090717eveningstandardfluThey are not yet sending their readers to  panic stations but newspaper editors around the world are getting interested in swine flu again as deaths keep rising.  The headline in the final edition of the London Evening Standard, one of the few remaining afternoon papers published in a major city anywhere, gives the flavour.

The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, has issued a new swine flu update.






Rio Tinto and China

China tells Australia to butt out – China has dismissed Australian concerns about detained Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu as “noise” and warned Canberra not to interfere in its affairs – Melbourne Age

PM caught in China syndrome – Michelle Grattan examines the relationship between Rudd Labor and China – Melbourne Age

Butt out: China’s hard line to RuddSydney Morning Herald

Beijing warns Australia against ‘noisy’ interference in Stern Hu case – The Australian

Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu case draws US interestMelbourne Herald Sun



McClelland gave references for sheik ‘spy’ – The federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, supplied a glowing character reference for a Sydney sheik accused of spying for Iran just months after learning ASIO had rejected his residency application on national security grounds – The Australian

Attorney-General Robert McClelland questioned over link to sheik – Robert McClelland is under pressure to explain his relationship with Iranian sheik Mansour Leghaei amid revelations the Attorney-General endorsed his push to stay in Australia despite knowing ASIO judged him a threat to security – The Australian


Cheaper luxuries as basic necessities soar – researchers from the Reserve Bank have gone back 16 years and discovered in aggregate the price of manufactured goods “has barely changed” since 1993. But prices for basic necessities – food and beverages – and tobacco have soared around 90 per cent since 1993, climbing about 4 per cent a year – Sydney Morning Herald

Economic matters

Chinese growth leaving Australia behindSydney Morning Herald

Stamp duty loophole could cost NSW $50m – Sydney Morning Herald

China’s growth of 7.9pc to rescue world and local economies – The Australian

Currency play nets $200m – The Reserve Bank has made at least $200 million profit in the past two months by trading the Australian dollar and taking advantage of the currency’s volatility, in a move that could improve the government’s fiscal position – The Australian

Free speech

Brumby to revise school principal ‘gag’ – ohn Brumby has conceded that contracts for the computers-in-schools program may need to be rewritten after principals accused the State Government of trying to gag free speech – Melbourne Age



In the zone: wife of Labor MP Bernie Ripoll buys mine boom land – The wife and electorate officer of Labor backbencher Bernie Ripoll – a man who counts the Prime Minister and the Treasurer as friends and is a frequent traveller to China – has established a development company that stands to profit from Chinese mining interests in Queensland –  The Australian


Suburban sprawl costs billions more – Plans to build thousands of homes on Melbourne’s fringes will cost Victorians around $40 billion more than if they were built in existing suburbs, a new State Government report shows – Melbourne Age

Industrial relations

Ambos threaten walk-off – Paramedics say they will walk off the job next Wednesday unless the Government meets their demands for longer rest breaks and higher pay – Melbourne Age

Race relations

Minister moves to buy back Islamic school site – An ALP-dominated western Sydney council has lobbied the NSW Government to prevent an Islamic school opening in its area, despite Land and Environment Court approval for the development. This week Education Minister Verity Firth ordered the Education Department to negotiate to buy the site but denied the council’s letter played a part in her decision. The land was now needed for a school for disabled children, she said – Sydney Morning Herald


Bligh condemns corrupt politician – Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, yesterday sought to distance her Government from the corrupt conduct of a former Labor minister, declaring Gordon Nuttall’s behaviour “appalling” and warning that his taxpayer-funded superannuation would be confiscated and his assets sold – Sydney Morning Herald

Foreign students

College crash strands 350 foreign studentsMelbourne Age

Overseas students in limbo as college collapses – The Australian


We need nuclear-powered subs to patrol Asia: lobby – The Navy League says Australia’s 12 new submarines should be nuclear-powered to give them the range and speed to carry out extensive patrols off North Asia – Sydney Morning Herald


Australians deserve access to cheaper books – Michael Wilding argues in the Sydney Morning Herald that the advantage of cheaper books across the board for all readers surely far outweighs the interests of a handful of writers

Recovery remains tied to Beijing – Michael Stutchbury writes in The Australian that Australia’s stockmarket still takes its lead from overnight Wall Street trade, but our lucky country economy is becoming more firmly hitched to China’s remarkable V-shaped recovery.

