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Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday June 5

Thanks for joining us on the morning blog today, we'll be back from 7am to 10am tomorrow for the final blog of the week.

In the meantime, you can get in touch with us with any comments or news tips via email, Twitter or Facebook.

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Here's how it's looking on the weather front for the next few days.

  • The rest of today:15C. Partly cloudy.
  • Friday: 6C. 14C. Partly cloudy, patchy fog early in the morning.
  • Saturday: -2C, 15C. Sunny, areas of morning frost.
  • Sunday: 1C, 15C. Sunny, areas of morning frost.

Here's what you're all reading on the site this morning.

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has been welcomed by health professionals as an indication than Canberrans are beginning to give up on tobacco and cigarettes.

Judith Ireland is back in the blogging seat over at Politics Live for another day. 

It's the last sitting day of the week, and Judith says it's set to be a busy one.

Malcolm does another radio interview to declare he's best mates with Tony, as the Prime Minister smokes the pipe of peace with SBY.

It's Thursday in Canberra and estimates is *still* going: with Foreign Affairs, Social Services, Education and Treasury all up for a chat.

She'll be blogging all day, why not head on over.

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Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine met with the Governor this morning ahead of a looming constitutional crisis. The Age journalist Farrah Tomazin reports the Premier was unwilling to discuss details of the meeting other than the important fact he had a cup of coffee and toast.

Have you seen Swan Lake? I believe there was an early showing this morning.

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Things are still crazy on Sydney roads following a crash in the Harbour Tunnel at 7.30am.

Queues have been stretching about 10 kilometres in both directions.

Southbound access only opened up a couple of minutes ago. All the details are in the SMH blog.

Ever wondered what the Cotter Dam looks like from above? Well the team at RC Media strapped a camera to an unmanned drone and examine the the Dam's total capacity of 78 gigalitres. It's pretty incredible footage.

Cotter Dam Flyover from RCMedia on Vimeo.

The Adelaide Magistrates Court has heard details of how an Irishman punched a police horse twice while wearing only underwear and one sock after drinking too much at a Christmas party.

Colm James Keogh, aged 31, said he had attended a Christmas party at the Hilton Hotel, but insisted that it was "not the posh one". He admitted to punching the police horse and said he had a swollen hand the next day.

The Independent has the story.

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The use of a chainsaw to terrorise a public service department last year has been likened to a horror movie, evoking "fear and terror" in the minds of fleeing bureaucrats, a court has heard.

Benjamin Dunne, 35, is being sentenced for the attack on his colleagues at the Department of Human Services in Greenway in March last year. 

Dunne, the court heard, was suffering from significant mental health issues at the time and believed he was being harassed, bullied and attacked by some in the workplace.

He spoke of getting revenge and took the chainsaw into the offices on March 28.

Here's what David Pope has for you this morning...

There's some more political name-calling going on this morning.

Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt are "bomb throwers" doing the work of the Labor Party to undermine the Abbott government, says Malcolm Turnbull.

For the second time in a week, the Communications Minister has locked horns over media commentary of his relationship with Clive Palmer following a dinner with the Fairfax MP last week.

In a showdown with Mr Jones on Thursday morning, Mr Turnbull accused the commentator of creating trouble where there was none after the 2GB announcer said Mr Turnbull was "happy to chuck a few bombs around that might blow up Abbott a bit", adding the minister had no hope of becoming Coalition leader.

Lisa Cox has the story.

Broadcaster Alan Jones has been accused of undermining the Coalition by Malcolm Turnbull.
Broadcaster Alan Jones has been accused of undermining the Coalition by Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The world's top 40 mining companies – including Australian giants BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals, Newcrest Mining and Rio Tinto – have seen profits by plunge by a staggering 72 per cent in the last 12 months to $20 billion, the lowest level in a decade.

Mining Photo: Reuters

The archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn has told Yass parents trying to save their secondary college they will not be allowed to use the school's name, uniforms and buildings, unless it is Catholic and run by the Catholic Education Office.

But the steering committee said the archbishop had misunderstood their proposal, saying they never meant the new college to be independent from the archdiocese.

Ben Westcott has the story.

The Catholic archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse.
The Catholic archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
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Has Bear Grylls finally gone too far?

If you watched Grylls use his own urine as a source of hydration or break a snake's neck with his teeth in Man V Wild, you probably wouldn't have batted an eyelid when images of two men being administered an enema with a rubber tube and water bottle appeared on the final episode of his latest series The Island With Bear Grylls.

The act apparently was not only uncomfortable for the islanders but for viewers of the show, which was broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 and generated a social media uproar and complaints to the communications regulator.

"This Bear Grylls program is absolutely ridiculous & completely disgusting. It will never be on my tv ever again," posted a clearly unamused Yasmin Evans on Twitter.

Stomach-churning survival tricks: Bear Grylls.
Stomach-churning survival tricks: Bear Grylls. 

If you're on the way to work this morning you should be thankful you're not stuck in "nightmare" Sydney traffic. The Harbour Tunnel has been closed this morning throwing the city's roads into chaos.


This story out of the Washington Post is pretty scary.

Harvard scientists have confirmed that his book is “without a doubt” bound in human skin.

Apparently it used to be a pretty common practice. You can read the full story here.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Namadgi National Park and the 100th anniversary of the Cotter River Ordinance, a piece of legislation designed to protect the environment and establish park rangers.

National Parks and Catchments regional manager Brett McNamara said the Cotter River Ordinance laid the foundations for the ACT Parks and Conservation Service.

“It is reassuring that 100 years later rangers still play a critical role in protecting the natural and cultural values of the majestic Cotter catchment," he said.

The Namadgi National Park now boasts over 106,095 hectares of parkland and 160km of walking tracks, including the popular Setters Track which gives visitors an insight into early settlement in Canberra.

A terrible story from The West Australian this morning.

Two investigations are under way into an alleged drunken fight that resulted in the death of a young truck driver at a Goldfields mining camp where alcohol restrictions are meant to be strictly enforced.

The victim, 28, was punched by a co-worker and is believed to have fallen and hit his head during what has been described as a heated late-night argument at AngloGold Ashanti's remote Tropicana mine site on May 19.

The man who was alleged to have thrown the punch - a 29-year-old father of three from Perth - is understood to have taken his own life late last week.

The fight happened on a shift-change night when workers finish a week of day shifts at 6pm, then have a 24-hour break before starting night shift the following evening.

A worker who did not want to be named said some employees saw it as a "licence to go berserk" because they had plenty of time to get alcohol out of their systems before returning to duty.

Read the full story at The West.

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