The Australian
says George Bush has told leaders from the EU on the eve of the G8 summit that he will drop payouts to American farmers if Europe has the courage to scrap their massive subsidies too – claiming that free trade with Africa will eliminate the need for Third World aid. Dennis Shanahan says that the latest Newspoll shows the Coalition is losing the early battle over its industrial relations reforms. And more witnesses will be called in Schapelle Corby‘s case “in a highly unusual step” taken by the Bali High Court chief judge.

The Sydney Morning Herald leads with the results of the latest Herald Poll which shows John Howard’s “biggest single plunge” in his personal approval since taking office following his pledge to dilute union power. Meanwhile it was politicians galore at the Hillsong Church‘s pop event of the year in Sydney’s SuperDome with Premier Bob Carr, five federal cabinet ministers, eight Liberal backbenchers and two National Party Senate leaders expected to be among the 30,000 evangelical Christians. And US researchers have found that young people with high IQs and many out-of-school interests are less likely to develop dementia when they are old, based on a study of elderly people who attended the same high school in the mid-1940s.

Over at The Age, local boy Steve Vizard’s business ban overshadowed the Fairfax poll results, with two front-page stories devoted to the demise of the deal maker. Meanwhile a Senate inquiry has been told that more than 4,200 people would lose their jobs on university campuses under the federal government’s plan to end compulsory student union fees.

The Daily Telegraph goes big with the “NEW CORBY TRAIL” after Schapelle’s lawyers won their battle for a second trial in which up to 12 new witnesses may now be called, including the man named as owning the drugs, and baggage handlers from Sydney airport. The Tele also finds space to spruik the arrival of News Ltd’s commuter paper, mX, in Sydney, describing it as “young and sexy, with a no-nonsense ‘pick me up’ approach.” And Malcolm Farr reports that with the plight of Africa now in the world’s focus following the Live8 concerts, Australian cabinet ministers said free trade rather than more aid was the best way for rich countries to ease the poverty.

In Melbourne, the Herald Sun splashes with Steve Vizard’s decision to quit his positions as chairman of the Major Events Company and the 2007 World Swimming Championships board following ASIC’s two-year investigation. The Hun also reports that millionaire entertainment and sporting promoter Glenn Wheatley was raided by Australian Tax Office agents five or six weeks ago, but that they didn’t indicate that they are looking for anything specific. And the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday the story of a Victorian woman and mother of five who shot her husband after years of abuse.

Queensland’s medical sagas continue with The Courier-Mail‘s revelation that a US doctor with 25 years of emergency medicine is leaving Queensland’s Rockhampton Hospital within a few weeks of starting because of the unsafe practices he saw, including poorly-trained junior doctors from all over the world “needing basic help” with their work. In Tasmania, The Mercury reports that a legal document concerning a multi-million dollar damages claim by Tasmanian logging giant Gunns Ltd against environmentalists, has been described, as “baffling” by defence lawyer Julian Burnside, QC.

The CLP may challenge an election result, says the Northern Territory News, because a sealed envelope was opened and bundles of votes checked by the side of the road in the rural Darwin seat of Goyder which Labor won by 124 votes. And the feuding Hancock dynasty is making news in The West Australian again after Gina Rinehart’s estranged 29-year-old son, John Hancock made a claim in the Supreme Court for a greater share of his family’s mining empire after his mother completed the Hope Downs deal with mining giant Rio Tinto.

Over in the UK, The Guardian says Prince Harry’s former art teacher at Eton College has won her case for unfair dismissal, but a tribunal rejected her claims that she and other staff had helped the prince to cheat in his A-level art course. The paper also reports that French president Jacques Chirac has angered Tony Blair by reportedly joking to Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schröder, “You can’t trust people who cook as badly as that. After Finland, it’s the country with the worst food.”

Peter Fray

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