All the major dailies have gone big with the bombs which rocked
London in the Thursday morning rush hour, pushing much of today’s news
towards the back of the paper and severely dating several stories.

The Australian
reports that the debate on Afghanistan has reignited political divisions
over the war against terrorism. Kim Beazley called for troops to
be withdrawn from the “quagmire” of Iraq before deploying new troops to
Afghanistan, after Howard yesterday confirmed Cabinet would next week
consider sending troops to Afghanistan for the first time since
2002. The Oz
also reveals that Steve Vizard pulled the plug on a private
investigation he ordered into his own accounting firm even though it
failed to detect an alleged $3 million fraud against his
companies. Meanwhile riots, arson and violence inside
Australia’s immigration detention centres have cost taxpayers $16.9 million since 2000, according to an audit report released yesterday.

The Sydney Morning Herald
reports on the unlikely friendship between former East Timorese
resistance leader Xanana Gusmao and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono, who was the first commander of the first battalion of
Indonesian troops sent out to destroy the resistance by any means
necessary. The SMH says the PM has refused to guarantee that no Australian worker will be worse off due to his IR reforms
and is bringing forward a media campaign to counter the public backlash
stirred by union advertising. And tomorrow at St Andrews
Cathedral in Sydney an electoral college will decide who will succeed
Dr Peter Carnley as Australia’s next Anglican primate.

The Age
says Australia’s top counter-terrorism and emergency management
specialists met in a secret Canberra location to decide whether
Australia was at risk of terrorist activity. The paper also
reports that Tony Abbott
is worried that health fund members are being penalised when they
switch funds and has threatened the health insurance industry with
heavier regulation. And John Silvester
reports that Melbourne’s gangland war is still simmering away as two men
have been charged with making threats to kill gangland widow Judy Moran
in May after an incident at the same club where her husband Lewis was
shot.

The Herald Sun
reports the G-G Major-General Jeffery told a group of journalists
attending a drinks party at Government House of a Crocodile
Dundee-style encounter he had with a giant croc in WA, which he
subsequently blew up with explosives. The G-G also called on the media
to publish more of his speeches and vice-regal notices, but journalists
later found there were no copies of his “off the cuff” croc story.

The Daily Telegraph
says Australia has puts its forces on alert in light of the London
terror attacks, monitoring British posts in Australia, but Alexander
Downer said there was nothing to suggest they would be attacked. The Tele also reveals Sydney hotels are making theirs gaming rooms the only indoor smoking area, forcing smokers to gamble on poker machines or be barred from using the gaming room to smoke.

In South Australia The Advertiser
reveals a man is believed to have attempted to shoot Premier Mike Rann
shortly before State Parliament resumed yesterday, and was taken to
hospital for a mental health assessment. Meanwhile Queensland
Health is being investigated for Medicare fraud which could amount to
“tens of millions of dollars” after medical specialists
allowed other doctors, mostly young registrars, to use their Medicare
provider numbers and bill the federal government, says The Courier-Mail. Reclusive members of Tasmania’s Tattersall’s rich list saw their net worth sky-rocket yesterday, reports The Mercury, when shares in Tattersall’s Ltd debuted on the Australian Stock Exchange. The West Australian
says WA supermarkets have agreed to label all fruit and vegetables by
their country of origin after increasing public pressure to bring about
further changes to labelling laws. And the NT News
reports the astounding news that “three” cane toads have been found in
Darwin’s George Brown Botanic Gardens in the past month. The
toads are believed to have “hitch-hiked a ride north with tourists,”
said the garden’s curator.

Peter Fray

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