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.
Pope takes Mass with 6 million people –
Pope Francis finishes his tour of the Philippines giving Mass in front of an estimated 6 million people in Rizal Park in the capital Manila. This appears to be a record attendance for a papal event eclipsing the 5 million who saw Pope John Paul II in Manila in 1995.
AB de Villers gets fastest ODI ton –
A new record for the fastest 100 in a one-day international (ODI) by South Africa batsman AB de Villiers who hit a century off 31 balls during an innings of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg. Including 8 fours and 10 sixes to beat the previous ODI record of 36 balls by New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson against West Indies on January 1st 2015 but doesn’t match Chris Gayle’s 100 from 30 balls in the Indian Premier League on April 23rd 2013. See List of the Day below.
Vonn’s record causes Tiger to lose a tooth –
American skier Lindsey Vonn (@lindseyvonn) has won her 63rd World Cup downhill title with a win in the super-G race in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy overtaking the record set by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell over 35 years ago. Vonn’s boyfriend is golfer Tiger Woods who surprised her by being at the podium after the event. In the media scrum to get pictures of the skier a hand-held camera knocked out one of Wood’s front teeth. She celebrated with this tweet: Lindsey Vonn
Russian planes buzz UK airspace –
Britain’s Foreign office have said that two Russian Tu-95 Bear H aircraft came within 25 miles of UK airspace in the last 24 hours. They travelled from the north, past the west coast of Ireland and to the English Channel before turning and going back the way they had come. British typhoon fighters were scrambled after the the bombers did not file a flight plan, did not have their transponders switched on and “weren’t talking to air traffic control”.
Taylor Swift trademarks lyrics –
Taylor Swift has trademarked phrases from her current album, 1989 in the United States. The phrases include “this sick beat” and “we never go out of style”, and the trademark ruling stops the use of the lyrics on merchandise. Rihanna successfully sued Topshop earlier this month for using her image on a t-shirt.
Murray’s girlfriend tells it like it is –
Tennis player Andy Murray’s fiancé Kim Sears is caught on camera apparently swearing about Murray’s semi-final opponent Tomas Berdych’s. Lip readers allege she said “Take that you flash Czech fucker”, when Murray won a crucial point. Murray later defended Sears, saying: “In the heat of the moment, you can say stuff that you regret.”
Nudists rescue sinking yacht at start of Sydney-Hobart race –
A group of struggling sailors in Sydney were given a surprising rescue when they found themselves being hauled to shore by a nudists. A small wooden boat had sailed out to watch the start of the annual Sydney to Hobart race, which sees 100 vessels set out on Boxing Day every year. But as spectators were walking back along the coast, they saw a boat get in to trouble near Lady Bay Beach – a popular site for nudists. “The boat came angling into the shore, which was a bit weird,” said Chris Pearce, a photographer with Getty agency. Mr Pearce said that a crowd of people swimming in the sea came to their rescue, in waters around three feet deep. After the woman and child were rescued from the boat, those left on board started to see the funny side of the situation. Photographs of the rescue show at least one man on board grinning as nude men surrounded the boat, ready to lend a hand. [Daily Telegraph]
Twitter is winning war on trolls and extremists, says its Europe chief –
The social media giant, which is 10 years old in March, has amassed 320 million users and a valuation of more than $33bn (£22bn). But it desperately needs to turn back waves of negative headlines and to find ways to engage more deeply with the margins of its audience. But Twitter is fighting back. Boosted in October by the return of its founder Jack Dorsey, now permanent chief executive, it believes it is winning its war on trolls and clearing its decks of violent extremists. Speaking to The Independent ahead of the company’s tenth anniversary, Bruce Daisley, head of Twitter in Europe, said: “We have spent longer and put more effort into user safety than any other issue. The measures we’ve taken correlate directly with a reduction in the amount of bad behaviour on the platform.” [The Independant]
Kanye West appears to have torrent site Pirate Bay open in a photo he’s tweeted –
Kanye West is in trouble over his tweets – again – after the background to a photo he posted made it look like he was illegally downloading files. He sent out a picture on Twitter showing him listening to a Sufjan Stevens track on YouTube, but fans quickly spotted other tabs he had open. One of them says “Xfer Records Serum”, but is next to others saying “Pirate Bay Torrent Xfe” and “MediaDownloader”. Deadmau5 hit out at Kanye, saying: “@kanyewest – can’t afford Serum?” Kanye’s original tweet simply said “Day 3” alongside the photo. [BBC Newsbeat]
In September 2015 West announced he will be running for US President in 2020. Kanye West
Emirates A380 makes longest non-stop flight as airlines launch long-haul battle –
An Emirates superjumbo touched down in Auckland, New Zealand, on Wednesday, after spending more than 17 hours in the air from Dubai – making it the world’s longest commercial scheduled flight. The Emirates A380 covered a route of about 8825 miles, before turning around and doing it all again on the way home. It beat the previous record – Qantas’s Dallas to Sydney route – by about 250 miles. [Daily Telegraph]
Jordan says an overnight raid on an ISIL cell in the city of Irbid has left seven militants and one security officer dead, with five others injured. Those killed were planning to blow up civilian and military targets in the country, according to the General Intelligence Directorate (GID). (BBC)