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Archives for June 2011

Thursday 30 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:11 UK time, Thursday, 30 June 2011

Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers have gone on strike across the UK over planned pension changes.

Tonight David Grossman, who has been out on the streets of London with protesters, examines the proposals for public service pensions and we'll hear from the government, Unions and the Labour Party.

Meanwhile, Anna Adams has spent the day in Kent hearing from parents, pupils and teachers about how today's one day strike has affected them.

Then we'll take a brief look at the history of British industrial disputes, and discuss what the political consequences of more strikes are likely to be with our political panel.

And Sue Lloyd Roberts has another report for us from Syria - this time about how the revolution there kicked off and what role cyber activism played in it.

Do join Kirsty for all that and more at 2230 on BBC Two.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Len Freeman | 11:23 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Greek MPs have voted in favour of unpopular austerity measures aimed at saving the country from defaulting on its debt.

So is that the end of the crisis? Our economics editor Paul Mason assesses the likely outcome as protests continue on the street. Read Paul's blog.

And while Greece is preparing for some major belt tightening, the European Union is looking to ask its member states for more cash - going against the wishes of David Cameron who had called on the EU to exercise some belt tightening of its own.

The UK Border Agency has been facing criticism after managing to let into the country a man who had been banned. It wasn't as if he sneaked in. Sheikh Salah, who has Israeli citizenship and is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, arrived under his own name and his visit had been announced in advance.

He went on to address public meetings before the police arrested him. Richard Watson will have a report for us.

And our political editor Michael Crick is in Inverclyde ahead of Thursday's by-election. The seat has traditionally been held by Labour but after the SNP's success in the Scottish Parliament elections, Alex Salmond's party is hoping to pull off a win. Michael will bring us the latest as the campaign ends.

Join Jeremy Paxman at 10.30pm

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:54 UK time, Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A planned shake-up of higher education in England, being set out to MPs, aims to increase competition and give consumer powers to students. We'll speak to the Universities Minister David Willetts about that later.

Police have fired tear gas in running battles with stone-throwing youths in Athens, where a 48-hour general strike is being held against a parliamentary vote on tough austerity measures. Paul Mason is there and we'll get the latest from him tonight. Meanwhile, you can read his thoughts on his blog.

Then Mark Urban considers what went wrong with the project to upgrade the Kajaki dam in Helmand Province that was supposed to bring electricity to millions of Afghans. A quest into which lives and money have been poured, the turbine remains unassembled, exposed to the elements and overgrown with weeds, three years after being brought to the site by the British military. Read more here.

And Johann Hari, interviewer and columnist with the Independent, has admitted inserting quotes into his interviews that were not from the original interview itself. We'll be discussing if that's plagiarism - or harmless journalistic sleight of hand .

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Monday 27 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 16:53 UK time, Monday, 27 June 2011

Tonight David Grossman will be asking where public opinion is on the planned strikes over pensions that are due to take place on Thursday, when teachers and civil servants are due to walk out causing widespread disruption.

Then we have front-line reportage from Andrew Harding who is in the besieged city of Misrata in Libya.

As Liam Fox vows to bring budgets "under control" at the Ministry of Defence in an overhaul likely to see a cut in the number of senior officers, Mark Urban explains what the reorganisation might like look like.

And Matt Frei delivers his valedictory essay for Newsnight in which he asks if the US is in long term decline, and we discuss if the 21st Century might really be the Chinese century.

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 24th June 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:08 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

Tonight, we have an exclusive with hacking collective LulzSec, who have been explaining their agenda to Susan Watts.

And off the back of that piece we will be talking to former US head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and James Lyne - a computer expert who hacks for security companies to test their security.

Tim Whewell has an update on our story this week that Syrians protesting against the Assad regime in London say they have been intimidated by officials from their home country.

Plus, what does the news that home furnishings retailer Habitat has gone into administration, with only three British stores assured of survival, say about Britain's sense of style today? We will be speaking to designer and Habitat's former style director Tom Dixon and the Editor of Elle Decoration Magazine, Michelle Ogundehin.

