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Today's Talking Points . . .

Paul Coletti | 08:52 UK time, Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Good morning. This is the time of day we look round to see what talking point are out there. One of the sources we use is the mailbox behind worldhaveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Amidst the requests from African kings and Thai princes for 'fund transfers' and offers for Viagra, we find nuggets from you our listeners. Martin in the Czech Republic wrote us a mail . . .

Martin's e-Mail from Brno, Czech Republic
For years, Mr Bush has been doing everything he could to ruin the Kyoto agreement. He does not seem to have changed his mind even now. Were he a private person, pollution of a neighbour´s plot, of a common river etc. would be considered criminal and he would be called to justice. In high politics, there are no rules. If the G8 want to prove that their summits are of any value, they should tackle the one problem they are /together with China/ most responsible for - global warming. We all know this is the potentially mortal issue which we shall either start resolving immediately or our grandchildren will lead miserable and unworthy lives. Shouldn´t Mr Bush be plainly told: either you commit yourself to a comprehensive ´Greenhouse Gases Limitation Treaty´ NOW or we shall break off all personal contacts with you until the end of your pitiful mandate?


The G8 meet next in Heiligendamm in a few weeks. Do you want to talk about them? It seems some folks in Germany are already planning some violence. The editor of a popular paper has had his mercedes set on fire by radical left-wing groups opposed to the G8.

There's been a lull in the fighting in the Palestinian camp in northern Lebanon. How do you see a solution to this conflict? Should the Lebanese troops break a 4-year treaty and go into the camp? Should they back off to avoid trouble spreading to other Palestinian camps in Lebanon? Fatah al-Islam have been firing on Red Cross officials making evacuation tricky but some refugees have got out . . . would you like to hear from them? Spiegel have a good photo gallery here.

What do you make of Russia's refusal to extradite former KGB-bodyguard Andrei Lugovoi? Lugovoi says "I'm a victim not a perpetrator of the poisoning." It's on all the front pages in Russia this morning and most, according the BBC World's Richard Galpin on my TV, are being defensive and suggest that the Brits are being hippocritical because they turn a blind eye to Russia's request to have oligarch Boris Berezovsky extradited to Moscow. Incidentally, this whole thing centres around the death of Alexander Litvinenko - refresher here. Is this a sign of more beliigerence from Russia? Aren't they perfectly entitiled to abide by their own constitution? Kevin sitting next to me reckons it could eventually descend into a political power play with Lugovoi being swapped for Berezovsky on a mist-shrouded bridge in some shady spot late one night. His imagination will be his undoing . . .

In all the hubbub surrounding the WHYS crew's trip to africa (they will be in Kenya tomorrow) there are some good stories we've missed out on. Most people with internet access will have seen the video of BBC reporter John Sweeney losing his rag at the son of Hollywood actress Ann Archer, Tommy Davis. Tommy is a member of The Church of Scientology and John Sweeney was investigating whether this religion is actually a cult. Did you see the full programme? Do you think the BBC came off best or do you think the Scientologists won the day? Have you had a good experience with Scientology? Have you been pestered by their staff?

Targeted Assasination
Israel says it reserves the right to target leaders of Hamas. Ephraim Sneh, the deputy defence minister, told Israel Radio that no Hamas leader was "immune from a strike". Is this a real threat or is it grandstanding as the news anchor on Al Jazeera has just said? Do you think if the rocket attacks into Israel continue then Israel should attack Hamas politicians? Or is this just adding fuel to the fire? When does a government have the right to assassinate an enemy?

National Service in the USA?
John Edwards says:

"One of the things we ought to be thinking about is some level of mandatory service to our country, so that everybody in America — not just the poor kids who get sent to war — are serving this country,"

Mandatory National Service in the US? Would it work? Does the US need it? What form would National Service take?

Oh, and before I forget . . .there's an important football match on tonight in Athens . . . some team from the UK are taking on some team from Italy . . . . anyone interested in this?


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