The Sydney Morning Herald’s
court staff have been busy. One of them reports how a classified ad in the Australian Chinese Daily
newspaper alerted detectives to an alleged plot to abduct the
six-year-old daughter of a wealthy northern Sydney Chinese business
family. Another SMHstory
traces the music industry’s long-running lawsuit against Kazaa – which
it blames for the illegal online copying of millions of pop songs.

In other courtroom news, The Australianreports
that the NAB’s four rogue traders appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates
Court yesterday. Eccentric David Bullen, who didn’t have legal
representation, was advised by the magistrate that it would “be in your
interest to do so.”

On the foreign affairs front, former Indonesian diplomat Jeremy Webb in The Courier-Mailwarns
that Australia faces a formidable task in attempting to forge a
bilateral security treaty with Indonesia because, among other things,
Australia’s cooperation with the Indonesian armed forces could be seen
as tacit support for its “excesses”. And in Perth, The West Australianreports
that a local financial services company ThinkSmart is going from
strength to strength with an investment of $6 million from the ANZ
Bank, which joins a “star-studded” share register which includes Seven
Network owner Kerry Stokes and business woman Janet Holmes à Court.

In The Bulletin
the aspiring young Liberal backbencher Sophie Panopoulos tells Jennifer
Byrne about the politician she most admires. John Howard, perhaps? No,
it’s Margaret Thatcher – “an extraordinary woman who changed the psyche
of a nation… she made it a positive country, that’s where her values
and beliefs came through. An incredibly strong, determined visionary.”
Thatcher is proof, Panopoulos tells the Bulli, that what some would
describe as the boring aspects of economic decision-making actually
encourages people and changes lives.

On another continent, The Washington Postreports
on a new book attacking the US Supreme Court that’s written by a
conservative lawyer and has been flying off the shelves. “Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America,”
by Mark R Levin “arrived amid expectations of a pitched battle in
Washington over a replacement for ailing Chief Justice William H
Rehnquist,” says the Post. And The New York Timeshas this fascinating piece on how Tom Cruise is mixing business and faith by inviting film executives involved in his new movie The War of the Worlds on a four-hour tour of Scientology facilities in Los Angeles.

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Peter Fray
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