Search extends to north-east of Paris
Police have spent the night scouring the forest near a village roughly 70 kilometres out of Paris, where it is thought the two brothers suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo massacre are hiding. Said and Cherif Kouachi allegedly robbed a petrol station after fleeing Paris, where 12 people were killed after the offices of the satirical weekly were attacked. Their hijacked vehicle was found close to the Retz forest, where it is believed the suspects continued on foot. Residents of the nearby village of Villers-Cotterets said the forest is “bigger than Paris” and home to numerous caves. The brothers had previously been under security surveillance and were on a US no-fly list, however a police source said neither brother was being monitored as “targets who could move into action”. Nine people have been taken into custody in relation to the investigation as the search for the men goes into its third day.
Police in Paris are also investigating the fatal shooting of a third police officer. The female officer was attacked in the outskirts of the capital by a man wearing a bulletproof vest. The incident is being treated as a “terrorist act”, but it is yet to be confirmed if it was related to the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
Meanwhile the victims of the massacre have been mourned by almost a thousand Sydneysiders at a vigil in Martin Place, which had been the site of a floral tribute to hostages Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson who were killed during a siege in late December.
Police chase ends in tragedy
A 17-month-old girl died after a police chase went terribly wrong overnight. At 7pm Tahlia Tauaifaga was playing in the driveway of her home with siblings when a speeding car tore down the Constitution Hill cul-de-sac, tailed by four police cars. The accused smashed through the fence, closely followed by a police car which was stopped by the sight of the toddler’s body. It’s not known whether she was hit by the accused or police, but mourning residents have been left asking why police continued the pursuit when the driver was heading for a dead-end. “Why would they follow them? There were children all over the street, there always are,” said neighbour Aaron Fuller. “There’s a chase every week in these parts… now we’ve got a dead toddler and it’s a tragedy.” Police said the incident is under critical investigation but declined to comment further.
Sri Lankan president concedes defeat
In a shock outcome for the Sri Lankan election, the country woke up to the news of a new president. Maithripala Sirisena is expected to be sworn in today after former president Mahinda Rajapakse conceded defeat. Rajapakse had been predicted to win before former health minister Sirisena broke from Rajapakse’s party in November and decided to run against him. The president-elect had been Rajapakse’s closest political ally, but said he “could not stay anymore with a leader who had plundered the country, government and national wealth”.
Queensland’s Deputy Labor leader quits politics
Four days into the state’s election campaign, Queensland’s deputy opposition leader Tim Mulherin has announced he will quit politics. Mr Mulherin, former minister for agriculture, fisheries and primary industries and parliamentarian for 19 years, said is retiring in order to look after his elderly mother and his own health. The state Labor leader, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said Mr Mulherin was “a gentleman and a scholar” and had been her right-hand man in the rebuilding of the party over the past three years. He will remain deputy leader until the election on January 31, when teacher and teacher’s union organiser Juliaenne Gilbert will take his place. – Compiled from internet sources by Naomi Winner
From Monday to Friday during the break The Macleay Newsroom will present this daily summary of news highlights. The full Newsroom service returns in February 2015.