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Thursday, 29 May, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 29 May 08, 06:01 PM

From tonight's presenter, Emily Maitlis:


earth_203100.jpgHave you noticed that farmers are unusually quiet these days? After years of understandable frustration over Foot and Mouth, Mad Cow disease and supermarket-squeezed margins, the National Farmers' Union has admitted that "productive agriculture" is back on the agenda. In other words, food prices are high and they're not coming down any time soon.

A top level report has said the cost of food could remain at record levels for the next decade. So tonight, we ask the big question: too little food? Too little fuel? Or just too many of us? We'll be debating the taboo subject of overpopulation.


When ministers start talking about "consensus" over controversial issues, the rest of us start wondering about U-turns. Today, a Home Office minister announced there might be concessions on the 42-day detention issue. We'll be looking at what these might be and what they say about Gordon Brown's relationship with his backbenchers.

North Korea

An estimated 200,000 North Koreans are living illegally on the Chinese border. Food shortages in their country means an ever greater chance of starvation, and when your life is at risk, you risk your life. Tonight, an extraordinarily powerful film from the North Korea border where we document the flow of human traffic and what it tells us about the society that remains possibly the most closed in the world.

A Genuine Hitler?

Ever wondered what a genocidal maniac would choose to paint in his spare time? If you're looking for a portrayal of an evil mind, you won't find it here. The works of one Adolf Hitler are pure and insipid banality. Yet they've inspired the Chapman Brothers - best known for their work "Hell" - to rework his paintings and ask "If Hitler was a Hippy How Happy Would We Be". It's not as crass as it sounds.

Policy Exchange dispute - update

  • Newsnight
  • 29 May 08, 03:21 PM

As summer approaches we thought it was about time we revisited the row we got into late last year with the influential right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange. It's almost six months since we broadcast our investigation into Policy Exchange's report "The Hijacking of British Islam" which named and shamed mosques across the UK for disseminating extremist literature. We have a new statement from them, but more of that later.

Continue reading "Policy Exchange dispute - update"

Prospects for Thursday, 29 May, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 29 May 08, 10:14 AM

Today's output editor is Jasmin Buttar - here's her morning e-mail to the production team:

Lots of opportunity for you to get your ideas on the show tonight.

What to lead on?
- OECD report says world food prices will continue to rise and one of the underlying reasons is the size of the world's population. Are there simply too many people for the world's resources to sustain?

- IVF story - see cover of Sun - amazing story but is there something in it for us?

- knife crime - ad campaign starts today and Blair speaks on it - can we find a fresh enough angle?

Elsewhere we have a gripping film from Olenka Frenkiel and Ian O'Reilly on the North Koreans fleeing to China and South Korea to escape poverty and famine.

Please come fizzing with thoughts.

Until 10.30,

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