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Seven Morning News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. This morning - Australia gets ready
for sweltering conditions as summer turns up the heat. Firefighters on high alert after a hot and dangerous night
in New South Wales. And remembering Tony Greig - cricket fans put on their hats
to pay tribute to a legend. VOICEOVER: This is Seven News,
morning edition, with Robert Ovadia. We begin with some breaking news and two babies have been pulled
from a backyard pool in Sydney's south-west. The 2.5-year-old and an 18-month-old
were found in the pool at Padstow. They were both revived by paramedics
at the scene. They are currently en route
to Westmead Hospital and are in a critical condition. Australia is about to experience one of the most extensive heatwaves
on record with large parts of the country
to bake in 45-degree temperatures for more than a week. Central Australia
will be worst affected but major cities in the south-east
will also feel the heat. Prepare for the heat. Over the next few days,
Australia will exceed its reputation as one of the world's hottest,
driest continents. It's a very similar pattern
to 53 years ago when Australia had its record
temperature at Oodnadatta of 50.7 degrees. So we could get very close
to that record temperature in the next couple of days. A huge area of Central Australia
will be affected and every state and territory
will feel the heat. Adelaide will hit 39 today,
42 at the peak tomorrow. Hobart can expect 38, Melbourne, 41.

In these conditions,
bushfires are a very real risk. I know we've got everything
at full alert, we're running 8,000 firefighters. Victoria is expecting
its worst conditions since the Black Saturday fires,
which claimed 173 lives. People still remember back
to 7 February 2009. It's a key day in our history and we'll come off that making
sure that people are very focussed about what they need to do. Residents and people on holidays
have been warned to keep up to date on the latest outbreaks and leave early,
if they aren't fully prepared. Tomorrow we will have areas
that are extreme and severe and that means that fires will run
very, very hard. They will be, potentially,
uncontrollable. In South Australia, firefighters are already dealing
with two major blazes in the state's mid-north. Severe fire danger
in eight districts today, worse to come tomorrow. Like Victoria, we want people
to maintain situational awareness. New South Wales firefighters
have worked through the night, battling a bushfire threatening
homes north-west of Newcastle. It was hot and dangerous work
for crews as the blaze took hold
of powerlines and caused an explosion. Backyards became battlefields, as flames ripped through bushland
within metres of homes. WOMAN: Knock on their door, quick! Up to 40 homes across five streets
were under threat. Has he got a hose? MAN: Out the front.

Out the front?

More than 100 firefighters
battled to gain control. Residents were told to activate
their bushfire survival plan. No-one was left behind - firefighters rescued a possum
whose home was destroyed. It was a little singed
but otherwise OK.

The fight continued
well into the night. Fire tore through dry vegetation,
destroying everything in its path. It was hot and dangerous work
on the frontline. As flames took hold of power lines,
crews working directly underneath were in the firing line
of an explosion. (BANG!)

MAN 2: (ON RADIO)
Drastic as we thought it was, he was right underneath
the explosion. Paramedics checked the men over.

Residents in the Kurri Kurri area will be keeping a close eye on the
conditions after last night's blaze. Hugh Whitfeld is there
with the latest.

Good morning, Rob, fire fighters are still working to make sure this blaze is commootly out. Lots of -- completely out. Lots of burned out country at Kurri Kurri. It burned out nearly 80 hectares and was brought under control at midnight last night. We have spoken to residents who say it was scary stuff last night as the flames came very close to homes. But thankfully, that hard work backburning by the firefighters managinged to bring it under control.It under control.? It was a mide day, we -- it was a mild day. Just because the temperature is down doesn't mean we have a serious bushfire.We got this bit through first and then the second wave come through further, probably 10 minutes later. So, yes, for a good half hour, 40 minutes, we were worried, the house, or, yeah, things like that could have caught alight.Fire fighters will spend today and the next few days checking for hot logs and hot spots on the ground to make sure the fire is completely out. At this stage, detectives from strike force Pronto, set up to investigate bushfires are looking into the fire. There are two burned-out cars in the middle of the fire ground they will focus on as they try to work out how this started.

South-East Queensland is bracing for the impact
of ex tropical cyclone Freda which has produced some powerful
waves off Australia's east coast. Dangerous surf conditions
are predicted over the coming days as summer crowds head to the beach. Amanda Abate is at Surfers Paradise.

well, Rob, the waves pounding the shoreline here are about a metre but life guards warn there are much bigger swells on the way. A southerly wind change struck after a scorching summer day. 30 degrees on the coast and 45 in parts of western Queensland. Conditions are far from ideal for swimmers but wind surfers are making the most of it. Holiday crowd are building on the beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coast, thousands are expected on the sand today.We got down here at 6:00, not normally blowing 20 knots at 6, it is great here. is great here.. I was going to go in but nup, looks too dangerous.We have seen treacherous conditions with people rescued. Most were swimming between the red and yellow flagged but ended up

swimming between the red and yellow
flagged but ended up in trouble after being dragged into deeper water. Yesterday, there was tragedy with a father being drown immediatech waves are -- drowned. Waves are increasing in height. Waves off Brisbane are 4 metres and on the Sunshine Coast, authorities are have removed shark nets to spare them from damage should the large swell predicted

A 21-year-old Australian tourist
has died after falling from a hotel balcony
in Phuket. Sebastian Faulkner
had been on holidays there with friends from Melbourne. It's believed he fell from the
balcony early on New Year's Day. Sebastian's friends
are assisting police and family members are expected
to arrive in Phuket today.

