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Seven Afternoon News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Last round of Beat the Buzzer.
Questions start now. What's 48 + 26?

(BLEEP!)
74. True or false? Cheetahs cannot
fully retract their claws.

True.
True it is. What word describes
a cat's offspring and its last three letters?

Kitten. Kitten. Correct. True or false? If you are a Muscovite,
you are from Moscow.

False.
True. In Russia. What is 99 - 35?

(BLEEP!)
64. True or false? Australian magpies are native to every state and territory
in Australia. True. True it is.

But just outside the buzzer, sadly. Checking scores today. William Carey - 190.
Green coming third. Hornsby North... A very close one. ..Aidan, Jasmine, Gabi - second. 260. The boys, Sebastian, Ethan and Joel
from Rydalmere East - our winners today. 300 points. It is a close race. Tomorrow, the last semifinalists.
Join us then. Bye-bye. Supertext Captions by
Red Bee Media Australia
www.redbeemedia.com.au

This program is captioned live. Former Australian cricket captain
Ricky Ponting announces his retirement. Sydney students injured
in a science lab explosion. Much of Australia swelters through
heatwave conditions. And we're on the red carpet
for the ARIAs, honouring the best in music.

VOICEOVER: This is Seven's 4:30 News
with Mark Ferguson.

Good afternoon. One of Australia's greatest
test cricketers, Ricky Ponting, has announced his retirement. The former captain
will play his final test in Perth starting tomorrow. Basil Zempilas was at the
media conference a short time ago. Basil, it wasn't a complete shock.
What did Ricky Ponting have to say? Good afternoon. Not a complete shock.

shock. He said the test match beginning tomorrow will be his 168th appearance for Australia. That will equal Steve Waugh's record for the most played a player. Following the test match, he chatted to his wife to discuss the possibility of retirement. He thought he was not able to compete at the highest level any more. He quickly reached the decision it was the right decision to do. To announce his retirement. He made the announcement at the grounds. This was where he played his first test match all those years ago.

As I've said all along,
I continue to play this game as long as I felt
I could contribute to wins, Over the last couple of weeks, I've felt my level of performance
has been good enough to do that. I've felt my level of performance
has not been good enough to do that. There have been plenty of tributes
already for Ponting this afternoon? There certainly has. The cricket committee has rallied very quickly from ride around the world, paying the ultimate compliment

the ultimate compliment to him. Michael Clarke was very emotional. He started a press conference not laugh -- not long after him. He choked up. He described him as a lidded of the game and he could not go on. That was how emotional he was. -- legend. He was one of the most competitive cricketers he has ever played against. In Parliament, Tony Abbott and to Julia Gillard had praise for Ricky Ponting as well.

It means he's going
into the next phase of his life with a lot of gratitude
and a lot of thanks from the Australian community
full of its cricket tragics. I rise to join the PM
in congratulating Ricky Ponting on a superb innings
as an Australian cricketer, as an Australian cricket captain. OK, Basil. We'll leave it there.

That was the only time Julia Gillard
and Tony Abbott agreed on anything in Parliament this afternoon. The Prime Minister stared down
the Opposition Leader on Parliament's last day
of the year after he accused her
of committing a crime over a union slush fund. Mia Greves joins me now. Afternoon, Mia. Fiery scenes today in Canberra.
What happened? Mark, the final day of Parliament
usually has a surprise in store and we got one today. It started with the release
of a transcript from 1995 between Julia Gillard and her then employer -
law firm Slater & Gordon. It referred to a letter she wrote
to a corporate regulator over the establishment
of a union association later used as a slush fund. Tony Abbott seized on it, claiming
it was evidence of wrongdoing.

and it's certainly
very, very unethical. That then set the scene
for a showdown in Parliament Rather than wait
for question time, Julia Gillard eyeballed Tony Abbott,
daring him to put up or shut up, allowing him 15 minutes
to back up his allegation. Let's take a look.

