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Melbourne Express: August 25, 2014

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On mobile and web, kickstart your day with breaking news, commuter and weather updates, giveaways and the hottest events around town. We want your thoughts and feedback. Post a comment, email aholland@theage.com.au or tweet to @theage

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And we're wrapping up Melbourne Express for today. We'll be back here at the same time tomorrow morning - 6am - see you then, and have a great week. 

Here's a gallery remembering the life and work of British actor Lord Richard Attenborough, who died overnight aged 90. He's David Attenborough's older brother. 

The Great Escape (1963). Richard Attenborough in uniform as Squadron Leader Roger Barlett aka 'Big X'. Click for more photos

Career in pictures: Richard Attenborough

The Great Escape (1963). Richard Attenborough in uniform as Squadron Leader Roger Barlett aka 'Big X'.

Bizarre. This is what the heat from last night's fire at Donovans restaurant did to the bread sticks on the bar...

James Hird is officially back at Essendon this morning, returning to work after his 12-month ban. Says he's "excited to be back".

Some confusion on Twitter about the death of Richard Attenborough, the actor and director and brother of David Attenborough, the television naturalist...

Updating the headlines and MI5 believes it has identified a British rapper as the killer of US journalist James Foley. Momentum is building to decriminalise medical marijuana; there's been a 6.0 magnitude quake in California; the government is digging in over the budget; militants have captured Libya's main airport; and a US journalist has been freed after two years being held captive in Syria.

"There wasn't a single chair tipped over." Diners evacuated Donovans restaurant in a very orderly manner after the fire alarm was triggered last night. Owner Keith Donovan told 3AW "We couldn't do anything other than watch flames lick out of the roof." 

Trams on route 8 are getting back to normal after an earlier blockage on Toorak Road...

Updating the news that the Astor Theatre expects to close early next year, they have tweeted "we would love to stay open but the landlord has other plans that don't include us". Their iconic calendar poster states: "The Astor Theatre regretfully announces that this is our second last calendar."

Making headlines around the world, the Spiegel leads with plans for a reality TV show set on Mars; the Telegraph reports on a spate of Lego thefts; the New York Times leads with the release of a US journalist in Syria after two years; Singapore’s Straits Times reports the country’s soldiers will get a choice of sneakers; the Japan Times has a survey that shows a drop in life satisfaction; and the Daily Mail leads with the arrival in Britain of a man who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

The Spiegel leads with plans for a reality show set on Mars...

The Spiegel leads with plans for a reality show set on Mars...

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse continues in Melbourne today with Archbishop Denis Hart appearing at 2pm. 

Archbishop Denis Hart is appearing today at the royal commission into institutional response into child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Denis Hart is appearing today at the royal commission into institutional response into child sexual abuse. Photo: Pat Scala

Today's horoscopes...

Number 8 trams (Toorak Road) are delayed due to a defective tram on Toorak Road...

Updating the weather and after a few showers this morning we should have a pleasant afternoon, with very little on the satellite image. We're looking at a top of 16 degrees.

The view from up high...

The view from up high...

The damage to Donovans restaurant in St Kilda, which had to be evacuated last night when a fire caused an estimated $400,000 worth of damage...

From our national desk, independent Senator Nick Xenophon has proposed amendments to the Abbott government's direct action policy on climate change which may help it reach its emissions reduction target. The Senator will be interviewed on ABC's Radio National after 7.30am. 

Senator Nick Xenophon.

Senator Nick Xenophon. Photo: Andrew Meares

Updating the headlines and MI5 believes it has identified a British rapper as the killer of US journalist James Foley. Momentum is building to decriminalise medical marijuana; John Roskam is considering running for Ted Baillieu's blue-ribbon seat; the government is digging in over the budget; militants have captured Libya's main airport; and a US journalist has been freed after two years being held captive in Syria.

Key suspect: Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary who raps under the name Lyricist Jinn.

Key suspect: Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary who raps under the name Lyricist Jinn. Photo: YouTube

In finance, local shares are expected to open flat after a weak lead from Wall Street. The dollar has slipped to 92.97 US cents. Gold is up, oil and iron ore are down. 

British actor Lord Richard Attenborough, older brother of naturalist David Attenborough, has died, aged 90. 

Richard Attenborough in "Brighton Rock"

Richard Attenborough in "Brighton Rock" Photo: act\ron.cerabona

Thieves have robbed the former Age building, making off with an estimated $350,000 worth of copper, police say. Caroline Zielinski reports that the thieves entered the building, which stands at the corner of Lonsdale and Spencer streets, by removing a ventilation grille some time between Friday, August 15 and Tuesday, August 19. Victoria Police spokeswoman Creina O’Grady said the thieves would have needed heavy haulage equipment to remove the copper piping and sheets. The theft occurred during the weekend when the company demolishing the building were away, she said. Anyone who had any information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The Age building at 250 Spencer Street.

