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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) Morning, everyone. I'm Ron Wilson.

Today - Kevin Rudd's support slumps

in the polls. The Coalition

the election. receives its highest result since

Celebrations in the streets of

Colombo after the Tamil Tigers

agree to lay down their weapons

ending 25 years of civil war.

In sport, Roger Federer breaks an

18-month drought against Rafael

in Madrid. Nadal, beating the world number one

In business news - falling into

administration. The country's

biggest forestry investment scheme biggest forestry investment scheme

collapses under a mountain of debt.

Heading the Early News today, Kevin

Rudd's approval rating has plunged

ten points in the aftermath of

Tuesday's budget.

The latest Fairfax-Nielsen survey

shows the PM's rating down to 64

points, while support for the

Coalition leader remains steady.

The Coalition is gaining ground on

the Government with its primary

vote up six points to 44, just one

point behind Labor. That's its best

result since the 2007 election. It

comes as the PM denies he used

Budget night to quietly release a

$2 million bill for two months of

ministerial travel.

It was just a short flight from It was just a short flight from

Canberra to the Hunter Valley for

Kevin Rudd to talk up solar

investment in the budget but it's the Government's international

travel budget stealing the

headlines. $1.8 million was spent

from June to August last year. Are

they travelling first class or

economy is this Topping the list -

Peter Garrett. Ten days with ten

staff to Chile for the

international whaling convention,

then on to California cost taxpayers $226,000.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard

spent $158,000 over 15 days in the

US, UK and Singapore, with three

staff and a family member.

The climb change minister had a

$27,000 bill for two days in Japan

with two staff.

If they really need to go, I think

20 grand is OK. The Government

needs to explain more to the public

what the benefits of that travel

has been. The Opposition says

releasing the figures on Budget

night is sneaky. They're clearly

ashamed of it. These numbers have

been released as soon as the

the Government admits savings can bureaucracy had them prepared. But

be made. We are just in the process

of putting in major video

conferencing facilities around

Australia and eventually I expect

them to be used internationally as

well.

It's claimed the Opposition's idea

to lift cigarette taxes would

create a $3 billion hole in the

Government's covers. Malcolm Government's covers. Malcolm

Turnbull has proposed hiking the

cost of cigarettes to raise revenue

instead of means testing the

private health insurance rebate.

But Treasury analysis has found

that, over ten years t would take

in $3.2 billion less than the

rebate plan.

There have been celebrations across

Sri Lanka this morning to mark the

end of the country's long battle

against the Tamil Tigers. Thousands

of people poured into the streets

of Colombo, setting off fireworks.

The rebels have admitted defeat in

the 25-year war, offering to lay

down their weapons, as Government

forces swept through remaining strongholds.

Civilians continued to flee the

battleground. Around 7,000 people

have been killed in the war.

Back home, two men are in hospital

with acid burns to their faces with acid burns to their faces

after a home invasion in Sydney's

west this morning. A group of men

smashed windows before bursting

into the Westmead house just after

midnight. Both men inside suffered

acid burns to their faces. One was

stabbed in the stomach. One of the

men is in a serious, but stable,

condition in hospital. The other is

in a coma.

Two-thirds of properties damaged in

the Victorian bushfires have yet to

begin the reconstruction process.

100 days from Black Saturday,

survivors are moving into temporary survivors are moving into temporary

rebuild. villages as towns continue to

100 days on and things are looking 100 days on and things are looking

up. A place to call home for

Marysville survivors. This means so

much, the security and the sense of

community around you. I didn't

realise how much I missed that.

They are quite a good little unit

to be in until we can build our

house. It's taken eight weeks to

build. All of the hands of

volunteers. It's the accommodation

that will be provided here that is

a glowing testimony to human spirit

and the capacity of people to work

together. Bringing the spirit back

to a town devastated by fire.

There's already been jibes with my

neighbours across the way and, you

know, offers of catching up for a

cuppa and so on, so, yeah, it

already feels like a community. Now

many can begin the long process of

rebuilding. People want to build,

get back home. They've got kids.

They want to get back into

normality and schools and the rest

of it. It's been too long. There

are still thousands of properties

to be cleared. Have a look. That's

as it is the day after the fire.

