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Thank you for your fabulous suggestions on how we should dress up for Halloween. Kermit and Miss Pedy should be fine.Melissa Manchester will be on at the show tomorrow.

This program is captioned live. This morning - America's east coast shutting down,
as a monster storm approaches. Labor and the Coalition
now neck and neck in the polls. And a suspicious fire destroys John Singleton's
luxury holiday home.

VOICEOVER: This is
Seven Morning News with Ann Sanders.

Good morning. Millions of Americans are bracing
for what's expected to be the biggest storm ever
to hit the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been ordered
from their homes, flights are cancelled and New York's entire transport
system has been shut down ahead of the arrival of Hurricane
Sandy within the next 24 hours. US Bureau Chief Mike Amor
joins me now. Hello, Mike. This system is so big,
they're calling it Franken-storm? Authorities have asked the media

Authorities have asked the media
not to use that nickname because this week is Halloween because they think it underplays how serious the situation is. It stretches 1,200 kilometres wide, from New York to Washington DC and North Carolina and areas inland as well. This is category one but what makes it unique is that it will collide with two low pressure systems and form a perfect storm that will produce rain of up to 30 centimetres and storm surges around the coast. The biggest fear is flooding and power outages. This is a similar threat to last year when we saw Hurricane Irene that caused $15 billion worth of damage and left people without power for weeks.This is a serious and big Storm and my first message is that to all of the people across the eastern seaboard, going north that you need to take this very seriously.4,000 flights have been cancelled and in New York, the city that normally never sleeps, everything has been shut down from buses, the subway and schools. First as to the evacuation zone. We are ordering it for the safety of the approximately 375,000 people who live in these areas.It is a crazy week in weather in America. There was a tsunami warning in Hawaii and larger than normal waves. 80,000 people tried to flee to higher ground. It has since been lifted.

Hurricane Sandy has disrupted
the US election campaign and could have a major impact
on the result. Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney have been forced to cancel
more than a dozen events, including many in
key battleground states. Making sure we've got the best
possible response to what is gonna be
a big and messy system. And our thoughts and prayers
are with the people who will find themselves
in harm's way. Early voting has been suspended
in the state of Maryland and there are fears blackouts
will effect polling day. Back home, it's game on in Canberra where Labor and the Coalition
are now neck-and-neck in the latest Newspoll. Opposition MPs blame
their fall in support on personal attacks on Tony Abbott, but they deny there's any pressure
on his leadership.

On a media blitz this morning... Good to be with you. ..Julia Gillard's focus was on selling her new plan
for the Asian century. I don't comment on polls. Her colleagues do, though,
seizing on the latest Newspoll. It shows the Government
and Opposition level in the two-party preferred stakes, thanks to a 3% rise
in Labor's primary vote and a 4% fall for the Coalition. The Prime Minister's had the
kitchen sink, the bathroom vanity and the carport thrown at her and she's still standing. And extending her lead slightly
over Tony Abbott as preferred Prime Minister as well. It seems to me that
he's run out of petrol and run out of puff. Mr Abbott's performance ratings
are suffering too. Satisfaction is down -
near its record low. Dissatisfaction is up -
near its record high. Coalition colleagues blame
personal attacks on his character. The Government has thrown everything
at Tony Abbott in a vicious personal
smear campaign. The Newspoll is the first since
Ms Gillard's much-publicised sexism speech in Parliament. Labor works on the basis that
if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick. Tony Abbott could handle
getting a bit dirty while the Coalition was in
such a strong position in the polls. But now that its lead over Labor
has disappeared, questions are already being raised
about his leadership. No-one would've though that
it would be so bad for him now. If I was him, I'd be sleeping
very uneasy at night. I'd rather be in the winning side
with a less popular captain than in the losing side
with a really popular captain. Right now, scores are level.

Fire has destroyed
a luxury guesthouse owned by businessman John Singleton. Police are investigating
the blaze at Pretty Beach on the
New South Wales Central Coast. Hugh Whitfeld is at the scene. Good morning, Hugh. Firefighters had problems
getting close to the fire?

Yes, it is a pretty isolated

Yes, it is a pretty isolated
property about 300 metres up from here. App six o'clock last night fire crews had their work cut out for them. They had to go up that driveway which is a single lane and was very difficult to get up. They had to rely on water from a pool. The house was destroyed by fire, a multi-storey timber building. It could be seen by many neighbours in the area. It is an exclusive place to stay and cost up to $2,005 a night. Last night neighbours saw activity. Firefighters in the street and a glow on the mountain. It was a fairly intense fire. It was very difficult to gain access
to the property, it's a very steep climb. We came back from Sydney last night
about 8:00, and as we came around the corner
there we could see an absolute halo
of orange light up there. It was a huge glow
in the sky.

The main building was on fire. How big was it? Oh, it was massive. John Singleton was planning
a special occasion at the house in a couple of weeks?