The Age building at 250 Spencer Street. Photo: John Woudstra

Scattered showers and the chance of a thunderstorm this morning, but should clear by this afternoon. We're heading for a top of 16 degrees; it's currently 10 degrees. 

A few showers on the radar...

A few showers on the radar...

Five new bus routes will start early next year to service two new V/Line stations in the west, serving Wyndham Vale and Tarneit

Reports of a broken down truck on the Monash INBOUND near Clyde Road. Take care on the approach... 

Today's top images from around the world, chosen by photo editor Nicky Catley...

Officers belonging to Mexico's newest police force, known as the gendarmerie, take the service vow during the launching ceremony for the new force in Mexico City. Click for more photos

Picture Editor's Choice, August 25, 2014

Officers belonging to Mexico's newest police force, known as the gendarmerie, take the service vow during the launching ceremony for the new force in Mexico City.

  • Officers belonging to Mexico's newest police force, known as the gendarmerie, take the service vow during the launching ceremony for the new force in Mexico City.
  • A ball of fire rises from a building following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.
  • A visitor looks at paper poppies representing soldiers killed in action at the La Bascule memorial during World War I centenary commemorations in Mons, Belgium.
  • A Palestinian boy standing in his family's damaged house looks up as people inspect the remains of another house, which witnesses said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza.
  • Sae Miyakawa of Japan competes in the women's vault final on day seven of Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
  • Miyu Kato of Japan competes Liu Gaoyang of China in table tennis Mixed International Team Gold Medal match during day seven of the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
  • Gary Fitzgibbon, 22, and Laura May Keohane, 21, who were crowned King and Queen at the Irish Redhead Convention parade through the village of Crosshaven in County Cork.
  • A rider and artist perform during the opening ceremony of the world Equestrian Games at the d'Ornano stadium in Caen.
  • Young divers stretch as they hang from a steel bar during a training session at a sports school in Hefei, China.
  • A supporter of Imran Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party, takes a nap on chairs through a field littered with waste, during what has been dubbed a "freedom march" in Islamabad.
  • Participants in traditional clothes run across a stubble-field during the 'shepherd's run' at the Swabian traditional festival 'Markgroeninger Schaeferlauf ' in Markgroeningen, Germany.
  • Participants at Sydney's Color Run are covered in multi-colored dyes thrown into the air.

Lady Gaga at Cherry Bar on Saturday night... 

In case you missed it - the owner of the building that houses the Astor cinema says it won't be closing down after all. But it's not clear whether it will continue to be called the Astor if it does remain as a cinema.

The Astor theatre: doubts remain about its future.

The Astor theatre: doubts remain about its future. Photo: Chris Hopkins

We're hearing there are now major delays on the Upfield line. Not sure why yet.

Making news this morning, momentum is building to decriminalise medical marijuana; John Roskam is considering running for Ted Baillieu's blue-ribbon seat; the government is digging in over the budget; militants have captured Libya's main airport; and a US journalist has been freed after two years being held captive in Syria.

A damaged aircraft is pictured after shelling at Tripoli International Airport.

A damaged aircraft is pictured after shelling at Tripoli International Airport. Photo: Reuters

Minor delays now also on the Lilydale line, and there's been a cancellation on the Pakenham line

Here's a shot of the damage at Donovans restaurant from early this morning, courtesy 3AW's Yvette Gray...

Minor delays reported on the Pakenham line this morning between Pakenham and Dandenong after a track equipment fault that has now been fixed. 

Overnight, Donovan's restaurant on the St Kilda foreshore was badly damaged by fire. 50 diners had to be evacuated. 

Firefighters battle the blaze at Donovans restaurant.

Firefighters battle the blaze at Donovans restaurant. Photo: Fergus Wells

Good morning - we're back live with Melbourne Express for another week. Check back here for regular traffic updates, breaking news and what's happening around town today. If you have a news tip or commuter alert, please email Angus at aholland@theage.com.au - cheers. 

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  • And he's back .... on the same day it's revealed tha ASADA gave Hird a "massive tick of approval in terms of his integrity". To all those cheerleading the vendetta against Sir James, you're going to lose and you know it. He pantsed you on the field and now as this saga finally unravels we're five goals up and coming home with the wind.

    Commenter
    Laki
    Location
    Windy Hill
    Date and time
    August 25, 2014, 9:24AM

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