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Seven Nightly News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Tonight, police arrest
four young suspects, accused of being
south-west Sydney's firebugs.

Blazes still burning out of control as volunteers
save property and lives.

A 45-degree scorcher forecast
for Sydney's west tomorrow.

Plus, Hugh Jackman and Jacki Weaver
among four Aussies nominated for Academy Awards.

VOICEOVER: This is Seven News
with Mark Ferguson.

Good evening. over 10 deliberately lit fires
in Sydney's south-west. Police and fire chiefs are furious at the number of blazes
started by firebugs. the state's Total Fire Ban
has extended for a further 24 hours. In this one-hour bulletin,

we'll again bring you
comprehensive coverage of the fires and the extreme heat, with 45 degrees forecast
for Western Sydney tomorrow. 1,070 firefighters are on the job
across the state tonight with 66 aircraft
still dumping water. They're battling 104 bushfires.
18 of them remain out of control. The worst are near Sussex Inlet,
Yass and Cooma.

'Morons' is the word
a Rural Fire Service chief has used to describe firebugs, with four children
facing arson charges. Lee Jeloscek is at Macquarie Fields where, Lee,
nine fires were lit last night.

Yes, Mark, They faced court today
and were refused bail. But while that was happening, and two more children
were soon arrested.

The official term for people who light blazes like these
at Macquarie Fields is 'arsonist'... WOMAN: What happens if that...? Oh, my God! (GROANS) ..but frustrated authorities
use other words. Reckless and stupid. Morons who think it's a big joke. Dangerous. Stupid enough, reckless enough,
evil enough. This afternoon,
two boys were arrested, suspected of starting a fire
at Eagle Vale near the M5. 10 blazes in less than 18 hours, including these, believed
to have been deliberately lit by two other boys
at Macquarie Fields. MAN: Hey, Dave,
where's your hose, mate? They were started in scrub,
and a bin. WOMAN: Do we have to evacuate? Worried locals scrambled for hoses. Today, they continued mopping up. Maybe. It's too hot today,
and that's why I try to hose this. Two 16-year-olds were arrested
for breach of bail, later charged with arson
and locked up - no bail this time. Earlier this week, police charged three teens
over this blaze at Shalvey. Detectives are also searching
for the firebugs who scorched 35 hectares at Lithgow. The warning for wannabe copycats
is clear. The chances of being caught
if you chose to commit arson has never been higher
than it has been now. There is a significant amount
of surveillance capability across the agencies that has been pooled
and is available and has resulted in some arrests. Today, detectives continued
doorknocking known firebugs while others were kept under
close surveillance.

We target those people
both overtly and covertly on days of extreme temperature
and fire risk. Many, including the Premier, have urged judges
to hand out tougher sentences for those caught lighting fires, but the Police Minister says few end up facing
the criminal courts because they're either too young
or mentally ill. They're not going to be deterred
in the main by the penalty. Most of them either have no fear
of being caught or have no understanding
of the consequences of it.

The biggest
of the New South Wales fires is a few kilometres west of Yass with fears strengthening winds
could push it onto the town. Metropolitan firefighters
from Sydney have now travelled south to help rural volunteers
not just in Yass but Wagga Wagga and Albury as well.

This video was taken by Rural Fire Service volunteer
Gil Kelly...

..showing the horrific conditions
that he and his crew faced. MAN: It's fairly intense where
we are, with embers crossing over. We need to retreat back. It was shot Tuesday night,
between Jugiong and Yass - what's become known
as the Cobbler Road fire. MAN: This fire's making a bad run
now towards the Burrinjuck Road. Fast and dangerous
but they didn't lose a single house. The fire is still
out of control today, 11km west of Yass. Crews spent the day
dousing hot spots along the most dangerous fronts after backburning overnight. There's a lot of smoke
coming out of it. We have helicopters bombing
as needs be, and we have fire crews down there. With westerly winds picking up
this afternoon and getting stronger tomorrow
and temperatures in the high 30s, authorities are monitoring
the blaze's every move. Is there a feeling of confidence
at the moment? Oh, yeah. If the weather holds out for us,
I don't think we'll have an issue. Trucks are being repaired to ensure all resources
are ready to go, and a fire and rescue strike team
is on standby, patrolling the town's perimeter. We're pretty confident,
well prepared, and people of Yass
are well protected. Residents can't see smoke but know there is fire
not far over the hill. I think everyone's pretty calm. There's a bit of, you know, unrest
in the background of yourself. They're full of praise
for the efforts of all emergency services personnel
and volunteers involved.