Yes. He has owned the property for about three years and his daughter was going to get married there in six weeks. The properties survived a bushfire about three weeks ago. Fire crews had to work hard to protect it but last night there was not much they could do. It was a bad weekend for John Singleton after his horse finished 11th in the Cox Plate. He doesn't have much to smile about.

Thank you, Hugh. The electorate office of
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has been targeted by vandals. The word 'tyrant'
and radiation symbols were spray painted on the windows while a moustache was drawn
over Mr Newman's photo. It's believed the vandals were
protesting his recent decision to lift a ban on uranium mining. The Premier's office says the damage
will be cleaned as soon as possible. Police are checking
for security pictures in the area. The man accused of raping and
killing Melbourne woman Jill Meagher has had surgery after apparently attempting
to take his own life in prison. 'Sunrise' correspondent
Nick Etchells has the details.

Ann, here's what we know. In the early hours
of yesterday morning the 41-year-old was found
with extensive injuries and he was bleeding. They took him via ambulance
to St Vincent's Hospital behind me, where he continues to be treated
today. So far, Corrections Victoria
has declined to give any update or further information on this, only that a prisoner was transported
to hospital with self-inflicted wounds. This story of course,
broke on Seven News last night and it does appear that he's made
an attempt on his own life. We wait now for more details
on his current condition and when he'll be released. This of course, comes a little over
a month after he was accused of raping and murdering
Jill Meagher, a crime that really did shock
the nation, Ann. Jill Meagher's murder is still
being felt around the country. In Sydney, thousands of people gathered
for the Reclaim The Night march. Protesters are calling for an end
to violence against women. ALL: (CHANT) What do we want? When do we want it?
Now! The march has been held annually
since 1978. 30,000 people joined a similar event
in Melbourne last month, following Jill Meagher's death. The Melbourne Cup carnival
has been officially launched at Crown Casino today, ahead of the big $6 million race
next Tuesday. Tom Browne went along.

The Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup have been wrapped up and today marks one of the best weeks on the Australian sporting calendar starting with Derby Day and then the Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation. As much as the week is about racing it is also about fashion and fashions from the four feature race days will be featured this morning. Racing loyalty is on hand including Dave Waterhouse and Glenn Ross.

The race is on for the final 24 spots with only three of the last 38 entrants withdrawing. There is a final opportunity to qualify on Saturday.

Next in Seven News -
business and finance. The first arrest in the Jimmy Savile
child sex scandal. Also, Venice a little damper
than usual after torrential rain.

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To finance now and joining me is Westpac senior
economist Matthew Hassan. Good morning, Matthew. How are our markets trading
this morning?

It has been a mixed

It has been a mixed start to the day. The local market is about 0.4% after a fairly mixed lead. US results were flat. A slightly better-than-expected quarterly GDP rate. Europe was up slightly. The main gains this morning have been in resources, up about 1%. The Australian dollar is around one at and 3.5. We have got the RBA deputy governor speaking tomorrow evening which will be interesting for interest rate watching in relation to next week's meeting. We have got an update on house prices. The earliest numbers around October will be out on Thursday. Friday, the highlight will be the US payroll data. An important focus for market watchers. With the election looming it is likely to be watched even more closely. Former pop star Garry Glitter
has been arrested on suspicion of child sex offences. His London house was searched
and items removed as part of
the widening investigation into the Jimmy Savile abuse claims. MAN: Mr Glitter, what did you have
to tell police today? What did they ask you, Mr Glitter?
What did they ask you? Arrest number one
in this investigation. Gary Glitter arrived back home
after a day at the police station. The questions were about possible
sexual offences.

Mr Glitter, what did you have
to say to police this afternoon. Get yourselves down like that. Put yourself in there. Oh, I get two. You get two, you get two. In there. I should be giving girls away. Jimmy Savile isn't alive
to face justice, but Gary Glitter, who appeared
on his shows is just the first of a number
of Savile's friends and colleagues that can expect a knock on the door. The allegations against the former
pop star were made by Karen Ward, who also claims Savile
abused her, to ITV News earlier this month. I saw Gary Glitter have sex
with a girl in Jimmy Savile's dressing room in that little alcove bit. Held for nearly 10 hours
before being released on bail, police removed evidence
in bin bags from his home. Glitter, whose real name
is Paul Gadd, was found guilty in Vietnam in 2006 of sexually abusing
two young girls - one 11, the other 12. Apart from Garry Glitter,
other high-profile names have been passed to
the investigation team.

Gumboots and water-proof pants
replaced stalls selling Murano glass as heavy rain flooded
St Mark's Square in Venice. Tourists who braved the big wet
had to wade through knee-deep water or find other ways to keep dry. Waters rose 1.3 metres above
sea level and flooded a third
of the city's historic centre. The cold front which caused
the Venice floods has also triggered
the first snowfalls of the season in other parts of Europe. In Poland, three people have died
in the cold snap. The snow has also caused blackouts
and transport delays. In Moscow, melting snow made
sightseeing difficult for tourists. But local children made the most
of the conditions. Next in Seven News - we name the the Australian squad
for the first test against South Africa. And the Sydney Sixers
blast their way to a multimillion-dollar payday.

