Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has been almost completely destroyed by a devastating fire. The blaze, which began early Monday evening local time, spread across the roof to one of the building’s four rectangular towers, causing its iconic spire to collapse. Speaking to French media, Notre Dame spokesperson André Finot said “everything is burning. The framework, which dates from the 19th century on one side and the 13th century on the other, there will be nothing left”. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame is one of France’s most recognisable buildings, and has served as a backdrop to major events in world history such as the French Revolution, Napoleon’s coronation and the liberation of Paris in 1944.
Aboriginal rights activists have marked 28 years since the conclusion of the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody by calling on federal, state and territory governments to implement the commission’s 339 recommendations. In an open letter to Victorian premier Daniel Andrews signed by more than 80 community groups, the children of Aboriginal woman Tanya Day – who died in police custody in 2017 after being arrested for public drunkenness – urged the Victorian government to repeal the offence, as recommended by the commission in 1991. “It’s time to put an end to racially discriminatory laws and policies that result in Aboriginal people, like our mum, dying in police custody”, Day’s children said in the letter.
Dozens of journalists, editors and publishers have faced court in Melbourne on contempt charges relating to their coverage of disgraced cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sexual abuse. Representatives of Nine, The Age, Macquarie Media and several News Corp titles appeared for a procedural hearing at the Supreme Court of Victoria on Monday. In February, Victorian director of public prosecutions Kerri Judd wrote to more than 100 journalists and media outlets, claiming they had potentially interfered with the course of justice by alluding to Pell’s December conviction and a suppression order barring them from reporting on the case. Media outlets and academics have criticised the restrictions around court reporting in Australia as outdated and ineffective, with international media reporting extensively on Pell’s trial and the gag order.
And the results of the New South Wales election have been finalised, with the last seats in the state’s Legislative Council decided after distribution of preferences. In the final preference count on Monday, the NSW Electoral Commission confirmed that Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition government won eight of the 21 seats on offer in the upper house in this election cycle, with Labor winning seven, the Greens and One Nation two each, and the Animal Justice Party and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers winning one apiece. Former federal Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm, who quit federal politics to contest the state election, failed to obtain a seat, as did Christian Democratic Party politician Paul Green and the Keep Sydney Open party. The count leaves the state government with 17 seats in the 42-seat chamber, likely requiring support from right-wing minor parties to pass legislation in the upper house.