This is not about gender,
this is about character. Prime Minister,
you have failed the character test. Hear, hear.

The Leader of the Opposition is now handcuffed to an allegation
against me that I committed a crime. He is handcuffed to the fact that he
does not have any evidence of that. So, did the opposition produce
any evidence? After a 15-minute speech,
there was no evidence. Tony Abbott instead
accused the Prime Minister of conduct unbecoming - that's well short of the allegation
this morning. The Prime Minister
is demanding he apologise. We won't be holding our breath
for that. But, Mark, today certainly
was an ugly end to a bitter parliamentary year. Thanks, Mia.
Mia Greves there is Canberra.

More than 20 students
have been injured in a science lab explosion
in Sydney. Paramedics were called
to Moorebank High in the city's south-west
this afternoon following reports several people
had been exposed to sulphur dioxide. It's understood the blast was caused
by a leak in a Bunsen burner. 24 people were assessed at the scene
for minor injuries and 16 were taken
to nearby hospitals, and 13 were taken
to nearby hospitals, The area has been evacuated
until it can be declared safe.

Adelaide and Melbourne
have sweltered through 40-degree temperatures
today, the start of a heatwave, which will move
through the country's south-east over the next few days. Bushfire authorities are on alert
but health officials warn the extreme heat alone
could be deadly.

As the sun rose on a scorcher,
this was the place to be - cooling off in the waters
of Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay.

Swimmers further south
will need to take care - a red algal bloom has developed
off the coast of Lorne. The pink waves weren't enough
to put off these dedicated surfers, despite warnings
it could cause skin irritation. It's the same red algae
which has closed beaches off Sydney. Some Northern Beaches
remain off limits, bad timing as the heatwave
moves through the south-east. We've got heatwave conditions through outback Australia
and South Australia at the moment and some towns in western Queensland have now recorded
10 consecutive days with a maximum above 40 degrees. A total fire ban is in place across
the entire state of South Australia and parts of western Victoria but police warn the heat alone
is extremely dangerous. Heatwave is responsible
for more deaths, more trauma than any other natural hazard. It's different to a fire,
it's different to a flood - we don't see it coming. As the heat moves from Adelaide,
through Melbourne and to Sydney by the weekend, health authorities are watching out
for those vulnerable to heat stroke. Put a jug of cold water
in your grandmother's fridge and remind her to drink it over the course
of the next couple of days. Make sure the aircon's working
and encourage her to use it. On the other side of the country,
it was the wind causing havoc. (WIND GUSTS) MAN: Look, there it goes.
WOMAN: Whoa! The roof and chimney were blown off
this Perth hotel. Schools were damaged,
power cut to thousands of homes and a man was killed
when a tree fell on his caravan at a resort, south of Perth.

And our weatherman David Brown will have the latest
on the sweltering conditions later in the bulletin.

Police have busted
a European crime gang that had access to 500,000
Australian credit cards. An international wrestling champion was one member
of the Romanian syndicate arrested. The thieves hacked
100 small businesses and used 30,000 stolen card details to buy goods worth
more than $30 million. It was actually done remotely
from Romania, where they accessed
a security vulnerability in each of those stores and were able to get into
those computers and access the cards directly. But I must stress that security
vulnerability no longer exists. Seven men have been charged. Banks and credit unions
have reimbursed the losses. The biggest names
in Australian music have hit the red carpet in Sydney
before tonight's ARIA Awards. Talitha Cummins is there. Talitha, how are the stars
handling the tension? Mark, they're certainly
keeping their cool. Cannot say the same

Cannot say the same for the audience, full of teenagers, who have been very vocal. Jessica, Ricky Lee, they are all here. He has gone from Centrelink to celebrity. He is up for best male artist. Some very stiff competition.

