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Nine Morning News -

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ANNOUNCER: This is Nine News with Amelia Adams. Good morning. We start with some breaking news - the sexual harassment case against former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper has been throup out of court. In handing down his decision, the judge said that the case was designed to cause political damage to Mr Slipper. Let's go straight to Jayne Azzopardi in the Federal Court for that decision. The judge was quite scathing of Peter Slipper's former staffer, James Ashby. Good morning, Amelia.He was. The judge said that Mr Ashby's proceedings amounted to an abuse of the process of the court. He said that James Ashby had been planning his attack since February this year, and that the predominant reason for bringing these proceedings was to cause significant public reputational and political damage to Mr Slipper. James Ashby claimed that he was sexually harassed by Mr Slipper while work for him in the speaker's office, both by text message and in person. The judge found that he included in his claim scandalous and irrelevant allegations relating to an event in 2003, and also allegations relating to the misuse of cab charges. He said that to allow this matter to remain in court would be manifestly unfair to Peter Slipper. He also criticised James Ashby's colleague, Karen Doane, and the former MP, Mal Brough, who has won preselection for Mr Slipper's former seat of Fisher. He said that they did it to advance their own interests and those of the Liberal National Party. James Ashby left court over an hour ago and this is what he said.? I'm extremely disappointed with the court's decision today. This has been a very harrowing time for me, my family, friends, and supporters. We first filed my sexual harassment complaint against Mr Slipper on April 20. That is eight months ago. Eight months. Since that date, no evidence at all has been heard in my substantive complaint against the former Speaker that he sexually harassed me. There has been a substantive - there's been a determined campaign to try to prevent the substantive allegations being heard and judged in open court. To put me to the maximum cost in pursuing justice. With my lawyers, we will study the judgment in detail. But at this stage, we intend to appeal this regrettable decision. How has the federal Government reacted?Well, a spokesperson for the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, has issued a statement saying that the Commonwealth welcomes the decision. She says it shows how dangerously wrong and misleading it can be in prejudging court matters. She says the Coalition will have serious questions to answer about their own conduct. The Education Minister, Peter Garrett, has been speaking, and this is what he had to say.Well the Commonwealth welcomes the decision of the court today, in the Peter Slipper matter, and the person who now has to answer serious questions is the Shadow Attorney-General Senator Brandis, who was the one that made a call on this case when he shouldn't have. He's the one that needs to answer questions now, because it's clearly been an abuse of process, and the court has found accordingly. Now, it is worth remembering that the Federal Government has already paid - settled its case with James Ashby for $50,000. It is not the end of the matter. James Ashby said that he intends to appeal. A protective services officer has been attacked with a hammer at Victoria's State Parliament. The attacker stole the officer's gun before turning the weapon on himself. Let's go live to Vicky Jardim at the scene. Vicky, how did this all unfold?Well, Amelia, about 8:00 last night, a protective services officer was xaul patrolling the grounds here at Parliament House. He was approached by a man and there was a very short conversation, and all of a sudden, the man produced a hammer, he hit the protective services officer across the head several times. The man then fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious. While all this commotion was happening, the man then ran through the city, down towards the MCG, where he shot himself, and was later pronounced dead. To compound all this, Parliament was sitting at the time. The Premier and other important ministers and politicians were actually inside the Victorian parliament at the time. They were told to stay calm, stay inside, and the whole area was placed in lockdown. Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu spoke this morning for the second time about the incident. He is, of course, deeply concerned. This is what he had to say.That is a serious assault, and, indeed, any assault on a Victoria police officer is a reason for great concern. This assault has obviously had tragic consequences. We can say the officer in question obviously injured seriously, went to hospital, has had an operation. We understand that he is in a satisfactory condition. But having sustained a serious injury. Vicky, what happens next in terms of the investigation? Well, Amelia, the homicide squad is actually investigating. The Premier has revealed that one of the things that they may actually look at is whether construction here at Parliament House hindered the line of view, preventing some of the PSO officers and security guards from watching what was actually unfolding, potentially placing this PSO at risk. What we have learned this morning is that the man who was pronounced dead is actually 30 years old and known to police. So certainly, very troubling, Amelia. Indeed. Thank you. If you or anyone you know needs help or support, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 