RU486 could be available to Australian women in a
matter of months, says The Oz. And what does the passing of the bill actually mean? It’s
difficult to say – because no-one could ever decide what the debate was really
about
.

Tony Abbott has prepared a $60 million, four-year
scheme to offer counselling to women with unwanted pregnancies in a move to counter abortion, says The SMH. And
two peace activists arrested and charged after writing “No War” in
giant red letters across the top of the Opera House back in 2003 have
been
allowed to take their paint and rollers home.

A group of protesters, calling themselves
the “Kerry Packer Dis-memorial Coalition” plan to gather outside the Opera House
during Packer’s memorial service in protest at the public purse footing the
bill, reports the Daily Tele. Police are expecting few problems,
but will have mounted police and a dog squad present just in case.

Money, fame and power – it’ll all be on show today in Sydney, says The Age,
as stars (including Oscar-winning actors and sporting legends – oooh!)
fly in for Kerry Packer’s memorial service. And Australia is being
urged to lift the ban on GM crops, amid fears we’re being left behind by new technologies being used overseas.


The Hez
gives the RU486 debate its local significance with
the news that Victorian MPs voted three to one for the bill, paving the way for its passing.

The Courier-Mail also headlines with RU486 and the rare
conscience vote that saw MPs ignore a last-minute appeal from the PM and vote
to strip Tony Abbott of the right of veto.

BHP is
to spend $700 million to provide water to its Olympic Dam mine – $300
million on a desalination plant at Port Bonython and $400 million on a pipeline
to get the water to the dam after the Premier ruled out taking any more water form the Great
Artesian Basin, says The Advertiser.


The Mercury
is full of news about the upcoming election in Tasmania.
And like elections everywhere, Labor
has gone into public relations overdrive and the Greens have come out fighting after
the Liberals distributed thousands of pamphlets detailing why they can’t
be trusted to run the state.

Contractor John Holland takes more legal action against the
construction union after Mandurah-based workers left work claiming it was too
hot, reports The West Australian Their industrial agreement allows them to leave work if it reaches
37.5 C – which it did, 70 km away in Perth.

The NT News leads with the story of family pet Oscar, a
Maltese Terrier, who was torn apart by a pack of dingoes in his backyard in
Palmerston.

And from The Korea Times
LG is about to start selling air-conditioners that they claim can
prevent the spread of bird flu. The air cons have a special filter
coated with a substance extracted from fermented kimchi – that’s
cabbage, for those who don’t know – and although its effects are
unproven, research done with birds does suggest that it could be
effective in treating avian influenza.

Peter Fray

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