Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Thursday, 9 August, 2007

  • Kirsty Wark
  • 9 Aug 07, 06:15 PM

Cattle graze on a farm close to Pirbright in SurreyFoot and mouth
We begin tonight with an extraordinary discovery made by the Newsnight team investigating the foot and mouth outbreak. The disease may have been contained by culling, and the ban on cattle movement relaxed, but the Pirbright site could still be vulnerable to another outbreak, and will be so until radical action is taken. We'll explain all tonight and are hoping to put our findings to a government minister.

Krishna Maharaj
The 68-year-old British businessman Krishna Maharaj spent 15 years on death row in Florida, and has been in prison there for more than twenty - convicted of a double murder he insits he did not commit. Jack Straw believes him, so too does Harriet Harman, Peter Hain, the former Attorney Generals Lord Goldsmith and Lord Lyall, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Dholakia and 300 politicians on both sides of the House who are calling for a retrial. Most importantly, having spent months investigating the case, the Foreign Office says it believes there is "prima facie evidence of a miscarriage of justice." Today Krishna Maharaj, armed with six alibi witnesses, begins his final appeal for clemency. Newsnight's Tim Samuels, who has visited Mr Maharaj in jail many times over the years, interviews him about his last chance for freedom. Read Tim's report here.

What is going on in Pakistan? General Musharraf threatens to declare a state of emergency then backs away. Was it a smokescreen for domestic problems and an attempt to delay elections and the introduction of civilian rule? Was it also an excuse for staying at home rather than attending a jirga hosted by President Karzai to talk about dealing with Taliban and Al Qaeda violence, one consequence of which is the deaths of British and US soldiers in Afghanistan? Today President Bush told the Pakistani leader he expected him to take swift action to crack. Our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban gives us his take on what is probably the most critical region in the world today.

Role models
As a government report points the finger at rap artists for providing bad role models for black kids, we'll be dissecting who exactly produces rap, who listens to it, and what effect it really has.

Who owns the Arctic sea bed? Canada scoffed at the legal significance of Russia's planting of a flag on the oil rich bottom of the Arctic - only to spring into action a week later, attempting to complete an undersea map. The US Geological Survey estimates 25% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas lies in the Arctic. So who does it belong to? We hope we'll be able to tell you tonight.

Illegal candidate

  • Michael Crick
  • 9 Aug 07, 03:50 PM

Tony Lit and David CameronA viewer, Dan Bindman, has written to say that the Conservative candidate in the Ealing by-election, Tony Lit, wasn’t even qualified to stand - at least not under Conservative Party rules.

As everyone knows, Mr Lit only joined the party a few days before he was unveiled as the Tory candidate in Ealing. Dan points out that under the party rules, a candidate must have belonged to the party for at least three months before he can stand for a Parliamentary election.

It’s all set out in the following document which one can download from the Conservative Party website here.

"Do I need to be a member of the Conservative party to be a candidate?" it asks in one of a series of questions and answers. The response: "We require everyone to be a paid-up member of the party of at least 3 months."
Mr Lit made much in his election literature about how he’d been personally asked by David Cameron to stand as the candidate.

Perhaps if the Tory leader had obeyed his party rules, and let the local association in Ealing pick their contender (in line with his commitment to devolving power), he would have faced a lot less grief.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites