China and Rio Tinto

PM tells China world is watching Melbourne Age

Iron ore rises during spy saga – If China’s arrest of mining and steel company executives was designed to spook iron ore prices lower, the move has backfired hopelessly. The spot market price for iron ore has risen by 10 per cent since China’s crackdown on what it alleges is bribery, corruption and espionage in the country’s iron ore industry – Melbourne Age

World is watching, Kevin Rudd tells Beijing – Kevin Rudd has toughened his rhetoric towards Beijing over the Stern Hu affair, warning that the world will be watching and emphasising that China has significant economic interests at stake in Australia – The Australian

Hu conviction ‘near inevitable’ The Australian finds experts experts on the entwined Chinese legal and political systems who say the government’s only realistic chance to help the detained Rio Tinto executive would come after his sentencing. This is unlikely to happen until the second half of next year.

Six-month wait for visitors at ‘model’ jail where Stern Hu is inmateThe Australian

PM’s harsh tone may misfire – Jennifer Hewett finds Kevin Rudd’s decision to publicly up the ante in his reaction to the Chinese detentions of Rio Tinto executives curious as well as extremely risky – The Australian

Quiet diplomacy helps: Professor Ross Garnaut – former Australian Ambassador to China gives his view to The Australian

PM talks tough, China steps up bribery claims – Sydney Morning Herald

Chinese burn holds more heat than fire – Ian Verrender writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that China’s heavy-handed, even brutal, approach to what should be a commercial dispute has stunned the business world.

Rio exec floored by an iron fist – Dramatic claims that imprisoned mining executive Stern Hu bribed officials in 16 steel mills further heated growing tensions between Australia and China yesterday – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Chinese heap heat on to Rio Tinto – Melbourne Herald Sun

Political corruption


Corrupt ex-minister Gordon Nuttal in jail facing extra charges – former Queensland government minister Gordon Nuttall may face further charges of official corruption after being found guilty yesterday of receiving $360,000 in secret payments from two of the state’s leading businessmen – The Australian

Reality strikes 36 times – Andrew Fraser and Michael McKenna of The Australian write of the convicted former minister who right to the end thinks he did not do anything wrong. Read it and marvel at the mind of a politician.

Peter Beattie’s anger at Gordon Nuttall’s ‘betrayal’ The Australian

Old mates’ act – Gordon Nuttall’s trial has revealed the crony club that runs Queensland – Andrew Fraser gives the background in The Australian

Court rules no plague on Nuttall children’s own houses – Nuttall’s children will be allowed to keep their houses despite his conviction for corruptly receiving money that he claimed was to help them into the property market – The Australian

Gordon Nuttall found guilty of receiving corrupt payments – Brisbane Courier Mail



Brumby tries to gag principals – principals are being forced by the Brumby Government to sign contracts promising not to speak out against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s computers-in-schools policy – or risk losing tens of thousands of dollars in funding – Melbourne Age

Parents charged in Queensland truancy crackdown – Brisbane Courier Mail

Economic matters

Households have lost $602m since crisis beganSydney Morning Herald

Pay cuts, unpaid leave ease bottom lines – A holiday without pay or a pay cut? While workers at Bendigo Bank have been asked to take 10 days of unpaid leave, those who took a voluntary pay cut at Intrepid Travel in January have just resumed full pay and conditions – Sydney Morning Herald

Rollout of jobs scheme ‘a sham’ – says Federal Opposition – The Australian


Author subsidies may not be worth reading about – To the dismay of writers, publishers and small booksellers, on Tuesday the Productivity Commission recommended removing restrictions on book imports to help make them cheaper – Sydney Morning Herald

Immigration and citizenship

Loophole warning over sex offenders – Immigration Minister Chris Evans has been warned that convicted pedophiles may exploit loopholes in Australia’s migration laws to sponsor dependent children for entry into Australia – The Australian

Glory road may take Afghanistan detour – champion speed-skater Tatiana Borodulina has joined the army to speed up an application for Australian citizenship – The Australian

Visa racket leaves foreign students exposed – Sydney Morning Herald

Kiwi criminals eyeing borders with intentMelbourne Herald Sun finds hundreds of Kiwi criminals are trying to enter Australia each year to pursue new illegal activities and escape New Zealand police.

Aboriginal affairs

Lawyers threaten a court walkout – West Australia’s Aboriginal Legal Service has threatened to withdraw its lawyers from a string of courts, saying it cannot cope with the number of Aborigines being hauled before them – The Australian

Elections and pre selections

Theophanous refuses to bow out – Theo Theophanous has caused a headache for the Brumby Government by nominating for preselection for next year’s state election – Melbourne Age

Political fund raising

Tech firms ‘uncomfortable’ about $5000 ALP dinner – Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett will attend an ALP fundraising dinner in Hobart tonight with information and communication technology company executives – The Australian

Political lurks and perks

Rees offers faint support for lunching minister – The Premier, Nathan Rees, said it was up to the minister Ian Macdonald, dubbed “Sir Lunchalot”, to justify close to $150,000 he spent on accommodation, food and drink for a wine advisory council he established – Sydney Morning Herald

Turnbull says PM reckless over VIP flight costs – Brisbane Courier Mail

Political life

NSW has been deflowered by Nathan Rees – NSW Premier Nathan Rees has replaced the waratah with the national flower of India, the lotus in what the Sydney Daily Telegraph is calling he latest – and maybe the greatest – embarrassment yet for the State Government.

