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Today Tonight -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) One kilo?
$5. So for Aussie beef mince,
get down, down to Coles.

Tonight's Seven News headlines - former Labor ministers
prepare to fight criminal charges following the state's
biggest corruption inquiry. A Sydney man who pleaded
to find his wife's killer charged with her murder. And police hunt a man suspected of indecently assaulting
a blind woman on a train.

Checking finance now and the share market
has closed higher as investors await the outcome
of a US Federal Reserve meeting. The ASX 200 was up 5 points. Shares in energy company AGL slid

A prank in Punchbowl has left a P-plate driver
with quite a mess to clean up. Someone has completely
covered his car in cling wrap, sticky tape,
toilet paper and flour. The owner's mother
couldn't quite believe her eyes. That is so funny.

What is that?

Oh, my God - flour! Mum says she has no idea
who's behind the prank but she does know
her son won't be too impressed when he sees the results. Now, here's Sarah
with Sydney's weather. A gusty southerly change
moved through Sydney overnight, A gusty southerly change
moved through Sydney overnight, whipping up a few showers
and thunderstorms. The heaviest falls
were near the coast. 33mm at Cronulla, 22 in Bondi and up to 15mm
on the Northern Beaches. The city reached 18 degrees today, 2 degrees above average, capping off Sydney's
hottest July on record. The overnight rain
was much lighter in the west. Just 2mm at Parramatta. Today was cooler than yesterday
thanks to southerly winds. 17 degrees in most spots. 9 in the mountains. From the satellite - a ridge along the coast
combined with an upper trough to produce those showers and storms. Kiama on the South Coast
copped 62mm. Tomorrow, a high will move
over New South Wales, bringing fine conditions through inland central Australia
ahead of a cold front. Interstate:

On the waters:

Tonight is staying dry in Sydney. A low of 10 degrees. It'll be fine tomorrow. And 19 for the first day of August. There is the small chance
of a brief shower near the coast tonight. It'll be cooler than last night. 5 degrees at Penrith. Tomorrow will be
completely fine, though. A bit of patchy cloud at times. 19 at Gosford,
Parramatta and Campbelltown. 18 in Liverpool and Cronulla. Looking ahead - we can expect fine and sunny weather
for the first week of August. 20 degrees on Friday. A cold front on Saturday will see temperatures drop to 18 in the city. 17 in the west. Sunday, 20 in the city. 19 at Penrith.

That's Seven News at 6:00
for this Wednesday. I'm Mark Ferguson. Tomorrow on 'Sunrise', the best suburbs
to buy a home right now. Now, here's 'Today Tonight'.

Welcome to the program.
I'm Helen Kapalos. Tonight - coming clean. Why more and more celebrities
are revealing all sorts of intimate details
about their lives long before
the paparazzi have even a hint of what they've been up to. That story shortly. But we begin with a bizarre case
of sexual harassment which serves as a timely warning
to us all - be careful what you say at work. It's often said there's a fine line between harmless banter
and hurtful harassment. Well, not in this case.

For some, being called a cougar
is a compliment. A badge of honour, a snub to convention and a nod to the naughty union of an older woman
and a much younger man. We've taken you inside the lives
of cougars and their cubs.

I think younger men love to be hunted. It makes them feel fabulous about themselves. We've taken you inside the lives
of cougars and their cubs.

They've been glamorised in sitcoms.

Then there's Lisa Curry,
Australia's cougar queen.

But it's a label
not everyone is comfortable with.

about themselves. Even though I pleaded quite graphically for him to stop, he did not stop. It was humiliating and embarrassing.Give us a grill, you cougar.He even cornered me in the cool room at one point. When workplace harassment
raised its head at Robyn McCauley's workplace, it came in the form
of her cougar calling workmate Steven Barrington. It was humiliating and embarrassing,
degrading. While the pair worked
in one of the kitchens of the RACV owned Royal Pines Resort
on the Gold Coast, Barrington teased Robyn
with cougar calls and made persistent references
to a vintage aftershave. Stephen continued on
with the Old Spice comments, he started sniffing the air
around me, asking others in the immediate area
if they could smell it. He'd come up to my neck,
sniff my neck. This went on for quite some time.

