Talk about Newsnight

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Wednesday, 8 August, 2007

  • Kirsty Wark
  • 8 Aug 07, 05:50 PM

British troops in BasraIraq
Tonight we open with an exclusive investigation by our Diplomatic Editor into Iranian involvement in, and leadership of, attacks on British and US forces in Iraq. Mark Urban has high level intelligence pointing to the use of bombs designed with Iranian technology - one of which killed a British soldier. Add to that accusations that large numbers of Iraqi insurgents have been trained in Iran and one question for tonight is whether these actions are sanctioned by the Iranian government.
This comes as The Washington Post reports a senior US Intelligence figure as saying British forces have been beaten in Basra - where the Iranians are said to be active in fuelling the increasing violence. I'll be asking John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN and the Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, how the West should be dealing with Iran .

Foot and mouth
Tests have been carried out on all the drains at the Pirbright site, encompassing both the Institute of Animal Health and the Merial Laboratory, in an effort to discover the source of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth, and they are being sent to the government tonight. In developments today, the Chief Vet confirmed she is ordering the culling of cattle on an adjacent farm in Surrey - though it appears to be a precautionary measure rather than the response to any sign of the disease. She also announced a relaxation on of the ban on the movement of livestock in England and Wales, following the relaxation in Scotland. We'll bring you the latest on the tests.

Undercover mosque
In the latest episode in the TV "fakery" saga - the editing of a Channel Four programme Undercover Mosque has led to a formal complaint to Ofcom by West Midlands Police. The commissioning editor of the series Kevin Sutcliffe defended the programme saying he believed 'the comments made in this film speak for themselves - several speakers were clearly shown making abhorrent and extreme comments." However Abu Usamah, one of the preachers featured in the programme, said "to try and demonise the efforts of these people by taking their comments out of context was shocking." Who is right? Tonight we hope to bring together a leading member of the mosque in question with Kevin Sutcliffe of Channel Four.

And could corn become the fuel of the future? Ethanol, the fuel made from corn, is being touted in the US as a domestic alternative to oil from the Middle East. We've been to Iowa, to find out how American corn farmers are becoming an increasingly important lobby in the presidential race.

Eat, shoot and leave - should evolution run its course?

  • Newsnight
  • 8 Aug 07, 12:57 PM

Giant pandaA team of scientists has concluded that a freshwater dolphin found only in China's Yangtze river is now "likely to be extinct". If confirmed, it would be the first extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years.

The scientists added that human activity - such as building dams - may have contributed to the dolphin's decline.

But is human activity just part of evolution? Shouldn't evolution be allowed to run its course?

And why do we strive to keep some species such as Giant Pandas alive - despite obvious evolutionary shortcomings - yet neglect others?

What do you think?

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