Afternoon update: police release images of 12 men after Wakeley riot; mushroom murders accused faces court; and the Spice Girls’ impromptu reunion

<span>Police have released images of 12 men allegedly captured on video during the riot outside a church at Wakeley in Sydney’s west.</span><span>Photograph: AAP/NSW Police</span>
Police have released images of 12 men allegedly captured on video during the riot outside a church at Wakeley in Sydney’s west.Photograph: AAP/NSW Police

Welcome, readers, to Afternoon Update.

As New South Wales police search for up to 50 people suspected of taking part in a riot outside the Assyrian Christ the Good Shepherd church in Wakeley last Monday night, images have been released to the public of 12 men wanted for questioning over the melee.

Supt Andrew Evans said on Monday that the 12 men in the images were wanted due to the allegedly “violent and aggressive nature of their actions”. Police later said one of the men had been identified and he was assisting detectives with their inquiries. The riot began when thousands of people gathered at the church after the alleged livestreamed stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.

Top news

  • Erin Patterson may not face committal hearing until 2025 | The woman accused of murdering and attempting to murder her relatives by serving them a meal laced with deadly mushrooms, may spend 15 months in custody before she faces a committal hearing, a court has heard. Patterson, 49, was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder in November after hosting the fatal lunch at her house in regional Victoria.

  • ‘Overwhelming’ need for royal commission into Covid pandemic response | The Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee said a royal commission should be created to examine the key elements of the pandemic’s emergency phase.

  • Government commits $5m for research into telehealth | A virtual emergency department is among the research projects that will share in more than $5m from the government to identify how telehealth services can best be used in Australia.

  • Iraq militant group says it is resuming attacks on US forces as base in Syria is targeted | Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah said Iraqi armed groups had decided to resume attacks on the US presence in the country after seeing little progress on talks to achieve the exit of American troops during a visit by Iraq’s prime minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, to Washington.

  • Europe baked in ‘extreme heat stress’ pushing temperatures to record highs | Heat-trapping pollutants that clog the atmosphere helped push temperatures in Europe last year to the highest or second-highest levels ever recorded. The death rate from hot weather has risen 30% in Europe in two decades, the joint State of the Climate report from the two organisations found.

  • Women’s Asian Cup host states revealed | Melburnians will miss out on seeing the Matildas play in the next Women’s Asian Cup after Football Australia revealed that New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia are the confirmed candidates for host states. Victoria also missed out on hosting matches past the round of 16 during the women’s World Cup.

  • Spice Girls reunite at Victoria Beckham’s 50th birthday party | Beckham – along with fellow Spice Girls Geri Halliwell-Horner, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm and Emma Bunton – sang along to Stop and performed the signature choreography from the single off their 1997 sophomore album Spiceworld. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Spice Girls.

  • Google Maps to show most fuel-efficient route | Google Maps will politely pester Australian travellers to take public transport or walk to their destination in one of several green changes coming to the service.

  • Dolphins ride wave with surfing champion at Margaret River Pro | A pod of dolphins joined surfing champion Gabriela Bryan while she was catching a wave at the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia over the weekend.

In pictures

Does mysterious painting prove blue denim was around 200 years before Levi’s?

The origin of the world’s most enduringly popular fabric is in ­dispute, as a new exhibition spotlights a claim that firmly links denim with 17th-­century Italy and takes its history back 200 years.

What they said …


“At the moment it’s a factory for trolls and misinformation that damages the brand of the company, but it does a lot of damage to social cohesion in the process.”

The assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones (pictured), has joined a chorus of Australian leaders to condemn the decision by X to not remove footage of the alleged stabbing of bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.

X, along with Meta, were ordered by the eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, to remove material deemed to depict “gratuitous or offensive violence with a high degree of impact or detail” within 24 hours or potentially face fines. Meta complied with the request, but on Saturday morning Australian time, X accused the online safety regulator of “global censorship” and said it would challenge the orders in court.

In numbers

The 6.8% increase in government military spending between 2022 and 2023 was the steepest since 2009, pushing spending to the highest recorded by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in its 60-year history.

For the first time, analysts at the thinktank recorded a rise in military outlay in all five geographical regions: Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania and the Americas.

Before bed read

More people will vote in 2024 than ever before … but where are the female candidates?

With more people set to vote in elections than at any time in history, 2024 is being touted as a test of democracies’ strength around the world, but one thing remains in noticeably short supply – female leadership candidates.

Daily word game

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

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