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Ten Early News -

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Good morning. I'm Kathryn Robinson.

I'm Catherine Kennedy. Welcome to

Ten's Early News. Our top stories today:

Under pressure. The Federal

Government facing a backlash from

mortgage funds as it resists calls

to extend its deposit guarantee.

One of Sydney's top pubs blames a

kitchen mutiny, after customers

claim they were served ice cream

smeared with faeces.

In sport, Johnathan Thurston leads

the Kangaroos to victory over New Zealand at the rugby league World

his uncle's death. Cup as he asks for privacy to mourn

First this morning, the Rudd

Government is resisting pressure to

extend its bank deposit guarantee

to mortgage funds as it reassures investors

investors their money is safe. The

Prime Minister meets with the industry this week for crucial

talks aimed at unlocking billions

of dollars in frozen funds. A

range of funds have been forced to

freeze redemptions after thousands

of investors moved that money to protected banks.

Senior fund managers say the

scheme problems will continue unless the

scheme is extended.

An interest rate war appears to be

brewing, with one of the country's

biggest mortgage lenders throwing

down the gauntlet to major banks.

Aussie Home Loans has slashed its

rates by 0.5% and is challenging other

other leaders to do the same.

One small rate cut for home buyers,

one giant challenge to Australia's

major banks. We've got an opportunity

opportunity to bring on opportunity to bring on some

competition, so Aussie Home Loans

wants to lead the way. We're

dropping a 0.5%, which is more than

what the big banks have done. The move suggests that Australia's

banks are stable and prepared to

lend money, despite the current

economic climate. The one thing we

are sure of - interest rates are

going to get lower and that's got

to be good news for consumers. But

to as the financial crisis continues

to erode confidence in global markets, the Australian Government

expects it will have to dip further

and further into the Budget surplus

and it's not ruling out that next

year's Budget may come with a

deficit. I'm not going to speculate

about what the specific outcome in

one particular Budget might be nine

months out from when it takes

circumstances. effect, particularly in the current

The

manager of a Sydney pub has blamed

a kitchen mutiny, after a customer

was allegedly served ice cream

containing faeces. The Whytes were

dining at the Coogee bay hotel

three weeks ago when they were

reportedly given the dish after

making a complaint to hotel staff.

Dug in with a spoon. It was quite

hard to get out. As it hit my mouth

and started melting to room temperature, the stench and the

taste was just so unbelievable.

Hotel management says it could be

an act of industrial sabotage and accused the Whytes of demanding $1

million in hush money. The family

will lodge a formal complaint with the State food authority today.

Eight people will face court today

over the fatal bashing of the uncle

of rugby league halfback Johnathan

Thurston. 38-year-old Richard

Saunders was attacked in a park

south of Brisbane in the early

hours of Saturday morning. Six

males between the ages of 15 and 22

have been charged overnight. have been charged overnight. The

group, along with two 17-year-olds arrested at the weekend will face

court on the Gold Coast today.

A teenage girl has been killed overnight in a motorbike crash on

the Gold Coast. The 18-year-old was

a passenger on a sports bike that

before 1am. slammed into a guardrail shortly

Witnesses tried to resuscitate the

girl, but she died at the scene.

The male rider was taken to

hospital with minor injuries.

A few hours later, a man suffered

severe spinal injuries when his

sedan smashed into a power pole at Nerang.

A Jack Russell cross has made

headlines around the world for his

heroic actions in a Melbourne house fire.

Leo the terrier risked his own life

the to save four kittens caught up in

the blaze.

After being pulled enter a burning

house, rescuers admit they didn't

think Leo would make it.

Unconscious and non-breathing and

applied hard massage and oxygen and

revived Leo. The Jack Russell cross

was found lying next to a box of

kittens, who owe their nine lives to

the brave canine. Leo wouldn't

leave the kittens and it nearly cost

him his life. As firefighters

praised Leo's rescue effort, they

too were honoured for their bravery.

You did well. That's great. Leo and

the kittens weren't the only ones

who made a lucky escape from the

fire. An 11-year-old girl was among

foreothers home at the time. She

was treated for smoke inhalation.

After the hero was given the all

clear - We've had him checked out.

He looks well. He was reunited

with his special feline friends.

Yesterday, the guard dog was back

doing what he does best. The house didn't have smoke alarms, prompting a

a timely reminder by the fire

one. brigade to ensure every home has

Police in the United States have

stepped up their search for stepped up their search for the nephew

nephew of Oscar-winning actress

Jennifer Hudson, who has been

missing since the shooting deaths

of his grandmother and uncle.

