ACT News

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Canberra Mornings Live: Wednesday February 26

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That's where we'll leave it today.

Here's the top five stories of the morning. 

1. Canberra cyclist dies after Reid crash

2. Under Tony Abbott, political principles reach an all-time low

3. Green light given for Canberra water projects   

4. Indigenous artist Dennis Nona jailed over rape 

5. New tastes and flavours making mark on Canberra food courts

A crash on the corner of Ainslie Avenue and Doonkuna Street.
A crash on the corner of Ainslie Avenue and Doonkuna Street. 

Concerning news out of the US...

A rare and mysterious polio-like illness may have afflicted up to 25 children and health experts are struggling to identify the cause of the ailment.

This week's Food and Wine mag cover.
This week's Food and Wine mag cover. 

Our Food and Wine magazine is out today, and you can also read the stories online.

There's some cracker articles in this week's mag, including foodie Rachi Parera's guide to a weekend of eating in Canberra.

A review of Malaysian eatery PappaRich.

And Bryan Martin's Paddock to Plate column - featuring  delights from the river.

Henry Aitken and Margot Robbie.
Henry Aitken and Margot Robbie. Photo: Facebook/Henry Aitken

Hollywood starlet Margot Robbie has been swept off her feet by the son of a New Zealand farmer.

Robbie, who is currently filming the movie Z for Zachariah on location in Port Levy, near Christchurch is said to be dating Henry Aitken.

It's understood the Aitkin and The Wolf of Wall Street actress met on the film set. Aitken worked in the film's art department.

Full story here.

CANBERRA AFR 060908 PIC BY JESSICA SHAPIRO...  GENERIC Parliament House, ACT, security, camera, watch, government, ...

Judith Ireland will be blogging the news from Parliament House today, in the Politics Live blog.

Officials from the departments of Health, Education, Treasury and Defence are set to face Senate Estimates and she'll be bringing us all the latest on this.

Meantime, Judith writes that last night a candlelight vigil was held out the front of parliament for asylum seekers in Australia (or under Australia's watch).

This follows other similar vigils around the country over the weekend.

Light the Dark candlelight vigil in front of Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Light the Dark candlelight vigil in front of Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 
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Police are on the hunt for World War II medals stolen from the home of the elderly veteran in Mawson

An ACT Policing spokeswoman said the medals were stolen from the 92-year-old man's home between about 3.50pm and 5.50pm on Tuesday.

The eight treasured medals include the National Medal, the Australian Service Medal, War Medal, the Pacific Star, the 1939-1945 Star, and the Defence Medal.

Officer in Charge of Tuggeranong Station Sergeant Daryl Neit said the medals were of enormous sentimental value to the victim.

“We will, of course, be making enquiries around those businesses which may be approached to pawn these items but in the first instance we would appeal to those responsible to show some compassion, make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers, and help us get these medals back to their rightful owner,” Sergeant Neit said.

“With Anzac Day celebrations coming up, there’s an even greater level of importance attached to recovering these medals.”

Anyone with information about the burglary or who may be able to assist with the investigation should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website at

ASX trading floor, Generic, Australian Securities Exchange, Stocks, shares, trading, share price, 19th of July 2013 ...

Profit results from the likes of Westfield, Sydney Airport, and Flight Centre should set the tone for the market open, set against a soft lead from Wall Street.

Follow in the Markets Live blog.

Australian Dollar. One dollar coin, currency, money,  $1 coin, generic, one-dollar coins.  AFR Picture by REBECCA HALLAS

The Australian dollar has fallen slightly as global risk appetite softens.

Apple has issued fixes for a security flaw in its Macintosh computers that allows hackers to intercept emails and other communications that are meant to be encrypted. 

The security update for users of Apple's OS X computer operating system follows a fix issued for iPhones last week, meaning all Apple device users now have access to the patch.

Full story here.

A Reid man has become the ACT's second road fatality of 2014 dying on Wednesday after a collision earlier this month.

About 6.20pm on February 11, the 47-year-old man was riding his bicycle across Ainslie Avenue, Reid when he was struck by a silver Toyota Prius travelling west on Ainslie Ave.