Victoria's homicide squad is investigating the death of a baby girl near Bendigo. The 6-month-old was found in a car in Golden Square shortly after 7 o'clock last night. The child was taken to hospital, but died a short time later. A 27- year-old woman has been interviewed by police but released without charge. The NSW police force is preparing to pay tribute to fallen officer Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson. The father of three was killed in a knife attack while on duty last week. Let's go live to nine Nine's Simon Bouda for the details. A huge turnout expected there today?It is a preparation - if the preparations are anything to go by, it will be an enormous funeral. This crime has really struck at the hearts of the police family. We are expecting, obviously, the Police Commissioner and police officers from around the country, coming here to St Patrick's cael at Parramatta. Donna, his wife, and Bryson's brothers, Warwick and Damien will be presenting eulogies here during the service. Present will be the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, and the NSW Governor. But the most important people here today will be his colleagues, mates, who have lost a very close friend and well respected police officer. Here is what the Police Association told us earlier today.Our heart goes out, and today we are remembering Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson and the legacy that he leaves behind. We respect his courage, his integrity. He leaves behind his loving wife and three children, and we need to remember them - they are the ones who are paying the life sentence. This service will be led by Bishop Anthony Fisher here at St Patrick's Cathedral. There will be full police honours, a roadside guard, marching escort as his coffin is brought out of the church. It begins at about 2:00 Sydney time, expected to last for about two hours. A very sad day. We will check in with you later. A special fund has been set up for the family of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson. You can make a donation to the Bryson Anderson Memorial Fund BSB number is 815 000. Account number - 273-178. Former 'Hey, Dad!' star Robert Hughes has boarded a flight to Australia surrounded by several police officers. He is flying to Sydney to face a string of child assault allegations. Nine's Europe correspondent Peter Stefanovic has been the details. Robert Hughes is finally on his way to Australia. He left Heathrow Airport on quasiflight 2 this evening local time, arriving at Sydney International Airport at 6.30. The news that he would be extradited, it was confirmed by Scotland Yard earlier today. It released a statement which said, "We can confirm that Robert Hughes of W1 was extradited from London Heathrow to Australia this evening on 11 December. He is wanted in connection with allegations of gross indecency, indecent assault, sexual assault of children between August 1984 and August 1990." It was back in November on the 20th that the British Government signed the extradition order, giving Robert Hughes 14 days to appeal. He decided not to appeal, to consent to it, which meant that he had four weeks to leave London and get back to Sydney. As it turns out, he only needed three weeks -- he had another week up his sleeve before that time frame expired. And as I said, now he is on his way back to Sydney. Hughes has always maintained his innocence. He made a number of court appearances here in London over the past few months. Through his lawyer, he said that he wanted to go back to Australia, to try to clear his name. He said he's always cooperated with NSW Police. He said he always will cooperate with NSW Police, if that means clearing his name. There are 11 allegations that relate to the indecent assault and the sexual assault of five girls between the years 1984 to 1990. So just recapping - Robert Hughes has left London. He's now on his way to Sydney, where he will arrive on Thursday morning, at 6:50. The contents of a note left by British nurse Jacintha Saldanha could shed some light on what drove the mother of two to take her own life. She died just days after falling victim to a prank phone call from two Sydney radio hosts. The content of the note, which was left to her husband and two teenage children, is not yet known. A post-mortem into her death is being carried out today. Let's have a quick look at the weather now around the country: Brisbane and Sydney have a few showers, fine but cloudy in Adelaide. Melbourne - a top of 33. Sunny in Hobart. Storms on the way for Perth and Darwin. Plenty more to come in Nine's Morning News Hour - plain packaging for cigarettes, the company which has found a loophole. Australia's education system under the spotlight - a poor performance by our kids in international tests. And the perils of high heels - why rail authorities have released these videos. 