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ACT News

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Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday August 29

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Bringing you breaking news from across the capital and beyond, including weather, traffic updates and what the capital is talking about.

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Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott. Photo: Andrew Meares

Tegan Osborne: That's it from us today Canberra. One more morning blog and then it's the weekend. We'll be back tomorrow for Friday's blog from 6.30am.

Here's a wrap of the morning's five 'most clicked' stories.

1. Abbott to axe jobs within weeks             

2. Australian spies in global deal to tap undersea cables

3. Suspended jail sentence for 'accidental' child porn downloads

4. Families live with loss as patient deaths investigated

5. 'Waste' claim is rubbished

A traffic update - that earlier four-car accident on Pialligo Avenue has been cleared up. One person was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The two-car accident on Northbourne Avenue at Bunda Street is still waiting for a tow-truck, so while traffic is flowing now, the tow may cause some delays.

If the stock market is more your thing, keep an eye on the Markets Live blog today.

The Australian market looks set to open flat after Wall Street made modest gains but European bourses fell amid nervousness over possible action against Syria.

You can keep up to date with the latest federal election news today with Stephanie Peating's live blog.

People's forum with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott at the Rooty Hill RSL in Western Sydney.

People's forum with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott at the Rooty Hill RSL in Western Sydney. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Sunrise, August 29.

Sunrise, August 29. Photo: Paul Jurak

Our blogger Paul Jurak has sent in some amazing shots of the sunrise on Lake Burley Griffin today, from his early-morning kayak paddles.

A full gallery will be posted on his Lake View blog page shortly. In the meantime, here's a sneak peak.

See more photos on the Kayak Cameraman's Facebook page.

Thanks Paul!

Today's cartoon by David Pope.

Editorial Cartoon 24.9.14 Click for more photos

David Pope

Editorial Cartoon 24.9.14 Photo: David Pope

Anyone watch last night's federal election leaders debate?

Kevin Rudd has thrown the lever to populism by calling for tighter restrictions on the sale of Australian land to foreign individuals and state-owned enterprises and admitting he feels ‘‘anxious’’ about foreign ownership.

The clearly vote-driven shift came as the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott faced off at the third and final leaders debate of the 2013 campaign at Rooty Hill RSL Club in Sydney.

Who do you think won the debate? Tweet @canberratimes or leave a comment on the blog.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott (L) listens to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during the People's Forum in Sydney August 28, 2013. Australia will hold a federal election on September 7. REUTERS/Lukas Coch/Pool (AUSTRALIA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) Click to play video

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Leaders slug it out

Tony Abbott had to deal with a blunt attack on his paid parental leave scheme and Kevin Rudd hinted at limits on foreign land ownership as the leaders met for a third campaign debate.

PT3M19S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2sr6j 620 349

Miss out on Masterchef last night? Perhaps you just want to relive the episode while you drink your 'wake-up' coffee at work.

Either way, Ben Pobjie can fill you in on the details from last night's episode.

It was a sad night for Queanbeyan contestant Rishi Desai - he was eliminated last night. Desai cooked his mussels too soon in an Indian dish and failed to poach his leeks before charring them for a cream sauce accompanying a French dish.

Whoops.

Rishi.

Rishi.

Fleta Page: Some updates on traffic:

On Pialligo Avenue near the airport, a four-car collision is causing extensive traffic delays, although we have no confirmation which direction is affected. One of the cars is still on the road.

Paramedics have assessed one patient with minor injuries and are about to take them to The Canberra Hospital.

On Northbourne Avenue, two-cars were involved in a collision near Bunda St, but both cars are now off the road.

One patient there has minor injuries too, with paramedics still determining whether hospital transport is required.

Some more on those collisions.

On Pialligo Ave out at the airport police are advising motorists avoid the road. It's a four vehicle collision.

Meantime, drivers have also been asked to avoid the intersection of Northbourne Ave and Bunda St the city. 

Fleta Page: Another car accident has just been called in on Northbourne Avenue near Bunda St. Emergency Services are on their way there too.

More details shortly.

Fleta Page: Emergency services are responding to an accident on Pialligo Avenue, near the airport.

We'll find out and bring you more.

Australia's singles presence in the women's draw at the US Open has ended, with the abrupt second-round departure of wildcard Ashleigh Barty.

Barty had already equalled her best grand slam singles result but failed to improve on it after a 6-4, 6-0 loss to 32nd seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

Second round loss: Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Second round loss: Ashleigh Barty of Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Federal police are reportedly conducting a major crackdown against alleged people smugglers with arrests expected to be made across Australia this morning.

More details on the raids are expected to become known soon, with the AFP set to hold a press conference in Canberra today.

Fairfax Media understands that Australian Federal Police officers are executing warrants on at least five people across the nation.

An ACTION bus update.

Earlier in the blog we brought you the news that Canberra's Michael Matthews won stage five of the Tour of Spain overnight.

