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Bell Shakespeare's "The Dream" - director Peter Evans' production of A Midsummer Night's Dream - has its first preview tonight at the Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre.
The show starts at 7.30pm; bookings can be made by calling 6275 2700 or online here.
Retitled by Evans to match his streamlined production: eight actors, most doubling or tripling roles, and edited and paced to run 100 minutes. Tops.
"It's fast-paced, we're rocketing through it - one act straight through," Evans says.
"There are a few trims here and there."
But he's stayed true to the text, the story remains the same and he hopes the production will point up "the genius of the storytelling".
Yesterday, Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh, paid tribute to Liliane Derden, the Canberran who died when Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine in July.
"Like many communities around Australia, the Fraser electorate was devastated by the shocking loss of life in the MH17 air disaster. One of our own, Liliane Derden, died in that disaster, and in Parliament today I paid tribute to her life," Dr Leigh wrote on his website.
Australia's Defence Chief has warned the brutal Islamic State group will sooner or later have to be defeated "on the battlefield", as the United States was reportedly preparing to ask Australia for help with air strikes in Iraq.
Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, told Fairfax Media that while the jihadist organisation was highly capable, it was "not undefeatable" and added that Iraq needed to be given the military strength to defeat the organisation which has swept through large tracts of the country.
In world news, the United Nations has accused Islamic State insurgents of committing war crimes, including amputations and public executions, sometimes in the presence of children, and said it believed Damascus had used chlorine gas in combating its enemies.
Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into a previously unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials described on Wednesday as a stealth invasion. Fighting raged on as the Russian and Ukrainian leaders met for "positive" talks.
And the US writer freed this week after being held captive for two years by Syrian insurgents on Wednesday thanked those who had worked for his release and said he was emotionally overwhelmed by his welcome home.
It was a clear morning on the lake today. Lots of photos being shared from sunrise - which is about 6.30am at the moment.
Great time for me to take over the morning blog from Henry!
David Pembroke shared this one of the Caillion:
The Abbott government is expected to introduce its higher education reforms to parliament today.
The legislation will spell out its budget plans to deregulate university fees, expand commonwealth funding for private providers and sub-bachelor courses, cut per-student funding and increase the interest rate for HELP debts.
The bill is guaranteed to pass the lower house unchanged.
But Education Minister Christopher Pyne has conceded the package won't get through the Senate in its original form.
He's set to step up negotiations with the Palmer United Party and the Australian Greens to persuade them to back the reforms.
Both want university education to be free.
Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr informs us via Instagram that work has begun on the Westside pop up village at Acton Park.
Tom McIlroyreported last month about the village; a rooftop-bar, retail spaces, cafes and entertainment are all part of the $800,000 government plan to bring crowds to the area over two years.
Sean Carson from the Bureau of Meteorology says we're heading for a top of 16 degrees today, 17 for Friday and up to 18 degrees by Sunday.
"It should be a beautiful run of weather for the next four or five days," he said.
"Even the south coast which has been getting a bucket-load of rain, conditions are starting to ease down there, with a bit of drizzle and the odd shower or two."
It got down to 0 degrees in the Tuggeranong Valley overnight, 2 degrees at the airport, and the lowest temperature around the region was minus 3 degrees in Cooma.
"The weather pattern we're heading into now is the winds clear away, and some beautiful clear sunny afternoons ahead," Carson said.
Spring starts on Monday, and the average temperature for September is 16 degrees. Happy days.
Documents obtained by The Canberra Times show that as industrial relations minister responsible for asbestos, Ms Gallagher received numerous recommendations to deliver "explicit", "regular" and "systematic" warnings to more than 1000 Mr Fluffy home owners that remnant asbestos within their wall cavities posed a potential health risk.
While all levels of government understood that when the $100 million Commonwealth Removal Program wound up in 1993, some amosite remained and renovations, or even minor work, on these homes could be dangerous, this was not adequately conveyed to the public.
Our photographer Mel Adams saw 'smoke' rising from the Majura Parkway construction site last night.
Not sure what was happening, she asked the firies, who investigated and determined recently poured concrete with a boiler on and a cool night resulted in this steam.
Canberra's Nick Kyrgios is currently on court with Bernard Tomic in the doubles of the US Open.
They just won a tiebreak (7-5) to take the first set over Spanish pair Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. Games are on serve early in the second.
