THE PICK OF THE MORNING’S STORIES

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Gordon’s final throw of the diceLondon Evening Standard

Local elections: Labour suffers humiliating defeat after losing control of its last county councils and heading for third place behind the Liberal Democrats. – Daily Telegraph, London

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

AUSTRALIA

Promotions

Faulkner takes aim at DefenceSydney Morning Herald

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‘Field Marshal’ Faulkner takes the helmMelbourne Age

Greg Combet tipped for Rudd ministryThe Australian

Demotions

Fitzgibbon promises to ‘deal’ with JudasesSydney Morning Herald

A minister and his series of unfortunate events – the departure of Joel Fitzgibbon – Melbourne Age

Political life

ALP cuts down achieving, passionate women: Marion ScrymgourThe Australian

Scrymgour: I am saneNorthern Territory News

Initiative on MPs’ travel won’t go farThe Australian on WA travel allowances

The political peril of siblings – Annabel Craabb in the Sydney Morning Herald

Visits

MPs’ trip to see the Dalai Lama angers ChineseSydney Morning Herald

A hint of strange things

PM joins used car dealer’s ‘exclusive’ fraternityBrisbane Courier Mail

RBA offshoot talked money with SaddamSydney Morning Herald

Economic conditions

Average annual power bills set to rise $300 in Queensland – Brisbane Courier Mail

Costs, taxes on the up and up in QueenslandBrisbane Courier Mail

Hamilton-Smith responds to SA State Budget and says Government needs to be held to account for exposing taxpayers to debt of State Bank proportions – Adelaide Advertiser

We still want your money, Rudd tells ChineseSydney Morning Herald

Industrial Relations

Martin Ferguson lashes out at unions – declaring they should be more focused on protecting the jobs of their members than agitating for a second wave of workplace laws. – The Australian

Opinion

Oh what a lovely crisis – Paul Kelly in The Australian says that on both the economy and defence management, the Rudd Government finishes this week significantly strengthened.

Labor’s factions ‘gone’, not forgotten – writes Lenore Taylor in The Australian

Liberals’ divided men – Peter van Onselen writes in The Australian that there is one issue that unites MPs on the non-Labor side of the parliament: the Government’s debt bill is too high and Labor is too readily prepared to run budget deficits.  Importantly, it intellectually unites the two most formidable Liberals in the parliament, Peter Costello and Malcolm Turnbull. This is potentially fertile ground for an Opposition down in the polls and searching for relevance. It is a shame, practically speaking, the two men can’t work together.

Exports real key to recovery – says Michael Stutchbury in The Australian

Subplot thickens for Marion Scrymgour – Natasha Robinson delves into the strange world of Northern Territory style Labor politics – The Australian

Defence and the enemy within – Laurie Oakes on the new Defence Minister in the Sydney Daily Telegraph

Down goes the first domino – Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald on how the ousting of Joel Fitzgibbon brings Kevin Rudd down to earth with a thud

Everybody loves Julia: why Gillard is No. 2 with a bullet – Peter Hartcher in The Sydney Morning Herald

No valid defence – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age says it is clear that there was a conspiracy to get rid of Joel Fitzgibbon, but his own actions helped engineer his downfall.

The bar’s closed for the good ol’ boys – Tony Wright goes down memory lane and finds the Fitzgibbon family – Melbourne Age

ELSEWHERE

The Presidency

090606miamiheraldObama in Egypt: ‘It’s time for us to act’ on peaceDuring a groundbreaking visit to Egypt, President Barack Obama spoke bluntly on the Israel-Palestinian chasm, calling for mutual understanding and peaceMiami Herald

US Jewish concerns over Obama speechMelbourne Age

Elections

Lebanese expat voters jump at free-flight dealThe Australian

Political life

Brown reshuffle – Caroline Flint plunges in the knifeLondon Times

BUSINESS

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Old foes BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto shake on $140bn historic dealThe Australian

Chinalco can blame it on Rio Tinto for failed mergerThe Australian

Sweet victory for BHP as Rio yieldsThe Australian

Exit the dragon – An objectionable deal finally became undeliverable, write Jamie Freed and John Garnaut in the Sydney Morning Herald

Tax threshold raised for staff share schemesSydney Morning Herald

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MEDIA

The Chaser suspended for two weeks over sick kids sketch Sydney Daily Telegraph

ENVIRONMENT

Follow US, defer vote on climate change, say LiberalsThe Australian

Fielding’s climate mission – the Senator meets some sceptics on a US visit – Melbourne Age

LIFE

Swine flu

Melbourne the swine flu capital of the worldThe Australian

Victoria on swine flu alarm listMelbourne Age

Therapy

Shock therapy forced on patients Sydney Morning Herald