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ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday August 8

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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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Lucy Rickard: Alright, that's it for this morning.

It's up to 7C in Canberra at 9.30am, heading to a top of 11C with a few more showers on the way.

Hamish Boland-Rudder will be steering the blogging ship on Friday morning.

Thanks for joining us this morning, have a great Thursday.

Career-making role: Bryan Cranston.

Career-making role: Bryan Cranston.

Taking a look at the most popular stories on the site today. You guys are loving the entertainment stories today.

The Offspring recap in which someone significant dies (no spoilers here!) has leapt to the top of the site this morning.

The next season of Breaking Bad is just days away from gracing our screens (possibly our computer screens…) and this interview with Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White, is going off.

In more serious popular news, Kevin Rudd has demanded Tony Abbott detail any conversations he has had with media mogul Rupert Murdoch about the future of the NBN.

And news that Peter Beattie will be standing in the federal election for the seat of Forde is right up there.

Ah, we all love a good flashback photo! Here's a good one on Twitter..

Stephanie Anderson: ACT Policing is calling for the public's help after an 11-year-old boy was been followed home by the driver of a white van in Stirling yesterday.

It was the second such incident in less than two months for the Chapman Primary School student, who was walking along Fremantle Drive towards Bunbury Street around 3pm when he saw a white van driving slowly behind him.

The driver drove away quickly once the boy reached his home, and was last seen turning right onto Bunbury Street.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on on 1800 333 000 or via act.crimestoppers.com.au.

The full story is online here.

In the AFL, the Bombers and coach James Hird have vigorously denied rumours that Hird is on his way out.

Hird was met by a large media contingent outside the club's headquarters this morning, amid more speculation that the coach was to be shown the door today.

It follows this tweet from the club overnight that Hird was there to stay.

News that Peter Beattie is standing as a Federal ALP candidate for the seat of Forde is spreading quickly around Canberra - and on Twitter, it's now trending.

Telstra has delivered a net profit after tax of $3.9 billion for the last financial year, up on last year's $3.4 billion.

The company added 1.2 million new mobile customers in the past year, and its total revenue was $26 billion.

 

Here's a quick look at the top local stories on the site this morning.

Ikea. The one word that brings excitement to women, and fear to men. And it's on its way to Canberra.

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch ignored her own directorate's advice and approved two new private schools in Canberra despite warnings that one lacks viable enrolments and another threatens enrolments at existing schools.

And snow. Or the lack thereof. Predictions yesterday were that snow may fall in the capital this morning, alas it wasn't meant to be.

The Ikea store at Innaloo in Perth.

The Ikea store at Innaloo in Perth.

Instagram shots of Beyonce riding a bike to her concert.

Instagram shots of Beyonce riding a bike to her concert. Photo: @beyonce

Not to be outdone by her husband who caught the subway to his Brooklyn concert, Beyonce has instagrammed photos of her riding a bike to her concert at Barclays stadium yesterday.

Stephanie Anderson: There have been reports that a student was followed home from Chapman Primary School yesterday.

The boy told his mother he was walking home when a white van with tinted windows and a sliding side door began to follow him, before stopping and opening the door.

The boy then ran home, according to a post uploaded to the Duffy Primary School Facebook page.

An ACT Policing spokeswoman has confirmed the report and more details are expected shortly.

A Facebook post by Duffy Primary School, uploaded on Wednesday.

A Facebook post by Duffy Primary School, uploaded on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied

I guess this is a good thing.

Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz, who had a disastrous interview earlier this week in which he froze after being asked to name the six-point plan to stop the boats, is receiving some media training.

The Australian has reported that Mr Diaz’s excruciating six-minute interview prompted the training.

It’s just a matter of time then before we see him in front of the camera again…

Liberal candidate stumped on Day One (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Liberal candidate stumped on day one

Bumbling Liberal candidate for Greenway, Jaymes Diaz, learns the hard way that he shouldn't speak to journalists unprepared.

PT3M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rard 620 349

Let's take another look at the weather (yep, no snow in the capital...)

It's 5.5C in Canberra just before 9am. We're exactly halfway to our expected top of 11C. Brrr!

We can expect some more isolated showers throughout today; we've seen 4mm of rain since 9am yesterday.

Friday: -3C, 13C. Cloudy, areas of fog and frost in the morning. The chance of showers during the late afternoon and evening.

Saturday: 4C, 16C. Partly cloudy.

Sunday: 0C, 16C. Areas of fog and frost in the morning. Mostly sunny afternoon.

Liberal MP Kelly Dwyer has told Sky News Peter Beattie was one of the "big pretenders" and a "wrecker".

"He's very big on talk, wasn't very good on implementation... and I think that the QLD people did cast their judgement on his government."

Brisbane Times has the story here.

Peter Beattie .

Peter Beattie . Photo: AFR

Ah yes, it was a bit of wishful thinking...

Thanks to The Canberran for this one.

Hippo is set to reopen upstairs in Garema Place... with a Co at the end.

The cocktail bar Hippo Co will be reopening its doors this Saturday night.

Door mats, available soon from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

Door mats, available soon from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Photo: Supplied

Stephanie Anderson: The major parties continue to slug it out over asylum seeker policy and refugee support groups are getting a little creative in their attempts to get attention.

There have been numerous protests, but we quite like the look of these little beauties pictured online by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre yesterday.

Anyone willing to try to get one up to Parliament House?

Meredith Clisby: The architects behind the stylish new lights at Manuka Oval have put together a time lapse video of the first time they were switched on.

Cox Architecture received an urban design award at the recent ACT Architecture Awards for their illuminating work.

Manuka Oval Sport Lighting from Cox Architecture on Vimeo.

Patty Mills

Patty Mills Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Lee Gaskin: Criticised for missing a golden chance to promote the sport a couple weeks ago, Basketball Australia is opening the doors to the premier men's and women's players today.

A who's who of Boomers and Opals stars, including hometown hero Patty Mills, will be doing the media rounds at the AIS as part of the final camp before the Oceania world championship qualifying series with New Zealand.

Joining Mills are Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes, while Lauren Jackson, Abby Bishop, Jenni Screen and Stephanie Talbot will represent the Opals.

The Boomers and Opals will take on New Zealand in a doubleheader at the AIS Arena on August 18.

And the Daily Telegraph cover has prompted this response from KRudd's daughter on Twitter a few minutes ago...

The Daily Telegraph's front page, August 8

The Daily Telegraph's front page, August 8

In case you haven't seen it, the cover of the Daily Telegraph today is again creating headlines just about everywhere else, for all the wrong reasons...

Love a good awkward photo. Especially with a pollie.

Tony Abbott certainly had an awkward moment on the campaign trail yesterday when he went to kiss a baby who moved out of the way, and so he was left to kiss mother Evie Whittaker instead.

abbott

abbott Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

This just in on Twitter from the ABC, and reporter Latika Bourke.

Awesome photo on Twitter from AFP:

Schoolgirl Soreti Jibrael has become the first umpire to wear a hijab on an elite AFL ground, and she even managed to match the colour with her uniform.

Umpiring in a hijab infront of thousands (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Umpiring in a hijab in front of thousands

Schoolgirl Soreti Jibrael has become the first umpire to wear a hijab on an elite AFL ground, and she even managed to match the colour with her uniform.

PT1M49S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rhh1 620 349

Schapelle Corby is set to have her jail term cut further as lawyers for the convicted drug smuggler continue to work on a possible parole bid.

Release: Corby could be out of prison in mid-2015, even if she fails to win parole.

Release: Corby could be out of prison in mid-2015, even if she fails to win parole. Photo: Getty Images

Tom McIlroy: I am looking forward to chatting with Speaker of the House of Representatives Anna Burke today.

The Chisholm MP has been Speaker since October 2012 and this week reportedly made a quip about the contentious campaign issue of asylum seekers.

"Sometimes I even wonder why I run for the Labor Party," Ms Burke told a candidates forum in Melbourne. One person who was there told me she was a big hit with the audience and wasn't thrown by some "polite heckling" on the issue.

While Ms Burke holds her seat in Melbourne's east with a margin of 5.8 per cent, she has expressed some concerns about Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's offshore processing deal with Papua New Guinea.

She told ABC Radio in Melbourne that the plan would cost her votes.

The interview comes as the Speaker helps promote the upcoming Parliament House open day on August 24. Yesterday I was allowed to visit her very neat office and see the House of Reps from the Chamber floor.

