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ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Wednesday, April 3

Weatherzone: ACT storm tracker

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We're wrapping up our live news coverage this morning - thanks for joining us, we hope to see you back here tomorrow morning when we kick it off again from 6.30am.

1936 wedding picture of William McCormick and Mary Morrison.

1936 wedding picture of William McCormick and Mary Morrison. Photo: Supplied

It's a photo of a blissful bride and groom, who in 1936, just married at a little church in Tuggeranong - at the ungodly hour of 7 o'clock in the morning! What were they thinking?

Ian Warden has uncovered the story behind this photo - and dozens of others - all on show at a grand exhibition in Queanbeyan called, wittily, The Way We Wore.

There'll be a nice event at the Australian War Memorial this morning when more than 120 aged care residents from Canberra and the region attend a wreath laying ceremony for Anzac Day.

The event gives those who wouldn't be able to attend on April 25, when tens of thousands attend services, the chance to reflect on their own experiences or those of loved ones. 

New memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson and Minister for Veterans' Affairs Warren Snowdon will speak at the service.


It's been a quiet morning on our roads today - even ACTION buses is pleased with how things went.

Chilling audio here from the UK of Mark Philpott's call to emergency services as his home burned with his six children inside.

Philpott, his wife Mairead and best friend Paul Mosley were convicted of killing the children - aged five to 13 - by setting the house alight.

WARNING: This audio may be distressing to some listeners.


Philpott's chilling 999 call (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Philpott's chilling 999 call

Listen to Mick Philpott's chilling 999 call to the UK emergency services as his house with six children in it burns. WARNING: AUDIO MAY DISTRESS SOME LISTENERS.

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On the run: Christopher Gibbs.

On the run: Christopher Gibbs. Photo: Supplied

Lucy Rickard: Police are still searching for a prisoner who escaped custody in Goulburn yesterday.

Christopher Gibbs, 30, a convicted armed robber, fled from a minimum security prison Tuesday morning, and has not been spotted since. Anyone who sees the man is urged to contact 000 immediately.

John-Paul Moloney:  

Time for a sneak peak at our newslist today.  After today’s story about the bizarre duplex demolition in Yarralumla, John Thistleton will be looking at into some more planning issues, including some of the aftermath of the ambitious development projected in the City Plan in coming decades.  In particular, John will take a close look at the huge Section 63 car park site on London Circuit, which was sold in 2008.  He’ll also check in with property owners in Kingston on plans to revamp Green Square.


Our police and justice reporter Chris Knaus will continue to pursue angles on the sad case of a hit and run killing of a Canberra teenager in the 1980s.  After Chris’s Tuesday reports revealed serious questions about the investigations, the family of Troy Forsyth are seeking legal advice in the hope of opening an inquiry into his death.  ACT Policing are also considering offering a reward for information into Troy’s death after a birthday party in Deakin in 1987.


Assembly reporter Lisa Cox is looking into fears of job losses at a company that does urban maintenance in the inner north after it lost an ACT Government contract.  Some of the workers are low-skilled and fearful for their futures.


Searchers have found parts of wreckage of a plane that went missing two days ago in stormy weather in the Northern Territory. Late Tuesday, three bodies were found - no identifying details were available.

Four people - Stuart Sceney, his wife Karmi Dunn and two daughters Mekdes and Kal - were on board the plane when it went missing in bad weather on Monday.

While Sydney is being smashed by the rain, we're still yet to get any wet weather in Canberra. But, at least we're still getting those spectacular autumn sunrises.

Grant Newton: A quick weather update ...  It’s currently 13.7 degrees in the capital (12 at Tuggeranong). We’re in for a cloudy day with the chance of showers this morning and a top temperature of 17. The relative humidity is currently 69 per cent and wind is puffing from the south at 13 km/h, gusting to 17km/h. 


There's some pretty extensive flash flooding happening along the NSW coast, photos on Twitter are showing streets inundated with water. Lucky for Sydneysiders, rain is already easing in the city, and will turn to scattered showers later this morning.


