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(generated from captions) Well done, Lauren!
Good on you, Carly! Nicely played, Nath! Beautiful work!

Now, your son, whose name is... Zane. ..Zane, picked this lucky rock and I think we can all agree
that's a hell of a lucky rock. Yep. Zane's birthday is 14.

What do you think is in 14,
by the way, Carly?

I'll go $100,000. Alright. Was the King in there?
Huh? Huh? You ready?
What was it? It's, oh! $100,000.
There was the grand. Very hard to complain about $51,000
for half-an-hour's work. Let's see the money. Oh, look, you're the king.
And here's Lisa-Marie. And here's Priscilla. And here's, oh,
Colonel whatever his name was. (LAUGHS) And here is the lovely
Miss Katie Mac with a cheque that you're going to want to look at
for a really long while. Head on down to the travel agent,
buddy. You're off to the home of the King. Thanks for being with us, everyone.
Lovely to have your company. See you next time
right back here in the Drome.

This program is captioned live. Tonight - a man shot in Sydney's south-west as gun violence
doesn't stop for Christmas. A petrol tanker rolls and explodes in a holiday disaster
north of Sydney. Last-minute shoppers cause a Christmas Eve crowd crush
for retailers. Homes under threat
from a Central Coast bushfire - was it deliberately lit? And captain Michael Clarke's battle
to be fit for the Boxing Day Test.

VOICEOVER: This is Seven News
with Mark Ferguson. Good evening. Christmas Eve has erupted
in violence on a south-west Sydney street with a man wounded
in a barrage of bullets in Sydney's 137th shooting
this year. Crime reporter Robert Ovadia
is on the scene at Lansvale. Rob, what happened there? Well, Mark,
you won't be surprised to learn that the victim
is very well-known to police and is also not cooperating
with detectives. He's 22 years old and was shot at a number of times
just before 2pm. You can see there are quite
a few shell casings, possibly 9mm. At least one bullet struck him
in the lower leg and he was taken
to Liverpool Hospital, He was shot inside this unit block
at close range from an adjacent car park so the presumption is either his attacker
is an appalling marksman or this was just an attempt
to wound the man. Either way, not pleasant for him or residents in Hollywood Drive
here at Lansvale who have had to endure, as you say,
Sydney's 137th shooting this year. That's more than one
every three days.

It was just seven quick shots. Five went off first and
then two later. Cabramatta detectives are liaising
with State Crime Command which oversees any possible links
to bikies or organised crime. Mark.

I'm revised it appears to be nothing obvious. -- advised.

A truck driver is in hospital
with serious burns tonight after his petrol tanker rolled
and erupted in flames north of Sydney. The accident happened as police
pleaded with holidaymakers to prevent tragedies on our roads
over Christmas. A tanker burns north of Newcastle. The blaze fuelled
by 16,000 litres of diesel. Firefighters had to deal
with the burning rig and the grassfire it started. The truck rolled several times,
just after lunch, near Seaham. The driver is in hospital
with serious burns - one of many injured in crashes
these holidays. Nationwide,
six people have been killed - one in New South Wales. Nearly 1,000 drivers
have been charged with speeding - hundreds more than last year. I think we can probably
put it down to the fact that there is a greater increase
of being caught, so, if you do the wrong thing,
you will be caught. 1,200 highway patrol officers
are hitting the state's roads. Major highways and suburban streets,
like here at Rose Bay - targeting drivers anywhere,
any time. They can often
be still over the limit in the early hours of the morning
or even sometimes in the afternoon. While you're out
battling the highways trying to enjoy a holiday, be warned. You might be making it easier
than you think for criminals to strike at home. Uploading photos
or checking in on social media can be an invitation for thieves. Posting on Facebook, etc., just publicises to people
that your homes are vacant. Make sure you turn off non-essential
electrical items before you go. And particularly
when you're going away, don't leave Christmas lights on. So you don't come home to this. Christmas Eve has been frightening
for homeowners on the Central Coast. A bushfire has come within metres
of properties in the Kulnura area, north-west of Wyong. Residents were told to activate
their bushfire survival plans as water-bombing aircraft
were called in. The flames came as close as
the back doors of a number of homes with firefighters
saving a dozen properties. Approximately 50-60 crews and
probably 16 trucks at this stage, and a couple of aircraft. Residents are furious to learn the blaze may have been
deliberately lit. Yes, it is. And to think, too, that I could've
lost my animals and stuff too if I wasn't here
and I couldn't get here in time. That's a real worry. Firefighters are tonight still
bringing the blaze under control. Residents are being warned
to keep watch for embers. It's all over for
last-minute Christmas shoppers with stores across Sydney
now closed. with final day gift purchases -
mainly by men - while hundreds of tonnes of seafood
have been bought for tomorrow's lunches. The last day, last minute,
last chance. It's so stressful.
Honestly, I'm running around. I still have to
get my dad a present. It's crazy here, but lovely. Very busy. We've had to do everything
in our lunch break. Gift cards, electronics
and coffee machines were favourites for the Christmas Eve spree. But today, the real focus
wasn't just presents, but produce. The customers were three deep as the fish market's marathon
entered day two. Six there? You right there, sir? It was chaos
for cars just trying to get in. It's unbelievable.
We had to park 2km away. People packed in, like prawns. I've got cooked and peeled as well so we've got every single type
of prawn. Fruit favourites have been flying
out the door at Flemington markets. 16-18 hours a day, seven days,
for the last two weeks running. Good supplies have meant
prices are down. And so are profits.