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This program is not captioned. Australia's education system is under fire, after primary school students bombed out in an international reading test. A second global test has revealed our science and maths standards are also in trouble. Kerrie Yaxley joins us now from Canberra with the details. Morning, Kerrie, talk us through the findings.Well, Amelia, one of the studies ranks Australia's Year 4 students as 27th in the world for reading, putting them on par with countries like Bulgaria and Slovenia. It found 25% of those students failed to meet the minimum standards in reading for their age group. Overall, our Year 4 students were significantly out-performed by 21 countries, including Hong Kong, Russia and Finland, making up the top three. Now, a second test revealed our rankings in science and maths for Year 4 and Yearle students have not improved much since the mid-80s. It has prompted authorities to question teaching standards. Funding makes a difference but there is a limit to how much difference funding can make. In the end, it is caps-building, really. It is really what happens on the ground in schools every day that makes a difference. It is about school improvement. It is about looking at what we can do to enhance the quality of the teaching that is occurring in classrooms. Kerrie, what is the Federal Government's reaction? Well, Julia Gillard had wanted Australian schools to be in the world's top five by 2025. That seems like a very ambitious target, now, given the results. Education Minister Peter Garrett said that the studies are a wake-up call. He said that urgent action is needed. He has called on the State Governments to work with the Commonwealth to implement the multi-billion dollar Gonski education reforms.These international results are saying to us very clearly that it is time for a national plan for school improvement, it is time for a whole-of-nation effort to lift the education results of kids in all our schools.The Opposition has reacted as well, calling it a wake- up call is not enough. They say that the Government needs to take responsibility for this, pointing out that Year 4 students started school after Labor was elected to Government. A Gold Coast company is cheekily evading the Federal Government's new plain-packaging laws for cigarettes. It has found a way to obscure the graphic health warnings. Nine's Chris O'Keefe has the story. A small Gold Coast sticker company is taking up the fight to the Federal Government's new plain- packaging legislation, attempting to do what the big tobacco companies couldn't. They are covering the gruesome health warnings on cigarette packages. The Government's plain-packaging legislation was introduced at the start of the month, after a huge legal battle with the tobacco companies. It made it illegal to show any brandings on pacts of smokes. A box-wrapped sticker will cover the warnings with a brightly coloured design, be it a bikini- clad woman or golf balls.My friends who are smokers, they were upset about the new plain-packaging and found the images graphic and offensive. There was, you know, an opportunity, I suppose, to give them back their freedom of choice. At the end of the day, we are just a sticker detail company. We are in no way influence the skoorm to smoke. We provide them with a sticker detail.Federal Government has launched an urgent investigation into the product, to see if it, in fact, can be legitimately sold. But Box Wrap says they are bringing choice back to cigarettes and will sell the stickers for a little over $1 each. You can imagine that the Gillard Government won't take it lying down, especially considering the amount of time, effort and money spent legally and politically to get the laws passed in the first place. A new video has been released by rail authorities in the UK warning women to be careful in their high heels this Christmas. The video features CCTV of some of the worst slips and trips. One woman can be seen falling and dragged to the top of an escalator on London's Underground. They have become an overnight intert sensation. Still ahead - violence flares at Brisbane's tent embassy. Our reporter has the latest. Trampoline safety - a new warning about the popular Christmas gift. And why today is the luckiest day of the year to get married. This program is not captioned. (EXCITING MUSIC) SONG: # And do the sneak # And do the slurp

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Brisbane's Lord Mayor has vowed to continue his tough stance on the Aboriginal tent embassy. The site was dismantled amid fiery scenes overnight, as protesters clashed with police. Let's go live to Nine's Alysha Gates for the details. Talk us through what happened there?Around midnight, 50 police descended on Musgriev Park in a raid to move on Aboriginal activists, who were here to defend the sacred flame. Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that he met with Aboriginal elders, that it was time for the tent embassy to move on, that it had run its course. Many of the elders said that - three people were arrested. Let's take a listen to what happened here last night. You show me your permit to come on here?! You show me your permit to come on here?! Always was and always will be Aboriginal land! What is the situation now - any further protests planned today? Amelia, a much smaller group has assembled here this morning, they are just about to hold a meeting. They want to meet with the Lord Mayor as well as police. They want to continue to defend the sacred flame. The Lord Mayor is currently holding a press conference. He says he wants the tent embassy moved on. We should have further details this afternoon. Well, if you are thinking of buying the kids a trampoline this Christmas, they may not be as safe as you think. A leading consumer group, Choice, tested 12 brands and found nearly of them failed the basic safety tests. Many didn't provide safety nets or adequate protection fors and falls, meaning children could easily get hurt. In little under an hour, it will be 12 past 12 on 12th of the 12th of the 12th! It happens only once in a lifetime. A record number of couples have registered to marry today. 150 of them along the east coast. Another 5,000 are expected to tie the knot in the US. Still to come on Nine's Morning News - the Peter Slipper sexual harassment case is thrown out of court. We have the latest details for you. Also, a violent attack on a protective services officer in Melbourne - our reporter is at the scene. A bizarre sight on one of the world's most famous rivers. This program is not captioned. I treat every day
