December 9th 2006


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Australia's Pacific woes - what can be done?

EDITORIAL: Uranium: the way ahead

COLE INQUIRY: Single desk and farmers the victims of AWB fall-out

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Chinese organ-harvesting under scrutiny

ECONOMICS: Free-market capitalism's champion dies

SCHOOLS: Education at sea without a moral compass

ABORTION: Five doctors and a dead baby

THE SIEGE: A first-hand account of the G-20 protest

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Violence in Toy Town / There is nothing quite like free choice / Swatting insects / The future of Christians in the Middle East / The Golden Walking Stick Award

THE WORLD: Will Europe survive?

OPINION: Unemployment figures: lies, damned lies and statistics

Sheik al Hilaly has lost the plot (letter)

Democrats' win in U.S. elections (letter)

Affordable housing (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Unwed mothers / Populism / France ZUS

BOOKS: PERSECUTION: How liberals are waging war against Christianity, by David Limbaugh

BOOKS: THE DIAMOND DAKOTA MYSTERY, by Juliet Wills

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BOOKS:
THE DIAMOND DAKOTA MYSTERY, by Juliet Wills


by Michael Daniel (reviewer)

News Weekly, December 9, 2006
Lost diamonds

THE DIAMOND DAKOTA MYSTERY
by Juliet Wills
(Sydney: Allen and Unwin Australia)
Paperback: 240 pages
Rec. price: $26.95

In March 1942, in Java, Captain Ivan Smirnoff was about to take off in a plane loaded with refugees who were fleeing the Dutch East Indies in the wake of the Japanese invasion.

At the last minute, Smirnoff (a naturalised Dutch citizen, originally from Russia) was handed a sealed package and ordered to deliver it to agents of the Commonwealth Bank in Sydney.

Smirnoff's aircraft was shot down just north of Broome by Japanese Zeroes returning from a devastating bombing raid of that town during which they destroyed other planes that had fled Java.

As Captain Smirnoff and the surviving passengers battled to survive in Australia's inhospitable northwest, the mysterious package was forgotten.

In this engaging work, award-winning Perth journalist Juliet Wills recounts the story behind the package.

Unknown to Smirnoff, whose mind was otherwise occupied, the package contained a fortune in diamonds. When the survivors were rescued, the package was left behind, its contents to be discovered by scavengers.

Eventually, many of the diamonds were gradually recovered, yet the fate of the rest of the package remains a mystery.

The Diamond Dakota Mystery also describes the fate of Broome in the wake of the Japanese invasion.




























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