The weather has been too good
for people all over Australia so there's no shortage of nothing. The demand for berries and melons
and already chopped salads, it's really picked up. Between them, this week, the majors will sell
around 4 million kilos of ham, more than 2 billion kilos
of potatoes, more than 2 billion kilos
of fresh fruit and veg just today. This is? The second trolley. This is the second trolley load? Yes, second trolley. Everything, ham -
we're doing barbecue everything. Eating too much and feeling a bit full
at the end of the day. And to wash it all down, it was peak hour
at bottle shops too - this one needing traffic control. On a day of going flat out
for friends and family, here in Eveleigh,
it was all for perfect strangers. Volunteers packing gifts for kids
at tomorrow Salvo's Christmas lunch. Live now to Paul Kadak
at David Jones in the city where staff are now at work
setting up the Boxing Day sale. Paul. Mark, they are preparing for retail's most important
selling day of the year - even more crucial
after what's been a flat Christmas. And this year, not even Christmas
will offer a day free from shopping. While the doors don't open until
first thing Boxing Day morning, the clearance sales begin online
tomorrow morning for David Jones and at 9pm tonight for Myer. Retailers insist
it's not desperation, just giving customers
what they want. Mark.

A butcher has spent the day
trying to save tomorrow's lunch for about a dozen families after a thief stole
ham, pork and bacon from his Blue Mountains shop. The 'ham-burglar'
busted open the back door of the Glenbrook Butchery, making off with over $3,000 worth
of family dinners. My biggest concern was I'd come in
and find everything gone. I wouldn't know how
to tackle that problem. Police want to hear from anyone
offered heavily discounted meat. The man accused of killing
five members of his family won't be leaving jail tonight after the decision to grant him bail
was overturned. Live to Jodie Speers
at the Supreme Court now. Jodie, why the change of heart? Mark, the court was told there needs to be
exceptional circumstances for bail to be granted
to an accused murderer like Robert Xie. The judge wasn't satisfied
that, in this case, there are. So he overruled a local magistrate who last week decided
the 48-year-old could be freed ahead of his trial. Robert Xie is accused of murdering
five members of his family at North Epping in July, 2009. They were all allegedly bludgeoned
with a weapon like a hammer. The magistrate who granted bail questioned the strength
of the Crown case against Xie but the Judge today said
there are some aspects that are "extremely strong". In appealing
last week's bail decision, prosecutors had argued that Xie
was a flight risk given his connections in China and also expressed fears about him
coaching witnesses, like his wife. That was all taken into account
by the judge. Xie's wife, Kathy,
was more emotional than usual leaving court this afternoon. She sobbed as she made her way home for her second Christmas in a row
without her husband. He will face a murder trial
in the second half of next year. Mark.