The X-Factor judge Redfoo has been glassed at a pub in Sydney's eastern suburbs in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to witnesses.
The attack occurred at the Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay just after 12.30am and left the singer bleeding from a cut to his head, according to those who were in the pub at the time.
Emma Macdonald's exclusive reporting on the Mr Fluffy issue is all over our front page today.
- ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher was warned personally and on multiple occasions since 2005 that Mr Fluffy home owners were at risk of coming into contact with the deadly insulation.
- Ms Gallagher has defended her handling of asbestos over the past decade, saying no jurisdiction had done more to highlight and promote safety than the ACT.
- Even before the job was half finished, local administrators of the $100 million Commonwealth clean-up of Mr Fluffy asbestos knew "cleaned" homes could still contain some deadly amosite.
- The founder of the Fluffy Owners and Residents' Action Group, Brianna Heseltine, said recriminations over who knew what about Mr Fluffy asbestos must not distract politicians from finding a solution to the health and financial crisis facing more than 1000 owners.
ACT Senator Kate Lundy has been out on the netball court this morning for Deaf Awareness Week.
I spy Senator Zed Seselja in the background too.
David Flannery from Canberra Urban and Regional Futures is on Facebook with one of his photographs continuing his public campaign against urban sprawl.
"The new Canberra suburbs of Coombs and Wright shown here are being developed as part of Molonglo. A new major arterial road John Gorton Drive has been constructed and the Cotter Road is being widened in anticipation of the additional traffic congestion where vehicles enter Adelaide Avenue. This is the sort of development Senator Zed Seselja wants to develop on the western side of the Murrumbidgee River south-west of Tuggeranong on the false premise that it will reinvigorate the Town Centre. What is your take on this?''
A crew member for the TV show Cops died after he was shot by friendly fire while filming an episode for the long-running reality series in Omaha, Nebraska, after police responded to an armed robbery Tuesday night.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said 38-year-old Bryce Dion was shot once during a shootout between three officers and one suspect in a Wendy's.
"It is as if we lost one of our own," Chief Schmaderer said. "He was an incredible man."
Police said the suspect, 32-year-old Cortez Washington, shot at officers with an airsoft pistol, which looks and sounds like a real handgun, but does not fire lethal rounds. Washington was shot and killed.
Plenty of people getting out and enjoying the morning today in Canberra.
It's presently 4.5 degrees - feels like 1.3 degrees - but it's getting warmer. A top of 16 degrees is expected today as we count down towards the official start of Spring on Monday.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister.
The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled by a special court in Paris that investigates cases of ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has faced such questioning in a case that has weighed upon her powerful position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
"The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation," she said in exclusive comments to the French news agency, Agence France-Presse.
In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered. It does not, however, always lead to a trial.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken over social media... and now it's even infiltrating our cartoons!
Here's David Pope's take on it:
US Open update: Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic have lost the second set of their doubles match against the 11th seeded Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.
It's now one set all; 7-6, 5-7.
The third set is back on serve at 1-1 after two early breaks.
A cabbie with a sense of humour, or are we getting another of our famed favourite traffic management devices?
Meanwhile, US gun laws are facing scrutiny again after the sad story yesterday of a nine-year-old accidentally shooting a gun instructor at a firing range.
Many are likely asking how a nine-year old was allowed to hold and fire an automatic weapon. But gun laws in the United States — specifically those concerning minimum legal age requirements for gun possession — are actually still surprisingly lax.
Federal law prohibits handgun ownership by any person under the age 18, with a handful of exceptions. But there is no minimum age for long gun ownership. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have set their own minimum age laws ranging from 14 in Montana to 21 in Illinois, but in the remaining 30 states it's technically legal for a child to possess a long gun.
That's it for this morning. Thanks for joining me, see you again tomorrow morning.
I'll leave you with a reminder that time is running out for the Canberra Times Winter Photo Competition!
You've only got until Sunday night to get your entries in - there's cash prizes on offer for the winning photographs too!
You can find out how to enter here, and you can flick some of the recent entries below.
The Oaks Estate Bridge on Oaks Estate Road has been re-opened to traffic.
The bridge had been closed for the last 24 hours due to high water levels. For up-to-date information on road closures, you can call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81 - or keep an eye on the blog here!
At the US Open, Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic have lost their first round doubles match against Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.
