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Monday morning early thoughts

James Harrod | 09:30 UK time, Monday, 18 June 2007

palestinian.jpgHello, James here with a few ideas we're looking into for the show later. As ever, please leave your comments below and if you have something you think the world should be discussing then please, get in contact.

If you would like to pitch your idea to the team, just call us on +44 207 557 0635 and we'll call you back.

PALESTINIAN AID
Within the past few hours, the European Union has confirmed it'll restart direct aid to the new emergency Palestinian government. Western countries and Israel stopped giving aid after the Islamist Hamas movement won elections eighteen months ago. But last week the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, dismissed the Hamas cabinet and swore in a new emergency one. It's likely to deepen divisions between the West Bank and Gaza - which is now effectively controlled by Hamas. Reports from Gaza say fuel and other essential supplies are beginning to dwindle and people are stock-piling food. We did a lot about the situation last week - but is the world still talking about it?

What do you think? Are you in Gaza now - what do you make of the EU's decision? Will people in Gaza be more isolated than ever, as the international community shuns Hamas? ....

Also up for discussion today...

ALAN JOHNSTON
Many pieces of information coming out of Gaza about our friend and colleague Alan Johnston over the past few days. The Army of Islam - the group said to have abducted Alan - said, in a video, that there were "efforts and communication" with Hamas with regards to freeing him, but that no deal had been done. Sadly as I write this he is still being held. He's now been missing for 14 weeks. As the 100th day of his abduction approaches, we'll continue to read out your messages of support on the programme, and hear from some of his colleagues and close friends.

SALMAN RUSHDIE HONOUR
Over the weekend, author Salman Rushdie was given a knighthood in the Queen's honours, for his services to literature. It's a controversial honour, to say the least. One of his books - "The Satanic Verses" - offended Muslims worldwide, because of its perceived blasphemous depiction of the prophet Muhammad. Back in 1989 - the Iranian Supreme Leader issued a fatwa, ordering his execution . Nine years later, the Iranian government said it would no longer support the fatwa. However, on Saturday an Iranian spokesman slammed the decision to praise Mr Rushdie, saying it highlighted "Islamophobia among British officials". The UK Foreign Office said his honour was "richly deserved".

Is Mr Rushdie's award an insult to Islam? Does he deserve the knighthood? Are the awards "outdated? Your thoughts please.

FINGERPRINTING CHILDREN
Is it right to fingerprint children? The British government's looking into the idea for kids as young as five. Eye scans are also being considered. According to this report, ministers think it'll be a good idea and be used to track children during the day, to tell if they are playing truant. But opposition MPs are against the plans, saying the prints from kids will be "a gift to identity thieves", while civil liberty groups accuse the government of wanting to "barcode" children. Your thoughts on this please.

EXPENSIVE CITIES
Do you live in Moscow? If so you'll know how costly it is to live there. A new report out today says the Russian capital is the most expensive city for expats. Second is London, with Seoul in third. New York City - so often in the top rankings came 15th, while Sofia in Bulgaria was the most affordable city.

Do you think this is a fair reflection on your city? Let us know.

HOLLYWOOD ENDING FOR BECKHAM
Possibly the most iconic footballer on the planet - David Beckham - bowed out of European football last night, clutching a champions medal. His team Real Madrid won the Spanish title, with a nerve-wracking 3-1 win over Real Mallorca. Beckham's off to Hollywood to play for the LA Galaxy, despite Real wanting him to stay. There were big celebrations in Madrid last night and a few sore heads this morning.

So what kind of impact will Beckham have in the US and can Major League Soccer give him the test he still craves?

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