We've managed to clean up a little

bit of the debris and dead trees

and push them into bundles but

other than that we're at a

stalemate. The bushfire

reconstruction and recovery

authority has also released it's

100-day progress report. We've done

things wrong. We've done things

amount. right but we've done an enormous

Astronauts from the shuttle

Atlantis have carried out another

successful space work to fix the

Hubble telescope. This time the

crew had to remove moor than 100

screws on the Hubble's imaging

spectrograph, a job compared to

brain surgery. The spectrograph

measures temperatures, pressures

and velocities but hasn't worked

since 2004. A final space work is

scheduled for tomorrow before the

shuttle and its seven astronauts return home.

Hundreds of demonstrators have hit

the streets of buck rect wearing

veils and waving bouquets. It was veils and waving bouquets. It was

more of a festival than a protest

when 110 brides donned their

wedding outfits to sing, dance and

celebrate the bride as a cherished

wedding symbol. This emphasises the

importance of the family in our

society. Some of the brides marched

straight off to their own wedding

ceremonies. Others were happy to

return next year. call it a day after vowing to

In sports news, St Kilda remains

unbeaten on top of the AFL ladder

after defeating Essendon last night.

The Bombers fought hard to stay

close to the Saints who eventually

got home by 19 points.

It looked like another blow-out win

quarter. for the Saints during the first

He says I'm going to kick five in a

row! But as they've done all season,

the Bombers backed their running

game and kept the margin below four

goals. Dempsey should have kicked

the ball and made it harder than it

was. Two in a row for the Bombers.

In the end, the Saints' twin towers

were the difference, and the Saints

held their nerve. Any win in AFL

football, four points, is absolute

gold. We're thrilled.

The Bombers lost few friends with

last night's effort. You'd be

surprised if they weren't in the

eight at the end of the year. To

outscore them after quarter team

and the resilience to keep coming

was a positive on the day. Davey

faces an anxious wait after being reported for a high bump.

After a week of off-field dramas in

rugby league, there's been some

brilliance from an unlikely hero.

With just five seconds remaining,

the scores locked, the ball landed

in the hands of South Sydney winger

Nathan Merritt. Yes! Nathan Merritt

has kicked the field goal! As soon

as I hit it, I knew it was going over.

They're down, they're distressed. They're down, they're distressed.

That was Merritt's first ever

first-grade field goal sealing a

win for the Rabbitohs.

Fetd Federer has struck a timely

blow against Rafael Nadal in his

campaign to lift an elusive French

Open trophy. Federer beat the

Spaniard 6-4, 6-4 to win the Madrid Spaniard 6-4, 6-4 to win the Madrid

Masters. The second-seeded Swiss

fired 25 winners against just 12

for Nadal. It's always a highlight

beating him in play and especially

in his home countries it's

unbelievable. It's good preparation

for the French. I'm ready to go.

Federer's win ended a five-match,

18-month losing streak against the world number one.

On to finance news for this Monday

morning. Frank Coletta, another

large company falls victim to the

financial crisis. That's right.

This is a real blow for mum-and-dad

investors. The country's biggest

forestry investment scheme, Great

Southern, has collapsed under a

mountain of debt. The group has

gone into voluntary administration

owing $40 -- 40,000 investors as

muchs $4 billion. A slump in

investor interest in managed

investment schemes and the drought

have been blamed for the collapse

which comes just weeks after rival

agribusiness Timbercorp also went

bust. Shares in Great Southern have

been in a trading halt since May 11.

A new survey has revealed more than

43,000 skilled workers have lost

their jobs since the beginning of

this year. Plunging demand for

trades has seen skilled employment

slump to its lowest level since

2001. KPMG found the number of

skilled people out of work rose by

48% in the March quarter. The trade

sector bearing the brunt of the fall.

Not an anniversary we're keen to Not an anniversary we're keen to

celebrate but it's almost two years celebrate but it's almost two years

since the financial meltdown began.

On June 12 of 2007, news broke that

Bear Stearns hedge funds in

mortgage-backed securities were in

trouble. Panic set in and

subsequent collapses led to the

worldwide recession we're now in.

Let's take a look at the Figures.

Now to business in brief and GPT

will reportedly ask minority share-

holder Stockland to put forward a

takeover bid or leave in an effort

to end merger speculation.

New research has found that most

NSWress depbtsz are not saving

enough and would struggle if faced with unemployment.