Jennifer's sister, Julia Hudson,

has pleaded for the safe return of

her 7-year-old son. All I ask, I

don't care who you are, just let my

baby go. Please. If your beef is

with me, take it up with me. He's

seven. Let my son go. Please.

That's all I ask. Authorities are

holding a suspect who is connected

to the family, but no-one as yet has been charged.

Thousands of marathon runners have

been found safe and well after

being stranded by treacherous

wealth in the United Kingdom. About

2,500 competitors were taking part

in the 2-day mountain race when in the 2-day mountain race when it

was called off, due to heavy rain

and flooding. A massive rescue

operation was launched. 13 competitors suffered hypothermia and head injuries.

After leading Australia to a World

Cup victory over New Zealand,

Johnathan Thurston has asked for privacy following the recent

bashing death of his uncle. The

halfback was brilliant in the

24-point win but will take time off

this week to grieve with family

before deciding whether or not to

face England at the weekend.

Thurston not keen to speak after

last night's win, requested coach Ricky Stuart read a statement on

his behalf. "I would like to thank

my team-mates for their support

over the last 24 hours. Tonight

gave me a chance to let out some of

eat motion." The 25-year-old had a

hand in three of Australia's five

tries. His efforts in the face of family tragedy inspiring team-mates.

I'm playing a fair bit of footy

with Jonathan at that level. He's

just a tough competitor. To put all

that aside for 80 minutes and do

what he did was, you know, a great

effort. Kiwi coach Steven Carney

doing his best to defend calls the World Cup is a one-horse race with

the one-sided result. We're not

checking in the result. New

Zealand's Steve Matai placed on

report for a high shot on Paul

Gallen. Brent Tate received an

accidental boot to the head. A

severe concussion leaving him to be

carried out of the stadium. Cricket now and Andrew Symonds

looks increasingly unlikely to

answer any SOS from the national side. Symonds's poor run with the

bat continued in Queensland's

one-day match in Victoria. The

dumped Aussie all-rounder making

just nine as the Bulls were

restricted to 222. In reply, the

Bushrangers bolted from the outset. Rob Quiney backing up his century

in the Shield game at the Gabba last week with another 50. Great shot. Don't worry about moving.

That has flown to the point

boundary. He was dismissed for 73,

but the visitors cruised to

victory and a bonus point.

Liverpool are three points clear at

the top of the English Premier

League after ending Chelsea's

86-match unbeaten run at Stamford

Bridge. An early goal to

Liverpool's Fernando Alonso was the

difference between the two sides, handing cell sea manager Luiz

Felipe Scolari his first loss at

the helm. First blood to Liverpool!

10 minutes gone! Fernando Alonso!

Arsenal claimed victory over West

Ham with two late goals, including

this by striker Emanuel Adebayor.

To finance now with Catherine and

the Aussie dollar can't take a

trick. It's not good news. In fact, the

the Aussie dollar has been labelled

the whipping boy of global currency.

London's Financial Times made the

claim after frenzied selling on

world share markets spread to currencies. The Australian dollar

reached a 5-year low at the weekend

of 60.5 US cents before closing

slightly higher, but it's not all

bad news. Economists say the plunge

in the dollar will help the

domestic economy through a boost to exports.

World leaders have voiced support

for greater regulation of financial

markets, in an effort to tackle the

global downturn. 40 Asian and

European Union leaders have held talks in Beijing, where they've called for a coordinated response

to the financial crisis. They'll

put forward their views at the

international economic summit in

Washington next month. US President

George W Bush will host the meeting

and is urging nations it recommit

to free markets despite the economic turmoil.

The Commonwealth Bank is set to

slash jobs as part of a $370

million cost-cutting drive. The bank

aims to reduce costs by 5% with a

restructure likely to see cuts to

contract staff and its IT division.

CBA is also believed to be reconsidering plans for takeover

target BankWest and may not proceed

with a roll-out of new branches on the east coast.

Now, let's have a look at other finance news briefly.

St George is expected to unveil a

$1.3 billion annual cash profit on Wednesday.

Britain's BG Group could announce a

takeover bid of around $5 billion

as early as today for Queensland

Gas and Suncorp Metway has shelved plans to offload its banking arm

due to the current instability in

financial markets. The IMF could

call on Australia to provide more

than $1.6 billion to help bail out

other countries.

Now to the markets and investors

are keenly awaiting the US Federal

Reserve's meeting on Wednesday. Later on tonight, Wall Street is

expected, though, to open lower

after the Dow Jones closed down

312 points on Friday. The NASDAQ was also weaker.

A check of the weather details now:

Taking a look at today's newspaper

front pages now.

