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Archives for May 2011

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:17 UK time, Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Football Association and the Scottish Football Association have called for Fifa to postpone its presidential election. Current president Sepp Blatter is the only candidate for the 1 June election after Mohamed Bin Hammam's withdrawal. Peter Marshall will have the latest on the Fifa crisis for us tonight.

Justin Rowlatt visits the world's biggest polluter, China, to find out if it really can boom without poisoning the planet.

Then David Grossman considers Angela Merkel's decision to phase out nuclear power stations in Germany by 2022.

And as increasing numbers of people decide that property is now so scarce and its cost so high that they may never own their own place, Jeremy is joined by property expert Kirstie Allsopp to discuss how that possibility might change us.

Join us at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 27 May 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:32 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

Sharon Shoesmith, the former director of children's services for Haringey, North London, has won her Court of Appeal battle over her sacking following the Baby Peter tragedy.

Judges said that the-then education secretary Ed Balls and her employers, Haringey Council, had been "procedurally unfair" when they sacked her three years ago.

Baby Peter Connelly, who had been seen 60 times by social services, was found dead in 2007 with over 50 injuries.

Tonight we will talk to Ed Balls, and will discuss whether in the rush to find a scapegoat for the Baby Peter tragedy opportunities to reform social services were lost.

Also amid the news that Fifa President Sepp Blatter has been placed under investigation by the organisation's ethics committee over accusations he failed to report the payment of alleged bribes we ask if this is the moment football cleans up.


Thursday 26 May 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:48 UK time, Thursday, 26 May 2011

Tonight we lead on the news that Ratko Mladic, wanted for genocide during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, has been arrested in Serbia and that moves to extradite him to The Hague tribunal have begun.

Gen Mladic, the most prominent Bosnian war crimes suspect at large since the arrest of Radovan Karadzic in 2008, faces charges over the massacre of at least 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

What will his arrest mean for reconciliation in the country and region? And does it open the door to membership of the European Union for Serbia?

Tonight our guests to discuss the matter include Serbian ambassador to the UK, Dr Dejan Popovic, Bosnian writer Zlata Filipovic, whose book Zlata's Diary chronicled the horrors of war in Sarajevo where she lived, and International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) prosecutor Sir Geoffrey Nice.

Also, we have a film from Catrin Nye who has been to the Greater Manchester town of Oldham 10 years after riots between white and Asian communities.

Despite efforts to bring the two communities together over the last decade she finds that many are still leading parallel lives, and some are predicting more conflict ahead.

Afterwards we will be joined in the studio by people from Oldham to discuss the film's findings and what needs to change.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 17:21 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Barack Obama and David Cameron have said Colonel Gaddafi will ultimately be forced out of power and Libya's people allowed to "choose their own future". At a joint press conference in London, the UK prime minister vowed to "turn up the heat" on the regime in Tripoli amid suggestions of deadlock on the ground. Tonight Mark Urban considers what the diplomatic strategy for Libya is now.

Jeremy has been to meet the former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Jeremy asks him if he was surprised that the Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was found living inside Pakistan. See that interview in full later.

As the coalition appoints pro-abstinence charity Life to an advisory group on sexual health, we'll debate if the government's Christian moral approach to sex education and abortion is a good thing or not.

And Stephen Smith dons his scarlet matador's cape and travels to Spain where the Catalan parliament has banned the country's most emblematic pastime. Stephen finds that though the bullfighting ban has brought relief to animal rights activists, people are deeply concerned that an important part of the culture and tradition of Spain's nationalist heartland will be lost.

Do join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:05 UK time, Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Coming up on tonight's programme:

President Barack Obama has met Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace at the start of his state visit to Britain. Later he will have a brief meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, although their more substantive talks are scheduled for Wednesday.

Tonight Mark Urban look at what will be topping the agenda at those talks and what both leaders will be hoping to achieve in them.

Peter Marshall is focussed on Glencore which floated on the stock exchange today. He will be telling us more about this vast company - the world's largest diversified commodities trader - what it does and how it works.

The ongoing fight by local communities to save their libraries will be shown in force tonight at Kensal Green, with writer Alan Bennett leading the charge. Stephen Smith is off to meet him.

And we have an interview with porn baron Larry Flynt who will be talking about the connection between power and sex outlined in his new book One Nation Under Sex, a history of political sex scandals.