What questions would you like to put to Speaker Anne Burke? Tweet me @TomMcIlroy or @CanberraTimes.

Anna Burke's office.

Anna Burke's office.

Spotted on Twitter..

And this from Canberra Times sports reporter Lee Gaskin..

Career on the line: Monty Panesar.

Career on the line: Monty Panesar. Photo: Getty Images

English spinner Monty Panesar's career is on the line after he urinated on nightclub bouncers in the early hours of Monday morning.

Apparently the 31-year-old was thrown out of the Brighton Shoosh Club about 4am after women complained about his behaviour.

He's been issued with a fixed-penalty notice by police, but there's no word yet on whether or not he'll be suspended.

Peter Jean: Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury will ask Labor and Liberal members of the ACT Assembly to take a stand against their federal colleagues on refugee policies.

Mr Rattenbury will on Wednesday propose a resolution in the Assembly calling on the Government to write to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott expressing "grave concern'' regarding the treatment of asylum seekers.

Mr Rattenbury's resolution criticises the transfer of asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Whoa. This is pretty incredible.

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Escape artist in locked-coffin skydive

US daredevil Anthony Martin attempts to escape from a locked coffin during a skydive.

PT2M14S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rhfe 620 349

Stephanie Anderson: It was only a matter of time, but gambling types can now bet on Kevin Rudd’s hair.

Sportsbet.com.au have issued odds on how many time the Prime Minister is expected to flick his fringe in the first television debate, to be held at the National Press Club on Sunday, with between one to 10 times at $1.30.

People can also bet on what hair product Mr Rudd will start to use and which salon brand will sign him up as an ambassador.

Now if only we could get people as interested in policy this election campaign…

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd adjusts his hair during an announcement.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd adjusts his hair during an announcement. Photo: Andrew Meares

Everyone knows yawns can be contagious but a new study shows how the irresistible impulse to yawn can even spread between humans and their dogs.

According to researchers this could be an indication of empathy - the capacity to identify with another person's emotional state - in man's best friend.

Dogs watched their owner, or someone they did not know, yawn or mimic yawning mouth movements.

They were much more likely to yawn in response to their owner yawning than the actions of a stranger.

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Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Nearly 51 hours after jumping into a lake near the Michigan-Canada border, a long-distance swimmer who calls himself "The Shark" finished his 35.4-kilometre journey to Detroit while hauling more than a half-ton of bricks.

Jim Dreyer had been pulling two dinghies bearing 334 bricks weighing more than 900 kilograms behind him when he departed Monday for the swim across Lake St Clair.

But by Wednesday morning, after moving more slowly than expected, he was only hauling one during the swim's final stretch.

"It is so good to be in Detroit," he said after landing on the beach and kneeling.

"Sorry I'm late."

A bullet hole can be seen in the front door of the premises.

A bullet hole can be seen in the front door of the premises. Photo: Melissa Adams

Matthew Raggatt: Less than 48 hours after four bullets were fired at it, the ink artwork was back at the Tatts On Tatts Off parlour in Gungahlin.

The Canberra Times went inside the shop for a look and to speak to the owner, a retired Navy veteran, who wants law changes for the industry.

Tom McIlroy: If you see or smell smoke around the Australian National Botanic Gardens this morning, don't stress.

The ACT Government announced on Wednesday night that the Gardens, on Clunies Ross Street in Acton, would be the site of a hazard reduction burn from 7.30am if the weather permits.

An ESA spokesperson said some temporary smoke cover may occur from the fire, with every effort made to minimise the impact in the area.

The Health Directorate advises that people with asthma and other respiratory or cardiac diseases to avoid vigorous exercise and to stay inside if affected by smoke.

People with asthma are advised to continue their medication and consult their doctor if they have any difficulties.

If you're planning a visit to the Gardens today, rug up. Canberra is expecting a top of just 11 degrees. The Australian National Botanic Gardens are open daily from 8.30am to 5.00pm, except Christmas Day.

Wish we were there...

Wait, what?

A British zoo has suspended one of its animal keepers for allegedly punching a seal.

The American fur seal appeared to be doing well after the alleged punch, which occurred while the seal was being weighed.

The Australian market looks set to open lower following falls on overseas markets overnight.