A truck has avoided causing a major
accident in Sydney's north-west after it flipped onto its side at
a service station at Pennant Hills. The semi narrowly missed
hitting a petrol bowser. The driver was OK.

A major clean-up is underway. And a garbage truck driver has died
at Hinchinbrook in Sydney's south-west after suffering a heart attack
behind the wheel. The vehicle mounted a kerb
and smashed through a fence. One of two people charged
over the death of a Melbourne man on New Year's Eve has been refused bail. 18-year-old Dylan Closter is accused
of brutally bashing David Cassai during a night out in Rye. The 22-year-old victim died
on New Year's Day. Closter's supporters gathered
at Melbourne Magistrate's Court A 24-year-old will also appear
in court next month. Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says world-first plain packaging
of cigarettes is having an impact on smokers. Graphic health warnings on
plain packaging have been in place for more than a month with one survey showing that some smokers believe that
cigarettes now actually taste worse. In fact, there has been no change
to the formulation of cigarettes - what you're seeing is the psychological impact
of the unattractive packaging. Retailers around the country have
also been reported to authorities for continuing to sell
the older-style cigarettes packs. Sydney cricket fans are dressing up for an emotionally charged
opening day of the third test against Sri Lanka. Hats, zinc and a touch of pink
is the unofficial dress code. Damien Smith is at
the Sydney Cricket Ground.

This third test against Sri Lanka is being played in the shadow of significant events in cricket. The Sydney cricket ground has imposed a new test code. Fans are being asked to wear a broad-brimmed hat to commemorate the passing on Saturday of cricket legend Tony Greg. Flags are half mast. It is a good day to wear a hat, a spectacular day for cricket. Also, zinc cream, to mark the retirement of the man they call Mr Cricket after a fabulous career with the Australian cricket team. Tony Greg, got the broad-drimed hats and the zinc.We thought we better dawn the zinc for the great H ugss. KbrAnother essential item, anything that is pink, to focus on the fight against breast cancer. Going like hot cakes, these pink McGrath foundation bandannas. Also on Saturday, the SCG will be bathed in pink. The ladies stand will be renamed the Jane McGrath for the day, a very fitting tribute to a courageous woman. It is indeed, thank you.

Next in Seven News - the overseas demand threatening
a popular Aussie baby formula. Also, Princess Mary
and the Order of the Elephants.

To everyone who placed a gift under
the Kmart Wishing Tree this year, thank you. dj+ thank you. Over five million gifts
have been donated since 1988, and it's your generosity
that's helped make today brighter for someone in need.

One of Australia's
biggest selling baby formulas - Karicare Aptamil Gold - is apparently in short supply. It's claimed the product
is being rationed to parents here because Chinese customers
are buying it in bulk to send back to their home country. Chinese consumers
are concerned about the safety of other infant products. there has been a surge in demand. Six men arrested over
the gang rape of an Indian woman which caused outrage
around the world are expected to be charged today. The death of the 23-year-old
has sparked calls for stronger laws and
tougher police action on sex crimes. Young women set candles
in the streets in memory of another young woman
from a poor family whose father spoke today
of his amazing daughter, a daughter who was raped
and murdered before she could fulfil her ambition
to become a doctor and end her family's hardship. (ALL CHANT)

Nearly three weeks since the attack,
people still gather in outrage at a government and a justice system which they say does not take
sex crime seriously enough.

I do understand the feeling that people, they have been saying
that police is not working... ..or police is not performing
as they expect. But at the same time, I can say,
with confidence, that many of these people -
those who have been saying so - the may not have come directly
in contact with police. It's 6pm and it's getting busy at the Geetanjali salon
in downtown Delhi. The customers come from
a new generation of Indian women, on their way home from work,
leading independent lives in a way their mothers
and grandmothers never did. India might be changing,
one told me, but not enough. Princess Mary and Crown Prince
Frederik were a picture of style at a traditional
New Year celebration. The couple were among
the guests of honour at the annual event for members
of the Order of the Elephant. It's the highest order of Denmark
and originated in the 15th century. Members of parliament
also attend the event. It's a busy month
for the royal couple as they prepare to celebrate
the birth of their young twins, who will turn two next week.

To finance now and joining me is Martin Lakos
from Macquarie Private Wealth. Good morning, Martin. Markets around the world are still
celebrating a happy new year after the US economy was saved
from the fiscal cliff.