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This program is not captioned. Welcome back to Nine's Morning News Hour. These are the top stories. A judge throws out the sexual harassment case against former House Speaker Peter Slipper, saying he is the victim of a political attack. A protective services officer attacked with a hammer at Victoria State Parliament - the attacker stole the officer's gun before turning it on himself. And thousands gather in Sydney for an emotional farewell to fallen police officer Bryson Anderson, who was killed on duty. Let's get the details on our top story now. A aide to Peter Slipper says he will appeal after the sexual harassment against the former parliamentary Speaker was thrown out of court. In handing down his decision, the judge said that the case was designed by James Ashby to cause political damage to Mr Slipper.Extremely disappointed with the court's decision today. This has been a very harrowing time for me, my family, friends and supporters.The Federal Government has welcomed the decision. Investigators in Melbourne are trying to piece together the motive behind an attack on a protective services officer. The officer was bashed around the head with a hammer last night, and Vicky Jardim is following the story for us. Vicky, what are police saying at this stage - any early leads? Well, Amelia, the homicide squad is actually investigating this terrible incident. What we know is about 8:00 last night, a protective services officer here at the ground of Parliament House was viciously attacked with a hammer. The man then stole the officer's firearm, ran through the very busy CBD towards the MCG, when he shot himself and was later pronounced dead. Now, police this morning have revealed the man is in his 30s, and was known to police. The protective services officer is currently at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, with serious head injuries. The police force is devastated about what has happened here, and this is what the Assistant Commissioner had to say. The protective services officer has recently been promoted to protective services officer first class - that was approximately two months ago. He's an experienced member, been in the protective services unit for seven years. It is a serious incident. Any assault op any person on the streets of Melbourne is a serious enough incident, but a member of Victoria Police out here, doing their job, protecting the community, is extremely serious.Vicky, this all started, as you say, at state parliament. How has the Government reacted?Well, Amelia, the Premier has this morning been very quick to defend the protective services officer. He says he was very experienced, and basically doing what he does every day. Now, as I mentioned before, a thorough investigation is currently underway, to work out exactly what has gone on here. One of the line of inquiries is whether construction here at Parliament House actually hindered the line of view for other security guards and public services officers basically putting this - potentially putting this PSO at risk. But the ethical standards department and OPI will oversee the investigation. We will leave it there. Thank you for that. If you or anyone you know needs help or support, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. A church in Sydney's west is expected to be overflowing today, when members of the NSW Police Force join family and friends to to farewell fallen officer Bryson Anderson. The 45-year-old father of three was stabbed to death while on duty last week. Nine's Simon Bouda joins us from the church. No doubt an incredibly difficult day for family and the police force? Certainly will be, Amelia. There is no doubt about that. Not only for them - I think it will also be very, very difficult for members of the public. They have been invited to come along here today. We are expecting thousands of people to turn out. They have been floral tributes arriving all morning as the rehearsal for the funeral here at St Patrick's Cathedral was held all this morning. There will be the governor, Premier, Barry O'Farrell, and his wife, Donna, and three children. His brothers, Warwick, an ex-police officer, and Damien. They will be giving eulogies. There will be a procession. There will be full police honours - a roadside guard and marching escort. But this crime, the death of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson, has touched every police officer in the state, as well as nationally. There will be national guests here today. Here is what the President of the Police Association, Scott Webber, told us earlier today sombre day, devastating for all of us. It is nice when members of the public come up and say thank you, and pass on their condolences or attend the fucial service today. It highlights the community respect of what we do. We know we may not be coming home to our loved ones at night. That is what happened last week. That's what we have to remember, Amelia. He was just doing his job last Thursday, when he was murdered. Two people have been charged over the murder. We won't go into the details - it is probably not the day for it. You have o to think of all the police officers when they face this sort of thing. That will be in the back of everyone's minds here during the funeral today. An extremely emotional day. We will talk to you later in the day. A special fund has been set up for the family of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson. BSB number is 815 000. Account number - 273-178.

number - 273-178.