It's the 22-year-old's maiden Grand Tour stage victory.

The full story is now online.

Michael Matthews outsprinted Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) to the finish line in Lago de Sanabria, to win stage five of the Vuelta a España.

Michael Matthews outsprinted Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) to the finish line in Lago de Sanabria, to win stage five of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Graham Watson

Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas.

Big news from the world of entertainment - Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have split.

"Catherine and Michael are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage. There will be no further comment," a spokesperson has told MailOnline on behalf of the pair.

Having his funding cut by the government and SmartStart program stopped in the ACT has not deterred Olympic athlete Rob de Castella. Instead he has powered on and taken his operations across the border to help children in NSW.

A lack of funding has meant that the program has not been able to operate within the ACT, but Mr de Castella said he hopes a planned partnership with Medicare Local for next year will change this and allow them to gain funding from ACT Health.

"Children get the chance to participate in games and activities in a safe and non-threatening environment which builds their confidence to be more physically active outside of the program," he said.

"The program also teaches the children and their parents how to make healthier choices when it comes to meals and snacks."

 

Rob de Castella.

Rob de Castella. Photo: Jay Cronan

Sukanya (Suki) Thurairajah . The ACT Coroner is investigating her death at the Canberra Hospital.

Sukanya (Suki) Thurairajah . The ACT Coroner is investigating her death at the Canberra Hospital. Photo: Supplied

When Suki Thurairajah turned up to Canberra Hospital in 2011 she was expecting to stay for four hours.

The mother-of-one aged 55 ate a sandwich and said goodbye to husband Valentine. Nobody knew she would be brain dead later that day and clinically dead less than a fortnight later.

It is one of at least two deaths of Canberra public hospital patients being investigated by the ACT Coroner.

Read the full story from Matthew Raggatt and Phillip Thomson here.

Fleta Page: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is taking some time out from campaigning this morning to receive another briefing on the crisis in Syria.

He flew back to Canberra after last night’s leaders’ debate to prepare for an intelligence update on the Syrian crisis.

He will fly to Melbourne after the briefing on Syria to resume his election campaign.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott spent last night in his home town of Sydney and is expected to campaign in the city this morning.

Also in Canberra, Senator Kate Lundy will be at Mount Stromlo this morning to make an announcement on Government support for the Space and Spatial Innovation Partnership.

Catch up rubbish bin collections will take place today in Braddon, Forrest, Garran, Lyneham, Red Hill, Turner and Yarralumla.

Residents of these suburbs have been advised to keep their rubbish bins out. 

Catch up collections in numerous other suburbs have taken place this week.

Suburbs that will not be fully serviced before tomorrow morning are Acton, Ainslie, Barton, Beard, City, Deakin, Dickson), Downer, Duntroon, Griffith, Harman, Narrabundah, Oaks Estate, Phillip, Pialligo and Swinger Hill.

But scheduled Friday collections will go ahead as usual tomorrow.

Last Friday's strike by as many as 40 workers with contractor Cleanaway meant homes in more than 30 suburbs were left without kerbside garbage and recycling collection.

Canberra residents with uncollected household garbage have been told to remain patient as extra collections are being scheduled.

Canberra residents with uncollected household garbage have been told to remain patient as extra collections are being scheduled. Photo: Wayne Venables

A military jury has sentenced US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan to death, for the 2009 mass murder of 13 people, mostly unarmed soldiers, at Fort Hood, Texas.

Major Nidal Hasan, who shouted "Allahu akbar" during the attack and later said he wanted to be a martyr, faces death by lethal injection for a rampage that also wounded 31 people at the sprawling central Texas military base, where he opened fire just weeks before he was to be deployed to Afghanistan.

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Fort Hood shooter sentenced to death

U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan is sentenced to death for killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009.

PT0M39S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2sreb 620 349
A Central Bearded Dragon.

A Central Bearded Dragon. Photo: Orlando Chiodo

Fleta Page: A Canberra pet store has been fined $1250 for illegally selling central bearded dragons.

Territory and Municipal Services was tipped off the unnamed franchise was selling the protected native animal.

The central bearded dragons were seized and the store was issued with an infringement notice for illegally selling a protected native animal and cautioned for importing them into the ACT and keeping them without a license," Michael Brice of TAMS Licensing and Compliance said.

The sound of crowing roosters has returned to Turner Primary School.

Canberra's renowned big heart has again been revealed with the community donating not one, not two but 23 roosters to the school after last week's Great Rooster Robbery of 2013.

Principal Jo Padgham said she was astounded by the reaction.

''Out of adversity came absolute joy,'' she said. ''It really does show the beautiful nature of this community."

The photos are just too cute on this one not to share.

 

Kindergarten students Mikayla Bower and Katy Wood play with the new baby chicks.

Kindergarten students Mikayla Bower and Katy Wood play with the new baby chicks. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Canberra-born Stef Dawson is set to star as Annie Cresta, in the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 films.

