John Howard’s in damage control today, with news in The Oz that AWB will be asked to temporarily
forgo its export monopoly as the Howard Government attempts to stem the
damage from the illegal kickbacks scandal and salvage $800 million in
lost wheat contracts with Iraq.


And Bali Nine ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have become the
first Australians to be sentenced to death for drug trafficking in
Indonesia. In the meantime, the firing squad will be practising on dolls, reports the SMH, determined to find a new angle to the story. The Hez
has a step-by-step guide to how the execution will be carried out. And
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is still hopeful for clemency, says
the Daily Tele.

But Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick
Keelty remained unrepentant, according to the Courier-Mail,
yesterday refusing to apologise for the role the service played
in telling Indonesian authorities about the Bali Nine. Given similar
circumstances in the future, Mr Keelty said the AFP would act in the
same way. Just don’t do drugs in the first place, Howard begged young people in The Advertiser.

It’s the hottest ticket in town, says the SMH: the luncheon due to follow Friday’s Kerry Packer memorial service. The lunch has become the talk of Sydney’s elite,
with one particularly vexing question: who has made it onto the
guest list and who has not?

Speaking of conversations we’d like to eavesdrop in on, ASIO and Australia’s police forces are likely to be given
unprecedented power to tap the phones of innocent third parties
during major crime and terrorism investigations, reports The Age. The legislation – the Telecommunications (Interception)
Amendment Bill – will be introduced in Federal Parliament on
Thursday.

It had to happen. An iPod has been blamed for the death of an Australian woman in
London, says The Age.

The Commonwealth Games are on their way to Melbourne and at the 28 day mark, the Hez
reports that the transformation of the city has started in earnest.
“We’re ready for the Games
and now we just have to get dressed,” Games Minister Justin Madden
said. “There will be banners, miles of ‘look’ spread right across
Melbourne.”

Ahead of the big memorial service for his father, Australia’s richest man, James Packer, has told Alan Carpenter he would
spend more than $500 million transforming Burswood into a world-class
entertainment complex if he was allowed poker machines at the Perth
casino, notes The West. Mr Packer and three senior executives from his public flagship
Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd held a 35-minute meeting with the
Premier in his office in Governor Stirling Tower on Monday.

In the NT News,
news that serial fraudster used her job at the Department of the Chief
Minister to steal more than $24,000, a Darwin court has heard.

And in Battery Point, Tasmania, citizens will have to sit back and
smell the coffee after the Hobart City Council approved an application
from Oomph! Tasmanian Gourmet Coffee in Hampden Rd to continue roasting
coffee beans despite the emissions they cause, says The Mercury.

Peter Fray

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