Afghanistan test looms for leader – Patrick Walters writes in The Australian that the next year in Afghanistan will provide Kevin Rudd’s sternest test as a war leader.

Nathan Rees to call leadership ballot – NSW could have a new Premier by the end of next week with revelations embattled Nathan Rees may bring the NSW leadership crisis to a head as early as next Friday – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Peter Dutton confirms switch of seats – Senior Liberal frontbencher Peter Dutton has confirmed he will seek pre-selection for a safe Gold Coast seat in a bid to shore up his political future – Brisbane Courier Mail

Economic matters

Youth bear jobless brunt – Young Australians have been the main victims of the recession, accounting for all the net 122,000 full-time jobs lost in Australia in the past year, official figures reveal – Melbourne Age

Australia and China

Rudd must not recoil: dissident – Kevin Rudd’s China expertise may be widely considered an asset in his dealings with Beijing, but the country’s most famous dissident says it has actually made him a target – Sydney Morning Herald

We decide who gets visas: PM – Kevin Rudd has decreed his government will never “get a permit slip from another country” before deciding who should receive a visa to enter Australia, as the Coalition made contradictory statements about whether it agreed a visit by Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer should have been allowed – The Australian

Shock and Ore – Secret agents are shadowing Australian executives as the Communist Party’s hardliners gain the upper hand. Now Rio Tinto must play by China’s rules, writes John Garnaut in Beijing for the Sydney Morning Herald

Australia and the United States

US to urge bigger role for Diggers in Afghanistan – The top US military commander in Afghanistan wants Canberra to lift restrictions on where Australian army troops can fight, allowing them to deploy routinely outside their base in Oruzgan province – The Australian

Australia and New Zealand

PMs get onside for trans-Tasman maul – The Anzac tradition was back in a big way in Sydney yesterday as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, highlighted new ways of tying the two Tasman friends and rivals closer together – Sydney Morning Herald

Political parties

Nationals need ‘drastic change‘ – Former Nationals leader John Anderson has warned the party could go backwards at next year’s federal election if it doesn’t take urgent drastic action. He says its best course would be to set down a path towards amalgamation with the Liberals, and insists there would still be time if the will was there – Melbourne Age

Libs and Brethren targeted Greens – The Liberal Party has admitted helping an Exclusive Brethren member to campaign against the Greens after earlier denying any involvement with the reclusive sect – Melbourne Age


Australian women moving closer to front-line action – Australian women are moving closer to fighting alongside men on the deadly front line. Physical strength – not gender – could determine who does what in the military – Melbourne Herald Sun

U.S. Navy considers Adelaide maintenance baseAdelaide Advertiser


Teacher pay plan to offer $7000 bonuses Melbourne Age

Aboriginal affairs

The new stolen generation The Australian on welfare workers swooping on the opal mining town of Lightning Ridge in northwest NSW, removing more than 40 Aboriginal children from decrepit homes in shanty towns.


Crash driver Puneet Puneet may escape Australian justice – Australia doesn’t have an extradition treaty with India. Even if an agreement is struck, Puneet, 20, could use the notoriously clogged Indian court system to stay free – Melbourne Herald Sun


Shelved report keeps suicide prevention reforms at bay – An evaluation of Australia’s main suicide prevention program – which found there was little evidence the strategy had reduced rates of suicide and self harm – has been kept secret for three years, stalling much needed national reforms – Sydney Morning Herald


Blowing the whistle – Sick and tired after decades of inaction on public transport, chiefly by Labor governments, the Sydney Morning Herald sets out to forge a workable blueprint.


Rudd won’t listen to the bullies – Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes how John Howard’s Liberal heirs now seem to believe that a foreign government – a Communist government at that – should dictate who visits Australia.

Different strokes – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age writes that only rarely does foreign affairs become so important in Australian politics that it assumes what might be regarded as game-changing status

In this Chinese fable the chicken upsets the fox in his lair – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald notes that Kevin Rudd studied China’s most famous political prisoner, Wei Jingsheng, for his university thesis. Today Wei Jingsheng studies Kevin Rudd.

