BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team

Archives for July 2011

Friday 29 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 16:05 UK time, Friday, 29 July 2011

Two newspapers have been fined a total of £68,000 for breaking the law when reporting the investigation into landscape architect Jo Yeates' killing, and eight have paid out for libel.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire have issued a statement saying he "acted on the instructions of others".

So why does anyone bother with newspapers anymore? On tonight's Newsnight, our Political editor Michael Crick reports on the state of the British tabloid press.

And as US Republican leaders scramble to rescue their deficit-cutting bill hours after a vote on it stalled because of a revolt from members of their own party, we'll be joined by Sharron Angle, the Republican Senate Candidate for Nevada in 2010, and leading Tea Party figure.

Join us at 2230 on BBC Two.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:15 UK time, Thursday, 28 July 2011

On tonight's programme, Paul Mason retraces the epic journey from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to the Californian promised land taken by migrant workers the Joad family, which John Steinbeck described in his 1939 Great Depression novel The Grapes of Wrath. Paul's been finding out how it reflects the realities of America's current debt crisis. Read more here.

General David Petraeus has been speaking to Newsnight about his time as Nato's commander in Afghanistan. The new Director of the CIA also talks to us about difficult recent relations between the US and Pakistan -- he tells Mark Urban both sides have "stepped back from the abyss after looking into it". Read more on Mark's blog.

And Stephen Smith examines the research which claims that if you stay up to watch Newsnight after your partner has gone to bed, it's a sure sign your marriage is in trouble

If you can stay up till 10.30pm, do join Gavin Esler over on BBC Two.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 11:28 UK time, Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tonight, we take another look at the situation in Libya. While Libyan rebels remain locked in battle with pro-Gaddafi forces, the UK steps up the pressure on Col Gaddafi by insisting all Libyan diplomats leave the UK.

Former Labour cabinet minister James Purnell tells Newsnight that one of the reasons the Labour Party lost the last election was that their supporters no longer backed the welfare state. He's live in the studio later to discuss how the welfare system could be transformed.

And could we be seeing the end of scientific testing on monkeys? We'll be discussing the issues.

Join Jeremy Paxman tonight at 10.30pm.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:05 UK time, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Growth in the UK economy slowed in the three months to 30 June, partly because of the extra bank holiday in April, and also due to some other one-off factors - including the Japanese tsunami. Chancellor George Osborne said the growth was good news, but Ed Balls accused him of choking the recovery.

Tonight Paul Mason will give us his analysis, and David Grossman will explain the politics.

Then, with a year to go until the 2012 Olympics, Peter Marshall visits the Olympic Park in east London to find out if pledges that were made to win the event - including leaving behind a lasting physical legacy and inspiring two million people to take up sport and physical activity - will be fulfilled.

Author Iain Sinclair, who is sceptical about the London project, explains his feelings about London 2012, and we'll be joined by the athlete-turned-ambassador who led London's bid, Lord Coe, the Welsh athlete Baroness Grey-Thompson, and writer Will Self, who has described the Olympics as a "running and jumping festival".

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Monday 25 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:54 UK time, Monday, 25 July 2011

Norwegian police are investigating claims by Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted carrying out Friday's twin attacks in Norway, that he has "two more cells" working with him. Steve Rosenberg is in Oslo for us, and we'll be exploring how deeply ingrained the anti-immigrant strain of thinking is in Europe.

Then Catrin Nye examines the links between Breivik and the English Defence League (EDL). Jeremy Paxman will be joined live by the EDL's leader Tommy Robinson.

And Paul Mason travels to the north east of England to hear a "mea culpa" from former business secretary Lord Mandelson, who admits New Labour didn't get everything right on the economy when they were in office. Lord Mandelson will join Jeremy live in the studio to explain how he thinks Labour needs to change in order to win back power.

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

From earlier: The man who has admitted carrying out Friday's twin terror attacks in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, is due to make his first appearance in court.

The hearing will be held behind closed doors, the judge has ruled.

Steve Rosenberg is in Oslo for us and will bring us the latest tonight.

Then our Economics editor Paul Mason follows former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to the north east where he delivers a "mea culpa" about what Labour got wrong while they were in office.

Lord Mandelson joins Jeremy live in the studio later.

Friday 22 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:06 UK time, Friday, 22 July 2011

Coming up at 2230 on BBC Two, new allegations about phone hacking at a weekend tabloid - which suggests illegal practices weren't just rife at the News of the World.

