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Seven Early News -

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This program is captioned live. This morning - back to Australia - 'Hey Dad..!' star Robert Hughes
returns home to face child sex allegations. Nervous wait - thousands of women
in South Australia to be re-tested for breast cancer.

And up in lights - a Sydney icon
gets into the Christmas spirit. VOICEOVER: This is Seven Early News
with Natalie Barr. Good morning. 'Hey Dad..!' star Robert Hughes
is due to arrive in Sydney in just over an hour to face sexual assault allegations. New South Wales police
are escorting Hughes on a Qantas flight from London. He's accused of sexually assaulting
five children between 1985 and 1990. Lawyers say
the 63-year-old is stressed. Pretty worried, as any human being
would be in the situation, and, ah... but he's doing the right thing
and coming back to Australia to face these allegations
in the courts. Hughes is expected to seek bail
when he faces court today. The UN Security Council
has held emergency talks after North Korea launched
a long-range rocket. The launch sparked
international condemnation and threats of further sanctions. The US claims it was really a test
for ballistic missile technology. This footage, filmed apparently
from the Chinese border, claims to show North Korea's rocket
seconds after it was launched. (NEWS THEME MUSIC) A few hours later, North Korean
state television had a special announcement. (SPEAKS NORTH KOREAN) The successful launch
of a satellite, the North Korean regime insisting it has the right to the peaceful use
of space. (SPEAKS NORTH KOREAN) On the frozen streets of Pyongyang, the capital of the secretive state
still trapped in the Cold War, there were celebrations. (MUSIC PLAYS) (ALL CHANT)

But protests on the other side
of the heavily defended border - South Korean activists
burning replicas of the rocket. The rocket launch is, once again, increasing the condemnation
and isolation of Kim Jong-un just around a year after
the young leader took power. The secretive state is having to
rely on its only powerful ally - China.

And Beijing is likely to veto
any Iran-style stronger sanctions against its poorer, Communist ally, even if officially,
it has issued a mild rebuke. Earlier this year, another attempt to launch
a long-range rocket failed. The fear is that
this is not a space program but tests of new technology which could lead
to the development of a warhead which could carry
North Korean nuclear weapons.

South Australian authorities
have ordered an urgent review of 50,000 breast cancer screenings over fears about faulty results. Doctors diagnosed
nearly 100 fewer cases than usual between September 2010
and July this year. The anomaly coincides with the roll-out
of digital scanning technology. If there is an issue we find out
as quickly as possible what it is and we deal with it. Experts say if anyone has
slipped through the net, it's unlikely they'll have
aggressive breast cancer. A young woman has drowned
and a second is in hospital after being swept off rocks
at a beach on the
New South Wales Central Coast. The pair were spotted by a kayaker
and brought to shore by lifeguards. A 27-year-old Bankstown woman
was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived. It just reinforces the need for
water awareness and beach safety at all costs. The 25-year-old survivor from Casula
was airlifted to Gosford Hospital. Severe storms have flooded streets
and damaged homes in southern parts
of Western Australia. The unseasonal weather gave the town
of Harvey its wettest day on record, 109mm in just a few hours.

We've lost everything,
everything's completely wet. There's nothing salvageable bar
the roof, I suppose, of the house. There were similar scenes
in Port Kennedy and Collie was put on flood watch
following a heavy downpour. Australian WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange has confirmed he intends to run for a Senate seat
at the next election. Mr Assange says he will announce the formation of a
WikiLeaks political party next year. Despite seeking political asylum
in the Ecuador embassy in London, the 41-year-old says
he's doing well. Mr Assange has been holed up
in the UK for six months in a bid to avoid extradition
to Sweden where he faces rape allegations. Tony Abbott is under pressure
to dis-endorse a former Liberal MP after the sexual harassment case
against Peter Slipper was thrown out of court. A judge ruled Mal Brough
was involved in a plot to destroy Mr Slipper's reputation
to advance his own political career. James Ashby walks out of court,
his case thrown out. Obviously I'm very...
extremely disappointed with the court's decision. Justice Steven Rares ruled that
Mr Ashby, fellow staffer Karen Doane and former Liberal minister
Mal Brough had conspired:

..to help Mr Brough unseat him
at the next election. Mal Brough's position is untenable. He should immediately be
dis-endorsed. Justice Rares rejected part of Mr
Ashby's sexual harassment claim as:

Saying proceeding would:

..ordering Mr Ashby to pay
the former speaker's costs. We intend to appeal
this regrettable decision. Senior ministers told me they want police to consider
criminal conspiracy charges as the affair that once threatened
to bring down the Government was turned back on
Tony Abbott's Opposition. This is a scandal
of enormous proportions that Tony Abbott's Liberals
would abuse, legal processes, court processes to seek to change the government
of Australia. In a statement, Mr Slipper said:

But it's unlikely he'll resume
the speaker's chair. Murdered policeman Bryson Anderson has been awarded
a posthumous valour award for aiding a wounded officer,
even as he took his dying breaths. The Sydney father of three
was honoured yesterday at one of the biggest funerals
the force has ever seen. A sea of blue washed through
St Patrick's Cathedral. Outside, it was an ocean. They stood at attention
to honour a man who lived and died wearing their uniform
with such pride. (BAGPIPES PLAY 'AMAZING GRACE')

Detective Inspector Bryson
Anderson's farewell at Parramatta was where he first served
as a police officer and where he met
the love of his life. He got the sense of family,
he got the mateship and support and the concept
of having your mate's back. He was a mate to many,
a servant of the community - policeman, firefighter,
charity volunteer, junior soccer coach,
husband, brother, father to Olivia... For Dad... (CLEARS THROAT) We thank you for the gift
of Dad's love and for those whose life
was made richer by him. ..Darcy Anderson... We pray for the police family. ..and Cain.

A family man and, as a police
officer - formidable. A tenacious and committed
police officer driven to pursue offenders for the
darkest and most serious of crimes. Commissioner Scipione revealed that
even as Bryson Anderson was dying, he tried to help
another wounded officer. He'll be given a posthumous award
for valour. more than 1,000 officers,
dozens of vehicles, police band, mounted units
and a flyover. Then back to the thin blue line
to protect and serve and honour a comrade's legacy.

Security is under review
at Victoria's Parliament House after a man attacked a Protective
Services Officer, stole his gun, then turned it on himself. Security guard John Vongvixay was
hit in the head with a hammer and suffered a fractured skull. His attacker ran off
with his semi-automatic pistol. It goes without saying, there was certainly potential
for this to go horribly wrong. The man was found dead
in a nearby reserve. He was known to police. Two bouncers
from Sydney's Ivy nightclub have spent their first night
behind bars after being sentenced over
the bashing of a 19-year-old patron. Nicholas Barsoum was attacked by
several bouncers outside the club before being dragged to a basement
where the assault continued. Former cage fighter Emmanouil Ntaras
will serve 27 months in jail for his role,

Jason Mendelow will serve two years. A third bouncer, Paul Fenukitau, was sentenced to 22 months of
community service or home detention. A man will face court in Sydney
today over a bikie shootout
in the city's south-west. He was one of six men arrested following dawn raids
on several homes yesterday. The raids followed a shooting
at Old Guildford in July where a young mother was injured by a stray bullet
that struck her house. A Comanchero bikie who was
extradited from Queensland yesterday has also been charged
over the shooting.

Tent embassy protesters are vowing to continue a presence
at an inner city Brisbane park despite being forced to leave
by police and council workers. Supporters tried to re-establish
the camp after it was torn down, but they were cleared out again. Aboriginal elders say
the movement has lost its way. We don't like what's going on because it's starting
to become an eyesore. The city's mayor says the protesters
need to find somewhere else. Now for your first look
at Thursday's weather.

Coming up on 'Sunrise' at 6am - how to pick the right charity this
Christmas and the traps to avoid. But next on Seven Early News - Pope Benedict joins the world
of social media. And up in lights - Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral
gets into the Christmas spirit.

(CHILDREN LAUGH) (CALM MUSIC)

VOICEOVER: You're different - living differently in different
homes with different stuff. Shouldn't you be with a home
and contents insurance company that gets this? Youi do. We ask you more questions
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as the Government moves to deepen
ties with the Asian powerhouse. Last night Ms Gillard hosted
a gala dinner for Chinese delegates, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Gough Whitlam's
recognition of China. Our partnership is now of deep
strategic importance to both of us, our peoples are partners,
working together still. The visit will be Ms Gillard's
first chance to meet China's new leadership. Police in the US believe a Christmas
shooting which left three dead and forced hundreds
of Christmas shoppers to flee was a random attack. A gunman walked into a busy shopping
mall in Oregon and opened fire, killing two people before turning the gun on himself. Another victim is
in a critical condition in hospital. More than 100 police officers
attended the scene, supported by SWAT teams
and helicopters. Pope Benedict has joined
the world of social media - hitting one million followers
already - after posting his first Tweet. Using an iPad at the Vatican, the Pontiff logged onto
his new Twitter account - blessing his online fans. The 85-year-old is also Tweeting
in seven other languages. With Christmas
just around the corner Sydney's Saint Mary's Cathedral
is spreading the joy. The sandstone building
came alive last night with a spectacular festive show
of light and sound. The 75m high cathedral was
transformed into a Christmas tree and gift-wrapped with a large bow. The projections will light up
the city every night until the 25th. It's free - and on some nights a choir will be singing our
favourite Christmas carols. Your first finance this Early News:

Coming up on 'Sunrise' at 6am -
the new music streaming app which will change the way
you listen to music. But next on Seven Early News - the NRL's salary-cap war
nears a resolution. And a history-making performance
from Lasith Malinga powers Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars
to victory.

