Nine News boss flies to Lebanon where 60 Minutes crew is still detained

60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown.1. 60 Minutes crew still detained in Lebanon

Lebanon’s Daily Star is citing a judicial source as saying seven people will be charged over the botched child-snatching operation which took place on the streets of Beirut last week. Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner is trying to retrieve her two children who are in Lebanon after their father took them there for a holiday last year and refused to let them return to Australia. There are unconfirmed reports the television network paid $115,000 for the operation.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has raised the matter with her Lebanese counterpart as Nine News beefed up its presence on the ground. 9 News boss Darren Wick flew out for Beirut this AM to assist on ground as severity of plight of Tara Brown & team becomes apparent.— Peter Ford (@mrpford) April 10, 20162. High-speed Malcolm

Photo: Getty Images

After 30 years of talking about building a very fast train between Brisbane and Melbourne, Malcolm Turnbull is set to become the prime minister who will make it happen, reports Sarah Martin in The Australian.

The report expands on a comment piece the Sydney Morning Herald’s political editor Peter Hartcher wrote one month ago, foreshadowing that a major cities policy would form the plank of Mr Turnbull’s first budget.

Hartcher wrote at the time that a creative financing option could be “value capture”, where the government could exploit the rising land values that the rail-link would fuel, either through taxes or project equity. This form of financing has been well-used abroad, including for a redevelopment project in San Francisco. It was also proposed for London’s Crossrail project.

But don’t rule out the private sector taking on the project. In February, Andrew Robb, the former Trade Minister, said he had been approached multiple times by companies wanting to build a Melbourne to Sydney link.

Mr Turnbull could cast aside his ditherer tag by kick-starting the mother-of-all projects governments of all persuasions have dithered on for decades, and become a true infrastructure, nation-building Prime Minister. 3. ‘Man-in-the-hat’ says Brussels attack was meant for France

Brussels terror suspect Mohamed Abrini. Photo: Belgian Federal Police/AP

The ‘man-in-the-hat’ has been found and arrested. His name is Mohamed Abrini and he’s told Belgian authorities the Brussels attacks were meant for Paris.

The BBC reports Abrini is said to have been filmed at a petrol station with Salah Abdeslam (who was arrested in Belgium just prior to the airport and metro bombings) two days before the Paris attacks last November. 4. Australia not serfs to America

Former Howard government cabinet minister Amanda Vanstone has written a super interesting piece on submarines. As readers of Double Shot know, this is a $50 billion contract – the world’s largest-ever single order – and a huge deal both domestically and geo-politically. If it was up to Tony Abbott, Australia would be buying Japanese made subs and the local industry would be dead following his Captain’s Pick.

Ms Vanstone, a good friend of moderate federal South Australian MP and cabinet minister Christopher Pyne (whose political fortunes in his seat of Sturt could ride on the subs decision), writes:

“There’s been rumours about a wink and a nod from Uncle Sam in favour of Japan. If that is so, and I doubt it, we should politely suggest the Americans go first … I am a big fan of the US, but we are friends not serfs.”

And, of course, Australia’s foreign policy might be forced to give the appearance at least of a little more independence depending on the outcome of this year’s US presidential election. 5. How Trump’s win would be reported

Alarmed at the prospect of a President Trump, The Boston Globe has mocked up how their front page might look if the result is yay for the potential Republican nominee.   Boston Globe tries its hand at satire with mock Trump front page:老域名/pUQxJTt2gk— New York Magazine (@NYMag) April 10, 20166. UK spooks defend against the dark arts

I can still remember the day I bought my hardback book, crept into my room and spent the whole day, between the laughter and the tears, battling desperately between yearning to know Harry, Dumbledore and Voldemort’s fate, while at the same time wanting the final experience of reading a new Harry Potter for the first-time to never end.

It amazed me that in the days of the internet, I was able to get to the book and find out for myself what happened without it being spoiled. Now, JK Rowling’s publisher has revealed that a British spy agency helped keep crucial plots under wraps. The UK surveillance agency even alerted them when a copy leaked online in 2005.

My favourite part in this utterly fabulous story is the quote for the agency, GCHQ: “We don’t comment on our defence against the dark arts.”

GCHQ said: “We don’t comment on our defence against the dark arts.”Posted by BBC News on  Sunday, 10 April 2016

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