Old Spice's slogan is "if your grandfather
hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist" but after three days of harassment
at the hands of the junior chef, Robyn, a kitchenhand, simply
wasn't prepared to wear it anymore. Can you smell that?
Can anyone smell that? I know that smell. That smells like Old Spice. It progressed
from the Old Spice comments, this is when he started using
the cougar references.

She took her complaints
to the general manager, then to the Queensland
Civil Administrative Tribunal on the grounds hotel management
failed to resolve the issue. The lack of support from the hotel
when I did report it, stupidly believing
that they would be supportive. The Queensland
Civil and Administrative Tribunal agreed with Robyn and found that her employer's
investigation into the matter was, in fact, bungled as a result they were found
vicariously liable for the sexual
and age discrimination that Robyn suffered. They were ordered to pay $35,000
in costs. When we approached the hotel
for comment today, they wouldn't talk to us on camera. Stephen,
who still works at the hotel and has been ordered to pay Robyn
$4,500 didn't want to discuss
his "cat calls" either. Do you concede it was out of line
to call Robyn a cougar and say she smelt like Old Spice? Again, honestly, you'll have to
speak to a higher authority than me,

I'm sorry. RACV Royal Pines Resort sent us
through this written statement saying they abhor
any form of discrimination and deeply regret the circumstances.

point.When you have a dysfunctional workplace, productivity goes down. Kevin Cocks is the Queensland
Anti Discrimination Commissioner. When it comes to sexual harassment, it is more often about power
than it is around sexual attraction Robyn has vowed never to return
to the hospitality industry. This was something personal
that I did for me and if it has an offshoot
for empowering women, then so be it.

Damien Hansen reporting there. And sexual harassment
is not just a workplace problem. A recent survey
by the National Union of Students found an extraordinary 67%
of female students had encountered some form
of unwanted sexual experience. Now, talk to any police officer
and they'll tell you one of the biggest problems
on our streets is a lack of respect for authority. We saw an example on Monday night with postal workers refusing
to set foot in Dubbo's
most dangerous neighbourhood, fearing attack by anti-social kids. You'd think ambulance officers, the life-saving heart and soul
of a civilised society, would be immune to such nonsense. You'd think so, but you'd be wrong.

And it looks like
police are on scene. We'll head down there. (SIREN WAILS) Police have come along
to get this man to hospital. The violence against paramedics
is something that we won't tolerate. It is on the increase. Paramedics under attack. No, no, no. Lay back. Stones pelted,
stretchers used as weapons. Is it going to cost
an ambulance officer their life? Paramedics are not there
to be punching bags. They're there
to do their life-saving work. They also cop
an earful of verbal abuse, according to Mick Willis, Deputy Commissioner
of NSW Ambulance. It's a strange society that would go about assaulting
the very people who are coming to their aid. (SIRENS WAIL)

Our 6-month investigation
has uncovered a spate of assaults. These documents, obtained
under Freedom of Information,½ reveal potential areas of threat, procedures to follow and blacklisted addresses, where even in the most serious
of emergencies, staff won't enter
until police arrive. What do we know about the case
we're going to? We're going to a 17-year-old male
who's been assaulted.

Today Tonight
was given special access to ride along with an ambulance crew
on a typical weekend. If it's the news, (BLEEP) off. We've got a guy
that's got a bottle here and a guy that is having
an asthma attack here. It's Friday night,
just after midnight. A mix of dehydration
and a few drinks has led to
a dangerous confrontation. We've got some other cars coming,
OK? No. No? That's fine. Victorian paramedic Brett Drummond has copped his fair share
of abusive patients. (BLEEP!)

What we've got here is a gentlemen
that is alcohol affected. Alcohol and drugs
are a big part of the problem. There have been times when I've actually felt
threatened for my safety, where I've had to have police
come and help me out 'cause a patient has been violent.

In Queensland,
204 assaults were recorded during the last financial year. 240 cases were reported in Victoria
during the same period. And last year, 107 cases
were reported in New South Wales. Already, there's been 76 this year. Five years maximum penalty
for assaulting a paramedic and I can tell you that all incidents of assault
are taken seriously and are reported to police. Some of the attacks
will make your stomach churn - faeces thrown at a paramedic,
one choked, another hit
with a wooden fence post. I've had three
real physical attacks. I've had one patient
repeatedly grab at my crotch. I've also been hit in the face
by a patient who was under the effects of alcohol and we were querying GHB
at the time. Jessica Drummond's experiences
make you wonder why she continues to serve
as a paramedic in Victoria. I've had a patient spit at my face. So now I have to be tested
for HIV and hepatitises.

