It’s not just the top end that’s croc obsessed. Front-centre at The Oz today is the story of a 14-year-old boy
who helped his dad save his little sister, pummelling a 2.5m saltwater
crocodile as it mauled 10-year-old Chantal Burnup in the remote far north of Western
Australia. In more Bali II developments, it appears that there’s a link to the Philippines, says the paper. Intelligence officials believe the bombers may have been
“cleanskins” schooled at the Abu Sayyaf Group training grounds on the
Philippines island of Mindanao. Jemaah Islamiah has been using the Philippines to train terrorists
because Indonesia has made it harder for them to plan operations on its shores.

Although no-one has yet claimed responsibility for the Bali bombings,
JI is strongly suspected. But Prime Minister John Howard doesn’t think
banning JI in Indonesia would do any good, reports the SMH:
“It is not the be all and end all of tackling terrorism in
Indonesia and if it remains as it is or if it is banned in
practical terms it’s not going to make an enormous different.”
Meanwhile, from his prison cell, Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir –
JI’s alleged spiritual leader – condemned the attacks, while also
saying they were a
sign of God’s displeasure with the Indonesian government, notes the paper. In other news, Howard has shot down ideas of a switch to voluntary voting for Australia, even though he supports the concept.

The Age zeroes in on the human impact of the bombings, with
surgeon David Read at the Royal Darwin Hospital pointing to an X-Ray
showing eight ball bearings embedded in the body of a Bali bomb
survivor. Since the man and 22 other survivors of the blasts arrived
at the hospital at the weekend doctors have removed enough shrapnel
from their bodies to fill large shopping bags, says the paper. It’s the graphic evidence of the misery inflicted on victims of the most recent act of terrorism in Bali, says the NT News, which also leads with the story. And in legal developments, significant changes to Victoria’s homicide laws will stop men who kill
their partners in a jealous rage from using the
partial defence of provocation to escape a murder
conviction.

“BALI RAIDS AS POLICE CLOSE IN,” says the Daily Tele, reporting how police yesterday raided homes across Bali as attention turned to a new
suspect who pulled a ripcord in his jacket just before one of the
blasts. “CLOSING IN,” echoes theHerald Sun, also
leading with the news that anti-terror teams swooped on Muslim groups
across Indonesia yesterday. Meanwhile, how petrol is a harder habit to kick than caffeine for Australians, in the Tele. And the Hun previews today’s Telstra Dome match with Australia’s cricket team “still licking their wounds after losing the Ashes” squaring off against a star-studded World XI.

In Queensland, another day, another hospital crisis with news that the
Royal Brisbane and Womens’ Hospital, the state’s largest hospital,
yesterday cancelled non-urgent surgery for three weeks and has been
sending some of its surgical and medical patients to private hospitals
for treatment because there’s no more room, says the Courier-Mail. Canberra’s daily anticipates the city’s centenary celebrations in 2013. And in South Australia, according to the Adelaide Advertiser police sources,
investigators believe the Bali bombing group are from the province of
Mojokerto in East Java and that a group of men came to Bali shortly
before the bomb attacks to prepare.

“KILLERS: greed fuelled tomahawk murders.” On the apple isle, a jury took just four hours yesterday to see
through a tangle of conspiracy, sex, lies and betrayal and convict two
men of bludgeoning to death an 84-year-old man and his son, says The Mercury.
In WA, a landmark 20-year study of the state’s rivers has found that
fewer than half are still fresh and most are rapidly getting saltier,
reports The West.

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%