The Oz leads with day one of the murder trial into the death of British backpacker Peter Falconio. Prosecutors yesterday told the court
that DNA belonging to Broome mechanic Bradley John Murdoch, who’s
accused of killing Falconio, has been linked to cable used to bind
his girlfriend Joanne Lees, a blood stain on her shirt and the
gearstick on their Kombi van. In other news, stem cell research has been given a
further boost with news that stem cells have been harvested from embryos for the first time without killing or hurting them.

Also leading in the SMH, the Falconio murder but from a different angle; the paper reveals that Falconio’s girlfriend Joanne Lees had made plans to split temporarily with her boyfriend only
days before he disappeared on a Northern Territory highway four
years ago. She also told of an affair she had with a man in Sydney before
she and Falconio left the city in a Kombi van to drive across
Australia in 2001.

Meanwhile, despite the hype, world violence is down, reveals the SMH. According to a paper written by Andrew Mack, director of
the Human Security Centre in Vancouver, there are fewer wars than there used to be,
and they are becoming less deadly; the casualties from terrorist acts
are minimal and acts of genocide are becoming less common.

Labor will lose again at the next election if it doesn’t shape up,
federal president Barry Jones warns in the latest newsletter of the
Australian Fabian Society, reports The Age.
In a scathing attack on the ALP organisation, which highlights 13
problem areas for the ALP, Mr Jones says the party is suffering “policy
anorexia” and has been taken over by “factional warlords.”

And “COMING TO A PENINSULA NEAR YOU … GALLIPOLI,” writes the paper, reporting how MP Danna Vale wants to replicate the entire
battlefield, just 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne.The former minister for veterans’ affairs claims there’s an
uncanny physical similarity between the end of the Mornington
Peninsula and Anzac Cove.

“MY FIVE HOURS OF OUTBACK TERROR”: A court has heard how a
petrified Joanne Lees cowered under a bush like “a rabbit” for five
hours after her boyfriend Peter Falconio was shot beside an outback
Northern Territory highway, reports the Daily Tele. In an article that leads, “beautiful one day, revenue raising the next” the Tele reports how Queensland
Premier Peter
Beattie yesterday backed away from a controversial plan to charge a
“relocation tax” on interstate arrivals.

On the front page of the Herald Sun,Melville Island youngster Malcolm Orsto clutches “Australian
racing’s holy grail – the Emirates Melbourne Cup” which has been
touring Australia and New Zealand in the lead up to the big race. And
there’s been another twist
in the bizarre case of Joe Korp whose lover brutally – and ultimately
fatally – bashed his wife Maria, which led Joe to commit suicide.

In Queensland the Crime and Misconduct Commission inquiry into
allegations of electoral corruption continues. And evidence from beyond
the grave has come back to haunt Gold Coast deputy mayor David Power,
says The Courier-Mail. Emails to and from the late Gold Coast developer Brian Ray tendered to
the inquiry yesterday indicate Cr Power and the late Cr Sue Robbins
were the “drivers” of a developer-led push to take over the council. Another email-related story in The Canberra Times which reveals that

less than three weeks before the devastating 2003 firestorm, senior
figures in the ACT Emergency Services Bureau were being warned by their
own planning officer that bushfires could occur “well within the
suburbs” of Canberra.

“FAMILY’S BATH DEATH AGONY,” reads The Mercury‘s front page, detailing how an inquest held yesterday heard how a woman with severe epilepsy died after
being left alone in a bath at a Hobart respite centre. And $890,000, says Adelaide’s Advertiser, that’s
how much it’s costing taxpayers to subsidise MPs food and drink at
Parliament House, according to a report tabled yesterday. The Westtells readers that under John
Howard’s new industrial regime, unemployed people will be told to
“accept new job deal or lose dole,” even if those jobs exclude overtime
meal breaks or other existing award conditions.

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