And it seems discount department

stores like Target and Kmart are

the big winners from the Rudd

Government's stimulus payments.

They've continued to record strong

sales despite tighter consumer spending.

Checking today's newspapers - the

'Daily Telegraph' says the number

of illegal brothels in Sydney is

booming with all levels of

government accused of doing little

to shut them down.

The 'Financial Review' reported the

Tax Office is reviewing the way

trusts are taxed.

And the Australian' says the

Coalition's alternative to Labor's

means testing of private health

insurance rebate could fall short

by more than $3 billion.

Emergency crews swarm New York City

in the biggest security exercise

since September 11. We've got that

coming up on the Early News. Stay

with us. We are covered for flood damage? Mmm. We're with GIO. Flood cover wasn't an optional extra, was it?

I mean, it wasn't a box we should have ticked but forgot, was it? No. It's automatically included. But they don't include flash floods, do they? Yes, they do. And storms, rising rivers, flooding from dishwashers and hot-water systems, burst pipes, tsunamis. Well, that's a relief. Mmm. Switch to GIO Home and Contents Insurance with automatic flood cover.

This is Ten's Early News.

Gaining ground - the Opposition

claws itself to within a point of

the Government in the latest

Newspoll as Kevin Rudd's star begins to fade.

Thousands take to the streets

across Sri Lanka to celebrate the

country's victory over the Tamil Tigers.

And in sport, rugby league winger

Nathan Merritt lands a field goal

in the dying seconds to secure a

dramatic win for South Sydney.

Then in finance - our market headed

for a soft start to the week. I'll

cross live to CommSec shortly for all the details.

The Prime Minister and his

Government have taken their biggest

hit in the polls since the 2007

election. The latest Fairfax-

Nielsen poll shows the Coalition

has gained six points in the

primary vote since March, while

Labor has shed three points.

Labor is now just one point ahead

of the Opposition. 7 Kevin Rudd has

suffered a major slump in the

popularity stakes, sliding ten

points to 64% as preferred PM.

Malcolm Turnbull remains steady at 43%.

The poll is the first since last

week's budget and also found 60% of

respondents are unhappy with the

decision to raise the pension age to 67.

The Government has denied it was

sneaky to release details of its

$1.8 billion m-le travel bill on

Budget night. Ministers racked up

251 days overseas during last

year's winter parliamentary break

but the details were only tabled in

Parliament last week. They're

clearly ashamed of it. These, um,

numbers, um, have been released as

soon as the bureaucracy had them prepared.

The Prime Minister has defended the

travel bill as in line with the previous government's expenditure.

Thousands of Sri Lankans have

poured into the streets to

celebrate the end of the 25-year war against the Tamil Tigers.

The rebels have admitted defeat as

Government forces close in on

what's left of their army.

Are tease the final battles of a

war that's lasted a quarter of a

century? Sri Lankan Army soldiers

fire towards the remnants of

thrieing -- Tamil Tiger positions.

This was a temporary camp for

people fleeing the fighting. But

even this was shattered. Sri Lankan

television broadcast these pictures,

showing the aftermath of recent

days. For the first time, the Sri

Lankan military has claimed total

control of the cosine.

The LTTE Tamil Tigers afound a

cease-fire after this announcement.

My Government with the total

commitment of the Armed Forces has,

in an unprecedented humanitarian

operation finally defeated the LTTE militarily.

In Colombo, celebrations on the

streets. The army keen to make the

most of the news.

The latest pictures show hundreds

of civilians fleeing the

battleground across a lagoon. It's

estimated 8,000 have been killed by

months of heavy shelling in the

north-west of the country.

Back home and the 47-year-old male

driver of a sedan has been killed

and a 4-year-old girl seriously

injured in a head-on collision in

Sydney.

Three other people in the sceek

were also injured in the accident

at Belmore in the city's south-west.

Two other people were taken to

hospital as a precaution and it's

not clear yet what caused the not clear yet what caused the accident.

An inquest begins today into a

ferry crash on Sydney harbour that

killed four people. A 14-year-old

ice skater, two judges and a Sydney

man died when their wooden cruiser

was involved in a late-night

collision with a ferry in 2007. An

Olympian lost part of a leg in the

accident. A 5-day inquest begins

today at Glebe Coroner's Court in Sydney.