The 'Sydney Morning Herald' says

the Immigration Minister has called

for an investigation into reports

that up to 20 Afghan asylum seekers

who were denied entry into

Australia were later killed by the Taliban.

The 'Financial Review' reports the Bush Administration is Bush Administration is considering

expanding its financial rescue

package by taking stakes in ailing insurers.

And the 'Australian' claims deputy

Opposition leader Julie Bishop has

been embroiled in another

plagiarism scandal, this time in a new new book.

Police investigate the death of a

woman in a mysterious balcony

plunge in Sydney. All the details when the Early News returns. This is Ten's Early This is Ten's Early News. Making headlines today:

The Federal Government set for a

showdown with mortgage funds as it

resists pressure to extendilities

deposit guarantee.

A Sydney family set to make a

formal complaint after allegedly

being served ice cream containing

human faeces at one of the city's top pubs.

Another six people charged over

the bashing death of the uncle of rugby league halfback Johnathan Thurston.

Aussie Home Loans lays down the

gauntlet to the big banks, slashing

its home loan rate by 0.5%.

First this morning, the Federal

Government is reassuring Australian

investors their money is safe amid

mounting pressure to extend its

bank guarantee to mortgage funds. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is

holding crucial talks with the

industry this week, aimed at

unblocking billions of dollars in frozen

frozen funds. Senior fund

managers say the problems will

continue unless the guarantee

scheme is extended to non-banks.

Meantime, the Federal Government is

refusing to rule out that it won't

be in deficit by the time it hands

down next year's Budget. I'm not going to speculate about

what the specific outcome in one

particular Budget might be nine

months out from when it takes

effect, particularly in the current circumstances.

circumstances. But Finance Minister Mr Tanner said

that, while the public purse may

fluctuate, he's confident the

Government will maintain a surplus in the long run.

Deputy Opposition leader Julie

Bishop is embroiled in another

plagiarism scandal. Ms Bishop has

reportedly apologised to a New

Zealand businessman after part of a

speech he made appeared in a new

book under her name.

The 'Australian' newspaper claims

parts of Ms Bishop's essay were

lifted word for word from the

speech made nine years ago. It's

the second such scandal in a month

with Ms Bishop accused of copying

an article from the 'Wall Street

Journal' in a speech in September.

Fire crews have worked through the

night to contain a blaze in a timber stockpile in port Melbourne.

Officers arrived on scene around

9am to find a stack of pier pylons

well alight. Special lighting was

brought in to protect crews against

the added danger of tiger snakes.

We have a lot of problems with the

snakes. There's been several large

tiger snakes spotted and we're

having trouble with the spoke plume across port Melbourne.

It's believed a cigarette may have

sparked the fire.

The owners of a Sydney pub are

blaming a kitchen mutiny after ice

cream allegedly done taining

faeces was given to a customers.

The family who were served the

dish are planning to lodge a formal complaint today.

The Whyte family were dining at the

Coogee bay hotel on the night of

the NRL grand final when they were

given complementary ice cream after

making a complaint. I dug in a

spoon. As it hit my mouth and

started melting to room temperature,

the stench, and then I went and

threw up obviously. The pair kept a

sample and testing confirmed their

fears that the ice cream contained

human faeces. The hotel says, if

that's true, it was industrial

sabotage. They were trying to sabotage. They were trying to blame

the manufacturer when we told them

it was sitting at the bottom of the

bowl. We didn't think it was

necessarily just for us. Hotel has

welcomed the involvement of police

and health authorities to try and

work out how faeces made it into

the dessert. It's our wish to

continue investigating the serious allegation with the end result of

pursuing criminal charges. The

pursuing criminal charges. The Whyte family claim they were

offered $5,000 compensation but

refused. The matter is now in the hands of their lawyers.

The family of rugby league star

Johnathan Thurston is calling for

calm following the bashing death of

his uncle. Eight men aged between

15 and 22 have been charged over

the attack on Richard Saunders

action two others in Brisbane will

face court today. Mr Saunders's

sister said the family does not want

want anyone else to get involved.

A Korean student remains in a

critical condition after plunging

from a third-floor balcony in inner

city Sydney. A Chinese woman who

also fell from the ledge died at

the scene. It's claimed the pair

were trying to escape a man armed

with a knife who had allegedly

forced his way inside the apartment. Police are examining security footage.

Nine people have been killed in the

United States after a helicopter

attack on a village just inside

Syria's border with Iraq. 14 others

have been wounded. The US military

has launched an investigation into

the incident. Again, nine people

have been killed in an attack in Syria's border with Iraq.

