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Ten Early News

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26-07-2006 06:00 AM

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2006-07-26 06:00:04

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. This is Ten's Early News. Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. Making headlines - in the conflict with Lebanon. Israel all but rules out a ceasefire the death toll to at least 390. A fresh assault overnight taking No talk of retirement - as he celebrates his 67th birthday. the Prime Minister standing firm In an Australian-first, soon advise judges on sentences. New South Wales jurors could the Iraqi Prime Minister And George Bush meets offensive in the country. promising a tough new military weather and for the rest of the day: Now let's take a look at the national

first look at the business news. And here's Kath Robinson with our Bill, good morning. capped gains in a volatile session. Profit worries on Wall Street have I'll have more on that shortly. Inflation numbers out today.

of bombings Beirut has faced another barrage continue to exchange blows. as Israel and Hezbollah The crisis has entered its 14th day and the upsurge in violence comes Condoleezza Rice as US Secretary of State to the violence, calls for not only an end but a new Middle East. no ceasefire. No let-up in the fighting, Quite the contrary, the Israeli Government the Americans are allowing in southern Lebanon to continue its operation a time limit on it. apparently without imposing return from a mission But as the Israeli soldiers as a trophy, carrying a Hezbollah flag

there are real anxieties. a much tougher opponent Hezbollah has appeared to be than Israel expected. rocket attacks either. No let-up in Hezbollah's hit northern Israel today. Israelis say 82 rockets and one was killed across the area. All together, 23 people injured The losses among Lebanese civilians two weeks, of course. have been far higher over the past Israel into continuing its onslaught. But it's these attacks which goad In past conflicts like this to try to broker a ceasefire. American officials would come hadn't been like this at all. Afterwards, it was clear this meeting urgently need to end the violence We of course, can return to a free life. so that innocent people in a way that is enduring. We need to do that, of course, for a new Middle East That's Washington's plan but before she left, Dr Rice went to the West Bank on the Palestinian question. to touch briefly not the elected Hamas Government She only met the President, dislike as much as they do Hezbollah. which the Americans and Israelis part of a peace-keeping force Australian soldiers could form in the war-torn Middle East. to the arms of loved ones, As Australian evacuees returned home behind Israel's attempts PM John Howard threw his support to resist Hezbollah attacks. at stake for democracy There is, therefore, an issue to exist. in defending Israel's right of the Lebanon Israel border, As bombing continues on both sides

are being ferried to safety. the last of the Australian evacuees of foreigners leave Lebanon, While the last shiploads of Tyre residents in the southern city are facing a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations wants $150 million for Lebanese refugees. to provide adequate food and shelter left homeless in the southern city. It couldn't come sooner for thousands hits over the past fortnight. The city has taken a number of direct Prime Minister Howard turns 67 today. of wanting to give up the top job, While he's showing no sign one change in his Government. there's new talk of at least 68 at next year's election, 67 this year makes John Howard

that would see him turn 71. asking to be re-elected for a term Yes. 67? Any thought of retiring? (Laughs) Look, I feel great. recent tensions with Peter Costello, Despite or perhaps because of

John Howard is staying put, in his ministry, but there could be movement in the Northern Hemisphere. triggered by events

global trade negotiations in Geneva The collapse of the Doha Round of Mark Vaile's principle reason has removed Nationals leader to the demanding trade portfolio. for hanging on My commitment is that the Doha Round I am going to complete

as Australia's Trade Minister. keeps him overseas too often Critics have said the trade job managing his party at home. when he should be With Mr Vaile overseas he'd be seeking a new portfolio, his office denied that

weren't dead, saying the world trade negotiations just "hanging by a thread". it's worse than that. The Opposition thinks are now dead as a dodo. These trade negotiations The problem is Mark Vaile, he'd go. who said once they were over, to Mark Vaile from his portfolio. Well, it's time we said goodbye Greg Turnbull, Ten News.

in Brisbane A prison escapee has been recaptured and will front court this morning. turned himself in Accused murderer Michael McPhee just after 6:00 last night, he'd been on the run for nine hours. made a break yesterday The 39-year-old in a prison van. while being transported to court in the man-hunt. Around 50 officers were involved

The Queensland Government into the incident. has launched an investigation how to sentence criminals. Jurors may soon be telling judges The 'Daily Telegraph' says will today release a report the New South Wales Government on jury-directed sentencing, with judges over sentences. which would see jurors deliberate over lenient sentences. It follows public anger it would be an Australian first. If adopted, the three 2002 Bali bombers Indonesian authorities may execute next month.