They've been absolutely marvelous. The blaze is the biggest burning
in the state. It has a perimeter almost 100km long and has scorched around
14,000 hectares of land. that's roughly the same size
as New York City. That's roughly the same size
as New York City. Or in Sydney terms, an area bounded by the city, Strathfield,
Hurstville and the airport - all of it burnt or on fire, a daunting thought for tired firies. They're rearing to go, and they'll keep going
until this fire's out.

113 firefighters are tonight
trying to contain a blaze that's been burning for four days,
south of Sydney. It's come within 10km
of the community of Sussex Inlet with locals warned
to remain vigilant. Live to Hugh Whitfeld at Wandandian,
south of Nowra. Hugh, how big a threat
is it this evening? Mark, the fire is still
out of control and uncontained. It was hot here today,
but not as hot as predicted and the dangerous winds
weren't that bad. That's given crews a chance
to prepare for when the fire emerges from some
very isolated and rugged country.

In the cool of the morning, a window of opportunity
for weary firefighters. They're back-burning
on the southern side of a fire that's burned for four days. The aim is to stop it at this road. Beyond it - these already smoke-filled valleys
loaded with fuel, ready to burn. We've been able to construct
some more containment lines. We've been able to deepen
some backburns. Burning logs could spark
a new front. This crew checks dangerous trees
using an axe.

A chainsaw brings them down.

That tree,
with the weight it had on it, was likely to fall on anyone
who came into work after us. It's firefighting without water, skills Doug Shutz uses at
his regular job in a timber yard. Mate, have you got the hottest job
on the fire ground? It's probably the toughest job
and the most dangerous job when you think about it, yeah. Cooler-than-expected conditions
today gave crews a reprieve. But the risk remains. The fire is burning
towards an artillery range full of unexploded shells. The most effective way
to fight this fire today has been from the air. Nine water bombers,
including 'Malcolm', dropping water on a fire front too isolated for volunteers
to get through. The fire's burnt through
more than 8,000 hectares but a crew from the Hawkesbury managed to save
this gang-gang cockatoo. Oh, we just found him on the side
of the road here this morning when we were doing reconnaissance
first thing and he was basically unable to fly. A job that's more than
fighting a fire.

Rural Fire Service
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons joins us now. Shane, thanks again for your time. How would you describe the state's
fire situation right now? Things are very tenuous.

Things are very tenuous.

Things are very tenuous.We have a little fire across NSW. We are experiencing some very dangerous and difficult fire conditions. At least 24 hours of that ahead of us. Will the fire danger rise tomorrow? It will. The temperatures will increase and we are looking at a high 40s at Imphal was to NSW. The worst weather conditions will be concentrated in the south-east. It coincides where most of our fire activity is. Things will be potentially a whole lot more difficult tomorrow.How other volunteer crews going? We have seen some remarkable fire-fighting efforts.They are getting tired. They are extraordinary men and women. Wrecking shoulder to shoulder on with their solitary counterparts. Volunteers from all over the state are descending on the fire grounds where they are made are the most. I think we can join him in sending accolades to the volunteers and colleagues from other agencies in what they're doing this week in some of the most atrocious of conditions.

Western Sydney will face
extreme heat tomorrow, with the temperature set to soar
to 45 degrees. Sally Bowrey's back in Penrith
tonight. Sal, 45 must be close to a record.

Mark, it's close. Penrith's record temperature
is 46 degrees. That was in 2001. This afternoon, temperatures rapidly
climbed as hot winds kicked in. Right now it's 38 degrees. Big crowds also hit the coast
to cool off, but dangerous surf at some spots
kept lifeguards busy.

A 55-year-old man
pulled from the water at Bondi today with suspected neck injuries. On a day of dangerous surf, big tides and high heat
at the beach. Rips closed Bronte this morning.

The rescue helicopter
and Water Police commenced a second day of searching after a rock fisherman was reported
seen being swept off the rocks at Little Bay, in Sydney's south,
yesterday. This swell travels a long way,
packs a lot of power and there's a period between swells and fishermen tend to think
it's safe A busy couple of days for lifeguards but not half as busy
as it will be for firefighters. Lightning has sparked a number
of blazes since the weekend. The lightning can cause
an ignition of the ground The dry lightning threat continues. We do have a bit of a concern
for tomorrow, with the southern boarder area
in the Southern Ranges. Our west will swelter through
tonight. It was cooler on the coast today. Penrith was by far the hottest spot. Tomorrow will be worse,
with another 40-plus day forecast. If you think that's a struggle, spare a thought
for these young cricketers sweating it out at Penrith tomorrow. They're playing on despite the heat. Yeah, they're tough enough
and they enjoy their sport. They really look forward to playing.

