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Your comments LIVE

Kevin Anderson | 18:06 UK time, Monday, 3 April 2006

We're on the air now, and beginning today, we'll be posting your comments live on our website during the programme. If you have something to say on our topics today, the Thai elections, a child's murder in Italy, race and rape in the US, a woman who got her dream job and the trial of Charles Taylor.

Leave a comment here. Join the conversation.

The Thai elections

All of our Thai callers said that there was a split in opinion between the voters in the cities and voters in rural areas.

Yongyut, a PhD student in London, was worried that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was exploiting this divide.

But Joo-Li said that the government had worked to end the drug problem and deserved credit.

A child's murder in Italy

Then we moved on to talk about a child's murder in Italy. Some are calling for those responsible to be put to death.

But Piera, a caller in Parma, called on the media to be more responsible in covering crimes like this. She said that she was horrified by the coverage. She accused the media of covering the case too much.

Guido Santavecchi, a correspondent for Corriere Della Serra, who joined us in the studio defended the media, saying that the media simply covered what people were interested in.

Donatella, in Rome, agreed with Piera. There are other stories that need to be covered. She called on the Italian press to be more careful and work to educate readers. What do you think?

Carlo, a caller in Rome, said that Italians are very emotional and protective of their children.

Your dream job?

We then moved on to the story of Erika Sunnegardh, who realised her dream to sing for the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

She started singing opera 18 months ago. What would be your dream job?

Steve Mertz joined us from Denver Colorado and had this question for Erika: "When you were having some of your toughest times, what helped you get through those lows?"

She said: "The goal was to get to a point where I could sing for a living, but I have been singing all along."

"It is important to enjoy your success today," she said and not worry about what success might come in the future.

Andrew Truscott sent us this text message:

I would choose to be the bass player with the rolling stones, the greatest rock band in the world.

Steve asked: "If a listener is out there really struggling to find their gift, what would you say to them?"

Erica said a lot of people know what they should do but didn't listen to their gut. She said that people kept their art on their side, but she urged people to go for it and not take no for an answer.

Steve was an investment advisor for 15 years, but retired to become a motivational speaker. It is his dream job. And he writes the blog, In Cash Flow We Trust, where he mentioned Erika and joining us.

A lot of you have been leaving your dreams on our News website. Go here to read what others are saying and tell us your dream.

Here are a couple of people's ideas of their dream jobs:

Frankline Agbor in Gent, Belgium had this to say:

My dream job is to have enough resources like the US and prosecute all the African dictators and free my people out of decades of misery and poverty!!

Phil B in United Kingdom sent us this:

Like most of us, I suspect, I fell into my current career by accident. My Dream Jobs : Manager of West Ham, Organizer of the Reading Festival, Interviewer of Tony Benn asking him what it feels like to be Prime Minister!

Phil, you're going to have to stand behind our editor, Mark Sandell for that manager's job at West Ham!

Race and rape

We then moved on to the story of allegations of a violent rape at Duke University in Durham North Carolina.

Seyward Darby, editor of the student newspaper, The Chronicle said the alleged crime happened over the spring break at the university.

It has dominated the headlines not only at Duke and in the larger community of Durham, but it has become a national story in the US as well.

Ron Landfried, the editorial page editor of the Durham Herald-Sun, said that the letters to the editor have been pouring in.

"There is a lot of outrage at the crime, but a lot remind us that this is just an allegation of a crime," he said.

He said that Duke is one of the top universities in the US, most of the students are really bright and good students.

But there is a culture of binge drinking that is really a problem. "The lacrosse team has had a bad reputation."

Seyward said there are allegations of a culture of racism on the lacrosse team. Some students have said that this stems from a much deeper problem of racism at Duke.

But Logan Leinster, with the Duke University student government, said that some students now resented being painted with a broad brush as racists or heavy drinkers.

"This incident has had some positive impact on the community to come together and discuss these issues," she said.

Tom Buchanan, president of Men Acting for Change said: "I hope that people will look at the bigger issues involved and not focus solely upon the event. There is no quick fix for issues of race and sexual violence. There needs to be a dialogue, and I believe that Duke will work hard to maintain an open discourse."

Tom's group focuses on men's roles to combat sexual harassment and assault.

Charles Taylor on trial

We then moved on to the trial of Charles Taylor, who just entered his plea of not guilty.

Michael Peel, a former Financial Times Africa correspondent and now an Africa specialist with the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, said the trial is a test for justice.

We received a flood of text messages during the programme. (UPDATE: OK, I said a flood, and Peter just told me that we received 140 text messages in the half hour we discussed the Charles Taylor trial.)

Musa Khalil-Koroma from Sierra Leone sent us this SMS comment:

Please take Taylor out of Sierra Leone and take him to the Hague for trial becuase we are afraid.

But Samuel B Conteh in Freetown said:

Please let Taylor be tried here in Freetown. Since he is an African, he deserves to be tried here.

Hassan Malingha in Kampala sent us this comment:

A truth and reconciliation commission the South African style should be better for Siera Leone & Liberia.

And Melvin Payekar in Monrovia sent us this text message:

Mr. Taylor is a victim of an organized internation conspiracy. He is certain to be a free man if given a fair trial.

What is your view? Send us an e-mail or a text message on +44 77 86 20 60 80.

Here are a few e-mails that you sent us:

Daniel Bassah, in Acrah, Ghana, says:

The African leaders who persuaded taylor to step down have betrayed him. They promised him security, now they've acted like Judas in the bible. Who will trust them again?

And Jaye Sunday in Kebbi, Nigeria, says:

He should be tried where he commited the crime if he really did. Yet Taylor is courageous man.

Sunday Ademda in Warri, Nigeria called into the programme and said that African leaders are not used to being tried in their countries. "In Africa, leaders believe they are next to god."

Darlington in Liberia joined us to say that he was happy with what he called "modern justice" in seeing Charles Taylor being brought into court.

Mohammed was in the courtroom today and told us what it was like to see Charles Taylor on trial. I will have to ask Ros what he said because the phone line started to break up.

We received this question via SMS, "Where will the jury for the case be drawn from?" Here are the answers to frequently asked questions on the BBC News website.

This is the first time I've tried to update the site during the programme like this. Let me know what you think or if there is anything you'd like to see us do here on the site.

If you've got an opinion, the discussion that began on air, continues online, so please feel free to leave your comment below.

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