Monday, 27 April, 2009
Here's Kirsty with news of this evening's programme:
Tonight, will swine flu become the fourth flu pandemic in a hundred years? Our Science Editor, Susan Watts will be investigating the nature of swine flu (this strain is called H1N1), the speed of its transmission, the treatment, and what - if anything - can be done to prevent its spread. As I write, the number of deaths in Mexico stands at 103. The US administration has declared a public health emergency and the European Union Health Commissioner has urged Europeans to postpone any non-essential travel to the US and Mexico. We'll be discussing our state of readiness to deal with a big outbreak. What are the safety measures the government can take? And with both Relenza and Tamiflu effective treatment for swine flu, and the makers of Relenza trying to up production, do we have enough stocks for our population?
Is there a bigger shambles than the mess over MPs' expenses? Gordon Brown has had to suffer the embarrassment of having his plans for a daily allowance for MPs to replace the second home allowance kyboshed by the opposition, not to mention dissenters on his own benches. Michael Crick will be assessing how much damage this is doing to the government - and the standing of politicians with the voters in these straightened times. We hope to be joined live by the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
And from Washington, the start of our coverage leading to Wednesday's special programme to mark Barack Obama's first one hundred days. We focus on of his most troublesome problems. Obama's decision to publish the Bush torture memos is the most controversial and divisive move he's made since entering the White House. Peter Marshall's been hearing very outspoken criticism from a leading Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy, who told him: "I don't agree with people who say let's turn the page if we haven't taken time to read the page. We can learn from our mistakes."
And Justin Rowlatt (our Ethical Man) is at the international climate change talks in Washington. Obama wants to lead the world on a new deal on climate change, but he's having trouble rallying Congress. So where is the biggest opposition coming from?
Join us at 10.30pm.