Clock ticking for weakened leader – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian believes Rudd should be under pressure on several issues but it’s Turnbull who is struggling.

Change your tune, Peter – Andrew Bolt in the Melbourne Herald Sun says Peter Garrett’s excuse – that he’s now a Labor minister, obliged to toe the collective Labor line – doesn’t cut it with him.


Chinese growth

China growth soars to 8pc on stimulus packageThe Australian



BNZ’s $645m defeat sets NZ tax record – The Bank of New Zealand has lost what is believed to be New Zealand’s biggest tax avoidance case. The ruling, which the BNZ says it will appeal against, is bad news for four other banks that are also fighting the Inland Revenue Department.
090717nzheraldhowThe combined sum the tax department is seeking from BNZ, Westpac, ANZ National, ASB and Rabobank is about $2.4 billion – New Zealand Herald

Economic matters

Fitch downgrades outlook for NZ sovereign rating – Credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded the outlook for New Zealand’s AA+ sovereign credit rating to negative from stable and has warned that severe economic imbalances mean the government should dramatically tighten its purse strings – New Zealand Herald


Bloodiest month in Afghan conflict – July is shaping up as the deadliest month of the Afghan war for US-led international forces, with the number killed already matching the highest full-month toll of the nearly eight-year conflict – The Australian


CIT on the brink after bail-out talks fail – Shares in CIT, the embattled US small-business lender, plunged more than 70 per cent on Thursday after the failure of government bailout talks prompted growing fears of a bankruptcy filing. If the group were to file for Chapter 11 protection, it would be the fourth-largest bankruptcy by assets in the US. However, restructuring experts say it could eventually end up in liquidation, given CIT’s difficulty in attracting additional funding and the lack of obvious white knights – London Financial Times


Uranium mine digs deeper – A uranium mine in Kakadu National Park has been given the green light to explore a new ore deposit without the need for environmental assessment – Northern Territory News


Net Trap – Shock at $500 bill for web movies – Downloaded on to student Jack Featherston’s laptop it cost $289 in internet charges. At Big W it would have been $9.99 – Geelong Advertiser

Blog standard approach brings PM to the people – Kevin Rudd’s cautious approach to accepting comments from readers has led to a cool response from some of Australia’s leading bloggers – Sydney Morning Herald


Swine flu

Ten die, and pregnant women told to don masksSydney Morning Herald

Swine flu claims 12 lives in four days – The Government’s chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said 26 people had died in England and three in Scotland since the epidemic began. Health officials are now preparing for a “worst case scenario” of 65,000 deaths this year in what they fear may only be the first wave of the disease.They believe 30 per cent of the population could be infected and expect 0.35 per cent of those people to die – London Evening Standard

Swine flu sidelines elective surgery – The Australian

The law

Like the Dickens – seven years in court at $15m, in search of an apology – Richard Ackland in the Sydney Morning Herald gives us a rattling good legal yarn



‘Alloween all … Pc’s pagan holiday – A pagan police constable has won the right to take holidays on Halloween and the summer solstice in a move designed to encourage greater diversity within forces – London Evening Standard

The drink

$300m in sponsorship at risk as booze bans loom – Premier sporting codes would be stripped of up to $300 million a year in alcohol sponsorship under a radical blueprint for fighting disease and increasing life expectancy – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Move to ban sports alcohol sponsorship – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s hand-picked National Preventative Health Taskforce will recommend a total ban on alcohol sponsorship associated with sport and an end to alcohol advertising on the internet and in youth magazines – Adelaide Advertiser

Chief Commissioner Simon Overland blames Generation Brat – Melbourne Herald Sun

The meat

State politicians debate camel eating – In proof proof the big issues are on the menu at State Parliament, MPs have considered whether the state should eat its feral camel population – Sydney Daily Telegraph