The Age

leads with John Howard’s dressing down of new Telstra boss Sol Trujillo
over his efforts to have regulations protecting rural phone customers
relaxed, bring the Liberals firmly into line with their Coalition
partners, the Nationals. And Howard has brushed off a report that a
third US military prosecutor has transferred away from the “unjust”
Military Commission, which is overseeing the trial of David Hicks,
and the government has also flatly dismissed the opinion of two
academic lawyers that Hicks could be tried under Australian law.
Meanwhile, adoption support groups have called for uniform laws for overseas adoption
across all the states and territories and better support for adoptive
families, including eligibility for the baby bonus, regardless of the
child’s age and the equivalent of maternity leave for adoptive parent.

The Sydney Morning Herald
leads with the admission by NSW’s new finance minister, Michael Costa
that the budget could be in deficit for the next two years. Also front
page news is the Red Cross “tsunami cocktails” which turned sour when the SMH asked why the 5,000 strong event was to be funded from money given to homeless tsunami victims. And the race for the state’s new deputy
is likely to end with Carmel Tebbutt who announced last night that she
would stand for the position at a full caucus ballot on Tuesday,
opening a deep rift in Labor’s Left faction.

The Australian
leads with the 16 judges who have failed to file outstanding tax returns and now
face criminal prosecution and possible dismissal from the bench for
ignoring Australian Taxation Office demands. The Oz also has a sad account of Tracey Twaddle as she watched the surveillance video of her husband as he lay dying in his Palm Island police cell in November last year.

The Daily Telegraph
splashes with Craig Knowles’s “BREACH OF TRUST” after the planning
minister and leadership aspirant announced it was beneath him to serve
the remainder of his term on the backbench. This means NSW taxpayers face a third costly by-election. The Tele also reveals that investigators looking into seven court cases heard by so-called “sleeping judge” Ian Dodd have yet to interview nearly half the complainants due to the “heavy workload.” And Schapelle Corby
has almost run out of chances to clear her name now that her
long-awaited court appeal has ended and her only chance of freedom lies
with a final challenge to the High Court.

The Herald Sun
reveals the “secrets of speed cameras” gleaned from the 50-page Speed
Camera Policy and Operations Manual, which says that mobile speed
camera readings can be distorted by metal signs, fences, walls and even
Australia Post letter boxes. And the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard
yesterday that Joe Korp
was quick to point the finger at his lover Tania Herman after his wife
disappeared and even his brother was worried about his behaviour in the
months before the attack.

The Courier-Mail
says Telstra’s new boss Sol Trujillo looked shocked when asked at
Blackall yesterday if he enjoyed beginning a war with the government during his first tour of the outback. The Advertiser reports on Howard’s visit to the bushfire-ravaged
community of Eyre Peninsula under the headline: “You’re six months
late, Mr Howard.” The Mercury reveals that the man spearheading a lobby group against
Tasmania’s proposed billion-dollar pulp mill has received 20 death
threats since April – all made by men and all by telephone. The West Australian reports that Rio Tinto’s record first half profit, smashed analysts’ expectations by surging 34% to US$2.16 billion,
and the mining giant is now set up for a full year profit in excess of $5.2
billion. And about 120 people attended an emotionally charged information
session in Katherine yesterday about the government’s proposed Fishers
Ridge nuclear waste dump, says the NT News.

Peter Fray

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