All 2,500 marathon competitors stranded overnight by treacherous weather in England have been

accounted for but organisers are

under pressure to explain why the

2-day eye vent was allowed to go ahead. Cold and wet but safely back Cold and wet but safely back after

a night on the lakeland fells.

These were the last of the 2,600 mountain marathon competitors to

arrive back at their base. It was

guys anyway. all good fun. It's good to see you all good fun. It's good to see

This amateur vod yeo shows what

conditions were lake when the race

was abandoned. Local police say

they advised that the race should

never have started. I would say it

was bordering on the foolhardy to

organise a mountain marathon in

extreme conditions. Some of these

conditions are the worst in living

memory. From first light, RAF search teams joined mountain rescue

to scour the mountainous terrain.

In the end, only a handful of

competitors suffered minor

injuries or hypothermia. Race

organisers believe the authorities

overreacted and insist they were

not told to cancel. They hear about

the numbers we've got and think

we're a bunch of amateurs and we're

taking school kids out on the hill.

A lot of these are in their 40s and

50s. They're responsible people.

Many questions have been asked as a

result of this weekend's events.

They will need to be answered before another mountain marathon

gets under way.

Johnathan Thurston has cast aside

the recent death of his uncle to

play a starring role in Australia's

rugby league World Cup win over New

Zealand. The Kangaroos halfback had

four goals in his side's 30-6 a hand in three tries and booted

victory.

All the boys rallied round Thursto

and he knew he had our support and

he put in a great game and put the

polish on our performance. There

are concerns for winger Brent Tate,

who was carried from the stadium with concussion. Australia's Casey Stoner has capped

off this year's Moto GP season off this year's Moto GP season in

style with victory in Valencia

overnight. It was an easy win for

stoner who led for most of the race, wrapping up second place in the championship.

In 2009, Casey Stoner scores his

sixth win of the year.

Spain's Dani Pedrosa was second,

while 2008 world champ Valentino

Rossi finished third.

The Australian Diamonds have failed

to shine, going down 46-41 in game

one of their netball Test series

against New Zealand. The Aussies

blitzed the silver ferns in the

first term, firing out to an 8-1

lead. Monia Gerrard went with the

physical approach to stopping veteran shooter Irene Van Dyke.

She's hit the deck and it was, I

had to say, a hip and shoulder from

Monia Gerrard. It spurred the Kiwis

term on. They hit the lead in the third

term and never surrendered, going

on to win by five goals.

Stephanie Rice is expected to cap

off a brilliant 2008 by being named

tonight Australia's Swimmer of the Year

tonight in Sydney. Rice was

poolside yesterday to meet

4-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer

Kate Daly. It's been a big year for Rice. She broke several Rice. She broke several world

records and won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics .

The local market is tipped to open

lower this morning after Friday's savage

savage session on Wall Street. With

the details, CommSec's Juliette

Saly joins us. Good morning,

Juliette, what can we expect today?.

Good morning, Catherine. Hopefully

we'll be spared the sell-off from

global share markets on Friday

night. Our market suffered heavily

towards the end of late last week,

falling to fresh 4-year lows.

Hopefully today the sell-off won't

be quite as severe. We saw BHP

shares listed in London rise on

Friday and they weren't too heavily

sold off in New York so that's a

good sign but the futures is

pointing to a drop of 1% on open.

The Aussie dollar has been labelled

a whipping boy of the global

currency. Is the plunge likely to

continue this week, Juliette?

Unfortunately, we think so. The

Aussie dollar took the stairs on

the way up towards parity several

months ago but it's taken the

escalator downwards, falling

sharply and quickly due sharply and quickly due to

volatility in prices. We expect the

dollar will remain weak and we're

predicting it could fall below 60

US cents early next year, Catherine.

Thanks. Thanks for the update, Juliette.

Pressure is on Australia's major

banks after Aussie Home Loans

slashed its variable interest rate.

The home loan rate will fall to

8.05% for new and customers. The change will come 8.05% for new and existing

into exist for new customers Wednesday and existing customers on into exist for new customers on

November 10. We've got an

opportunity to bring on some

competition, so Aussie Home Loans

wants to lead the way. We're

dropping 0.5%, which is more than

what the big banks have done. It

will mean a saving of around $125 a

month on a $300,000 mortgage.

And briefly in other finance news, the Aussie dollar continues to

slide, falling to its lowest level

against the greenback in five years.

Major job cuts are on the way at

the Commonwealth Bank as part of a

cost-cutting exercise. The sale of

Suncorp's banking arm has been

placed on hold and that's all the finance.

A look at the weather details now:

Two people rescued after a firebomb

attack in Brisbane. We'll have that

story next. Stay with us.