The Aussie dollar is fetching 89.99 US cents, 86.71 yen, 67.43 euro cents and 58.08 pence.

What a sad story.

A 13-year-old Brazilian boy has killed his police officer parents, his grandmother and his great aunt before spending a full day at school and then taking his own life.

Police told AFP the teen had told his friends he wanted to kill his parents and become a hitman.

Marcelo and father Sergeant Luis Marcelo Pesseghini

Marcelo and father Sergeant Luis Marcelo Pesseghini Photo: Facebook

Stephanie Anderson: Sad news, snow lovers – it looks like Canberra won’t be getting any falls today.

Sean Carson from the Bureau of Meteorology said it is snowing down to 950 metres, leaving some light falls on the Brindabellas, but the capital will miss out.

“It didn’t get anywhere near Canberra,” he said.

“It’s about 3 degrees too warm.”

Let us know if you’ve spotted any falls around the region at online@canberratimes.com.au - we’d love to see your photos!

Former US president George W Bush has been released from the hospital and is at home again after undergoing a "successful" operation to unblock one of his arteries, his spokesman Freddy Ford says.

The 67-year-old Bush is doing well after spending the night in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Ford said on Wednesday.

Doctors inserted a stent to unblock the obstructed artery.

US President Barack Obama has decided to put off a Moscow meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin over 'disappointment' about the handling of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and the lack of progress in relations.

'Cold War mentality': Barack Obama, with Vladimir Putin earlier this year, has called off his summit with Russia.

'Cold War mentality': Barack Obama, with Vladimir Putin earlier this year, has called off his summit with Russia. Photo: AP

Cutest photobomber ever.

Joseph Lee made the front page of The Canberra Times - and the Sydney Morning Herald - today. What a little champion.

Joseph's mother, Esther Lee said through a translator, her son is like a ball ''because you don't know where he is going to bounce to next''.

"Joseph, whose nickname is "happy boy", said he liked the attention".

"Joseph, whose nickname is "happy boy", said he liked the attention". Photo: Andrew Meares

Here's today's offering from David Pope..

Editorial Cartoon 13.4.14 Click for more photos

David Pope

Editorial Cartoon 13.4.14 Photo: David Pope

So is it going to snow this morning in the territory?

The rain and higher temperature means it's not going to happen in Canberra - we're speaking to Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Sean Carson shortly, so we'll let you know in a moment.

Stephanie Anderson: We’ve seen door knocking and letter boxing, but political hopeful Steven Bailey will be kicking it up a notch by establishing his own School of Humanities today.

The Katter Party ACT Senate candidate will be erecting a tent outside the School of Art at the Australian National University, where he intends to deliver tutorials.

It’s certainly a new way to get voters’ attention.

Steven Bailey and his dog Bruce at Parliament House.

Steven Bailey and his dog Bruce at Parliament House. Photo: Jay Cronan

<i>Offspring's</i> Matthew Le Nevez and Asher Keddie.

Offspring's Matthew Le Nevez and Asher Keddie.

Lucy Rickard: So apparently, according to the flood of comments on my Facebook feed, there was a pretty major death on Offspring last night.

Everyone was shocked/angry/upset at the death of this significant character...

I don't want to ruin it for you so I won't post the name in here, but massive spoiler alert for this story...

Lucy Rickard: Well, as someone with half a house full of Ikea furniture and products, I for one am excited about news this morning that the Swedish furniture giant may be headed to Canberra.

It's believed to be headed out in the the proposed Majura Parkway Estate, opposite the airport.

Woohoo!

The mother of two small boys strangled by a 45-kilogram python in their sleep earlier this week in Canada had posted photos on Facebook last year of the boys playing in and cleaning her neighbour's snake enclosure.

Mandy Trecartin's Facebook page shows hundreds of photos of her sons, including a few showing Noah Barthe, 4, and Connor Barthe, 6, happily scrubbing the glass enclosure, which she identified as an anaconda habitat.

Investigators have said they were waiting for the results of an autopsy on the boys, as well as a necropsy on the snake, before commenting further on the cause of death.

The shocked community planned a vigil on Wednesday.

Tragedy in Canada ... Connor and Noah Barthe were killed by a python while on a sleepover.

