Plenty of words about spin this morning as the pundits delight in the absurdity of government ministers who won’t say the “billion” word.

PICK OF THE MORNING’S STORIES

AUSTRALIA

Mr Fix-it out to prove it’s not spin – Sydney Morning Herald

Workers slam Rudd policy – The Australian talks to some workers about retirement age

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

AUSTRALIA

Budget debate

Revolt by unions on work to 67The Australian

Labour, business hail employee share backdown foreshadowed by Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen – The Australian

Changes ‘defeat’ simpler tax plan – more people will need help of an accountant – The Australian

It’s back to basics for employee share plansSydney Morning Herald

Labor to revamp share-scheme taxMelbourne Age

Government U-Turn on changes to employee share plansMelbourne Herald Sun

Infrastructure projects

Mr Fix-it out to prove it’s not spinSydney Morning Herald

Melbourne’s $4.3bn rail link to dwarf cost of cross-country routeThe Australian

PM’s 35,000 construction sites – to roll out in the next 12 months – The Australian

Light rail extension could run within a year – a proposal to extend Sydney’s light rail line is about to go to a key NSW cabinet committee – Sydney Morning Herald

Minister backs local jobs in bid to head off union brawlMelbourne Age

Aboriginal Affairs

090524theaustralian290They might have gone for different leads but both have put Aboriginal matters on page one

Macklin lays down law on town camp seizures – Jenny Macklin says she has taken her toughest stand as Indigenous Affairs Minister by telling the Tangentyere Council she will compulsorily acquire the town camps of Alice Springs unless it accepts her $125 million offer to upgrade them. – The Australian

Macklin cites camp horrors – Melbourne Age

Pearson brothers face off over Cape – and World Heritage listing – The Australian

Territory land resumption ‘clearly discriminatory’Sydney Morning Herald

A hint of strange things

RBA link to tax-haven payments – the Melbourne Age looks at some payments to agents for the bank’s note printing technology

Victoria has become a dirty state: BaillieuMelbourne Age

PM blocks diplomatic posting – Melbourne Age

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Hard times

Sydney families forced onto streets as recession hits hardSydney Daily Telegraph

Health

Government cool on hospital takeover – and instead will seek control of other health areas including outpatient care and community health services.

Hospital takeover cannedMelbourne Age

Mentally ill violent offenders ‘lost’ by Queensland HeathBrisbane Courier Mail

Opinion

Voters wary of same old Labor – Glen Milne, The Australian

We’re sunk if commodity prices fall – David Uren in The Australian

Spun out – Paul Kelly, The Australian

When the heat is on, bushfire bureaucrats duck for cover – David Burchell, The Australian

Abbott foray will highlight tussle within Coalition – Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald

Shhh … don’t mention bad economic news – Ross Gittins argues the Government is doing a good job of keeping the lid on recession pessimism. Sydney Morning Herald

ELSEWHERE

Opinion

The Case for Working With Your Hands – Changes in the economy have had the surprising effect of making the manual trades more attractive as careers argues Matthew B. Crawford in The New York Times

Protection

090524dominiontrade1

Trade wars: Kiwis’ standard of living at risk – Dominion Post, New Zealand

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BUSINESS

Competition regulator rues mega-bank might as Commonwealth Bank/BankWest and Westpac/St George Bank — took a combined 85 per cent of Big Four mortgage growth – The Australian

Qantas to ditch long-haul first class The Australian

Inquiry into bosses who fail to pay superSydney Morning Herald

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MEDIA

ABC web centres a threat to investorsThe Australian

Green spin on cost cuts – Media Diary in The Australian

News website for bloggers to punch above its weightThe Australian

Regional people in black hole – Mark Day on the government’s still emerging plans for digital television – The Australian

Oprah’s love of Amazon Kindle fuels eBook interest – Downloading books by wi-fi will soon be changing the way the UK reads says Daily Telegraph, London

Michael Haneke’s ‘The White Ribbon’ wins Palm D’Or – The Times, London

‘In the Sudan famine, people would die as you were filming‘ – New author Ben Brown tells The Independent why he feels such guilt over his war reporter years

ENVIRONMENT

‘Stop eating lamb and drinking beer if you want to save the planet’ – Daily Telegraph, London, quotes a government adviser

Jobs boom to follow $31b of investment following the introduction of an emissions trading scheme – Sydney Morning Herald

LIFE

Dark deeds

090524sundaytimespoet

Oxford poetic election sex rowLondon Sunday Times

Swine flu

Swine flu plea to keep kids home – when returning from countries where flue prevalent – The Australian

Swine flu holiday ban hits childrenSydney Morning Herald

Parents slam authorities’ flu response Melbourne Age

Flu danger is real, this year and every other year – Editorial, Melbourne Age

Diets

PM Kevin Rudd’s wife Therese Rein shows off slim new lookSydney Daily Telegraph

Peter Fray

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