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Foot and Mouth, Lebanon, surveillance, floods, power and baseball

Martin Vennard | 08:58 UK time, Monday, 6 August 2007

Good morning from West London. There's no doubt what the number one story is here in Britain today - the outbreak of foot and mouth disease at a farm in Surrey, south of London.

There is evidence that the source of the outbreak may have been a nearby government research facility or its commercial partner, but, whatever the cause, there is no doubt that it is of major concern to the farming community, with a nationwide ban on the movement of livestock in force.

It comes six years after another outbreak of foot and mouth in Britain, which led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of cattle and cost billions of dollars to the economy. Would you like to hear from members of Britain's farming community.

In Lebanon, an opposition candidate has defeated a government-backed rival in a tense by-election near the capital Beirut.

The poll is being seen as a key battle for the Christian leadership, ahead of presidential elections next month. Overnight supporters of the two sides were separated by tanks and hundreds of troops.

The contest reflects the bitter struggle between the Western-backed government and the opposition alliance, which includes Hezbollah, a Shia Muslim group backed by Syria. Would you like to hear more from Lebanon?

The Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has confirmed that he will try to change the law to allow him to remain in power indefinitely.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who has been in power for 27 years, also shows no sign of relinquishing power. In December his ZANU-PF party approved a plan to move presidential polls from 2008 to 2010, effectively extending Mr Mugabe's rule by two years.

And in Russia, there are calls for a change to the constitution to allow Vladimir Putin to serve a third term as president.

Why do some leaders want to go on seemingly for ever and, if that is what people want, why shouldn't they be able to?

The floods in the Indian sub-continent are continuing to claim victims, with at least 240 people now known to have died in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, where millions of people face continuing misery.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Indian state of Bihar are short of food and isolated while rescue services are struggling to deliver aid.

We heard from some people in the region on Friday, but would you like to hear more from there today?

Last week a famous British actor, Chris Langham, was convicted of downloading pornographic images of children from the internet.

He argued that he was doing so for research purposes and that he wanted to understand the abuse he had suffered as a child.

On Sunday, an article in a British newspaper asked whether evil thoughts, rather than deeds, should be punished? What do you think?

In the United States, Congress has backed a measure allowing the government to eavesdrop on foreigners suspected of having links with terrorism.

The bill allows taps on foreign phone and internet communications routed via the US. In Britain there are thousands of CCTV cameras used for security or road safety, and people around the world can be tracked through the use of their mobile phones or credit cards. Does all this extra surveillance make you feel safer or is it yet another infringement of our civil liberties?

Also in the states Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants on Saturday tied Major League Baseball's home run record.

But Bonds has recently been the subject of accusations of steroid use, something he denies doing knowingly. Do you want to talk about that?


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