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This program is captioned live. Good morning. Cities and towns of the east coast of the United States are blacked out in the wake of surz. At least 40 people have been killed and 8 million people are without power. Denham Hitchcock is in Manhattan. Good morning. How bad is the damage there?I want to show you something quickly. I am standing on fifth avenue, as you can see the traffic is out, the yellow cabs are back, they were banned yesterday. As you can see, the lights are still out, traffic lights are out right across the city. People are battling through the traffic. So let's start back at the beginning with the storm that hit. When Sandy came ashore she had all of the elements that they were worried about. It was downgraded to a tropical storm. The waves that washed over, that's mostly what did all of the damage, right down through lower Manhattan area, the subway completely flooded. All of the electricity system will have to be replaced, three to four days minimum to get that under way. There are hotels, residential buildings and the electrical grid down through the section has to be replaced, and that's why we are still in the dark. It's not just New York which is still virtually cut-off. A few of the bridges have been reopened but the tunnels are completely full of water. A lot of work to be done here. Also just across the bridge in Queens there was a horrendous fire yesterday. Spare a thought for those First Responders who were up all day and night. A loss of them were called over to Queens and this fire could have been started through an electricity box thanks to the floods and rain and homes have caught fire one after the other. And if you look at those pictures street by street, block by block, the homes went down. The fire rescue crews went out by boat, car and trucks and brought as many people in as they could, I heard 50, 80 possibly 100-plus homes were lost. It's not just this state but 11 states that are feeling the damage. One of the worst states is News Jersey. The governor said that the damage done to his state in terms of infrastructure and rescues and flooding cannot be calculated. That's also another reason why the President looking very presidential is the lead-up to an election also went on the air today to let people know what was going on.Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation. We certainly feel for all of the families whose lives have been upended. America is with you. We are standing behind you and we will do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.Despite all of the damage, the Lord mayor of New York is urging residents to get back to work.Yes, Amelia. New Yorkers are a tough bunch. A lot of them were out today. There were some places around Times Square that have full power. Some restaurants are open and some places you can walk through Manhattan and it seems like a normal day. People are getting out and about and the mayor who is a New Yorker through and through said yes things are bad but it was a call to his fellow New Yorkers to get to it and support each other. New Yorkers need your help today working for the city we have an obligation to help others. If your office is open and you can safely get to work, please do so. If your office is closed and you can safely to report to a shelter to assist with operations, please do so. But if you thought Superstorm Sandy was on the way out of the door, you are wrong. She's still barrelling inland at the moment. Those 11 states are still being touched. Despite the wind, rain and snow now coming. Ohio and new-England getting up to 1m of snow falling and all of the trouble that that causes, cut roads and bridges, emergency crews have something else on their hands now as well. Sandy, a few more days to go yet.A massive job for them. Thank you. We'll talk to you later in the bulletin.The storm of a generation has had a major impact on the generation race with Barack Obama cancelling a third-straight day of campaigning one week out from the election.Campaign events yesterday and today were cancelled and understandably. It has become a delicate issue. Both candidates dent want to be out there beating each other up over votes while so many people are suffering. By the look of t the truce is going to be short-lived. We understand that there are no plans to cancel reallyies tomorrow. Today, Mitt Romney who was in the crucial state of Ohio and the President were out and both very visual. The focus wasn't on the politics, you've just seen the President speak of course. It was more on the victims.

It was more on the victims.We have heavy hearts with all of the suffering going on, a lot of people hurting this morning, they were hurting last night and the storm goes on. I've had the chance to speak with some of the governors in the affected areas and they talked of a lot of people having a hard time.Rob, before the storm there was quite a big push to encourage people to vote early. Where is that up to now?Recovering and planning for rebuilding is already going full steam ahead. This relatively new plan of allowing people to vote early in some states has been very successful. So yes as of tomorrow that will resume as well. Also tomorrow the President will visit some of the worst hit areas in New Jersey and after that it will be election business as usual. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney really are running neck-to-neck in the polls. In some Mitt Romney is just ahead and leading. As much as he might like, to Barack Obama can't afford to spend too much more time counselling the victims and consoling them because as you say exactly one week from today the President has to go out and try to win an election.It's just incredible timing. Meantime, former New York mayor has spoken in Sydney this morning of his shock over the devastation in the US. He is here for the property council annual conference.The real loss here is the loss of human life. Unfortunately, there was significant loss. The property damage, loss of profits because of the stock exchange being closed, businesses are clesd, you can make that up. Knowing New York City, where resilience is written in capital letters they will make that up. You never make up for the loss of lives. I'm comforted by knowing that they have the best emergency response in the country. Certainly among the best. And maybe one of the best in the world. Whatever the damage that this storm was going to inflict, that emergency response was comforted by that.Former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson is facing the possibility of several years behind bars. With police laying an extra 28 charges against him. We'll cross to Damian Ryan in Sydney. What do these charges relate to?Basically, Amelia, it relates to widespread fraud dating back more than 12 years. This morning Michael Williamson set from his home, aware

