THE PICK OF THIS MORNING’S STORIES
How we got China so wrong – John Garnaut in the Melbourne Age
President backed Rio Tinto probe – John Garnaut and Michelle Grattan write in the Melbourne Age that, according to Chinese Government sources, President Hu Jintao personally endorsed the investigation into Rio Tinto that led to the criminal detention of iron ore executive Stern Hu and three staff.
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THIS MORNING’S FRONT PAGES
POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
China and Rio Tinto
China shuts the door on diplomats – China has rebuffed the Rudd government and may force Australian officials to wait a further month for a second visit to detained Rio Tinto iron ore executive Stern Hu – The Australian
Beijing ramps up the humiliation – Greg Sheridan in The Australian says if Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu is not released from a Chinese prison soon, the pressure on Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Kevin Rudd to intervene directly with their counterparts will become irresistible. If it reaches that stage, their intervention will probably be ineffective, and that would be even more humiliating.
Case calls for Kevin Rudd to ring his China plate – argues Glenn Milne in The Australian. Without the laying of serious charges against Stern Hu, followed by a transparent and just trial process, China is in the wrong. Thus far this appears to be an unprovoked and unreasonable act that has the potential to open a significant diplomatic and trade rift between China and Australia.
China plays from a different rule book – The Australian argues in an editorial that China has undermined its claim to be a modern industrialised nation and a safe place to do business with its authoritarian handling of spying and bribery allegations that have landed senior Rio Tinto iron ore executive Stern Hu, a Chinese-born Australian, in prison without charge.
China’s image suffers a savage battering on all fronts – says Michael Sainsbury in The Australian
President backed Rio spy probe – John Garnaut in the Sydney Morning Herald
Privacy safeguard sought for health identity numbers – Health ministers will consult health and privacy groups about developing safeguards for patient identity numbers before they are assigned to every Australian by the middle of next year – Sydney Morning Herald
Teachers to get tough on league table plans – The NSW Teachers Federation will discuss the issue at its annual conference today and has signalled that it is prepared to ban national numeracy and literacy testing next year if this year’s results are used in league tables – Sydney Morning Herald
Regulation and deregulation
New law puts $1b in bank fees at risk – Sydney Morning Herald
New laws to shave banks of $1bn in penalty fees – The banking industry has admitted that nearly $1 billion worth of fee income is at risk once a new consumer law governing unfair contracts comes into force next January – Melbourne Age
Inquiry bodes ill for writers – Jacob Saulwick in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that the Federal Government’s economic advisory body is likely to recommend scrapping copyright provisions preventing the parallel importing of books.
Italy agrees to return Aboriginal remains – Sydney Morning Herald
Navy intercepts Sri Lankan asylum seekers – Melbourne Age
Women, children on refugee boat – Sydney Morning Herald
Asylum-seeker says Australian Federal Police “left us adrift” – The Australian
Minister was told of surge – The Rudd Government was warned last October to prepare for a flood of boat people heading for Australia. But it took seven months to fund new measures to deal with the problem — and the boats are still coming – Melbourne Herald Sun
Victorians rally over racial attacks on Indians – Melbourne Age reports at least 5000 people streamed into Federation Square to celebrate the State Government-sponsored Walk for Harmony yesterday
Unions to push for 15pc super contribution – at ALP national conference – The Australian
Opposition ready to debate fault-based divorce – Tony Abbott’s call for a return to divorce laws where couples have to prove fault has been branded “bizarre” and even his colleagues are lukewarm – Brisbane Courier Mail
Law and order
‘No Tasers’ for deadly police – Victoria Police has failed to tackle the shoot-to-kill culture that made it the nation’s most deadly force, and its officers should not be trusted with Taser stun guns, the state’s police watchdog has declared – The Australian
Criminals change their names by deed poll to evade police – Sydney Daily Telegraph
Better days to arrive ahead of schedule, just mind the landing – Ross Gittins in the Melbourne Age says a quicker-than-expected economic recovery will pose new conundrums for Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull.
