Talk about Newsnight

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Tuesday, 30 October, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 30 Oct 07, 06:22 PM


boy203_100.gifIt's an uncomfortable thought, one that we normally push to the back of our minds as we search out bargains in the High Street. An investigation for tonight’s programme has found that the government of Uzbekistan uses forced child labour to pick cotton – and that cotton often finds its way into clothes sold in British stores such as Asda, Matalan and Burton.

Uzbekistan is the world’s second largest exporter of cotton, a trade which is controlled by the State, and merchants claim that ninety per cent of its output is hand picked. Human rights groups estimate some 450,000 children are shut out of schools and working in its cotton fields every harvest, despite the government’s stance that child labour is outlawed.

We'll be speaking to the Trade and Development minister, Gareth Thomas about what can be done to stop this.


Also tonight after the apology by one but two government ministers about the substantial underestimate of the numbers of migrant workers who have arrived in the UK since 1997. Now after some close reading of the revised statistics it appears that more than half of the new jobs created in the past decade have been taken by foreign workers. W here does that leave Gordon Brown's rallying cry at the TUC conference - British jobs for British people?


The authorities in Chad have charged nine French citizens, some of them from the French organisation Zoe's Ark, with abduction and fraud, accusing them of trying to smuggle more than a hundred children to Europe. Zoe's Ark claims the children are orphans from the Darfur region of Sudan, Chadian officials said most appeared to be from Chad. The news raises the issue of international child adoption and the risks inherent in it. We'll be discussing that tonight. Remember the furore over Madonna's adoption of a little Malawian boy? Other celebrities have opted for children from abroad, and many ordinary families too. Is it ever a good idea to adopt or foster children from their home country?


And we'll be remembering Professor Anthony Clare the renowned psychiatrist who has just died. An author and broadcaster he demystified psychiatry and engaged the Radio Four audience with many series of "In The Psychiatrists Chair.

Kurdish region open for business despite tensions in the north

  • Richard Colebourn
  • 30 Oct 07, 03:14 PM

ERBIL, NORTHERN IRAQ - The Erbil International Trade Fair opened yesterday. Representatives of western brands like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Mercedes Benz, Sony and Massey Ferguson are pitching for business from local companies and investors. It seemed astonishing to browse the high-tech gadgets and displays and meet agents sent from London, New York, Beirut and Dubai.

Continue reading "Kurdish region open for business despite tensions in the north"

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