There's been many times
where patients have told me they're going to follow me home
and rape me or kill me or slit my throat. Ambulance Victoria claims the number of paramedics
reporting verbal abuse or threats has doubled in five years.

Once an emergency call
has been made, the location of the case
appears on this scanners. Almost 1,000 addresses
across Victoria are considered no-go zones. Too dangerous to enter
without police escort.

The most recent reports suggest these areas have the highest number
of black-listed addresses - Redfern, Windale, Inverell, Sydney's CBD, Mosman, and Vaucluse.

Brisbane Metro south and north, Townsville, Gold Coast and central Queensland also have a high number of areas
where paramedics fear to go. Queensland and New South Wales
update the blacklisted addresses every 3-6 months.

But in Victoria,
the addresses remain in the system unless there's direct evidence
they're safe. If you move into a home, there's no way of knowing if it's
been black-listed by paramedics. If it has,
and you have an emergency, you could potentially face
a life-threatening delay.

According to the FOI documents, Queensland paramedics are warned
with caution notes upon approach.

If you do attack a paramedic,
chances are you'll be charged. We'll report it to police We'll assist the police
in pursing those people and ensuring charges
are pressed against them.

Lynda Kinkade reporting there. And as if all that wasn't enough, paramedics in some states
are facing a cut in salary as they struggle to negotiate
a new pay deal. It doesn't seem right. Now, the Upper Crust cafe
is no ordinary sandwich shop. It was set up 27 years ago to employ, train and give meaning
to the lives of young workers with intellectual and physical
disabilities. It's been a remarkable success. But now, for business reasons,
it faces immediate closure. Heartbroken employees
and their families fear they've been sold out.

How does it make you feel
that it is closing down? Well, I feel sad.
I feel shock and mad. It's making me feel sad. I don't like closing down.
I want it to stay open. Why? Because we are in a business
with House With No Steps.

Seven years ago, in a deal struck with the Department
of Family and Community Services. The charity, House With No Steps,
made "a long term commitment" to provide supported employment
for 10 people with disabilities working at this suburban cafe. But that commitment
was not honoured. At least, so far as these people
are concerned, cafe workers Alison, Emma, Damien,
Vaughan and their parents are distraught. This whole thing
is just not ethical. They are a charity,
they should be looking after people, they should be concerned.

Vaughan has been working there
since he left school since he was 19 so he has been there 24 years. 27 years ago, Trevor and Berwynne Taylor
got together with other parents
of disabled children to form a small charity
called Werrigal. With government help,
they bought this cafe as a place where people like their
children could work and be happy. I've learnt how to make wraps,
sandwiches, bread rolls and the washing up as well.

Under the management of parents like
Lyndsey Showyin and the Taylors, Upper Crust thrived. The $620,000 mortgage
on the building and business was reduced to $74,000.

I think it was the first
transition-to-work operation in Australia at the time. But in 2006, the Federal Government sent
the parents a disturbing letter. The Department of Community
and Family Services had commissioned an audit by KPMG which recommended:

In other words,
in spite of its success, the Government would only continue
funding Upper Crust if it merged with a larger charity. House With No Steps got this because the Federal Government
forced us to go to a larger organisation. They played very hardball. House With No Steps
would only manage Upper Crust and continue supporting
the disabled workers if they could own the business
and its premises, for which they offered
to pay out the mortgage.

They've taken a very good business,
that we've paid $620,000 for, for the princely some of $74,000. We gave it to them
because they're an iconic group that should have been able,
and capable, of keeping open a business
that was running perfectly well and make sure it thrives. But six years on, House with No Steps says
the business is unviable, that they are losing $100,000 a year and they need to close
to prevent further losses. We believe they just have not tried,
it's an asset grab. They want the property,
which has been upzoned. It's worth over $1.5 million now.

