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or Deb, thanks for coming in.
Thanks, Glenn. Stand-by now for Seven Morning News.
See you tomorrow. Our thoughts go out to Harry, who has been

has been bumped from the throne. A man certain that he is very excited for his brother.Goodbye.

This program is captioned live. This morning -
the Duchess of Cambridge pregnant and in hospital
with severe morning sickness. The Reserve Bank almost certain
to cut interest rates in time for Christmas. Queenslanders enduring a day
of extreme heat and fire danger. And a man and woman arrested over a
destructive rampage through Sydney.

Seven Morning News with Ann Sanders.

Good morning. After months of frenzied speculation
and anticipation, Prince William and his wife,
Catherine, have confirmed they are expecting a baby. But the good news
has been slightly overshadowed by concerns about Kate's health. She's being treated in hospital for a rare and acute form
of morning sickness.

Prince William left
his wife's bedside this evening without comment or even his normally
cheerful smile for the cameras. A waiting car whisked him away. The last time she was seen in public
four days ago, the Duchess of Cambridge
was visiting her old school, playing hockey in high heels. No sign here an announcement
about the baby was imminent. The Duchess went on to spend
the weekend with her parents and began to suffer
from morning sickness. A pregnancy that would have remained
private for several more weeks suddenly became public and media attention focused
once again on the London hospital where Prince Philip was admitted
earlier in the year. Kate was driven here to the King
Edward VII's Hospital by car from her family home in Berkshire. The royal family decided
that, under the circumstances, they had no option but to make
a public announcement about her pregnancy. Kate is suffering from what's known
as hyperemesis gravidarum - an extreme form
of pregnancy sickness that doctors say
should not cause concern.

The symptoms usually settle quickly. She will be having a drip to replace fluid and bed rest. It settles within a few days, maximum of one week.There has been speculation for weeks. In Cambridge Wiliam was presented with a romper suit just in case. When the announcement was made her the congratulations followed within minutes.

It's absolutely wonderful news
and I'm delighted for them. I'm sure they will make
absolutely brilliant parents. Everyone around the country will be
celebrating with them tonight.

It is, of course, no surprise. William and Kate said
on their engagement that they wanted a family. We will take it one step at a time We'll get over the marriage
thing first. Maybe look at kids later. We want a family. We will have to start thinking
about that. For the Queen, it will mean
a third great-grandchild. She was also told the news earlier
than had been planned. And so William and Kate
have provided the perfect end to an extraordinary
Diamond Jubilee year.

Dozens of journalists and
photographers from around the world are now camped outside London's
King Edward VII Hospital, waiting for a glimpse
of the mum-to-be. Seven's Adrian Brown is among them.

A happy moment in London that the Duchess of Cambridge is not feeling her best. She is still being treated here at hospital in central London. She was admitted to hospital earlier today suffering from severe morning sickness. That is when we got the confirmation that she was pregnant with her first child. She is expected to remain here in hospital for several more days. Any woman who has been pregnant will tell you that morning sickness can be debilitating and she is on rehydration fluid at the moment and hospital is the best place for her to be. She fell ill when did she was with Prince William, staying with her parents in Berkshire where they had been over the weekend. They came here and were admitted to hospital. We do not know how long she has been pregnant four. A spokesman for some James Palace said it happened recently but would not be drawn further on that. To put it in context it has been an incredible year for Britain - the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and now, just a few weeks before Christmas, the crowning glory - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about to have their first child. The royal family is receiving
well-wishes and congratulations from around the world, including from
Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She spoke just a short time ago.

Can I start by offering my congratulations to Prince William and Kate on the news that they are expecting a child. This is delightful news, it will bring joy to them and their family and joy to many around the world. Clearly it is a time of joy and it can also be a time of challenge and I am sure many will be thinking of Taite as she deals with morning sickness and is in hospital. The Reserve Bank board is expected to deliver some Christmas joy
to homebuyers when it meets today. The bank is tipped
to cut interest rates to a level not seen
since the global economic downturn.

Homebuyers could be in store
for an early Christmas present. Our view, a rate cut today and the possibility of another
one sort of February next year.

The Reserve Bank is tipped to slash the official cash rate
by 0.5% to 3% - the lowest level since
the global financial crisis. Economists believe an interest rate cut is needed
to stimulate the economy. Retail spending is going nowhere,
job ads are falling. What we're seeing now is a reversion to essentially what Wayne Swan
described as emergency levels. But the Government insists the economy is not
in a state of emergency. The economy, as the Reserve Bank
itself says, is growing at around trend growth. While the Government says the RBA will make its decision
independently, it appears to be pushing
for a rate cut. We are through our fiscal policy creating the room for monetary
policy to do its work. all eyes will be on the big banks to
see if they pass on the reduction. The Government is warning them not to act
like Grinch who stole Christmas. The game is up. They need to pass on
any interest rate reduction in full. The Opposition says
don't bet your house on it. The banks simply don't listen
to this government.