Up against Gotye,
who's album 'Making Mirrors' follows on
from the hugely successful hit 'Somebody That I Used to Know'. Also in
the Album of the Year category, Missy Higgins, whose comeback continues to go
from strength to strength. She's also up
for Best Female Artist. It's been five years
since my last album and it's quite different
to my other albums, and to feel like that's been
received really well and recognised
as one of my best albums is really, really nice. But there's also
a real international flavour with a big performance
from American star Taylor Swift - a crowd favourite. Some big household names
are also up for awards too. Children's supergroup The Wiggles
are up for Best Children's Album. And another Aussie favourite,
Cold Chisel, could take home
their first ever ARIA Award, Mark. After the break -

Also, a Sydney baker
describes being victim of a vicious home invasion. And Prince William's gift
excites royal baby watchers

To breaking news and a fast-moving grass fire is burning out of control
in Victoria. Firefighters warn
the 100-hectare blaze has the potential to threaten homes in the Carisbrook area,
south-west of Bendigo. A watch and act warning
has been issued for the fire. A water-bombing helicopter
has been dispatched to help the 11 ground crews. A home invasion victim
has been dealt a double blow following a vicious attack
in Sydney's south-west. A woman and two men bashed
the 29-year-old with a steel bar before fleeing with property
belonging to his late mother. Sarah Coates has been to the home
at Bankstown.

Mark, 29 year-old Lee McGlinn
is bloodied and shaken after a violent home invasion
in Bankstown overnight. Just before 9 o'clock, the night-shift worker
was awoken by his dogs. He then went to the front door,
where a woman was standing. Two men then appeared and the trio, who Lee says
was clearly drug affected, asked him, "Where's the money?" before pushing him into a bedroom, where he was hit with a crowbar
and repeatedly punched. I was like, "Oh, God. I had just woken up
so I was sort of waking up, still. And then I was like, "Why is this happening?"
sort of thing. Then I was like,
"You've got the wrong person." Lee is a black belt in jujitsu but says he was too scared
to fight back because one of the men
also had a knife. I was trying to be calm about it because I knew if I actually
did anything, the guy who had the knife
would just stab me and that would be it. While the 29 year-old is lucky
to have escaped serious injury, he's heartbroken because they took
the last link to his late mother. It was all - 'cause my mum
just passed away not long ago - it was all her jewellery and stuff. The offenders fled
before neighbours called police. Anyone with any information is
being asked to please come forward.

Prince William has sparked
more royal baby speculation by accepting his first baby gift
during a tour of Cambridge. He and wife Kate were visiting
their namesake city for the first time
since becoming the Duke and Duchess.

No chartered aircraft
on this royal visit. William and Kate
arrived in Cambridge on the 9:15 from Kings Cross. Back on the road in Britain after their jubilee tour
of the South Seas. (CHEERING)

They appeared on the balcony
of the city's Guildhall. Their ability to attract a crowd
and the attention of the media as strong as ever. Cambridge wanted
its own Duke and Duchess here and they said
they were delighted to oblige. This is lovely for us
to be there together today. This is lovely for us
to be there together today. My brother Harry and I
were fortunate enough where we spent a couple of days
at Trinity. I would have to say
it's the closest Harry has ever got to university. (LAUGHTER)

It's an easy dig. (LAUGHTER)

There are now some
important decisions to be made by William and Kate - do they do more of this, taking on a fuller diary
of royal engagements? Or does Prince William continue
his full-time job with the RAF? There may be families priorities,
of course - William was given a romper suit
bearing the words "daddy's co-pilot" by Samantha Hill, there with
her 4-week-old daughter, Beth. Did he throw any light on when
a little one might come along? No. But he said he was going to keep it, so clearly,
some time, he has got to use it. So, hopefully, soon.
It'll give him a bit of a hint. Do any of you have
brothers and sisters? Yes.

Later, schoolchildren showed Kate
papier mache babies. But as to the arrival
of daddy's co-pilot, that's a matter on which
we could not possibly speculate.

