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Seven Morning News -

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(generated from captions) (CHUCKLES) This will get me
back on the naughty list. Coconut ball fight!

Whoo-hoo! Alright. Let's give
these babies a spin. I can't stop. I can't stop! Argh!

Rockefeller Center
ain't got nothing on this! (ALL CHEER) Well, we may not have
gotten home for Christmas but we got snow! Um, I wouldn't do that if I were you.

Argh! It's not snow! It's not snow!
See, Marty? It's not what you get,
it's what you give. Ah, give it a rest! (LAUGHS) I'm SO naughty! Mort, you're next!
(SCREAMS) (LAUGHS) Alex, are you OK? (GROANS) Who's Alex? (ALL GROAN) Merry Christmas and
happy Julienuary, everybody!

This program is captioned live. This morning - summer scorcher - Melbourne sweats through its
hottest December night on record. Queensland's milk supply on the line
as dairy workers protest. And Christmas countdown - Aussies spend up big
for their festive feast. VOICEOVER: This is Seven News,
morning edition, with John Mangos. Good morning. Around 100 workers
have clashed with police at the Dairy Farmers milk plant
in Brisbane. It happened after they walked off
the job at midnight and set up a picket line, demanding better pay
and more holidays. Chloe Baker has the details.

Things have been fairly quiet here at Dairy Farmers in Brisbane this morning. There are more police than protesters at this stage. But that's because there were angry scenes here last night when police tried to dismantle the picket line. There were about 100 workers here who clashed with police. The union said the police were heavy handed and some of their members were injured during the incident.Chanting.The during the incident.Chanting. protest is about pay and work conditions. The protesters say they are getting paid far less than thairn southern counter parts for doing the same job. This is Queensland's largest milk producer, they supply milk to koeldz, the cheap $ cheap $2 milk we see on the shelves. Management say it has put a squeeze on the company. The picket line continues. They are heckling any milk truck trying to get in and out of the facility. The place will be manned today by office workers and management staff who are determined to get the milk out for Christmas Day. The union says they have committed more rolling stoppages over the festive season if their demands are not met, which means there could be supply issues in the coming days.Thank you.

Melbourne has recorded its hottest
December night on record. With temperatures in the high 20s
and winds of 90km/h, many headed to the beach
to try and keep cool. Seven's Christie Cooper has more. Melbourne has sweltered through its
hottest December night ever recorded with temperatures going no lower
than 27.4 degrees. That was actually at 8:00
this morning so throughout the night the mercury
was hovering around and above 30 degrees. That's all very well for people
with air-conditioning Some slept outside while others
got out of bed and hit the beach. Ella didn't sleep very well
so we thought we'd come out and get her cooled down and
hopefully get her back to sleep. We thought we'd come down
to cool off. Children were very unsettled
at home. The cool change has just come
through but as you can see
it is still extremely windy. The good news is it will be a comfortable journey
for Santa tonight with a low of 15 degrees. John. South Australian authorities
are on high alert with a bushfire threatening
to jump containment lines. Cooler temperatures aided
firefighting efforts overnight but there's a risk could break out into scrub land. In New South Wales, a total fire ban
is in place across the Riverina. An air crane has been sent
from Sydney in case conditions deteriorate. Fire warnings have also been issued
for parts of Western Australia. America's most powerful
gun rights group In the wake
of the Sandy Hook massacre, the National Rifle Association
continues to call for armed guards at all schools. Seven's US correspondent Angela Cox
explains. The CEO of the National Rifle
Association got a grilling when he finally answered questions
from the media for the first time
since the massacre. Wayne LaPierre appeared
on NBCs 'Meet the Press'. He confirmed the NRA - America's
most powerful gun lobby group - will oppose moves
to ban assault rifles and reduce the size of
ammunition clips that can be sold. The NRA says the only thing
that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

If it's crazy to call for putting police
and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. Advocates for stronger laws
point out that armed security guards
at schools aren't new. There were armed security guards on
site at Columbine and Virginia Tech and they didn't stop
the tragedies there. The big question is whether the NRA still has
the political muscle in Washington that it's enjoyed for decades in the wake of Sandy Hook. Meantime, some
of biggest names in Hollywood have been using their star power to pressure US politicians
for stricter gun laws. Have a look.

