Breaking news | March 3

Cate Blanchett arrives at the 2014 Academy Awards. Photo: Disney|ABC Television Group/flickr


Blanchett wins Best Actress

Cate Blanchett has won the Oscar for Best Actress at the 2014 Academy Awards, held Monday in California. Blanchett is the first Australian woman to win the award, for her role in Blue Jasmine. Russell Crowe and Peter Finch have won awards for Gladiator and Network.

Blanchett’s chances of winning were mired in controversy after Blue Jasmine’s director, Woody Allen, became the subject of sexual molestation claims by his adopted child Dylan.

In the main categories, all the favourites won. 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture, Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, and Alfonso Cuarón Best Director for Gravity.
Ukraine tells Russia invasion means war

The threat of war between Russia and the Ukraine has escalated after Russia’s parliament approved deployment of its troops.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said troops would be sent anywhere in the Ukraine where there were pro-Russian civilians.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said: “This is the red alert, this is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war to my country.” Yatsenyuk has appealed to the West for assistance.

US Secretary of State John Kerry called Russia’s potential invasion “an act of aggression that is completely trumped up” and suggested Russia was “possibly trying to annex Crimea”.

As many as 150,000 Russian troops are playing war games along the Russian Ukraine border in preparation for an invasion.

Talks between US President Barack Obama and Putin have stalled.
Royals Australian Holiday Itinerary

Prince William, Kate and their baby George will be touring Australia for three weeks, arriving in Sydney on April 16.

The Royal family will visit Sydney, Brisbane, Uluru, Adelaide and Canberra.

The Windsors will have a busy Australian tour, starting from the day they arrive. Their Sydney itinerary includes the following:

  • Wednesday: the Sydney Opera House.
  • Thursday: the Blue Mountains, to visit bushfire-affected areas
  • Good Friday: the Royal Easter Show
  • Easter Sunday: St. Andrew’s Cathedral, followed by Taronga Zoo

The Royal family will also walk around the sacred site of Uluru, in Central Australia.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will host a reception at Parliament House, and on ANZAC day William and Kate will plant a Lone Pine seed, taken from Gallipoli, at the Canberra War Memorial.

It is not usual that both heirs – William and his son George – travel together, but on this occasion it was allowed by The Queen. It is hoped that baby George will attend at least one public event.
Hells Angels ride to raise funds

One hundred Hells Angels bikies completed a charity run in New South Wales to raise money for a court challenge to new bikie laws.

The group rode from Woodenbong in Northern inland New South Wales to Murwillumbah on the state’s north coast.
Of the 100 riders only one wore Hells Angels colours, while the remaining 99 wore plain clothing. To the group it was an action ‘just to be safe’. Police monitored the ride, and on the Hells Angels’ Facebook page one writer quipped that the police were ‘well behaved’. The money raised will fund the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland legal team.

The new bikie laws were enacted by the Queensland state government, and allows any group to be declared a criminal organisation without the need for evidence. The laws were introduced after a series of bikie brawls.

Sol Campbell calls FA ‘institutionally racist’

English footballer Sol Campbell believes that he would have been the English national team captain for more than 10 years of his career if he had been white, not black.

The former Arsenal and Tottenham defender said: “I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years.

“I think that the FA wished I was white.”

Campbell represented England 73 times, but only three times as captain.

Executive director of the Football Association David Davies said: “He clearly is upset about that time and he feels that perhaps he should have been, he would believe, more seriously considered as the England captain.”

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