Talk about Newsnight

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Thursday, 17 April, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 17 Apr 08, 05:33 PM

Terror trial verdict

A few moments ago, the Muslim activist Abu Izzadeen and five others were found guilty on terror-related charges. Izzadeen and one of the other convicted men, Simon Keeler, have been convicted of fundraising for terrorists and inciting terrorism overseas. Both men have been the subject of a series of revelatory Newsnight reports in recent years. Our reporter Richard Watson will bring you the definitive story of the two men and of Al Muhajiroun - the organisation they were at the heart of.

Brown in the USA

The roads are repaved, the traffic's stopped, the flags are flying and the crowds have turned out in their tens of thousands to welcome the foreign visitor.
The problem is, they've come to see the Pope, not Gordon Brown.
The first mention of Gordon Brown's visit comes on page 14 of the New York Times. The second - a brief headline - states 'Brit leader visits US in Pope's shadow'.
Unfortunate clash perhaps, but then again Gordon Brown never claimed he could fill a baseball stadium and anyway, he has people to meet.
Today, he's been given audiences with Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their Republican rival John McCain.
So which of the candidates does our PM see eye to eye with? We'll be speaking to McCain's special advisor live on the programme and asking what the special relationship would look like under their stewardship.


The opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has called for the South African President to step down as an intermediary in the election negotiations. His frustration with the process is palpable. But it is odd that his words come just as Thabo Mbeki has finally abandoned soft diplomacy to himself call for the prompt release of Zimbabwe's election result, twenty four hours after Gordon Brown demanded the same thing in the starkest terms at the UN. Is the international community's approach towards Zimbabwe changing? Will it give Mr Tsvangirai the endorsement he needs to claim victory?

Immigration: A tale of two papers

IMMIGRANTS BRING MORE CRIME - the Mail screams today. It claims to be interpreting a report by Chiefs of Police.

MIGRANT CRIME WAVE A MYTH - sang the Guardian yesterday (and some BBC bulletins too) and yes, they'd been reading exactly the same report.

Who's right? Well, having been through the report it doesn't really endorse either view - indeed it tells us very little that's new.

So why does the debate on immigration always get hijacked so quickly? And is there ever a real chance of getting to the facts, when the very word is so emotive?
We'll debate that tonight with media commentators on left and right.

Join me, at 10.30pm


Prospects for Thursday, 17 April

  • Newsnight
  • 17 Apr 08, 11:34 AM

Liz Gibbons is today's programme producer - here's her early email to the team.


So - what do you want to do? Michael Crick and Hugh are in Washington and already working on a piece about Brown's relationship with Bush and his potential successors. He's meeting all of them today - which one really shares his world view?

Piece will take in the Bush/Brown presser and his handshakes with the candidates. Who should we speak to off the back?

Beyond that the programme is wide open.

What could we bring to the OFT construction story, Zimbabwe, ACPO on immigration and crime?

We could do with a good end of programme talking point. What about the pope on the state of US society? Have you seen anything better?



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