Amrozi and Ali Gufron - The militants - Iman Samundra, for more than two years have been on death row of the nightclub attacks after courts convicted them

which killed 88 Australians. the firing squad next week. They were expected to face on the resort island says But the district attorney's office be carried out the execution would more than likely in the third week of next month. tough new military offensive in Iraq. The United States has launched a George W. Bush made the announcement Prime Minister at the White House. after meeting with the Iraqi

More US troops will be deployed to Baghdad to combat the deteriorating security situation. There needs to be more forces inside Baghdad who are willing to hold people to account. In other words, you find somebody who's kidnapping and murdering, the murderer ought to be held to account. US forces will be embedded with local security teams to wipe out the recent upsurge of sectarian violence in the capital. Fremantle failed twice last night at the AFL tribunal. Premiership players Des Headland and Josh Carr will miss the next two matches after failing to have their suspensions reduced. Fremantle rolled the dice and lost, not doing its charge towards September any favours. Des Headland's 2-match ban stands, the Docker's defence seemingly flawed, arguing his strike was in play even though it happened before the first bounce. And Josh Carr will also miss a fortnight after he failed to convince the Tribunal that his strike was negligent. I'm happy that they thought that it was unintentional and that it was reckless. The intrigue surrounding the much anticipated return of St Kilda's Justin Koschitzke continues with the ruckman pencilled in to play against Richmond on Saturday. The media was locked out of today's training run but these aerial pictures show Koschitzke getting through the session

without a helmet. And Jason Akermanis is in the market for a new job - he was the new work experience boy at Channel Ten in Brisbane. Your hair is fantastic,

I think that you're ready, you're ready. Fantastic, it's a work of art. Kelli Underwood, Ten News. Sydney Roosters forward Adrian Morley faces the toughest penalty handed down this season when he pleads guilty to a kneeing charge at the NRL judiciary tonight. While the incident will most likely end his career in Australia, a long suspension could also affect his planned return to the English Super League. He's going back to England next year so I can't see why they should suspend him over there. It's no skin off the NRL's back if he goes over there and plays footy. Bird was suspended for 10 weeks for kneeing another player two years ago. The Perth Glory will today announce its new head coach. Ron Smith,

the man responsible for nurturing Socceroos stars Mark Viduka, Lucas Neill and John Aloisi is expected to take over from acting coach Alan Vest. Smith will be charged with returning the waning club back to being a benchmark in domestic soccer. And here's Kath Robinson with a look at the business news. Bill, we'll find out today if there's a case for the Reserve Bank to lift interest rates again next week. The consumer price index will be released by the Bureau of Statistics with many economists suggesting a massive blow-out thanks to rising petrol prices. Prices over the June quarter are expected to rise at an annual pace of 3.5%, well above the RBA's inflation target bank of between 2% and 3%. Thousands of Australians are expected to be dragged into investigations by the Tax Office in one of its biggest ever crackdowns. The investigation, which will focus on people funneling money to offshore tax haven, has already identified 14 tax fraud schemes operating in the country. It's estimated 5% of those who have used the 14 schemes will face criminal prosecution. The Tax Office is hoping to recoup at least $300 million in lost revenue from Project Wickenby. Now let's take a look at the national weather and for the rest of the day: Now let's take a look at what's making the headlines around Australia.

