Thursday, 5 November 2009

Media wrap: Rudd stands firm on leaving asylum seekers aboard ship

THE FRONT PAGES


POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Australia

Immigration
Rudd ready to sit out boat crisis – The Federal Government has refused to take the 78 asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking to Christmas Island, saying the deal between Jakarta and Australia to disembark the Sri Lankans in Indonesia needed to be honoured – Sydney Morning Herald
Sri Lanka's asylum solutionSri Lanka's immigration chief says Canberra and Colombo have talked about bringing unskilled migrant workers to Australia, apparently in an attempt to stop the exodus of boatpeople. But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Evans played down the talks last night, saying Australia did not run an unskilled migration program – The Australian
Afghan teens given asylum before visas – Five  teenage Afghan boys and a Kurdish couple with three children are the latest asylum-seekers on Christmas Island to be brought to the mainland before receiving visas – The Australian

Foreign Affairs
Army detains academic as Rudd warns against coup culture – A widely respected academic from the Australian National University has been detained by the Fijian military as the diplomatic crisis deepens. Professor Brij Lal is believed to have been picked up by troops from his home in Suva yesterday – Sydney Morning Herald
Fijian threat to foreign officials – The row between Australia and New Zealand and Fiji intensified rapidly yesterday, with tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and Fiji's military-installed Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, warning all other foreign representatives in Suva: "You work with me or leave." – The Australian

Economic matters
Interest rates may stay unchanged as retail spending falls – Interest rates could stay unchanged before Christmas after shoppers tightened their purse strings in September and retail spending dipped. Sales fell by a worse-than-expected seasonally-adjusted 0.2 per cent to $19.7 billion in September compared to August – Brisbane Courier Mail
More public housing units are being demolished than being built – More  public housing units are being demolished than built under Kevin Rudd's $42 billion economic stimulus package, designed to buoy the building industry. As at two weeks ago, only 73 new houses had been completed under the $5.4bn spending package, announced in February, while hundreds of existing homes had been demolished to make way for new buildings – The Australian
Investment down $42b – Private business investment is set to be about $42 billion lower through the downturn than it would have been without the global recession, according to the federal Treasury. Treasurer Wayne Swan will give this estimate, covering the period 2009-10 and 2010-11, at an Australian Industry Group breakfast in Melbourne today – Melbourne Age

Political life
Honours even as John Faulkner soldiers on – It was one of those excruciating moments in Australian politics. Defence Minister John Faulkner last night gave US General David Petraeus one of Australia's highest honours, the Order of Australia, for his distinguished service against terrorism in the Iraq war. Only six years ago, Senator Faulkner had opposed the war and challenged claims that Iraq posed a terrorist threat – The Australian
Speeding senator let off drive ban – A Territory politician was let off a driving ban after being caught speeding, it was learnt last night. CLP Senator Nigel Scullion was instead given an infringement notice - a $500 fine and three demerit points. He was pulled over after being clocked doing more than 45km/h over the 80km/h limit on the outskirts of Adelaide River, 110km south of Darwin, early last month – Northern Territory News




Leadership
Developer lobbies for Della Bosca to become premier – The country's biggest property developer Harry Triguboff is privately lobbying Labor Party officials to support John Della Bosca's bid to become NSW premier – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order
Libs ponder call for jury sentencing – Juries rather than judges would sentence offenders convicted of serious crimes under a radical tough-on-crime plan being considered by the Victorian Liberal Party – Melbourne Age

Elections
Olympian steps up to grapple for Higgins – The Sydney Morning Herald goes on the campaign trail in Higgins with a One Nation candidate