For the children of Sandy Hook. Demand a plan. No more lists of names. It's not too soon. It's too late. Now is the time. Before we all know someone
who loved someone on that list. The group behind the ad is expected to put their proposals
to Congress next month. Australia's most senior Catholic
has used his Christmas message to apologise for abuse
in the church. While not mentioning
child sex abuse allegations, Cardinal George Pell
apologised to those who have suffered at the hands of
priests and religious teachers. I'm deeply sorry
for the hurt that has occurred.

I'm deally sorry this has happened. It's completely contrary to Christ's teachings.

A royal commission into child abuse
will begin next year. Despite one of the most toxic years
in Australian political history, our leaders are in the festive mood,
wishing the nation happy holidays. For the Prime Minister, it's a time
also tinged with sadness - it's the first Christmas
without her father, John. A happy Christmas memory
for the Prime Minister. When I was a child, the run into Christmas
always started with Mum baking
the Christmas pudding and cake. This year it will be very different. For some the joy of Christmas
is marked by sadness. For me, this will be the first
Christmas without my father and I will be thinking of him and of my fellow Australians who will be without a loved one
for the first time this year. That includes the families
of the seven Australian diggers killed in Afghanistan this year. So this Christmas
I pay particular tribute to the Australian troops
currently serving abroad and their families at home. Your nation pays tribute to
their service and your sacrifice. It's the first time
Tony Abbott's wife, Margie, has joined in his Christmas message. In our family, like yours,
it will be time to come together. Mrs Abbott entering
the political spotlight this year, defending her husband over claims
he has a problem with women. And we can expect to see
more of her. There will be an election
some time next year with both leaders using
the Christmas break to rest up for a gruelling
and aggressive year ahead. But for now,
some peace and goodwill. BOTH: Merry Christmas. A merry and safe Christmas
to you all. Last-minute shopping is underway
across the nation with Australians expected to fork
out $2 billion on Christmas today. Much of that will be spent
on the annual festive feast. Seven News reporter Sarah Coates
has more. John, I'm here
at the Sydney growers' markets where traders have been absolutely
run off their feet as hungry hordes race in to get their last-minute
fruit and vegetables. Traditional Christmas fresh produce
like cherries and mangoes are as popular as ever and traders say
they've been working massive hours to keep up with the demand. Sensational, some really big sales,
good value for money. With such a good crop,
the price of mangoes initially early in the season
was a little bit expensive but now that the Queensland mangoes
have started, they're really cheap and good value. We've been very busy, actually, especially on cherries
and nectarines and peaches. At the Sydney fish markets, a massive 36-hour trading session
is underway with 100,000 seafood buyers
expected through the doors. They'll sell 100 tonnes of prawns
and 17,000 oysters which shows that having
a seafood feast for Christmas is more and more popular than ever. It's easy, there's nothing to cook,
take the oysters home, eat them raw. Sashimi is obviously raw
and the prawns are pre-cooked so there's less hassle
for Mum to prepare the meal. And, John, the rush will continue
as people work up an appetite before the big day tomorrow. Back to you.

The Boxing Day sales
will start early this year with David Jones
breaking a 174-year tradition. For the first time, customers
will be able to head online to snap up a bargain
on Christmas Day. Rival Myer will start
its website sale at 9:00 tonight. Both retailers are promising
bumper stocktake sales. Stores in Sydney and Melbourne
will open from 5am on Wednesday. Next in Seven News - floodwaters
cancel travel plans in the UK. Also, fashion comeback - why
Christmas sweaters are catching on.

Australia, the only thing
more delicious than this beautiful Coles
Hunter Valley free-range turkey... Grown by me. ..is when they're served with my special golden apricot glaze. Sally, you like gold, don't you? What made you think of that, Curtis? VOICEOVER: For Curtis's tips on
how to carve the turkey, plus more, visit coles.com.au. That turkey is amazing.
You're welcome. CURTIS: How's it taste, guys?
(ALLEXCLAIM) Mmm! My recipe.
My turkey. # It's Christmas time... # ALL: Merry Christmas from Coles!

Heavy rain and flooding in the UK have thrown Christmas travel plans
into chaos. Landslides have closed railway lines and dozens of main roads
are cut off. In Devon, dozens of families
have been evacuated from their homes after a nearby river
burst its banks. More people have been evacuated
in Scotland where rising floodwaters
have swallowed streets. 450 weather alerts have been issued
with more heavy rain on the way.