'The Advertiser' claims children as young as eight are working in sweatshops around South Australia. In 'The Australian' - Aboriginal leader Mick Dodson said John Howard has been the 'best-placed' Prime Minister in Australia's history to achieve reconciliation and put in place lasting solutions to Indigenous problems. And The Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of NSW wants to ban lamington drives and sausage sizzles from schools fetes to set a healthy example to children. That story in the 'Sydney Morning Herald'. Jetstar to reveal fares for its new international flights. The details when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live. This is Ten's Early News. This Wednesday - terrified nationals arrive home as Australia considers joining an international peace-keeping mission in Lebanon. A 24-hour lull in the bombing comes to an end in the capital

and with the new blasts, Israel rules out a ceasefire. A prison escapee is back in custody after calling Brisbane police to tell them where he was hiding. And in sport - Australia ends a painful losing streak beating New Zealand for the first time in almost two years. And here's Kath Robinson with a look at the business news. How's Wall Street doing? It's having volatile session, Bill. The Dow reversing earlier losses after a stronger than expected quarterly profit from AT&T and cheaper oil offset, disappointing results from 3M and a profit warning form UPS.

Car-markers facing tough times. That they're doing to combat higher fuel prices and keep up sales. I'll have more details shortly. PM John Howard has weighed into the debate over unrest in the Middle East insisting Lebanon must accept Israel's right to exist. The call's come

as Australia considers deploying peace-keeping troops to the troubled region. Emotional airport reunions have become a familiar sight around the country. Still, the last of the Aussie evacuees filter home into the arms of relieved families. I very happy. I very happy.

Not all have been as lucky. One ferry on its way to pick up Australians in Beirut

was fired on, stopped and impounded until Australian Embassy staff were able to overcome the problem. And as the last of the evacuees flee the war-torn zone, speculation continues Australian troops could form part of a peace-keeping force in the region. PM John Howard throwing his support behind Israel's attempts to resist Hezbollah attacks. Bear this in mind - for 50 years the only democracy in the Middle East has been Israel. There is, therefore, an issue at stake for democracy in defending Israel's right to exist. Luke Waters, Ten News. Beirut has been rocked by a series of explosions - the first to hit the capital in almost two days. At least four heavy blasts rained down on the city forcing a huge plume of smoke over a Hezbollah stronghold.

during US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit on Monday. There's no denying the violence has sparked a humanitarian crisis especially in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre. The UN has pledged to help those affected by the violence providing food and shelter for the 800,000 people displaced. The life has been sucked out of Tyre. The roads out are desolate. All day the Israelis blasted areas around Tyre. They seek out the Hezbollah rocket teams

who are killing and wounding civilians in Israel. From here in the south, it feels as if the violence is escalating. In this village, homes were damaged by bombs. A family of 7 annihilated. At the government hospital in Tyre they were loading the dead into a defrigerated lorry. There isn't much dignity here. Inside, some of those who survived strikes on their villages. Here, a woman distraught with grief. She saw a friend blown up. There's nothing left of her, she cried. Refugees camp out in school buildings. After two weeks of the claims and counter claims of both sides,

they understand one certain truth here. The rest of the world is not about to come and rescue them. Supporters of the Howard Government

will be wishing the PM many happy returns today as he celebrates his 67th birthday. Despite flirting with retirement at 64, these days Mr Howard is showing no sign of wanting to relinquish the top job. 67? Yes. Any thought of retiring? (Laughs) Look, I feel great. While Mr Howard's staying put, there's speculation Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile might seek a shift out of the Trade portfolio

with the collapse of the Doha Round of global trade negotiations. A prison escapee has been recaptured in Brisbane and will front court this morning. The accused murderer had been on the run since early yesterday but decided to turn himself into police. Back in custody and facing another charge. Accused murderer Michael McPhee turned himself in just after 6:00 last night.

