The Australian

leads with the government’s crackdown on Islamic bookstores selling
radical literature in the wake of the London bombings. Steve Vizard’s reputation
as a philanthropist is now being questioned following comments made by
NVG associates on Vizard’s actions while then president of the
gallery’s trustees and The Oz also reveals that Ron Walker and
Eddie McGuire, have refused to give character references for Vizard in
court on Thursday. And the government’s new Medicare card, to be
distributed to 11 million Australians next year, could become the basis
for a new national identity card or “government services” card, says The Oz, complete with a photo on the front of the card, or stored on a micro chip.

The Sydney Morning Herald
reveals that Sydney’s home renovation obsession has ended, as evidence
grows that the end of the housing boom is hitting the city’s
economy. Meanwhile former Solomon Islands
officials have admitted Japan paid for the island’s pro-whaling vote,
by paying for the Solomons to attending the IWC meetings, provided
goods for local politicians at election time and possibly paying
millions of dollars in cash to some island officials.

The Age
has an “exclusive” lead on the case of an Iranian woman who was
assaulted in the Curtin detention centre in Western Australia, bringing
the Immigration Department under fire again. But the front page of the paper is dominated by a photo of Will Fowles
and family alongside a story from Caroline Wilson following up on
Crikey’s MCC board story. And in what could be yet another blow
for Steve Vizard, The Age
reports that his chances of resuming work as a commercial lawyer once
he’s banned from corporate boardrooms have been jeopardised by his
conduct as a Telstra director.

The Daily Telegraph‘s splash reveals the woman who is accused of helping Ivan Milat with his murders, with the headline “IT WAS HIS SISTER.” The Tele also has another photo of Schapelle Corby to accompany a story on the new “secret witness” – an Australian policeman – who will testify “how dirty the airport is.”

The Herald Sun splash simply reads “PILL POISON” and refers to tests made by Victoria Police for the Hun which
revealed that ecstasy pills sold in Melbourne contained ingredients
such as horse tranquillisers, morphine, speed and nerve-numbing
agents. Meanwhile police are also investigating whether Steve Vizard committed perjury
when he denied under oath three years ago that he got someone to buy
shares for him that could not be traced to him while he was a Telstra
director. And the Hun also reveals that former Ansett, Cathay Pacific and British Airways boss, Sir Rod Eddington, has replaced Vizard as head of the Victorian Major Events Company.

The Courier-Mail
says the Beattie Government will modify its restrictions on land
clearing so more landholders will qualify for financial assistance to
change the way they run their farms or to get off the land
permanently. The Mercury
reports that Tasmanian timber giant Gunns will proceed with its bid to
sue a group of environmentalists – including Greens senator Bob Brown
and the Wilderness Society – for millions even though the judge
described the statement of claim as “embarrassing” and “unintelligible”
in a legal context. The West
reports, on the day petrol prices will hit a record of
more than $1.20 a litre, that a service station owner is facing a $1,600 fine for selling
petrol too cheaply. And the NT News
reports that a planned nuclear dump in the Northern Territory could
cause a drop in tourist numbers after news of the dump travelled around
the world, with Scotland’s Edinburgh Evening News reporting the dump site would be near tourism icon Uluru.

In the UK The Guardian reports that 71-year-old film director Roman Polanski is suing Condé Nast, the publishers of Vanity Fair,
over allegations made about the director in a 2002 article. The magazine
alleged that Polanski made a pass at a Swedish woman in a Manhattan
restaurant in 1969, while on the way to the Los Angeles funeral of his
wife Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Charles Manson family.
IN an unconventional move, Polanski gave evidence from Paris by video link to avoid the risk of
being extradited from Britain to the US where he us wanted in relation
to a charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, dating back to
1977.

Peter Fray

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