I think they'll leave it vacant
for a few months and then sell it. I wouldn't be a bit surprised
if they don't have a buyer already. The House With No Steps
refused an on-camera interview but they did say in an email to me they have lost $750,000
in the last seven years by operating the Upper Crust cafe. They maintain
that if they keep it open it will compromise their ability to look after the 3,000 other people
with disabilities in ther care. They also add
that they are committed to supporting
the nine affected employees and say that they have offered
alternate jobs to some of them already. He wasn't offered any job. We've been looking, as I say, looking oursevelves
at these other two places. So, when House With No Steps say that they've offered people
like Vaughan another job..? They haven't. They have suggested two places and we've been to both places
and he's been rejected. Vaughan and his co-workers
have been informed they will be redundant
at the end of next week. Will you get another job somewhere? Um, I don't know. I'll stay at home
and do some sweeping. You'll stay at home?
Yeah. Would you prefer to be at home
or here at work? Here at work.

Me, Mum and Dad are talking about
looking for a job for me. Yeah.
I don't know what I can do. They have $5 million
in the general kitty that comes from
the general population. In other words, donations. If they can't spend
a little bit of that on keeping an operation like this
open, then I don't know what
they are doing with their money? The parents are refusing to give up. They are offering a compromise
to House With No Steps. Well, we expect them
to give it back. That would be the honourable thing
to do. To give it back
for the same money they paid for it. The charity, House With No Steps, have refused to sell the business
back to the parents for $74,000.

The parents and their kids have
a matter of days to find a solution. The kids are absolutel devastated.

They've been crying,
they don't know where to go and they don't know what to do. I mean, the stress
and the absolute lack of compassion by the government minister
responsible. Minister Macklin
ought to hang her head in shame for what she's doing here. She's not even interested. The minister denies
any lack of interest. As does the Parliamentary Secretary
for Disabilities and Carers, Amanda Rishworth, who says she is trying to secure
a satisfactory outcome. There is only one
satisfactory outcome for Vaughan and his colleagues. Just simply can't afford to close.

And House With No Steps claim a reduction in funding
is one reason the Upper Crust cafe
is no longer viable. The Federal Government
disputes that claim. You can find statements
from both sides on our website. Still to come -

celebrities beating the tabloids
at their own game. How have these big names
achieved that? Find out after this short break.

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So grab a McDonald's
Family Dinner Box tonight.

In this digital age, celebrities can't get away
with anything. And keeping a secret
is next to impossible. Thanks to camera phones and Twitter, as soon as a celeb
puts a foot out of line, it's all over the internet. But now, more and more, they're not waiting
for the gossip sites or tabloids to expose their exploits. They're coming clean.

That's right, I have a confession. Chrissie Swan's done it. Angelina, too. So did Arnie - even Michelle Bridges. Celebrities have to understand that there are citizen reporters
out there. Everybody with a mobile phone
and a mouth can report on you.

These days stars and scandals seem
to go hand-in-hand, but more and more celebs
are coming clean before the tabloids get the scoop. Just three days after announcing
his retirement from cycling, Stuart O'Grady
did a Lance Armstrong. The sport of cycling is dealing
with another tainted champion... Of course, there's always a reason
behind confessions. O'Grady's admission came just hours
before the 39-year-old was named in a French doping investigation. Entertainment reporter
Craig Bennett. It's a wonderful pre-emptive strike. I guess they feel
if they get in first, they can put a fabulous spin on it.

Well, the "Chrissie Swan caught
when smoking pregnant" blew into one heck of a brouhaha - there was a mag bidding war
for the exclusive shots. Chrissie herself tried to bid for
those shots in the end, she thought the best way
of defending herself was to hop on Melbourne radio. That's right, I have a confession. (SNIFFS TEARFULLY) That is
that I have struggled terribly with totally giving up cigarettes since I found out I was pregnant.

Master of spin Prue MacSween
from Verve Communications knows how to handle a scandal. When celebrities are in
the hot seat, they go to a PR person who will advise them
to take control. That means, deciding who
you're going to have interview you and when you're going to do it and you can put stipulations around
the interview, too.

Despite being one of the most
watched women in the world, Angelina Jolie was able to keep
her double mastectomy under wraps. No-one would have known if it wasn't for her opinion piece
in 'The New York Times'.

