the Senate to

stop the tax hike on alcopops and

block moves to exempt 2 million block moves to exempt 2 million

Australians from the Medicare levy surcharge.

Swimmer Nick D'Arcy is waiting to

find out if he'll compete at the

Olympic Games. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has reservedilities decision after a five-hour hearing.

With his swimming career in the

balance, Nick D'Arcy had little to

say about the hearing that will decide his Beijing fate.

How are you doing? Did you think it went well?

went well? Did you get a fair

hearing? Sorry, I can't comment.

His lawyers unable to say more.

Proceedings are confidential so we

can't make any comments until it's

been made public. The Queenslander

was thrown off the Olympic team last month for bringing the sport

into disrepute after allegedly

assaulting former swimmer Simon

Cowley. Australian Olympic Committee says D'Arcy received a

fair hearing. Each side made their

submissions. There was an

opportunity for Nick it be cross-examined, me to be cross-examined.

D'Arcy is due to appear in Sydney

local court next month to face a

charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Bashing victim Lauren Huxley says

her life starts today. A jury has convicted 39-year-old Robert Farmer over

over the attack nearly three years

ago. 21-year-old Lauren was beaten,

doused in petrol and left to die

in her Sydney home.

Prosecutors are calling for Prosecutors are calling for a maximum 25-year jail term. Drug

Drug fugitive Tony Mokbel remains

in an Athens jail cull but is due

to begin his journey back to Melbourne some time today. The

private jet chartered to bring him

home remains on the tarmac possibly

delayed by an air traffic

controllers' strike across Greece.

Danielle Isdale is in Athens with

the latest. The private plane chartered by Australian authorities

va has been sitting on the tarmac at

the Athens airport now for a full

evening, a full day and now another full

full evening.

It's waiting to take Tony Mokbel

back to Australia. He's been in a holding cell. He's been visited by

Danielle McGuire, his partner, and

his Greek lawyers, who say he seems

resigned to what's about to happen.

He's in two minds. On the one hand,

he's looking forward to being reunited with family members but

on the other he's concerned about

those two murder charges and a

series of drug charges that he

faces upon his return. He's also -

and he's said this before in his

appeals leading up to the

extradition - that he's worried

about attempts on his life.

about attempts on his life. He

feels his life is in danger on

Australian soil. We're still

waiting for him to board that plane.

It is expected that he will arrive

in Melbourne at some stage over the

weekend . As to when, it's still a

mystery. This whole operation has

been kept very secret and when he

arrives in Melbourne, we expect

that to be the same situation.

There are several secret

contingency plans as to where he

will land and to where he will be

taken. But of course he has to

leave here to get there so we're

still waiting for that to happen. Danielle Isdale with that report from Athens.

Entertainer Todd McKenney is due to

face court today on drugs charges.

The 42-year-old was arrested last month after being found unconscious

in a park. He was charged with

possessing GHB. McKenney claims his

drink had been spiked and the drug

planted on him at a party the night before.

The death toll from China's

earthquake is now expected to rise

to more than 50,000. The Government

has made a rare plea for help and

neighbouring rival Taiwan has been

the first to answer the call.

Brick by brick, the search for

survivors and victims continues in

central China. It's been more than

three days since disaster struck and grieving relatives know the

chances of finding people alive are

dwindling. But amid the despair,

scenes like this are inspiring

rescue workers not to give up.

About 130,000 troops are in the

disaster zone doing what they can

to ease the pain for thousands now

destitute. Soldiers are removing

the dead as quickly as possible to

prevent the spread of bacteria and

working to make sure drinking water is safe.

Supplies are being dropped from the

air in remote areas while in cities

survivors flocked to makeshift

centres. So many volunteers have showed up at this aid centre that

they've had to come up with a

simple way to identify themselves,

using a piece of rag that's been

tied into an armband. International

aid is arriving but Beijing is

appealing for more, especially

rescue equipment, food, tents and

medicine. Some supplies are coming

from neighbouring Taiwan. The two

governments are usually rivals but

Taiwan's incoming president sees

this as a good opportunity to

improve relations and help

thousands in need.

The hate campaign has continued in

the build-up to sprin I. NSW has

thrown more bashes across the

border but the Queenslanders don't

seem to notice. He's the Blues fans' favourite... CHILDREN: Please, please, please! ..and Paul Gallen's hatred of the Queensland jumper has proven popular with his team-mates as well. as NSW players. Gall's come out and said what he's thinking - which I love. Look, we're backing Gal up 100% with everything he says - Tough talk balanced out by finesse, that you don't really look at and how to play and stuff like that, mate. every time I go out there. Flu hitting both camps - Anthony Quinn sidelined for the Blues, Greg Inglis spent a day away from a Queensland squad not short on options.

If the forwards get a little bit tired, we've got the option of moving Karmichael in there 'cause he's a robust player. So I might spend 5 or 10 minutes there maybe. Cameron and myself can both play in the halves and, if need be, Cameron or myself could slot in there at lock. The mind games continue.

AFL and Sydney Swans defender Nick

Malceski is poised to complete

quite a comeback if he makes it

through training today, he is

expected to play against Essendon

on Sunday and that is just 88 days after In what looms as a glimpse to the future Nick Malceski's is poised to return to the Senior Swans' side less then three months after he injured his knee. The defender underwent radical surgery where the ruptured ligament is replaced with an industrial-strength synthetic fibre. Popular with the NFL players in the US, his return will be closely monitored by club doctors here in Australia. Collingwood takes on St Kilda tonight minus Josh Fraser -

he's out with a knee problem, while Anthony Rocca has been named to play with that screw in the bone of his foot. The injury wasn't a good injury from last year, but he works very hard, Anthony, contrary to what some people think, works extremely hard to get right. Richmond veteran Joel Bowden is back from the VFL

but jinxed Tiger Mark Coughlan is facing his third straight year on the sidelines, after re-injuring his hamstring. Nah, it's a reasonable strain I've given it - the third in a few weeks - so a little bit disappointed personally.

After being dominated by batsmen

early in the competition, the

Indian Premier League is now being

taken over by the bowlers. There's

been another hat-trick and that

sparked Delhi's win over the Deccan Chargers. Legy Amit Mishra spinning the

the Chargers' batting line-up into

disarray and only a mishap stopped

him from taking four in a row. And

this is a stumping chance that has gone

gone down. That would have been four in four.

Glenn McGrath Church of England in

with a couple of wickets. Adam

Gilchrist managed 14 runs for Deccan.

Belinda, one of the big banks

forecasting more pain for

mortgageholders? The Commonwealth

Bank's boss says home loan rates

will be pushed even higher this

year as a result of increased bank

funding costs. Chief executive

Ralph Norris says the credit crisis

has taken its toll with the bank

failing to meet its costs. CBA has

pushed up its variable home loan

rate three times to 37 point above

the official cash rate.

Australia's newest iron ore

exporter has made a big donation

to the relief effort. Andrew Forrest

Forrest has donated the proceeds

from 5,000 tonnes of Fortescue

Metals Group's first shipment. We

are doing something which is useful

and something which is fun and our

country has given us that

opportunity. And I thank you opportunity. And I thank you all

for that. The donation is worth

more than $300,000 and, Bill, that's finance news for this morning. morning.

A quick look at the forecast for today and tomorrow.

That's it for Ten's early news. We

leave you with pictures just in of

a light plane that somehow landed

on top of another light plane on