He'd been on the run for nine hours. Early yesterday, the 39-year-old was one of nine inmates being transported from Arthur Gorrie prison. He was on his way to court. But while others were dropped at this inner city hospital, McPhee made a break kicking out the van's rear door. Every officer on the southside was put on high alert. Police swarming the area using sniffer dogs and conducting door-to-door searches. Scared neighbours watching from afar. Hello. Is anyone home? The Queensland Government has launched an investigation into the incident. McPhee will front Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning. Kate Donnison, Ten news. An accused Queensland murderer has been refused bail on fears he might intimidate witnesses. Yassar Bakir, brother of Gold Coast phone entrepreneur Ron Bakir, allegedly shot rugby league player Pita Wilson five times at Main Beach last month. The prosecutor said a $100,000 surety was nothing to the Bakir family who deal in millions. The justice also expressed concern the Finks motorcycle club member may interfere in the case against him. Airfares to some of Asia's most popular tourist destinations have been slashed as Qantas's discount airline Jetstar begins its international flights. The airline will unveil its fare structure today but already there are signs passengers will be the big winners. Advertisements this morning show fares to destinations like Bali start at just over $300 return. Jetstar flights begin in November. While the fares are expected to be an average 30% lower than current prices, passengers will have to pay extra for meals and in-flight entertainment. A powerful typhoon has left 500,000 people homeless in China's south-east. Winds of more than 120km/h are battering the coastal area. Infrastructure has already been severely damaged.

The wild weather comes on the back of a tropical storm which hammered the same province and other parts of Asia a week ago killing more than 600 people. Australia has levelled its international netball series against New Zealand with an impressive victory in Sydney. It was a complete form turnaround by the Aussies, who were outplayed by the Silver Ferns in the opening Test in Brisbane on Saturday. New Zealand started without star shooter Irene van Dyke and when she came on they still couldn't find their mark, the home team with too many options for the world champions as they went on to win by 10 points. I'm so happy with this team. You know, we got flogged on Saturday night - we went 12 goals down. I guess a lot of people had written us off

but we talked a lot in the last few days about playing netball the Australian way, and I think we returned to that tonight and it was good to see. It was Australia's first win over the Kiwis in two years.

AFL and another injury blow for Port Adelaide. Forward Daniel Motlop will miss the rest of the season after having a shoulder reconstruction.

Meanwhile, Fremantle lost a couple of battles at the tribunal last night. The Dockers's defence of Des Headland's striking charge seemingly flawed, arguing it was in play, even though it happened before the first bounce. And Josh Carr will also miss a fortnight after he failed to convince the tribunal his strike was negligent. I'm happy that they thought that it wasn't intentional and that it was reckless, but I would like to have been... ..I thought it was negligent. Melbourne's Nathan Carroll was found not guilty of engaging in a melee. Sydney Roosters hard man Adrian Morley will plead guilty when he fronts the NRL judiciary tonight on a kneeing charge. While he's hoping for some mercy, there's speculation his suspension could be as long as 18 weeks. Adrian Morley won't be saying anything about his kneeing charge until he fronts the judiciary. While the incident will most likely end his career in Australia, a long suspension could also affect his return to the UK.

He's going back to England next year so I can't see why they should suspend him over there. It's no skin off the NRL's back if he goes over there and plays footy. Greg Bird's been there, done that, copping a 10-match ban two years ago for a similar offence, the young Shark noting that Morley's brain snap didn't injure Bulldog Corey Hughes.

If someone goes to swing an arm and cracks someone on the jaw, that's gonna do a lot more damage than a little knee to the ribs. A nasty head clash between Brisbane forwards Brad Thorn and Shane Webcke looks likely to sideline Thorn for Sunday's match against the Wests Tigers. Pushed two of my teeth in really badly and, basically, the dentist had to get them back out and then they just glued them to the other teeth and hopefully they'll heal now. Leanne West, Ten News. And here's Kath Robinson with a look at the business news. The battle between the major carmakers in Australia is hotting up again

with the rising cost of fuel. While Holden has bucked the trend releasing a new big family car, Toyota is turning 'European'. With sales of large and medium-sized cars on the nose,

Toyota has given the Camry its biggest makeover in more than 20 years, the size and Euro styling aimed at retaining as many medium car buyers as possible. We believe the European style will attract a whole new breed of buyers to the Camry in the marketplace. For car makers, the only market that is growing strongly is fuel-efficient, small cars. Bigger makes and models continue to be hurt by soaring petrol prices, Holden forced to admit its new VE will cost motorists nearly $100 to fill up its tank. Holden is now planning to make a diesel model. Catherine Kennedy, Ten News. Now let's take a look at the national weather and for the rest of the day: 24 hours of relative peace shattered by a series of massive blasts in Beirut. We'll have the latest after this short break.