Latham’s cheap shot fails to wound – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald looks at Mark Latham taking shots at his old friend and colleague Julia Gillard

Coalition sure of one thing: it’s Rudd’s fault – Lenore Taylor of The Australian writes that the Coalition, which earlier in the year accused Kevin Rudd of being so close to China he was acting like its “roving ambassador”, now says the Prime Minister has been unduly antagonistic and has unnecessarily upset the Chinese. By this analysis the present diplomatic problems are caused not just by a confluence of events largely outside the government’s control — such as Rio Tinto pulling out of the Chinalco deal, China’s frustration at its inability to control iron ore prices, the Stern Hu case and the timing of Kadeer’s visit — but by the government’s, and specifically Rudd’s, actions.



090822washpostobamaFaith in Obama Drops As Reform Fears Rise: Health-Care Effort Is Major Factor, Poll FindsWashington Post


British general to lead peace efforts – A former special forces commander has been appointed to mastermind a program of reconciliation with members of the Taliban, General David Petraeus, the US military chief, said yesterday – The Australian

Karzai and rival both claim victoryThe Australian

Afghan president Hamid Karzai ‘leading election count’Melbourne Herald Sun

Economic matters


Mortgage defaults soar to record 13%Los Angeles Times

California’s unemployment rate hits record high 11.9%Los Angeles Times

Russian infrastructure

090822miamirussiaPutin promises help for Siberian accident families Miami Herald


Government Future Fund sells out of Telstra – Telstra shares fell almost five per cent as nearly one billion shares were traded after the Federal government’s Future Fund sold a major stake in the telco – Adelaide Advertiser

Screen centre far too small – Australian studios can’t keep up with the demand from Hollywood – but the proposed $43 million Adelaide Film and Screen Centre will be far too small to attract major films – Adelaide Advertiser


Guns, drugs and money – Perfecta SAMI arranged meetings between Securency executives and officials from Paraguay’s central bank — including a 2005 meeting with its governor. Securency has since won a banknote printing contract in Paraguay – Melbourne Age


Broome cut up over dolphin slaughter – Broome’s ove affair with all things Japanese is coming to an end, with powerful voices within the outback community calling for ties with its Japanese sister city to be cut over the slaughter of thousands of dolphins – The Australian


News Corp. pushing to create an online news consortium – The media giant, advocating a model that would charge for news distributed online and on portable devices, has met recently with major publishers including New York Times Co., Washington Post Co., Hearst Corp. and Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times – Los Angeles Times

Even in Canberra, the knives can come out without anyone ending up stabbed – Tony Wright of the Melbourne Age writes of an AAP Canberra journalist


Sexual preference

Inanimate attachment: Love objects – Objectum sexuals experience intense emotional connections with everyday things – bridges, stereos, the Eiffel Tower. Some even get ‘married.’ It’s not a fetish, they say, but a sexual orientation – Toronto Globe and Mail


090822weekendpresssmackingSmacking referendum: PM pledges new approachNZ Herald

Performance enhancement

Sporty children’s deadly cocktail – painkillers and energy drinks – Children as young as 10 are taking a potentially deadly cocktail of drugs and high-caffeine drinks before sports matches in a dangerous bid to boost their performance – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Judge Jane Campton’s plea to stop booze violence – County Court judge Jane Campton called for a united front in the alcohol industry to stop booze-fuelled violence – Melbourne Herald Sun

Judge demands alcohol curbs – A judge has called on the Victorian Government and the liquor industry to do more to curb excessive drinking that ”wreaks havoc” on Melbourne streets – Melbourne Age


Happy ending to sex row, Zanadu brothel owners charged after City of Sydney Council investigationSydney Daily Telegraph takes the credit.

Swine flu

Swine flu jumps to birds – Chile’s health ministry says it ordered a quarantine on Friday for two turkey farms outside the port city of Valparaiso after genetic tests confirmed sick birds were afflicted with the same virus circulating in humans – Adelaide Advertiser

Hendra virus

Agonising wait for woman exposed to Hendra – The exotic bat-borne virus has no cure – The Australian