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ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Tuesday, May 21

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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.

Weatherzone: ACT storm tracker



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Tegan Osborne: That's all from us this morning Canberra.

A tornado almost two kilometres wide has roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighbourhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on a primary school.

The Canberra community has rallied around the children of Kathreen Ricketson and Rob Shugg who died tragically last week in a drowning incident off the WA coast.

And Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist who was a founding member of The Doors, has died. He was 74.

To keep up to date with the latest in Oklahoma this morning, tune in to our live blog by Megan Levy.

A Canberra Centenary number plate.

A Canberra Centenary number plate.

Early we told you the first Centenary number plate had sold at auction for more than $9000.

We can now tell you the winner of the auction was Stefan Jeremenko from Wanniassa. 

Executive Director Culture and Communications, Chief Minister and Cabinet, ACT Government Jeremy Lasek said Mr Jeremenko is a plumber, and plans to put the plates on his truck.

The money raised from the auction will go to Dollars for Dilli.

More on the tornado situation in the US, where a monstrous tornado almost two kilometres wide has roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighbourhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on a primary school.

The tornado has wrecked hundreds of homes and at least two schools.

The storm, with sustained winds of at least 267 kilometers per hour, struck the suburb of Moore, where images from a KFOR-TV helicopter showed the Plaza Towers Elementary School in a pile of rubble.

At least 75 students were in the school at the time, KFOR reported. As many as 30 may have been rescued, the station said.

We'll have a live blog on the tornado to keep you up to date shortly.

House burns after massive tornado hits US (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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House burns after massive tornado hits US

RAW VIDEO: Television footage shows mass devastation and at least one fire after a giant tornado tore through the Oklahoma City area. NO AUDIO

PT1M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2jxhk 620 349

Stephanie Anderson: Canberra detectives have carried out one of the largest single ecstasy seizures on record in the ACT, finding drugs with a street value of more than $150,000 in a Latham home.

The bust included the seizure of a pill press, the first seized by ACT Policing in more than a decade.

ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations detectives searched the home around 3.20pm on Monday, finding drugs, a pill press and three vehicles suspected to be used in drug sales.

A 27-year-old man is expected to face the ACT Magistrates Court later today.

The drugs have an estimated street value of over $150,000, making it one of the largest single seizures of MDMA in the ACT.

The drugs have an estimated street value of over $150,000, making it one of the largest single seizures of MDMA in the ACT. Photo: ACT Policing

Sad news out of Germany today.

Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, has died at 74.

Manzarek died at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family.

The musician was suffering from bile duct cancer.

 

The Australian dollar has surged past 98 US cents as the American currency takes a breather from its rally ahead of an economically-busy week. 

The Aussie dollar was recently buying 0.981 US dollars, 0.762 Euro and 0.6431 pounds. 

Australian shares are set for a flat start after Wall Street eased on concerns about the Federal Reserve's stimulus plans but European shares gained strongly, with London's FTSE100 hitting a 13-year high.

Join the Markets Live blog from 9.30am.

Nick Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios. Photo: Colleen Petch

Lee Gaskin: We've had confirmation that Canberra's rising tennis star Nick Kygrios has been awarded a wildcard into the main draw of the French Open.

The 18-year-old has rocketed up more than 600 places in the ATP rankings since the start of the year.

It is his first major in the men's draw after winning the junior title at the Australian Open. 

Let's just cross our fingers he doesn't draw Nadal, Federer or Djokovic in the first round when the tournament begins next week. 

Do you have traffic tips to share? Tweet @canberratimes on Twitter or email online@canberratimes.com.au

There's been a two car crash in Phillip at the intersection of Melrose and Hindmarsh Drives. A car is blocking traffic and police have advised drivers to avoid the area if possible.

A Canberra Centenary number plate.

A Canberra Centenary number plate.

The first Canberra Centenary number plate has apparently sold at auction for over $9000.

The number plates were launched at the Timor Leste Embassy by Member for Ginninderra Yvette Berry.

Two were set to be auctioned online with proceeds going to charity, and others were to be allocated to charities for fundraising.

 

More on this shortly.

Stephanie Anderson: ACT Policing officers are set to team up with their instate colleagues to tackle road safety amongst heavy vehicle drivers and transport companies.

ACT Policing and ACT Government Vehicle Inspectors will work alongside NSW Police and NSW Government Vehicle Inspectors to improve safety across the heavy vehicle industry in the capital region as part of Operation AUSTRANS.

The announcement of the joint operation comes several hours after a man was hospitalised following a truck accident near Gunning overnight.

Josh McCrone of the Raiders stays down with an injury during the round 10 NRL match against the Cronulla Sharks.

Josh McCrone of the Raiders stays down with an injury during the round 10 NRL match against the Cronulla Sharks. Photo: Getty Images

Lee Gaskin: And while the Brumbies have injury concerns, so do the Raiders when they name their side this afternoon for Saturday night's match with Manly.

Josh McCrone, Joel Edwards and Shaun Fensom all didn't finish Sunday's 30-20 loss to the Sharks.

