Talk about Newsnight

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Monday, 12 May, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 12 May 08, 05:41 PM

mizenflowers203.jpgFrom tonight's presenter, Kirsty Wark.

Teenage violence

"I don't feel anger, just sorrow for the parents of our son's killer."

These were the dignified and moving words of Margaret Mizen, whose son Jimmy was murdered on his 16th birthday. He was killed on Saturday morning in London when broken glass from an apparently unprovoked attack at a baker's shop lodged in his neck.

His death is the 13th teenage murder in London this year. The first pledge made by Boris Johnson, when he became Mayor of London, was to tackle the culture of teenage violence in the capital, and yesterday - at a global Day of Prayer - he reiterated his commitment.

But the problem is certainly not confined to London - last summer Rhys Jones, just 11 years old, was shot dead in Liverpool by two youths.

Tonight, we'll be discussing the ease with which teenagers turn to violence and how best to change the culture that breeds it.

China's earthquake

South West China has suffered its worst earthquake for 30 years, and several thousand people have been killed in the south-western province of Sichuan alone, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Many were buried as schools, factories and dormitories collapsed in the force of the quake with a magnitude of 7.8. Several hundred are buried in two collapsed chemical plants. China's President Hu Jintao has called for all out rescue efforts after the quake, the reverberations of which were felt 900 miles away in Beijing.

We'll have the latest from China on the devastation and the rescue effort, and what the government's response tells us about China in 2008.

Gordon's future

"Psychologically flawed."

Do you remember when that description of Gordon Brown was attributed to Alistair Campbell? Wrongly, Campbell says.

It was back in 1998 but the idea that Gordon sat "gathering his brows like a gathering storm nursing his wrath to keep it warm" (apologies to Burns) for the whole of the Blair years has not been dispelled by his demeanour as PM, and certainly not by the trio of autobiographies from Lord Levy, John Prescott and Cherie Blair.

And we know that his most recent travails over a Scottish referendum on Independence have put him in a very black mood. This weekend the Labour backbencher Frank Field said that he had been at the receiving end of a Brown rage in the past, and that he should not lead Labour to the next election - those closest to him should tell him when is the best time to go. We'll be gazing into Gordon Brown's future.

The cost of living

...and inflation. Tomorrow the National office of Statistics publishes the official figures but what is the true cost of living these days? How does it affect us all? We'll have the answers.

(Click here to take part in iPMs study of credit crunch concerns around the country.)

Have the UFOs stopped coming?

  • Newsnight
  • 12 May 08, 12:05 PM


Today the Ministry of Defence started releasing their UFO files.

They are all accessible on the internet through the National Archives UFO website - or watch the Newsnight take on the story here.

Prospects for Monday, 12 May 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 12 May 08, 10:17 AM

Good morning. Here's today's e-mail to the production team from output editor Simon Enright:

Hello All,

"I don't feel anger just sorrow for the parent's of our son's killer." The dignity with which the parents of Jimmy Mizen have spoken about him and the horrible way in which he died is striking. Sadly they are not the only parents to be dealing with the death of their teenage children AND it appears to be other teenagers who are carrying out the killing. Stopping these awful crimes was one of the main promises of Boris Johnson but how would you do it? Who are the people best placed to know and can we get them to debate on the programme?

But there are other things around... Burma, Gordon Brown's state of mind - does it matter if he's enjoying himself or not? Embryology debate?

We also have a piece trying to measure the real cost of inflation. All the papers are doing it but how accurate are their assessments? Hugh Milbourn and Gillian Lacey Solimar on the case.

As always looking for good ideas and thoughts. See you at 10.30.


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