We're in for another day
of extreme temperatures tomorrow but a cool change is coming. I'll have those details for you
in 20 minutes, Mark.

Residents locked out of their
communities in south-east Tasmania have now been allowed back
to their homes. Police have finished searching
more than 1,000 properties in the Forcett fire zone. About 200 of those
were severely damaged or destroyed.

We're nearly at Connellys Marsh. When they arrived, the seaside town of Connellys Marsh
was smouldering. But this was just beginning. MAN: It's going. All these houses are burning down. There's a house out there,
a house there and this house here. George Papadelias could do nothing
but watch as his family's home burned. As you can see, the house is...
well and truly on its last legs. Overcome by smoke and fumes,
the group escaped by boat and searched through the night
for survivors... MAN: There he is! Come and jump in. ..and left behind a town
that would never be the same again. It was like WWII. It was just unreal...unreal. It was like a TV show. And...

..you know, gone. Today, residents were allowed
to return to see what's left... You drive through Dunalley
and, yeah, she's pretty bad. ..a heart-breaking journey
to a home they won't recognise. Two 20-tonne generators
have been flown in to help power
the worst affected areas. Today was especially tough for
victims of these devastating fires as police confirmed several blazes
still burning across the state were deliberately lit. Residents on the Tasman Peninsula
have been put on alert again. Hot, windy conditions
fuelled the Forcett fire. The threat is far from over.

You're watching a one-hour edition
of Sydney's Seven News. Still to come tonight - a pile-up causes a traffic jam
stretching for kilometres in Sydney's west.

Also, a suspicious fire
inside a historic Sydney hotel.

And the Australians in the running
for Academy Award glory. That's next.

You're watching a one-hour edition
of Seven News. Drivers have been caught
in a 6km traffic jam on the M4 this afternoon. A truck and three cars collided between James Ruse Drive
and Silverwater Road at Auburn. All city-bound lanes
had to be closed while the crash scene was cleared, and fuel spilled onto the road
was cleaned up. Two children and an adult
were treated by paramedics but were told
their injuries weren't serious.

It's not just bushfires
that have been deliberately lit, with someone starting a blaze
inside a historic Sydney hotel. Firefighters say
sprinklers saved lives when the Lansdowne at Chippendale
erupted in flames this morning.

The pub's fire alarm went off
just before 8am. The second-floor balcony
was found ablaze. Flames about this big,
that I went to get water to put out. By the time I got there, it had spread onto the furniture
and the balcony. Sabrina ran to wake fellow lodgers as the Lansdowne Hotel
filled with smoke. Woke up to the alarm,
knocking on the door, "Time to get out." There were reports
when firefighters arrived, there were persons reported trapped. Fire crews mounted
an aggressive attack up the stairs
with breathing apparatus. The last to be accounted for,
William Bradley - he'd already gone to work. Apparently, yeah,
they thought I might be dead. Good day to be alive. On the balcony where it started,
everything has been destroyed. Police believe
it was deliberately lit, with reports
cardboard may have been set alight. The flames got into the ceiling, but sprinklers and fire crews
stopped them spreading. The hall outside looks untouched, but there's extensive
smoke and water damage in the rooms. Still ticking,
lost everything, though. I just got my Australian passport
yesterday, so that's gone. It will be a number of days
before the hotel can reopen. Investigators have to finish their
work and declare the building safe before staff can go in
and start a big clean-up.

The Royal Commission
into Child Sexual Abuse will report its first findings
by the middle of next year. The Prime Minister today announced that New South Wales Supreme Court
Chief Justice Peter McClellan will head the inquiry. Victims will be able
to tell their stories of abuse to a special unit that will work with police to investigate
and prosecute offenders.

We all have an obligation
to shine a light on what's happened in the past and to learn from it
and to help people heal. The inquiry,
to be heard by six commissioners, will run until
at least December 2015. Families Minister Jenny Macklin
has apologised that she could live on the Newstart
Allowance of just $35 a day.

I could. My remarks were insensitive, and I'm certainly very sorry
for that. Former leader Kevin Rudd entered
the dole debate today, suggesting the Government
could pay more now that it has abandoned
the budget surplus. That does provide there
for a greater opportunity to attend to some pretty basic
social needs like this one, and I think people need to show
a bit more of a heart. In response, the Prime Minister says
her priority is to create jobs.

