Australia Hostage Situation, Bill Cosby Speaks to Reporter, Cloudy and Warm

Australia Hostage Situation, Bill Cosby Speaks to Reporter, Cloudy and Warm

SYDNEY, Australia (SEVEN NETWORK/CNN/RNN) - At least five people escaped a hostage situation Monday, but more were still being held.

Three men fled the building through the fire exit. A little later on, two women ran out of the cafe through another exit, CNN affiliate Seven Network reported.

A gunman has held at least 13 hostages for several hours at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in the central business district. The cafe was taken at about 10 a.m. Monday Australian Eastern Daylight Time. So far, none of the hostages have been injured, New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.

Authorities have not revealed who or exactly how many people remained in the cafe.

Hundreds of police were on the scene, and several buildings in the area were evacuated on Monday, including the U.S. Consulate General and the Sydney Opera House for a time. A zone in the city's business district remained off limits as of Monday evening.

A flag bearing an Islamic statement of faith could be seen from the cafe window earlier, as well as people at the windows with their hands up.

Police contacted the suspect and are negotiating.

"Our approach is to resolve the situation as peacefully as possible," New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said in a press conference held Monday evening. "The priority is the safety of all involved."

Hostages have been in contact with their families and media through their cell phones, police officials said. In anticipation of the situation possibly continuing into Tuesday, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird told people who work in the central business district exclusion zone to work from home.

(CNN) - Bill Cosby breaks his silence on the sexual assault allegations against him, sort of.

He briefly spoke with a New York Post reporter who reached him by phone Friday.

Cosby declined to specifically talk about the allegations, but he offered his expectations for how the media, specifically the black media, should cover the story.

Cosby said: "I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind."

Cosby also said his wife Camille is being strong through all this.

He didn't go into any other specifics.

More than 20 women have come forward claiming Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them.

His attorney has said the stories aren't true.

Clouds win! But at least it's warm!


Mainly cloudy with drizzle and warm. High: 50


cloudy with a chance of rain showers.  LOW: 40


Cloudy & chance of showers on/off for the day. High: 51

You can stay informed by downloading the 19 Action News app.  The free app is available for Blackberry, Android, iPhone and iPad devices.  If you don't have a smart phone, just log onto our mobile site at from your phone's browser.

19 Action News is also on Facebook - check us out for news, weather, sports and fantastic behind the scenes photos of 19 Action News. Also join us on Facebook to become a 19 Action News Facebook Weather Watcher.

Text alerts are also available, just fill out the online form.   Text HELP for help. 

Julia Tullos, WOIO, Assignment Manager