Former 'Hey, Dad!' star Robert Hughes is expected to arrive in Sydney tomorrow following his extradition from the UK. Hughes was surrounded by police officers as he boarded a flight from London. The 64-year-old is returning to face multiple allegations of child sex assaults. He denies the accusations. More than 100 police officers have conducted dawn raids on six homes in Sydney's south-west. The operation was targeting a criminal gang, suspected of being involved in a shooting earlier this year. The gunfight between three men in Old Guildford led to a woman being grazed after a stray bullet entered her home. Six men have been arrested as police continue their investigation. Two men have already been charged over the incident, including a man who was extradited from Queensland yesterday. Three people have been arrested during a night-time raid on the Aboriginal tent embassy in Brisbane. More than 50 officers dismantled the site, following concerns by indigenous leaders. A group of activists attempted to relight the sacred flame at the embassy before their leader was arrested. You show me your permit to come on here! You show me your permit to come on here! About eight protesters remain at the site today, and have vowed to stay. Emergency services in NSW scrambled last night after hearing reports a light plane had crashed into the ocean near Brunswick Heads. Crews and police arrived to find the aircraft had made an emergency landing in a nearby field.The plane came almost directly over the dairy, and bloody Cowes all fell down in the -- cows all fell down in the herring bone vales. They had a couple left in the yard. Witnesses say the plane was flying at low altitude. Banking giant HSBC has agreed to pay a fine of almost $2 billion over money laundering allegations. It follows claims by the US Government that the bank did business with known war lords and drug traffickers. When the most ruthless of the Mexican drug cartels wanted to hide their money, they went to HSBC! So did terror groups, including Hamas and al-Qaeda, along with Iran and other countries and the US financial black list, all customers of a bank known all around the world. Today, US authorities said they were finally holding the British-based bank accountable. HSBC had agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines and forfeitures.The largest forfeiture ever.Less prominent was a deferred prosecution agreement with HSBC, in effect meaning there will be no prosecution of the bank or its top executives - despite more than a decade of dealing with criminals and terrorists.This is a very just, very real and very powerful result. You don't think the bank got off easy?No, I don't think the bank thinks it got off easy.With $38 million in profits over the last two years alone, HSBC can easily afford its $1.92 billion payment. This is a signal to other banks that if you do this kind of stuff, you will get a parking ticket, you will pay the fine and you will move on. Since this summer when HSBC executives ducked questions from ABC News, the bank's lawyers have argued that a successful prosecution of HSBC could have put the bank out of business in the US, costing lots of jobs and disrupting financial markets. The Federal Government says urgent action is needed after Australia's Year 4 students performed 27th in the world for reading. A check revealed standards in science and maths has not improved much since the mid-190s. The Opposition claims the wake-up call is too little too late, pointing out the that Year 4 students started school after Labor was elected to Government. Tensions are growing in Egypt as President Mohamed Mursi pushes forward with a controversial referendum. Protesters have attacked barricades near the presidential Palace in Cairo and zairts clashed with the Republican Guard as they tried to protect the area. Egypt is praefrpg for more violence in the coming days. The referendum will be held at the end of the week. Extreme weather is causing havoc across the United States. Severe snowstorms are disrupting the Midwest, while at least a dozen tornados have caused widespread damage in the south. Monster storms wreaked havoc in the upper Midwest and parts of the south in the northern plains residents are digging out after a record snowstorm.We moved to the area a few months ago from southern California. It is a shock.Most of Minnesota is buried in white, after the state got its monthly snowfall total in one day. Cars were a heavy casualty, some buried, others, like these, found along emergency routes towed.We were going to move the car in the morning and it was gone. The snow made driving conditions miserable. State police reported hundreds of car crashes. Wisconsin - ploughs were out in force.It has definitely got everybody excited. Winter was mild last year in parts of the Midwest, so businesses like towing companies and hardware stores gladly went to work.It is nice to see winter here.Across the south, a different weather threat - more than a dozen tornadoes confirmed since Sunday. One struck the town of Baker, Louisiana, where strong winds tore the roof off a car wash, littering the streets with debris.It was scary. Everything was just flying. Just tossed around.In Florida, about 30 mobile homes were no match for a heavy twister.I was at work, took a phone call from my husband. He said it is not good. He said, "You need to come home now."More severe weather is expected today in Florida, with possible tornados from Orlando to Atlantta, all the way down the West Palm Beach and Miami. Still in the US, four homes have been engulfed by a giant