Australia is well placed
to feature at the Academy Awards, with Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts
and Jacki Weaver all nominated for an Oscar. A fourth Aussie,
make-up artist Rick Findlater, is also celebrating a nomination
for his work on 'The Hobbit'.

It's a good one for the Aussies. Naomi Watts tried not to watch
today's Oscar announcement but relented and ended up seeing
her second Best Actress nomination for the Boxing Day tsunami movie
'The Impossible'. That's why I chose
not to watch the TV. Why torture myself even more,
but it happened. Thrilled.

People in Los Angeles were just going gaga four Australians. You guys are taking over the world, which is fine with me. Hugh Jackman for 'Les Miserable'. Jackman must now be considered
hot favourite for Best Actor...

The government of the people, by the people.

..but he's up against
2-time winner Daniel Day Lewis in 'Lincoln'. I would vote for Hugh Jackman. When you look at that performance, he's not only terrific,
nobody else could play that role. Three years ago, veteran actress Jacki Weaver
was unknown in Hollywood but now the 65-year-old
has two Oscar nominations, this time
for Best Supporting Actress in 'Silver Linings Playbook'. While some Aussies were celebrating,
others were not. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, both nominated
for Monday's Golden Globes, missed out.

Nicole should have got it. Her performance was at standing. 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis became
the youngest actress ever nominated for the tiny movie
'Beasts of the Southern Wild'. My mom tapped me and said, "You are
nominated, you must wake up." Woke up
and saw my name scrolling down. In all, nine movies will vie
for Best Picture when the Oscars are announced
at the end of February, including 'Lincoln'
with 12 nominations, 'Life of Pi' with 11
and 'Les Mis' with 8.

America's new talk show queen,
Ellen DeGeneres, is bringing her program
to Sydney in March. Nicole Kidman was Ellen's
special guest today as she broke the news to 400 people
in her Los Angeles studio. Every one here
is going to Australia! (SCREAMING AND CHEERING) These type of initiatives, I think, are well worth
the money spent on it. That's why we are promoting it
with 400 tickets. The State Government hasn't
disclosed how much it's chipping in.

Next in this one-hour edition
of Seven News - we'll update our top stories. Also, new fears for Western Sydney, facing extraordinary temperatures
tomorrow. Live to Western Australia, which is experiencing
its own extreme weather.

And why Vodafone's facing
a new backlash from customers. That's next.

Tonight's headlines - four children arrested
over 10 deliberately lit fires a four children arrested
over 10 deliberately lit fires at Macquarie Fields and Eagle Vale,
near Campbelltown. A 45-degree scorcher forecast
for Sydney's west tomorrow with warnings of dangerous surf
at our beaches. A fire at Chippendale's
historic Lansdowne Hotel deliberately lit. Plus, four Aussies nominated
for Academy Awards, including Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts
and Jacki Weaver.

This is a one-hour edition
of Seven News and Today Tonight as fire and weather emergencies grip
our state and eastern Australia. And Sydney is in for a scorcher
tomorrow, with 45 degrees forecast
for the western suburbs. Sally Bowrey is at Penrith, which was one of
Sydney's hottest suburbs today. Mark, it's 38 degrees now. We reached a top
of 40 degrees here this afternoon, and tomorrow it's going
to be even hotter. A top of 45 on the way for Penrith. The coast will be quite a bit cooler
thanks to the sea breeze. As if the heat isn't bad enough, we also have lightning forecast
across parts of the state. This map shows the areas
where it set to strike tomorrow - around the Southern Ranges
of New South Wales, including Yass, where blazes are already burning. And with the conditions
we're experiencing right now, lightning has the potential
to start even more bushfires. That's because the air is so dry, it stops rain
falling from the storm clouds but the lighting still strikes and that can easily ignite
what's on the ground. The good news is
there's rain on the way. I'll have Sydney's extended forecast
at 6:55, Mark. The rescue of a baby locked in a car
at Bondi Junction this afternoon has led to new warnings
about leaving children in vehicles, even for a minute. As Today Tonight's Clare Brady
reports, it's a potentially fatal mistake that too many parents
are still making.

Weather forecasts
echo like warnings. A very hot top of 37 degrees. It's been a record-breaking week
across the country. Warnings some parents
choose to ignore.

Just weeks ago, a Bendigo mum left her 6-month-old
in the car on a 30-degree day. Her baby had a heart attack
and died in hospital that night.

