Aussie journo arrested in Egypt. An Australian freelance journalist who writes regularly for publications including Crikey, New Matilda and The Drum has been detained in Mahalla, Egypt and is likely to be deported. Austin Mackell was arrested along with three others “on suspicion that they had distributed cash to workers and incited them to take part in a strike demanding an end to army rule”, reports Al Jazeera. Mackell’s Egyptian translator Aliya Alwi is one of those arrested — along with US student Derek Ludovici and activist Kamal el-Fayoum. Alwi has been tweeting from police custody:

“The guys from the station in the room w us were watching a guy being tortured on cellfone, and laughing. Passing it around to us.”

“We were now transferred to another police station, confused. 3 witnesses testifying against are sitting across the room, includes an 8 yr old”

“We are being transferred to military intelligence in Tanta.”

Her last tweet was from late last night: “I just got my fone back, it seems they are releasing us soon.” This morning activist Shahira Abouellail tweeted live updates from the police station where she went to help get the group of four out from police custody. Their charges were heard in court, where Abouellail noted that: “The witnesses are discrediting each other, it’s such a joke. I’m not worried at all.” According to Abouellalail, Austin is likely to be deported:

“Alya & Derrek 90% chance staying for 4days. Austin for sure getting deported. They tried to contact his embassy. But they were non responsive.”

“Just spoke 2 australian embassy they will not send some1 now even tho I told them, if they do Austin will b released to them for deportation.”

It seems Abouellail isn’t the only one struggling to get help from the Australian Embassy. Austin’s sister Hillier Mackell turned to Twitter to plead for information of her brother from Abouellail: “I am Austin’s sister, our govt knows nothing. please give me info.” She later added: “Some reports of Austin being deported/released?? Any update appreciated. Again — no word from embassy!!”

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said earlier this morning they had spoken to Austin and he was unharmed: “He has confirmed he is being treated appropriately by local police authorities and that he intends to engage a legal representative.” — Amber Jamieson

Our papers mourn Whitney’s death. Whitney Houston is dead at 48. We can only explain the tabloid-esque hysteria displayed by Australian newspapers today (with the exception of a notable few) on the — dreaded — “slow news day”. Greece, Syria anyone?

The below front pages of Australian — well, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) is an Aussie wedding favourite — papers rival US tabloid giants such as the NY Post and NY Daily News. Meanwhile, other American papers gave Houston’s death the sort of coverage it probably deserved …

Front page of the day. Friday’s Fraser Coast Chronicle front page left us speechless …

The Department of Corrections. The February 10 edition of Texas’ San Marcos Daily Record apologised for an unfortunate mistake with one of its advertisers …

Murdoch faces fresh crisis as key Sun staff arrested

“Rupert Murdoch is expected to fly to Britain this week to tackle the latest allegations to rock his media empire, involving the corruption of public officials by Sun journalists.” — The Guardian

Malaysia deports Saudi journo accused of Twitter insult

“Malaysian authorities on Sunday deported a young Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, a police official said. The move came despite concerns from rights groups that he may be persecuted at home.” — Washington Post

Washington Post and its legacy, reordered

The Washington Post faces the same problems as other daily newspapers, whose revenues have sunk as the Web and the tough economy have sapped advertising. But in some ways, its situation is even more daunting.” — The New York Times

Nine to offload paper giants

“Advisers to the debt-laden Nine Entertainment Co have met with ­senior Seven West Media executives over the potential sale of Nine’s ACP magazines division.” — The Australian Financial Review

BBC to issue global apology for docos that broke rules

“The BBC will today apologise to an estimated 74 million people around the world for a news fixing scandal, exposed by The Independent, in which it broadcast documentaries made by a London TV company that was earning millions of pounds from PR clients which it featured in its programming.” — The Independent