IN THE BROADSHEETS
The Sydney Morning Herald has been hit by industrial problems -
there are fewer references to the Herald this morning. And those on a
red meat, right-wing diet should head straight to The Australian's
opinion pages, which espouses views (Steketee aside) that would
embarrass all but the most rabid conservative outlets found in the US.
Why doesn't the OZ simply declate that it is a conservative publication
and give up this pretence of being a mainstream newspaper?
In fact The Australian has more than a whiff of hysteria and
beat-up about it. Its lead reports that four churches in Sydney's
southwest have been attacked in 24 hours as the city's riots spread from race to religion,
and sees conspiracy “to ‘shame’ the city's Lebanese Christian community
into supporting Lebanese Muslims in the race-hate war, which began as a
battle against young white males over use of suburban beaches". (Hang
on, wasn't it the "young white males" trying to kick "the bloody Lebs"
off the beaches?). The paper reports that NSW Premier Morris Iemma has
called on people not to renounce their Australian identity
in the face of intimidation by Lebanese gangs - even if it means being
bashed. It also reports that NSW will have to borrow to pay its police,
nurses and teachers and could lose its coveted triple-A credit rating
after Premier Morris Iemma revealed a billion-dollar budget crisis yesterday; that Australia plans to spend up to $2 billion on a fleet of giant aircraft to transport Abrams tanks and other heavy equipment around the world; that small-scale property developers have been left confused about their obligations to pay GST
under a new series of tax office rulings criticised by the industry as
"too broad"; and that Fairfax Sydney newspapers are likely to be
severely disrupted after about 500 journalists went on strike indefinitely yesterday.
The Age reports that Qantas has vowed to slash air fares on flights to the United States
— adding to political pressure on the Howard Government to keep
Singapore Airlines locked out of the lucrative Pacific routes; that Malaysia has delivered a blow to Australia's aspirations
of being included as part of the East Asia community, saying it should
not expect to be regarded as an insider; that the Federal Government
has cast doubts on David Hicks' ability to return to Australia if he is granted British citizenship and released from Guantanamo Bay; that racist text messages and emails inciting organised violence
against ethnic groups have been seized by Victoria Police but dismissed
as the work of bored teenagers with no links to community or ethnic
groups; that tax dodgers, a bogus rabbi and a printing press churning
out fake examination documents highlight the multimillion-dollar problem of identity fraud in our universities, a report reveals; and that police have charged Robert Farquharson with the murder of his three sons, who drowned when a car plunged into a dam near Geelong on Father's Day.
sees some of John Howard's chickens coming home to roost in a cartoon
whose sentiment are echoed by Mike Steketee's column below.
And Peter Beattie, having joined TDB's campaign for public editors
or an ombudsman to be appointed by media outlets (Age Opinion below),
says that he would be pleased to see Fairfax start a broadsheet in Queensland, as The Courier-Mail announces that it is to go tabloid next year, see State papers.
The Age: Peter Beattie
calls for the appointment of ombudsmen by media outlets to lift
standards and give greater accountability (a idea TDB has pushed many
times); Kenneth Davidson
looks at the problem of Australia's increasing foreign debt and says
"the "savings" undertaken by the Howard Government since 1996 in the
name of financial orthodoxy are the product of a mad accountancy that
says we cannot afford to finance first-class research institutions,
schools, hospitals and transport and communications systems by public
borrowings"; Marilyn Lake
says xenophobia has a long history in Australia and that
multiculturalism must be promoted as a national value as a counter to
militant nationalism which feeds off resurgent interests in militarism;
and Barney Zwartz says the riots were a product of victimhood, and calls for national leadership.
The Australian: Mike Steketee
ridicules John Howard for refusing to label the Cronulla riots as
racism, sees elements of Hansonism revisited and says that terrorism
has added to a volatile mix; Peter Ryan
uses the riots to claim victory in the history wars for the right, and
urge an apology for Geoffrey Blainey (Manning Clark gets a whack along
the way - Ryan was a co-conspirator in Oz editor-in-chief Chris
Mitchell's barking mad "Order of Lenin" campaign against Clark); David Flint
defends talkback radio following the riots and says they were the
result of the Carr Government's failure on law and order (among a range
of silly claims he also says that The Age no longer publishes a
conservative columnist - he has obviously never read Tony Parkinson);
and Ted Lapkin
(right-wing nutter extraordinaire) backs the US military justice system
in Guantanamo Bay and in a column filled with errors and loopy
arguments make this bizarre claim: "other than neo-Nazis, rabid Serb
nationalists and John Pilger, there are few voices complaining that
Herman Goering and Slobodan Milosevic were the victims of kangaroo
The SMH: Miranda Devine
lists those getting the blame for the Cronulla riots, including John
Howard, multiculturalism, political correctness and left-leaning police
and says "there are probably elements of truth in all the arguments"
(strewth Miranda, if we can't rely on you to make things simple and
simplistic, who can we turn to?); Jamie Mackie ponders the future of ASEAN; and Tim Costello still hopes the WTO talks will be a step forward toward making poverty history.