The summer before, another mum left her 10-month-old
with windows and doors shut tight. Her baby died too. It's a medical emergency. Children are more three times
more likely to suffer from
this increased temperatures than animals. NEWS FOOTAGE: A Good Samaritan
smashed the four-wheel drive and pulled the boy out screaming. (SCREAMS) His mum had left him
strapped in the car seat, in the heat of the day, while she went Christmas shopping. Don't say sorry to me,
sorry to your baby! Another mother
narrowly escaped jail time after leaving her 19-month-old
and 4-week-old baby in a car not once, but twice,
on a 40-plus degree day.

There is always the potential for serious
and long-lasting injuries to occur. If that length of time is excessive, it can lead to
irreversible brain damage. Adam West treats distressed
and dehydrated children rescued from hot cars
in the nick of time. We might expect to see agitation,
and then potentially confusion, potentially progressing to coma
and even death. This is what little bodies
contend with when Mum or Dad leave them behind. My thermometer reads
about 35 degrees outside the car. Left inside a locked vehicle
for 15 minutes, it climbs to a whopping 56 degrees. The number of children and pets
rescued from cars last year is astounding.

In Victoria, almost 1,700. In New South Wales,
almost 3,000. In Queensland, a staggering 3,231.

Victorian paramedic Paul Holman
calls it ignorant. If you want to damage
your children's health, and potentially, we could have dead children
on our hands, that's the way to do it. So if some parents
aren't going to apply common sense, the onus may be on us. So when walking through car parks
on hot days, keep a lookout to see if children or a pet have been left
in the back seat. It may be one of us
that saves a life.

Dr Alan Bolton has treated two dogs
in recent days after they were left in hot cars. Leaving the window open
doesn't make very much difference to the temperature within the car
at all. It takes just six minutes
for a dog to get into trouble. The other thing
you need to remember is, you may think you're only going
to be in the shop for two minutes but something may happen so if you get caught up and you end up being gone
for 10 minutes, that can be enough
to cause real damage.

(SCREAMS)

This summer, leave your car empty
and your arms full.

A cyclone that's bearing down
on Western Australia has now been upgraded
to a category 4 - the second-strongest rating. People in the Exmouth region
are being warned winds could reach 140km/h by Sunday. Rob Scott is there for Seven News. Rob, Cyclone Narelle
is really packing a punch.

Mark, that is
the worst-case scenario if the cyclone tracks closer
to the coast. At the moment,
it's expected to stay out at sea, making it more likely residents will be hit by wind gusts
of around 100km/h. Currently, Narelle is 500km
north of Exmouth and moving
in a south-westerly direction. Communities right across the Pilbara
remain on alert and are making final preparations before conditions
begin to worsen tonight.

Mainly more things
that are non-perishable in case you get roads cut
for some time. You know, if a freezer,
you lose power, like during Vance, we lost power. For some people, up to three weeks. We planned our holiday to leave
in the next couple of weeks but because of the weather,
it's better.

if we go now. And we have amazing pictures
of a wild dust storm. The huge red cloud was captured
just north of here on Wednesday off the coast of Onslow. It's unclear whether
it's related to the cyclone. Yet another example of
Australia's extreme weather, Mark.

Vodafone is facing another backlash
from customers after announcing plans
for new data usage charges. Fees to access social media
start next month, meaning 2.6 million customers
on prepaid plans will soon pay more. Here's Today Tonight's
Lynda Kinkade.

The telco industry is pretty guilty
of gobbledegook and Double Dutch so what we're trying to do
is simplify our plans. For people that are
heavy social media users, they're going to take a hit. I think it's ridiculous. Vodafone is being inundated with
messages from furious customers who'll be hit with new charges
for using social media

From next month, all 2.6 million customers
with a pre-paid Vodafone service will be charged for using Facebook,
Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube and Myspace. Previously, it was free for six
of the most popular pre-paid plans. It's estimated
the move will cost some users between $60 and $200 a year. I think it's stupid. Because now, I'm a mother with a baby,
I don't think I can afford that. There's no way.