Tragedy in Canada ... Connor and Noah Barthe were killed by a python while on a sleepover.

It's been a big day for Ohio kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight.

She released yellow balloons as the white ramshackle house of horrors she was held captive in for more than a decade was demolished.

House of horrors demolished: Ariel Castro's house  is torn down as part of a deal that spared Ariel Castro a possible death sentence.

House of horrors demolished: Ariel Castro's house is torn down as part of a deal that spared Ariel Castro a possible death sentence. Photo: AP

A devastating fire has caused chaos at Nairobi's international airport, forcing scores of flight cancellations at east Africa's biggest transport hub.

The inferno, which started before dawn, sent dramatic plumes of black smoke billowing out of the main arrivals terminal.

Black smoke billows from the burning Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi.

Black smoke billows from the burning Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi. Photo: AFP

Yemen says it has foiled an al-Qaeda plot to storm a Western-run oil terminal and seize a provincial capital.

The US and UK closed all its embassies and evacuated citizens earlier this week after intercepting phone calls suggesting an attack was imminent.

No-go zone: Troops guard a street leading to the British embassy in Sanaa.

No-go zone: Troops guard a street leading to the British embassy in Sanaa. Photo: Reuters

A group of rogue French farmers have gone on a furious egg-breaking rampage, destroying tens of thousands on roads and pledging to smash many more in protest against low prices.

"More than 100,000 eggs were destroyed in the Cotes d'Armor," a spokesman for the unnamed collective of angry poultry farmers, told AFP.

Poultry farmers in France have for several months complained of rock-bottom egg prices due to overproduction - a problem that also affects other countries in the European Union.

Canberra Times front page for August 8

Canberra Times front page for August 8

On today's front page...

The flat-pack furniture revolution looks set to arrive in Canberra with Swedish giant Ikea understood to be in talks with the ACT government over a massive block in the city's east.

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch ignored her own directorate's advice and approved two new private schools in Canberra despite warnings that one lacks viable enrolments and another threatens enrolments at existing schools.

Tough policies preventing settlement in Australia appear to be deterring asylum seekers, with signs of boat arrivals tapering off and reports of people demanding refunds from people smugglers.

The death of an elderly Canberra woman who had a smile ''full of happiness and love'' has become the subject of a police investigation, after fresh information cast suspicion on what family and friends had thought was a peaceful passing.

The federal government should not take financial responsibility for public servants having sex in motel rooms, the High Court has been told.

What the pollies are up to...

Kevin Rudd is expected to start the day trying to woo voters in Sydney as Tony Abbott presses the flesh in Tasmania.

Thursday will be the second day in a row on the campaign trail that the prime minister has focused his efforts on the NSW capital, illustrating just how important winning the fight in Sydney is to Labor's chances.

Attention is likely to remain on the coalition's $5 billion cut to company tax, which Mr Abbott says is good for jobs and economic activity, but which Labor doubts they can afford.

There will be questions about Labor's boat policies. It says their hardline message is getting through - but boats continue to arrive and there are up to 15,000 people in Indonesia still waiting to come.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited Korean - English lessons at the Ryde Uniting Church in Sydney in the seat of Bennelong on Wednesday 7 August 2013. Election 2013 Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited Korean - English lessons at the Ryde Uniting Church in Sydney in the seat of Bennelong on Wednesday 7 August 2013. Election 2013 Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew Meares

In case you're wondering what this snow talk is all about, here's our story from yesterday.

Hamish Boland-Rudder spoke to Sean Carson at the Bureau of Meteorology, who told him conditions were looking pretty good for snow to fall in the capital this morning.

He said the best chance for snow would be around sunrise, and would largely depend on if there was enough moisture in the air combined with some cold winds.

We'll keep you updated on this one throughout the blog.

It's definitely looking like being a cold day, a top of 11C for Canberra, with a 60 per cent chance of rain.

Right now it's 4.4C.

Good morning all, welcome to our Thursday live news blog.

I'll be here for the next three hours, bringing you all the breaking news locally, from around the nation and the world.

It's definitely cool out there this morning, we're still waiting to see if a couple of snowflakes fall around the Canberra region - if you spot any snow, we'd love to see your photos.

Email us, tweet us or post on our Facebook page.

Let's get into it.