“Bakhtiyari boys sorry for the ‘lies’,” says The Australian, leading with the story of Australia’s
highest-profile asylum seekers, the Bakhtiyari family. The two sons,
16-year-old Alamdar and 14-year-old Montazar, have apologised to the Howard
Government for the “lies” they say prompted their deportation – saying they were
used by refugee groups who ruined their chances of remaining in Australia.
Alongside is the story of Colin James, an Aboriginal man who lives with his wife and five children in cramped
conditions in the Northern Territory.
James “welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the federal Government to offer
99-year leases on indigenous land to boost economic prosperity in the
communities,” reports the paper.

Meanwhile, the latest news on the Bali
bombings
is that investigators
are searching for five men linked to the 2002 attack and who are now missing
from their homes in Banten, west Java. Local police have not released the men’s
names, but Jakarta-based newspaper Kompas reported that three Banten men,
Pujata, 37, Supriyanto, 27, and Iwan, 20, had been jailed for storing 8kg of
explosives belonging to 2002 Bali bomber Imam Samudra.

The Age leads with some local
education news: government schools in Victoria
are falling behind in the competition for university places. The report,
prepared by Daniel Edwards, Bob Birrell and T Fred Smith at the Centre for
Population and Urban Research at Monash
University, found that as
independent school students continue to achieve higher marks, those from state
schools are being “squeezed out” of the university market.
In other news, the identity of the man behind Shakespeare’s plays is in question
– again. “Extraordinary historical evidence” suggests that the true identity of
the bard was a Tudor politician descended from King Edward III,
reports the paper.

But the big news at The Age is clearly cricket – with the
front page dominated with a picture of Brett Lee and Ricky Ponting “dancing
with joy” as they celebrate a winning moment in Australia’s
one-day match with the Rest of the World. Under the closed roof of the Telstra
Dome, the Australian team – chastened by their Ashes loss – “toppled the best the
rest of the planet could muster in the first of three made-for-television
one-day games.” Meanwhile, the Herald Sunreports that secret police files have been misused in yet another damaging security
bungle, this time as
scrap notepaper at a Frankston police station.

While also celebrating Australia’s
cricket comeback, The Sydney Morning
Herald
leads with the alarming statistic that nearly one in seven
high-speed police car chases in NSW in the year to June ended in a crash, lifting the crash rate to its
highest in six years. New official figures reveal that 284 of the 2,146 pursuits
in 2004-05 ended with a collision, killing three people. Scores more were
injured in 68 of those chases. The paper also carries the story of Clayton Robert Croker whose legal quest for compensation after the commemorative High Court of
Australia cufflinks he bought for $50 became tarnished and chipped, is heading
for the … High Court. And in breaking world news, the SMH reports that huge mudslides, flooding and torrential rains from
Hurricane Stan have killed at least 117 people in Central America
and southern Mexico. The Daily Telegraphleads with Sydney’s traffic shambles,
with the news motorists are to be squeezed into just one traffic lane in either direction
along William St in a final
cynical bid by the Cross City Tunnel to force cars on to Sydney’s
loneliest toll road.

Queensland
braces for bird flu,
blares the Courier-Mail front page, after the state government’s worst-case
scenario projection that the deadly avian flu would infect more than 500,000
Queenslanders and kill nearly 4,000. The safety of police car chases
is also being questioned in QLD, with two police officers under
investigation
after one fired two bullets at a motor vehicle during a police chase,
one of
which hit a nearby house, and failed to report it. And Jon Stanhope’s
back-flip on closed-circuit television surveillance is the lead in the Canberra Times, the chief minister calling CCTV
surveillance of Canberra’s public spaces inadequate, after earlier saying a
mass roll-out of new cameras would be a “knee-jerk” reaction to the
London bombings.

Back home safe, says The Advertiser‘s lead headline, with a report on the homecoming to Newcastle last night of nine relieved
survivors of the deadly Bali bombings.

A controversial welfare program dominates the front page of
The West Australian,
with news a Centrelink in WA’s north is cancelling welfare payments to local
Aborigines if their children skip school, under a scheme it has set up with the
school’s principal. In Tasmania,
The Mercury reports that a state government backflip over sex law reforms means it will
now push for a total ban on brothels. Prostitution will remain legal, but
operating with more than two staff in a single premises will be against the law.
And the Northern Territory News splashes its front page with “the picture Customs doesn’t
want us to see” which, leaked to NT News, depicts six illegal foreign fishermen
on a beach near Maningrida, 500km east of Darwin.
Apparently, the men fled when a Customs aircraft appeared
and were not apprehended.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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