AWB: every day a new revelation. Now Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile has been
implicated in the Iraq wheat scandal, with the Cole inquiry hearing
evidence that he met with two executives linked to the illegal
kickbacks. The bombshell was dropped yesterday afternoon in an email tendered to
the inquiry, says The Oz

It was a chance for the ALP to bite back but they didn’t take it: as the mother of all question times on Saddam
Hussein, the opening parliamentary foray of the year in Canberra
yesterday was a disappointment, says Dennis Shanahan in the paper.

Speaking of hot topics, the Senate committee will today bring down the
report on the
controversial pill RU486 before parliament votes on the issue later
this week. And Australians Against RU486 have taken the opportunity to
buy a full
page ad in a daily newspaper warning the controversial drug can
kill, according to the SMH

“Bitch fight on the track,” reports the SMH
with more than a little relish. Last night, 400-metre runner Jana
Pittman accused fellow athlete Tamsyn Lewis, her former best friend,
of creating a “very evil atmosphere” in the Australian athletics
team. Their latest brawl follows Lewis beating an out-of-form Pittman
in Friday night’s 400m Commonwealth Games trial.

In Melbourne’s on-going gangland saga, police suspect that whoever ordered the murder of underworld
figure Mario Condello put a deadline on the hit that was to expire
within weeks. Condello’s trial for incitement to murder was listed to begin
today, says The Age.

Another legal battle is going ahead with former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib suing Nationwide News for defamation in the NSW Supreme Court for
four articles published in 2002 and 2005 that dubbed him a
“suburban terrorist.”

The Herald Sun
goes big on the Condello murder where they’re proposing several
theories as to why he was killed but all of them boil down to one thing
– money.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma struck political gold with the discovery of a
secret deep groundwater source under western Sydney. With drought
looming large on the political agenda in Sydney, Iemma has been able to
indefinitely shelve the deeply unpopular $500 million desalination
plant proposal, says the Daily Tele.

TheCourier-Mail
picks up on Pauline Hanson’s latest career move (with a lovely pic):
real estate agent. She went from selling fish and chips to turning
Australian politics on its head in a few short years. Then there was
the wrongful jailing, and a star turn on a national
ballroom dancing show. You would think she had had enough of the
spotlight. Wrong.

A nice spot of detective work with Customs revealing it became suspicious of an imported speedboat
addressed to Canberra – used to conceal almost 46kg of drugs worth more
than $17million – because it was unusual for a boat to be sent to the
landlocked city, reports The Canberra Times today.

Scandal in Adelaide’s Tiser, which reveals
Council bosses’ salaries soar: THEY’RE PAID LIKE KINGS. Apparently the packages paid to council chief executives
have soared so much that four now receive the same or more than Premier
Mike Rann’s salary.

“Young addicts left to die,” reports The Mercury today. Dr David Jackson resigned as clinical director
of Tasmania’s Alcohol and Drug Service because of frustration with the
“basket case that is the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Good news in The West which
asks “Is this the end of cervical cancer?” Australian researchers are
apparently on the brink of developing a vaccine which could eradicate
the disease.

Peter Fray

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