Monday 23 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:14 UK time, Monday, 23 May 2011

An MP has defied the judiciary today by naming Ryan Giggs as the married footballer at the centre of a media gagging order.

David Cameron has said that banning newspapers from naming such stars while the information was widely available on the internet was both "unsustainable" and "unfair" - but what is the answer? Are new laws required? Or can the press be trusted to regulate itself?

Tonight we hear from the head of the Press Complaints Commission, the MP at the centre of the row, and a lawyer who has secured injunctions in the past.

Then Justin Rowlatt reports from China on the difficulties men there are having finding partners if they do not first own property. Justin finds the situation is significantly impacting on the economy as men choose to save rather than splurge.

And our Science editor Susan Watts is keeping an eye on the ash cloud from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland, which is expected to reach the UK by the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Met Office has said.

Join Gavin at 2230 on Two.

Friday 20 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:18 UK time, Friday, 20 May 2011

Tonight, we lead on the news that a professional footballer has obtained a disclosure order against the social networking site Twitter.

The application seeks the disclosure of the identities of a number of Twitter users who had been responsible for the publication of confidential information about him.

Then we'll be looking into the story that the Rwandan government is masterminding an alleged assassination plot in this country against dissidents critical of the Rwandan regime.

And as Dominique Strauss-Kahn is granted bail by a judge in New York after being formally charged with trying to rape a hotel maid, we'll consider who might be in line for his former job heading up the IMF.

All that with Emily Maitlis at 10.30pm.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:55 UK time, Thursday, 19 May 2011

We learned today that the Coalition has decided against introducing a Privacy Act to address concerns about injunctions, and that hot topic of discussion, super injunctions.

The decision became known on the day that an order granting anonymity to ex-Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin was lifted at the High Court.

The lifting was triggered by House of Lords member Lord Stoneham using parliamentary privilege to reveal details of the gag order to peers.

Tonight will debate whether this is a good day for freedom of speech or a bad day for human rights with the man who forced the move, Lord Stoneham, with a former judge who has imposed injunctions and with Max Mosley who has been pushing for a tightening of the law to protect individuals' privacy.

Mark Urban will be giving us his thoughts on President Barack Obama's speech on the Arab Spring and we will be hearing from Middle East Quartet representative Tony Blair.

Tim Whewell reports from Cairo on how recent upheavals have upset all the old certainties in the region and how Egypt's approach to Israel, the peace process and regional alliances has changed.

And following the row over Justice Secretary Ken Clark's remarks about rape yesterday, Liz MacKean will be considering if the law needs to take a completely different approach to the crime.

And we will discuss whether Mr Clarke was right to say there are different types of rape with Deborah Orr who says there are and a rape victim counsellor who says he is wrong.

All that with Gavin Esler at 10.30pm.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Verity Murphy | 16:54 UK time, Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Recent polling by Lord Ashcroft suggested that there is a growing rift between the Conservative party and the public on the issue of crime.

Tonight we look at whether the outcry over Ken Clarke's comments about rape and the row over Theresa May's proposals to cut the police budget are the latest signs that the Conservatives are out of touch on law and order.

Also, when David Cameron came into power he adopted a chairman style of leadership, giving his ministers a large dose of autonomy and not micro-managing every department - but is this approach now getting the coalition into difficulties and does he need to tighten his grip?

Plus, we follow the story of a man who has voluntarily had an impaired hand amputated so he can be fitted with a bionic limb and we will be discussing elective amputations with a man who has been fitted with a similar prosthesis.

And we speak to David Brooks, New York Times columnist and author of "The Social Animal", a current hot read in Whitehall.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:36 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

What would have happened if Osama Bin Laden had been captured rather than killed?

Tonight we'll hear the case against Bin Laden, and we'll explore the different legal scenarios that could have ensued if the Al-Qaeda leader had been taken alive. We'll hear from advocates of each of the three scenarios what the pros and cons of each would be.

Then we'll be joined live from Islamabad by Lyse Doucet who'll be asking if the US and Pakistan can successfully work together when there's little trust left between them.

And our Diplomatic editor Mark Urban will join us live from Washington from where he'll explain why the current crisis in relations between the two countries is the most difficult since 9/11.

Tonight's guests include Judge Michael Mukasey, US attorney general under President George W Bush (2007-9), and Benjamin Ferencz, the 91-year-old former prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

Do join Jeremy at 2230 on Two.