We'll have the latest from the Norwegian capital where at least two people have been killed by a huge bomb blast, while reports say a gunman has opened fire at a Labour Party youth camp in Norway.

Mark Urban has been to meet US General David Petraeus who acted as the US commander in both Afghanistan and Iraq and who is expected to take over as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in September. In a wide-ranging interview he talks about the drawdown in Afghanistan and the significance of the death of Obama Bin Laden.

And Stephen Smith has been lunching with art historian Dr James Fox and muse Sue Tilley at Lucian Freud's favourite restaurant in Kensington. Stephen asks if Freud, who died at his London home on Wednesday, was the last great British painter.

Do join us at 2230 on BBC Two.
From earlier:David Cameron has said that James Murdoch "clearly" needs to answer questions in Parliament after his evidence on phone hacking was challenged.

We'll have the latest on the hacking story on tonight's Newsnight.

Last night IMF chief Christine Lagarde told us that the Greek rescue package isn't a default - but today rating agency Fitch says it will consider the country to have defaulted on its debts once old bonds have been swapped for new bonds. We'll consider when a default is not a default later.

And Stephen Smith will be examining if Lucian Freud was the last great British painter.

Thursday 21 July 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 12:18 UK time, Thursday, 21 July 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have hammered out a common position on the euro debt crisis ahead of a crunch meeting of eurozone leaders today.

Details of the deal have not yet been released, but there are indications that a new tax on Europe's banks to help fund any new aid packages may NOT be part of the deal.

Mark Urban is in Brussels for Newsnight - don't miss his report on the Euro Summit in tonight's programme.

More details later.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:29 UK time, Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that "with hindsight" he would not have hired ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications director.

Our Political editor Michael Crick has been blogging about the links between Coulson and the top Tory triumvirate of Cameron, Osborne and Hague, and you can hear more from Michael and David Grossman on the political events of the day later tonight.

Then we'll be asking Max Mosley, who won a privacy case against the News of the World after it exposed his sadomasochistic sex life, and celebrity publicist Max Clifford if this is the moment the British press changes.

And Rory Cellan-Jones will be considering if there is a case for high speed rail.

Join us at 2230 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:30 UK time, Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Rupert Murdoch has said he was "appalled and ashamed" to learn that the phone of Milly Dowler had been hacked by the News of the World while being questioned by MPs alongside his son James this afternoon.

We've also heard Sir Paul Stephenson - the outgoing commissioner of the Met police - give his evidence to the home affairs committee today, and will watching when former NI exec Rebekah Brooks appears shortly.

On tonight's programme we'll be analysing what we learned from today's hearings and will be considering what future the News International empire has.

Don't miss it - 2230, BBC Two.

Monday 18 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:26 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

The fallout from the phone hacking scandal continues and tonight we'll have the very latest on the events of the day.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates has quit amid growing pressure - we'll examine why he had to go and ask if public and political confidence in the police is now at an all-time low.

David Cameron is cutting short his trip to Africa to return to the UK and he's announced that the Commons will be recalled on Wednesday to debate the latest developments. How damaged is the PM? And is there now a scenario that could lead to Cameron losing his job?

All that and a look ahead to tomorrow's crucial culture select committee hearing with Rebekah Brooks, and James and Rupert Murdoch.

Do join us at 2230 on BBC Two.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Verity Murphy | 17:33 UK time, Thursday, 14 July 2011

Tonight on Newsnight with Kirsty Wark we have an exclusive interview with His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud - the second biggest investor in News Corporation.

David Grossman will be taking us through the events of the day.

Tim Whewell has a report on how the contagion of the Murdoch brand is spreading around the world, and particularly to the US.

And we will be discussing whether this phone-hacking scandal will accelerate the demise of newspapers, or blow over.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 11:34 UK time, Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Jeremy Paxman will be joined tonight by a live studio audience, all of whom describe themselves as 'undecided voters'.

He'll be asking them their views on the business of phone-hacking and how they think the party leaders have been dealing with recent revelations.

Don't miss it!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:59 UK time, Tuesday, 12 July 2011

More on the hacking story tonight, as senior Metropolitan police officers tell MPs News International deliberately tried to thwart the original investigation into phone hacking.

Also Paul Mason reports on a day of volatile European shares as investors worry that the eurozone debt crisis could spread to Italy and Spain.

Plus we look at the government's energy policy as Energy Secretary Chris Huhne publishes a White Paper with plans for £110bn of investment in electricity generation under which a quarter of the country's power stations would be replaced by 2030.

And Liz MacKean looks at what lies behind the upsurge in violence in Northern Ireland.