They got off to a good start, winning the first set 7-6, and kept pace with the 11th seeds, but couldn't quite get there.
The final score was 7-6, 5-7, 4-6.
The Australian Independent Record Labels Association has announced the performers for the ninth Annual Carlton Dry Independent Music awards, including Canberra's very own electro-indie three-piece SAFIA.
SAFIA will be performing along with the likes of Brisbane's Sheppard, Melbourne's Remi and Sydney's DMA.
The Awards are being held in Melbourne on October 8.
There are live gigs happening in Canberra tonight!
The weather is warming up, so Canberra lets shake off those winter blues and get out and support the local scene. Catch some of Canberra's best singer-songwriters, including Marianne Scholem and Hayley Shone at Transit Bar's Songbird & Sirens event. Entry is free doors open at 8pm.
Or head to the ANU Bar and refectory for their National Campus Band Comp. They claim it is the biggest live band comp in Australia. Entry is free and doors open at 8pm.
The man rescued along with his family from rising floodwaters south-west of Moruya on Tuesday has spoken of his gratitude to his rescuers, of the public reaction and of the ordeal itself.
Will Douglas has copped a barrage of criticism on social media for his decision to attempt to cross Burra Creek at Wamban, which led to a dramatic rescue via the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue helicopter, into which the family was winched up from the roof of their rapidly submerging four-wheel drive.
While admitting responsibility for the matter he believes much of the criticism is unfair and comes from people not knowing the circumstances.
In better news for cyclists, Canberra cyclist Michael Matthews has retained the lead on the fifth stage of Vuelta a Espana, a 180km ride from Priego do Cordoba to Ronda.
German John Degenkolb, 25, crossed the line marginally clear of irate Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni in second, who believed the German blocked his passage during the sprint, and Dutchman Moreno Hofland in third.
Matthews finished safely inside the lead group to extend his lead to 13 seconds over Colombian Nairo Quintana, and 20 seconds over Spain's Alejandro Valverde, both of whom finished in the pack.
Qantas has announced the airline had an underlying loss before tax of $646 million and a statutory loss after tax of $2.8 billion in the last financial year.
Boss Alan Joyce described the financial results as "confronting".
"I foreshadowed today’s result at our half-year announcement in February, declaring it was unacceptable.
"There’s no doubt that today’s numbers are confronting, but they represent the year that is past, and we have now come through the worst," he wrote in a statement.
We'll have more on Mr Fluffy throughout today.
Following Emma Macdonald's exclusive reports this morning on the Chief Minister Katy Gallagher's knowledge of the dangers of Mr Fluffy asbestos, dating back to 2005, the ACT Opposition has announced it will be making a statement later today.
Opposition leader Jeremy Hanson will be speaking to the media at noon. We'll be keeping you up to date on the Mr Fluffy situation as it develops today.
Still at the US Open - was Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock fame a ball-boy in his youth?
He must have been, judging by the way he casually caught a stray ball during the first night match of the US Open.
Baldwin, a renowned tennis fan, received a round of applause as he caught the ball and his wife flinched out of the way.
"I don’t play tennis well, but I can catch a slow-moving tennis ball,” he told a reporter after the incident.
Two male cyclists in their 20s have been taken to the Canberra Hospital following a collision on Northbourne avenue involving a car.
The two cyclists sustained minor injuries in the collision which happened in a southbound lane near Wakefield Avenue, Turner around 9am.
The police say there has been minimal disruption to traffic, but Canberra Times reporter Ross Peake who just passed the scene said the "traffic is chronic as always".
Ross said it appears one of the cyclists was on a recumbent bike.
In more US Open news - Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova and Ajla Tomljanovic have just beaten Germans Kristina Barrois and Annika Beck in round one of the women's doubles.
Gajdosova and Tomljanovic won the first set but took three to win it; 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
Another bus and car incident - I'm chasing more info:
Bus v car at Dryandra Street, Barry Drive. Bus lane closed, please avoid area. — ACTPol_Traffic (@ACTPol_Traffic) August 27, 2014
More on that crash on Barry Drive; it was a bus and a car involved. It happened about an hour ago at the same place as a bus collided with a cyclist yesterday, at the intersection of Clunies Ross Street in Acton.
Traffic is heavy, but the road is open again. Ambulance officers assessed one person at the scene, but they were ok and didn't need transport to hospital.