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Friday, 16 May, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 16 May 08, 05:46 PM

Beatings, Torture and Horrific Violence in Zimbabwe:
zim_torture203.jpgTonight, an exclusive interview with the US ambassador to Zimbabwe. James McGee was held for investigating what he knew to be obscene and violent attacks on members of the opposition by Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party. He graphically describes what he saw first hand - the vicious attacks on old women and young men alike - and his own response to the authorities that tried to detain him. Yet more proof of these attacks comes from the British journalist Peter Oborne who recently emerged from Zimbabwe with first hand accounts and the pictures to prove it. As the authorities set a date for the presidential run-off, finally, we bring you these distressing but crucial testimonies to the ongoing Mugabe reign of fear.

China and Burma:
One natural disaster with a death toll reaching into the tens of thousands is hard enough to contemplate. Two becomes unthinkable. Tonight our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban assesses how changed each country will be by its own natural disaster and ask what the international communities' response should be. And what does an 'official death toll' really mean - how on earth do we start to grasp the hard facts when they're so hard to come by in each case?

And is our obsession with inflation well, a little over-inflated? Tonight we speak to the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who thinks we're in danger of missing the point. He says that inflation targets - such as that used by the Bank Of England - could push us into recession, sacrificing growth in a vain attempt to keep down prices. So does the Bank of England - which has warned of the end of the "nice decade" - need a radical change of plan?

Join me tonight at 10:30pm


Prospects for Friday, 16 May

  • Newsnight
  • 16 May 08, 10:27 AM

Today's programme producer is Dan Kelly - here's his morning e-mail to the production team...

Burma and China
The loss of life and injuries caused by the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China have been extraordinary. What are the facts on the ground (how does the foreign office come to a figure of 217,000 dead in Burma for example)? How have the authorities responded? Will both countries ever be the same again? Let's look at both crises separately and in detail and discuss how the international community should react. Which guests would you like on?

We have an interview with the US ambassador in Zimbabwe, who was recently held by the authorities for daring to investigate the beatings handed out to MDC members by Zanu PF. We have a first hand account and pictures of these attacks from a journalist who recently went in to the country. Tsvangirai is in Belfast, we are trying to get an interview.

Other thoughts and guest suggestions are all welcome.

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