A pre-paid Vodafone customer
for last 10 years, Nataljia Ivanovic
is planning to axe the telco when it axes free social media. I might go with Optus because my sister's with Optus and she said to me that
there's better deals, better caps. And changes to the Vodafone policy
don't end there. All Vodafone pre-paid customers
will now be charged for a minimum internet connection
of a 1-megabyte block, regardless of how little data
they use. Customers should only be charged
for what they use, so that's per kilobyte. It's pretty similar
to putting petrol in a tank - you know, you pay per cent,
not per dollar. To give you a rough idea
of how much data you use, it takes about 1 kilobyte
to send an iMessage, 5kb to send a tweet on Twitter, 38kb for Facebook,
256kb to open a photo. To download a song,
it takes 3 megabytes, and 11 megabytes
to open a 5-minute YouTube video. We have some of the best plans
in the market that we think are enough to cover
the growing use of social media and data, generally. Vodafone's General Manager of Corporate Affairs
and Public Relations Karina Keisler, insists the new charges
are necessary to fund a reliable service. We would love to give our data away
for free or make it dirt cheap but the reality is that that the network that enables
our customers to access that data - in order to build
the awesome network that they need, it does come at a cost. Elise Davidson, from the Australian Communications
Consumer Action Network says these changes
simply bring Vodafone into line with other major providers. Vodafone pre-paid customers
have had it good for a while. Vodafone is really bringing
themselves into line with the way Optus charge. And Telstra,
the other big competitor, they do only charge per kilobyte - but you'll pay more
for your recharge than some of the others. I think it's ridiculous,
to be honest, yeah. I don't think you should be
charged for that. I think that's pretty unfair. We're hard-pressed to find
any mobile user willing to give these new charges
a ringing endorsement. They'll come into effect
on February 13 - just in time for Valentine's Day.

You're watching a one-hour edition
of Seven News and Today Tonight. Up next - live to fire headquarters for the
latest on the bushfire danger zones.

Also, the snake that hitched a ride
on a Flying Kangaroo.

And is this a lion? The animal that caused panic
wandering through a neighbourhood. That's next.

You're watching a one-hour edition
of Seven News and Today Tonight. An update now on the fires
burning across New South Wales. Seven's Robert Ovadia is at
Rural Fire Service headquarters. Rob, where are the trouble spots
tonight?

Mark, after an exhausting week, there are still more than 1,000
firefighters on the job across New South Wales tonight. They're tackling around 104
bush- and grassfires that are still burning. 14 of those are uncontained. The worst are near Sussex Inlet,
on the South Coast, and at Yass and Cooma. As well as those major blazes, there are other smaller outbreaks.

The Total Fire Ban has been
extended for another 24 hours. The return of hot and windy
conditions means there's a potential for
more property to come under threat. some 350,000 hectares of land
has been burnt out. We'll have updates on the fires
throughout the evening, Mark.

A Hollywood movie plot came to life
for passengers on a Qantas flight when they spotted a snake
on a plane. The reptile endured freezing
temperatures, trapped under a wing, on the flight
between Cairns and Port Moresby. Experts say the 3m scrub python
is the longest snake in Australia. Despite putting up a tough fight
during the 400km/h journey, the snake didn't make it
to PNG alive.

Being on a plane was something Doris Hall thought
she'd never experience. But at the age of 99, the great grandmother has taken
to the skies for the first time. As Today Tonight's Damien Hansen
reports, it kick-started a string of firsts.

For the best part of the last 99 years, Doris's feet have been planted on the ground. She has outlived three husbands but until one month ago, had never been on an aeroplane.If it was a long trip. Nine hours. The girls were lovely. Everything was great about the flight.I expected her not to be too keen on the flight. It was almost her favourite part of the whole thing.Her daughter and son- in-law escorted Doris on a flight of a lifetime. Why did you, after all these years, finally decide?My daughter and her husband wanted... I said, let's go on a holiday. So they decided to go to Thailand so we packed up and went.Doris's Asian adventure spanned 10 days.I think the funniest thing was, when you get there, we will have a wheelchair for your mother. My mother pipes up, I don't need a wheelchair, thank you.So what does she need in Thailand? Ride in Eltham, of course.He put his leg up like that. I sat on it. Then he gave me a ride. We went round the garden. It was lovely.Dollars and her daughter arrived in Australia from England in 1951 by ship. She has made several trips back in force six but only ever buy-back. Just to see relatives. I feel she has outlived them all now.I would like to go to Hawaii. I wouldn't mind going to Thailand again.As for what Doris will be going coverage like doing to mark a 100th birthday?If wait and see.Whatever she chooses, the sky, for this high-flying senior, is no longer that limit.Never too old to try anything. But I think we will skip the

Take a look at this animal. Looks like lion, right? Well, that's what residents
of Norfolk, Virginia, in the US, thought when it was seen
wandering the streets near a zoo. It sparked panic with several calls
to emergency services.

But it's not a lion. It's Charles the Monarch,
a labradoodle dog. Charles is shaved and has had
his hair died to look like a mane Charles is shaved and has had
his hair dyed to look like a mane because he's a local
university mascot. He even has his own Facebook page.

Checking finance now - and the share market
has closed lower, despite strong inflation
and trade data out of China. The ASX 200 finished down 14 points.