This program is captioned live. Making headlines - Israel all but rules out a ceasefire in the conflict with Lebanon. A fresh assault overnight taking the death toll to at least 390. No talk of retirement - the Prime Minister standing firm as he celebrates his 67th birthday. In an Australian-first, New South Wales jurors could soon advise judges on sentences. And George Bush meets the Iraqi Prime Minister promising a tough new military offensive in the country. Now let's take a look at the national weather and for the rest of the day: Bill, good morning. BHP hints at record profits this year. How does $13 billiong sound, Bill? Beirut has faced another barrage of bombings as Israel and Hezbollah continue to exchange blows. The crisis has entered its 14th day and the upsurge in violence comes as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls for not only an end to the violence, but a new Middle East. No let-up in the fighting, no ceasefire. Quite the contrary, the Americans are allowing the Israeli Government to continue its operation in southern Lebanon

apparently without imposing a time limit on it. But as the Israeli soldiers return from a mission carrying a Hezbollah flag as a trophy, there are real anxieties. Hezbollah has turned out to be a much tougher opponent than Israel expected. No let-up in Hezbollah's rocket attacks either. Israelis say 82 rockets hit northern Israel today. All together, 23 people injured and one was killed across the area. The losses among Lebanese civilians have been far higher over the past two weeks, of course. But it's these attacks which goad Israel into continuing its onslaught. In past conflicts like this American officials would come to try to broker a ceasefire. Afterwards, it was clear this meeting hadn't been like this at all. We, of course, urgently need to end the violence so that innocent people can return to a free life. We need to do that, of course, in a way that is enduring. That's Washington's plan for a new Middle East but before she left, Dr Rice went to the West Bank to touch briefly on the Palestinian question. She only met the President, not the elected Hamas Government which the Americans and Israelis dislike as much as they do Hezbollah. Australian soldiers could form part of a peace-keeping force in the war-torn Middle East. As Australian evacuees returned home to the arms of loved ones, PM John Howard threw his support behind Israel's attempts to resist Hezbollah attacks. There is, therefore, an issue at stake for democracy in defending Israel's right to exist. As bombing continues on both sides of the Lebanon Israel border,

the last of the Australian evacuees are being ferried to safety. Prime Minister Howard turns 67 today. While he's showing no sign of wanting to give up the top job, there's new talk of at least one change in his Government. 67 this year makes John Howard 68 at next year's election, asking to be re-elected for a term that would see him turn 71. 67? Yes. Any thought of retiring? (Laughs) Look, I feel great. Despite or perhaps because of recent tensions with Peter Costello, John Howard is staying put, but there could be movement in his ministry, triggered by events in the Northern Hemisphere. The collapse of the Doha Round of global trade negotiations in Geneva has removed Nationals leader Mark Vaile's principle reason for hanging on to the demanding trade portfolio. My commitment is that I am going to complete the Doha Round as Australia's Trade Minister. Critics have said the trade job keeps him overseas too often when he should be managing his party at home. With Mr Vaile overseas his office denied that he'd be seeking a new portfolio, saying the world trade negotiations weren't dead, just "hanging by a thread". The Opposition thinks it's worse than that. These trade negotiations are now dead as a dodo. The problem is Mark Vaile, who said once they were over, he'd go. Well, it's time we said goodbye to Mark Vaile from his portfolio. Greg Turnbull, Ten News. Jurors may soon be telling judges how to sentence criminals. The 'Daily Telegraph' says the New South Wales Government will today release a report on jury-directed sentencing, which would see jurors deliberate with judges over sentences. It follows public anger over lenient sentences.

If adopted, it would be an Australian first. A Malaysian woman arrested at Sydney Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle 11kg of heroin into the country will face court today.

