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Archives for September 2011

Friday 30 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:37 UK time, Friday, 30 September 2011

UPDATE AT 1807 - Here's what is happening on tonight's programme:

In our final edition of the week, Andrew Verity will be asking what if anything is wrong with the predatory capitalism that Ed Miliband called for a clampdown on at the Labour Party's conference earlier this week.

Tim Whewell will have more on the news that US-born suspected al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, whose death was said to have been personally ordered by US President Barack Obama, has been killed in Yemen.

And as Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's appeal against their convictions for the 2007 murder of Perugia student Meredith Kercher draws to a close we ask what the obsession with Knox is and has it got anything to do with Berlusconi's Italy.


In our final edition of the week, Andrew Verity will be asking what's wrong with the predatory capitalism that Ed Miliband called for a clampdown on at the Labour Party's conference earlier this week.

US-born suspected al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, whose death was said to have been personally ordered by President Obama, has been killed in Yemen, reports say - we'll have more on that.

And the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones has a piece about how US patent laws are threatening web development and innovation.

More details later.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:21 UK time, Thursday, 29 September 2011

Please note that Newsnight is on 10 minutes later than usual tonight at 10.40pm. Here's some details of what's on:

A large majority in Germany's parliament has approved new powers for the EU's main bailout fund, despite opposition from some members of the ruling coalition.

Peter Marshall is in Berlin getting under the skin of what the Germans really think about Europe and the euro, and we will be discussing the latest events in the studio.

We look at the wider implications of footballer Rio Ferdinand losing a High Court privacy action over a "kiss and tell" newspaper story.

We have a live interview with actor Mark Rylance about the stunning success of the play Jerusalem as it returns to London from an award-winning run on Broadway - and what it tells us about being English.

Plus, as Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah overturns a court ruling sentencing a woman to 10 lashes for breaking a ban on female drivers we ask whether he can win the battle against the hardliners in his kingdom.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:12 UK time, Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Europe in crisis

On tonight's Newsnight Paul Mason will be asking whether Europe and the world banking system is on the edge of catastrophe. He'll look at fears that the so-called rescue plan for the eurozone is already in trouble and will consider what would happen if the euro ultimately broke up.

We'll be joined by the European Commission, Johanna Kyrklund from Shroders, economist and former DG of the CBI Sir Richard Lambert, and Peter Oborne from the Daily Telegraph to debate if the euro project is worth saving.

We have a film about social breakdown amid austerity in Greece, and we'll hear from our correspondent Peter Marshall in Berlin - where Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a vote tomorrow that threatens to weaken her politically and undermine her ability to manage the debt crisis.

Plus we'll have an interview with Labour leader Ed Miliband.

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

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:46 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Kirsty will be joined by a live studio audience at the Labour Conference in Liverpool tonight, where their leader Ed Miliband delivered a speech earlier in which he slammed big bankers, consensus politics, energy companies and benefit cheats. He said for decades our economy and society had been based on the wrong values.

David Grossman will give us his analysis of Ed Miliband's performance later.

And in light of John Prescott's comments on last night's programme that Ed Miliband should get rid of anyone who is "not pulling their weight", we'll consider if its time for a shadow cabinet reshuffle, and who might go.

Join us at 2230 on BBC Two.

Monday 26 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:50 UK time, Monday, 26 September 2011

Tonight Paul Mason will have the latest on the eurozone rescue plan, which is reported to be taking shape in Washington, analysis of what it means, the timetable and the likelihood that it will work.

And we will be joined by a fantastic cast of financial experts giving us their analysis.

At the Labour party conference in Liverpool Iain Watson will focus on how the party can become economically credible again.

We aren't speaking to Ed Balls as said earlier, but we will be talking to shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.

Plus David Grossman will be asking what the Labour party is for these days, and Jeremy Paxman will be taking up that theme with Lord Prescott.

Friday 23 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:23 UK time, Friday, 23 September 2011

Our Economics editor Paul Mason has just arrived back from Greece, and tonight he will have the latest on the economic crisis both there and further afield.

Plus we will be asking why, unlike in 2009, there is no sign of global leaders coming together to deal with the problem and opting instead for "kicking the can down the road".

Mark Urban will be picking over Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' decision to present the Palestinians' bid for statehood at the UN later today, despite a US promise to veto the move in the Security Council.

And Susan Watts will have more on the experiment results which are baffling scientists at Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider, that appear to show subatomic particles known as neutrinos have exceeded the speed of light.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:05 UK time, Thursday, 22 September 2011

There's quite a lot of sport planned for this evening's Newsnight, including from the BBC's Sports Editor David Bond who'll be telling us five ways competitors could cheat at the 2012 Olympics.

Then we'll be joined live by Olympic champion and anti-corruption campaigner Michael Johnson.

Gavin will be meeting the Russian oligarch who bank rolls the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers, Alexander Lebedev.

And our Diplomatic editor Mark Urban will be watching David Cameron's intervention speech at the UN later.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:07 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tonight Iain Watson is doing our lead story on growth and will be asking if the government is wobbling on Plan A, and if the governor of the Bank of England and other central bankers might ride to the rescue.

