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Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Sydney Now: What you need to know on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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by December 14, 2016 General

Good morning.

It’s already grey and raining, which makes for a nice change at least. Settle in, though, ‘cos it’s likely to be this way for the next week or so. It’ll be 21 in the city and the west with up to 20 millimetres of rain.

Hicham’s story

Thousands of HSC students around the state will be checking their phones every 15 seconds today. But for something different, they’ll be slightly nervous as they await the results of their HSC exams (the ATAR, the big one, is Friday).

Some students found out their marks early when awards were handed out for students who’d topped a subject. One story stood out.

At the age of 14 Hicham Jansis fled Homs, a city the Syrian civil war has turned to rubble; at 16 Hicham waited in a refugee camp thinking only of water and the food he could not eat.

Ovation of the Seas

While you were sleeping the biggest cruise ship to ever dock in Australia pulled into Sydney Harbour. Our travel editor has previewed the 3800-guest 138,000 tonne ship which leaves our shores later this afternoon. It includes an on-board skydiving simulator, natch.

I’m skydiving above Singapore, my facial cheeks temporarily embedded somewhere deep inside the recesses of my skull from the force of the wind (you know the look).

Particularly valuable

The state government is pressing ahead with billion dollar plans to flog off the agency that holds copies of all of NSW’s title deeds, despite warnings it has failed elsewhere. But it seems like Macquarie Bank, at least, thought it was a good idea.

It warned the LPI “would become unprofitable within five to seven years”, but since its database was “particularly valuable” and companies were “actively seeking opportunities” to operate land registries, the government should lease it for as much as $440 million.

Sounds good to me.

Just in time for Christmas

You’ll be able to buy sherry for an extra hour from Friday onwards after the state government brought forward its relaxation of bottle shop closing times to come in before Christmas.

Changes to opening hours in Kings Cross and the CBD, though, will not happen till next year.

Man breaks into home

The state government’s process for acquiring homes compulsorily for the Westconnex motorway has been heavily scrutinised and led to protests across the inner-west. It’s also prompted a change of the rules, in response to that criticism.

But now one man is facing Christmas in jail after he was charged with damaging property and entering a premises without a lawful excuse after he allegedly broke into his former home hours after being evicted

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