What does a long bar have to do
with a huge river?

What does a Parisian artist have in common with a touring cricket team?

Or Seven Sisters and 21 First Ladies? Give up? They're all part of
Canberra's huge centenary year. Beginning in January 2013, there's a massive year of events planned to celebrate
Canberra's 100th birthday. So visit canberra100.com.au to start planning your experience now.

The stories we're following
on the Early News - Robert Hughes will touch down
in Sydney to face child sex charges in about an hour. The 'Hey Dad...!' star
is being escorted from London by New South Wales Police. South Australia's government
orders an urgent review
of breast cancer scans over fears about faulty results. Fewer cases than usual
have been diagnosed since the rollout
of new digital scanners. And Julian Assange has announced he'll run for a Senate seat
at the next election. The WikiLeaks founder is still
holed up in a London embassy. Now it's over to Mark Beretta
with all the day's sport. Thanks, Nat. Good morning. Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars
have won their first match of the Big Bash League season, downing the Perth Scorchers
by 10 wickets in a controversial rain-marred
clash at the WACA. Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga
tore the Scorchers to shreds, taking 6 for 7 - the best figures
in Australian T20 history. COMMENTATOR: Brilliant yorker! Absolutely brilliant,
Malinga with six. Warne bounced back
from his game one shocker with figures of 1/9 as Perth was dismissed
for a record low total of 69. The Stars charged to 0/29 before
rain intervened after two overs In a bizarre finish to the game, Melbourne faced just one ball
when play resumed before being awarded
a 10-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method. Australian all-rounder
Shane Watson believes his permanent shift
down the batting order will allow him to increase
his bowling workload. Watson will occupy Ricky Ponting's
old number four spot It's a win for Shane Watson
and Australia. He'll bat better at four
and bowl better too. Batting at four means that Michael
can use me that bit more to be able to hopefully
provide some impact. But there was no sign of exhaustion
for Siddle, back after missing the
Perth showdown against South Africa. I made the decision for the team. It was the right decision,
I was happy. After bowling almost 64 overs
in Adelaide, he now says a hamstring complaint was why he couldn't back up
four days later although some blame
his vegetarian diet. I'm feeling good, I'm feeling fit. I can see the benefits from it,
so, yeah, it's all going well. So well, he's raring
to lead an aggressive attack. We'll be going out there
as hard as we can, we'll be contesting very hard and we'll be putting the pressure
right on them straightaway. And the heavy artillery has arrived
just in time for Sydney Thunder - West Indian superstar Chris Gayle
will take on the Melbourne Renegades on Friday night at ANZ Stadium. Hopefully, I can entertain the crowd
a bit more.

I can go out in the middle there
as well. Hopefully Sydney Thunder
can actually go to the final four. with the ARL Commission today as the salary-cap standoff
heads rapidly towards a resolution. It's believed the commission has
offered to raise next year's cap by at least $500,000. The threat of a player boycott is
now looking increasingly unlikely. Yeah, look, as players we're definitely getting
to where we need to be. We're not there yet
but it's not too far off. The code has also announced a new
naming rights sponsorship deal. Sydney Swans recruit Kurt Tippett is focussed on earning the trust
and respect of his new team-mates. And he'll have plenty of time
to do just that - it'll be more than six months until he gets to debut
for the AFL premiers due his suspension
for the Crows' salary cap scandal. It's going to be a challenge but
they're the cards we've been dealt and we'll make the most of it. At Carlton, coach Mick Malthouse
will use the next two months to decide on Chris Judd's successor
as captain. The Australian PGA gets underway
at Coolum this morning and golf legend Greg Norman
is looking to turn back the clock. The 57-year-old says he's been inspired by Peter Senior's
Australian Open win But Norman admits this trip
Down Under could be one of his last. As much as we travel in great style and go to some great places
around the world, I just don't enjoy it. 'The Shark' defended
Clive Palmer's decision to place a life-size dinosaur praising the billionaire
for putting money into golf.

Just something great about having Greg Norman playing golf in Australia.Isn't it? I know, thanks, Beretts. Next a closer look at the weather in your part of

(CHILDREN LAUGH) (CALM MUSIC)

VOICEOVER: You're different - living differently in different
homes with different stuff. Shouldn't you be with a home
and contents insurance company that gets this? Youi do. We ask you more questions
about your house, where you live and your contents so that we can give you
a tailor-made quote. It's smarter
and could save you lots. Call 13youi. Or go to:

SONG: # Oh, why are we waiting? # Buy the things you need now...now, with a new CommBank credit card. 0% interest on purchases
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Now for a closer look at how the weather's shaping up
around the country.

Storms in Perth, bad in Harvey yesterday with all that rain.

And that's Seven Early News
for this Thursday. I'm Natalie Barr.
Stand-by now for 'Sunrise'. Supertext captions by
Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au