Broadband madness: how to waste $43bn – Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age
Military weapons used to kill Australian in Papua – As Drew Grant’s family yesterday struggled to come to terms with the 29-year-old father’s death near the Freeport McMoRan mine in Indonesia where he worked, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said two officers from the Australian Federal Police had arrived in Papua from Jakarta to assist the Indonesian national police with the investigation – The Australian
No need to fear our neighbour to the north – Geoff Strong in the Melbourne Age writes Indonesia is no longer the bogyman, but a bona fide democracy.
Stokes ready for next assault in ongoing media battle – The Australian
Investors look for Stokes plan – Melbourne Age
CSR touting for a major shareholder in its sugar business – Melbourne Age
Power cuts loom as financing fails – The Australian reports that electricity generators are cutting back major maintenance work, raising the risk of California-style power brown-outs, because of uncertainty caused by the federal government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme.
Military sonar may throw whales off course – reports the Brisbane Courier Mail
Murray costs soar as rescue plan flags – Canberra has pumped more than 10 times as much money into Murray-Darling buybacks in 2008-09 than a year earlier and overshot its water purchase budget by almost half, despite underspends on water-saving infrastructure – The Australian
UN advisor berates Rann’s water policies – Adelaide Advertiser
Gore tells PM to lead climate change – Al Gore has challenged the Rudd government to show leadership by rolling out its carbon pollution reduction scheme before the global climate talks in Copenhagen in December – The Australian
Stokes-Packer waiting game – Mark Day in The Australian says Packer has bet big on building up his casino assets in Macau and the US. Seven Network chief Stokes has placed his bets on winning a stake in pay-TV. In the end it won’t be a flip of a card or the roll of a dice that decides the outcome. Stokes’ gambit will be decided on price.
National broadband will usher in a reshaped industry – The federal government has brought forward plans to overhaul Australia’s media laws to accommodate its $43 billion plan to give 90 per cent of the population access to high-speed broadband – The Australian
After the television drama, something to eat – reality TV still has bite. Alongside the drama heroes of 2009, Channel Nine’s Underbelly and Seven’s Packed To The Rafters, ratings have cemented the hit status of Ten’s MasterChef Australia – Sydney Morning Herald
Female managers $13,500 worse off than men – Sydney Morning Herald
The curse of tolerating pain – Volunteers withstood pain for longer when they swore compared with when they used anodyne words, in a study at Keele University in the English Midlands – Melbourne Age
200 Territory kids with STDs… and rising – Northern Territory News
No nano labelling despite concerns – have no way of knowing if the brand of sunscreen they use contains engineered material suspected of causing damage to human cells and DNA – Sydney Morning Herald
Choice seeks power to force action on complaints – Sydney Morning Herald
New grocery giants trigger competitive pricing – Adelaide Advertiser welcomes Aldi and Costco to South Australia
Four girls mums at 13 – The AMA fears the numbers could get worse under the Territory’s mandatory reporting laws that require anyone to report suspicions of sexual activity of youth under 16. “They’re going to be less likely to attend medical practitioners for contraceptive advice,” AMA president Dr Paul Bauert said – Northern Territory News
Super fund rankings ready to go online – Sydney Morning Herald
Young homeless slip through the cracks – Brisbane Courier Mail
Why wasn’t she saved? – Mel bourne Herald Sun tells the story of a toddler now on life support after being bashed, days after welfare officers were told of an earlier attack.
Principal wins backing of government and public – Principals return to work today with unprecedented support to crack down on bad student behaviour, after the Government and the public backed a hardline stance – Brisbane Courier Mail
Government scraps $20 pokie limit – The Courier-Mail has learnt the Government quietly scrapped the $20 note limit for hundreds of machines in recent weeks, despite its own research showing the cap cut problem gambling. The green light for $50 and $100 notes in premium play areas of casinos also comes despite a Cabinet Minister previously labelling the use of large notes in pokies as “disgraceful”.Motor sport
Mark Webber scores maiden Grand Prix win – Melbourne Age