You're watching Ten's Early News. Making headlines today:

Under pressure - the Federal

Government facing a backlash from

mortgage funds as it resists calls

to extend its deposit guarantee.

One of Sydney's top pubs blames a kitchen mutiny after customers

claim they were served ice cream

smeared with faeces.

In sport - Johnathan Thurston leads

the Kangaroos to victory over news

at the rugby league World Cup as he

uncle's passing. asks for privacy to mourn his

First this morning, the Rudd

Government is resisting pressure to

extend its bank deposit guarantee

to mortgage funds as it reassures

investors their money is save. The

-- safe. The Prime Minister meets

with industry this week aiming to

unlock billions of dollars frozen

in funds after thousands of

investors moved their money to protected banks. Senior fund

managers say the problem will

continue unless the scheme is extended.

An interest rate war appears to be

brewing with one of the country's biggest mortgage lenders throwing

down the gauntlet to major banks.

Aussie Home Loans has slashed its

rates by 0.5% and is challenging

other lenders to do the same.

One small rate cut for home buyers,

one giant challenge to Australia's

major banks.

We've got an opportunity to bring

on some competition, so Aussie Home

Loans wants to lead the way. We're

dropping 0.5%, which is more than dropping 0.5%, which is more than

what the big banks have done.

The move suggests that Australia's

banks are stable and prepared to

lend money, despite the current economic climate.

The one thing we are sure of -

interest rates are going to get

lower and that's got to be lower and that's got to be good

news for consumers. But as the

financial crisis continues to erode

confidence in global markets, the

Australian Government expect it is

will have to dip further and

it's not ruling out that next further into the budget surplus and

year's budget may come with a

deficit. I'm not going to speculate

about what the specific outcome in

one particular budget might be nine

months out from when it takes

effect, particularly in the current circumstances.

It's claimed up to 20 Afghan asylum

seekers who were denied entry into

Australia were later killed by the

tal ban. Around 400 Afghans

detained on Nauru under the Howard

Government were returned to their

home country after their asylum

claims were rejected. A new documentary claims they were told

safe by immigration officials it was

safe to go home. The Federal

Government has ordered an investigation.

A woman and a 10-year-old boy have

been rescued from their home after been rescued from their home

it was firebombed on the Gold Coast.

It's believed a Molotov cocktail

was thrown into the house while the

pair were sleeping. I believe we

had two men wearing breathing

apparatus and a hose reel

conducting a primary search. conducting a primary search. We

assisted one female occupant and a

child out. Police are

investigating the incident.

The manager of a Sydney pub has

claimed a kitchen mutiny after a

customer was allegedly served customer was allegedly served ice

cream containing faeces. The Whytes

were dining at the Coogee bay hotel

three weeks ago when they were reportedly given the dish after

making a complaint to hotel staff.

Dug in with a spoon. It was quite

hard to get out. But as it hit my

mouth and started melting room

temperature, the stench and the taste was just so unbelievable. Hotel

Hotel management says it could be

an act of industrial sabotage and

accused the Whytes of demanding $1

million in hush money. The family

will lodge a formal complaint with

the State food authority today.

Well, a Jack Russell has made

headlines around the world for his

heroic actions in a Melbourne house

fire. Leo the terrier risked his

own life to save four kittens caught

up in the blaze.

After being pulled from a burning

house, rescuers admit they didn't

think Leo would make it.

Unconscious and non-breathing and

applied heart massage and oxygen

and revived Leo. The Jack Russell

cross was found lying next to a box

of kittens, who owe their nine lives

to the brave canine. Leo wouldn't

leave the kittens and it nearly cost

him his life. As firefighters

praised Leo's rescue effort, they, too, were honoured for their

bravery. You did really well.

That's great. Leo and the kittens

weren't the only ones who made a

lucky escape from the fire. An

11-year-old girl was among four

others home at the time. She was

treated for smoke inhalation. After

the hero was given the all clear the hero was given the all clear -

We've had him checked out with a

clean bill of health. He looks well.

He was reunited with his special

feline friends. Yesterday, the

guard dog was back doing what he does best. The house didn't have

smoke alarms, prompting a timely

reminder by the fire brigade to

ensure every home has one.

Thousands of marathon runners have

been found safe and well after being stranded by treacherous

wealth in the UK. Around 2,500

competitors were taking part in

the 2-day mountain race when it was

called off due to heavy rain and

flooding. A massive rescue

operation was launched. 13

competitors suffered hypothermia

and head injuries.