Yes, good morning. Certainly markets again, a strong relief rally. European markets up over 2. European markets up over 2.5% European markets up over 2.5%. Broadly speaking the Italian and Spanish market up 3. Spanish market up 3.5%. The Dow Jones was up 300 points or nearly 2. Jones was up 300 points or nearly 2.3%.How has our market respondd? We had a good day. We are not up as much as the US and European markets. We are up 0. We are up 0.5% We are up 0.5%. It is interesting, the cyclical sectors are all up strongly but the defensive is weaker. Utilities and telcos are a bit softer.Thank you.

Next in Seven News - all the early action from Mike
Hussey's farewell test at the SCG. And Bernard Tomic claims
the biggest scalp of his career at the Hopman Cup.

Mike Hussey will have to wait
for a chance to shine with the bat in his farewell test
against Sri Lanka in Sydney. Hussey led the Australians onto
the SCG in his 79th and final test. Michael Clarke won the toss, and
opted to unleash his pace attack. The wicket's got a fair bit
of grass on it.

I think, if anything, it's going to have a bit in it until lunch today so we want to maximise the conditions with four fast bowlers.

'Mr Cricket' was
in the action early, playing a role in Jackson Bird's
opening breakthrough. COMMENTATOR: He begins his final
test match with a catch, Michael Hussey. The 37-year-old then put down
a sharp chance off the bowling of Peter Siddle. The Melbourne Renegades are back
on top of the Big Bash League ladder after thrashing
the Adelaide Strikers by 48 runs at Etihad Stadium last night. The Renegades looked in trouble when Kieron Pollard got rid
of Ben Rohrer. But an innovative half century
from Tom Cooper boosted the home side's total
to 6/155. COMMENTATOR:
Ooh, that's a better shot. Is it six runs?

Ooh, just short. Aaron O'Brien took a screamer
to remove danger man Tim Ludeman. And Murali claimed three wickets as the Strikers crumbled
to be all out for 107. Bernard Tomic has given fans another
glimpse of his immense potential in an electrifying win over Novak
Djokovic at the Hopman Cup in Perth. Australia lost the tie
against Serbia but Tomic's performance
against the world number one stole the spotlight. Bernard Tomic has always given the
impression he enjoys the big stage and matches don't come any bigger
than against the world number one. COMMENTATOR: Perfect, Bernard Tomic. Novak Djokovic looked like anything
but a world-beater, beaten to the punch continually.

Unable to match Tomic's all-round class.

The 20-year-old triumphed
in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, and says he's finally developing
a mental game to match his prodigious physical
talents. I've been working on my head a lot and trying to focus in between
points and not, um... and not get distracted. (LAUGHTER) Ana Ivanovic levelled things up by defeating teenager Ashleigh Barty
in straight sets. Serbia went on to clinch the tie
by winning the mixed doubles but the Aussies did mange to claim
the night's most entertaining point. Ohh, what a point!

(CHEERING) At the Brisbane International, Victoria Azarenka made light work
of German Sabine Lisicki. That's just too good. The world number one through to the
quarters in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. It's a very impressive start
to her Australian summer. It's always good to see where you're
at right from the start. So I'm happy I went through it.
You know, there's things to work on. And Frenchman Gael Monfils
offered an interesting excuse after copping a time violation
at the Qatar Open.

Azarenka and Lleyton Hewitt
are on court

Central Coast Mariners whiz kid
Tomas Rogic is on the verge of being signed
by Premier League side Reading. Meanwhile, Chelsea manager
Rafa Benitez is under pressure once again, following an embarrassing loss
to bottom-placed QPR. Everton is just two points behind
the fourth-placed Blues, at the Brisbane International today after downing Newcastle, 2-1.

A sensational free kick. Luis Suarez took his goal
tally for the season to 15 with a double in Liverpool's 3-0
thrashing of Sunderland. Stay with me
here on Seven's Morning News. I'll be back with all
the weather details after the break.

I quit because I didn't want to
have to come home one day and tell my children...
that I had cancer. My uncle actually
had a heart attack and he used to smoke
sort of 20-plus a day. I got sick of going to hospital
all the time. I decided to quit. I was sick of being controlled
by nicotine. VOICEOVER: Hear more quit stories
like these online. Visit iCanQuit.com.au and share your story. What will you quit for?

Four men in China have taken
the idea of braving the cold to a whole new level. The men took part in a challenge
to spend 24 hours in an ice hut, wearing nothing
but a pair of shorts.

The competitors spent the day
in the icy rooms a very hot air mass is being drawn
southwards into South Australia, Victoria and parts of Tasmania
today, resulting in another day
of high temperatures in some parts. A couple of very isolated showers
are forecast on the northern
New South Wales coast.

Before we go - a rubber ducky has managed
to make his way into Sydney Harbour this morning.

This giant duck
happily floated along in the lead up
to the Sydney Festival. The big bird stands 15 metres high
and is 18 metres wide and will be floating around
till the end of January. 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 Robert Ovadia.
Thanks for your company. Goodbye. Supertext captions by
Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au