Some more unwelcome news from the Korean peninsula this morning … North Korea plans to restart a mothballed nuclear reactor, which would allow it to resume production of weapons-grade plutonium, state media says. The latest in a near-daily series of nuclear and military threats issued from Pyongyang provoked aggravation from the isolated regime’s main diplomatic  ally, Beijing, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. China expressed ‘‘regret’’ at Pyongyang’s announcement, and Ban called for North Korea to lower its high-pitch, aggressive rhetoric because it might invite a ‘‘firm response’’.


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North Korea confirms nuclear ambitions

North Korea state television officially announces plans to reopen the country's nuclear facilities for military and power purposes.

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Australia is set to be the land of worse droughts and more frequent flooding rains as climate change continues, according to a new report from the Climate Commission.

Canberra's Blake Ferguson.

Canberra's Blake Ferguson. Photo: Colleen Petch

We find out today if Raiders player Blake Ferguson requires surgery for his broken cheekbone. He could miss between three and eight weeks - he's meeting with a surgeon today.

Hamish Boland-Rudder: Strap on the strolling shoes this weekend, as the Canberra Walking Festival plans to celebrate the city's Centenary with an expanded program filling the footpaths.

It won't be the hip-waggling race-walkers descending on town - the walking festival is non-competitive, for all ages, and includes time for sightseeing and coffee breaks in their walking events.

There will be four walks over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, ranging from 5 kilometres to a full walking marathon of 42.2 kilometres.

For more information, check the festival's website.

Marie-Faith Fiawoo.

Marie-Faith Fiawoo.

Lucy Rickard: The big story out of The Age this morning is pointing to a sign spruiking the latest development of a landmark site that may have been the key factor in the wall collapse last week that claimed three lines.

The news comes as the identity of the third victim is released, 33-year-old Marie-Faith Fiawoo, a post-doctorate fellow in the engineering faculty at Monash University.

Michael Photios

Michael Photios Photo: Simon Alekna

Lucy Rickard: Liberal Party kingmaker Michael Photios is bringing his political lobbying business to Canberra to cash in on an Abbott Coalition government.

He's registered the business name Capital Hill Advisory and is hiring a couple of former Howard government aides - and rival lobbyists are not happy, labelling him a "factional warlord".

Lucy Rickard: On the business front, Australian shares are expected to open higher after Wall Street rose on good factories data, and European stocks surged as Cyprus received easier bailout terms.

The euro-area jobless rate has risen to a record 12 per cent, adding to signs the currency bloc's recession extended into the first quarter.

Elizabeth Knight's column today takes a look at the pros and cons of both sides in the superannuation debate.

All quiet on the roads so far this morning. Let us know if you get stuck or spot trouble and we’ll pass it on.


Meat pie.

Meat pie. Photo: Simon Schluter

Bad news for pie lovers today with news the meat pie has been rolled as the nation's favourite dish - by the sausage roll, of course.

The humble pie is losing popularity in our convenience stores and petrol station - and confectionary is on the rise.


Grant Newton:

Where there’s smoke … there’s going to be one hell of a fire.

The largest controlled burn in the ACT for more than 30 years will start this morning, weather permitting. The Smokers Trail controlled burn in Namadgi National Park will cover an area of 6000 hectares and take ten days to complete. It is expected that smoke will be visible from the city for the duration of the burn.


A recent controlled burn n Namadgi National Park.

A recent controlled burn n Namadgi National Park. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Primary school students will be learning more first aid skills across the ACT as part of a government program being launched today.

Year Three and Five students at a Canberra school will be taking part in the launch of the program with Minister for Education and Training Joy Burch this morning.

Lucy Rickard: Young animals mimic the bad eating habits of humans when tempted with an unlimited supply of high-fat food.

A study at the University of NSW has found rats opt for fat almost every time when offered a choice between healthy rodent fare and pies, chips and cakes.

Reminds us a bit of this video that did the rounds yesterday of rodents helping themselves to the food of cinemagoers in Perth.