ACT Policing have renewed their call for witnesses after the man died early on Wednesday morning.

The cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, collided with the front of the Prius.

He suffered serious head and facial injuries and was transported to The Canberra Hospital.

"The driver of the Prius was interviewed by police at the scene and returned a negative breath screening test for alcohol," a spokeswoman said. 

Any witnesses to the collision on February 11 who have not already spoken with investigators are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via

A crash on the corner of Ainslie Avenue and Doonkuna Street.
A crash on the corner of Ainslie Avenue and Doonkuna Street. 
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Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett spoken out, denying claims by his manager that he is in rehab in LA for an addiction to prescription sleeping drug Stilnox.

Hacket says he has travelled to the US for a planned "retreat".

shares down

Local stocks are poised to open slightly down following a Wall Street lead.

In announcing the novelty balloons for this year's festival, Events ACT general manager Neale Guthrie proclaimed it as the "only event in the world where balloons can fly within such close proximity to buildings of national significance''.  And don't we know it Neale.  It was only last year that we had a balloon crash spectacularly into the Treasury building (cue gags about public servants and hot air), followed by a revelation another balloon had smacked into the National Gallery's suspended Diamonds sculpture in 2009.  Keep safe aviators!

Spectators watched on as a balloon hit the side of the treasury building in Canberra before dropping to the ground. ...
Spectators watched on as a balloon hit the side of the treasury building in Canberra before dropping to the ground. Photo: Peter G. Schlumpp 

Three names will be proffered to Rome as candidates to replace George Pell as the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney after consultation with Australian bishops, trusted priests and laity.

While speculation has focused on Parramatta's bishop, the Dominican friar Anthony Fisher, as a front-runner, senior church figures caution against jumping to conclusions.

When pressed to name likely candidates, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, replied: "I have a saying when it comes to the appointments of bishops. 'Those who talk, don't know; those who know, don't talk.' "

 Archbishop Mark Coleridge ...
3rd APRIL 2012- NEWS- STORY EWA KRETOWICZ - THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS. Archbishop Mark Coleridge appointed Archbishop of Brisbane. Photo: Melissa Adams
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While you're out enjoying the recent rainfall and bursts of greenery around the territory, spare a though for one devoted Canberra public service who's job just got a whole lot busier.

TAMS horticulturalist Raymond Russell has been on his ride-on mower, keeping the territory looking nice, for 40 years. He started when he was just 16.

He said it had been a quiet summer so far, with no rain meaning there was very little grass to cut.

"Most of the time it would take me a week or more to catch up with the mowing, now it just takes a couple of days," he said.

David Ellery. Reporter for the Canberra Times.
Rain at Murrumbateman.
Rain at Murrumbateman. 

Awoke in Murrumbateman to the lovely pitter patter of rain drops on the corrugated iron roof; washing out of course. When I checked the rain gauge at 8am all that had registered was just over 2mm. Has laid the dust and will, hopefully, keep the grass green for a day or two longer.

Some of Australia's fastest drivers on four wheels will be tearing up the dirt roads around Canberra today in preparation for this weekend's National Capital Rally.

Competitors will begin official testing ahead of racing, which starts on Friday.

The National Capital Rally is the first round of the Australian Rally Championship.

Kowen Forest and Coppins Crossing are just two locations off the adrenaline-filled racing on Saturday and Sunday.

A meet and greet will be held in Civic on Friday afternoon.

Want to share a story idea, a photo or a comment?

Then tweet @canberratimes, go to our Facebook page or leave a comment on the blog.

Drought is back on the agenda for our federal politicians today, with Cabinet signing off on an assistance package last night in Canberra.

At Parliament House this morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has helped launch Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is also in Canberra, with Parliament due to sit again today.

Senate estimates will today hear evidence covering portfolio areas including health, treasury, education and defence.

Universities Australia chair Professor Sandra Harding will address the National Press Club today, with Education Minister Christopher Pyne set to address the UA Conference Dinner tonight.

Police will be called in to investigate 128 cases where Australians voted more than once in the 2013 federal election, with one person suspected of voting 15 times.

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