Boat was scuttled by asylum-seekers to force a rescue – A boat carrying 78 asylum-seekers whose case was personally taken up by Kevin Rudd with the Indonesian President was rescued by the Australian navy only after those on board deliberately sabotaged it – The Australian

Jakarta bound by new law of the sea – The agreement between Australia and Indonesia over the fate of 78 asylum-seekers has been described as a diplomatic way of obscuring the fact Indonesia was obliged under international law to allow the asylum-seekers to land – The Australian

Asylum boat had holes drilled in hull – The 78 asylum seekers plucked from Indonesian search and rescue waters by the Australian navy at the weekend sabotaged their boat by drilling holes into its hull – Melbourne Age

Government divided over bounty to halt boat people – The Government is set to pour millions of dollars into Indonesia, already our biggest aid recipient, to make it our biggest barrier to seaborne asylum seekers – Sydney Daily Telegraph

‘Ugly politics’ blasted out of water – Another boatload of asylum seekers was picked up in Australian waters yesterday as Kevin Rudd admitted the Government would increase payments to Indonesia for intercepting boats and detaining asylum seekers. Criticism also intensified yesterday of the divisive politics surrounding the issue, as the Uniting Church and the Reverend Tim Costello joined the debate – Sydney Morning Herald

Combating people smugglers ‘dreary and dangerous’ – The navy is facing morale problems among sailors on patrol boats assigned to chase down refugee boats, the Sydney Morning Herald has been told.

Economic matters

Wayne Swan backs plans to simplify Australia’s taxation system – Treasurer Wayne Swan has backed plans to radically simplify Australia’s creaking tax system, declaring that taxpayers faced a “jungle”. His support for the plan, which would see taxpayers issued with a one-page summary, came as the ACTU and welfare groups called for changes to the tax system to make housing more affordable – Melbourne Herald Sun


Chasing your bets: states call for win-win – A uniform national tax on betting to fund the racing industry will be among the options canvassed by mainland states today as they try to stop the plunder of gambling revenue by internet betting operations in Tasmania and the Northern Territory – Sydney Morning Herald

Gambling on the future – Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys yesterday lashed out at the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to overhaul wagering regulations, saying it supported agencies such as Betfair “at the expense of the people who put on the show” – The Australian

Hayson calls foul over NRL rigging allegation – Brothel owner Eddie Hayson will take legal action over reports that he claims implicated him in allegations of rigging the score in an NRL game – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order

Tough times for teens with knives – NSW will adopt a zero-tolerance approach to knife crime, with first offenders facing two years in jail just for having a knife – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Fine dodgers could lose drivers’ licence – Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders risk losing their driver’s licence in a sweeping crackdown on fine dodgers. The state’s fine collection agency is planning to use new powers from January 1 to suspend licences for any unpaid fine – not just traffic offences – Brisbane Courier Mail

National anti-gang laws call – Federal police have backed gang-fighting anti-association laws, saying they should be introduced nationally to combat serious and organised crime – Adelaide Advertiser


Australian soldier shot dead at Cultana, near Port Augusta – A commando who was killed during a night exercise was an outstanding soldier and a stickler for safety procedures, says one of his former weapons instructors – Adelaide Advertiser


Shove it up your a*** jibe shocks Parliament – A Territory politician handed a government minister a gold watch and a jar of petroleum jelly in parliament and implied the timepiece should be shoved where the sun doesn’t shine. Opposition Treasury spokesman John Elferink was unapologetic yesterday for the smutty stunt – Northern Territory News

Labor’s bill for speeches questioned – An adviser to former Labor leaders Kim Beazley, Simon Crean and Mark Latham has been paid more than $100,000 to write speeches for ministers including the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, a Senate Committee heard yesterday – Sydney Morning Herald


Boatpeople paint PM into corner – Greg Sheridan in The Australian maintains there is only one question that counts. Can a people-smuggler get his clients – illegal immigrants – to Australian waters and ultimate residency? If they can, then people-smuggling will flourish. If they can’t, it will wither, because no one will pay a people-smuggler $15,000 if there is no realistic chance of getting to Australia. It’s that simple.

