BREAKING: Hostage siege continues to unfold in Martin Place’s Lindt Cafe.
For up-to-date information please read this: Rolling coverage: A timeline of the Sydney siege.
UPDATE: Death toll in Indonesian landslide rises to 39, as President Widodo visits the site.
The death toll from a landslide in the Indonesian province of Central Java has risen to 39 today as rescuers continue to search for bodies.
Officials say the chances of finding anyone alive are slim, however it is believed that 69 people are still unaccounted for. More than 1000 rescuers have been working around the clock to recover bodies since the landslide took place on Friday in Jemblung village. For more information, read this.
1. Melbourne alleged murder/ suicide
Police are investigating the possibility of a murder/ suicide after a woman was found dead when they went to inform her of the death of her partner in a road accident.
Nine News reports that police believe 36-year old Sunil Beniwal deliberately veered into the path of an oncoming truck on Saturday night after allegedly killing his estranged wife Shikha Godara Beniwal.
It is believed that she had an intervention order in place against her former partner which expired only days ago.
For more read this post here.
If you need help please phone the National Domestic Assault Family Violence Counseling Service.
Lifeline 13 11 14
2. Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook announcement
By ABC political reporter James Glenday
Treasurer Joe Hockey will slash foreign aid and reveal a massive blowout in this year’s deficit when he hands down his mid-year budget update today.
The ABC’s AM program understands the aid budget will be reduced to Howard-era levels and more than $3 billion will be cut over the next four years.
The cuts in today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) come on top of a $7.6 billion cut to the aid budget in May.
Some of the money will be redirected to fund new spending decisions, such as a $630 million boost to national security and the deployment of troops to the Middle East.
This year’s budget deficit, which was forecast to be $29.8 billion in May, is now set to exceed $40 billion as “global headwinds” continue to batter the Australian economy.
“We remain on a believable and responsible path to surplus, but we will get there slightly less quickly than we would have liked,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.
He told AM Senate compromises and delays, as well as falling commodity prices, would hit the budget hard over the next four years.
“There’s been a significant drop in revenue on the back of a sharp fall in terms of trade and also on the back of wages growth being lower than expected,” Senator Cormann said.
“We are not going to chase down the fall in revenue.”
Government sources said the MYEFO contains the steepest fall in the nation’s terms of trade in more than 50 years.
Any hope coalition MPs had of a return to surplus before 2017-18 has now been abandoned.