Victims of abuse
within the Catholic Church have welcomed the first apology
from Cardinal George Pell. He says he's deeply sorry
for wrongdoing and crimes, but, for many, the statement
in his Christmas message doesn't go far enough. Ahead of damaging fallout expected from the royal commission
into child sex abuse, Cardinal Pell expressed his sympathy
to victims. Especially those who have suffered
at the hands of fellow Christians. Not once did his apology refer
to the predators as Catholic. Christian officials, priests,
religious teachers - I'm deeply sorry
that this has happened. Anthony Foster's two daughters
were sexually abused by a priest in primary school. He describes the Cardinal's
Christmas message as robotic. Statements about justice and healing
and truth for victims and yet, in everyday practice, they're the very things
the Catholic church denies victims. Lawyers of victims seized on a
major concession from Cardinal Pell. For the first time,
he used the word "crimes" in referring to the sins
of the clergy. Revelations of wrongdoing
and crimes. And he spoke of the need
for reparation. Lawyers say that means compensation. Cardinal Pell has actually
linked criminality with injury, with reparation. It's a crime. It needs to be reported
where it's occurred. It needs to be taken seriously. 800 royal commission submissions
have already been prepared.

The message from other Sydney church
leaders isn't as controversial. They're encouraging us
to connect with each other and resolve disputes. Because of what God has done,
Christmas is a great time to fix up the feuds and the quarrels
and the hatreds which divide us. It's a time when we value
face-to-face contact more than anything. We love to gather, to share,
to laugh, and sometimes to cry. It's very different to the world
of new technology in social media which can leave us feeling
very well connected, but all alone. And my prayer for you, for everybody
who is part of this message that you may know the power
of Christmas in your own world and that this coming year,
it may be a year, where calm and peace from
the true power of that silent night could be your portion.

Still to come tonight
in Seven News - the Queen calls in sick
for Christmas as her annual message
goes high-tech. Also, Sydney's miracle twins - the wish that's come true
for a worried family. And 'Wheel of Misfortune' - the slip of the tongue
that cost this woman dearly

(GRUNTS)
(CROWN SQUEAKS) My hams are...legendary. This one. That one. Remember how I cooked
the ham last year? He's not doing that.
He's doing it his way.

WOMAN: More, more! I just love prawns. Prawn in the USA, Prawn This Way. She just sees the prawn and thinks
that's perfect the way it's made. It is perfect.
Yeah!

We are from Pavlova in Russia. But now we are here.

Put little bit from Russia and
a little bit from Australian fruit, and we love it. Got it! Not reindeer, prawndeer! (ALL APPLAUD)
Ohh! That's very good. Timer, timer. # Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday # I love you. #
Merry Christmas. Congratulations to Shane. Merry Christmas.

Our serving diggers
and their families have been the focus
of our political leaders in their Christmas messages. The Prime Minister says the families of fallen soldiers
will be on her mind as she spends her first Christmas
without her father, John. 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. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott
shared his message with wife Margie. From our family to you, Margie and I
wish you a happy Christmas. Mr Abbott is urging Australians
not to forget those doing it tough at this time of year. The Queen has missed the traditional
pre-Christmas service at her Sandringham estate because she has a cold. Earlier,
she recorded her Christmas message which can be seen in 3-D
for the first time. Her Majesty pays tribute
to London Olympians. In pursuing
their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us
the opportunity to share something
of the excitement and drama. The 86-year-old's 3-D glasses
include crystals on the side which form the letter Q. The full message will be released
tomorrow. A Sydney family is preparing
for a very special day tomorrow with their premature babies
finally going home. The twins have had
a rough start to life, unable to breathe without a machine
after they were born. But thanks to a Sydney hospital,
they've pulled through. They weren't meant to come home
until next month but, incredibly, William and Isla
have improved so much, they were allowed to leave hospital
just days before Christmas. A big surprise for mum
Kimberly Bracken. Do you have to pinch yourself
they're home for Christmas? Yeah, I know. I'm thrilled.
I can't believe it. The past seven weeks have been
a long and difficult journey. Born at 31 weeks,
they were 9 weeks premature - weighing 1.6kg,
or 3.5 pounds on the old scale. They couldn't breathe on their own. It was really distressing,
very distressing, so, for the first few days,
I just cried. Kimberly knew her babies
were getting the best possible care with staff at Sydney's
Royal Hospital for Women giving them every chance to survive. I was a mess. I went down to see them,
I cried all the time, And like any mum,
Kimberly couldn't help but worry. I thought they would live
but I was really worried that there'd be something wrong
with them. William was the stronger of the two
getting the all clear first. Then Isla rapidly improved, allowing Kimberly and husband Daniel
to take their twins home earlier than expected. I just wanna thank the hospital
and the doctors and the nurses because they've, um...(SOBS) They've really,
they've saved their lives and we're just really, really happy. So is big sister Abigail. You're coming home with us
for Christmas. She's already had a big impact
on the twins' lives. I got to choose Isla's name. Two Christmas miracles
for the Bracken family. Two perfect bundles of joy.
Absolutely. Prince Harry has killed
a Taliban commander during his mission in Afghanistan. Britain's 'The Sun' newspaper
is reporting the 28-year-old
launched a missile strike targeting the senior terror leader. Harry was aboard
an Apache helicopter called in to help ground troops. It happened in October
but has only just been made public. It was Harry's second tour of duty
to the war zone. An American
game show contestant's accent has cost her thousands of dollars. 'Wheel of Fortune'
refused to accept her answer when she didn't pronounce a 'G'. Seven swans are swimmin'. Yeah, that's not, yeah.
Can't accept that. That's kinda how I speak,
you know, being from Florida. And I had asked for the G
so I knew it was there. The decision sparked online outrage
but Renee says she's moved on. Sport now with Mark Beretta and what a dream debut
for Jackson Bird. Mark, the Sydney boy
will open the bowling on Boxing Day but will Michael Clarke play? Coming up, the captain's
gruelling fitness test and an Aussie bonding session
on the MCG. Plus, the 85-year-old sailor
who the favourites fear in this year's Sydney-Hobart. And target practice - Manchester United star
Robin van Persie not happy with Swansea.

