Friday, 5 December, 2008
Here's what's in store on tonight's Newsnight:
An independent review is to be held into the contact social services had with the family of Shannon Matthews before she disappeared. Kirklees Council said the review would investigate the dealings of all agencies. It's emerged that a critical psychological report was made five years ago on Shannon's mother, who was convicted yesterday of kidnapping her. The safeguarding and protection of children is at the heart of social work, but with high profile cases - such as Shannon Matthews, Baby P and the rapist who impregnated his daughters 19 times - the role of social work and the coordination between social workers, teachers and health service workers is yet again under intense scrutiny. We'll be discussing whether we put social workers under intolerable pressure, whether the system is failing, and whether some practitioners are simply not up to the job.
"A further illustration of the misrule of Zimbabwe's rogue government" was how the Foreign Secretary David Miliband today described the crisis in Zimbabwe. The outbreak of cholera there - and the declaration of a national health emergency - has led to renewed calls for Robert Mugabe to step down. Zimbabwe's medical and water treatment systems have all but disappeared and an easily preventable disease is turning into an epidemic. David Miliband's statement followed Condoleezza Rice who said it was well past time for Mugabe to leave office. We are bidding for a ministerial interview on how the international community can best help Zimbabwe, and whether we are impotent to influence political change there.
Some mortgage lenders say they won't be passing on the interest rate cut in full, including Halifax and Nationwide. Gordon Brown says he is speaking to banks to convince them to reflect the one percent reduction in all of their mortgages. Abbey and Alliance & Leicester are among the lenders who say their standard variable rates are still under review. Alex Ritson will have the latest on this story. He'll also have further evidence of the downturn with half a million jobs lost in the US last month, the biggest monthly rise in unemployment for 34 years.