And Michael Crick is still in Brussels where European Union leaders have gathered for a second day of summit talks dominated by the Greek debt crisis, which is threatening the stability of the 17-nation eurozone.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said today that he had received assurances that Britain would not be called upon to contribute to EU financial support for Greece.

Tonight Michael will ask if this is the moment that Britain should redefine its relationship with Brussels and the Union.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 17:25 UK time, Thursday, 23 June 2011

Michael Crick is in Brussels for us tonight where the threat of a Greek debt default undermining the euro is overshadowing an EU summit.

Paul Mason will be asking how an economy like Greece's can be saved from going bust (read more on his blog), and we'll be speaking to Werner Hoyer, the German Foreign Office's Europe Minister.

And Iain Watson has the latest on the attempt to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in England.

Join Gavin Esler at 2230 on BBC Two for all that and more.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 18:24 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tonight we'll be hearing testimony from the British Syrian community who say that protesters outside the embassy in London are being threatened, as are their family members back at home in Syria.

We go undercover for an investigation into a group of faith healers who claim they have miracle cures for cancer and HIV.

And Iain Watson has the latest on the House of Lords reforms.

Join Jeremy for all that and more at 2230 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:09 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tonight Sue Lloyd-Roberts goes undercover in the Syrian capital Damascus to speak to opposition activists there about the anti-government protests, the regime's response and what the demonstrators hope to achieve.

Then our Economics editor Paul Mason considers if the likelihood of banking contagion if Greece defaults has been overblown.

Amid claims of a government U-turn Michael Crick is looking at sentencing, and technology correspondent Rory Cellan Jones asks if the personalisation of the web could limit our access to information, enclosing us in a self-reinforcing world view and making our social circles more homogeneous.

Join Jeremy for all that and more at 2230 on BBC Two.

Monday 20 June 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:26 UK time, Monday, 20 June 2011

Tonight on the programme we have an exclusive report from inside Syria by one of our reporters, who has just returned from a week undercover in the capital Damascus spent meeting opposition activists who are leading the anti-government protests.

We hear powerful testimony about what is really happening on the ground in Syria's revolution.

Michael Crick will have the latest on government plans to make women wait longer for their state pension.

And we ask if we are living in an over sexualised society, and if so whether that is necessarily a problem.

Are double standards in the media to blame? Should the government be intervening, or do we need a new kind of feminism to respond?

Our guests include Caitlin Moran, whose new book, How To Be a Woman, attempts to reclaim feminism in a deliberately non-academic way, Brooke Magnanti, author of the call girl blog Belle du Jour, and Kat Banyard, author of The Equality Illusion and founder of UK Feminista - an organisation supporting grassroots feminist activism.

Friday 17 June 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:36 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

Paul Mason is still in Greece this morning and is out and about gauging response to Prime Minister George Papandreou's attempt to push through unpopular austerity measures demanded by the EU through the appointment of a new finance minister.

We will have his film tonight and also by the time we go to air Paul should be back with us and live on the programme with a report on how worried the rest of the eurozone and the UK should be by the crisis.

Also, with a photograph of a couple kissing amid the Vancouver riots, we ask what it takes to make an iconic image.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:19 UK time, Thursday, 16 June 2011

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is set to announce a new cabinet amid tough austerity measures, as MPs from his party convene an emergency meeting.

Will this be enough to ease the fears that Greece will default on its debt which have shaken markets and to end the unrest on the streets? Paul Mason is in Athens and will bring us the latest tonight.

We will also be looking at the promotion of Ayman al-Zawahiri to al-Qaeda leader and reports from the US the Sun is entering a period of "hibernation" with far fewer sunspots than had been expected.

And we have a film on the influential work of Collier Campbell; the award-winning textile design company which turns 50 this year.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:33 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Which will have a bigger impact on the 21st Century, the global financial crisis or the Arab Spring? And can the events even be separated out? Tonight we look at both events.

We have an interview with Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as concern at the international community's failure to make a breakthrough in the Libyan conflict looks to be growing.

We will also be talking to Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has again ruled out military intervention to protect Syrian civilians of the kind recently undertaken in Libya.