The 25-year-old faces serious importation charges and, if found guilty, could be jailed for life.

Customs officers allegedly found the drug in 15 packages concealed in the bottom of luggage.

The woman had arrived on a flight from Asia. The crew of a cargo ship, listing badly off the American coast, has been winched to safety. The Japanese vessel that was transporting cars to Canada began taking on water over the weekend just south of the Aleutian Islands. The US Coast Guard and National Guard used helicopters to hoist the 22 crew members to safety. The only injury reported was a broken ankle.

It's not clear why the huge ship began to take on water. Still in the United States and America has launched a tough new military offensive in Iraq to combat the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad. George W. Bush made the announcement after meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister at the White House. Ten's Rahni Sadler is in our US Bureau. Rahni, this wasn't the atmosphere George W. Bush had hoped for when he invited the Iraqi leader to the White House was it?

5th this wasn't what he hoped for.

The Iraq crisis since came to meet

President Bush. If when President

Bush visited Iraq if six weeks ago as

the Prime Minister of Iraq came up

for the plant but is not working at

the moment. There was a the moment. There was a press

conference today. Back dad is now seen as ground zero

seen as ground zero, the place with

more problems. He is one Mr Bush said

this morning. Then need to be more

forces in Baghdad if who hold more

people to account. Fife of there is

the murder Auric have never, the murder Auric have never, the

murderer needs to be held to account.

It seems there are differences of

opinion. Prime my promise to opinion. Prime my promise to would like to see a

like to see a ceasefire. And three

men have been convicted overlap a

gruesome crime in Florida? One of the

men was angry woman evicted term

because of his box game. Six people

have been killed because of this X - box game. Fremantle failed twice last night at the AFL tribunal. Premiership players Des Headland and Josh Carr will miss the next two matches after failing to have their suspensions reduced. Fremantle rolled the dice and lost, not doing its charge towards September any favours. Des Headland's 2-match ban stands, the Docker's defence seemingly flawed, arguing his strike was in play

even though it happened before the first bounce. And Josh Carr will also miss a fortnight after he failed to convince the Tribunal that his strike was negligent. I'm happy that they thought that it was unintentional and that it was reckless. The intrigue surrounding the much anticipated return of St Kilda's Justin Koschitzke continues with the ruckman pencilled in to play against Richmond on Saturday. The media was locked out of today's training run but these aerial pictures show Koschitzke getting through the session without a helmet. And Jason Akermanis is in the market for a new job - at Channel Ten in Brisbane. he was the new work experience boy Your hair is fantastic, I think that you're ready, you're ready. Fantastic, it's a work of art. Kelli Underwood, Ten News. The Adelaide 36ers have been given a lifeline. They've been bought by NBL chairman Mal Hemmerling who wants to return the financially-stricken team to its glory days. Hemmerling has a fine reputation as a sports administrator having served as chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix and the Sydney Olympics. Already instructions for the season I'll look at the figures to date And here's Kath Robinson with a look at the business news. BHP is expected to turn in a full year profit in excess of $13 billion this year after a stellar round of annual production results. Among the best performers, iron ore which reached a record of 105 million tonnes over the year, records were also achieved for copper, nickel and aluminum but it wasn't all good news. The miner did warn of $1 billion in blow-outs at several of its facilities around the world. Last year BHP reported a $10 billion full-year result, the biggest in Australian corporate history. Now let's take a look brief look at some of the other business news - And overseas creditors of embattled Russian oil giant Yukos have asked a court to declare the company bankrupt and begin liquidating assets. A final decision will be made at the beginning of next month. Now let's take a look at the national weather and for the rest of the day: Now let's take a look at what's making the headlines around Australia. More news after the break. WHILE A STRONG HIGH IS FEEDING MOIST WINDS ACROSS THE REGION. IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL, A MOSTLY FINE DAY, LIGHT WINDS, AND 14 DEGREES. SHOWERS AND 17 IN SYDNEY. FINE AND 13 IN HOBART. A MILD DAY IN WOLLONGONG.... WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS, LIGHT WINDS, AND 18 DEGREES.

