Tuesday - Russia/Japan/India
Good morning. James over at Television Centre with a look at what's happening. No doubt the top story for many outlets today - the ongoing rift between Russia and Britain. Some are calling it "Cold War diplomacy" . Russia has warned Britain to expect a response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from London. In a tit-for-tat move, Moscow's likely to expel British diplomats.
The escalation in tension is mainly down to the Kremlin's refusal to hand over the prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko...
...The British Foreign Secretary has denied the Cold War has restarted but certainly the rhetoric and actions from both countries are along similar lines. Is it inevitable the diplomatic spat will widen? Maybe we should look at the wider context and assess why we've ended up here. Let us know.
I briefly mentioned the earthquake in Japan in yesterday's morning post. We didn't do it on the programme but is it worth speaking to people there today? More than 12,000 people will spend a second night in shelter centres, and authorities are looking into a possible second radioactive leak at nuclear plant following the tremors.
How widespread is adultery in India? A female minister has gone on record to say Indian men cannot be trusted in their sexual behaviour and are fuelling the country's HIV epidemic. "You cannot trust your men or your husbands", said Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury.
Do you remember the organ donor TV show in the Netherlands which turned out to be a hoax? Well, despite the criticism they received, it appears their message worked. Figures show more than 12,000 people registered to be a donor in the month immediately after the show finished. Usually 3-4,000 people register in the same period. The Big Donor Show made headlines around the world and was branded tasteless and unethical when its makers announced they would run a game show with a kidney as the top prize. It was revealed the show was a fake. We did cover this quite a bit when it happened - should we return to it and ask do shock tactics on TV work?
There are plenty of bloggers interested in "Rage Boy" - a protester who turns up at almost every major demonstration to express Islamist anger about Danish cartoons, terrorism, Salman Rushdie's knighthood and Israeli action in the Palestinian territories. The man's face has become so familiar that he's even engendered merchandise. "Rage Boy" posters, mouse-pads, magnets, and tile coasters are now available. He's endured ridicule from many, but says he is "doing what every Muslim should do". Is it worth asking a question about the effectiveness of this kind of protest?
Meantime the hugely anticipated Simpsons movie is creating more controversy. First there was the racism debate over shopkeeper Apu, now Pagans in the UK are unhappy about this picture - a massive painting of Homer right next to fertility symbol - the Cerne Abbas giant. Many believe the ancient chalk outline of the naked, sexually aroused giant (Cerne Abbas, not Homer) to be a symbol of ancient spirituality. Now Pagans have pledged to perform "rain magic" to wash away the cartoon family man. Is the painting funny or offensive?