Paul Mason is on the frontline of the financial crisis - today's austerity protests in Athens. You can read his reports in his blog - and tonight he will be live on the programme.

And we will be discussing links between the Arab Spring and financial crisis with Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb and economist and writer Noreena Hertz.

And then it is time for something completely different as we turn our attention to the lunar eclipse - the first total lunar eclipse of 2011 and the longest in nearly 11 years - with amateur astronomer and professional Brian Cox impersonator Jon Culshaw and space scientist Maggie Aderin Pocock.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:25 UK time, Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The government has agreed to make the main changes to its controversial NHS reforms in England that were recommended by an independent review.

David Cameron said ministers had listened to fears about increased competition and more powers for GPs and would now slow the pace of change.

Tonight we look at what is left of the bold, radical plan for reform that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was convinced existed as recently as January, and we will ask him how he feels about the changes.

Also, as the government admits it cannot force councils in England to provide weekly bin collections, we look at the tension between the centralised and devolved government.

And Stephen Smith has been to Belgium to see Big Society in action on a grand scale in Brussels, where volunteers of every stripe take part in an annual city clean-up day.

Monday 13 June 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 12:47 UK time, Monday, 13 June 2011

Double-helpings of Newsnight tonight...

At 10pm

Following the BBC Two documentary at 9pm tonight entitled Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die, Newsnight have an interview with Mr Pratchett and Jeremy Paxman chairs a debate about the controversial issues surrounding assisted dying. Our guests in the studio will be David Aaronovitch, Dr Erika Preisig, Debbie Purdy, Dinah Rose QC, Liz Carr and The Rt Revd Michael Langrish Bishop of Exeter.

At 10.30pm

Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates has pledged $1bn to help vaccinate children around the world against preventable diseases like pneumonia.

He's hosting a summit in London where countries are being asked to give an extra £2.3bn ($3.7bn) by 2015 for child vaccines.

We speak to Mr Gates about his plans and hear from those who disagree with his approach.

Tune in tonight from 10pm!

Friday 10 June 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 12:41 UK time, Friday, 10 June 2011

Tonight we'll be looking at the future of the Labour Party under Ed Miliband. How is he shaping up as a leader and what are his plans for the party?

Leaked documents which detail efforts by Gordon Brown and his allies to speed up Tony Blair's exit from office after the 2005 election have emerged, reminding us of former divisions in the party. Can Ed Miliband unify his troops and outline a convincing vision for Labour?

We'll hear from a senior ally of Ed Miliband and we'll be speaking to Arnie Graf, the US community organiser and mentor of the young Barack Obama, who's been appointed by Mr Miliband to conduct a review of Labour's organisation and campaign structures. How can Labour learn from community activism in the US?

We'll also be discussing whether the death knell has sounded for Nato after outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said it faced a dim, if not dismal future. Plus the latest on Sarah Palin's emails that are being released by the state of Alaska.

Join Emily Maitlis at 2230 on BBC Two.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Len Freeman | 11:08 UK time, Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Crown Prosecution Service has launched an independent inquiry following Newsnight's revelations last night that they didn't disclose material which might have saved people from convictions.

It follows Richard Watson's investigation showing how the CPS broke its own rules on disclosure of evidence in the case of six activists accused of planning to shut down a Nottinghamshire power station in 2009. The group had been infiltrated by a police informer Mark Kennedy.

Religion and Politics - The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has written a devastating critique of the coalition's performance in government - even questioning the strength of their mandate, arguing: "with remarkable speed, we are being committed to radical, long term policies for which no one voted". We'll ask cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith if Rowan Williams is right in what he says and who has the moral high ground in this debate.

We also have a very strong film from Tim Whewell in Gaza on the Arab spring. The desire for change is strong but there seems to be no means to deliver it.

Read more about Tim Whewell's report.

Do join Stephanie at 10.30pm.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:28 UK time, Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Lots happening on tonight's prorgamme at 2230 on BBC Two.

Richard Watson has the latest on the story that the Crown Prosecution Service has opened an inquiry after claims prosecutors withheld undercover police officer Mark Kennedy's surveillance tapes from defence lawyers.

