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Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday August 15

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Police attend the scene of an armed robbery at Yarralumla shops.
Police attend the scene of an armed robbery at Yarralumla shops. Photo: Karleen Minney

And that's all from us today Canberra. One more day of morning blogging left - we'll be back tomorrow at 6.30am. In the meantime if you want to get in touch, email at

Our top five 'most clicked' stories this morning are: 

1. Public servants told 400 must go                              

2. Girl, 8, abused by dad, court told                             

3. Poor road signs giving drivers wrong signals        

4. Rudd's honeymoon just a sugar hit, after all       

5. Early morning robbery at Yarralumla cafe

Essendon coach James Hird.
Essendon coach James Hird. Photo: Ken Irwin

To sport news quickly - this is an exclusive from Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Caroline Wilson.

Essendon club officials have been unable to tell ASADA or their players what drugs some of them were given when they were injected with a substance bought in Mexico by a Melbourne man suffering from muscular dystrophy.

The revelation that some players were injected with an unknown substance purchased overseas and not intended for use by sportspeople has prompted health concerns among the relatives of some of the injected players.

There's been an the aggravated robbery at Bees and Co cafe at Yarralumla shops this morning.

Employee Melanie Hanna has told The Canberra Times that she had come into the cafe for a coffee on her day off. 

“This is massive shock and it’s extremely distressing,” she said.

Ms Hanna said she believed it was the owner Andrea Beess and the two chefs in the cafe at the time. 

“Someone just came in with a gun and held them at gunpoint and tied them up," she said. 

She said the man "took whatever they could and left". 

Police were contacted at about 6.43am and have attended the scene.

Police attend the scene of an armed robbery at Yarralumla shops.
Police attend the scene of an armed robbery at Yarralumla shops. Photo: Karleen Minney

Erm...ok. I blinked twice when I saw this.

It seems pop singer Katy Perry has weighed in on Australia's gay marriage debate as we head towards the election - dressing down opposition leader Tony Abbott over his negative stance on the issue.

"I love you as a human being but I can't give you my vote," Perry told Mr Abbott on Sydney's 2DayFM, after being informed he opposed same-sex marriage.

Does Katy Perry get a vote in the Australian election?

Katy Perry urged voters to speak out against Tony Abbott's stance on gay marriage.
Katy Perry urged voters to speak out against Tony Abbott's stance on gay marriage. Photo: MTV
Tom McIlroy

In case you didn't see it earlier in the blog, an observant Canberran tweeted us this great photo of security preparations for Floriade 2013. 

Lachlan Bickley asked the question we were all thinking. 

While the iconic Canberra flower festival is free for visitors, an Events ACT spokesperson said similar security arrangements were put in place every year. 

"The fencing has always been constructed in this way for safety and security reasons," the spokesperson said. 

"It prevents unauthorised access into Commonwealth Park by people simply moving the fence, and it also acts as a deterrent for those trying to get around the fence and falling into the water."

Visitor numbers for the event were up by more than 7 per cent in 2012 with more than 442,000 Canberrans and tourists attending. 

Last year, the event also recorded its largest ever attendance in a single day with 35,200 going along on September 30. 

This year the month-long festival gets underway on September 14 and closes on October 13. 

For more information, visit and let us know if you see something curious out there. 

Snap a photo on your smartphone and tweet to us @CanberraTimes

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Do you remember Gia Allemand?

Ms Allemand, a former contestant on the US reality dating show The Bachelor, has died in New Orleans after an apparent suicide attempt.

<em>The Bachelor</em> contestant Gia Allemand died in hospital.
The Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand died in hospital. Photo: Getty

Back to that second crash on the Tuggeranong Parkway.

All southbound traffic is now being diverted onto the Cotter Road.

Just updating you on the situation in Egypt, where the death toll continues to rise in bloody conflicts in Cairo.

At least 278 people were killed and more than 2000 have been injured so far, according to updated information from Egypt's health ministry, in the military operation to clear the thousands-strong protest camps in Nasr City and Giza that human rights groups have described as excessively violent.

There are fears the toll will climb much higher.

Hundreds killed in Egypt clashes

Cairo is a war zone after Egyptian authorities used violent force to break up Muslim Brotherhood protest camps. Ruth Pollard reports from Cairo. Warning: graphic images.

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There's been another collision on the Tuggeranong Parkway - this time in the south bound lanes near the Cotter Road.

Avoid the area if you can.

The earlier crash and car fire on the Tuggeranong Parkway in the northbound lanes near the Arboretum has been cleared.

A big hat's off to the driver of a white skip truck who herded a pair of stranded swans on that parking lot called Parkes Way.

Risking his own life amid peak-hour traffic he flapped his arms wildly to persuade his confused feathered friends to get off road and into the pond at the roundabout off Coranderrk Street.

Canberra's twist on Swan Lake, indeed!

Cheers Mr Bin Man. 

Have you seen something quirky on Canberra streets recently? We'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment on the blog or email

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market open

The Australian market looks set to open lower as hopes of an end to eurozone recession are outweighed by poor US earnings results.

These images out of the USA this morning are horrific...

A cargo plane has crashed in a grassy area outside an airport in the US state of Alabama, killing the two-member cockpit crew, officials say.

UPS cargo jet crash kills two

Both pilot and copilot are killed when a UPS cargo jet crashed and exploded in Alabama.

Twenty six of the 242 designs for a new lakeside home for the prime minister will be on show for the first time in an exhibition that opens today.

The exhibition will be formally launched at the Gallery of Australian Design tonight at 6pm, after which the exhibition will be open to the public.

The 'Lodge on the Lake' design competition was a Centenary of Canberra initiative by the University and the Gallery of Australian Design.

Australian designers were invited to submit their ideas for a new official residence for the prime minister at Attunga Point onLake Burley Griffin.

The $80,000 prize was awarded to Jack Davies and team members Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens during a ceremony in May.

Another ACTION tweet.

Bees and Co... taped off by police.
Bees and Co... taped off by police. Photo: Karleen Minney

More on the aggravated robbery at Yarralumla shops this morning.

Jess Stewert works in another cafe, Farmer's Daughter, around the corner from the scene of the robbery at Bees and Co cafe.

Ms Stewart said that had been reports the suspect was armed with a gun and the victims were tied up, but this hasn't been confirmed by police.

She said it was lucky she didn't cross paths with the suspect when arriving for work at 6.30am.

"It's really scary for it happen in a suburb like this," she said. "It's usually very quiet."

Police have been door knocking nearby businesses in the wake of the robbery.

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Great shot from our blogger Paul Jurak this morning.

More bus delays and cancellations.

 Police investigate a ...
Bees and Co at Yarralumla shops has been taped off by police.
Bees and Co at Yarralumla shops has been taped off by police. Photo: Karleen Minney

Police are investigating an aggravated robbery at Bees and Co cafe in Yarralumla this morning.

Officers were called to shop on Bentham Street at 6.43am.

An area around the cafe has been taped off and group of people believed to be affected remained outside the building at 8am.

Officers have been speaking with businesses at the shopping strip and forensics have also attended the scene.

No further details are available at this time but police are expected to provide further comment as the morning progresses.

More to come.

Check out this tweet sent through to us late yesterday. Apparently the folks setting up for Floriade are being extra careful...

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