The woman at the centre of the

Brisbane Broncos sex scandal has

broken her silence. She's angry

they were never stood down

South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt

will wake up one happy young man

this morning. He's lived out a

rugby league fairytale, kicking a

field goal in the final seconds to

seal a come-from-behind win over

the Tigers.

On a day when rugby league

celebrated its rich heritage, a

game for the ages.

Nathan Merritt takes a shot! Nathan

Merritt has kicked the field goal!

Yeah, as soon as I hit it, I knew

it was going over. I could see it.

It was his first in first grade. It

came with five seconds remaining.

Can't hit it much sweeter than that.

It crushed the Tigers. They led by

12 but didn't bank on a stirring Rabbitohs revival.

I thought we blew the game, gave

Souths a chance and they took it.

Parramatta had their moments

against Manly. Hayne with a miracle

bounce, a miracle take and a miracle try!

But the Sea Eagles are back. They But the Sea Eagles are back. They

ran in six tries for a 24-point win.

We've got to go back to back.

Momentum is a massive part of this competition and we're slowly

building that. While the Cowboys

have broken their 4-year hoodoo in

New Zealand. Our best win of the

year I'd say.

Essendon's Davey faces an anxious

wait after being reported during

the Bombers' loss to St Kilda last

night. The Saints continued their

unbeaten start to the season with a

hard fought win.

Davey was booked for this high bump

on Nick Del Santo. The AFL has made

it clear that you're in trouble if

you make contact with a player's

head. St Kilda has now won eight matches in a row.

Kings XI Punjab captain Yuvraj

Singh has helped seal a dramatic

one-run win against the Deccan chairjers. The -- Chargers.

He helped his side stay in the hunt

for a semifinals spot.

The Rajasthan Royals have gone down

by 14 runs to the Delhi Daredevils.

The nation's biggest forestry

investment scheme, Great Southern,

has collapsed, owing a reported

$600 million. For more I'm joined

live by Juliette Saly from CommSec.

This collapse coupled with Wall

Street's losses and the SPI Futures

doesn't set us up for a great start.

Certainly not. It spells more dram

whereas for managed investment

schemes and comes weeks after the

collapse of Timbercorp. This is

likely to sap confidence ahead of

what was already going to be a

shaky trading day. We saw a lot of

profit taking in the financials

sector. Not setting our banks up

for a good day either. Not much

great movement from commodities. We

may see a pick-up in energy stocks

on a firmer crude oil price but

this doesn't set us up for a great

day and the SPI futures pointing to

a drop of 42 points when our market

opens today. What will investors

focus on this week? It's all about

the Reserve Bank this week. We have

Governor Glenn Stevens delivering a

speech tomorrow in Sydney, his

first chance to respond to the

Budget and future interest rate

movements. We expect him to

indicate they'll stay on hold. Ken

Henry will get his chance to defend

the Rudd Government's budget and we

have wages, growth and consumer

sentimity data due out on Wednesday.

We expect a pick-up in wages growth

but the huge budget deficit likely

to impact consumer confidence and

we expect it to be weaker for May.

Now to business in brief and the

Tax Office is reviewing how trusts

are taxed which could force

business owners and wealthy

families to rearrange their

financial affairs. GPT will

reportedly ask mine order share-

holder Stockland to put forward a

takeover bid or leave in an effort

to end merger speculation. New

research has found that most NSW

residents are not saving enough and

would struggle if facewide

unemployment and it seems discount

department stores like Target and

Kmart are the big winners from the

Rudd Government's stimulus payments.

They've continued to record strong

sales despite tighter consumer spending.

Claims the Opposition's idea to

hike the price of cigarettes would

create a billion-dollar black hole.

The details when we return.

Headlines every 15 minutes on Ten's Early News.

Post-Budget blow. Kevin Rudd's

support slumps in the polls while

the Coalition receives its highest

result since the election.

Celebrations in the streets of

Colombo after the Tamil Tigers

agree to lay down their weapons

ending 25 years of civil war.

In sport, Roger Federer breaks an

18-month drought against Rafael

in Madrid. Nadal, beating the world number one

In business news, falling into

administration - our biggest

forestry investment scheme

collapses under a mountain of debt.