On the flipside, the Raiders could welcome back Jarrod Croker, Glen Buttriss and Joel Thompson from injury. 

Brumbies player Pat McCabe in action during training at Portsea Oval, Duntroon.

Brumbies player Pat McCabe in action during training at Portsea Oval, Duntroon. Photo: Melissa Adams

Lee Gaskin: ACT Brumbies centre Pat McCabe is expected to announce today that's he's signed a new two-year contract with the ARU through to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

But more immediate concern is the extent of McCabe's knee injury, and that to Wallabies great George Smith.

Smith is tipped to miss six to eight weeks, but the Brumbies are hopeful of getting him back for their final round game with the Western Force. 

Stephanie Anderson: ACT Health intends to monitor the restaurant at the centre of Canberra's largest salmonella outbreak for coming months.

Some affected diners are considering joining a class action law suit after 140 people fell ill and 15 were hospitalised after eating bad mayonnaise at The Copa restaurant in Dickson.

ACT Chief Health Officer Paul Kelly said the restaurant had reopened recently after its voluntary closure last week.

“We identified some issues that they needed to address and they addressed them,” he said.

“We’re continuing to monitor the situation over the next few weeks or even months to make sure that’s happening.”

Speaking on ABC Radio, Dr Kelly said he could not confirm whether anyone was still hospitalised, adding it was possible that some patients would suffer long term effects from the outbreak.

“The more [people] that you have [affected], the more likely that the relatively rare longer term effects can occur in a small minority of people,” he said.

“As far as I’m aware, the people affected this time didn’t show those signs.”

A family take a look into the reopened Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in Dickson on saturday night.

A family take a look into the reopened Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in Dickson on saturday night.

Another lovely sunrise shot from @handmademarket on Twitter for you.

Do you have sunrise photos you'd like to share with everyone too? Tweet @canberratimes and we'll post them in the blog.

The tweets are coming thick and fast from ACTION Buses this morning.

Just in case you're new to our live news blog, you're more than welcome to get in touch with us if you have something to add.

We're always looking for interesting photos and news that would interest our readers, so if you spot something and would like to share it, here's how!

You can email it through to us online@canberratimes.com.au - or post on our Facebook page, or tweet us if you can keep it to 140 characters.

You can also add a comment on the blog - just post it through the comments section at the top right-hand side of this page.

Prabhdeep Srawn.

Prabhdeep Srawn.

Stephanie Anderson: More on missing 25-year-old Canadian university student Prabhdeep Srawn.

Friends have taken to social media to help find the bushwalker, who has been missing in the Kosciuskzo National Park for a week.

Mr Srawn parked his rental car in a parking lot at Charlotte Pass Village last Monday, and has not been seen or heard from since.

His friends established a Facebook page, "Help, Find Prabh Srawn - Missing Bushwalker" - in the early hours of this morning that has since attracted almost 500 likes. They have also posted links, photos and videos on sites such as YouTube and Flickr.

Facebook page coordinators since there were no updates on Mr Srawn as of 3am.

More from ACTION.

Kevin Sheedy

Kevin Sheedy Photo: Getty Images

Greater Wester Sydney Giants coach Kevin Sheedy is visiting the Riverina region today as part of the ‘Tribute to Farmers’ match against Geelong at Skoda Stadium in June.

Sheedy will be speaking to the media at a press conference from Marrar this morning – we’ll have more for you on this later this morning.

In her own words it would be "politically difficult" to do, but Lisa Cox and Peter Jean bring us news that Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has broken with her federal Labor colleagues by backing Coalition moves to include the goods and services tax in a proposed review of the tax system.

As she argues, it's one of our more efficient taxes and we should at least talk about changing the rate, especially if it means we can get rid of some of the more inefficient ones. Of course, the states and territories share in the money raised from the GST, and the ACT relies on the tax more heavily than most others.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments and vote in our poll.

Poll: Should the GST be included in a taxation review promised by the Coalition's Tony Abbott?

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Yes. It's silly to review taxation without even looking at one of the main taxes.

68%

No. It will just be an excuse to raise the GST - leave it out.

32%

Total votes: 877.

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Poll closed 24 May, 2013

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The tornado near Oklahoma City in the US we mentioned earlier appears to have been devastating.

Photos taken from US news coverage show entire blocks have been razed. 

 

A search will continue this morning weather permitting at Kosciuskzo National Park, for 25-year-old Canadian university student Prabhdeep Srawn, who has been missing in freezing conditions in the bush for a week.

Mr Srawn's family got in touch with us yesterday to express their concerns for his safety and welfare.

Mr Srawn parked his rental car in a parking lot at Charlotte Pass Village last Monday, and has not been seen or heard from since.

NSW Police said the search would continue this morning once weather permitted in the park, where the mercury dropped to just 0.1 degree overnight.

Prabhdeep Srawn, 25, the Canadian bushwalker missing in the Kosciuskzo National Park

Prabhdeep Srawn, 25, the Canadian bushwalker missing in the Kosciuskzo National Park Photo: Supplied

Police are investigating a crash involving a prisoner escort van in the NSW central west yesterday afternoon.