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will make his test debut
on Boxing Day after Australia confirmed
the controversial rest for Mitchell Starc. Michael Clarke's chances
of leading his side increased significantly today with a final decision to be made
on the morning of the second test against Sri Lanka. Ed Cowan wasn't taking any chances
at fielding practice but Michael Clarke stretched out
to test his strained hamstring. Running in the nets, running on the spot, shadow batting and two net sessions. The Australian captain has to prove that playing on Boxing Day
won't cause long-term damage. Oh, he flushed it in the nets,
a bit more bubble. He said there's improvement today. If I was a betting man, I'd bet on Michael Clarke
leading the team out on Boxing Day. They're considering risking Clarke but won't play a fully fit,
in-form Mitchell Starc. There could be a risk of an injury. We can't afford to take that
into day one. Starc says he's absolutely shattered
at being forced to rest but sent best wishes
to his replacement, Jackson Bird. I feel like I'm ready
for test cricket. to start his career in Tasmania, 26-year-old Bird will open
the bowling in his test debut. I should probably better go
and call my parents after this. REPORTER: You haven't told them yet? No, I haven't, so... No, my mum has a pretty big mouth
when it comes to that sort of stuff. Matthew Wade and Peter Siddle put on a very public
display of affection but there's no love for Nathan Lyon
from Sri Lankan legend Murali, who says the off-spinner
is no threat to his countrymen. I feel like I'm improving
and learning every day. Everyone's gonna have their opinion
outside the Australian cricket room. Veteran yachtsman Syd Fischer
has declared 'Ragamuffin Loyal' can, again,
spoil the party for Sydney-Hobart race favourite
'Wild Oats XI'. The 85-year-old is chasing his
third win in the Bluewater Classic and favourable winds mean the fleet could be chasing
a race record on Boxing Day. Problems with 'Loyal's mast
have proved a setback for the defending
Sydney-Hobart champion but the crew say they'll be ready. Like a game of football - you get knocked rotten by a tackle,
you gotta get up. You just keep going. And no-one's kept going better
than Syd Fischer. Australia's most successful
offshore sailor has won line honours twice ahead of this,
his 44th Sydney-Hobart. When you did your first one, if you had looked ahead,
would you have thought, "Yes, I'll be back there
when I'm 85." I thought I was gonna die
when I was 35! Mark Richards is chasing his
sixth win with 'Wild Oats XI' after 'Loyal' upset
the hot favourite last year. It was probably good for our team
at the end of the day, as much as you
don't like to think so, and it was great for the sport. And while no-one
wants to talk it up, the forecast
for favourable following winds means 'Wild Oats' 2005 race record of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes
and 10 seconds is very much under threat. It all depends on the conditions. For all of us, it's just
gonna be pedal to the metal. So that's it - don't back off,
push as fast as you can. The rest is
in the hands of the gods. Frank Lampard has scored in his 500th
English Premier League game as a record seven players
found the net for Chelsea in their 8-0 hammering
of Aston Villa. 34-year-old Lampard is off contract
and is being chased by LA Galaxy to replace David Beckham. COMMENTATOR:
That is an absolute beaut. Not so cute, this effort by Swansea skipper
Ashley Williams on Manchester United's
Robin van Persie during their 1-1 draw.

