Afternoon Update: Sydney church stabbing declared terrorism; Lehrmann withdraws from conference; and Bluey’s missed opportunity

<span>The Assyrian Christ the Good Shepherd church in Wakeley, after the Sydney church stabbing in which Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly attacked.</span><span>Photograph: Jaimi Joy/Reuters</span>
The Assyrian Christ the Good Shepherd church in Wakeley, after the Sydney church stabbing in which Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly attacked.Photograph: Jaimi Joy/Reuters

Welcome, readers, to Afternoon Update.

The alleged stabbing of a bishop and priest at a western Sydney church has been declared a terrorist attack.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio) chief, Mike Burgess, said for an incident to be declared a terrorist attack there needed to be “indications of information or evidence that suggest actually the motivation was religiously motivated or ideologically motivated”. Burgess said he was aware of video of the alleged offender speaking in Arabic.

“If he [the bishop] didn’t get himself involved in my religion, if he hadn’t spoken about my prophet, I wouldn’t have come here … if he just spoke about his own religion, I wouldn’t have come,” the alleged attacker can be heard saying in the video.

By declaring the event a terrorist attack, police will have greater investigative powers under New South Wales’ terrorism laws.

Burgess added that the current terror level threat for Australia – at “possible” – would not be raised.

Top news

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  • Peter Dutton says bipartisanship ‘important’ after Sydney stabbing events | The opposition leader said he wrote to the prime minister on Tuesday offering his “full support” for any measures the government believes should be implemented after the two recent stabbing attacks in Sydney. Dutton noted community leaders are calling for calm and said people should heed this.

  • Lehrmann withdraws from ‘Restoring the Presumption of Innocence’ conference | Bruce Lehrmann has cancelled his planned speech the day after Justice Michael Lee found that, on the balance of probabilities, he raped Brittany Higgins in Parliament House in 2019. The sponsors, Mothers of Sons, said Lehrmann “decided not to appear”.

  • Palestinians refused visitor visas due to concerns they would not ‘stay temporarily’ | About 160 Palestinians were refused visitor visas to come to Australia in the first three months of the Israel-Gaza conflict, mostly due to concerns they would not stay temporarily.

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  • Collingwood’s Nathan Murphy forced to retire from AFL due to concussion | The 2023 premiership player suffered the 10th concussion of his career in last year’s grand final and was ruled out of match simulation training on the eve of the season in February. The 24-year-old has not taken to the field since.

  • Trump’s hush-money trial | Monday’s day in court indicated that jury selection could take weeks – and that Trump could yet be held in contempt. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in trying to cover up hush-money payments to an adult film star that influenced the 2016 election.

  • Creating sexually explicit deepfake images to be made offence in UK | The creation of a deepfake image will be an offence regardless of whether the creator intended to share it, UK’s Ministry of Justice has announced. Under the legislation, anyone who creates such an image without consent will face a criminal record and an unlimited fine. They could also face jail if the image is shared more widely.

In pictures

From No Doubt to Will Smith: big stars and surprise guests at Coachella – in pictures

This year’s Palm Springs-based festival brought together some of the industry’s biggest names, from headliners such as No Doubt, Tyler, the Creator and Doja Cat, as well as guests including Olivia Rodrigo and Shakira. Check out our gallery from the festival here.

What they said …


“I also feel compelled to advise you that that opens up a range of sanctions, personal sanctions that can be applied against you if that’s what the Senate decides to do” – the Greens senator Nick McKim during a combative exchange with the Woolworths CEO, Brad Banducci

McKim, who chairs the parliamentary inquiry into supermarket practices, threatened to hold Banducci in contempt after he refused to disclose the company’s return on equity.

In numbers

According to a new half-yearly report from the Clean Energy Council, Australia’s rooftop solar power capacity is now enough to supply 11.2% of Australia’s electricity needs.

Before bed read

Bluey’s blockbuster episode hit a nerve for my family by casting moving house as difficult and scary

Children go through all sorts of changes, along with moving. The show was a missed opportunity to help children navigate such events in their life, writes Chloe Booker.

Daily word game

Today’s starter word is: DID . You have five goes to get the longest word including the starter word. Play Wordiply.

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