Friends and families have gathered

at a Moscow theatre exactly six

years after a deadly siege. Mourners attached photographs to

the walls of the theatre and

placed flowers and candles in front

of the building's memorial. Chechen

rebels stormed the building in

October 2002, taking over 800

people hostage. 130 people were

killed. But controversially, many

of the captives died from a gas

used by Russian special forces to end the stand-off.

After leading Australia to a World Cup

Cup victory over New Zealand,

Johnathan Thurston has asked for

privacy following the recent

bashing death of his uncle.

The halfback was brilliant in the

24-point win but will take time off

this week to grieve with family

before deciding whether or not to

face England at the weekend.

Thurston not keen to speak after

last night's win, requested coach

Ricky Stuart read a statement on his

his behalf. "I would like to thank my team-mates for their support

over the last 24 hours. Tonight

gave me a chance to let out some of

the emotion." The 25-year-old had

the emotion." The 25-year-old had a

hand in three of Australia's five

tries. His efforts in the face of

family tragedy inspiring team-mates.

I've played a fair bit of footy

with Jonathan now at that level and

he's just a tough competitor so, to

put all that aside for 80 minutes

and do what he did was, um, you know, a great effort.

Kiwi coach Stephen Carney doing his

best to defend calls the World Cup

is a one-horse race following the

lopsided result. We're not

chucking in the towel now. New

Zealand's Steve Matai placed on

report for a high shot on

Australia's Paul gallonen. The only

injury concern is Brent Tate injury concern is Brent Tate after

he received an accidental boot to

the head. A severe concussion

leaving the winger to be carried out of the stadium.

A legendary Indian slow bowler has

called for a finger spin tore

included in the Australian team on Delhi.

He passed on tips to Cameron White

at training and warned against

underestimating the tourists. Look,

anybody who is in the Australian

team, you can't expect them to be below

below par. Australia trail India

1-0 after last week's loss in Mihali.

Liverpool are three points clear at

the top of the English Premier

League after ending Chelsea's

86-match unbeaten run at Stamford

Bridge. An early goal to

Liverpool's Fernando Alonso was Liverpool's Fernando Alonso was the

difference between the two sides, handing Chelsea manager Luiz

Felipe Scolari his first loss at

the helm. First blood to Liverpool!

10 minutes gone! Fernando Alonso!

Arsenal, meanwhile, claimed victory

over London rivals West Ham, with

two late goals, including this by striker Emanuel Adebayor.

To finance now and, Catherine,

everyone is talking about the

Australia yar dollar suffering hits biggest

biggest sell-off since the '83 float

and more heartache to come. The Aussie dollar has been labelled the

whipping boy of global currency.

London's Financial Times made the

claim after frenzied selling spread

to currencies. The Australian share

market reached a low of 65 US cents.

It's not all bad news. Economists

say the plunge in the dollar will

help the domestic economy through a boost to exports.

World leaders have voiced support

for greater regulation of financial

markets in an effort to tackle the global downturn.

Asian and European leaders have

held talks in Beijing and called

for a coordinated response to the

financial crisis. They'll put

forward their views at the

international economic summit in

Washington next month. US President

George W Bush will host the meeting

and is urging nations to recommit

to free markets despite the economic turmoil.

The Commonwealth Bank is set to slash jobs as part of a $370

million cost-cutting drive. The bank

aims to reduce costs by 5% with a

restructure likely to see cuts to

contract staff and its IT division.

CBA is also believed to be

reconsidering plans for takeover

target BankWest and may not proceed

with a roll-out of new branches on the east coast.

Now to the markets and investors

are keenly awaiting the US Federal

Reserve's meeting on Wednesday

night. Wall Street is expected to

open lower after the Dow Jones

closed down 312 points on Friday.

The NASDAQ was also weaker. Across

to Europe where the FTSE fell 5%

and Germany's DAX is also down.

Our market wiped $30 billion from

its value to end the week at its value to end the week at its

lowest level in almost four years.

The SPI is pointing to another weak start to the day.

Numbers of a different kind now. The weather details:

To the newspaper front pages now

and Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph'

reports the pain-killer Oxycodone,

which is heavily subsidised by

taxpayers, has overtaken heroin as

the most popular drug in some

injecting rooms. In the Herald's

'Business Day', the outgoing boss

of St George is reportedly set unveil of St George is reportedly set to

unveil a $1.3 billion profit when

they post results on Wednesday.

The 'Courier-Mail' reports on the

fairytale end to the indie 300 in Brisbane with Australian Ryan

Briscoe securing an historic win on home

home soil on the Gold Coast. The

The politician embroiled in yet another plagiarism scandal. Details

when we return.

