Australia
cricket captain Ricky Ponting occupies the front page of The Australian,
having became the first multiple winner of the prestigious Allan Border
Medal last night after a year in which his bat did the talking. And in
AWB news, the paper reports that government officials who approved AWB
wheat
contracts with Iraq failed to do a simple comparison with world grain
prices
that would have exposed the 41 deals as vastly inflated.

The former Iraq manager of Australia’s wheat exporter turned whistleblower Dominic Hogan says he
feared raising the illicit payments to Saddam Hussein’s regime
would be “career suicide” and that it was well known at the highest
levels of the company that it was breaching UN sanctions, reports the SMH.

Do we detect a note of glee in The Daily Tele’sfront
page report that Latham has been charged with assault, theft and
malicious damage following an altercation with their photographer last
month? The paper reports that Latham could face up to 14 years in jail
over the offences (wishful thinking?)…

Melbourne’s gangland wars have erupted again, reports The Age – last night former
lawyer and Carlton identity Mario Condello was gunned down near
his Brighton home on the eve of a court appearance. Condello, 53, was allegedly to be killed at the Brighton cemetery
18 months ago and last night he was killed a block from the cemetery. I prayed over him, says Condello’s priest, and just for good measure, the paper includes Melbourne’s complete gangland death toll, complete with timeline.

The Herald Sun has its sights set firmly on the reignited gangland wars, reporting the body of Mr Condello, a senior member of the
so-called Carlton Crew,
was found in his garage by his wife about 10pm, and a neighbour is on hand to tell of the screams.

Cricket dominates The Mercury’s front page – Tasmanian Ponting grabs the headlines
as he was “officially
recognised last night as Australia’s greatest cricketer when he became
the only player to win the Allan Border Medal twice,” says the paper,
but it was Warne who stole the limelight by taking his adorable eldest
daughter Brooke as his date.


Kerin’s “off to a flying start,” reports The Advertiser as it focuses on SA politics, reporting that Opposition Leader Rob Kerin has gone on the
front foot to steal the election campaign initiative from Labor,
challenging Premier Mike Rann to a public debate on the economy.

Dr Death earns a spot on The Courier Mail’s
front page, with the report that “rogue surgeon” Jayant Patel is set to
face charges over only four of the 17 patient deaths to which he has
been linked. A ten-month investigation has recommended the former
Bundaberg Base
Hospital doctor face four counts of manslaughter, eight of grievous
bodily harm and 16 counts of fraud.

WA may soon have one legal system for Aboriginals and another for
non-Aboriginals, reports The West Australian, after a five-year law reform study called for an
overhaul of Aboriginal sentencing.

And the NT News reports that a woman and her four young children
are stranded on a remote Territory cattle station after almost 600mm of
rain was dumped on it in just 72 hours.

Peter Fray

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