Hoyts' mouse hunt (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Hoyts' mouse hunt

Patrons horrified as a rodents crawl on to their tables and eat their food during a La Premiere screening at Hoyts Carousel.

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Hamish Boland-Rudder: Trying to figure out what to wear for the day? It looks like it could be time to rummage through the winter wardrobe.

The forecast top temperature of just 17 degrees is 3 degrees below the April average. If the mercury stays below 18 degrees, it will be Canberra's coldest day since October last year.

Is that winter's chill coming on already?

Canberra Times cartoonist David Pope has given us another cracker today.

David Pope cartoon April 3 2013

David Pope cartoon April 3 2013

Lucy Rickard: In the local headlines today we take a look at the Liberal leadership, and the popularity - or lack thereof - of Zed Seselja. Apparently 49 per cent of Canberra voters aren't too keen on Seselja.

And in Yarralumla, a bizarre demolition has forced a family of nine out of their home, but could lead to a rewriting of planning regulations.

More on the ACTEW pay rise row, a special general meeting will be held between the ACTEW board and its shareholders in an attempt to resolve the contentious issue of the managing director's salary.

Zed Seselja.

Zed Seselja. Photo: Melissa Adams

Grant Newton: A quick hit of morning sport …

  • Brisbane skipper Sam Thaiday will front the NRL judiciary in Sydney tonight to fight his grade one contrary conduct charge. Thaiday is facing a one-match ban after tugging the shirt of referee Adam Devcich in last Friday’s loss to Melbourne.
  • An unpenalised shoulder charge by Newcastle hooker Danny Buderas will see Canberra centre Blake Ferguson miss up to eight weeks in the NRL with a fractured eye socket.
  • English Premier League giants Liverpool have confirmed they will travel to Australia to face A-League side Melbourne Victory at the MCG on July 24.


Sam Thaiday grabs the shirt of referee Adam Devcich in last Friday night's clash with the Storm.

Sam Thaiday grabs the shirt of referee Adam Devcich in last Friday night's clash with the Storm. Photo: Getty Images

Grant Newton: Around the world in 80 words …

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says the crisis on the Korean peninsula has already gone too far - and he’s warned the North against making nuclear threats. Cyprus’ finance minister Michalis Sarris has resigned, as a judicial probe begins into the banking collapse that pushed the island to the verge of bankruptcy. A British couple have been found guilty of killing six of their children in a deliberate blaze at the family home. Mick Philpott, 56, and his 32-year-old wife Mairead have been convicted of the manslaughter of the six children in the Derby house fire last May.


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said overnight that the crisis in Korea had already gone too far.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said overnight that the crisis in Korea had already gone too far. Photo: Reuters

Grant Newton: Making headlines around the nation this morning …

  • Three bodies have been found in the search for a missing light aircraft with a family of four on board in the Northern Territory. 45-year-old electrical contractor Stuart Sceney, his 53-year-old wife Karmi Dunn, and daughters Mekdes, 12, and Kal, 15, are feared dead after their plane disappeared on Monday.
  • The royal commission into institutional sexual abuse begins today. It will hold its first sitting in Melbourne. Commission Chair Justice Peter McClellan will outline how the commission will conduct its hearings and counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC will make an opening statement.
  • A senior military officer will face a sentencing hearing in Canberra today for falsifying records for two prisoners in Afghanistan.


Grant Newton: It’s currently 15 degrees in Canberra, just two degrees shy of the forecast top of 17. We’re in for a cloudy day with the chance of showers this morning. Winds will be east to south-easterly and light. There’s a 30 per cent chance of rain, according to the Bureau.

Looking ahead … tomorrow will be partly cloudy with a top of 20 after an overnight low of 4. Showers are predicted for the weekend with tops of 21 and 22.


Grant Newton: Good morning Canberra and welcome to our live news blog on a windy and warmish Wednesday morning.

We’ll bring you a full weather update shortly.

Get in touch this morning and let us know what's going on in your world - we're on Facebook and Twitter @canberratimes. Don't forget to include the #CanberraMornings hashtag in your tweets.

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