Then we have an update on an investigation from last month which uncovered evidence that the Ethiopian government is using billions of dollars of development aid as a tool for political oppression. You can read more about our initial investigation here. Now Newsnight has heard from members of the Ethiopian diaspora that there's been a concerted government backlash. We'll be hearing from the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell.

Prime Minister David Cameron has written to the National Trust to try to reassure its members who are campaigning against proposed changes to planning laws - the biggest reforms of the rules since the 1930s. Tim Whewell reports from rural Northamptonshire for us tonight, where a German-owned electricity firm has proposed building seven 410-foot (125m) wind turbines. And we'll be joined by leading businessman and peer Lord Wolfson.

Join Jeremy for all that and more at 22:30 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:43 UK time, Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Paul Mason is in Athens today. Tonight he will bring us the latest on the crisis in the eurozone and Greek attempts to avoid a debt default.

We will also be asking whether a default is inevitable and if so why leaders aren't setting out a plan for handling it, rather than continuing down the current path.

The Liberal Democrat conference is continuing today and we will have an interview with Energy Secretary Chris Huhne. Plus Iain Watson will be looking at what the Lib Dems think now about the role Britain should play in Europe, and in dealing with the eurozone economic crisis.

David Grossman will report on the tribes that make up the Liberal Democrat membership and look ahead to leader Nick Clegg's speech tomorrow.

And documentarian Michael Cockerell, whose latest series The Secret World of Whitehall broadcast this month, will report for us on the allegations that an aide Education Secretary Michael Gove used a personal email account to circumvent freedom of information laws.

Monday 19 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 14:47 UK time, Monday, 19 September 2011

Tonight's Newsnight comes live from Birmingham where the Liberal Democrats' 2011 conference is in full swing.

Iain Watson will be reporting from the marginal seat of Birmingham Yardley where he's asking if the Lib Dems are facing electoral meltdown, David Grossman will be auditing exactly what the party has achieved in government so far, and Jeremy will be speaking to the Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Join us at 22:30 on BBC Two for all that and more.

Friday 16 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:26 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

Last night on Newsnight former chancellor Ken Clarke said that political leadership in Washington and Western Europe has suffered "paralysis" in the face of the financial crisis.

Tonight Mark Urban will be taking a closer look at this claim, assessing what is causing the inertia and its consequences.

The Guardian newspaper has said that the Metropolitan Police are seeking an order under the Official Secrets Act to force it to disclose the confidential sources of its reports on the News of the World phone hacking scandal - we will have the latest on that.

And Susan Watts reports on an extraordinary trial in the earthquake-hit town of L'Aquila in Italy in which science itself seemed to be on trial as seismologists are charged with manslaughter for failing to predict the 2009 quake in which more than 300 people died.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:43 UK time, Thursday, 15 September 2011

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures show that a quarter of those charged over last month's riots had committed more than 10 past offences, while three-quarters had a previous caution or conviction.

Tonight we have an interview with Ken Clarke about the link between re-offending and the unrest and what the justice minister thinks needs to be done.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde has warned of a "dangerous" new economic phase in which bold, collective action is needed to prevent the major economies slipping back.

Paul Mason will have full analysis of that and the latest on the crisis in the eurozone ahead of Friday's meeting of European finance ministers in Poland, which US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is also due to attend.

And we have an authored film from one-time "Cameron Cutie" Charlotte Vere on whether the Tories are anti-women. Afterwards she and Angela Eagle will join Gavin in the studio to discuss.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 11:06 UK time, Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The leaders of Greece, France and Germany will have a phone conference this evening as they seek to find a way to contain the spiralling debt crisis in the eurozone.

Tonight Paul Mason will explain what a Greek default might look like - could it be orderly and managed or are we looking at a Lehman type event? You can read more of Paul's thoughts on that in his blog.

As we learn that unemployment in the UK rose by 80,000 in the three months to July and unions schedule a nationwide day of strikes and demonstrations for 30 November in protest at changes to public sector pensions, David Grossman looks at the coalition's growth strategy.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and someone from government will join us live.

And Tim Whewell has been investigating the assassination of General Abdul Fatah Younis in Libya at the height of the campaign against Colonel Gaddafi in late July. With the murder still unsolved, there is mounting anger among members of Younes' large and powerful tribe.

Join Emily at 22:30 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:25 UK time, Tuesday, 13 September 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to calm nerves over a possible Greek default, warning of a domino effect if Greece fails and exits the single currency.

Tonight Paul Mason reports on whether Mrs Merkel's attempts to allay fears will work and what is likely to happen next in the eurozone.

David Grossman reports from the Trades Unions Congress where Labour leader Ed Miliband has delivered a key note address in which he said despite public sector worker anger at cuts it was a "mistake" to strike while talks were going on, and was heckled in return.

Mark Urban examines the Palestinian bid for statehood set to happen at the UN General Assembly, which gets under way today.

And we speak to Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist, about the thinking behind his new book The Magic of Reality and his belief in the need to indoctrinate children with science rather than mythology.

Friday 9 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 19:20 UK time, Friday, 9 September 2011

Tonight Kirsty Wark presents an hour-long special on the 10 years since the 9/11 terror attacks live from New York.

