“Bali bombers were terror target,” says The Australian‘s lead story, with the report that Jemaah Islamiah mastermind Azahari bin Husin – killed earlier this month – was planning a suicide bomb
attack on the Bali bombing memorial service held in Kuta last month for the 202 people who
died in the nightclub bombings of 12 October 2002. Indonesian intelligence sources told The Australian a document,
found on a computer disc detailed plans to hit the service, which was attended by 300
people, including Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

And in Australia’s biggest ever workplace sexism claim,
ex-PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Christina Rich – once the highest-paid
female partner in Australia – returned home to Sydney yesterday to pursue a
$10 million claim against 20 partners from PwC, including CEO Tony Harrington
and the entire board led by chairman Paul Brasher, over allegations of sexual
harassment and discrimination, victimisation and bullying, says the paper. Rich, 41, alleges a partner felt her br*asts and another – her
immediate boss – repeatedly invited her to his hotel room during a conference
in 1999 and adopted a practice of greeting her with a kiss, despite her
objections.

The Sydney Morning
Herald
is lifting the lid on “the ugly 80s,” with a news special reopening
the 25-year-old unsolved mystery of the bashing of left-wing Labor MP Peter Baldwin. Joe
Meissner, one of the central figures in the controversy, has broken his silence,
says the paper, implicating then state ALP secretary Graham Richardson
– who later became a federal Labor minister and a powerbroker – in
the bashing.

And a former Guantanamo
Bay inmate has told the Herald that David Hicks is a
misfit in Guantanamo Bay,
a “Southern redneck” who is learning to write a fishing novel and who loves to
talk about hunting, says one of his former fellow inmates. He is not even a
practising Muslim, says Moazzam Begg, who occupied a neighbouring cell before
his release in January.

The Daily Telegraph
has a photo of Russell Crowe, who will host this weekend’s
Australian Film Institute awards in Melbourne, on its front page. In an
expansive and charming mood, the Oscar winner, joked with journalists, says
the paper
, but his view of the local film industry was far from cheery: “I
would describe it as perilous,” he said. But it’s looking good for tax payers,
says the paper,
with the surplus set to top $10 billion, putting Federal Treasurer Peter
Costello in a position to better this year’s Budget tax cuts.

“The squeeze is on at Games village,” says The Age‘s front page, the paper
reporting
that Commonwealth Games teams may have to rent hotel rooms for some athletes,
or give them brief rotational stints in the Parkville Village, if demand for
beds continues to outweigh supply. Confidential emails detailing the
predicament – and suggesting targets for culling team numbers
– were sent to most of the 71 competing nations by Games Federation chief Mike
Hooper last week.

The paper also runs with the results of a new AgePoll showing Victorian Opposition leader Robert Doyle’s approval rating has slumped
further, giving the Bracks Government a huge lead one year out from the next
election. And in an Age “exclusive,” former
PM Gough Whitlam has spoken out against the execution of Nguyen Tuong Van, calling Singapore a “Chinese
rogue port city” and calling for John Howard to raise the case and capital
punishment at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.

The Herald Sun is
also in a tizzy about the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, reporting that the city’s Flinders St Station will get a $10 million facelift, including
an urgent clean-up in time for the Games. The landmark’s leaking roof will be
waterproofed, says the paper, new escalators and lighting fitted and its
“filthy, stained underpasses renovated.”

“Road terror,” says the Advertiser‘s
huge headline, with the news that 18 students from Ashford Special
School, in Riverland SA, were
rushed to hospital last night after a bus flipped near Waikerie – nothing to do
with terrorists, mind. The school bus and a truck collided, flipping the bus on
to its roof.

An alarming rise in auto theft in the ACT leads news in The Canberra Times, the paper reporting a more than 50% rise in the number of cars stolen in the past six months, according to figures issued
yesterday. In the three months to the end of September, 564 cars were stolen in
the territory, or an average of 47 cars a week!

The front page of the Courier-Mail
carries a photo of Gympie Independent Elisa Roberts, the woman behind
allegations that Liberal Leader Bob Quinn offered her $50,000 to join Queensland’s
Liberal Party. A furious Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg confronted Quinn
in his Parliament House office last night, says the paper,
urging him to step down from the joint Coalition front bench.

Labor has been rocked by a new poll showing its popularity
in Tasmania has plummeted,
reportsThe Mercury. With support for the
Liberals and Greens rising, the survey results suggest Tasmania
could be headed for a hung parliament at next year’s election.

In an update on the Falconio murder trial, The Northern Territory Newsreports
that a service station attendant in NSW has told the court Peter
Falconio was alive a week after his alleged disappearance. Melissa
Kendall told Darwin’s Supreme Court yesterday she served Falconio at
Brown’s service station at
Bourke on Sunday, July 22, 2001.
Apparently, he asked where the toilet was and bought a drink.

And home handymen and building workers have emerged as WA’s
alarming new wave of asbestos disease victims, reports the West Australian, with figures
showing they now account for more cases of deadly mesothelioma than the workers
exposed to blue asbestos mining at Wittenoom between 1940 and the 1960s.