More than 60 people have been killed in a military air strike
on a bakery in Syria. in the rebel-held town. And a warning, some of the images
in this report are confronting. (PEOPLE SHOUT, CAR HORNS BLARE) They had been queuing for bread. Flour shortages in recent days meant the bakery
was especially busy today. Witnesses say 1,000 people,
many of them women and children, had been waiting outside We cannot independently verify
this video but activists say many dozens
were killed with many more injured. (SHOUTS) "Where are you, world?" He shouts. "The bodies are lying in the street.
They were just out to get bread." Many of the images in this video
are too distressing to show. The town was seized by the rebels
just days ago as part of a concerted push
into the Hama province. This attack will be seen by many as an intentional strike on civilians
by the government. The air strike comes as the UN envoy
Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Damascus for fresh talks to end the conflict that's already claimed
more than 40,000 lives. He's expected to meet
President Assad tomorrow. It's claimed the nurse at the centre
of the royal prank call tried to take her own life
twice in the past year. According to a newspaper in India, Jacintha Saldanha
had a history of depression and was prescribed medication. The mother of two was found dead, three days after taking the call
from 2DayFM presenters posing as the Queen
and Prince Charles. Scotland Yard is investigating
if charges should be laid against Michael Christian
and Mel Greig. And if you or anyone you know
needs help,

Time to check the financial markets:

The Australian dollar has lost grown against the green back.

A cold has forced the Queen
to miss Sunday church service at her Sandringham estate. Her Majesty usually visits
St Mary Magdalene Church while staying at her Norfolk home. But a Buckingham Palace official
says the Queen is getting over
the tail end of a cold and they're expecting business
as usual next week. Prince William
and his pregnant wife, Catherine, will miss Christmas with the Queen
this year. Tomorrow they'll be at
the Middleton family home. They're more tacky than tasteful but that hasn't stopped
the humble Christmas sweater from making a comeback. And while our climate may not agree, Canada has declared
an official ugly sweater day, as the Christmas craze catches on. The display window outside the F is for Frank vintage
clothing store on Main Street is like a shoppers' magnet. Who can resist old, garish, sappy
and cheesy Christmas sweaters? So we're up to like 1,000 Christmas
sweaters we've sold in-store. Very tacky, terrible. Ill-fitting and everything. This one's kind of fashionable,
it's got kind of the leopard print. These vintage duds sell well
every year but Nicole Westman says
this year, it's really caught on. The opportunity to kind of
loosen up what you're wearing and not take yourself so seriously and to be able to go out
and have a good time and kind of make fun of yourself. People have been wearing ugly
sweaters for Christmas parties for generations Now they're sweeping the globe, thanks to two guys
from right here in Vancouver. Amazing work there. This one actually comes
with a stain too. Jordan Birch and Chris Boyd
were kids out of high school with a whacky idea. 11 years ago, we set out to organise the cheesiest and most festive
feel-good party imaginable. They've held one every year since, raising tens of thousands of dollars
for charity and this year, convincing
Vancouver's mayor to proclaim
Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. That is the power
of viral marketing - trying to sell the unfashionable
as fashion. That's like how you want them
to fit, though. You're a good salesperson. Thank you. Ya. And it works.

Some breaking news now, and a judge has overturned an early decision to grant bail
to the man accused of the Lin family murders. Robert Xie will remain behind bars. Next in Seven News - supermaxi repairs
ahead of the Sydney to Hobart. Also, can Michael Clarke
prove his fitness ahead of the Boxing Day Test?

Check out these Christmas gifts
all under $20. Great value. Banana lounge, $18.84. XU1 power tools, $19.98 each. Trojan screwdriver set, $19.98. Shell sandpit, just $12.50. SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse! # Lowest prices
are just the beginning.

