Monday, 15 December, 2008
Tonight's Newsnight features a special report by Jeremy Paxman and producers Warwick Harrington and Jonathan Bell:
BACK FROM THE FRONT
The news of four more deaths in Afghanistan on Friday brings home once again the highest price that British soldiers are paying in that country. As the death toll of British military personnel in this conflict passes 130, and recognition grows of serious difficulties in the campaign, the Afghan president today wrote an open letter to the Times newspaper in which he expressed his "profound gratitude" for the sacrifice that thousands of British troops are making every day.
But who are the young people that make these sacrifices, who fight on the politicians' behalf? Who ultimately fight on all our behalf? In this day and age, in a country divided on the wisdom of recent military campaigns, why do people still put themselves in the line of fire and what price do they pay for doing so? In an extraordinary and moving film, Jeremy Paxman meets three soldiers, hears their stories and discusses with them the intensity of war, the nature of sacrifice and how they deal with the challenges of coming home.
Watch a preview below:
Banks around the world are counting their losses as a result of what's been called one of the largest financial frauds in history. The Royal Bank of Scotland, and the owners of Abbey - Santander - are among those affected by the 50 billion dollar fraud. It's feared that at least two local authority pension funds were exposed to some losses. We'll be speaking to a leading banker, regulator and politician about whether there was a failure of financial regulation in this case.