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It's meeting time . . .

Paul Coletti | 11:26 UK time, Friday, 3 November 2006

It's Friday's Morning Meeting where once again we tussle to get our ideas on air. Please join the fray. Click here to find out how the meeting works and how to contribute, or read on to see what we're talking about today.

Listener interaction is in our DNA . . . .

11:35: A comment has already come in from a listener echoing James' earlier post.

Andrew wrote:
I'd like to hear what the world thinks about the China-African conference this weekend. It is huge, and promises to be a changing force in the world's economy and political interaction. My question, how long can China survive beyond its current boom?

11:36: and Field has joined us on the phone from Zambia. He wants to discuss HIV/AIDS and the fact that in Lusaka there is growing opinion that the rural vote (the country folks) is what got the Levi Mwanawasa in for a new term as President.

The team is definitely interested in the HIV/AID angle – it’s something we should save for a major debate one day. Thanks Field.

11:40: James is on the phone from TVC with the boss’ ideas: Naples violence and Guatemalans hiring assassins to bump people off. Rabs suggests linking the stories. Peter thinks that perhaps we’ve done too much crime recently but James is pushing it – they are interesting stories that need to be heard after all.

Richard suggests the first question of the day: “How do you best solve organised crime?%E2%80%9D

The violence in Naples is gaining traction as a story idea, Ros likes it lots and Peter is coming round. It’s a definite talking point.

11:42: But when it comes to talking points you can’t beat Ted Haggard’s resignation. This is massive in the US.

11:43: Ros says everyone has an opinion on evangelicals.

11:46: This is a tricky one to phrase and James has posed the question: “Is there too much emphasis on sexuality in US politics?%E2%80%9D

Ros, quite rightly, reckons we shouldn’t shy away from this just because it’s a tricky issue. We always try to encapsulate the story ideas in terms of what would the question to a listener be?

Q. Is this dirty tricks gone too far?

11:49: The China-Africa conference is a Dicky Bowen favourite. Again, what question would we ask?

Peter says: Q. Do you welcome China’s involvement in Africa? But BBC Online have answered this for us: Who will benefit most from the China/Africa alliance?

11:50: Ros is wondering if this is even playing in Africa at all.

We’re discussing how much time to devote to Naples: 5 minutes? 10 minutes? What do you think it’s worth in an hour-long talk show?

11:53: Rabs reckons the Haggard story is a player and Ros agrees.

Richard’s phrasing it this way: Q. Does this constitute a crisis in the evangelical church? Ros asks: Q. Should he have resigned?

11:57: Peter, our editor today, reckons Africa/China is a great “hit for us%E2%80%9D. He likes Naples too. But he’s liking Haggard as a story too: Q. Do you leaders live the values they espouse?

11:58: Dicky is worried about the legalities of this story . . . it’s a tricky one. Having just done the BBC’s internal legal module I can concur.

How do we cover it? How much time to devote to it? Rabs reckons 20 minutes should do it.

Ros has made a very good point: “The US is just waking up and we don’t know how the story will develop.%E2%80%9D

Q. Was Haggard the victim of politics?

As a British politician once said: Events dear boy, events . . .

12:05: Ros reckons the evangelical leader’s resignation is a massive story and that it would leave no room for Naples. But we sometimes struggle with getting voices from Italy.

Stefano is a listener who emailed us on Tuesday about this story. We’re discussing how we can get the right mix for this story.

12:08: We’re back on the Haggard allegations and James has been asked to set up a debate on the BBC website about this. On line debates are how we get a lot of our listeners on the show.

Dicky has just informed us how much his hotel is for next week’s US visit. . . eyes are watering!!

12:12: It looks like the Haggard allegations have won out as the main item with something on Naples perhaps involving our new correspondent, Stefano. Peter’s wondering in which halves to put the stories . . .

. . . and don’t forget tonight we’ll be bringing you live Peter Simpson, the Telegraph reporter who recently snuck into the DPRK. We were going to do this last night but it got postponed.

Phone us tonight and ask Peter anything you want . . it promises to be dynamite.


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