Williamson set from his home, aware
that

that -We apologise for the interruption.As an officer of the HSU he cheated and defrauded HSU. The sum total is over $6 hundred thousand. There's one additional charge of proceeds of crime.Cha last charge amounts to money laundering and the allegation will be that he laundered $4 hundred thousand of HSU funds. Police expect before the year is out to arrest and charge two more people over these allegations. Police publicly stated today that they have hit him up with 48 charges. Investigations are continuing. They are looking for lost funds and it's more than likely he will face more charges when he is back in court in January. A Melbourne court has just heard Ricky Nixon will plead guilty to injuring ex-partner during a fight at his home. He is facing eight charges and the case returns to court in March. A man's body has been found in a burnt-out home in Sydney's west. Amelia Ballinger is at the scene. What more do we know?Neighbours have told us that they saw enormous flames coming from the house at 8:00 last night and glass breaking and the roof caving in. Several people called 000. By the time emergency crews got here the house was fully engulfed. Apparently it took just moments to take flames. Inside the house was a 75-year-old man who lirved here on his own. He was unaccounted for as fire crews tried to extinguish the fire. They found remains at the back of the house, it's believed that is of the 75-year-old owner. Several neighbours came down to try and help. They were breaking windows, yelling out to the man trying to get him out. Unfortunate knitly, the fire was too intense to have any impact. I spoke with a few of the neighbours earlier on this morning and here's what they had to say about last night's fire.Big black smoke first. The flames were way past the trees so that's about 20m or something.Fully ablaze coming out of the door.Pretty tall, above the treeline down there and hear explosions and the crackaling of the roof or whatever was falling in.Amelia, a crime scene has been established here. At this point it didn't appear that there was any intention. There's activity behind me. Fire investigators are going through the house to work out where and how this fire started.We'll leave it there for now. Thank you. To some amazing pictures just come into our newsroom. An Air Force jet has dropped 10 ton bulldozer into a defence drop zone in north Sydney. It's determined whether the machinery is appropriate for delivery by Air Force aircraft. Four 30m parachutes were used for the descent to the ground. Let's have a quick look at the weather around the country.

There's plenty more to come in Nine's Morning News Hour, including St Kilda player Jason Gram sacked by his club. Our reporter has the latest. Trees toppled - the terror of residents caught up in the middle of This program is not captioned.

Returning to Hurricane Sandy. There were plenty of close-calls for residents, many of them filming the drama unfold.16-year-old John taping it from his vindoe in New York. First a neighbour's tree and if that wasn't enough - one more. And maybe there's no clearer example than this, of how soft and soil cannot hold these big trees. Dramatic, but these trees have also proven deadly. Two boys were playing and watching TV in the family room when this 100ft oak slammed into the home, a scene repeated too many times across the country. These are some of our viewers' pictures of trees pulling down plenty of powerlines. We're working to get the power back on. Trees and power dent go together at all. Gold Coast titans captain has walked out on his team. Granted a release from final year of contract and is on the hunt for a new NRL club.Neither I, the club or Scott are entirely happy with the way this has played out in public for the course of the last week. We are happy with the solution reached. We'll have more details later in sport plus AFL, cricket and an amazing soccer match. Despite more than one-third of the country buying a ticket in last night's $70 million Oz Lotto, the jackpot didn't go off. The division one prize sky-rocketed to $100 million to be drawn on Melbourne Cup Day. The prize pool is the biggest ever offered with millions more tickets set to be sold in the lead-up to the drew. Still ahead this morning - swept up by Sandy. The plight of reporters in the path of the killer storm. Jetstar drama - a pilot and crew taken hostage by angry passengers. And This program is not captioned. We don't drive as much these days, which is why we made the choice
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Some of the most remarkable pictures from Hurricane Sandy have been from the reporters out covering it. Here's some from our own Denham Hitchcock.This is a subway tunnel. All of the equipment and power is currently flooded with water and that's part of this huge damage bill they will see.It's gottian worse in the last little while. The ocean has washed over us. This is not only the ocean we had earlier today, it's full of vegetation now. The conditions are just deteriorating by the minute here. MOVIE REEL:Water will come crashing through here.

