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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.

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Rare polio-like illness emerges in US

US medical researchers say a rare and mysterious polio-like illness may have afflicted up to 25 children in California, several of whom have suffered limb paralysis.

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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.

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

Tom McIlroy: 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 act.crimestoppers.com.au

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.

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.

Tom McIlroy: 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 www.act.crimestoppers.com.au

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

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

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".

Grant Hackett denies US rehab treatment (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Grant Hackett denies US rehab treatment

Olympic medallist swimmer Grant Hackett tells reporters at Los Angeles airport he's in the US for a "break" and not for rehabilitation. Nine News.

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

John-Paul Moloney: 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. Photo: Peter G. Schlumpp

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.' "

3rd APRIL 2012- NEWS- STORY EWA KRETOWICZ - THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge appointed Archbishop of Brisbane.

3rd APRIL 2012- NEWS- STORY EWA KRETOWICZ - THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS. Archbishop Mark Coleridge appointed Archbishop of Brisbane. Photo: Melissa Adams

Ben Westcott: 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.

Rain at Murrumbateman.

Rain at Murrumbateman.

David Ellery: 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.

Lee Gaskin: 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.

Tom McIlroy: 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.

Peg Leg Pete the pirate parrot will fly over Canberra during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Photo: supplied

Peg Leg Pete the pirate parrot will fly over Canberra during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Photo: supplied

John-Paul Moloney: Arrr, what would a pirate parrot think of Skywhale? We'll find out over the skies of Canberra soon.  Landlubbers can look up at the sky and see Peg Leg Pete, a giant soccer ball and about 30 other balloons during the 28th Canberra Balloon Spectacular from March 8 to March 16. The soccer ball will symbolise Canberra's involvement in next year's AFC Asian Cup.  The pirate parrot? Well, that's just for fun.

Holiday daydreaming, anyone?

TripAdvisor has released its top 10 list of the world's best islands.

If this doesn't get you planning your next beach getaway, nothing will.

Number 1 (in the world): Ambergris Caye, Belize. Click for more photos

The world's best islands

Number 1 (in the world): Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Lee Gaskin: ACT Comets cricket coach Mark Higgs says an under-prepared pitch and the English Duke balls contributed to their Futures League game finishing inside two days.

Forty wickets fell in less than 180 overs in a crazy match at Chisholm Oval as Western Australia beat the Comets by 43 runs.

It was the second game where the Duke balls were used instead of the traditional Kookaburra as part of a test throughout the competition.

Comets all rounder Vele Dukoski became just the third ACT player to take a hat-trick, while spinner Shane Devoy claimed five wickets in WA's second innings.

Police released this image of the man wanted over an assault in Civic.

Police released this image of the man wanted over an assault in Civic.

Police are searching for a man they believe to be involved in the assault of another man in Civic in December.

ACT Policing released this image of a man, following the assault in the early hours of December 20.

The victim was set upon by two women about 4am, before he was assaulted by another man.

He was left with facial injuries, and police are appealing for help in identifying this man.

Tom McIlroy: Some news from the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter

Overnight the crew was sent to a motor vehicle accident at Peakview, west of Bredbo

About 2am, a male patient in his 40s was airlifted to the Canberra Hospital with multiple injuries including head and chest injuries.

The helicopter landed at a paddock near the scene of the accident arriving at Canberra Hospital just after 4:30am

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch

Tom McIlroy: What has people talking on the opinion pages today?

You say...

Mr Morrison’s error was a bad one, but, maybe he is more to be congratulated than condemned in the end for
his handling of the matter, as he has gone against the history of coalition governments in such matters.

Read all today's letters to the editor. 

We say...

That the Canberra Liberals judge ACT Education Minister Joy Burch vulnerable is not surprising for she has proved adept at courting controversy andcausing embarrassment.

Read today's editorial.

Indonesia's law and human rights minister has softened his stance on Schapelle Corby’s accommodation, saying she is welcome to stay in her luxury villa as long as she needs for a “transitional adjustment period”.

However, Minister Amir Syamsuddin still appeared to be adamant that Corby should not do an interview, paid or unpaid.

Mr Amir’s comments late on Tuesday suggest he has read the letter delivered to his Jakarta office by Corby’s sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha last week, and heeded at least one of their arguments.

Full story here.

Nice digs ... Sentosa Seminyak Villa and Spa where Schapelle Corby has been staying since her release from prison in Bali.

Nice digs ... Sentosa Seminyak Villa and Spa where Schapelle Corby has been staying since her release from prison in Bali. Photo: Justin McManus JZM

Tom McIlroy: We brought you some photos from the Majura Parkway construction works on Tuesday.

A Territory and Municipal Services spokeswoman has confirmed the arches are being installed for the Hopkins Drive underpass linking the Royal Military College Duntroon Oval number 1 with the playing fields adjacent Morsehead Drive.

TAMS is bringing you a very helpful blog with daily updates on the construction.

Weather permitting, today's work will include the removal of safety barriers on Majura Road near Tambreet Street between 9 am and 4 pm.

The speed limit will reduce from 60km/h to 40km/h in both directions while the work is occurring.

 

Concrete archways being installed on Majura Parkway.

Concrete archways being installed on Majura Parkway. Photo: Jay Cronan

Ukraine's parliament has voted to send fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych to the International Criminal Court, while his acting successor expressed concern about "signs of separatism" the country.