fireball in West Virginia. Flames could be seen shooting up to 20m into the air after a major gasline exploded. This video was taken by a driver on a nearby road. Firefighters have been unable to get close to the fire because of the intense heat. It is not yet clear if anyone has been hurt. A woman in America has been convicted of murder, after she butchered a multi-million dollar Lottery winner. The Florida housewife swindled her boyfriend out of the jackpot before burying him in the backyard. A Florida juryy convicted Dorice 'Dee Dee' Moore of first-degree murder in the death of Florida Lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare. Moore didn't testify, and not one one -- not one witness was called in her defence. She showed no emotion when the verdict was read, although she cried during the trial. Shakespeare's mother was in the courtroom. She testified Moore tried to hide the fact her son was missing. His family was pleased with the verdict.Justice done. They say all it take is a dollar and a dream, but for Shakespeare, winning $30 million in the Lottery became a nightmare. My whole life, I could walk the streets, like a normal person.An ill literate sanitation worker, Shakespeare had lost most of his jackpot by the time he met Moore in 2008, when she became his financial adviser. Shakespeare disappeared in April 2009 and his body was discovered nine months later under a slab of cement in Moore's boyfriend's yard. He had been shot twice in the chest. Although there were no eyewitnesses to the murder, a Wal-Mart surveillance video showed Moore buying gloves, duct tape and plastic sheeting - items found close to where Shakespeare's body was buried. The judge sentenced Moore to life in pron without the possibility of parole and an additional 25 years for using a gun in the crime. Prosecutors had not sought the death penalty. When you are out looking for Christmas presents this year, the store mannequins might be looking at you! It is the latest in shopping technology - hidden cameras that can track everything from who you are to what you buy. With the holidays just days away, Americans are spending countless hours in stores, perusing, running and fighting for the perfect gift. Would you believe that the solution could be right before your eyes? Well, actually - hers! Meet IC - the latest high-tech weapon. She uses facial recognition technology to gather information on its customers. She's like something lifted right out of Minority Report. Hello, welcome back!Basically, cameras are inside the eye. The camera is tied with face- recognition software.This is how it works. Let's say a customer walks through the store and sees a dress that he or she likes. Well, as the customer is observing the dress, the mannequin is observing the customer, making note of everything from their age range, gender and race. It is made by the Italian company Alnek - one of the world's leading manufacturers. Their lips are sealed when it comes to which of their clients are using the technology. While they wouldn't let us take a peek inside, they gave us a tip. How do you tell the difference?You can see the camera. Their holes in the pupils?! These dummies don't come cheap. They cost $5,000. But the company is hoping that stores will be willing to pay big bucks to get an edge - buying into the idea that the more they learn about their shoppers, the more they sell.That is the way the technology will advance. Before you go home, your refrigerator will be able to tell you it is out of milk, so you can stop on the way instead of finding out later.H & M, which does not use the mannequin, reaction was mixed.It is invading your privacy. I think it is kind of smart, actually.Go back to the drawing board - it is freaking me out! Well, now to one of the country's most honest couples. Paul and Helen Butler, came across more than $60,000 in cash left behind in a Brisbane shopping centre car park. Instead of pocketing the stash in the lead-up to Christmas, they straight away handed it into police. He obviously got the significant amount of money on the back of the trolley.I walked in with a big smile on my face and said to the constable on the counter, "You might want to look in this bag." The couple later met the forgetful owner, and he gave the Butlers $500 for their honesty. Workers in London got a surprise while walking along the River Thames. A 50ft rubber duck was seen making its way up the river in the Canary Wharf district. It was part of a promotion for an online bingo site.Hopefully there won't be any ducks in cricket! Hilfenhaus is looking at taking the new ball. We talk about all of that with Nine's Roz Kelly from Hobart next. And why warny is fired up ahead of tonight's Big Bash match against the Scorches. The Swans throw out the Sydney welcome mat to This program is not captioned. It's such a natural instinct to want to look after
the ones you love. You'd do anything
to make their lives easier. Which is why Brian and I
are putting a few dollars a week into an Apia Funeral Plan.

Because I don't want
my family worrying about money at a time like that. And Apia couldn't
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$30,000 when it's most needed. Plus, Apia rewards you by giving back 10%
of what you put in every three years. Sign up today
and Apia will thank you with a $50 Caltex Fuel Card. They really do reward experience
at Apia. With an Apia Funeral Plan, there's guaranteed acceptance
for under-75s, fast access to cash, up to $30,000 cover, and a bonus gift. That's why everyone's
talking about Apia.

This program is not captioned.

