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Friday's thoughts

Rabiya Parekh | 09:55 UK time, Friday, 15 December 2006

Good morning..And unlike Pete's optimistic mood on the first day of the third Ashes test between Australia and England, my feelings are a bit mixed. Australia are currently 110 -1 in their second innings after bowling England out for 215. Not long to go on this second day, but a few wickets before the close of play would certainly improve my mood...

Anyway, more important things to blog about this morning and that's what to look at in tonight's programme.

If you are in Britain and caught up with the national news programmes last night as I did, you'd be led to believe that the country is bitterly disappointed with everything the current Government stands for.

Yesterday started off as a news day that eagerly anticipated the findings of Lord Stevens three year long investigation in to the death of Princess Diana. It ended with the shocking news that Tony Blair became the first serving British Prime Minister to be questioned by police. He was questioned for two hours by officers investigating the so called cash for questions scandal..Judging by the comments that have come in to the BBC over the last day or so, feelings are mixed.

And then just as the media pack were digesting that news, the Attorney General in the House of Lords announced that a two and half year criminal investigation in to alleged corruption by the arms company BAE Systems and it's executives had been halted. It was announced that the Serious Fraud Office inquiry in to alleged bribes paid by the company to Saudi officials, had to be halted in the interest of Britain's security..The question that people are asking this morning: Are there instances where organisations are deemed to be above the law..? The argument goes that this has potentially saved the jobs of thousands of workers in Britain's north West, has it been a price worth paying..?There is some anger that the investigation has been dropped, but some people say that it's all part and parcel of dealing with big businesses.

Other stories today..

Leaving his domestic dealings with the police behind, Tony Blair will fly to Ankara today to reassure Turkey that its path to the European Union remains open. It comes as as European leaders apply the brakes to the club's enlargement. Is it time to close the door on any more members joining the EU..? Or, after the years of talks, should Turkey be allowed a fair chance to join?

Belgians were treated to quite an elaborate hoax earlier this week, when a TV broadcaster interrupted normal programming to report that the king and queen had fled the country and an independent Flanders had been declared. The country's French-speaking politicians accused broadcasters of fuelling separatist tensions in Belgium. A unique way of opening up a debate or irresponsible broadcasting? Were you taken in?

The Islamist movement controlling much of southern Somalia has dismissed comments by a senior United States official that its leadership is now dominated by al-Qaeda members. A spokesman for the Union of Islamic Courts Sheikh Abdurahim Ali said the US was trying to derail stability in the country. As tensions between the UIC and weak interim government, backed by Ethiopia, escalate, fears of a regional war grow. Somalia's Islamic leaders are calling for a holy war, how real is the threat?

And one thing to celebrate for a country ravaged by war, comes in the form of a football game. The Iraqi football team sensationally knocked out favourites South Korea in the semi finals of the Asian Games earlier this week. On Friday they'll play Qatar in the final. Are Iraqi's gearing up for some special celebrations later on today..?

And finally, the co-founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun has died, aged 83. Mr Ertegun helped make Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin stars and signed the Rolling Stones in the early 70s. Send us your tributes to him..


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