Monday 16 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:22 UK time, Monday, 16 May 2011

The head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is appearing in court in New York to face charges of sexual assault. Mr Strauss-Kahn, who had been seen as a contender in France's 2012 presidential election, denies allegations that he tried to rape a hotel maid on Saturday. His appearance had been delayed for forensic tests to be carried out.

Meanwhile, another allegation against Mr Strauss-Kahn has emerged. A French writer says she may file a complaint for an alleged sexual assault in 2002.

Tonight Peter Marshall will consider what impact this news will have on the political and cultural life of France, and we'll be joined in debate by French commentators Esther Leneman and Agnes Poirier.

Then Michael Crick will be asking if Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne is politically finished. A senior detective has been tasked with investigating claims he asked someone else to take his penalty points for a 2003 speeding offence, Essex Police say.

And on the day when the first coded bomb threat warning outside Northern Ireland has been received in a decade, Liz Mackean reports on Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Dublin tomorrow, when she'll become the first monarch to set foot in the Republic since George V.

We hope to be joined by Lord Major, the former prime minister credited with establishing the Northern Ireland Peace Process in the early 1990s.

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 13 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:56 UK time, Friday, 13 May 2011

Every day this week there seems to have been a big story in the news about the relationship between openness and personal privacy.

Tonight David Grossman will be investigating what we should be allowed to know, and we'll be joined by a panel including actor Hugh Grant, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, lawyer Charlotte Harris, and former prostitute Helen Wood who was embroiled in a sex related super injunction herself, to debate privacy laws, super injunctions and Twitter revelations.

Then historian and author of England's Mistress, Kate Williams will be asking why all these affairs have at their core older married men and younger attractive women - what does this tell us about 21st Century sexual behaviour in Britain?

Do join Emily at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 16:24 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011

Tonight on Newsnight we will be joined live in the studio by UK Chancellor George Osborne and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as we focus on the problems at the heart of the Eurozone.

Our Economics editor Paul Mason will present his thesis on why EU governments and bureaucracy have mishandled the sovereign debt crisis, imposing unrealistic penalties on the population to save the banks in their own heartlands.

And Paul will be giving us his thoughts on what Mr Osborne and Ms Lagarde tell us.

We also have an interview with Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal four years ago, about the book Mrs McCann has written on their ordeal and ongoing efforts to locate Madeleine.

Then our Science editor Susan Watts has the story of the secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks which show nations are racing to "carve up" Arctic resources - oil, gas and even rubies - as the ice retreats (read more here).

And Iain Watson has the latest on the news that the Lib Dem MP David Laws is to be suspended from the Commons for seven days over his expenses claims, which he used to pay rent to his partner and for building work and telephone bills.

Do join Kirsty Wark at 2230 on BBC Two.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:23 UK time, Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Here is what we are planning for tonight's programme:

As Syrian security forces continue a nationwide crackdown on weeks of anti-government protests, tonight we ask why the West is doing so little in the face of allegations of mass killings and imprisonment.

Also, Alex Salmond's dream of an independent Scotland may not come to fruition and even if it does it is still a long way off, but if it is did happen what would an independent Scotland look like? Jackie Long is digging through what the SNP has said in the past and will be reporting from Edinburgh tonight.

Lyse Doucet has a film on the ambivalent attitude of Pakistanis towards Bin Laden.

And we look at the phenomenon of Slut Walks - is this a wise response to the offensive comments of a Canadian policeman, and can the word "slut" be reclaimed? We will be discussing.


Tuesday 10 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:36 UK time, Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary since the UK coalition government came to power.

Tonight, we look at how the relationship between the Conservative and Liberal Democrats is faring and what the strategy is for both parties now, one year on. Plus we'll be joined by some political elders in debate.

Then we have a film from Finland where we've met Timo Soini, the leader of right-wing, anti-immigration, nationalist party the True Finns. Last month the party, which opposes EU bailouts, took nearly a fifth of votes in the country's general election.

And we will be examining the impact of ex-motorsports boss Max Mosley's failed bid in the European Court of Human Rights to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives, and Mr Mosley will be joining us on the programme.


Monday 9 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:31 UK time, Monday, 9 May 2011

Here's what we're planning for tonight:

Nick Clegg has said that protecting the NHS is now his number one priority, claiming that "no bill is better than a bad bill". Meanwhile, one of his own MPs says the whole NHS reform exercise ought to be "stopped rather than paused".

Tonight Michael Crick will be examining the politics of this - one of the most radical plans in the history of the health service - and Paul Mason will be asking if the opportunity to really reform the NHS has been lost for this generation.