Kevin Rudd's approval rating has

plunged 12 points in the aftermath

of Tuesday's budget. The latest

Fairfax-Nielsen survey shows the

PM's rating down ten points. The

Coalition is gaining ground on the

Government with its primary vote up

six points. That's its best result

since the 2007 election. N it comes

as the PM denies he use the Budget

night to quietly release a $2

million bill for ministerial travel.

It was just a short flight from

Canberra to the Hunter Valley for

Kevin Rudd to talk up solar

investment in the budget but it's

the Government's international

travel budget stealing the

headlines. $1.8 million was spent

from June to August last year.

Are they travelling first-class or

economy? Topping the list, Peter

Garrett - ten days with ten staff

to Chile for the international

whaling convention, then on to

California. That cost taxpayers

$226,000. Deputy Prime Minister

Julia Gillard spent $158,000 over

15 days in the US, UK and Singapore,

with three staff and a family

member. The climate change minister

had a $27,000 bill for two days in Japan with two staff.

If they really need to go, I think

20 grand is OK. What the Government

needs to do is explain more to the

public what the benefits of that

travel has been. The Opposition

says releasing the figures on

Budget night is just sneaky.

They're clearly ashamed of it.

These, um, numbers, um, have been

released as soon as the bureaucracy

had them prepared. But the

made. Government admits savings can be

We're just in the process of

putting in major video conferencing

facilities around Australia and

eventually I expect they'll be able

to be used internationally as well.

It's claimed the Opposition's idea

to lift cigarette taxes would

create a $3 billion hole in the Government's covers. Malcolm

Turnbull has proposed hiking the

cost of cigarettes to raise revenue

instead of means testing the

private health insurance rebate.

But Treasury analysis has found

that over ten years it would take

in $3.2 billion less than the rebate plan.

4 there have been celebrations

across Sri Lanka this morning to

mark the end of the country's long

battle against the Tamil Tigers.

Thousands of people poured into the

streets of Colombo, dancing and

setting off fireworks. The rebels

have admitted defeat in their 25-

year war, offering to lay down

their weapons as Government forces

swept through the remaining

strongholds and took control of the

coast Korean. Civilians continued

to flee the battleground. Around

7,000 people have been killed in

recent months of the war.

Back home and the 47-year-old male

driver of a sedan has been killed

and a 4-year-old girl seriously

injured in a head-on collision in

Sydney. Three other people in the

vehicle were also injured in the

accident in Belmore in the city's

south-west. The two people in the

second vehicle were taken to

hospital as a precaution. It's not

clear what caused the accident.

Two-thirds of properties damaged in

the Victorian bushfires have yet to

begin the reconstruction process.

100 days on from Black Saturday,

survivors are moving into a

temporary village as towns continue to rebuild.

100 days on and things are looking

up. A place to call home for

Marysville survivors. It means so

much. Just that security and also

to have the sense of community

around you, yeah. It's something I

didn't realise how much I'd missed.

They're really quite a good little

unit to be in until we can build

our house. It's taken eight weeks

to build, all at the hands of

volunteers. The accommodation that

will be provided here is a glowing

testimony to human spirit and the

capacity of people to work together.

Bringing the spirit back to a town devastated by fire.

There's already been jibes with my

neighbours just across the way and,

you know, offers of catching up for

a cuppa and so on so, yeah, it's

already feeling like a community.

Now many can begin the long process

of rebuilding. People want to build.

They want to get back home. They've

got kids. They want to get back

into normality and schools and the

rest it. It's just been too long.

But there are still thousands of

properties to be cleared. Well,

have a look. That's as it is the

day after the fire. We've managed

to clean up a bit of the debris and

dead trees. Other than that, we're

at a complete stalemate.

The bushfire reconstruction and

recovery authorities has released

its 100-day progress report. We've

done things wrong. We've done

enormous amount. things right but we've done an

Astronauts from the shuttle

Atlantis have carried out another

successful spacewalk to fix the successful spacewalk to fix the

Hubble telescope. This time, the

crew had to remove more than 100 crew had to remove more than 100

screws on the Hubble's imaging

spectrograph, a job compared to

brain surgery. The spectrograph

measures temperatures, pressures measures temperatures, pressures

and velocities but hasn't worked

since 2004. A final space work is

scheduled for tomorrow before the

shuttle and its seven astronauts shuttle and its seven astronauts return home.