After the break -
a check on the stock market. Also, rumours of life on Mars before a NASA announcement
next week. And in cricket, we'll have the latest ahead of
tomorrow's series decider in Perth.

(MODEM NOISES)

The more we use the internet, the more our current copper network
is struggling to keep up. After all, it was originally
designed for phones. Not today's internet. (EXCITING MUSIC) The National Broadband Network
is a network that can deliver our needs now
and into the future.

With technology such as optic fibre
directly to the home, the NBN will give us access to high-speed, reliable broadband and the possibilities of tomorrow.

The National Broadband Network - connecting us to a better future. The rollout is already underway. To find out more, go to australia.gov.au/nbn

Space enthusiasts are gearing up
for a big announcement next week with speculation scientists may have
found evidence of life on Mars. Researchers for
the 'Curiosity' rover have called the discovery
one for the history books but NASA is warning us
not to get too excited.

And lift off of the 'Atlas V'
with 'Curiosity'. A year after its launch, the latest photos from the Mars
rover 'Curiosity' are stunning - vast landscapes and individual rocks
analysed via laser beam. And the first samples of desert sand
scooped for study. The findings - project scientist John Grotzinger
had this tease for National Public Radio. This data is going to be
one for the history books. It's looking really good. Not surprisingly,
the blogosphere went wild. Had 'Curiosity' found
evidence of life on the planet most like Earth? Perhaps,
some Mars enthusiasts guessed, carbon-based molecules,
known as 'organics'. This is one more puzzle piece. It is an indicator for life.
It doesn't verify it. But after the initial
burst of excitement over that
"one for the history books" tease, there was a bit of a walk back today at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
in Pasadena. We are getting closer
to understanding what it takes, how to explore systematically
for organic compounds. But not yet proof of life?
Definitely not proof of life. Now, a scoop of sand
picked up 180 million miles away could provide some answers, to be announced
in an academic conference in San Francisco next Monday. If they find some evidence
that life exists on Mars, that would be extraordinary.

Time to check the financial markets and the ASX 200 has finished the day
26 points higher.

Sport with Jim Wilson shortly but, first, Seven News is coming up
in your capital city at 6:00 and these are the stories
making headlines. Hello there.
Coming up in Sydney tonight - we'll have all the reaction as Ricky Ponting announces
his retirement from international cricket. We'll look at why the former Australian captain
is set to walk away after the third test in Perth. We'll have all the fallout
from Canberra following a brutal final day
of Federal Parliament. The union slush fund scandal
has dominated debate. Find out why there have been calls
for both leaders to quit. We'll cross live
to Moorebank High School following a science lab explosion
this afternoon. Dozens of students
have been treated for injuries. Also at 6:00, the major warning
from health experts as temperatures get set to soar
into the 40s. We'll tell you how long
the heatwave will last and what you can do to keep safe. Federal Police help smash
an international crime gang accused of targeting
500,000 Australian credit cards. The victim
of a terrifying home invasion speaks out about his ordeal. And we'll have the latest
on an operation to salvage the crane
that collapsed at Ultimo. Those stories and more at 6:00.
Here's Jim.

Good afternoon, everyone. Former Australian captain
Ricky Ponting will retire from test cricket after the third test
against South Africa in Perth. Ponting told team-mates this morning
before announcing to the world. He made the decision,
not selectors. Well, I've given cricket my all,
you know. It's been life for 20 years. Not much more I can give. The boys are obviously hurting
at the moment because he's been an amazing player
for a long time.

(SIGHS)

Australia's named
a completely new pace attack for tomorrow's deciding test after Peter Siddle
and Ben Hilfenhaus were ruled out with fatigue.

