1. The photographer who took photos of Nigella Lawson being assaulted by her husband at a London restaurant has defended his actions. Jean-Paul spent 27 minutes taking photos of Lawson and her husband Charles Saachi that were later published in Sunday People. In an article for the UK’s Mirror, he wrote: “People have asked why I didn’t intervene, why I didn’t go over. The answer is simple – I would have been arrested. I’m paparazzi so everyone hates you to begin with.”
“The best thing I could do was carry on taking the pictures because now everyone can see that Charles Saatchi is an abuser,” he wrote.
2. Nelson Mandela has reportedly been ‘unresponsive and has not opened his eyes for days’ in hospital, despite previous official statements that the former South African leader’s health was improving. According to The Daily Mail, the 94-year-old’s immediate family are discussing whether or not they should withdraw treatment.
3. Labor has received a dismal result in the latest Newpoll. The results come on the third anniversary of Julia Gillard’s leadership of the Labor Party. The government’s primary vote has dropped to just 29 per cent, while the Coalition’s sits at 48 per cent. Tony Abbott is still the preferred Prime Minister. He’s sitting on 45 percentage points compared to Julia Gillard’s 33.
4. Meanwhile, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that Julia Gillard will not step down and that he supports Gillard to lead Labor to the next election. Senator Conroy told Sky News, “Julia Gillard is again demonstrating to the Australian public how tough she is.”
5. The 40th Australian ‘digger’ to die in Afghanistan was killed in a firefight on Saturday. The soldier was killed during an operation in the the Khod Valley.
6. Whistle blower Edward Snowden, the US man who released confidential information about US Government phone hacking has reportedly sought asylum in Ecuador. Snowden reportedly caught a flight from Hong Kong to Russia. He’s now in Moscow and is due to fly to Cuba and then Ecuador with the help from members of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks organisation.
7. Kristi Anne Abrahams – the woman who last week pleaded guilty to the murder of her 6-year-old daughter Kiesha Whippheart – will be sentenced today. Kiesha went missing from her Mt Druitt home in August 2010 and her body was found in the bush almost a year later. Abramham’s partner Robert Smith has already been sentenced to 12 years jail after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and being an accessory to the fact.
8. Tennis star Maria Sharapova has criticised rival Serena Williams for her comments about the Steubenville rape case, in which Williams appeared to blame the victim for her rape. News Ltd reported Sharapova as saying, “I was definitely sad to hear what she had to say about the whole case… I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that’s just getting attention and controversy.”
9. A tightrope walker will today attempt to become the first person ever to walk across the Grand Canyon. Nik Wallenda will walk the 450m-high crossing without a safety harness at around 11am AEST. The 34-year-old expects the crossing to take around 30 minutes. There will be a ten-second delay in the broadcast of Wallenda’s walk, just in case something goes wrong.