crashing through here.Back home - passengers on a Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Beijing have held the crew hostage. What happened?Good morning. The plane had flown from Melbourne to Singapore and was heading to Beijing on Friday when fog forced it to divert. It was kept on the ground for quite a while. And then the crew ran out of hours. They were no longer allowed to legally keep flying. Passengers were offered later flights. A number didn't believe the airline's assurances. They surrounded the crew and refused to allow them to leave. The crew attempted to defuse the situation. The passengers didn't buy it. Consular officials were called in to help defuse the situation. A number of other airlines have fallen foul of passengers in recent years.The Chinese authorities stepped in and helped us, it took a little longer than we would have liked. We have a great partner in China Eastern off the back of this experience, to ensure nothing like this happens to us again.Those passengers may not have been happy. But it's a different story where you are this morning.Much happier here. The airline celebrated carrying its 100th million passenger, it only started flying in 2004. The Wade family won 12 months free travel. The kids hadn't been on a plane until they got to the Gold Coast this morning. Jetstar says it expects to keep expanding although it will be interesting to see whether the tie-up between Virgin and Tiger effects any of those plans. Construction workers have made quite a find at a major airport in northern Japan, unearthing a 250kg World War II bomb near a runway. The military squad was called in. Domestic and international flights at Sendai were cancelled, whether to move or let the bomb off options were considered. Still to come on Nine's Morning News Hour - live to the US for the latest as America's east coast reels in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. What the storm means for next week's presidential election - the terrifying home invasion that's left an

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Welcome back to Nine's Morning News Hour. These are our top stories - the east coast of the US is counting the cost after Superstorm Sandy claimed dozens of lives and cut power to millions of homes. Julia Gillard's update on the war in Afghanistan - we'll have the details next. And a 72-year-old woman is recovering from a heart attack after her home was broken into in Sydney's west. Americans are returning to shattered homes, towns and cities as Superstorm Sandy continues to roar inland after carving up the US east coast. Denham Hitchcock is in New York. Take us through the damage?Amelia, first and formost n the last few hours the number of dead has risen to 39. Coupled with those in the Caribbean, that's over 100 people killed by Superstorm Sandy. Here in New York, the clean- up crews are out with saws, emergency electrical crews trying to get into the subway for all of those electrical equipment was damaged, the tunnels are under water, so much damage down in the lower Manhattan area. We also have to have a look over the bridge in Queens. There was a fire, spare a thought for the First Responders, the rescued that they pulled out last night. Homes that were lost, I've heard, 50, 80, possibly more than 100, street after street, block after block, believed to have started by a fire caused by the flooding. There are 11 states nexted and New Jersey makes up a heavy party of that $50 billion damage bill. That's part of the reason why this storm is still rolling, the President was out there today saying it is still a threat.There are still communities that could be affected and I want to manufacture size there are still risks of flooding, risks of downing powerlines and high winds. It's important for the public to continue to monitor the situation in your local community, listen to your state and local officials, follow instructions. The more you follow instructions the easier it is for our First Responders to make sure they are dealing with true emergency situations.

emergency situations. Today has been a little different, people have started to come out. The weather has eased. A lot of blocks are like this completely dark. This is one strange thing I saw today - people don't have running water, no electricity, no hot water. There's very few shops open. Some people ran down onto this street, cracked open a fire hydrant. The more that started the more that could see out of the windows what was happening and ran down also. A line of 15-20 people in the end daying they just needed basic necessities.It's very strange, man. It's kind of messed up, man. It really is. I hope this is over with hopefully tomorrow. If not, we got to do what we have to for surviving.Getting it any way they can. Superstorm Sandy not finished yet. Spare a thought for the 8 million people still without power and could be for a week. Also for those remaining in the firing line. People receiving up to 1 meet of snow in eight places. She is still rolling through.Such an extreme event. Denham, we will talk to you throughout the day for more updates. The storm has forced presidential campaigning to be cancelled for a third straight day as both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney deal with the storm's aftermat. Robert Penfold has more. Both candidates have been cancelling one public appearance after the other with just one peek to go to the election. It's the worst possible scenario considering they are running neck-to-neck to the polls. Barack Obama was soon in the White House looking presidential, the man in charge. Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation. We certainly feel profoundly for all of the families whose lives have been upended. America is with you. We are standing behind you. And we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.The White House was eager to show the President looking in command and released these two photographs of him meeting advicers. Republican Mitt Romney like it or not can only wait it out. The clock ticking away as one possible vote winning event after another is cancelled while the east coast of America begins the big mop-up. Stepping into presidential void in Ohio, Barack Obama has the big guns filling in for him, former President Hillary Clinton got a taste of the nasty weather when he arrived.Interestingly, while Mitt Romney is not officially campaigning, he is now in Ohio not looking for votes but doing a, "Storm relief event." As we heard from Denham Hitchcock, Sandy is moving north. Let's look at how the storm's destructive path began in the consider bean and