Good times will be harder to manage – Alan Wood writes in The Australian that as Treasurer Wayne Swan likes to point out, Australia has come through the crisis in better shape than any other advanced economy. And for Australia the post-crisis world is, on the balance of probabilities, going to be a case of back to the future.

Reform relies on negotiation – Arthur Sinodinos writes in The Australian that with Australia well on the road to economic recovery, now is the time for more economic reform.

What a cover version: John Denver lookalike gets his mug in the mag – Annabel Crabb contemplates our boy Kevin on the cover of Rolling Stone – Sydney Morning Herald



Karzai bows to pressure, OKs runoff – The decision to hold another vote Nov. 7 will allow the U.S. to focus on its military plans in Afghanistan – Los Angeles Times

Fears Afghan runoff will be fixed – The UN has announced it will replace more than half the top officials in Afghanistan’s presidential polls because of suspected fraud as the country gears up for an election runoff many fear will be even less credible – The Australian

Karzai challenger to set conditions for second round of Afghan elections – Abdullah Abdullah says fraud still possible after incumbent gives in to international pressure for runoff vote – London Guardian


Company chiefs face bans, fines – Eight high-profile businessmen face being banned from Australian boardrooms and hit with heavy fines over their alleged roles in producing misleading accounts for embattled shopping mall giant Centro – Melbourne Age

Directors on notice as ASIC files case against CentroThe Australian

Super funds make 2.6 per cent profit in September, despite soaring dollar – Funds made a healthy 2.6 per cent investment profit in September, despite a strong Australian dollar pegging back returns.The latest increase means the average $75,000 superannuation fund has grown almost $14,000 – more than 18 per cent – in the past seven months – Melbourne Herald Sun

Oil soars above $US81 a barrel to year highThe Australian


Here’s the catch: we love seafood to death – Our love affair with fish has prompted serious warnings about there not being enough to go around. Australia is failing to keep up with the demand for fish and NSW is possibly the worst state in supplying its own seafood, importing 75 per cent – Sydney Morning Herald

Red tape strangles green loans – Of the 44,000 people who had registered for zero-interest ”green loans” under a Federal Government scheme, only 58 had received the results of their application by the end of September. The massive backlog suggests that the $175 million scheme Labor promised at the last federal election to promote energy efficiency may not meet its target of distributing up to 20,000 loans this financial year – Sydney Morning Herald


Farmers Union ad sparks complaints – New billboard advertisements for iced coffee are drawing complaints about offensive language. The Farmers Union campaign promotes a new plastic bottle and says “We’ve toughened the F.U.I.C up.” – Adelaide Advertiser


The drink

Call to lift minimum drinking age to 21 – The drinking age should be raised to 21 and the price of a standard drink at least doubled if state governments are serious about tackling the problem of alcohol-related violence, a leading criminologist says – Sydney Morning Herald

The punt

Set limits proposed for pokie bets – Poker machine bets would be cut to $1 a turn and players asked to pre-set limits on how long and how much they can bet, under a plan to stem some of the $12 billion Australians lose on the pokies each year – Melbourne Age

Internet gambling ban on cards in radical plan – A $1 per bet limit on poker machines could be introduced and a ban on Australian online gaming sites scrapped as part of a radical bid to reduce the nation’s $18 billion-a-year gambling addiction – Brisbane Courier Mail


Sick Skeik allegedly taunts Diggers’ widows with vicious letters Sydney Daily Telegraph

Anglicans welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to join Catholic ChurchThe Australian


TV bans but no forced feeding for Aussie kids – Children should not be forced to clear their plates at meal times under new parenting guidelines released by the Federal Government. The Get Up And Grow guides, available free to every parent and childcare centre, recommends toddlers under two be banned from watching TV or using computers altogether – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Redback spider love a deadly affair – Female redback spiders eat male mates who do not spend enough time on foreplay. To keep cranky females happy, their partners have to spend about 100 minutes on courtship, doing things such as vibrating their webs and rubbing their tummies – Brisbane Courier Mail

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Peter Fray
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