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Thursday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Sydney siege: “Get out tonight or we die”

Sydney pays their respects to the hostage victims
Sydney pays their respects to the hostage victims

The hostages held by gunman Man Haron Monis have told of how they had two scenarios facing them during that long night at the Lindt Café.

Get out or be “dead by the morning’’.

The mother of Lindt staff member Joel Herat has said “Joel said to us ‘Mum If we didn’t get out now, we were going to die.’ The terrorist said to them ‘it will be in the morning’. And they said, ‘no we’re going to get out now’.”

News Limited reports that the hostages made a break for it at 2am when Monis started getting sleepy they ran for the side door smashing the lock off and escaped into the night.

Fairfax Media has an interview with the father of Joel Heart who says the report the gunman was getting sleepy is wrong. He claims that Monis was getting agitated around 2am.

“From what Joel told me initially, towards 2am Monis started to bring groups of people together in close proximity from where they had been dispersed throughout [the cafe]”, Mr Herat told Fairfax Media.

“And at that point in time, Joel and five others came to the conclusion that they were not going to survive until the morning if they did not do something. So I think him and Jarrod [19-year-old Jarrod Hoffman] basically came to the conclusion that they would bust down the door. And I know that Joel made sure that Harriette [Denny]  … got behind him and he said, ‘You’re coming with me’, and basically made sure that all that group were ready to go when Joel and Jarrod broke down the door, it was a group of six in total, I’m not sure who the others were.”

“I don’t know how they did it but they did kick down the [internal] door, which leads to the barristers’ chambers, and then the moment they busted that door down, Joel heard shots in his proximity. And he made sure that Harriette got out and Jarrod got out .. there were shots as they were fleeing.”

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“It had to be immediate, no opportunity to look back or anything like that, they just had to take their opportunity,” his father said.

2. Sydney siege: Gunman shot Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson

Details on the death of Tori Johnson
Details on the death of Tori Johnson

News Limited reports that an initial post-mortem carried out on Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson show that Man Haron Monis executed Tori Johnson and shot Katrina Dawson who later died of a heart attack.

At this stage the initial investigation is believed to have shown that Mr Johnson had already been hit with a gunshot to the head before police shot Monis multiple times.

Details of Man Haron Monis’s post-mortem are expected to be known by Friday.

Police have said they did not yet have an official cause of death for any of the victims and would not be commenting until the investigation was over.

 3. Sydney siege: Gun Laws

Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm has called for a measured discussion gun laws saying Australians have a right to self-defence.

He told the ABC that Australian is a nation of victims and “practical self defence” is needed.

He said “what happened in that café would not have happened in Florida or Texas”. He  said that he believes the Lindt café hostages would have been better off if they had been able to carry a firearm.

 4. Sydney siege: Review into events

The Prime Minister has announced a review of the events leading up to the siege.
The Prime Minister has announced a review of the events leading up to the siege.
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The Prime Minister has launched a review into the siege, which will take in police, security, immigration and welfare agencies.

The Australian reports that the review will focus on why Monis was granted refugee status and citizenship, as well as how he accessed the welfare system. It would also look into what information intelligence agencies had on Monis, his interactions with the justice system, his access to firearms and whether or not measures such as control orders might have prevented the Sydney siege.

The Australian also reports that it comes as the DPP called for “an urgent review of all bail decisions in the wake of Tuesday’s bloody siege in a bid to prevent future tragedies.”

The Government’s review will report by the end of January.
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 5. Sydney siege: Man Haron Monis’s ex-partner Noleen Hayson Pal feared he would shoot her

 By the ABC’s Mazoe Ford

Lindt cafe gunman Man Haron Monis was once acquitted in a Sydney court of threatening to shoot his former partner, court documents reveal.

Noleen Hayson Pal, the mother of Monis’s two children, went to police in July 2011 after a late-night confrontation with Monis outside a fast-food restaurant in western Sydney.

Ms Pal said Monis said he wanted to see her urgently, so she asked her parents to drive her to McDonald’s in Green Valley.

Her parents remained in the car while Ms Pal and Monis argued in the car park about a family dispute.

“I decided to walk back to the car [and] that’s when he said to me, he goes … ‘I will make you pay, even if I have to shoot you’,” Ms Pal told a Sydney magistrates court in January 2012.

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“[I was] scared, very scared,” she said.

“What were you scared of?” the prosecutor asked.

“Of that fact that he could do it … at one point in our relationship he did tell me that he did hold a gun licence.”

Ms Pal went to police a few days after the confrontation and Monis was brought in for questioning at St Mary’s Police Station.

He was charged with stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm, but 10 months later, in May 2012, was found not guilty by a Sydney magistrate.

In the wake of the Sydney Lindt cafe siege, the court documents from several of the gunman’s previous court matters were made available to the media, but the documents relating to that not guilty decision have not been released.

A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission

For more read this post on ABC.

6. Sydney siege: Husband of Marcia Mikhae thanks emergency services

burrows tweetThe husband of Marcia Mikhael who was shot in the leg has told Nine News that his wife was “in good spirits” and that he thanked the heroes who saved her life.