You're watching a one-hour edition
of Seven News and Today Tonight. We'll update our top stories
shortly. But, first, sport with Mark Beretta. Mark, it's a big day - Bernard Tomic is into
the Sydney Final. Coming up - Tomic fights through heat stress, and he's impressed
the world number one.

for Phil Hughes against Sri Lanka.

And Quade Cooper
meets Barry Dunnett, the man who'll try to knock him out.

At Coles, there's now
more down, downs for your pantry. # Down, down... # WOMAN: Like Coles Bread -
down, down and staying down to just $2.30 a loaf. # Down, down
Prices are down. # On even more of the things you buy
at Coles.

Australia, two years ago, Coles brought you no added hormones in all Coles fresh beef. Now we have two more great things
to tell you. One, all Coles delicious fresh
100% Aussie pork is now sow-stall-free. And two, all Coles-brand eggs are now cage-free. No-added-hormone beef,
sow-stall-free pork and cage-free eggs, because at Coles, when we promise
quality food, we mean it. STAFF: Ta-da!

Phil Hughes has struck a blow for
Cricket Australia's rotation policy, scoring a record-breaking century
against Sri Lanka at the MCG. Hughes is the first Aussie
to score a hundred in their one-day international
debut. Sri Lanka is chasing 306
for victory.

Three new Aussie caps,
all top-order batsmen and eager to prove they deserve their spots
against the 'Gun Slinga'. But Phil Hughes disarmed
Sri Lanka's danger man and punished
the rest of their attack. That is a beauty. The other debutantes failed to fire. Aaron Finch made 16. Yeah, he got a wicket straightaway. And on 3,
Usman Khawaja was the latest victim of Australia's shocking form
between wickets. But from 2/72,
Australia turned the game. That's six! George Bailey joined Hughes in a 159-run stand
for the third wicket. in a 140-run stand
for the third wicket. After 123 balls,
Hughes set a new record. First Australian cricketer
ever to do that - a hundred on debut.

Oh, now hammered through cover,
this is a display. But the Slinga got his man -
Hughes out for 112. Bailey went down swinging too - 89 proving a point to critics. And just like his brother, Mike,
David Hussey finished with style - a half-century
and the total past 300.

Dizzy spells and heat stress
haven't stopped Bernard Tomic reaching his first ATP Tour final
at the Apia International Sydney. South African Kevin Anderson
was first through to the final, where he'll face Tomic after the Aussie's tough win
over Andreas Seppi.

It was another test
of the new Bernard Tomic attitude, backing up from last night's
long quarterfinal on another Sydney scorcher. He called for the trainer in
the first set against Andreas Seppi. Something's wrong -
dizzy, I don't know. Distressed but determined,
Tomic even channelled Lleyton. COMMENTATOR: Another forehand winner
from Tomic. After saving set points,
Tomic took the tie break 12-10. And he gets it.
Great fighting spirit. It was an effort that deserved luck. Oh...it's gone his way. That set up the decisive break, and Tomic served it out
to reach his first ATP final. UMPIRE: Game, set, match, Tomic. It's about time, huh? Obviously I played
pretty good today. Thanks for coming out
and supporting me today. It means really a lot
to get into the first final. He's definitely Australia's
biggest tennis hope, and I'm sure
that the Australian tennis public has something to cheer for. That was Novak Djokovic
at the Australian Open draw. Wherever the world number one
went today, he was asked about Tomic. He's showing some maturity
on the court, which, I think,
it's a great change for him. Lleyton Hewitt drew eight seed
Janko Tipsarevic in the first round of the Open. but, yeah, I'm sure he's probably not wanting to meet me
in the first round either. Hewitt will tune up
in tomorrow's Kooyong Classic final against former US Open champion
Juan Martin Del Potro. Sam Stosur drew
world number 84 Kai-Chen Chang.

Tonight,
it's the women's final in Sydney between Agnieska Radwanska
and Dominika Cibulkova. That's live on 7TWO from 7:30. Tomorrow, it's Hewitt
versus Del Potro at Kooyong live on 7TWO from 1pm.

The Roosters remain hopeful
of signing Michael Jennings as negotiations
with the Panthers continue. Anthony Minichiello was named
as the Roosters captain for 2013 today.

It's the most meaningful highlight
of my career to date so it's a pretty special moment. Bird has re-signed with the Titans
for four more years while Quade Cooper met
his boxing opponent, Barry Dunnett, for the first time. It's a bit awkward
standing that close and looking another male
in the eyes like that. Everyone in the boxing community's
behind me. Put a bit of an end to
the footballer turned fighter. Dunnett expects to knock Cooper out.

