Alongside its story on the death of Australia’s
last surviving digger, The Australian leads with the news that Australia
is “opening a third front in the war on terror.”
That new front will be the Philippines – where the Howard Government is currently
preparing to send troops, patrol boats and surveillance aircraft to bolster the
country’s counter-terrorism efforts, following suggestions that Jemaah Islamiah
is using the southern Philippines for its training bases. Meanwhile, former foreign minister
– and current head of the International Crisis Group – Gareth Evans, has lashed
out at the UN,
calling it a “piranha pool of diplomats enjoying tearing flesh off each other,
to the total exclusion of any enthusiasm for high principle or effectiveness of
the organisation.” Evans has condemned the UN’s botched attempt at wholesale
reform in its 60th year as a depressing disaster, although he
continues to support the organisation.

And, following a series of private
meetings between industry executives and cabinet ministers, the car industry
has announced a backflip on its stance on ethanol. In a victory for
the Nationals and the fledgling ethanol industry, car makers will now back
ethanol-blended petrol – and from January, car-makers will put a label on every
petrol-cap flap, telling drivers E10 blends will not corrode their engines or
void their warranties.

The picture we’ve all been waiting for dominates the front
page at The Sydney Morning Herald
– a beaming Crown Princess Mary cradling her tiny, as-yet unnamed Prince,
leaving Copenhagen’s central
hospital. But Bali is the biggest world news at the SMH, where, amidst protests calling for the
immediate execution of Amrozi and fellow bombers Imam Samudra and Mukhlas,
police have warned of a possible terrorist backlash. In a warning intended as
much for Australia as for Jakarta, Bali Police chief I Made Mangku Pastika
warned that expediting the executions could build anger levels beyond a
manageable level – both within and without the region. And of course there’s
more on that tunnel – after weeks of
public anger, the NSW Government has agreed to release the Cross City Tunnel
papers, saying it’ll table them in parliament tomorrow.


The Age
leads with the news
that Australia’s
last surviving World War I soldier, Evan Allan, has died, aged 106. And with
his death, Australia has lost its “last living link with its fighting men of
World War I,” says the paper, telling of Allan’s remarkable life story, which
ended in a Flemington nursing home on Monday night. Elsewhere, trouble is
brewing over the Government’s anti-terrorism laws, with prominent Liberal Petro Georgiou declaring that “multiculturalism is an
ally, not an enemy, in the fight against terrorism,” urging the Government to
set up an independent watchdog to monitor the impact of the legislation. And
Paul McGeough gives us the latest on Iraq, where a “marble-clad building that
Saddam once used to store gifts he received as leader is the setting for the
encounter between the accused and his accusers.” Saddam is facing court today
in the first day of proceedings for a host of charges, beginning with the
murder of 143 people in the village
of Dujail in 1982.

“Meet our first Aussie Prince,” gushes The Daily Telegraph,
with a photo of Mary and child dominating the front page. The Princess “looked
radiant in a long turquoise overcoat and black stilettos, but nervous as she
presented her four-day-old Prince to the public and media – “before she was
whipped away to change nappies at the royal palace at Fredensborg.” The other
news is the big story of last night’s session of NSW parliament, where “raging
MP Andrew Fraser
” assaulted Roads Minister Joe Tripodi after a heated argument
over infrastructure. Tripodi has spoken
out about the ordeal, saying: “It was scary. He was like a raging bull.”

“PRINCE CHARMING” is the Herald Sun splash along with a full page picture of Princess Mary and her new baby. Elsewhere, the Hun reports that sacked veterans affairs minister Danna Vale
was reeling yesterday after war veterans, historians, politicians and
Turkish leaders ridiculed her push to re-create Gallipoli on the
Mornington Peninsula.

The NT Newsreports that Joanne Lees broke down and wept yesterday
as she told of her fear of being raped by the man accused of killing her
boyfriend Peter Falconio, “I was almost more scared of
being raped than of dying, of being shot by the man,” she said. “Then the
realisation hit me that he might have killed Pete … I thought I’m going to
die if I don’t get out of this situation.”

The Courier-Mail reports on the
continuing inquiry into Bundaberg Hospital’s former surgeon, Dr Jayant Patel –
dubbed Dr Death. The Queensland Health inquiry has found that while a public
case was building against him, Patel was painting himself as the victim and
showing little remorse for his actions, which led to the death of 12 to 13
patients.

“SHOTS FOR EVERYONE” screams The Mercury – but no, it isn’t
a state drinking party in Tasmania,
it’s just the paper’s report on Tony Abbott’s comment that he’s considering a
mass vaccination program as
concerns over the spread of bird flu grows. But the big news is of course Mary’s baby, and
the paper reports that “all stops have been pulled out” in preparation
for tonight’s celebrations on the Hobart waterfront, which will include
a firework display to mark the birth of the Prince.

The West Australian leads with more news
on “Labor’s share affair.” While Planning Minister Alannah
MacTiernan and Justice Minister John D’Orazio are unlikely to lose their jobs
over the scandal, it’s been revealed that the two Gallop ministers had links to
Alinta and Alumnia while the government was dealing with the two companies.

And aside from its splash over “our prince,” the big issue at The Advertiser
is water. Irrigators and community groups will be encouraged through
special incentives to donate water to save the Murray, reports the Tiser, as part of a
joint initiative between the Commonwealth and the State Government.
Details of the scheme will be unveiled today.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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