Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Monday, 10 September, 2007

  • Gavin Esler
  • 10 Sep 07, 06:01 PM

Is the surge working?
General David PetraeusThe top US commander in Iraq General David Petraeus and Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker are beginning to answer that question today, at a committee hearing of US politicians. Seventy percent of Iraqis seem to think security has got worse in the area covered by the surge, according to a poll commissioned by the BBC. But the Ambassador and the General are reported to have come to a different conclusion. The US Democrats hoped that the Petraeus Crocker report might help them. But will it - in fact - provide President Bush with some much needed political cover to "stay the course?" Mark Urban's in Washington and we'll be talking to a Democratic and Republican congressman.

Refugee crisis
One effect of the Iraq war that is seldom reported is the influx of refugees into neighbouring countries. Syria, according to the UNHCR, sees 2,000 Iraqis cross the border every day. It's thought 1.5m in all have fled there since the invasion. But Newsnight understands that the Syrian government has had enough, and is on the verge of shutting the border, and setting up refugee camps. Our Baghdad correspondent Andrew North has been to Syria to see how the country has coped

Union discontent
It was his first address to the TUC as Labour leader, and Gordon Brown got a rather lukewarm reception. He stressed that a tight public sector pay settlement is necessary to cool the economy. Meawhile another union - the PCS - is to be balloted on possible strike action. Does a ratcheting up of the rhetoric actually suit both sides? David Grossman is there.

Sharif sent home
Nawaz Sharif, who returned to his native country early this morning in a bid to take on General Musharraf in forthcoming elections, spent a matter of minutes on Pakistani soil today before being arrested on money-laundering charges and dispatched to Saudi Arabia. Could this decisive move backfire on the General? We'll be speaking to the Pakistani Information Minister.

Mr Sharif spoke to Newsnight a short time ago about his decision to return to Pakistan - watch it here.

Reporting the defining story of our age

  • Richard Watson
  • 10 Sep 07, 01:41 PM

Richard Watson Judging by the numerous comments on my piece last week on extremist material in public libraries, there's nothing like a debate about political Islam to stir the emotions.

I really like getting feedback from you, even if some comments are pretty disparaging - usually from those who believe we obsess about these matters. But I make no apology for that. The terror threat - more specifically the Islamist terror threat - is the defining story of our age.

Oscar Wilde had it about right when he said not being talked about is the worst fate a writer can face. Newsnight likes to be at the centre of the debate so please continue to tell us your views and suggest stories for us to cover.

So with all this in mind, we've created a special web page which pulls together a lot of our work on terrorism, radicalism and related subjects. We hope you find it a useful resource.

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