Talk about Newsnight

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Monday, 21 April, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 21 Apr 08, 06:02 PM

Ministers today moved to head off a potential backbench rebellion over the abolition of the 10p income tax rate by promising to consult on new measures to tackle poverty among Britain's lowest income households. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Yvette Cooper told MPs that a previously-announced inquiry into the next steps for tackling child poverty would be extended to include the needs of households on low incomes without children. Gordon Brown is expected to give details of the review when he addresses the Parliamentary Labour Party for the second time in less than a month this evening. But has the Government done enough to head off a rebellion next week? We'll be speaking to one of the leading Labour rebels.

The Chancellor Alistair Darling has been giving details of the Bank of England's £50bn rescue package for banks affected by the global credit crunch. The intervention will see bonds from the Treasury offered to banks in exchange for their potentially risky mortgage debts. It's hoped that the scheme will loosen up lending between banks - and consequently bolster the mortgage market. We'll be asking if taxpayers' money will be at risk. And will interest rate cuts be passed on to customers as a result?

President Carter
The former US President, Jimmy Carter - who met last week with the top Hamas leaders in Syria - says Hamas is prepared to accept Israel's right to live as a neighbour in peace. He said even if Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert negotiated for the full recognition of Israel, Hamas would accept it, as long as it was approved in a Palestinian referendum. He tells us that Hamas is prepared to stick to a mutual ceasefire. See his exclusive interview on this and on the US Presidential race on the programme tonight. Watch a preview here.

Suzanne Holdsworth case
In December Newsnight told the disturbing story of baby-sitter Suzanne Holdsworth, jailed for life for murdering toddler Kyle Fisher. Holdsworth denies it - and tomorrow the courts will hear her appeal against the conviction. Now two surgeons and a former police officer on the murder inquiry are raising fresh doubts about a troubling case. John Sweeney reports. Read John's article on the case here.

Prospects: Monday, 21 April, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 21 Apr 08, 11:40 AM

Robert Morgan is today's programme producer. Here is his morning email to the production team. You can contribute your ideas and views below.

Good morning everyone,

There's quite a choice of stories today. There's the 10p tax revolt, £50bn for the banks, and I really like the Google cookie story. Jeremy has just done a really strong interview with Jimmy Carter on his talks with Hamas and the US presidential election.

And there's a film from John Sweeney.

Clare Fisher dropped off her two-year-old son, Kyle, with baby-sitter Suzanne Holdsworth in July 2004. Seventy five minutes later he was brain-dead. Holdsworth was convicted of murdering Kyle and is serving life in prison.
The court heard that she must have smashed his head against a banister with a force like being thrown from a car crash at 60 mph. But leading neuro-pathologist Dr Waney Squier tells Newsnight she has major concerns about the impact theory. Dr Squier points to a congenital brain abnormality and a year-old injury to the eye socket which had nothing to do with Holdsworth. Both conditions can cause fits - and fits can kill.
So Holdsworth may be innocent because no murder ever took place. John Sweeney reports on the fresh evidence that points to a possible miscarriage of justice, and on questions raised about the police investigation into Kyle's death.

Read John's article on the case here.


Pro-China protests sweep the web (let's talk?)

  • Paul Mason
  • 21 Apr 08, 09:34 AM

UPDATE: 1516 GMT Protesters in nine cities have blockaded Carrefour stores in protest at France's diplomatic stance on Tibet. See it here on Youtube....

In the past seven days Chinese students have held a protest outside BBC Manchester condemning the corporation's "biased" reporting of Tibet, the Olympic flame etc; over 3m young Chinese have joined an online protest by adding "Love China" tags to their MSN accounts, and, according to this report, the Chinese authorities are now so worried about the nationalist tone of pro-regime demos and websites that they have started to censor them. It's given me an idea...

Continue reading "Pro-China protests sweep the web (let's talk?)"

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