SHOWERS AND 18 IN BEGA. 12 THE TOP IN ORANGE. SHOWERS TOO IN BOWRAL, BATHURST, AND BATEMANS BAY. A CHILLY DAY IN GOULBURN. HEADED FOR A TOP OF 18 IN NOWRA. 16 IN MUDGEE. 14 FOR COOMA. 15 IN PARKES. TO THE ALL IMPORTANT OUTLOOK NOW... FOR CANBERRA AND SURROUNDS.... AND SHOWERS AGAIN TOMORROW, CLEARING BY FRIDAY. A MOSTLY FINE WEEKEND, BEFORE ANOTHER WET WEEK AT WORK. (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE.) This program is captioned live. This is Ten's Early News. This Wednesday - terrified nationals arrive home as Australia considers joining an international peace-keeping mission

in Lebanon. A 24-hour lull in the bombing comes to an end in the capital and with the new blasts, Israel rules out a ceasefire. A prison escapee is back in custody after calling Brisbane police to tell them where he was hiding. And in sport - Australia ends a painful losing streak beating New Zealand for the first time in almost two years.

PM John Howard has weighed into the debate over unrest in the Middle East insisting Lebanon must accept Israel's right to exist.

The call's come

as Australia considers deploying peace-keeping troops to the troubled region. Emotional airport reunions have become a familiar sight around the country. Still, the last of the Aussie evacuees filter home into the arms of relieved families. I very happy. I very happy. Not all have been as lucky. One ferry on its way to pick up Australians in Beirut

was fired on, stopped and impounded until Australian Embassy staff were able to overcome the problem. And as the last of the evacuees flee the war-torn zone, speculation continues Australian troops could form part of a peace-keeping force in the region. PM John Howard throwing his support behind Israel's attempts to resist Hezbollah attacks. Bear this in mind - for 50 years the only democracy in the Middle East has been Israel. There is, therefore, an issue at stake for democracy in defending Israel's right to exist. Luke Waters, Ten News.

Beirut has been rocked by a series of explosions -

the first to hit the capital in almost two days.

At least four heavy blasts rained down on the city forcing a huge plume of smoke over a Hezbollah stronghold. Israeli forces had restricted bombings in the area during US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit on Monday. While the last shiploads of foreigners leave Lebanon, residents in the southern city of Tyre are facing a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations wants $150 million

to provide adequate food and shelter for Lebanese refugees. It couldn't come sooner for thousands left homeless in the southern city. The city has taken a number of direct hits over the past fortnight. Supporters of the Howard Government will be wishing the PM many happy returns today as he celebrates his 67th birthday. Despite flirting with retirement at 64, these days Mr Howard is showing no sign of wanting to relinquish the top job. 67? Yes. Any thought of retiring? (Laughs) Look, I feel great.

While Mr Howard's staying put, there's speculation Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile might seek a shift out of the Trade portfolio with the collapse of the Doha Round of global trade negotiations. A prison escapee has been recaptured in Brisbane and will front court this morning.

The accused murderer had been on the run since early yesterday but decided to turn himself into police. Back in custody and facing another charge. Accused murderer Michael McPhee turned himself in just after 6:00 last night. He'd been on the run for nine hours. Early yesterday, the 39-year-old was one of nine inmates being transported from Arthur Gorrie prison.

He was on his way to court. But while others were dropped at this inner city hospital, McPhee made a break kicking out the van's rear door. Every officer on the southside was put on high alert. Police swarming the area using sniffer dogs and conducting door-to-door searches. Scared neighbours watching from afar. Hello. Is anyone home? The Queensland Government has launched an investigation into the incident. McPhee will front Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning. Kate Donnison, Ten news. An investigation into breast cancers at the ABC's Brisbane headquarters has been expanded. Two of Queensland's best researchers Dr Joanne Aitken and Professor Malcolm Sim will join the panel chaired by Dr Bruce Armstrong. The independent review was launched by the public broadcaster earlier this month after it was found 12 women working at the Toowong office had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 11 years. A feisty campaign against the Federal Government's new workplace laws has hit a snag with reports of inconsistencies in union-driven advertisements. News Limited Papers report televised testimonies by sacked workers, put together by the ACTU, are under investigation by the Office of Workplace Services. The OWS says one of the workers on the commercial

