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Apostrophe or no apostrophe?

  • Stuart Denman
  • Wed 9 Jul 08, 05:49 PM

apost203.jpgIt's probably not quite the debate that David Davis had in mind.

A little row has erupted in the Newsnight office over whether an apostrophe is required after the "days" in "42 days detention". For the moment we've omitted it from this evening's programme summary, but my own view is that it should read "42 days' detention". There seems to be a fairly even split in the office, however.

Unfortunately, any authority I may have pretended to have on this matter was rather weakened when I carelessly misspelt "apostrophe" in the internal e-mail that sparked the debate. So over to you, dear readers, to put us right. Apostrophe or no apostrophe?

Wednesday, 9 July, 2008

  • Stuart Denman
  • Wed 9 Jul 08, 05:31 PM

Thanks for your comments following this morning's prospects. Below are details from Simon about how tonight's programme is shaping up...

Hello dear viewer,

pingpong203152.jpgWe have a quite extraordinary story tonight about how Saudi Arabia treats some of those involved in Islamist terrorism abroad. For those getting off the plane from Guantanamo, it's not a tale of waterboarding and solitary confinement but rather the full Betty Ford treatment - personal counselling, new jobs, even help finding a wife. We also talk to a victim of the seventh of July bombings, who thinks this is the right way of dealing with Jihadis.

It's no longer just a war of words between Iran, Israel and the US. This morning we had a little sabre rattling - the Iranians tested their long-range missile capable of striking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Mark Urban assesses what we should make of this latest rise in the political temperature.

As 26 candidates hit the campaign trail in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, Michael Crick tries to track them all down and see what they stand for. Suffice to say that not all have acceded to David Davis's request to make it an election about 42 days detention. Is it a spirited display of democracy in action or a bit of a farce?

All that and an interview with iconic architect Frank Gehry as he reveals his first English building.

See you at 10:30pm.

Simon Enright

The great British liberties by-election?

  • Stuart Denman
  • Wed 9 Jul 08, 12:26 PM

Tomorrow the constituents of Haltemprice and Howden will be faced with a choice of 26 candidates in the by-election forced by David Davis's resignation last month.

davis_203100.jpgThe would-be defender of British liberties gave up his seat - and his role as Shadow Home Secretary - in order to fight a by-election on the issue of 42 days detention of terror suspects.

But on the eve of the poll, has Davis been successful in this aim? You can read details of what the 25 other candidates stand for here. Has the by-election allowed for 42 days to be properly debated at constituency and national level, or has the whole thing simply been - as described by some - a farce?

Tonight our Political Editor Michael Crick will be reporting from the constituency - post your own comments below.

Prospects for Wednesday, 9 July, 2008

  • Stuart Denman
  • Wed 9 Jul 08, 10:21 AM

Morning. Simon Enright is back in the hot seat for another turn as programme producer. Here's his morning e-mail to the production team. Do post your own ideas for tonight's programme below.

We have some strong material set-up but we are still looking for more. But the story that interests me most as a lead so far is the growing tension between Iran and Israel/US. We've had exchanges of threats and today we had a missile test. For the past 30 years relations have never been good but just how bad are things now?

We could, though, lead on the film we have from Shiraz Maher - former UK Islamist - who has been to Saudi to visit the "Betty Ford" clinic for terrorists. It is a jaw dropping story of how former terrorists - including an unsuccessful suicide bomber - are being "rehabilitated" in plush accommodation with a combination of PlayStation, Pepsi and ping pong. Is there an interview we should do off the back of this?

Michael Crick is in Haltemprice and Howden for another of his by-election special reports. The vote is tomorrow. And Steve Smith has an interview with Frank Gehry about his life in architecture and his first ever building in England - this year's serpentine pavilion. (NB He's built buildings in Britain before - the beautiful Maggie's Centre in Dundee.)

Are there other stories out there we should be chasing?

See you all at 10.30am.

Many thanks.


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