The Australian Rugby League
Commission has dismissed concerns that players will strike if the salary cap is not increased
next season. Acting chief executive
Shane Mattiske says a boycott of the All Stars game
is unlikely even if the Players' Association
fails to secure a greater share of the game's revenue. We've actually appreciated
hearing directly from the players about their issues and negotiations, in general,
have been conducted in a very positive way. Manly's stars jumped in early
with a mud run as all players prepare
to get their hands dirty in salary cap talks with the NRL
tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel's Formula 1 title
could be in jeopardy. Ferrari's reportedly
looking at lodging an appeal against an overtaking move during the season-ending
Brazilian Grand Prix. There are suggestions Vettel overtook a rival
under yellow flags, which is illegal. If proven, Vettel could be hit
with a retrospective 20sec penalty, which would be enough
to hand the drivers' championship to Fernando Alonso.

Rick Kelly will be piloting a Holden
for the final time in the V8s before switching to Nissan
next year. And he expects the combination of hot weather
and a demanding street circuit to make for a torrid weekend. We

We know that if you put a slightly wrong, you end up in defence pretty hard. That will take out a few drivers. Final preparations are under way
at Sydney Olympic Park ahead of practice tomorrow. Coverage over the weekend
right here on Seven.

The big story is Ricky Ponting.

Tributes coming up at six o'clock, including a very special tribute from Matthew Hayden. A great career. After the break, we'll get the latest on the heatwave
affecting much of Australia,

Graeme's Apia experience, taken
from a real flood claims call. (PHONE RINGS) Hey, Graeme.
It's Ray here from Apia. How you going?
Oh, not bad. Starting to almost feel
normal selves again. (LAUGHS)
Oh, well, that's good to hear. I just can't have
enough praise and admiration for what you've done for us. It's kept us
with our heads above water. Pardon that pun too.
(LAUGHS) If you're over 50, Apia makes home
insurance a rewarding experience. Call 13 50 50 for a chat today.

Good evening. David Brown with your weather update
in Elwood, Victoria on this sizzling afternoon
in Melbourne. I am

I am actually in St Kilda. It is 35.5 degrees and that is in the shade. Mildura cracked a record
November high of 45 degrees and the heat is heading for inland
New South Wales and Queensland.

In Hobart, it is a sunny 27 degrees at the moment. In

at the moment. In Sydney, it is rather pleasant. If Brisbane is warm. North-east to northerly winds ahead of that thundery change
pushing through South Australia. A strong front is surging
over southern WA.

That will affect

That will affect SA and the south- east corner over the next 48 hours. The main thing tomorrow is the hot air that will push across a NSW and head up towards Queensland.

Sydney, fine. Canberra,
possible storm. Melbourne,
thundery rain. Hobart,
a shower or two. That's the latest weather.
More at 6:00, Mark. Thanks, David.

That's the latest
from the 4:30 News team. I'm Mark Ferguson.
I hope you have a great night. Supertext captions
by Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au

BRODIE: Alrighty, who's ready
to take home the Showcase tonight?!

Lots of prizes up for grabs, so get set 'cause it's time for
The Price is Right!

And here he is,
the man that can make it all happen. He'll hold your hand the whole way. Give it up for Larry Emdur!

Hello! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey! Oh!

Hey. Mwah. Hello, everyone.
Welcome to the show. Hey! Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

Well. Look at you!
Howdy! Howdy! What's going on with that? We're all ready to give away
some stuff. Uh, nice, nice, nice. Alright, off you go. Give that
jacket a whirl, see how we go. Let's do it. I need contestant
number one for tonight's show. Where might you be? Looking for someone crazy first up,
so get ready! It's time for... ..Jessica Karcard! Come on down, Jessica!

You're the first contestant
on The Price is Right!

Hello, Jessica.
Hi. How are you?
Good, thank you. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too. I'm glad that you're the first
person down. So am I.
Look at that smile! That's a Price is Right smile
right there. (APPLAUDS) Ready to go?
I am. Alright, here comes Check Out.

Get outta here. Thank you, Pricettes. Alright, Check Out is the game. Do you do much shopping? No, I have Mum that does
that for me. Alright, and is Mum nearby?