The vehicle overturned on the Great Western Highway near the Lithgow Correctional Centre, with 12 prisoners and two corrective service officers on board.

You can read more on the crash here.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/prison-van-overturns-leaving-five-inmates-in-hospital-20130520-2jwsy.html
Injured: Five inmates had to be hospitalised.

Injured: Five inmates had to be hospitalised. Photo: Channel Nine

Around the world in 80 words or so...

The day after tornadoes killed two people in Oklahoma US, a new tornado has been spotted on the ground in Newcastle. Raw footage below.

North Korea has fired its sixth missile in three days, demonstrating its military capabilities in defiance of global sanctions and diplomatic efforts to convince the totalitarian state to return to talks.

Georgian television has captured clear images as a mob of more than 20,000 attacked a small gay-rights march in Tbilisi on Friday, sending at least 14 people to the hospital.

 

Huge Oklahoma tornado caught on camera (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Oklahoma tornado caught on camera

RAW VIDEO: The day after tornadoes killed two people in Oklahoma US, a new tornado was spotted on the ground in Newcastle. NO SOUND

PT0M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2jxg6 620 349
Change of heart: Kevin Rudd changes his stance on gay marraige.

Change of heart: Kevin Rudd changes his stance on gay marraige. Photo: Lee Griffith

In case you missed it on our site yesterday, Kevin Rudd has had a change of heart about gay marriage and has thrown his support behind it.

"The secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage," Mr Rudd wrote in a blog post on Monday night.

"This change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith."

Stephanie Anderson: A man has been airlifted to the hospital after a truck crash on the Hume Highway near Gunning last night.

The Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue chopper was called to the scene around 10pm, landing in the Gunning Showground Oval.

The man, aged in his 30s, sustained multiple injuries in the crash and was taken to the Canberra Hospital.

A man has died after his car rolled down an embankment near Yass in regional NSW on Sunday night.

Police said the 41-year-old man was the sole occupant of the vehicle which rolled off Chidowla Road near Bookham sometime between 9pm Sunday night and 4.10am Monday morning.

The driver was thrown from the vehicle.

A local resident found the man on Monday morning, but he could not be revived.

Today's front page.

Today's front page.

Today's front page...

The Canberra community has rallied around Ortilija and Orlando Shugg –the children of prominent Canberra authors and bloggers Kathreen Ricketson and Rob Shugg who died tragically last week in an ocean drowning.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has broken with her federal Labor colleagues by backing Coalition moves to include the goods and services tax in a proposed review of the tax system.

It looks like a large drill, but this piece of equipment in South Canberra is no construction tool.

The main public sector union is threatening to take legal action in its dispute with the government’s biggest department over the ‘‘casualisation’’ of its workforce.

Canberrans are paying more for cocaine than the rest of the country, according to figures from the Australian Crime Commission.

And one Australian executive has been sentenced to 10 years’ jail in Dubai but his junior colleague acquitted in a climax to their four-year battle against property fraud charges.

Stephanie Anderson: Emergency services have treated a woman for smoke inhalation following a house fire in Chifley earlier this morning.

Crews were called to the home in Allwood Street around 1.30am after the residents’ cooking caught alight on the stove top.

Fire fighters contained the damage to the stove, however the remainder of the house sustained smoke damage. ACT Ambulance Service intensive care paramedics treated a woman for smoke inhalation on the scene.

Reporter John Thistleton is heading out this morning to Mt Majura to joint the first hunt for truffles this season under thousands of young oak trees at Ruffles Estate.

Fierce frosts have not taken the edge off expectations this season.

Truffle farmer Sherry McArdle-English feels positive a thumping big truffle will be uncovered, swollen and ripe for the taking. Success hangs on the nose of one of her specialist spaniels to sniff out the culinary treasure among frozen clumps of earth.

Stay tuned for this story on canberratimes.com.au later today.

Tegan Osborne: Today's (genius) cartoon by David Pope.

Editorial cartoon, 27 August. Click for more photos

David Pope

Editorial cartoon, 27 August. Photo: David Pope

Tegan Osborne: Good news! It's going to warm up a little today. It's already a lot a warmer than it was this time yesterday. The mercury should reach a top of 17 degrees, according to the folk at the Bureau of Meteorology.

It got down to 4.1 at 11.03pm in Canberra overnight and 6.9 at 10.38pm in Tuggeranong.

It will be a mostly sunny day with a little cloud, and northwesterly winds of 15 to 25 km per hour easing in the afternoon.

Tegan Osborne: Hi Canberra. How are you doing this morning? Thanks for joining us for the Canberra Mornings blog.

Right now it's a positively balmy 8.9 degrees in Canberra's centre and 8.3 in Tuggeranong. 

A full weather wrap is coming up shortly, as well an outline of the big headlines. 

And as usual - we'll have all the latest breaking news, weather and traffic updates coming out of the capital until 9.30am.

If there's a story you think we should covering, send us an email or head to Facebook or Twitter

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