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Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday August 29

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Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott. Photo: Andrew Meares

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

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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!

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Today's cartoon by 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.

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.

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.


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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 to 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. 

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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.

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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
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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 ...
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
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