Budget matters

The lie of the land for our schools – Education Minister Verity Firth was quick to deny that land from 690 schools was being considered for sale yesterday – before primary school students proved her wrong – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Something is rotten in the Sunshine State – Jamie Walker in The Australian says Gordon Nuttall’s conviction yesterday is far from the end of this very Queensland story of greed and corruption. There is something rotten here, and it reaches beyond a single minister turned bad.

PM turns blind eye on thugs bullying Aussies – Piers Akerman looks at the imprisonment of a mining man in China and the shooting death of another in Indonesia – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Death of author unlikely – Tim Wilson comments in The Australian on the Productivity Commission report and maintains that protecting the book industry panders to the cultural cringe

Skid marks of Utegate overrun carbon fight – Alan Wood in The Australian maintains it would be mad to legislate before Copenhagen, but asks will Turnbull dare face a double dissolution?

Death a reminder of nuclear’s deadly power – Larry Buttrose in the Melbourne Age says there are much safer ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.


Economic matters

UK Unemployment jumps by record 281,000 – The rise took the jobless total to 2.38 million, the highest level since 1995 – The Guardian, UK


Chinese still have taste for Rio ore – Rio Tinto has smashed the market’s June-quarter iron ore targets as it ramped up its big West Australian operations to near full capacity to meet growing Chinese iron ore demand – The Australian

Revealed: secretive arms tycoon behind new uranium mine – Sydney Morning Herald

Kerry Stokes buys up more of James Packer’s empire – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Rudd wants coal to ignite greenhouse scheme – The Federal Government will hold talks with the coal sector today as it tries to enlist industry support for its emissions trading scheme, the vote on which is less than a month away – Sydney Morning Herald

Rees caught pussyfooting on panther sightings – Not only does Nathan Rees believe the elusive fanged feline exists, but so do government scientists who want warning signs to be erected to keep children safe from the clutches of the cat’s claws – Sydney Morning Herald

Government unveils sweeping plans to transform UK into low-carbon economy – The low-carbon transition plan covers all sectors, from home insulation and generating power, to electric cars and high-speed trains – The Guardian, UK

Strong earthquake rattles South Island of New Zealand – Big quake – little damage – The Press, Wellington NZ

Tsunami alert after NZ earthquake – but alert soon withdrawn – Sydney Morning Herald


Kevin Rudd and Al Gore in video to up pressure on Malcolm Turnbull – Soon after the former presidential candidate Al Gore left Kirribilli yewsterday, a video of his chat with Kevin Rudd appeared on the PM’s homepage. The move, aimed at building pressure on Mr Turnbull ahead of the vote on the government climate-change legislation in the Senate next month, is expected to be the first salvo in a new hi-tech assault on the voters in the name of “direct engagement” – The Australian

Mitchell talks could create ad media giant – Speculation s rife that the country’s best-known media buyer, Harold Mitchell, is in talks with the British marketing services company WPP about a proposed merger of their media buying interests in Australia – Sydney Morning Herald

All of Nine’s Afternoons are now yesterday – This Afternoon show axed – Sydney Morning Herald

More journalists implicated in UK hacking scandal – Sydney Morning Herald


Swine flu


Swine flu invades maternity wards – leading to premature births – Melbourne Age. Similar story in Sydney Morning Herald – Swine flu attacking mothers, newborns

Woman is Queensland’s first swine flu fatalityBrisbane Courier Mail

On the swine flu front line – one of the six severely ill people in NSW suffering swine flu, fighting for her life on a cardiac bypass machine, the woman is suffering from respiratory failure – Sydney Daily Telegraph

090716thepressInflux of swine flu patients swamps intensive care unit – The Press, NZ

Witchcraft and sorcery

NZ Mason jailed over sorcery claims – A New Zealand man spent a “wretched” night in a Fiji prison cell after frightened residents and police raided his Freemasons meeting, suspecting witchcraft and sorcery – New Zealand Herald

Law and order

Deputy Police Commissioner Ken Jones wants Victorian sex fiends tagged Melbourne Herald Sun

Speedcam ‘spies’ to protect operators – Adelaide Advertiser

Dodgy document probe ‘on hold‘ – SA Police released a short statement yesterday saying they could not take the investigation further – Adelaide Advertiser

More cracker bans on way – Northern Territory News