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Thursday: Congo, Nationalism & Celibacy

David Mazower | 10:19 UK time, Thursday, 16 November 2006

Morning all, James here with Thursday's feast of conversational treats from the WHYS buffet. To extend the restaurant metaphor, here's a few entrees to whet your appetite, but feel to go "off menu" for the main course. If there's a story out there you like, the team of chefs here at "Maison Bush" are happy to whip it up for you. As usual, dinner will be served between 1800 and 1900GMT.

One of today's big stories is that Joseph Kabila has been declared the winner of the presidential run-off election in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His main rival Jean-Pierre Bemba is not happy, and has vowed to challenge the vote by all means. It's a delicate situation, and international peacekeepers have deployed extra troops in the capital, Kinshasa - a Bemba stronghold.

Are you in Congo - what do you think of the election result? Mr Kabila says the country should remain quiet because a new page of its history had just been turned. Do you agree, or do you think this will just lead to more violence and uncertainty? Post your views here on the blog or to our online debate.

In Japan, the lower house of parliament has passed a bill encouraging teachers to instil thinking among students "respecting tradition and culture and loving the nation and homeland." Opponents fear the move could help fan a resurgence of nationalism. Nationalism is a big issue around the world, and has sparked some fiery debates on the show before.

Wherever you are in the world - should children be taught to love their country? Or is it more important to teach other values such as respect and tolerance? How important is national pride in your country? Post your thoughts here on the blog, or join the Have Your Say debate.

There's an interesting article in today's International Herald Tribune. Pope Benedict XVI is convening a summit Thursday to discuss the celibacy requirement for priests. The Vatican says the policy is not open for discussion. Proponents argue that allowing men to marry in the priesthood could help relieve a shortage of clergy in many parts of the world.

Should priests be allowed to marry? Is the Catholic church missing out on potentially good priests because of the requirement for celibacy?

Are big sporting events becoming just too expensive to host? The cost of the London Olympic Games in 2012 continues to soar - it's now estimated at around £5 billion (almost $10 billion). And yesterday, FIFA president Sepp Blatter again dismissed fears that the next World Cup could be moved from South Africa and said the 2010 hosts were further along at this point than Germany was four years ago. Are big sporting events pricing themselves out of the market, and becoming too difficult to host as costs spiral. Let us know your thoughts.

And terrorism continues to be a top priority in the UK, with more anti-terror legislation promised at the official opening of parliament yesterday. The Today programme on our sister station Radio 4 took an interesting view this morning, with Frank Gardiner looking at how all these terror warnings affect people's trust in the government. How much information do you want about terror threats? How much is enough to know you can trust the government? And how much is too much, leading you to live in a state of constant fear?

OJ Simpson's decision to launch a mock confession in book form is testing the editorial guidelines. This is a talking point in the US - no doubt - but it's also something of a publicity stunt. Should we be covering it?

Let us know what you think should be in the show tonight.


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