After losing my mum to these issues,
I'm grateful for it and I've very moved
by the kind support from people. Sometimes a scandal is so big, it comes down to damage control. I think it was the stupidest thing
I've done in the whole relationship. The Arnold Schwarzenegger love child
with Mildred the Maid was absolutely stunning. I don't think in Arnold's case
it repatriated his image because he was always seen
as the 'grope-inator'. When in doubt, more and more
celebrities are favouring the 'Oprah' confessional. Well, Oprah's couch is
a wonderful place to tell all. And Lindsay Lohan en route
from the rehab is popping by. Mind you, picking up
a cool $2 million. She's telling it in her words with the sympathetic ear
of Oprah Winfrey.

Georgia Main with that story. Next, it's a scene
played out in homes across Australia each weekday. Could your child really be allergic
to school? Phobia or fake?

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Organise your day. There you go. And bring your ideas to life.

All of this and more with the new:

And now with the latest Seven News
headlines, Mark Ferguson. Thanks, Helen.
Making news in Sydney tonight - former mining minister Ian Macdonald
and Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid have rejected today's findings
by the ICAC that they should both face
criminal charges over a shonky coal-mining deal. The Prime Minister
has welcomed the report. We've been disgusted,
I've been disgusted, by what I've seen before ICAC and anyone responsible
for corrupt behaviour should face
the full force of the law. should face Seven News can reveal the Rudd government will increase
tobacco tax by 12% a year for the next four years, to fill a budget black hole. A Sydney man who made
a tearful appeal to help catch his wife's killer has today been charged with
her murder. Lynette Bradbury was bashed to death
at the couple's home two years ago. Police have released
security pictures of a man they'd like to speak to after a blind woman was indecently
assaulted at Ashfield station.

Australian researchers
are trialling a drug to treat the asbestos cancer
mesothelioma. And Sydney has set
a new weather record, with an average daily high
just under 20 degrees for July.

Sydney's weather: a low of 10 in the city, 3 in Campbelltown. Partly cloudy tomorrow. 19 degrees in the city and the west. That's the latest from the newsroom. We'll have further Seven News
updates during the evening, Helen.

Tomorrow night, could your child
really be allergic to school? Believe it or not, those tantrums may be symptoms
of a real medical condition.

Had a total panic attack,
total meltdown. I felt really guilty.
Mum was hurting and I was hurting. The condition, for some kids,
can be very serious. It's a huge problem. I just kept on trying to tell myself
it's not that bad.

That's tomorrow. And if you fancy a bit of
whale watching over your breakfast, tune in to 'Sunrise'. I'm Helen Kapalos. See you tomorrow. Supertext captions
by Red Bee Media -

So, these buyers,
do you think they're serious? Well, I think they are. The private consortium is us. You don't know
how happy it would make me to know that the house
would stay in the family. Oh, nothing could be more perfect! Casey's gonna be there. He's gonna find out that some
of my memories are coming back. So what? I mean, you don't
remember him, do you? No. You know, you do have
one other option. Yeah? What might that be? Don't tell the court that a couple
of memories came back. WOMAN: Mr Braxton, we cannot
begin your testimony until you have been sworn in. Yeah, I...I understand that, but
that's where we have a problem. Because nothing you say or do can
make me testify against this woman.

JUDGE: I will remind you
that the penalty for contempt is up to 12 months imprisonment
and a $12,000 fine. Yeah, I... It's worth it.

This is the last time
I'm going to ask, Mr Braxton. Take the oath.
No. There is a conflict of interest.
Excuse me?

I can't give you
my witness statement because she's my de facto. You wish to assert immunity
from these proceedings on the basis of a de facto
relationship with the defendant? Yep. That's what I want to do.

And how long has this relationship
been established? According to our records, Erica Sharpe moved into Mr Braxton's
address less than two weeks ago. Stop wasting my time, Mr Braxton. Take the oath or be in contempt.

No. Very well.
Take Mr Braxton into custody.

Brax... ..please.

Oh, would you stop? We don't have to worry about
snap inspections anymore. I just can't believe
how this is all coming together. Well, it makes sense, doesn't it? I've always loved this house and... I call it my home. So does Marilyn and Harvey. Well, I'm taking you all out
for dinner tonight to say thank you. No arguments.
Thank you for what?

Well, it, looks like Grandpa
Alf and Roo and Harvey and Marilyn might buy the caravan park. It's not rubber-stamped yet. No, it's not definite. So that means
we're going to America!