Australia: We are a target, too

Australian newspapers brought Friday a story of Australia becoming a target for Osama Bin Ladin. The Daily Telegraph described 'unprecedented security measures in Sydney', with other papers following similar lines. In reality, no special measures were visible in the city centre. The Prime Minister described the threat as 'predictable'. The Afghan ambassador to Pakistan said in a press conference last Thursday that Australia 'may become a target' if the country persists with its close cooperation with the United States.

Australia goes for elections next weekend. The current governing coalition is likely to remain in power, despite Labor's efforts to present the Prime Minister as the architect of economic collapse. Australian elections are usually a close poll, with final results looking like 51/49 percent. Voting is compulsory and the number of invalid votes sometimes exceeds the winning margin.

The media continue their discussion of a recent tragedy off the Indonesian coast, where 350 'boat people' drowned during their attempt to reach Australia. The government, meanwhile, continues a firm policy and continues an effort to establish a processing centre for illegal immigrants in Fidji.

Official sources predict unemployment in Australia would rise above 7% by the end of the year. The Australian Dollar is worth US$ 0.50 today. It was worth US$ 1.40 in 1983.

Henry L. Marconi Pravda.Ru Sydney

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