Hundreds of demonstrators have hit

the streets of Bucharest wearing

veils and bokaways. It was more of

a festival. 100 brides donned their

wedding outfits to sing, dance and

celebrate the bride as a cherished

symbol. It emphasises the

importance of a family in society.

Some brides marched off to their

own wedding ceremony. Others called

it a day after vowing to return next year.

St Kilda remains unbeaten on top of

the AFL ladder after defeating

Essendon last night. The Bombers

fought hard to stay close to the

Saints who got home by 19 points.

It looked like being another blow-

out win for the Saints when they

rattled off six consecutive goals

during the first quarter. He kicks

five in a row!

But as they've done all season, the

Bombers backed their running game

and kept the margin below four

goals. Dempsey should have kicked

the ball. Made it harder than it

was. Two in a row for the Bombers.

In the end, the Saints' twin towers

were the difference, Justin

Koschitzke booting four goals and

Nick Riewoldt three. Any win is

gold. We're thrilled. The bombers

dropped to eighth spot but lost few

friends with last night's effort.

You'd be surprised if they weren't

in the eight at the end of the year.

To outscore them after quarter time

so the resilience to keep coming

was a positive on the day.

Essendon's Davey faces an anxious

wait after being reported for a

high bump on Nick Del Santo.

After a week of off-field dramas in

rugby league there's been some

brilliance from an unlikely they're

owe. With five seconds remaining,

the scores locked, the ball landed

in the hands of South Sydney winger

Nathan Merritt.

Nathan Merritt takes it! Merit melt

merit has kicked the field goal!

Yeah, as soon as I hit it, I knew

it was going over. Coy see it. The

flags were in the air. That was

Merritt's first ever field goal in

for the Rabbitohs. first grade, sealing a 23-22 win

Roger Federer has struck a timely

blow against Rafael Nadal in his

campaign to lift an elusive French

Open trophy. He won 6-4, 6-4 to win

the Madrid Masters. He fired 25

winners against just 12 for Nadal.

It's always a highlight beating him

in play, no matter where and

especially in his home country it's

unbelievable. It's good preparation

for the French and I'm ready to go.

He's still in there. He ended a 5-

match, 18-month losing streak

against the world number one.

Finance now with Frank Coletta and another high-profile company has bitten the dust.

That's right. This is a shocker for

mum-and-dad investors particularly.

The country's biggest forestry

investment scheme, Great Southern,

has collapsed under a mountain of

debt. The timber plantation group

has gone into voluntary

administration owing 40,000

investors as much as $4 billion. A

slump in investor interests in

managed investments schemes and the

drought are being blamed for the

collapse which comes weeks after

rival agribusiness Timbercorp went rival agribusiness Timbercorp went

bust also. Shares have been in a

trading halt in Great Southern

since May 11.

A new survey reveals more than A new survey reveals more than

43,000 skilled workers have lost

their jobs since the beginning of

this year. Plunging demand for

trades has seen skilled employment

slump to its lowest level since

2001. KPMG Research has found the

trade sector is bearing the brunt

of the fall with wood and metals

the hardest hit.

Not an anniversary we're keen to

celebrate but it's almost two years

since the financial meltdown began.

On June 12 of 2007, news broke that

Bear Stearns hedge funds in

mortgage-backed securities were in

real trouble. Panic set in and

subwent collapses led to the

worldwide recession we're now in.

Business in brief and the Tax

Office is reviewing how trusts are

taxed, which could force business-

owners and wealthy families to

rearrange financial affairs. New

research has found most NSW

residents are not saving enough and

would struggle if face the with

unemployment. It seems discount

department stores like Target and

Kmart are the big winners from the

Rudd Government's stimulus payments.

They've recorded strong sales

despite tighter consumer spending.

Checking news websites from around

the world this morning, the

'Vancouver Sun' says doctors are increasingly worried about

celebrities who urge people not to celebrities who urge people not to

vaccinate their churn. Headlines

every 15 minutes in Ten's Early News:

Gaining ground - the Opposition

claws itself to within a point of

the Government in the latest

begins to fade. Newspoll as Kevin Rudd's star

Thousands take to streets across

Sri Lanka to celebrate the

Tigers. country's victory over the Tamil

In sport, rugby league winger

Nathan Merritt lands a field goal

in the dying seconds to secure a dramatic win for South Sydney.

And then in finance, our market is

headed for a soft start to the week.

I'll cross live to CommSec for all

the details.

