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Monday's early thoughts

| 09:14 UK time, Monday, 4 June 2007

"When taking visiting family on a boat ride on the Thames on a scorching hot summer's day, don't forget the suncream". Those were my early thoughts as I got out of bed this morning, with my crisp, beetroot red shoulders causing me much discomfort. (Well that's the polite version anyway).

Here's my thought for today's programme having read the news.

Charles Taylor is to be tried for war crimes in The Hague. The former Liberian leader will be the first African head of state to face such a trial. The atrocities in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war are well documented, and make for pretty sobering reading on a Monday morning journey to work. But there are signs of support for Taylor, apparently posters of the man with the words ``God willing, I shall return” around the streets of Monrovia.

Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi says:

This sets a serious precedent….This means that every head of state could meet a similar fate.

What is the reaction in Liberia and around the African continent?

China climate change
China has unveiled its first national plan for climate change. It says it’s intent on tackling the problem but not at the expense of economic development.
Scientists expect China to overtake the United States this year as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide. China has set itself the target of reducing energy consumption by twenty per-cent over the next three years, and to get more of its energy from renewable sources. The minister who launched the plan, Ma Kai, said China should not be expected to make the same sort of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions as developed countries. What are your thoughts on this?

LA Hilton
Most read story on the BBC News website as I type, is news of Paris Hilton’s stay in Los Angeles County Jail. The socialite most famous for being rich and for having a sex tape put on the internet, is to serve a 23 day sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol. She’s going to be separated from the main prison, to be housed in a block reserved for celebrities, public officials, police officers and other high-profile inmates. Sounds like being grounded for three weeks in one of her Daddy’s hotels would serve as the same level of punishment. I haven’t heard her take the opportunity to use the fact she’s being jailed for drink driving to heighten awareness of this potentially fatal activity (it was revealed in the UK just last week that incidences of drink driving are actually increasing). But let me know if you think I’ve got that wrong….

Israel to boycott Britain?
The Israeli parliament is to debate a draft law that could lead to a boycott of all British goods. This is in response to recent threats from Britain’s largest trade union to boycott Israel.
"This is not a one-way street" says Danny Yatom, a member of the Israeli parliament. Sounds like one that could be up for discussion today.

Violence continues in Lebanese camps
Two Lebanese soldiers have been killed, as fighting with militants at Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh camp, near the southern city of Sidon, continued into a second day. Clashes with the Fatah al-Islam group at the northern Nahr al-Bared camp went on during the night, taking the fighting into it's third week. How can the Lebanese state deal with militants on its territory?

Bob Woolmer was not murdered
That was the news that caught my eye the most over the weekend. Scotland Yard have told Jamaican police that the Pakistani cricket coach died of natural causes, brought on by chronic ill-health and possibly diabetes. Former Pakistan player Asif Iqbal told the BBC that Jamaican police carried out a "Bollywood kind of investigation". Sighs of relief all round for the players and that were all finger printed and treated as suspects in the investigation. But what about evidence that he was strangled? There are plenty of questions that remain unanswered, so I would like to hear this on the show today.


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