“Leave it to Diva,” says the front page of The Australian, with a huge full page
photo of the mare that’s the favourite to take out tomorrow’s Melbourne Cup, if
she runs. Someone certainly seems to think she will, with a mystery punter betting $1 million on Makybe Diva to win the race. The wager, placed by an
anonymous overseas businessman, is the biggest individual outlay on a single
bet in Melbourne Cup history since Kerry Packer’s famous win on Might And Power
in 1997.

In political news, Peter Costello’s department is the
government’s worst regulator, says the paper.
According to his own economic advisory body, the Productivity Commission, only
38% of Treasury’s business regulations had been adequately assessed before it
was decided to implement them. And Kim Beazley faces an internal Labor Party revolt on two fronts today, says the paper, over
failing to argue against “draconian” anti-terrorism legislation and unveiling
his own proposal to ban books that promote hate and violence.

And in international news, The Australian‘s Jakarta correspondent Sian Powell writes that tensions on the edge of the international border between
Indonesia and the East Timorese enclave of Oecussi are running high.

The Sydney Morning Herald also leads with a photo and story on Makybe Diva. And the controversial terror
bill also makes the front page, with the report that a de facto alliance of Liberal Party moderates, state premiers and Labor’s
left wing appears set to delay and water down the Federal Government’s proposed
laws. And opposition to the proposed laws is mounting from outside political circles,
says the paper,
with more than 30 doctors and lawyers gathering to protest
against them at Kirribilli House yesterday.

It’s Makybe Diva again on the front page of The Daily Telegraph,
with the News Limited “exclusive” on that $1 million flutter by an overseas anonymous
better, also reported in The Oz. And
on the new terror laws, the paper has a slightly different slant, reporting
that Prime Minister John Howard has stood firm on their hardline measures –
including the proposal that “terrorist sympathisers” who preach hate on the internet will be jailed
for seven years under a final draft of the legislation. And in a report from Saturday’s Derby Day racing event at Melbourne’s Flemington, Desperate Housewives‘ diva Eva Longoria
“caused pandemonium wherever she went” at the track, by displaying a hickey on
her neck.

In the Melbourne Cup’s home town, The Age‘s front page reports that, following threats to withdraw the $5 million race’s two
major drawcards Makybe Diva and Vinnie Roe if the track is too hard, Victoria
Racing Club was frantically watering the track. The controversial move has seen some
questioning whether this could give the two favourites an unfair advantage. Racing
aside, the paper’s lead story reports
a sharp rise in medical errors in Victoria’s
hospitals, including operations on the wrong body part or the wrong patient,
overdoses of medication and surgical equipment left in patients after
operations.

In international news, The
Age
reports that Indian police have combed the sites of three powerful blasts in New
Delhi for clues as to who carried out co-ordinated
attacks that killed at least 61 people just days before major Hindu and Muslim
festivals. More than 180 people were injured.

“Three times a Diva,” says the Herald Sun’s front page
splash, the paper joining in the nation’s “Makybe fever.”
And in another News Ltd exclusive,
tax cuts of $18 a week from next year are affordable, according to economic
research commissioned exclusively by the Herald
Sun
.


Behind a full-page photo of, you guessed it, Makybe Diva, The Advertiser leads with the news that right-hand turns from King William
St in the city will be banned next year to make
way for trams, with Lord Mayor Michael Harbison saying Melbourne-style hook
turns are an option.

The Canberra Times
leads with the government’s terror bill, with a report claiming the ACT has been
effectively locked out of talks on the proposed anti-terrorism legislation as
the PM tries to shore up states’ support for the changes by today. Chief
Minister John Stanhope says he was not included in recent talks between the six
premiers and John Howard who needs the green light from only four states.

The Courier-Mail‘s top story is on the same $18-a-week tax cut – reported in the Herald Sun – that the Federal
Government could afford to give Australian workers from next year, according to
research this time apparently commissioned exclusively by The Courier-Mail.

The West Australian leads with the news that the Federal Government has called on the States to
scrap liberal cannabis laws, saying they are sending the wrong message to
users. Parliamentary secretary for health Christopher Pyne said it would be
irresponsible for States to continue liberal laws after recent reports linked
cannabis to mental illness.

In Tassie, the lead news in The Mercury is that Hobart has been hit by an outbreak of potentially deadly salmonella
poisoning, with nine people contracting the infection, three of whom were
treated at hospital.

And the Northern Territory News leads with a report claiming
$460,000 was stolen through welfare fraud in the Territory last financial year,
while 67 Territorians were convicted of welfare fraud in 2004-2005.