This is Ten's Early News. Top stories Top stories today: The Federal Government set for a

showdown with mortgage funds as it

resists pressure to extend its deposit guarantee scheme.

Fire crews work through the night

battling a blaze in a timber

stockpile at Port Melbourne.

Another six people charged over

the bashing death of the uncle of rugby league halfback Johnathan Thurston.

In finance news, Aussie Home Loans

lays down the gauntlet to the big

banks, slashing its home loan rate by 0.5%.

First this morning, the Federal

Government is reassuring Australian

investors their money is safe investors their money is safe amid

mounting pressure to extend its

bank guarantee to mortgage funds. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is

holding crucial talks with the

industry today and senior fund

managers say the problems will continue unless the guarantee

scheme is extended to non-banks.

Meantime, the Federal Government is

refusing to rule out that it will

not be in deficit by the time it

hands down next year's Budget. I'm

not going to speculate about what

the specific outcome in one

particular budget might be nine

months out from when it takes

effect, particularly in the current circumstances.

But the Finance Minister said that

while the public purse may

fluctuate, he's confident the

Government will maintain a surplus

in the long run.

Deputy Opposition leader Julie

Bishop is embroiled in another

plagiarism scandal. Ms Bishop has reportedly

reportedly apologised to a New

Zealand businessman after part of a

speech he made appeared in a new

book under her name. The 'Australian' newspaper claims parts

of Ms Bishop's essay were lifted

word for word from the speech made nine years ago. It's nine years ago. It's the second

such scandal in a month with Ms

Bishop accused of copying an

article from the 'Wall Street

Journal' in a speech in September.

Fire crews have worked through the

night to contain a blaze in a

timber stockpile in Port Melbourne.

Officers arrived on scene around

9am to find a stack of pier pylons engulfed in flames. Special

lighting was brought in to protect crews against tiger crews against tiger snakes in the

area. We have a lot of problems

there at the moment with the snakes.

There's been several large tiger

snakes spotted. We're also having

trouble with the smoke plume

heading across Port Melbourne. It's

believed a cigarette may have

sparked the fire, which could burn for days.

The managers of a Sydney pub are

blaming a kitchen mutiny after ice

cream allegedly containing faeces

was given to a customer. The family

who were served the dish who were served the dish is

planning to lodge a formal

complaint today.

The Whyte family were dining at the

Coogee bay hotel on the night

Coogee bay hotel on the night of

the NRL grand final when they were

given a complementary bowl of ice

cream after making a complaint. I

took in with a spoon. It was hard

to get out. As it started melting

in my mouth, the stench, and then I

went and threw up, obviously. The

pair kept a sample and testing

confirmed their fears that confirmed their fears that the ice

cream contained human faeces. The

hotel says, if that's true, it was

an act of industrial sabotage. They

were trying to blame the ice cream manufacturer initially. We told

them that it was sitting at the

bottom of the bowl. It was planted

there, nos necessarily for us. We

didn't think it was just for us.

The hotel has welcomed the

involvement of police and health

authorities to try and work authorities to try and work out how

faeces made it into the dessert.

It's our wish to continue investigating the serious allegation with the end result allegation with the end result of

pursuing criminal charges. The

Whyte family claim they Mr Offered

$5,000 compensation but refused.

The matter is now in the hands of

their lawyers.

The family of rugby league star

Johnathan Thurston is calling for

calm following the bashing death of

his uncle. Eight men aged between his uncle. Eight men aged between

15 and 22 have now been charged

over the attack on Richard Saunders

and two others in Brisbane and will

face court today. Mr Saunders's

sister says the family does not

want a riot, nor for anyone else to get involved.

A Korean student remains in a critical

critical condition after falling

from a third-floor balcony in inner

Sydney. A Chinese woman, also Sydney. A Chinese woman, also a

student, who fell from the ledge

shortly before him, died at shortly before him, died at the

scene. It's claimed the pair was trying

trying to escape a man armed with a

knife, who had forced his way

inside their apartment. Police inside their apartment. Police are

examining security footage.

All 2,500 marathon competitors

stranded overnight by treacherous

worth in northern England have been

accounted for. Organisers are accounted for. Organisers are now

under pressure to explain why the

2-day event was allowed to go 2-day event was allowed to go ahead.

