Talk about Newsnight

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Tuesday, 1 April, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 1 Apr 08, 06:31 PM

Reports from Zimbabwe suggest the opposition has reached an outline deal with President Mugabe which would see him leave office after 28 years. Unnamed sources say talks have been taking place with representatives from the opposition MDC and President Mugabe's party, chaired by the South African president, Thabo Mbeki. The agreement hasn't been signed yet; it's thought President Mugabe may be preparing to address the nation. We'll have the latest on the ground from our World Affairs Editor, John Simpson in Zimbabwe. We'll also be speaking to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The Speaker of the Commons, Michael Martin, is to be investigated over expenses claims totalling £4,000 in relation to taxi journeys by his wife. A preliminary inquiry will be conducted by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon. David Grossman will be gauging where this leaves the Speaker.

China's economy is, by any measure, a success story. Eleven per cent economic growth, rising wealth even among the poor and it's all set to be showcased spectacularly at the Olympics. Amid the celebrations, it's hardly been acknowledged that this is the 50th anniversary of the Great Leap Forward - Chairman Mao's failed attempt to modernise China the first time round. In the second part of Paul Mason's powerful series on China he asks what few in that country's media are prepared to: What are the parallels between then and now? We'll also be getting Lord Patten's analysis of how China is faring economically.

Prospects for Tuesday, 1 April

  • Newsnight
  • 1 Apr 08, 10:32 AM

Robert Morgan is today's programme producer - here's his early email.

Good morning everyone,

There are some strong stories around today. When are the full results going to be announced in the Zimbabwe elections? Will President Mugabe steal it? And what would the repercussions be? Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC gives a press conference in an hour. Do come up with ideas for new ways to do this story.

There's also immigration. An influential Lords committee has rejected Government claims that immigration is bringing benefits to the country and says there should be a cap on numbers. The Lords economic affairs committee says the competition for jobs and public services could be damaging the prospects of the young and low paid.

42 days detention comes up in the Commons again as part of the Government's anti-terrorism measures. The Des Browne Iraq troop statement, Lord Sainsbury's tax and the Harriet Harman story are good too. Gordon Brown has his monthly presser today. Any extra suggestions for questions for David Grossman would be welcome.

We have a superb China film from Paul and Warwick on the Great Leap Forward 50 years on. There's a Lord Patten interview off the back which needs editing.



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