The Prime Minister and his

Government have taken their biggest

hit in the polls since the 2007

election. The latest Fairfax-

Nielsen poll shows the Coalition

has gained six points in the

primary vote since March while

Labor has shed three points.

Malcolm Turnbull remains steady at

43%. The poll is the first since

last week's Budget and also found last week's Budget and also found

60% of respondents are unhappy with

the decision to raise the pension age to 67.

It's claimed the Opposition's idea,

though, to lift cigarette taxes

would create a $3 billion hole in

the Government's covers. Malcolm

Turnbull has proposed hiking the

costs of cigarettes to raise

revenue instead of means testing

the private health insurance rebate.

But Treasury analysis has found

that, over ten years t would take

in $3.2 billion less than the rebate plan.

Thousands of Sri Lankans have

poured into the streets to

celebrate the end of the 25-year

war against the Tamil Tigers. The

rebels have admitted defeat as

Government forces close in on

what's left of their army.

Are these the final battles of a

war that's lasted a quarter of a

century? Sri Lankan Army soldiers

fire towards the remnants of Tamil

Tiger positions. This was a

temporary clamp for people fleeing

the intense fighting but even this

sanctuary was shattered. Sri Lankan

television broadcast these pictures

showing the aftermath of recent

days. For the first time, the Sri

Lankan military has claimed total

control of the cosine. The LTTE

Tamil Tigers last stand appears

over. They declared the battle has

reached its bitter end shortly

after Sri Lanka's President made

this announcement. My government,

with the total commitment of our

armed forces, has, in an

unprecedented humanitarian

operation, finally defeated the LTTE militarily.

In Colombo, celebrations on the

streets. The army keen to make the

most of the news.

The latest pictures show hundreds of civilians fleeing the

battleground across a lagoon. It's

estimated 8,000 have been killed by

months of heavy shelling in the north-west of the country.

Back home and two men are in

hospital with acid burns to their

faces after a home invasion in

Sydney's west this morning. A group

of men burst into the house just

after midnight. Both men inside

suffered acid burns to their faces

and one was stabbed in the stomach.

One man is in a coma. The

An inquest begins today into a

ferry crash on Sydney harbour that killed 14 people.

A 14-year-old ice skater, two

judges and a Sydney man died when

their cruiser was involved in a

late-night collision with a ferry

in March of 2007. Olympian Liz

Caine lost part of her leg in the

accident. A 5-day inquest against

today at Glebe Coroner's Court.

The woman at the centre of the

Brisbane been kos sex scandal has

broken her silence. She's angry the

players were never stood down,

especially after Matthew Johns was

suspended from his job.

It's been eight months since Sam

Thaiday, body bid body and

Karmichael Hunt were involved in a

sexual incident in a nightclub

toilet. At the time, the Broncos

players apologised to family and

friends but not to the woman involved.

By no means was it illegal but in

most people's eyes, ethically, it

was incorrect.

Now the woman has spoken out. She

says she feels disgraded and

discarded. They went into a toilet

cubical with Karmichael Hunt but

after they kissed, she says things

went drastly wrong. She looked up

and someone was watching them with

a mobile phone.

Have you got anything to add today,

mate? Police investigated but

didn't lay charges. The woman is

still being treated by a

psychologist. "It's an incident

I'll never forget. It's just

disgusting." I don't think it hurts,

ever, to say sorry if you've been

involved in something that's, frankly, regrettable.

Sleep apnoea and snoring not only

frustrates sufferers and their

families but it could be impairing

their brain function as well. The

NSW brain sciences research team

has found that changes in brain

biochemistry linked to sleep apnoea

are similar to changes experienced

by severe stroke-sufferers.

Scientists believe it's due to the

lack of oxygen reaching the brain

because of snoring and interrupted

breathing. One in four middle-aged

men is affected by sleep apnoea.

Hundreds of firefighters have

staged a drill at Ground Zero in New York.

Firefighters in oxygen masks

practised rescuing hundreds of

train passengers. It's the largest

security exercise since the

September 11 attacks.

A 20-storey high-rise building has

been levelled in Pittsburgh. The

former public housing complex was

imploded to make way for a new

department store. 200 kilos of

explosives were used to bring down

the building, which is more than 40 years old.