A man and a woman have been arrested
after leaving a trail of destruction in Sydney's south. Three police cars were hit
and an officer was injured after a ram-raid on a chemist
at San Souci. Sarah Coates joins me now. Good morning, Sarah. What happened? Police have

Police have just taken two people into custody following a wild night in Sydney. It is alleged that around 3:25am they ran to a ute into a chemist on the Rocky Point Road in Sans Souci, causing extensive damage. Sleeping pills and the cash register with $500 was stolen before they fled. Police attended the scene and further investigations led them to an address in Hurstville where they sat until the offenders in the same ute arrived. When they arrived they took off, ramming into two police cars. A third a police car followed the ute and was later refined well- liked. The owner of the chemist estimates the damage bill to be around $50,000. Quite a bit, quite a bit
because they've damaged stands and it had Christmas stock on it. It hurts a lot, it hurts a lot
because that's our livelihood and we've got three kids and it's not an easy thing
to go through at the moment.

The clean-up has well and truly begun and they hope

begun and they hope to be back in business before the end of the week. Back to you. Thank you, Sarah Coates. South East Queensland is bracing for its hottest December day
in more than a decade as temperatures soar into the 40s.

Health authorities
and firefighters are on alert with the worst of the heat
still hours away.

Brisbane woke this morning
on red alert. Residents and emergency services
bracing for their heatwave to peak. A week of temperatures above 30 just a teaser for today's scorching
forecast of 39 degrees. The fire danger is extreme. Very dry, gusty westerly winds
coming through. And not just for Brisbane - two-thirds of Queensland
is on bushfire alert. Parts of the west will soar past 40
degrees for the fourth day in a row. Health authorities are worried
about heat stress, especially in the elderly. They become dehydrated,
don't recognise it and then more and more. Then they start getting confused
and that's when it's dangerous. People are being urged to drink between 2 and 3 litres
of water today, turn air conditioning on or get to the beach
where the water's unusually cool. Water's about 20 to 21 degrees where it was about 23 degrees
a few days ago. There was no break from
the extreme weather last night as a lightning storm struck
the south east. South of the border, a freak thunderstorm hit the New
South Wales town of Tamworth. The home of country music hit
with the crashing sound of huge hailstones,
shattering glass. The more you look, you go, "Well, that window's broken,
that window's broken." Gale force winds uprooted trees, flash flooding turned roads
in wading pools. Extra crews have been called
in for today's clean-up.

A child has narrowly escaped
being hit by a car after a woman five times
the legal alcohol limit Cameron Baud has the details.

The family he live at this house in Mooroolbark in Melbourne's out of east said the woman was in almost as bad condition as the trail of damage she left behind. They claimed she attempted to reverse out after crashing through two fences but was not able to because the car was jammed. They say after she was held out of the car she was found to have bruises on her face and was unable to stand up. She then took a preliminary blood- alcohol test and a 2.85 -- registered five times over the limit. The child was playing

registered five times over the limit. The child was playing on a trampoline nearby.I feel like the luckiest child on earth.We are very lucky.The 55-year-old has had her licence suspended and will face court with charges yet to be finalised. Next in Seven News - more on the Reserve Bank's
final interest rate decision for the year. Also, worrying new evidence
about the danger of concussions on the playing field.

To finance now

and joining me is David Halliday
from Macquarie Private Wealth. Good morning, David. What are you predicting
for interest rates today?

Good morning. Hopefully going to

Good morning. Hopefully going to
provide good news for people in saying I believe the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates by 0.25%. That will bring the rate back to 3%, the lowest level since the global financial crisis. The economy is slowing. We are seeing wages, profits and growth slowing. We had data out in terms of building approvals and that was a sluggish. That combined with the fact that inflation doesn't seem to be a problem should set the scene for the Reserve Bank to cut rates, 0.25% was that we will find out more at 2:30pm. How was the local market after the fall on Wall Street? We started off well. More recently the game has been eroded and we are down 10 points, one-quarter of 1%. There are concerns about the US fiscal cliff. And the RBA meeting this afternoon. Caution is prevailing in early trade. Early in the session we saw Commonwealth Bank changes. Materials and resources stocks are weaker after weak manufacturing data in the US overnight but as I said, most people sitting on the sidelines for the Reserve Bank at 2:30pm this afternoon. Thank you, David. We'll talk to you again
at 2:30 Eastern Daylight Saving Time for live coverage
of the Reserve Bank's decision. A new US study has revealed
a concerning link between repeated concussion and long-term degenerative
brain disease. The findings could have
significant implications for sports people around the world.

