Testing the Chinese friendship. Australia’s deteriorating relations with China will shortly get another severe test when the unofficial leader of the Uighurs, Rebiya Kadeer, pays us a visit. Mrs Kadeer is planning to urge the Rudd Government to take a stand over China’s violent repression of demonstrations in her homeland. She will also be asking Australia to give a home to the remaining Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

The Chinese will be angry enough that Ms Kadeer is being allowed to visit at all. They will really be huffing and puffing in annoyance if she is granted a meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Mrs Kadeer will be in Australia for the premiere of a documentary at the Melbourne Film Festival about her life and the struggle of her people. The Chinese consulate has already tried to persuade the Festival not to show the film.

Continuing to impress. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon is clearly a politician of great skill. The swine flu outbreak had the potential to be a real difficulty for the government but she has handled the changing circumstances with calm efficiency.

Headline of the day: “back, sack and crack”. Der Spiegel brings us the news that the battle against body hair has reached the genital areas. Young people increasingly feel that their pubic hair is disgusting and uns-xy and are undertaking drastic measures to get rid of it. According to a just published poll by Leipzig psychologist Elmar Brähler, 50 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 25 admit to shaving their pubic hair. The study also shows that men in the same group are following their lead: A quarter of them either trim or remove their pubic hair.

The sniping continues. The sniping away in The Australian at Liberal Leader Malcolm Turnbull continues. Political Editor Dennis Shanahan was at it again at the end of last week saying that his “damaged leadership authority is threatening to create an atmosphere of political and policy paralysis for the opposition.” Fear of further eroding his standing after a dramatic loss of public support is limiting the Liberal leader’s actions and options. The main thing lacking in this critical analysis is any solution for a Party where there is no one foolhardy enough to think they could do a better job. I notice that the bookmakers believe that Turnbull will keep the job until the next election. Based on the betting markets I have calculated the following Crikey Liberal Leader Indicator:

But Rees to go? The money men are not confident that NSW Premier Nathan Rees will hang on to his position until election day. He is only the third pick on our Crikey NSW Labor Leader Indicator to lead Labor at the next state poll

Not that a change of leader is likely to make any difference. The Crikey Election Indicator has the Liberal and National Coalition a very firm favourite to take over as soon as the people get a chance to cast a vote.