Our economics editor Paul Mason will be asking what can we do about banks.

Mark Urban will bring us the amazing story of the Syrian blogger, A Gay Girl in Damascus, who is missing.

And Stephen Smith has been to meet iconoclastic choreographer Michael Clark whose latest work - which fills the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall - uses professional dancers alongside volunteering members of the public, and which Clark says embodies the punk spirit for which he first became famous. Watch a preview clip here.

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 17:03 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tonight we're leading on NHS reforms and we'll be hearing from key players in the coalition and public and private health practitioners.

Then we've done a Wife-Swap style parenting experiment in which a family who use strict "Chinese" style parenting methods switch mother with a family who have a more relaxed Western approach.

And we'll be joined live by "Tiger Mother" author Amy Chua + Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts to discuss the merits of different parenting styles.

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC2 for all that and more.

Monday 6 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:22 UK time, Monday, 6 June 2011

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that no changes are needed to UK economic policy. It said weak economic growth and rising inflation had been "unexpected", but said they were "largely temporary". It pointed to rising commodity prices and the increase in VAT as temporary problems for inflation. Our Economics editor Paul Mason has been blogging on this subject and you can watch more from him on tonight's programme, when we'll also have interviews with the interim boss of the IMF, John Lipsky (watch a clip here), and the shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

Then, as Nintendo becomes the latest company to suffer an online security breach due to an attack by hackers, the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones investigates how much we put our own personal data at risk by storing it on servers and hard drives that are not our own. Read more on the dot.Rory blog here.

Ahead of the publication tomorrow of the government's revised Prevent counter-terrorism strategy, the Home Secretary Theresa May has accused universities of "complacency" in tackling Islamist extremism. Richard Watson is in Nottingham and has more on this story for us this evening.

Do join Jeremy for all that and more at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 3 June 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:11 UK time, Friday, 3 June 2011

Panorama's programme detailing the abuse of residents in a Bristol care home and the news that Southern Cross has slashed its rent payments in an effort to keep its 750 residential homes for the elderly running have this week thrown a new spotlight on the provision of care for vulnerable members of society.

Tonight we focus on the kind of care which should be available and who should pay for it with a report from Peter Marshall and a discussion with guests including Joan Bakewell, John Redwood and Ray King from Bupa.

We also focus on another of the stories of the week - morality in sport - following the news that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been reinstated.

The race, originally due to be held on 13 March, was called off in February because of pro-democracy protests in which more than 20 people have died.

Is it right that it will be back on the F1 calendar in October?

Thursday 2 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:34 UK time, Thursday, 2 June 2011

With more doubts raised today on the government's ability to control immigration, one group who are being targeted are students who wish to study here. But can the UK afford to turn many of them away?

Tonight we will debate whether the crackdown on student visas keeps the best and the brightest out, or simply closes one big immigration loophole. 

As the E-Coli bug claims more victims Susan Watts reports on how worried should we be about this new and powerful strain, and we talk to Professor Hugh Pennington, who led inquiries into two E-Coli outbreaks in the UK.

And 1980s architecture - iconic buildings like London's Broadgate Centre and the Law Courts in Truro - is starting to turn 30.

Love them or loathe them, this means they can now apply for listed heritage status. But should they be saved? Tonight we have an authored film from Wayne Hemingway on the proposed listing of iconic and controversial early '80s developments.

Before you see that film, check out this classic piece of BBC archive we've uncovered of Prince Charles talking about 1980s architecture.


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Wednesday 1 June 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:30 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Nato's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's departure from power is "only a matter of time". Tonight we hear from the BBC's Andrew North who has spent the past few weeks in Tripoli.

We have a film from our correspondent Tim Whewell who is in Egypt - where a court has set a date for the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal. Tim has travelled to the Sinai peninsula, the wilderness area that separates Africa and Asia, which he finds is awash with arms and increasingly unstable since the uprising which toppled Mr Mubarak in February. Read more about that here.

And Jeremy will be speaking to Booker prize winning author turned political campaigner, Arundhati Roy.

Join us at 2230 on Two for all that and more.

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