Across

East coast. Growing in size, picking up moist your and energy as it moved over the warm waters of the Caribbean and delivering a mighty punch with 80km/h winds.

80km/h winds. Roofs were ripped from properties. It was not so much the power but size and direction of travel which conspired to bring damage on a mass scale to the USA. A huge hurricane was heading north and different weather was heading in the opposite direction.We have an active hurricane, all of the energy and moisture and warmth you expect in a tropical storm. As it moved up the east coast it turned left and headed inland and has interacted with a very strong cold front. As the two came together all of the moisture and energy and contrast in cold air is when things developed into the superstorm. The hurricane slowed in speed before hitting the USA - the powerful winds reached 175km/h from the centre.

Canadians are preparing for what might happen. Sandy has been downgraded to an intense area of low pressure but could still deliver wild weather in the days to come.In other news - things have begun from bad to worse for AFL player Jason Gram, he has been sacked from the St Kilda club. Nine's Vicky Jardim has the latest. Jason Gram has been sacked by the St Kilda football club following an off-field incident. We can't go into more details. We can say that he was arrested on Monday night and appeared in court yesterday facing several charges. In a statement last night the football club said following the breakdown of a personal relationship he failed to undertake commitments with the club. The club recognises that his conduct has been of a non-violent nature. The club is providing counselling services to Jason Graham. He has been with the club for nine years and played in three grand finals with the Saints. The AFL has been notified of the sacking and supports the decision. For a brief time politics was put aside in Federal Parliament this morning as the Prime Minister gave her annual update on the war in Afghanistan. Let's go to Kerrie Yaxley in Canberra. What did Julia Gillard have to say?Basically, Amelia, progress is being made but there are still challenges ahead. The transfer of security control from international to Afghan forces is under way and on track for a complete handover. The PM spoke of Afghan soldiers attacking our troops. Sadly, we have seen this as recently as August when a rogue Afghan soldier killed three Australian troops. Defence has been reviewing ways to protect our forces and help the army to strengthen its recruitment processes. She asked Australians to remember the 39 soldiers who lost their lives in the war so far and acknowledged in future we will be caring for more and more young war veterans.The next decade will see more young Australian combat veterans live in our community than since the 1970s. This is demanding changes in the way the Department of Defence and Department of veterans affairs care for service personnel and veterans.On another issue - the Prime Minister is butting heads with one of her own MPs?Mr Cameron felt ambushed during a meeting, it's all to do with a Labor committee report which raised concerns that workers and industry weren't sharing in the benefits of the mining boom that. Report was leaked to the media. He has spoken publicly on the issue. The Prime Minister told MPs that she hadn't seen the report before it was leaked and asked them to respect the Caucus processes.There was opportunities for the Prime Minister to raise this issue with me that she didn't. I was with her the day before. The issue wasn't raised with me. So I was a bit surprised and I felt a bit ambushed in the Caucus that it was raised in the manner that it was.Julia Gillard acknowledges that the issues in the report are important and she told Caucus that she will deal with them. A terrifying home invasion in Sydney's west has left a 72-year- old woman in hospital recovering from a heart attack. Sylvia Jeffreys has the details. Three men, one armed with a knife forced their way into this Kellyville home last night. A 74-year-old was knocked down and tied up before the intruders ransacked the kitchen and bedroom. Barbara was pinned to the bed by the men as they grabbed jewellery and fled the property leaving the couple and family in shock. The couple's son-in-law says he can't understand why anybody would target a couple of pensioners who had nothing of value to offer. Pretty upset really. They are only old people, they don't deserve that. 72-year-old Barbara suffered a mild heart attack during the ordeal and this morning is recovering in hospital. Police would like anybody with information to come forward. An Australian kickboxer has been killed while working as a Syrian refugee camp. The Islamic society says Roger Abbas from Meadow Heights was caught in gunfire while working at the camp near the Turkey and Syrian boarder. The 23-year-old went to Syria to volunteer as an aid worker last month. It's unclear when he died but his family was told of his death on Monday. Electricity retailers could be given the power to remotely switch off appliances during peak times under a government plan to cut the cost of soaring power bills.By doing so, customers could avoid peak times accounting for a quarter of overall electricity bills. The proposal is said to be outlined as part of the Federal Government's reform bill tomorrow. The father of a British boy missing from an island off the south coast of France believes his son's body may never be found. The 12-year-old disappeared while out on a bike ride during a storm. There may belittle sign of the storm which hit this French island on Saturday night. But what is evident is the operation to find the 12-year-old British boy who disappeared that night. He had gone for a bike ride moments before the weather turned. He hasn't been seen since, only his bike and one of his shoes have been recovered. His father's Stephen told me that the police have ruled out abduction.If you were going to abduct someone you don't come to an island to do it, it's the worst possible place. Nor would you go out in the teeth of a storm. It doesn't make sense.The bike broke down, he panicked, tried to make his way back. Probably he got disorientated and probably also he tried to take a short cut or found he lost the tracks which would be difficult to see at dark.It's possible in his disorientated state the boy may have made his way down one of these very narrow pathways in an attempt to get home, perhaps going downhill, perhaps tries to find the coastline. The weather would have been absolutely atrocious. If he made it to the coastline what would have greeted him would have been ferocious waves and he could have been swept out to sea. We have breaking pictures in to our newsroom - whales spotted frolicing off Sydney off Palm Beach. It is a beautiful day and they are having a lovely