Cold and wet by safely back after a night on the lakeland fells, these

were the last of the 2,600 marathon were the last of the 2,600 marathon competitors to arrive back at competitors to arrive back at their

base. It was all good fun. This

amateur video shows what conditions

were like when the race was

abandoned. Local police say they

advised that the race should never

have started. I would say it was

bordering on the foolhardy to

organise a mountain marathon in

extreme conditions. I mean, some of

these conditions are the worst in

living memory. From first light,

RAF search teams joined mountain rescue to scour the mountainous

terrain. In the end, only a handful of competitors suffered minor

injuries or hypothermia. Race

organisers insist the authorities

overreacted and insist they were

not told to cancel. They hear about the numbers

the numbers that we've got and they

think we're a bunch of amateurs

taking school kids out on the hill.

A lot of them are in their 40s and

50s. They're responsible people. Many questions have been asked as a

result of this weekend's events.

They will need to be answered

before another mountain marathon gets under way.

Republican John McCain says his

presidential campaign is going well,

despite trailing in the polls.

Speaking on NBC's meeps, Speaking on NBC's meeps, McCain Speaking on NBC's meeps, McCain

said he's closed the gap with

Barack Obama in the past week.

Those polls have consistently shown

me much further behind than we

actually are. It all depends on the

voter turnout model and everybody

gets worried except for us junkies

about the process. We're doing fine.

McCain has also defended his running

mate, Sarah Palin, after reports of bitter bitter infighting within the campaign. Johnathan Thurston has played a

starring role in Australia's rugby

league World Cup win over New

Zealand. The Kangaroos halfback had

a hand in three tries and booted

four goals in his side's 30-6 victory.

All the boys rallied round Thursto

and he knew he had all the support

from his team-mates and he put in a

great game and put the polish on

our performance. There are concerns

for winger Brent Tate, who was

carried from the stadium with

concussion.

Australia's Casey Stoner has capped

off this year's Moto GP season in

style with victory in Valencia

overnight. It was an easy win for

stoner, who led for most of the

race, wrapping up second place in the championship.

Casey Stoner scores his sixth win

of the year. Spain's Dani Pedrosa

was second, while 2008 world champ

Valentino Rossi finished third.

The Perth Glory are fuming after a

questionable decision to award a

penalty cost them a share of the points against Adelaide United. Perth went ahead

Juliette Saly joins us. Good

morning, what can we expect today?

It is pointing to a weak start.

Hopefully it won't be too severe.

Our market fell heavily late last

week and will open today's trade at

a freshing 4-year low, the futures a freshing 4-year low, the futures

pointing to a drop of pointing to a drop of 1% today. We

saw BHP shares listed in London

rise on expectations the miner has

been too heavily oversold.

The Australiaaway dollar has been

labelled a whipping boy of global

currency. Unfortunately, the

volatility in commodity prices is keeping the Aussie under pressure,

as is the fact that a lot of people

are flocking to the safe haven of

the greenback. We think there is the greenback. We think there is

still more pressure for the --

downward pressure for downward pressure for the Aussie

and we're tipping it could fall

Catherine. below US 60 cents early next year,

The pressure is on Australia's

major banks after Aussie Home Loans

slashed its variable interest rate.

new and existing customers. The They will slashed rates by 0.5% for

change comes into effect for change comes into effect for new

customers on Wednesday and existing

customers on November 10.

We've got an opportunity to bring

on some competition so Aussie Home

Loans wants to lead the way. We're

dropping 0.5% which is more than

what the big banks have done. It

will mean a saving of around $125 a

month on a $300,000 mortgage.

Briefly in other finance news, the

Aussie dollar continues to slide,

falling to its lowest level against

the green Yang in five years. Major

job cuts are on the way at the

Commonwealth Bank as part of a

cost-cutting exercise and the sale

of Suncorp's banking arm has been

placed on hold and that's all the news in finance this morning.

I know you like to have a bit of a

dress-up but this story takes it to a different level. It's Hallowe'en

with a twist. Pet-owners in the

Philippines have gone all out,

dressing up their

dressing up their pets. Families

dress that cats and dogs up in everything from a headless horseman

to a pirate. Some owners even

dressed in tandem with their pets.

Hundreds of pets paraded on stage,

all in aid of raising money for an

organisation. animal rescue and shelter

Crazy cats! Absolutely.

details now: Let's have a look at the weather

stories now: Recapping this morning's top

The Government to meet with

non-bank lenders today for crucial

takes aimed at unblocking billions

of dollars in frozen funds.

One of Sydney's top pubs blames a

kitchen mutiny after customers

claim they were served ice cream

smeared with faeces.

And in sport, Johnathan Thurston leads the Kangaroos to victory over New Zealand at the rugby league

World Cup as he asks for privacy to

mourn the passing of his uncle.

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

Kathryn Robinson. Bye for now. I'm

Catherine Kennedy. Enjoy your day. Supertext Captions

by Red Bee Media Australia. www.redbeemedia.com.au