Sydney hostage situation –
A gunman takes hostages in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. The hostage taker is identified as a 50-year-old cleric from Iran, Man Haron Monis who gained asylum in Australia. Passers by are criticised for taking “selfies” in front of the cafe. Crowds outside the sieged building
Ultimate fare-dodger –
A commuter in London who avoided paying for his train fares has been banned for life from working in any regulated financial industries. Jonathan Paul Burrows has paid back the £42,550 he is estimated to have avoided paying, plus £450 in legal costs. He was a director with financial services company BlackRock.
Denmark claims north pole –
Denmark makes a claim to the UN that the area surrounding the North Pole is connected to the continental shelf of Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard says it is a “historic and important milestone” for Denmark. In 2008, a US Geological Survey report estimated that as much as 22% of the world’s undiscovered and recoverable resources lay north of the Arctic Circle, but the North Pole itself is unlikely to have much oil or gas beneath its deep waters. Canada and Russia have already tried to assert their sovereignty over Arctic territory. Nuclear icebreaker Arktika
Sydney siege ends –
The siege in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney is ended by Australian troops storming the building. The gunman, Man Haron Monis, and two of his hostages are killed.
Christmas back on in Delhi –
Delhi University has reversed the decision to rename Christmas Day ‘Good Governance Day’ by organising seminars and competitions on oratory.
But now, after a mass of complaints, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has asked colleges to organise the function without disturbing Christmas Day celebrations.
Unethical appeal –
FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia has lost his appeal against a statement by ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert on his report into bidding for the World Cups had contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”. The appeal has been declared inadmissible by FIFA’s appeals committee, who said Eckert’s statement was not a legally-binding decision and therefore could not be appealed against.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan elected London mayor –
Sadiq Khan has been elected the new Mayor of London – boosting Labour after it slumped in Scotland’s elections. Mr Khan is the city’s first Muslim mayor, after beating Tory Zac Goldsmith by 1,310,143 votes to 994,614. The result bolsters leader Jeremy Corbyn after Labour was beaten into third in Scotland by the Tories and lost some English councillors.
In Scotland, the SNP said it would form a minority government after winning its third election in a row. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is celebrating what she said was an “emphatic” victory, her first as party leader, after the SNP emerged as the largest party at Holyrood with 63 seats, ahead of the Conservatives on 31 and Labour on 24. But she played down talk of another independence referendum after falling short by two seats of an overall majority. In Wales, Labour remains as the largest party, with 29 out of 60 seats, but was denied a majority as Plaid Cymru and UKIP both made notable gains. [BBC] Sadiq_Khan
China bans ‘erotic’ banana-eating live streams –
Chinese live-streaming services have banned people filming themselves eating bananas in a “seductive” fashion. New regulations mean that live-streaming sites must monitor all their output round-the-clock to ensure nothing untoward is going on, keeping an eye out for any “erotic” banana-eating, according to New Express Daily. It’s not just fruit that’s on their radar though – the paper adds that wearing stockings and suspenders while hosting a live stream is now also forbidden. The move is the authorities’ latest attempt to clamp down on “inappropriate and erotic” online content, state-controlled CCTV reports. In April, the Ministry of Culture announced it was investigating a number of popular live-streaming platforms for allegedly hosting pornographic or violent content that “harms social morality”. Despite the government’s concerns, such sites are attracting more and more users in China. Particularly popular are webcam sessions where young women – and sometimes girls under 18 – entertain a predominantly male audience, often singing Chinese songs or chatting to their viewers. [BBC]
A man is killed, and two others are injured (a man in critical condition and a woman with non-life-threatening injuries), in the parking lot of Westfield Montgomery Mall in Potomac in Montgomery County, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Soon after, a woman is killed at a grocery store some miles away. Police suspect that the same shooter may be behind both crime scene incidents. Police in both Montgomery County and neighboring Prince George’s County are also examining whether this person is the same as the male involved in the fatal shooting the previous day of a woman, Gladys Tordil, who was allegedly shot (a bystander who tried to help was also wounded) by her estranged abusive husband, tentatively identified as Eulalio Tordil, 62, a former Federal Protective Service officer. (MSN)(CNN)