Iraq scraps $800m wheat deals, reports The Australian. Our wheat farmers stand to lose about $800 million a year in
export deals after Iraq suspended its relationship with the
disgraced monopoly wheat exporter yesterday, pending the outcome of the Cole inquiry. Meanwhile, the life sentence handed down by an Indonesian judge has stunned drug mule Renae Lawrence, says the paper.

“My life destroyed for nothing,” reads the SMH
front page headline, the paper reporting that Lawrence was first
bewildered, then in tears yesterday after judges rejected the
prosecutors’ call for a 20-year penalty, on the grounds she co-operated
with investigators. “Someone should have kept their mouth
shut,” said Lawrence after she was
returned to the holding cell.

“Life and Death,” blares the Daily Tele,
plastering the front page with a picture of two of the Bali Nine, Renae
Lawrence and Scott Rush, behind bars. The father of convicted
drug mule Lawrence says she’s devastated at her life sentence
and will probably appeal for a reduced sentence.

The Age
reports that Indonesian judges have indicated that the Bali nine can
expect
no mercy. And Michelle Grattan and Misha Schubert report that the Australian government has put a gag
on public servants
revealing “who, what, when and where” in
relation to the AWB scandal during the Cole inquiry.

The Herald Sun also leads with the merciless Indonesian judges.And umped frontbencher Danna Vale has floated the bizarre theory that Australia is aborting itself out
of existence
and Islam might soon be the dominant religion.

The Courier Mail shifts the focus from Lawrence to fellow convicted drug smuggler Scott Rush, reporting that although he claimed he was duped into
running heroin from Bali to Australia, the Brisbane man has clocked up an extensive criminal history in his short adult
life.

In Tasmania, a local bus strike steals the front page, with The Mercurywarning that thousands of students and workers could be left
to find their own way home today if Metro Tasmania bus drivers decide
to go on strike.

“Penalty at Fuel Pump,” reports The Advertiser, the closure of the Port Stanvac refinery site
has contributed to a petrol price rise of at least 3c a litre for
motorists, according to a Liberal MP and member of a select committee into the fuel
industry.

And the West Australian reports that WA fishermen were fearing a new threat to their livelihoods last night
after a 75m freighter, thought to be carrying a Chinese crew and 270
tonnes of poached reef fish, was discovered in Australia’s northern
waters.

The Chinese fishing boat is big news up north too, with the NT News
devoting its front page to the story, plus the report that rural people
are happier, thank you very much.
The “Bushies” are taking revenge, says the paper, with a national survey showing Territorians are happiest outside Darwin.

Peter Fray

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