Quote of the day:

”They are not impaired by an inability to make judgments about their own best interests. They do make judgments about their own best interests and they make the wrong judgments.”

Neil Young, QC, arguing for Crown Casino that pathological gambling did not mean a person lacked control over their actions.





Australia and China

Money talks in China deal – Australia will supply $50 billion worth of liquefied natural gas to China over the next 20 years in the nation’s biggest ever trade deal. The deal came as Foreign Minister Stephen Smith yesterday confirmed that China had cancelled a vist from a senior official in retaliation for Australia granting a visa to exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer – Melbourne Age

Piping hot: $50b gas deal with China shows the resoources boom is far from over- Sydney Morning Herald

Australia signs $50bn gas deal with ChinaThe Australian

Behind the bars with the Rio four – Zhang Peihong, lawyer for one of the imprisoned Rio four, says his client has not been abused, he has not been tortured and nor has he been asked to write any form of self-confession – Melbourne Age

Economic matters

Experts reveal stimulus doubts – Canberra’s unprecedented stimulus spending to save Australia from the “worst recession since the Great Depression” is coming under increasing fire from economists as consensus builds that the downturn will be a shallow one – The Australian

Call for rich to pay for deficit – Australia’s wealthiest taxpayers would be slugged with a special tax surcharge as part of a proposal before the Rudd Government – Adelaide Advertiser


Coalition split on asylum seekers – The Coalition has split over immigration detention in a turbulent party-room debate, with Liberal senator Judith Troeth vowing to cross the floor to let belated asylum seekers win rights to paid work and Medicare – Melbourne Age


A filly backed to lead Labor – The online bookie Centrebet is reporting a two-day plunge on Kristina Keneally to lead the Labor Party at the next NSW election – Sydney Morning Herald

Liberal leaders get power to pick candidate – Malcolm Turnbull and Barry O’Farrell will have unprecedented powers to hand-pick candidates for key NSW seats under a rule change to be approved by the Liberal Party’s state executive – Sydney Morning Herald

Decoding the battle between leaders – Dennis Shanahan outlines the messages both sides have received from their focus group research – The Australian

All guns turned on Turnbull – Kevin Rudd has launched a multi-pronged attack on Malcolm Turnbull’s judgment, in a bid to put the Opposition Leader to the political sword in the wake of the OzCar affair – The Australian

NSW Premier Rees on slide as voters lose patience: Newspoll – than half of voters have become dissatisfied with the performance of NSW Premier Nathan Rees, according to the latest Newspoll – The Australian

Belinda Neal’s plot for premier spot – John Della Bosca has received backing to take over Premier Nathan Rees’ job – from his controversial wife Belinda Neal – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political lurks and perks

Politicians to receive $1000 extra travel paySydney Morning Herald


Big challenges ahead for next ICAC chief – A respected 71-year-old judge in the Court of Appeal, who has served part-time in Fiji’s Supreme Court and been a critic of long and complex litigation, will become the next commissioner of the state’s anti-corruption watchdog – Sydney Morning Herald


Labor MPs support new calls to legalise abortion – At least three Labor MPs are supporting a new push to change the state’s 40-year-old abortion laws – Sydney Morning Herald


Private school parents put tables low on list – Parents of children at private schools say they are not as interested in school performance tables as the Federal Government claims they are – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

Aboriginal housing consultant axed after criticism of federal programThe Australian


Dragon is cross, but it’s business as usual – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald asks is it possible for a medium-sized country to stand up to an angry China politically and still do a booming trade with the difficult dragon and answers yes, as the Rudd Government has just demonstrated.

A blow for equality, but sexist whingers need their ears boxed – Jacqualine Magnay in the Sydney Morning Herald on the IOC decision to make women’s boxing an Olympic sport.

A bumpy old time at the metaphor factory – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald finds some new examples

Ferguson fires up Asia’s interest in Gorgon project – Matthew Stevens writes in The Australian that Martin Ferguson’s dash through Asia’s gas markets has boosted his standing in the Australian resources sector, given the impetus it has helped to create for the next big thing in energy, Chevron’s $50billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas project.

Tale of final straws and camel backs – Rowan Callick argues in The Australian that China as launched a two-track strategy to manage its increasingly strained relationship with Australia, encouraging investment to continue while freezing out Canberra on the official front.

PM’s stand on Beijing pleases Obama – Greg Sheridan reckons today that the Rudd government may be in bad odour in Beijing, but its steady management of the quite serious crisis in Canberra-Beijing relations has won discreet but high praise from the Obama administration in Washington – The Australian

Renewable energy target initiative is mad, bad tokenism – says Paul Kelly in The Australian

Coober Pedy’s great leap backward – Life for many Aborigines is patently worse than it was 50 years ago, writes John Pasquarelli in The Australian


USA health care

Public Option Called Essential: Democratic Lawmakers Express Concern – Several leading Democrats voiced concern Monday about an apparent White House shift on health-care reform, objecting to signals from senior administration officials that they would abandon the idea of a government-run insurance plan if it lacked the backing to pass Congress – Washington Post


Kabul locks down in fear of Taliban Sydney Morning Herald


Jakarta bombers tied to Mid-East militantsMelbourne Age


Palin’s Red Menace – Richard Cohen in the Washington Post on how Sarah Palin has turned health-care reform into her own form of McCarthyism.


MacBank in $250m airport gain – Macquarie Group is poised to book $250 million in revenue on the sale of its management rights of Macquarie Airports, with about half that amount likely to go directly to Macquarie Group staff – Melbourne Age


Calf sighting gives right whales new hope – A whale calf in the inshore waters of Tasmania is living proof that the southern right whale is returning from near extinction – Melbourne Age


Robert Novak, Long-Time Conservative Columnist, Dies at 78: Washington’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ Broke High-Stakes Scoops – Washington Post


Bush fires

People are taking bushfire action nowMelbourne Age

090819geelongbushfiresFire hot spots revealed – Geelong region, Surf Coast and Otways dominate a fire hot spot list ahead of this year’s bushfire seasonGeelong Advertiser

Victorians warned whole state is an extreme fire danger – Melbourne Herald Sun

Personnel management

Witch bank? The Reserve, of course – The Reserve Bank of Australia paid $500,000 to a self-styled ”white witch” to oversee an ultimately disastrous workplace overhaul at its bank-note printing company – Melbourne Age


Revealed: What’s in the Tigers’ tank – Three Wests Tigers rugby league players – including their captain, Robbie Farah – were photographed at training using their secret weapon in the race to the finals: masks to inhale an artificial oxygen mixture to help recover from injury – Sydney Morning Herald


Industry told to shape up as obesity rate climbs – The Rudd Government’s preventive health taskforce is believed to call for the diet industry to be regulated in a report completed last month. The move follows evidence that many people on weight loss programs stack the kilos back on when the diet ends – Melbourne Herald Sun

Government to crack down on fad dietsSydney Daily Telegraph

The punt

Bookies approach Aussie cricketersThe Australian