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Wednesday, 4 April, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Apr 07, 05:52 PM

UK sailors in IranIran's president announces the release of the UK sailors held since March 23 as a "gift to the British people". Liz MacKean looks at today's events, Mark Urban provides analysis and we debate the implications in the studio.

Leave your comments below.

Plus the return of GM crops - this time for medicinal purposes. Is genetically modifying plants a good thing or too big a gamble with our health and the world around us? Join the GM debate here.

Jeremy presents Wednesday's programme.

Kidnap and veils - student life in Baghdad

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Apr 07, 05:11 PM

As part of Salam Pax's Window on Iraq - for Newsnight's continuing in depth Iraq coverage - Baghdad student Ahmed explains the dangers and drawbacks of university life.

Veiled young Iraqi womanUniversity isn't like it used to be. The number of students has gone down and no one keeps a record on attendance any more. We used to have 250 students, now there are less than 120 on what used to be a very popular course. Many have left the country; more took this year off. Then there are those who got kidnapped, like my friend Y.

It happened in the morning just one week after the start of the academic year. He had arrived with his two friends at the university car park when three black Hyundai Sonatas with 4 thugs in each bundled them all into the Sonatas. Quite a feat when you consider my friend Y is as big as a three-door-wardrobe.

Y later told us they were taken to a house in the east of Baghdad. The kidnappers told him they were from the Mahdi Militia and were going to kill him because he was Sunni. Then they made Y take his clothes off and beat him with plastic hosepipes.

Continue reading "Kidnap and veils - student life in Baghdad"

The return of GM crops

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Apr 07, 12:28 PM

_42760639_safflower_203b.jpgJust when you thought it was safe to go back into the countryside "GM 2.0" - the second wave of GM crops is here - making vaccines, medicines and industrial oils in their leaves. Susan Watts reports on tonight's Newsnight about GM crops which are being used to produce insulin. Read about the research and watch a preview of her film here.

Supporters say this time GM crops are a force for good - with promises such as cheap drugs for the developing world. Critics say this round is even riskier than the first - one slip up and we could find a powerful drug in our cornflakes.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks and we should all give "GM 2.0" a chance? Or is "GM 2.0" the same old Monsanto-style GM industry dressed in new clothes?

Let us know what you think below.

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