Opinions
Let Jakarta take the odium – Greg Sheridan in The Australian points out that Indonesian co-operation on boat people  in the past was based on the understanding that the Howard government would not say anything about it publicly. There was to be no boasting. The lesson is that this is the way co-operation in sensitive matters normally works with Indonesia. The louder Canberra proclaims its success, the less likely that success is to materialise or endure.
Danger of a misguided mythology – Arthur Sinodinos in The Australian argues that the government has been caught out walking both sides of the razor wire on boatpeople. It has argued that it has strengthened border protection while treating asylum-seekers more humanely.
Only bad boy we can afford to heavyCanberra is “congratulated” by Greg Sheridan in The Australian for a “brilliant” result in Fiji. We are in grave danger of making a very bad situation much worse. We can certainly isolate and punish Fiji with unique effectiveness, if we want to. God knows why anyone in Canberra thinks it's a good idea.
Tit-for-tat diplomacy no solution – The expulsion of the Australian and New Zealand heads of mission from Fiji represents a further lurch into isolation by Frank Bainimarama's government says Jon Fraenkel in The Australian
No time like the present – The Rudd government's mid-year budget update is split between warning of the dangers of winding up its economic stimulus spending prematurely and telling us how successful the stimulus has been. A test of both propositions will be how loudly the cash registers ring during the next few weeks, without the benefit of last year's hefty cash splash and in the face of rising interest rates – Alan Wood in The Australian
Hope is where the heart is – Paul Austin in the Melbourne Age writes that heartless spivs run grisly rooming houses, but there is a glimmer in the darkness. The Brumby Government is promising to increase the supply of government funded crisis accommodation and ensuring all rooming houses are registered and meet minimum standards of safety and cleanliness.
Pettyfogging bureaucracy is just creeping totalitarianism – Miranda Devine reckons the spread of brain-dead supplicants to the state has grown with the rise of the bureaucratic class, which reached its zenith when the former Queensland bureaucrat and chief jargon generator Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister – Sydney Morning Herald

Elsewhere
A separate look at major overseas papers was posted earlier
Afghanistan
Afghan cop kills five UK troops – Five British soldiers have been shot dead by an Afghan policeman turned Taliban infiltrator at a checkpoint in the southern province of Helmand, raising concerns about discipline within the war-torn nation's forces – The Australian

China
China's growth to hit 8.4pc – The World Bank has upgraded its 2009 economic growth forecast for China to 8.4 per cent on the back of the country's huge stimulus spending, but warns that stronger domestic demand is needed to maintain the economic giant's growth – The Australian

BUSINESS

Credit crunch warning – Westpac has warned of a global credit crunch if regulators overshoot with plans for expanded bank capital and liquidity buffers in the aftermath of the financial crisis - The Australian
Costello says goodbye politics, hello business ... – Days after accepting a role guarding the nation's $60 billion Future Fund, Peter Costello has announced he has a new job with fledgling corporate advisory firm BKK Partners, a role expected to raise questions of conflicts of interest – Melbourne Age

ENVIRONMENT

Fury over coal giants' water bidVictoria’s coal-fired power industry is seeking a substantially bigger share of the state's water, telling the Brumby Government that plans to reduce carbon emissions will probably increase its water needs – Melbourne Age

MEDIA

ABC chief seeks massive funding boost - ABC chief Mark Scott will tonight launch his plans for global domination, arguing for a massive expansion in the broadcaster's overseas services in an effort to rival the BBC, CNN and the emerging Chinese media offensive – Melbourne Age
Fox scores big with Yankees in World Series - What difference does it make having the New York Yankees in the World Series? Plenty, as Fox was able to attest Tuesday with the release of last week's US prime-time television ratings. The network averaged 19.14 million viewers for the first four games of the baseball championship that pitted New York against the Philadelphia Phillies. Last year, when the Phillies faced off against Tampa Bay, Fox averaged 13.18 million for the first four games – Los Angeles Times
WAN investors hail StokesWestern Australia's home-grown media mogul, Kerry Stokes, has declared The West Australian newspaper "back on track" after a year of aggressive editorial and management changes.

LIFE

Animal welfare
Inquiry into winning Cup jockey's use of the whip – Winning jockey Corey Brown is expected to be investigated for illegal use of the whip on Shocking at the finishing post in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup – Sydney Morning Herald

Shopping
Grocery savings: Sydney cleans up - The wash-up from the financial crisis has left Sydney's grocery prices the cheapest on the east coast. The Bureau of Statistics' September quarter update shows that Sydney prices are cheaper than Melbourne's in 33 of the 51 comparisons published – Sydney Morning Herald





The drink
Road toll: Drivers may face alcohol limit as low as zero- A lower drink-drive limit could be the solution to tackling the state's out-of-control road toll, Queensland's top police officer Bob Atkinson says Brisbane Courier Mail

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