She's a former Canberra Girls Grammar School student and NIDA graduate.

Jenna Clarke has the story.

Canberra born actress Stef Dawson has been cast in two of the upcoming The Hunger Games films.

Canberra born actress Stef Dawson has been cast in two of the upcoming The Hunger Games films.

News that Fergo had been MIA spread pretty quickly around the Twittersphere, and of course, it quickly escalated into something perhaps much more entertaining than the saga itself.

Where's Fergo? That was the question on everyone's lips.

The big news out of the Raiders camp in the past 24 hours is that Blake Ferguson has been stood down.

He's broken some rules about drinking while injured, and the club hasn't been able to get in touch with him for days. He even missed a crisis meeting yesterday, leaving the club little choice by to stand him down.

Read the full story here.

Blake Ferguson has been stood down by the Canberra Raiders.

Blake Ferguson has been stood down by the Canberra Raiders. Photo: Jay Cronan

US President Barack Obama has spoken at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

Large crowds gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where the first black US president spoke just after 7pm local time on Wednesday (5am our time on Thursday) - the same time that King delivered his spellbinding speech.

Mr Obama has said King is one of two people he admires "more than anybody in American history". The other is Abraham Lincoln. 

"There were couples in love who couldn't marry. Soldiers who fought for freedom abroad but couldn't find any at home," Mr Obama said, speaking of that era.

"America changed for you and for me," he added later.

President Barack Obama speaks at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

President Barack Obama speaks at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Photo: AP

A hacking attack by the Syrian Electronic Army targeted the New York Times and other US media companies yesterday, but it's been revealed the weak link was apparently in Australia.

The offices of MelbourneIT in central Sydney.

The offices of MelbourneIT in central Sydney. Photo: DANIEL MUNOZ

The pay packets of ACT public servants will increase between 11 and 15 per cent over four years, under a revised offer from the territory government.

Public sector unions had been preparing to take industrial action until the ACT Government made an informal pay offer last week.

The offer was made formal on Wednesday and included an immediate pay increase worth the greater of two per cent of existing pay or $2090.

Workers would then receive three per cent pay rises each year for three years. Pay rises would be backdated to July 1, when old enterprise agreements expired.

Canberra's Michael Matthews has won stage five of the Tour of Spain overnight.

Very exciting stuff - it's the 22-year-old's maiden Grand Tour stage victory.

“I crossed the finish line, and I was happy right away,” said Matthews.

“After a few moments, it sunk in what I had really done. A few tears came out after that. This is the biggest win of my career.  The team was super impressive today. They did their job perfectly so I could do mine.”

We'll have the full story shortly.

Michael Matthews outsprinted Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) to the finish line in Lago de Sanabria, to win stage five of the Vuelta a España.

Michael Matthews outsprinted Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) to the finish line in Lago de Sanabria, to win stage five of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Graham Watson

Tegan Osborne: Today is the second last day for entering our Winter Photo Competition

First prize is $500, second $300 and third $200. So get snapping! 

Submissions close tomorrow at 4pm on the dot. Here is how to enter.

If you're looking for some ideas or inspiration take a look through some of the entries we've received so far.

There's some really stunning shots.

Canberra Times readers winter photocomp 2013- Vijay Koul-?
Ducks on the lake. Click for more photos

Canberra Times readers winter photocomp gallery

Canberra Times readers winter photocomp 2013- Vijay Koul-? Ducks on the lake. Photo: Vijay Koul

A new road to recovery is ahead of arthritis and hand surgery patients as a new device built in Canberra is unveiled.

Dr Gordon Waddington, Professor of Physiology at the University of Canberra, has created a machine that tests the perception of feeling in hand surgery patients.

The device, titled the Active Movement Extent Discrimination Apparatus (AMEDA), tests the perception of feeling in hand surgery patients by asking them to distinguish between small changes in distance.

The patients place their thumb and forefinger in the device and move in a pinching motion. They observe the different distances and are asked to distinguish between the distances when they are randomised.

Dr Waddington said the device is the first of its kind to measure perception in this way.

"My research looks at proprioception, which is basically how our body senses where it is in space, which is critical for our normal function," he said.

 

Dr Gordon Waddington, Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Canberra with the AMEDA.

Dr Gordon Waddington, Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Canberra with the AMEDA. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Tegan Osborne: There's the possibility of showers today from the early afternoon, and it will otherwise be a cloudy kind of day.

The mercury should reach a top of 21C

Friday - Possible showers clearing to a sunny day, max 20C.

Saturday - Partly cloudy, chance of showers until early evening, max 20C.

Good morning Canberra. We have three hours of live news coming up for you.

We're in for a little rain over next few days, but on the upside the mercury just keeps getting higher.

Right now it's 7.1C outside. A full weather wrap is on the way.

Meantime, there's only two days left for you to enter our Winter Photo Competition. Stay tuned for details on how to enter.

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