We will be hearing from key US members of the Bush administration - former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.

Mark Urban has a film on the US response to the attacks and whether it was driven at times by a desire for revenge.

And we discuss the events of 10 years ago and the effect on the decade which followed with guests including Carl Bernstein, Suzanne Vega, Christiane Amanpour and Fran Lebowitz.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:31 UK time, Thursday, 8 September 2011

Is the tail wagging the dog? Tonight we assess the claim that the Liberal Democrats are exercising too much control over the government on a whole range of issues.

We talk to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Bush administration about 9/11 and its impact.

We have a film from Security correspondent Gordon Corera on the way NYPD and the FBI has responded to terror threats in the years after the attacks on New York and Washington and accusations that they have engaged in entrapment tactics.

And we have an interview with Cathy Wilson about her time as the wife of the serial killer Peter Tobin.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:10 UK time, Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Tonight we report on the growing global currency war, which escalated dramatically yesterday after Switzerland stepped in to weaken the franc in a bid to rid itself of "safe haven" status - how much of a threat is it and who has the political power to avert a crisis?

Nadine Dorries talks about her failed bid to change the law on abortion counselling to stop abortion providers giving NHS-funded counselling to women.

We speak to a young man who has been in the Syrian city of Homs, scene of some of the worst clashes between anti-government protesters and government forces, and who was shot during the unrest.

Plus, how is popular culture being used to alter perceptions of Muslims? We have an interview with Dr Naif al-Mutawa, creator of The 99 - comic book superheroes based on Islamic culture and society.

And Catrin Nye speaks to the creators of Canadian TV sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie - described as The Cosby Show for Muslims. You can read her article about that here, and watch the full report at 10.30pm.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:44 UK time, Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Ken Clarke has blamed a "broken penal system" for the riots that erupted across England last month.

Writing in the Guardian, he said the "hardcore" of those involved were known criminals whose behaviour had not been changed by previous punishments.

Tonight Liz MacKean reports on whether the justice secretary's assessment is correct and what can be done.

Also, former News of the World legal manager Tom Crone has told members of a House of Commons committee investigating the News of the World phone-hacking scandal that he was "certain" he told James Murdoch about an e-mail which indicated hacking at the paper went beyond one rogue reporter.

In a previous Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing, News Corp bosses Rupert and James Murdoch said they were not told of an email. And today James Murdoch has said that he stands by what he said.

David Grossman will be assessing the discrepancies and whether they are likely to dim News Corporation shareholders' view of James Murdoch and his chances of one day becoming head of News Corporation.

And Stephen Smith is looking at some of Britain's worst performing high streets, and with the help of retail adviser Mary Portas, assessing whether they can be saved and if we should even try.

You can find out the names of the six towns with the highest proportion of vacant shops here.

Monday 5 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:28 UK time, Monday, 5 September 2011

Tonight on Newsnight Richard Watson examines if Britain was turning a blind eye to maltreatment and colluding with the Gaddafi regime to arrange the rendition of Libyan terror suspects - the PM has said that allegations that MI6 was involved should be examined by an independent inquiry.

Paul Mason will be asking if the IMF's managing-director, Christine Lagarde, was right when she said the global economic outlook had darkened suddenly over the summer, and Jeremy will be speaking to the former chancellor Alistair Darling.

Then we'll be hearing from Murdo Fraser, the favourite to become the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives who reckons the only hope for the party to attract greater support in Scotland would be to split off from the UK party.

And Tim Whewell has been meeting the high command of Libya's National Transitional Council.

That's Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 2 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 11:53 UK time, Friday, 2 September 2011

Tonight we look into the rendition claims made by a Libyan rebel military commander, which if true would suggest a closer than expected relationship between the US and ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Abdel Hakim Belhaj claims he was tortured by CIA agents who suspected him of being an al-Qaeda terrorist and then handed by the Americans to Gaddafi's intelligence services.

Peter Marshall will be reporting on that and we will be talking to Menzies Campbell and to Michael Sheuer, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit.

We are looking at the draft emergency measures to relocate terror suspects under Tpims, terrorism prevention and investigation measures.

The relocation powers had been ditched by the coalition, but under draft emergency legislation they could be brought back in exceptional circumstances.

We will be talking to Hazel Blears and Tom Brake, co-chairman of the Liberal Democrat backbench committee on home affairs.

And whatever happened to silly season that period of summer typified by the
emergence of frivolous news stories in the media? Stephen Smith reports.

Thursday 1 September 2011

Verity Murphy | 17:46 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

Senior diplomats are meeting in Paris for a major international conference on Libya's future. What should that future look like, and will the National Transitional Council and international community's vision dovetail or not?

Tonight Peter Marshall will bring us the latest from the Paris conference and Tim Whewell will report from Libya.

We have a report from David Shukman on illnesses linked to the dust from the attacks on New York's World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, affecting thousands.

Plus we look at government proposals to overhaul planning laws in order to jump-start the building industry and the economy, a major shake-up which green campaigners say will lead to a development free for all and a legacy of blighted landscapes and urban sprawl.

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