Telstra is having another bad morning of it, with The Age reporting
that the telco has escaped court action and fines but has been dealt a stinging rebuke from the corporate watchdog
for leaking confidential material to the media and failing to brief the
stock exchange on market-sensitive information. The story goes on to
report that Telecommunications Minister Helen Coonan said the
Government was unlikely to intervene in Telstra's public battle with
the consumer watchdog over prices it could charge competitors for
access to its copper telephone network. Stephen Bartholomeusz
describes Coonan as obdurate, says most of Telstra's proposed
high-speed fibre-to-the-node network may never be built and expects
hostilities to continue. Malcolm Maiden says ASIC's "unacceptable" declaration about Telstra's disclosure to the markets is more than a wrist slap; and Bryan Frith
says Telstra may have avoided enforcement action but Australia's
largest company has nevertheless received a black eye as a result of
ASIC's investigation into the telco's disclosure practices.
The Age also reports that Coopers Brewery shareholders have derailed Lion Nathan's hostile $420 million,
$310-a-share bid by junking the rights that once put the maker of
Tooheys, XXXX and Hahn third in line to buy Coopers shares; that Qantas has backed Boeing
with the first tranche of its $20 billion fleet re-equipment spending,
committing to buy 65 of the company's new 787 wide-bodied aircraft and
ignoring Airbus' A350 class competitor; that avoiding a damaging slowdown triggered by the gaping US current account deficit
will require globally co-ordinated action — including extra
infrastructure investment by commodity producers such as Australia, the
Government's top economic adviser has warned; and that barring a
catastrophe within the next 16 days, superannuation funds are set to
ride the record-breaking sharemarket to establish their own milestone —
the first time they have recorded two consecutive years of double-digit returns since 1998.
The Australian's lead reports that Visy Industries chief executive Harry Debney expects his company to be hauled into court
by the competition regulator any day now, a year after allegations of
an illegal cardboard price-fixing cartel first emerged. It also reports
that yesterday's announcement by Lehman Brothers that it earned a
record $US3.3 billion ($4.37 billion) profit for 2005, capped by a 41 per cent surge in earnings
in the fourth quarter, kicks off what is expected to be a triumphal
march through to the year's end by Wall Street's top houses; and that
Qantas is moving to tighten the reins on problem child Jetstar Asia by appointing chief financial officer Peter Gregg as chairman and Jetstar chief executive Alan Joyce to the board.
The Daily Telegraph:
"NRL foes unite to stop riots" - was raised in The Shire and the other
is a devout Lebanese Muslim who grew up in Sydney's southwest but spent
the summer soaking up the sun at Cronulla; Extra police will defend
Sydney's most sacred sites after an unprovoked attack on two churches
in the city's west.
A father was behind bars last night charged with the drowning murder of
his three sons after their car plunged into a dam in a Father's Day
tragedy; Rugby League stars stepped into the front line yesterday to
try to halt the race-fuelled violence racking Sydney. But neither
Bulldogs star Hazem El Masri, 29, or former Cronulla Sharks front-rower
Jason Stevens, 32, have the solution to what sparked the anger and
hatred which spewed forth at the Cronulla riots.
More than 500 children in the care of the state were found to have been
abused or still at risk of harm last year; The Courier-Mail is to
become a tabloid next year.
Unruly Housing Trust tenants would be kicked out of their properties
under a "two strikes and you're out" policy pledged by the Liberal
Party; Jenny Remigio, the South Australian woman who said she believed
the shooting death of her husband in Manila last year was a case of
mistaken identity, was yesterday charged with orchestrating his murder.
The West Australian:
Taxpayers are facing the prospect of shelling out hundreds of thousands
of dollars extra to finance next year's Rally Australia after
revelations yesterday that major sponsor Telstra was yet to commit to
backing the icon event in 2006; Foolhardy drunks whose dangerous antics
cause car accidents which leave them severely injured are still
eligible for compensation, the High Court has ruled.
A Salamanca pub owner has slammed the Hobart City Council over plans to
fence off outdoor drinking areas, saying the draconian measure would
kill off a long-standing festive tradition for Hobart; Part
privatisation of Telstra is coming back to bite Tasmania as hi-tech
jobs secured by former senator Brian Harradine are being cut.
Brad Hodge will not let his less than intimidating record in Perth
distract him from creating the big innings on which he hopes to build a
Test career, knowing the likely reward is a Boxing Day appearance at the MCG; Geelong players roundly endorsed midfielder David Johnson for entry into the leadership group for next season; The murky world of tennis gambling is back in the spotlight,
with one of Victoria's largest sports betting agencies being granted
protection against suspicious injury defaults in new rules to come into
effect the week before the Australian Open; Andrew Bogut continues to
earn rave reviews in his rookie year with Milwaukee Bucks, but the
Australian faces his biggest test today when he meets the game's most dominant force, Shaquille O'Neal.