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Afghanistan, Yahoo, Turkey and Alberto Gonzales and black role models

Martin Vennard | 08:53 UK time, Tuesday, 28 August 2007

We are planning to look at Afghanistan today and the United Nations report, which says the production of opium, the raw material for heroin, has reached record levels.

The report says growing opium poppies is now closely linked to the insurgency and the instability in the south of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannat, has warned that his troops are on the edge of a "new and deadly Great Game in Afghanisan".

We plan to look at whether the report's findings and the parallel resurgence of the Taleban are signs that the foreign powers present in Afghanistan have failed in their mission there.

My colleagues have already set up a number of guests to go to our Kabul office to take part in the discussion.

But what else should we be talking about?

A human rights group in the US is suing Yahoo for alleged complicity in rights abuses and acts of torture in China.

The World Organization for Human Rights says the internet company's sharing of information with the Chinese government has led to the arrests of writers and dissidents.

Yahoo says it supports privacy and free expression and that it is working with other technology companies to find a way to address human rights concerns.

We often talk about doing stories related to access to the internet and the use of it by companies and authorities as a way of monitoring people's behaviour. Perhaps this is the right day to be discussing the subject.

Another possibility is the expected election today of Turkey's Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, as president.

Mr Gul is a former Islamist and the parliamentary vote comes amid warnings from the military that the country's secular constitution should not be undermined.

Without naming Mr Gul, the armed forces chief warned that "centres of evil" were trying to undermine the state.
Should we be speaking to Turks about whether they feel their country's foundations are under threat?

Another possibility is looking at where the resignation of the US Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales, leaves President Bush.

Mr Gonzales is the final member of Mr Bush's original Texas inner circle to leave his administration.

And finally, black role models - another subject that often comes up in our meetings. Britain's New Nation newspaper has published its list of the country's 100 most powerful blackmen and women.

It doesn't just include sports and pop stars. The paper's editor, Michael Eboda, has written an article highlighting the importance of role models for young black people. Maybe we should be talking to him.


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