In a statement he said “On behalf of my dear wife Marcia and our family, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all those who have offered their prayers, thoughts and well wishes during this trying time,” the statement read.

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“Our family wishes to extend our sincere condolences to the families of the two victims, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.

“We wish them strength and peace during this difficult time.”

Marcia Mikhael was one of the hostages who spoke to Nine reporter Mark Burrows from inside the Lindt café.

Her husband has asked for privacy during her recovery.

7. Pakistan massacre: Taliban warning

The Taliban have released a warning that the Pakistan school attack where 132 children and nine staff was just the beginning.

AFP reports that Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said the bloodiest massacre the country has seen for years was a prelude to further attacks: “[The military] was always wrong about our capabilities. We are still able to carry out major attacks. This was just the trailer.”

8.Pakistan massacre: Plan on terrorism

Sydney pays their respects to the hostage victims
Sydney pays their respects to the hostage victims

The Prime Minister of Pakistam Nawaz Sharif has announced that Pakistan will have a national plan within a week to combat militancy.

He said “today’s conference has decided to draft an action against terrorists and act upon it immediately.” 

We announce that there will be no differentiation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban and have resolved to continue the war against terrorism till the last terrorist is eliminated,” he said, adding “the fight against terrorism is our fight and to counter it, a holistic roadmap is needed” reports the BBC.

 9. Pakistan massacre: Malala

In the aftermath of the Pakistan massacre one expert has claimed the horrific events could have been in retaliation to Malala Yousafzai being a joint winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize last week.

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Ahmed Rashid, an expert on the Islamic militants, told the BBC that the terrorists may have had one of their motivations to send a message to Malala’s supporters.

Not long after the horrific bloodshed Malala issued a statement “”I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us.

“Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this.”

10. Victorian Bushfire destroys homes

Four homes have been destroyed in Victoria’s northeast as bushfires burn out of control.

One home lost was at Gooram, and the CFS have confirmed two are at Creightons Creek, also near Euroa, and one at Lake Rowan, north of Benalla.

For updates on the fire situation visit the CFS website.

 11. Stephen Collins confession

Stephen Collins admits abused three girls.
Stephen Collins admits he abused three girls.

Stephen Collins has admitted to People Magazine that he sexually abused three underage girls over a span of 20 years.

In this confession, which comes on the back of a leaked tape alleging the events several months ago, he said “Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. ”

For more read this post here.

 12. US President mistaken for parking valet

The President of the US, Barack Obama has told of how he has been mistaken for a valet and been handed car keys while he was waiting outside a hotel.

“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,”

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Michelle Obama told People Magazine that her husband also once was mistaken for a waiter at a black-tie party and asked for coffee.

13. Craig Field jailed for 10 years over manslaughter.

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Craig Field was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of manslaughter in a fatal one punch death of north coast cattle farmer Kelvin Kane.

Kane was fatally punched during a car park brawl at the Kingscliff Hotel on July 15, 2012.

Field will serve a non-parole sentence of 7 years and six months.

 14. Missing Canberra Man

The family of a man missing since Saturday have made an emotional appeal for his return.

Canberra man Stuart Heddle aged 39 left his Chisholm home on foot to go to water polo at Tuggeranong Aquatic Centre about 7.30am Saturday but never showed up.

He has not been seen or heard from since.

His wife yesterday pleaded for him to make contact, or for anyone with information to come forward.

“Stuart, I love you. Your beautiful children Jordan and Aidan are desperate to see you or know you are OK,” Jenny Heddle  said.

“You and I have been together forever. You are my best friend, my soul mate, and the greatest dad ever.

Mr Heddle is described as 183 centimetres tall and thin, with short brown hair and light brown eyes.

He was dressed in a brown and maroon-coloured Converse hooded jumper, navy Nike sport shorts and grey, white and blue Asics sneakers.

Police say it is out of character for him to go missing.

Anyone with information should phone the police on 131 444.

 

15. Will the Queen abdicate on Christmas Day?

The Queen will abdicate?
The Queen will abdicate?
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Bookies have started taking bets that the Queen will announce her abdication in her speech on Christmas Day.

The Mirror reports that following a flurry of bets one bookmaker was forced to suspend betting.

16. Daisy come here right now and put your bell back on.

Cows can talk!
Cows can talk!

And in news sure to melt your heart it seems that Mummy cows call baby cows by their actual bovine names.

For real.

The Telegraph has reported that cows have individualized calls for their calves.

A British team of researchers found that it was possible to identify particular cows and calves from the exclusive sounds they made.

It is reported that they identified two distinct maternal calls – low sounds when a mother was close to her calf, and louder, higher pitched calls when they were out of visual contact.

The Telegraph reports that the calves too called out to their mothers when they wanted to start suckling.

The really really cool bit is that all three calls were individualized – reserved for a particular cow and calf so that each recognised the other.

Mooooooooooooooooooo….

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