Alessandro Del Piero says
he's not concerned about committing to Sydney FC
for next season until he can help the Sky Blues
climb off the bottom of the A-League ladder. The Italian superstar poses
for photos and signs autographs before and after
every training session and denies he's frustrated
playing for Sydney. Usually, I don't lose too much
during the season but I don't want to think about
the wrong thing now. Sydney hosts Melbourne Heart
on Sunday.

Get set for a super weekend of tennis. Still to come in this
one-hour edition of Seven News - the latest on suspected firebugs
arrested in Sydney's south-west. Also, the bushfires
causing most concern for crews ahead of a dangerous weekend.

And Sally will have
Sydney's weather forecast with the suburb that's set to hit
45 degrees tomorrow.

Australia, you know what this means -
prices are down and staying down on over a thousand of the things
you buy at Coles. But it's just got a whole lot better because now there's
over 100 more
down, downs. More down, downs in the pantry. More down, downs in the fridge
and the freezer. Huh! More down, downs in the bathroom.

More, more, more down, downs... SONG: # Down, down
Prices are down. # ..on even more of the things you buy
at Coles.

Tonight's headlines - four children arrested
over 10 deliberately lit fires at Macquarie Fields and Eagle Vale,
near Campbelltown.

A 45-degree scorcher forecast
for Sydney's west tomorrow with warnings of dangerous surf
at our beaches. A fire at Chippendale's
historic Lansdowne hotel deliberately lit.

Plus, four Aussies nominated
for Academy Awards, including Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts
and Jacki Weaver.

Updating our top story now
on the arrests of four children over 10 deliberately lit fires
in Sydney's south-west. Lee Jeloscek is at
Macquarie Fields Fire Station, where firefighters responded
to several blazes last night, Lee.

That's right, Mark. Two teens have been charged over nine deliberately lit fires
here in Macquarie Fields last night. They appeared in court
this afternoon and were refused bail. But while that was happening,
police were arresting two more boys who were accused of starting
a fire at Eagle Vale near the M5 at Campbelltown. An unnecessarily busy day
for firefighters and police.

Thanks, Lee. Now to Hugh Whitfeld at Wandandian,
near Nowra. What's the situation there
at the moment?

Mark, fire crews are preparing
for another night of backburning to strengthen the containment lines
ahead of tomorrow's scorcher. Volunteers are essentially
waiting for the fire front to reach the backburn, then they'll really be able
to bring it under control. Of course,
that all depends on the conditions, which, today, were favourable. If things turn bad, homes and people
to the south of here could come under renewed threat, as could the Princes Highway, which, fortunately for now,
remains open. Crews are in for a long fight. They've been warned
they could be here for weeks to stamp out this fire. Mark.

Now to Sally with Sydney's
weekend weather forecast. 'Hot' is the word, Sal?

Mark, we're set to see
another scorcher here in Penrith tomorrow and the coast could see that too
if the sea breezes fails to kick in.

Today was fine warm
and a little cloudy. The city got to 29
late this afternoon. The heat started to creep
into the western suburbs in the afternoon with the hottest part of the day
not that long ago when Richmond and Penrith
hit 40 degrees just before 5pm. From the satellite,
Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle continues to move slowly
south-westwards, with a clear eye now visible with gale-force winds
along part of the WA coast.

Here in the south-east, a trough is drawing down
another burst of searing heat for New South Wales tomorrow, with a Total Fire Ban in place
for the entire state. Canberra very hot
and windy. Showers in Melbourne
and Hobart. On the water:

Another very warm night
is expected in Sydney with higher humidity levels
ahead of a very hot day tomorrow. Temperatures will quickly reach 39 ahead of a southerly change
in the early afternoon. And a fire weather warning
has been issued for all of Sydney tomorrow. But the very hot
north-westerly winds won't be as strong tomorrow
as on Tuesday, which will see
the highest temperatures in the western suburbs. The southerly change
will first hit the coast early afternoon reaching the west
into the evening. And if Katoomba reaches 37 tomorrow, it will be its hottest
January temperature on record. The southerly change
will bring much cooler weather on Sunday and Monday before sunshine returns mid-week with the mercury rising
into the 40s again for the western suburbs.

We have not seen the end of this hot weather. That's Seven News and Today Tonight
for this Friday. I'm Mark Ferguson. Hope you stay safe and cool,
if possible, this weekend. Our next news update
is in 30 minutes. Supertext captions
by Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au