More details later.

Monday 11 July 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:00 UK time, Monday, 11 July 2011

Another day of fast moving developments on the News of the World hacking story as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he is seeking fresh advice from regulators on News Corp's takeover bid for BSkyB.

And the has BBC learned there is evidence the News of the World (NoW) was paying a Metropolitan Police Royal Protection Squad officer for the contact details of senior members of the royal family, their friends and their relations.

We will have the latest tonight and reports from Michael Crick on the political ramifications, from David Grossman on whether this is the moment the political classes break away from the Murdoch empire and Richard Watson on the police's part in the affair.

All that and a report from Fifa World Cup host country Qatar by BBC Sports editor David Bond. You can read more about that in David's blog.

Friday 8 July 2011

Verity Murphy | 16:47 UK time, Friday, 8 July 2011

On Newsnight tonight we ask if this is a watershed moment for British journalism with guests including writer Will Self, Heat magazine's Boyd Hilton, MumsNet co-founder Justine Roberts, former BBC director general Greg Dyke and Harriet Harman MP.

Join them and Emily Maitlis at 10.30pm.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:27 UK time, Thursday, 7 July 2011

This Sunday's issue of the News of the World will be the last edition of the paper, News International has said.

Will the bombshell announced today by James Murdoch assuage public anger? Will it remove the threat that the phone hacking scandal might scupper News Corporation's bid to take full control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB?

Will The Sun newspaper now become a seven-day-a-week operation? Has the whole affair inflicted permanent damage on Rupert Murdoch's media empire?

On tonight's programme we will put those questions to key players, get reaction from Wapping, analyse the fast-paced events of the day and bring you the very latest news.

And, as Nasa prepares for the last ever space shuttle mission, Susan Watts has travelled to California's Mojave desert to meet the entrepreneurs preparing to take up the challenge of human space flight, now that the space agency is stepping aside.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:23 UK time, Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Are the News of the World phone hacking allegations the equivalent for journalists of the MPs expenses scandal and a watershed moment for the profession in this country?

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a public inquiry after a police investigation ends - but Labour says it must happen sooner.

Michael Crick and Richard Watson will have the latest on the story and we will be joined by guests to discuss.

We have a piece on how Britain is slipping behind other countries in the fight against child sex abuse.

Plus Jeremy will be talking to Professor Martin Seligman, the American psychologist whose work inspired the prime minister's plan to measure the nation's happiness.

Apparently, "happiness is out, flourishing is in" - but is this the sort of thing governments should be getting involved in?

Tuesday 5 July 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 15:46 UK time, Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tonight on Newsnight, Richard Watson has new information on the latest hacking allegations being laid at the News of the World's door.

We will be discussing the story and its fallout with former tabloid editor Alastair Campbell and News of the World insider Paul McMullan. Then talking about the future of newspapers will be Huffington Post chief Arianna Huffington and the new editor of The Independent Chris Blackhurst.

Justin Rowlatt reports on what the loss of 1,400 jobs at train maker Bombardier says about the British approach to manufacturing and procurement deals, and about the Coalition's growth strategy.

And Paul Mason has a strong film about Pathfinder housing scheme in Stoke-on-Trent, part of John Prescott's grand regeneration plan, and the devastating consequences of cutting funding for it.

Monday 4 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:50 UK time, Monday, 4 July 2011

In a special edition of Newsnight tonight we're exploring different attitudes towards the notions of Britishness and national identity, and to Scottish independence.

We'll analyse the findings of a survey which found that almost 50% of voters in England want Scotland to remain part of the UK - read the rest of the findings here.

Allan Little will consider the role of the British state in the Scotland he grew up in and why there has been a gradual decay of what it means to be British in Scotland.

And Fergal Keane examines why the concepts of Englishness and Britishness are hard to disentangle, and asks if the rise of Scotland's nationalism might inspire a new distinctly English nationalism among those who once saw themselves as British.

Join Jeremy at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 1 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:36 UK time, Friday, 1 July 2011

On the day that the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meets Prime Minister David Cameron, Richard Watson considers how secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons are - and whether the US might take pre-emptive steps to stop them falling into the hands of terrorists. We'll be joined by the Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been released from house arrest amid doubts about the credibility of his accuser. We'll ask if he could still be a candidate for the French presidency - leading American lawyer Alan Dershowitz and DSK's biographer Michel Taubmann will discuss.

And we're keeping a close eye on the tennis - is Andy Murray's dream of a Wimbledon final dying?

Do join Kirsty at 2230 on BBC Two.

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