A resolution, overwhelmingly supported by parliament on Tuesday, linked Mr Yanukovych, who was ousted by the legislature on Saturday and is now on the run, to police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens of Ukraine and other states.

More here.

Viktor Yanukovych: A parliamentary resolution linked the former president to police violence against protesters.

Viktor Yanukovych: A parliamentary resolution linked the former president to police violence against protesters. Photo: Reuters

Suspected Islamic militants have killed dozens of students, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked hostel in Nigeria and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows.

Adamu Garba said he and other teachers who ran away through the bush estimate 40 students died in the assault that began around 2am on Tuesday at the Federal Government College at Buni Yadi. It is a co-ed school about 70 kilometres south of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and difficult to communicate with because extremists last year destroyed the mobile phone tower there.

Full story here.

Targeting civilians: Nigerian woman displaced by the violent Islamist insurgency. Photo: Reuters

Targeting civilians: Nigerian woman displaced by the violent Islamist insurgency. Photo: Reuters

Tom McIlroy: Our friends at Parliament House are looking forward to welcoming the Song Company on Saturday.    

As part of the Enlighten Festival 2014, the leading vocal ensemble will present The Fire of Love at Parliament House Theatre from 6pm.

We have four double passes to give away.

"The Fire of Love explores the nature of love across the ages. Fire, perhaps the most powerful of all elements, signifies heat, purification and change. Young love, sweet love, old love, any kind of love is worth a song or two."

 The program includes Pink and Billy Mann with Glitter in the Air, Raimbaud de Vaqueiras and Calenda Maya, songs from Carmina Burana, Martin Wesley-Smith with Together and Bon Iver with Skinny Love.

To win one of four double passes, email online@canberratimes.com.au before 10am. Just tell us your favourite thing about Parliament House in a sentence of two.

Winners will be contacted on Wednesday afternoon.  

Adults $50; Concession $40; Family $80; Child $15 - ticketek.com or call 132849.

Information available at enlightencanberra.com

The Song Company:Susannah Lawergren, Richard Black, Tobias Cole, Clive Birch, Mark Donnelly and Anna Fraser

The Song Company:Susannah Lawergren, Richard Black, Tobias Cole, Clive Birch, Mark Donnelly and Anna Fraser Photo: Supplied

Before the crowds.

Before the crowds. Photo: Karleen Minney

There's been a fantastic turnout for the Gift of Life Donate Life Walk this morning down at Lake Burley Griffin.

The walk kicked off at 7am.

But our photographic editor Karleen Minney was out even earlier today, up at 5am doing some last-minute training for the 100km Sydney Coastrek on this Friday to raise funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Each great causes. Let's hope they both raise a tonne of money.

Today's cartoon by David Pope.

Editorial Cartoon 13.4.14 Click for more photos

David Pope

Editorial Cartoon 13.4.14 Photo: David Pope

Another sunrise shot for you, this time from @John_Hanna. Too pretty not to share.

Tom McIlroy: A big crowd has defied the weather gods in Canberra this morning - joining the Gift of Life DonateLife Walk 2014.

The event is taking place in Canberra for the eighth year to promote increased organ and tissue donation and is sponsored by the Organ and Tissue Authority.

There will be two simultaneous walks, a longer walk across the bridges around Lake Burley Griffin and a shorter walk around the pond in Commonwealth Park.

Matthew Raggatt: The heavy rain which led to injuries and more than 500 calls for help last week did benefit the Giralang Pond, a fortnight after it was polluted by dead carp.

Ginninderra Catchment Group Waterwatch co-ordinator Damon Cusack said the powerful storm had removed the low-oxygen blackwater from the Belconnen site.

“That blackwater event has been remedied naturally, now with high water and flowing water, all those problems have now flushed away,” Mr Cusack said.

“There was just a bit of sediment from the storm runoff.”

At least 10 medium-size to large carp were spotted in the pond, located on the Ginninderra Creek, on February 4. 

Mr Cusack said with extended high water temperatures, vegetation had broken down in the water and drawn the oxygen out of it.

He said a gross pollutant trap on the stormwater drain running into the pond had been cleaned in the days after the fish were found.  

Wednesday’s storm delivered 75 millimetres of rain in 3.5 hours in Tuggeranong, Canberra’s heaviest-hit area.

The ACT State Emergency Service reported 562 calls for help, with people injured due to motor vehicle accidents and falling trees.

Dead fish in Giralang Pond.

Dead fish in Giralang Pond. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Lovely sunrise this morning. We spied this shot on Twitter from @CanberraMel

More ACT firefighters have been sent south to help extinguish a coal mine fire in Victoria.

ACT Fire & Rescue now has 14 staff and four vehicles at the fire in the Latrobe Valley for several weeks.

With the fire expected to burn for some time, crews will be returned and replaced on a rotational basis.

We're in a for a warm 30 degree day today, with showers and the chance of a storm.

Thursday - Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms, max 24C.

Friday - Possible shower, max 24C

Saturday - Possible shower, max 22C

Sunday - Shower or two, max 22C

Canberra, we have liftoff.

Yes it's time for Caberra Morning Live. Tom McIlroy and I will be blogging the news for you this morning until 10am.

Join us for news, weather, traffic updates... and fun times.

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