A merry Christmas to everyone. Have a great day tomorrow.

Mark, we baked today but tomorrow could be tricky
for backyard Christmas celebrations.

The sensitive ones.

The naughty ones.

The athletes.

The greedy ones.

The excitable ones.

The little ones.

Every dog
deserves leading nutrition for healthy digestion, a shiny coat, immune support and healthy teeth. Choose Pedigree.

Come on. Just relax those nerves.
This is not really a sport. OK, that's good to know.
WOMAN: Let's do it, guys! Alright, let's gee him up.
Here we go. Releases the ball.
ONLOOKERS: Ohh! That was short.
I'm a little self-conscious. Got the glasses on. Hiding the
eyes. He's looking for the wind. Make mama proud! Make mama proud! I call it 'patting the bottom'.
MAN: Nice. Just like a pat on the bottom. He's gonna carry that through to
the gully. He's gonna take it out! Oh!
Gutter ball. Reckon that was a good one. MAN: Good one, there, mate.
(LAUGHTER)

Temperatures in our west soared
to almost 40 degrees today but storms and showers have hit
tonight with severe weather possible
this Christmas Eve across parts of the state. And a grey Christmas day ahead. The city hit 29 degrees today,
which was four above average after a muggy night while we sweltered in our west.

Close to the coast,

a gusty sea breeze
kept temperatures a little cooler. Some showers and storms moved
over the suburbs this afternoon bringing 1cm of hail
and 13mm of rain to Richmond. From the satellite - we've got severe thunderstorms
moving across southern New South Wales
tonight with large hailstones
and damaging winds possible from Wollongong to Bathurst,
Canberra to Wagga Wagga. Most of action will happen
outside Sydney but the northern and western suburbs
could see some storms tonight. Hobart and Canberra
can both expect a morning shower

while it will become fine
in Melbourne. And Perth is in for
a Christmas scorcher.

On the water tomorrow:

It will stay pretty warm tonight then a cooler and gusty
southerly change will arrive on Christmas morning with a few isolated showers
and a much cooler day. A top of 23.

Christmas will be pretty cloudy
across the suburbs. The showers will clear on Boxing Day with a warm one on Thursday before showers set in. And unfortunately, they will
stick around until New Years Eve. Wishing you and your family
a very merry Christmas. Thanks, Sally. And we have some breaking news now
on Santa's journey to Sydney. Air traffic controllers
are tracking his sleigh's path from the North Pole. He's due to arrive in Australia
in the next few hours on his round-the-world journey. Airservices are giving Santa
up-to-date weather information So, kids, don't forget to leave out
some food and a drink for him and, of course, his reindeer. That's Seven News
for this Christmas Eve. From everyone in the Seven newsroom, I hope you and your family
have a wonderful Christmas. Next on 'Today Tonight',
Australia's best bosses handing out extravagant presents
to their staff.

This Christmas Eve - the companies
where it's not all gloom and doom and where the bosses
are playing Santa. Take care of your staff,
they are your greatest asset. It's fantastic. Every girl's dream. Who are the bosses
rewarding staff with lavish gifts? Plus, Jai's battle
with a rare form of epilepsy. He has 500 attacks every day. And the Telstra confession. How Australia's biggest telco
ripped $30 million off customers by charging too much. Are you owed any?

Good evening. I'm Kylie Gillies. Thanks for joining us
this Christmas Eve. While a certain jolly fellow
in a red suit prepares to make the long journey
from the North Pole, for some lucky Australians,
Christmas has come early. They are the staff members
of companies that show how much
they appreciate their efforts by lavishing them
with expensive gifts and bonuses. Rodney Lohse reports on the bosses
who are happy playing Santa.

There's no greater gift
than to have good staff. So, it's just saying thank you. It's good for morale. Handing out cash and cars, splurging millions
on lavish parties...