Stephen Smith goes in search of the flat white drinking, Guardian reading, progressive North London "commentariat" who voted 'yes' in last week's referendum on the alternative vote.

Jeremy will be asking the former US assistant secretary of defence Joseph Nye what power is.

And Will Gompertz meets film maker Terry Gilliam - the man who ran away from Minnesota to join Monty Python's Flying Circus - to find out how he got on with his operatic directorial debut, The Damnation of Faust for the ENO.

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 6 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:54 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

Lots of Newsnight happening tonight on BBC Two. We start at 7.30pm with Jeremy presenting a special programme on the verdict of the 7/7 London bombings inquest. Richard Watson will be presenting the main findings of the inquiry for us, which has formally ruled that the 52 people who died in the suicide attacks were unlawfully killed.
All throughout this week we've been hearing accounts from survivors and relatives of each of the attacks that took place that day in the capital and tonight we have the final film in that remarkable series, plus we'll be joined in the studio by some of the people who contributed to those films to discuss if the inquiry is going to provide some closure for them.

Then later, in a special hour-long programme at 10.30pm, we'll be analysing the results of the UK local, Welsh, Scottish and AV polls. Our political editor Michael Crick will bring us the latest on the AV result which is still coming in, and will be assessing where heavy losses for the Lib Dems in England, significant wins for the SNP in Scotland, and the Conservatives holding ground in England all leaves British politics.

David Grossman is in Bristol asking Lib Dem grassroots supporters how their party blew their big chance to get electoral reform, and what they should do now in coalition. Iain Watson reports from Edinburgh on the SNP's surge to Holyrood victory.

And we'll be joined by Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman to chew over the events of the day.

Do join Jeremy at 1930 on BBC Two, and then later Kirsty, who is at Holyrood, joins Jeremy at 2230 for the election special.

Thursday 5 May 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 12:37 UK time, Thursday, 5 May 2011

Here is what we are planning for tonight's programme:

We have the third in our series of extraordinary films on the 7/7 terror attacks in London, in which people caught up in the bombings recount how the attacks unfolded and changed their lives forever.

If you missed Wednesday's film on the Edgware Road attack you can watch it here.

Newsnight has an exclusive interview with a former colleague of the 7/7 bombers' leader, Mohammed Sidique Khan, which sheds new light on the crucial years before the bombings when he was living in Leeds.

We'll also be examining the legality of the US operation that killed al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Could Britain have undertaken something similar?

And voters across the UK are going to the polls in a series of national and local elections as well as a referendum to decide the way MPs are elected.

We'll have a report from Scotland on the elections for the parliament and Michael Crick will take a look at the alternative vote referendum.

Join Kirsty Wark at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:30 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Here is what we are planning for tonight's programme:

We have the second in our series of extraordinary films on the 7/7 terror attacks in London, in which people caught up in the 7/7 terror bombings in London recount how the attacks unfolded.

If you missed Tuesday's film on the Circle Line attack you can watch it here.

On the eve of elections around the country we look at what is at stake for our political parties and who the winners and losers are likely to be.

We will be taking a close look at the Egyptian-mediated reconciliation pact between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, asking what it means for the prospect of peace in the Middle East.

Jeremy has an interview with new BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten.

And with the debate about whether a picture of Osama Bin Laden's body should be released we ask why it is so important to see such pictures and look back at some of the famous images of fallen foes from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:55 UK time, Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Tonight our Diplomatic editor Mark Urban will be asking where the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden by US forces leaves the war on terror. We'll speak live to George W Bush's Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

We have the first in a series of films hearing testimony from people who were caught up in the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, and we'll debate if there is now an increased risk of further terrorist attacks here in the UK following Bin Laden's death.

Paul Mason is in Cairo and has been considering how the Arab Spring fits into the story. Where is the Arab world facing politically now and might a less brutal face of political Islam emerge? Read more on Paul's blog.

Matt Frei is in Washington where he asks people how the extraordinary events of yesterday have changed the public perception of President Barack Obama and will it propel him to a second term?

And Iain Watson reports on the confrontation between the energy secretary and the prime minister at a cabinet meeting over the No campaign's claims in the alternative vote referendum. George Osborne reportedly told Chris Huhne that the Cabinet was no place for a "Jeremy Paxman interview".

However, 10:30 BBC Two is. Join Jeremy then.

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