The Sydney Sixers have pocketed
$2.5 million in prize money after demolishing the Highveld Lions in the Twenty20 Champions League
final. Chasing just 122, the Sixers
made light work of the run chase, cruising home by ten wickets.

COMMENTATOR: Over backward point
it goes and the Sydney Sixers
are victorious. All the credit needs to go to our
whole group. They've been outstanding
during the tournament. Whatever I've asked of them they've
done with a smile on their face and they've done with class. It's set to be
a day of mixed emotions for Sydney skipper Brad Haddin, who's expected to lose his test spot
to Matthew Wade. The ARL Commission has unveiled
its strategic plan for the future of rugby league. The NRL's heavy hitters were on hand
for the announcement of the plan, which includes a new logo. On the back of the new
billion-dollar television deal, chairman John Grant
is bullish about the code's future. It is a time

It is a time of enormous opportunity and one of the major responsibilities of the Commission is to capitalise on this. Grant has come under
increasing pressure to appoint a chief executive. The Australian squad for the first
Test against South Africa will be revealed shortly,
with Matthew Wade set

Hot off the

Hot off the presses, the first test squad in the test series against the world's number one side, South Africa. Michael Clarke is the captain. Matra way gets the wicketkeeping position. -- Matthew Wade. It is a 12 member squad. Brad Haddin came home from the Caribbean in late March to be with his daughter and he has missed out on getting back his wicketkeeping position. Matthew Wade got the opportunity in the Caribbean and will be behind the stumps for Australia next Friday. Where we go with four paceman or three and Nathan Lyon? I think Mitchell Starc is in with a chance. Of course, Ed Cowan will open the batting with Dave Warner. I think Shane Watson will back three, Michael Clarke will bat four. Hot off the presses, the big news out of the 12 is that Brad Haddin is the -- has missed out and his international career is at the crossroads. We will have more on that throughout the day. It is back to you. Alessandro del Piero has celebrated
his 800th career match by guiding Sydney FC
to a come-from-behind win over Perth Glory. Travis Dodd opened the scoring
for Perth, but the dismissal
of Steve Pantelidis swung the game Sydney's way.

Del Piero calmly converted
the resulting penalty before Brett Emerton slotted home
the matchwinner. COMMENTATOR: Vukovic off his line. Brett Emerton scores! Sydney FC have come from behind. In Melbourne, Central Coast recorded
a 1-0 win over the Heart.

Premier League leaders Chelsea
have gone down to Manchester United in a 5-goal thriller
at Stamford Bridge. United raced to a 2-0 lead before a spectacular strike from
Juan Mata sparked the home side. COMMENTATOR: Absolutely gorgeous
free kick! Game on. Blues back in it. Chelsea drew level shortly
after the break but that's where the revival ended. Javier Hernandez scored
a controversial winner for United, with replays suggesting
he was offside.

Mark Webber has finished third to
Red Bull tea-mmate Sebastian Vettel at the Indian Formula One
Grand Prix. Vettel endured some anxious moments when sparks began spraying out
from underneath his car in the closing laps. Mechanical issues
also left Webber vulnerable but he held on
to claim a podium finish. Enjoyed the fight today. It was, ah, difficult race. Very difficult for me
to get into a rhythm. Vettel holds a 13-point lead
in the drivers championship. Casey Stoner has labelled
his sixth straight victory at the Australian Grand Prix,
a fairytale. The 'King of Phillip Island' surged
to the front when team-mate Dani Pedrosa
crashed out. His final victory margin
was a decisive nine seconds. COMMENTATOR: He has done
the business in Australia for the sixth time in succession. And to do it at my home grand prix
here was just, you know, fairytale. This whole weekend's gone
almost ideally. A second-place finish was enough for Jorge Lorenzo to wrap up
the world title. Stay with me here
on Seven's Morning News. I'll be back with all the weather
details after this break.

VOICEOVER: It mightn't look it, but Toby's actually being
very smart. He's about to order from
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a small coffee, plus a delicious snack, like a
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Checking today's weather - a trough over Queensland
is triggering showers and storms. Another trough stretching through
WA is generating thundery showers. A high is clearing skies
in the country's south-east and pushing the odd shower
into north-east New South Wales. So around
the capitals - a shower or two
in Brisbane. Some cloud
in Canberra. Sunny
in Hobart. Fine and warm
for Adelaide. Perth's expecting
an afternoon shower. Hot and humid
in Darwin. And that's Seven News to now. I'm Ann Sanders.
Thanks for your company. Goodbye. Supertext captions
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