South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt

will wake up one very happy young

man this morning. He's lived out a

rugby league fairytale, kicking a

fold goal in the final seconds to

seal a come-from-behind win over the Tigers.

On a day when rugby league

celebrated its rich heritage, a

game for the ages. Nathan Merritt

takes a shot! Nathan Merritt has

kicked the field goal!

Yeah, as soon as I hit it, I knew

it was going over. I could see it.

It was his first in first grade. It

came with five seconds remaining,

scores locked. Can't hit it much

sweeter than that. Standby don't

practise field goals, mate. I'm on

the wing! The Tigers did not bank

on a stirring Rabbitohs revival.

He's over! I thought we blew the

game, gave Souths a chance and they

took it. Parramatta had their

moments against Manly. Hayne with a

miracle bounce, a miracle take and a miracle try!

But the Sea Eagles are back. They

ran in six tries tour a 24-point win.

We've got to go back to back.

Momentum is a massive part of this

competition and we're slowly

building on that.

The Cowboys have broken their 4-

year hoodoo in New Zealand. Our

best win of the year, I'd say. They

sit on the edge of the top eight now.

Essendon's Davey faces an anxious

wait after being reported during

the Bombers' loss to St Kilda last

night. The Saints continued their

unbeaten start to the season with a

hard-fought win.

If you leave a ground and make

contact with a player's head, the

AFL has made it clear that you're

in a bit of trouble. St Kilda has

now won eight matches in a row and

sits on top of the AFL ladder.

Kick's XI Punjab captain yuf rang

Singh has sealed a dramatic one-run

win against Adam Gilchrist's Deccan Chargers.

The side stays in the hunt for a

semifinal spot. The Rajasthan

Royals went down to the Delhi

Daredevils by 14 runs.

The nation's biggest forestry

investment scheme, Great Southern,

has collapsed, owing a reported

$600 million. For more I'm joined

by Juliette Saly from CommSec. Good

morning to you again.

This collapse coupled with Wall

Street's losses on Friday not

setting up our market for a great

start, is it? Certainly not. Great

Southern's collapse is bad news,

not only for share-holders but also

for managed investment schemes as a

whole. The timing couldn't be worst,

coming just weeks after Timbercorp

called in voluntary administrators.

This will hurt investor confidence

today and it wasn't looking like a

great day anyway. We had Wall

Street ease by 1% on Friday. A lot

of profit taking in the banks and

Wall Street losing that very

impressive nine-week rally that

we've seen. We stau the crude oil

price lows 4% on Friday.

It's looking like a sell-off on the

local market. The futures pointing

to a drop of more than 40 points or 1% today.

A busy week coming up. What

economic data should we look at? It

will all be about the Reserve Bank

this week. We've got Governor Glenn

Stevens speaking in Sydney tomorrow

to talk about interest rates and

the Budget. We've got Treasury

Secretary Ken Henry speaking

tomorrow and that will be his

chance, as well, to defend the Rudd

Government's Budget deficit. Would

have wages growth expected to have

risen by around 1% in the March

quarter and also consumer sentiment

which is expected to be down partly

as well, impacted by the big budget deficit.

Business in brief now and the Tax

Office is reviewing how trusts are

taxed which could force business

owners and wealthy families to

rearrange their financial affairs.

GPT will reportedly ask Stockland

to put forward a takeover bid or

leave in an effort to end merger

speculation. New research has found

many NSW residents are not saving

enough and would struggle if faced

with unemployment and it seems

discount department stores like

tairt and Kmart are the big winners

from the Government's stimulus

payments, continuing to record

strong sales despite tighter

spending. What did you say earlier

on? What is 25 metres long and on? What is 25 metres long and

tastes nice? What was that? Could

do. It's a question for the ages -

is it ever too early in the day to

talk about chocolate Frank? Nah! I

think not either. A 25m long row of

praliness has been unvoild, 10,000

chocolates. There was also a

sculpture collection, haute couture.

Am I salivating a little there It's

OK. Clean it up!

Let's recap the headlines briefly.

Post-budget blow - Kevin Rudd

supports slumps in the polls, while

the Coalition receives its highest result since the election.

And celebrations in the streets of

Colombo after the Tamil Tigers

agree to lay down their weapons,

ending 25 years of civil war. Mmmm, chocolate.

We'll see you again tomorrow

morning. I'm Frank Coletta. Enjoy your day.