ASIC wants $3.6 million-worth of sorry from West Australian
mining identity Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, for allegedly misleading and
deceiving the market over development of his Christmas Creek deposit in the
Pilbara, reportsThe Australian. And perhaps he should
resign, too, says the paper’s Michael Sainsbury – “For the good of Fortescue
and, more broadly, of the Australian iron ore industry.”

But it will be most interesting to see whether ASIC pursues
Forrest on criminal charges for insider trading, says Elizabeth
in The Sydney Morning Herald. Stock
exchange records show that in February 2005, he sold $3 million in shares. When
it was announced that the Chinese were pulling out, the share price dropped by

Meanwhile, China’s
Aluminium Corp
has won the race to develop an estimated $25 billion bauxite
deposit at Aurukun in our very own Cape York.

In The Smage,
Stephen Bartholomeusz has a reminder for Telstra: “no need to bluff, you are
the key player in the roll-out stakes”.

And home building approvals crumble to their lowest level for almost five years as
the Reserve Bank warns Australia’s
subdued property sector will keep a lid on household spending for some time

Alinta chief Bob Browning’s pitch for control of AGL
will be akin to an election campaign, says John Durie in the Financial Review‘s Chanticleer (not online) – and
he’s ready to wage war. Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch is yet to capture the attention
of the US

In other news, Computershare keeps expanding and expanding
McDonald’s jumps on the java bandwagon… And an unfolding legal battle between “adult” magazine Perfect 10 and Google highlights the
challenge facing anyone trying to make money from creating online content.

On Wall Street, US
stocks closed lower
Thursday, thanks to a rise in long-term interest rates, an increase in
crude-oil prices and general concern about the economy’s outlook. The Dow Jones
closed down 28.02 points at 11,025.51.