claims she was sacked for being too old, when she was actually let go for failing to perform her duties. The ACTU is not convinced. No relief in sight for those battling the Northern Hemisphere heatwave. Forecasters warning of more scorching days to come. French medical students and retired doctors have been called in to help treat casualties at local hospitals. The mercury today topping 37 degrees in Paris alone. The record temps, which have been hovering for a week, have already killed 23 people.

Australia has levelled its international netball series

against New Zealand with an impressive victory in Sydney. It was a complete form turnaround by the Aussies, who were outplayed by the Silver Ferns in the opening Test in Brisbane on Saturday. New Zealand started without star shooter Irene van Dyke and when she came on they still couldn't find their mark, the home team with too many options for the world champions as they went on to win by 10 points. I'm so happy with this team. You know, we got flogged on Saturday night -

we went 12 goals down. I guess a lot of people had written us off but we talked a lot in the last few days about playing netball the Australian way, and I think we returned to that tonight and it was good to see. It was Australia's first win over the Kiwis in two years. Sydney Roosters hard man Adrian Morley will plead guilty when he fronts the NRL judiciary tonight on a kneeing charge. While he's hoping for some mercy, there's speculation his suspension could be as long as 18 weeks. Adrian Morley won't be saying anything about his kneeing charge until he fronts the judiciary. While the incident will most likely end his career in Australia, a long suspension could also affect his return to the UK.

He's going back to England next year so I can't see why they should suspend him over there. It's no skin off the NRL's back if he goes over there and plays footy. Greg Bird's been there, done that, copping a 10-match ban two years ago for a similar offence, the young Shark noting that Morley's brain snap didn't injure Bulldog Corey Hughes. If someone goes to swing an arm and cracks someone on the jaw, that's gonna do a lot more damage than a little knee to the ribs.

A nasty head clash between Brisbane forwards Brad Thorn and Shane Webcke looks likely to sideline Thorn for Sunday's match against the Wests Tigers. Pushed two of my teeth in really badly and, basically, the dentist had to get them back out and then they just glued them to the other teeth and hopefully they'll heal now. Leanne West, Ten News.

Former world number one Andy Roddick has called on an expert to put the grunt back in his game. The American has confirmed tennis legend Jimmy Connors as his new coach.

A lot of respect for him when he was a player and I'm pretty excited that I get to pick his brain on a more regular basis. Roddick's career has been on the slide in recent times. He's hoping some of Connors' expertise will help get his game back on track

starting with the US Open next month. And here's Kath Robinson with a look at the business news. The merger between the Australian Stock Exchange and Sydney Futures Exchange has certainly paid off for dumped CEO Tony D'Aloisio. The former boss of the Stock Exchange will pocket $8 million in a golden handshake for just 20 months in the top job. Mr D'Aloisio was originally chosen to lead the newly merged company

but was dumped in favour of SFE head Robert Elstone after a shareholder revolt. Yesterday the tie up became official creating the ninth biggest stock exchange in the world. A quick recap of the markets - US stocks closed higher reversing earlier losses after generally strong earnings reports.

And Bill, I know we're 5 months off until Christmas

but Denmark is getting into the festive spirit?

Here's a side of Santa you never thought you'd see. It's Christmas in July in Denmark as thousands of Santas from across the globe take part in a mid-year training course.

The St Nick wannabes are taught important skills including gift wrapping and carol singing.

Eventually Denmark's scorching summer temperatures became a little difficult for even the most dedicated Santa - the men in red stripping off for a well-earned dip. Now let's take a look at the national weather and for the rest of the day:

That's it for Ten's Early News. I'm Bill Woods. 'Bye for now. And I'm Kathryn Robinson. Good morning. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au