The Australian cricket team are getting stuck into practice in Hobart, as we count down to Friday's first test against Sri Lanka. Nine's Roz Kelly is at Bellerive Oval. Good morning, Ros. The first we hear is that Mike Hussey is not feeling the best?Good morning, Tim. Yes, Mike Hussey couldn't make it to training today - he's struggling with quite a bad head cold. He was told to stay at the team hotel and rest. So, as more information comes to hand on, they will keep you posted on his condition. Now, in other news to come out of training, Peter Siddle, his enthusiasm and energy has really boosted the team in his return to the test. Now, he's actually been quite frustrated, though, at all the criticism about his vegetarian diet, mostly coming from past players. He strongly stressed this morning that his diet and lifestyle have absolutely nothing to do with his inability to recover from the second test in time for the third one which was in Perth.No, not at all. I think - I struggled to bowl over 50 overs so to bowl 64 is an improvement. I'm in a better place than ever. For people to say that that is the problem and that is the reason why - they are the ones kidding themselves, they are not the ones doing it and going through it. To be bowling at 140km/h, fifth day of a test smach, it shows the improvement.A big test for keeper Matthew Wade, happy to be playing at his home ground?Yes, he play in Victoria now, but he is a Tasmanian product. All his family and friends are here. He is joking that Ricky Ponting's retirement is convenient for him, aahead of his first test at home in front of his loved ones. As I said, I'm lucky that he is not here, I get all the tickets now. Thanks for that Punter! Now, Tim, Wade has turned to Adam Gilchrist, who had a good chat with him before the Perth test for advice. He has become a mentor to him. He has struggled with consistency during the summer so far. We will have more from the cricket and Sri Lanka training coming up in the Afternoon News. We will stay with cricket. Shane Warne said he was disappointed by his performance in last week's 8- wicket loss to Melbourne rivals the Renegades. Warnie was belted for 41 runs off two overs and hopes to turn that around against the Scorches tonight in Perth.One down. So, I mean, the tournament is not one game - there are a lot of people starting to write us off. Look at our team - a lot of experience, a good squad. Scorches also have plenty of reasons to come out firing - they lost to the Adelaide Strikers in their opening match. AFL, and former Adelaide star Kurt Tippett can finally focus on playing football. Officially unveiled as Sydney's newest recruit this morning. Following a 2-month campaign to play for the Swans, Tippett pulled on the red and white and trained with his new team-mates for the first time. The 25-year-old said he is looking forward to the challenge.My picture was unclear, but it is fantastic to be here, you know, I look forward to playing football, settling in, training hard, earning the guys' trust over the summer.He will do a lot of training, though. He will have to wait until next June to play for the defending Premiers, serving for an 11-match ban for his role in the Crows' salary cap rort. The players are back negotiating with the Rugby League Commission today for an increase. They say boycotting next year's All Stars game is unlikely, but it could be a last resort if a decision cannot be reached. And the wa wait for surfing's new world champion continues with officials calling a second straight lay day at the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii. Aussie Joel Parkinson and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater are in a head-to-head battle for the title. I suppose it just increases the tension, the longer we wait to see what happens.Absolutely. Two days off in Hawaii - can't be a bad thing!Not bad!We will have the finance for you after the break and the latest weather forecast. This program is not captioned. 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
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with our heads above water. Pardon that pun too.
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This program is not captioned. CROWD: (SINGS) # And he shall
reign forever and ever... # VOICEOVER: This Christmas, EFTPOS will donate
to Vision Australia. Just press 'cheque' or 'savings'.

This program is not captioned. I treat every day
as a new adventure. But you never know
where the road will lead you, so I've got
a few things in place - like my Apia Funeral Plan. No forms, no medicals, and guaranteed acceptance
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everyone's talking about Apia.

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Now to the national weather forecast:

Now to the national weather
forecast: A trough in the west is generating widespread thunderstorms. More low pressure is bringing more storms to the north. A high is dreg some showers south and on to the east coast.

The finance news now: The share market has reached a new high for the year, helped along by mining company gains.

And just before we go, forget the reindeer - an aquarium in South Korea has put on quite a show. One scuba-diving Santa and his 15,000 synchronised swimming sardines have been making an incredible impression of a life-sized snow globe. Santa makes the fish dive and swirl to the delight of children and adults. Nearby, the colourful Christmas lights are lit up, using the power generated by the tank of electric eels. That is Nine's Morning News Hour for this Wednesday. You can join me for more news at 4:30 this afternoon. I'm Amelia Adams. Thanks for for your company. Supertext captions by Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au.

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