Tuesday 7 July 2009
From Emily Maitlis:
A small, deeply unscientific poll in this office has revealed that most colleagues start laughing when you mention the Italian PM's name. Which is probably the least of Silvio Berlusconi's problems right now, but it does suggest - if this is in any way representative - he may struggle to get people to take the G8 seriously when he hosts it, in the earthquake struck town of L'Aquila tomorrow. For its duration, world leaders will be housed in an "austere police training school", which may come as a disappointment to anyone expecting a Sardinian villa, with all conceivable extras laid on. The agenda for the G8, it's being reported, is in such disarray that the Americans have had to step in and sort it out. Meanwhile, three Italian academics have written an "appeal to the first ladies" asking them to boycott the summit in the name of women everywhere. Will Signor Berlusconi be put off his game by this? We'll be joined by his communications chief tonight.
Our Economics Editor Paul Mason asks if the unrest coming out of China's north west has been fomented by its economic problems - at what point does nationalism re-emerge as a response to poverty and instability?
Plus we'll have the latest on the 10p tax fiasco, as Gordon Brown faces a Commons revolt.
The nearest most of us get to understanding the dire state of US healthcare is when we repeatedly see US TV networks going to adverts for incontinence and impotence drugs during their commercial breaks. While nothing President Barack Obama does with his healthcare plan may cure this particular ill, we'll be analysing the scale of the problem across the pond and what the White House calls "The McAllen problem", as politicians here squabble over how best to preserve the NHS health budget.
Join us for all this and more at 10:30pm on BBC Two.