As the countdown
to the Boxing Day Test continues, all eyes are
on captain Michael Clarke. in time to finish off
his record-breaking year. Thanks, John. There's a great crowd out here for
Australia's main training session before Boxing Day. And all eyes are on Michael Clarke
as he races to be fit. In an encouraging sign, he did
undergo a fitness test, he went through some stretches,
he then - as you can see here - went through some run-throughs. After padding up,
he was put into the nets where, in an encouraging sign,
he did bat impressively. Of course, Cricket Australia have a no-risk policy in regards
to injuries at the moment. He'll have to do more than just bat
if he is to play on Boxing Day. Michael's had this injury before so he knows exactly what it takes to
get through the next five days. As we know, Michael,
he's not just our captain, he's a guy who would never miss
a test match for anything. If he thinks he can get through
the five days with 100%, he'll definitely play. Jackson Bird is now almost certain
to bowl on Boxing Day, Mitchell Starc didn't train
this morning. It's bad luck for the paceman but Dave Warner has again defended
Cricket Australia's rest policy. If the management or the physio says
that their workloads are high and there could be the risk
of an injury, we can't afford to take that in
to day one because if we lose a bowler day one,
like we have previously, it's gonna be hard for us to, you
know, contain it out there Just finally, the Aussies will have an optional
session here at the MCG tomorrow before spending Christmas Day, as
is tradition, with their families. Michael Clarke will be given
every opportunity to be fit. Usman Khawaja, ready to step in
to his shoes, John. To the Big Bash and it was a rough night
for the Sydney teams last night, both suffering heavy defeats. Former test captain Ricky Ponting
thrilled local fans in Hobart, smashing 63 from 45 balls
against the Sydney Thunder. COMMENTATOR: What about the ovation
from the crowd? "We love you, Punter".
Quite right too. As the visitors chased 178
for the win, Xavier Doherty wouldn't let
Tasmania's favourite son take all the glory,
this for his hat-trick. Ooh, it's close. Is it in front?
He's got it! What about that? Reigning world champions
the Sydney Sixers faired even worse than
the city neighbours - suffering a 9-wicket defeat
at the hands of Adelaide. In the Premier League - Chelsea has returned to England
after a 2-week break, bringing Christmas cheer to fans. The North Londoners slotted the ball
into the Aston Villa net eight times - yes, eight times. The Villains couldn't even find
one goal. Just for the record,

it's the first time
in Premier League history that seven players from one team
have got on the score sheet. With just two days
until the Sydney-Hobart, defending line-honours winner
'Ragamuffin Loyal' The supermaxi required repairs after colliding with Sydney's
Anzac Bridge earlier this month. Patrick Molihan
is with race-veteran Syd Fischer. Yes, and veteran Syd Fisher
joins me. Syd, what brings you back, at 85,
every year for this race? It's good fun. And I enjoy the camaraderie
and effort that's put in. Fun, some would say, if you get bad
weather, it's a strange idea of fun. You've just gotta sail the boat
safely so no-one gets hurt and...we call it survival. 85 years of age. When you did your first one, if
you'd looked ahead, would you have thought, "Yes, I'll
be back there when I'm 85"? I though I was going die
when I was 30. (BOTH LAUGH) But when you see your mates and some of them have long retired
from this race, they've all done it, and they're saying to you,
"Syd, are you mad?" What do they say to you, the boys? I'm a silly old bloke. I enjoy it.

While I can enjoy it, I'll do it.

Rag muffin 'LOYAL', a bit of an upset a couple of weeks ago but everything is ship shape and ready to go?We're right to go?We're right. We've fixed everything. It is well founded now. Well, Syd, all the best down there. I mean, you've got experience on your side. All the best on Boxing Day. Thanks for joining us.

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

Seven News
is now on your iPhone and iPad so you'll never be out of touch. Australia's number one news
is just a tap away. Let's check the all important
Christmas Eve forecast. A trough is directing
a fresh cooler change with a few thundery showers across
South Australian and into Victoria. Very hot northerly winds ahead of
this trough are affecting Victoria and southern New South Wales. Troughs in the east and north
are generating showers and storms in New South Wales, Queensland
and the Northern Territory.

Before we go, let's get an update
on Santa's travel plans for tonight's all important
present drop. Airservices Australia tells us he'll
be here sometime after midnight. And this year Santa's got
a special gadget on his sleigh that can transmit his position
twice every second. He's gonna leave the North Pole
just after midnight, come down the dateline
into New Zealand and then basically make landfall
in Australia around Tasmania before winding his way
up and down across the continent and finishing up
in Western Australia. And kids you can ask mum and dad
to check in on Santa's flight path on the Airservices Australia
website.

Mum and dad can do that tonight for you on the computer.

And that's Seven News to now. We'll keep you up to date
throughout the day and in our bulletins at 4:30
and tonight at 6:00. I'm John Mangos.
Thanks for your company. Goodbye. Supertext captions by
Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au