The

18 pandas have returned to their home in south-east China. 32 panda pens were flattened in the quake which also killed one of the giants. After a long rebuilding process the pandas were able to step inside their upgraded 20m facility. They settled in well, taking no time to become acquainted with their new playground. Let's get all of the sports now with Tim Sheridan. The AFL is keeping quiet on these tanking allegations.This relates to the purposeful losing of matches to get a better draft pick for the following season. The AFL were in no mood to chat about this. We go live to the Gold Coast to the titans. Reigning goals - amazing lead

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-- England.
Scott Prince is on the hunt for a new club. We know that this relationship is over -ast been for some time. Where is Scott heading? Tim, the popular theory is that he's heading to the Broncos next season and has signed a two-year deal. I'm told that the Newcastle Knights are in the picture. Up until 9:00pm last night he was heading to England to join Hull FC. It seems there was a last minute change of mind and decided to extend his career in the NRL.

extend his career in the NRL.It's not just what he does on the field. You've only got to see him signing the autographs.We're more than happy over the moon with what he has given the club. At some stage, it's big news because he is the focus of the club. At some stage players move on.Tim, you heard from the coach, he faces the rather un envyable of creating a new game plan. It could be difficult for the team to factor because Scott priepbs was the life and soul of the club. -- Prince. The South Africans are training at the Sydney cricket ground ahead of the series. This is a series to see where we are situated in the world rankings at the moment. If we can do well we are on our way back to number one. The first test begins in Brisbane next Friday and live on the Channel Nine of course.Quade Cooper facing the panel over recent events on twitter. The AFL refuses to comment on the tanking scandal. Following a reports a second player claimed the club set out to deliberately lose games in 2009 in order to receive high draft picks. If there's a picture press conference, we'll finish this up. I'm not asking questions on anything other than the game today.The first ever match for premiership points played outside St Kilda when they head to New Zealand in March.An incredible result in English soccer this morning - premier league sides combined for 12 goals in a thrilling tie.The Gunners made 11 changes from the side. They conceded three in the opening half an hour. Up 4-0 at one stage they fell apart with the Australian goal keeper under siege.

keeper under siege. Extra time proved just an important Gunners taking the lead for the first time in the match but Reading struck back to make it 5-5. With penalties just minutes away, arsenal stepped up the pressure. The hero having a close-range finish and one more sealed their place in the final eight for the straight tenth season. We showed everybody what we can do. Never give up and that's what the guys did and we are knackered at the moment. Socceroos Scott MacDonaled finding the way through. What a crowd to be in for that game. Great stuff.Thank you so much. See you this afternoon.Still ahead this morning - the finance details

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And that's Nine's Morning News Hour for today. You can join me for more news at 4:30 this afternoon. I'm Amelia Adams. Thanks for your company. See you then. Supertext captions by Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au. This program is not captioned.

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