In the office of one of the top
neurologists in the country, there is evidence of a passion. I love football and I love
those guys that play it. These tremendous areas
of abnormality. But the sports fan and mother
has been on a serious mission. Dr Ann McKee and her team
have linked repeated head trauma, like those found
on football fields and hockey rinks, to degenerative brain disease. It gives us a huge insight into
how the disease starts in the brain, where it starts in the brain and, importantly, how it progresses
through the brain. Today, Dr McKee released
the world's largest study a progressive brain disease
cause by concussions. Of 68 donated brains, half of the cases of CTE involved
professional football players. But these findings have
implications beyond the goalposts. From football to girls' soccer
to high school hockey to the pros. McKee's work has prompted important
changes in NFL rules and food for thought
in her own life. Would you let your kids play? It's a really tough question for me. Uh...I don't know.
I don't know anymore. Next in Seven News - Ricky Ponting bows out
of test cricket with no regrets. And Israel Folau suits up
for his third football code in the space of four years.

BALL: Uh-oh.
BALL 2: Oh, no. All yours. Just roll with it.
Oh! Aah! VOICEOVER: Oz Lotto's $13 million
jackpot is on its way. Will your numbers bring you a
truckload of cash this Tuesday? I'm dizzy.

Israel Folau says
he wants to be a Wallaby after signing on to play super rugby
with the New South Wales Waratahs. Jim Wilson was at this morning's
announcement and joins me now. Good morning, Jim. What did Folau have to say?

There was a lot of finger-pointing happening this morning as to what went wrong in terms of getting the deal done with rugby league. He left GWS two years into a 4-year deal. It attracted criticism. He got fed up with a protracted negotiations with the Eagles and he and his management went and talked to rugby union here, in Japan and France. This morning it was announced he will have a 6-month stint with the Waratahs in Super Rugby. He has drawn a lot of criticism from rugby league fans who say he is greedy, turned his back on rugby league. Let's listen to what he had to say. I walked away from the AFL deal,
which was massive, and anyone can say what they want it
doesn't bother me. They are all entitled
to what they want to say, and in the end I'm happy
and that's all that matters.

He has indicated he wants to

He has indicated he wants to play for the Wallabies and his first priority is getting a starting spot in the 15th. There has been a lot of Folau from Waratahs players who have been in contract negotiations and are told there is no money but they have signed Israel Folau for $250,000 of the six months. The faithful are not happy he has gone to union. Australian captain Michael Clarke
insists the emotion surrounding
Ricky Ponting's retirement wasn't to blame for the crushing
loss to South Africa at the WACA. The Proteas won the series decider
by 309 runs as one of Australian cricket's
all-time greats made his final farewell.

It was an emotional farewell
17 years in the making. Mum and Dad's support over the years
has been remarkable and I wouldn't obviously be here without the opportunities
I was given at an early age by them so... (CLEARS THROAT)

This is getting a bit harder. Ricky Ponting was hoping
for one last stand against the champion South African
team that formed a guard of honour
to say goodbye. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) It was a disappointing finale -
out for eight. Caught Kallis, bowled Peterson. COMMENTATOR: He wouldn't like
doing that either. He wanted to get the job done
for Australia. I just probably had a bit more
of a fairytale ending in my own eyes than what's happened this week. His 168th match over,
so too, a remarkable career. With more than 13,000 runs,
including 41 centuries, Ponting's the highest scoring
Australian batsman of all time - the second highest in test history. And he says there's no regrets
as a new chapter begins. I don't live my life
thinking about regrets. I just, day in, day out, have got up and tried to make myself
a better person and a better dad and a better player. And as you can see I've got some
work to do on one of those. (LAUGHTER) um...which I'll enjoy, won't I?

Samantha Stosur has been named
our most outstanding tennis player for the third straight year. The shining lights
of Australian tennis were on hand for last night's
John Newcombe Medal presentation. As our only player ranked
in the top 10 in singles, Stosur was a clear choice
for the top award. The 28-year-old will hit
the practice court today, in preparation
for the Australian Open in January.

Ford driver Mark Winterbottom
has taken out his first Barry Sheene Medal at the V8 Supercars
gala awards night. The stars of the sport, including
4-time champion Jamie Whincup, gathered in Sydney
to celebrate the season. Winterbottom edged out veteran
Craig Lowndes for the top award, which is given to the best
and fairest driver. Foundation V8 Supercars chairman
Tony Cochrane became the first non-driver to be
inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Stay with me here
on Seven's Morning News. I'll be back with all the weather
details after this break.

Checking today's weather - fine and very hot
in Brisbane. Sunny in

Hobart will get
some showers. Windy with showers
in Melbourne. Adelaide,
partly cloudy. with showers
and a possible storm. The usual
shower or storm in Darwin.

And that's Seven News to now. We'll keep you up to date
throughout the day I'm Ann Sanders.
Thanks for your company. Goodbye.

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