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Archives for October 2011

Friday 28 October 2011

Len Freeman | 11:36 UK time, Friday, 28 October 2011


As attempts are made to persuade China to assist in the eurozone debt crisis, Mark Urban will take a look at the power relations at play.

Plus, how does the news that pay for the directors of the UK's top businesses rose 50% over the past year square with our age of austerity? Is there an economic case for cutting it and is there a moral case? We'll debate.

And as British succession laws are changed to allow daughters equal rights to the throne as sons, we'll consider if this change makes the Monarchy more relevant, and why the same principle isn't being applied to other hereditary titles.

Join Gavin at 2230 on BBC Two.

From earlier:

The head of the eurozone's bailout fund is beginning attempts to persuade China to invest in a scheme to help rescue member countries facing the debt crises.

After meeting Chinese leaders, Klaus Regling said there were no formal negotiations and would be no deal now. It is thought China may pay about 70bn euros.

We'll have the latest.

Plus pay for the directors of the UK's top businesses rose 50% over the past year.

Incomes Data Services said this took the average pay for a director of a FTSE 100 company to just short of £2.7m.

How does that square with our age of austerity?

Do join Gavin at 10.30 on BBC Two

Thursday 27 October 2011

Len Freeman | 12:14 UK time, Thursday, 27 October 2011

So European leaders have reached a three-pronged agreement described as vital to solve the region's huge debt crisis.

They said banks holding Greek debt accepted a 50% loss, the eurozone bailout fund will be boosted and banks will have to raise more capital.

But is it enough? Is it the end of the crisis? Or have they just bought time?

Our economics editor Paul Mason examines the deal in detail tonight and Tim Whewell will be in Italy looking at Berlusconi's precarious position.

And as the world faces a food shortage, Justin Rowlatt asks whether the answer is to eat insects. He tries eating a few himself including a scorpion and a locust.

Do join us at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 19:16 UK time, Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Our Economics editor Paul Mason is in Brussels where EU leaders are holding an emergency summit aimed at tackling the eurozone debt crisis.

He will be reporting live on the programme about whether the disagreements on how to expand the EU's bailout fund for debt-ridden countries have been put aside and a deal struck, or not, and assessing what this means for all of us.

Discussing this in the studio with Jeremy will be Katinka Barysch from the Centre for European Reform, economist Megan Greene and Terry Smith CEO of Tullett Prebon.

We are also looking at the part played in this latest economic crisis by banks, and the culture and practices within them - joining us to discuss this will be Nick Leeson, the infamous trader whose unchecked risk- taking caused the collapse of Barings Bank, and John Lanchester, author of Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay.

As part of our season of reports on the rising global population we have a report by Catrin Nye on the birth-rate here in Britain and in particular the effect on healthcare services of the number of foreign-born mothers giving birth. Catrin has spent time in a maternity unit in Leicester talking to new parents and healthcare workers.

Afterwards we will be discussing the rising global population and whether it is cause for alarm with author Lionel Shriver and Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, head of the United Nations Population Fund.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:04 UK time, Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Polish presidency of the EU has confirmed that key meetings between the bloc's 27 finance ministers and the 17-nation eurozone will not now meet on Wednesday, although a full emergency heads-of-government summit will happen.

On the programme Paul Mason and our guests will be assessing what this means, how much of a hitch this is, and what hope remains that a rescue deal will be announced.

The day after he suffered the biggest rebellion against a Conservative prime minister over Europe, Prime Minister David Cameron says there is no bitterness towards Tory MPs who voted for a referendum over the UK's membership of the EU.

David Grossman reports tonight on who did back the motion, why they did and what the long term fallout will be.

We have a second film from Fergal Keane, this time looking what role corruption has played in sowing the seeds for a food crisis which has left its people starving.

Plus Jeremy will be speaking to cult film director David Cronenberg, known for films including The Fly, Crash and Eastern Promises, who is in town promoting his latest cinematic offering and to receive a BFI Fellowship at the London Film Festival.

Monday 24 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:36 UK time, Monday, 24 October 2011

David Cameron is facing the biggest rebellion of his premiership as euro sceptic Conservative backbenchers have vowed to defy orders and vote for a referendum on Britain's European Union membership.

All Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs have been instructed to vote against the motion calling for a public vote on the UK's membership in the union and it is expected to fail when put to the ballot tonight.

On the programme David Grossman will be assessing the scale of the revolt and its impact.

Also, a weekend summit of eurozone leaders aimed at easing the economic crisis in the currency bloc was inconclusive, but the outline of a deal was agreed, with a summit to finalise details set for Wednesday.

Tonight Paul Mason will be picking through what's on the table, whether it goes far enough and how close to a solution we are.

And Mark Urban will report on what place there is for Britain around the table in the new Europe after a clash between Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy over UK involvement in key talks.

Plus as Newsnight kicks of a week of special reports on food security and rising global population, Fergal Keane reports from Zambia on the effects of large-scale commercial farming on crop yields and the local population, and examines claims that it offers not only the hope of solving Africa's food shortages, but those of the rest of the world too.

Friday 21 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:20 UK time, Friday, 21 October 2011

Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in an attempt to overcome differences over how to strengthen a bailout fund, which is key to preventing the currency union's debt troubles from spinning out of control.

Tonight Paul Mason and Joe Lynam will be reporting on whether they are likely to succeed. We will also be assessing how workable the solutions on the table are and what are the stumbling blocks.

Iain Watson reports on Monday's parliamentary motion calling for a referendum to be held on UK membership of the EU.

The three big parties at Westminster have told their MPs to vote against it, but will the numbers of supporters of the plan still put the government in a tight corner?

And we will be looking at the closure of St Paul's - forced to close to visitors for the first time since World War II because of the Occupy London protest camp outside.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 16:28 UK time, Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tonight's programme will focus entirely on the death of former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who has been killed after an assault on his home town of Sirte.

We will be looking back at his life and 42 years in power, the manner of his toppling and of his death. We will be assessing his legacy and the likely impact his death will have in the country and wider region.

We will gauge international reaction to his death and throwing a spotlight on Britain's relationship with Libya during his rule.

Join Gavin Esler for all that at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:34 UK time, Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Coming up tonight we'll have the latest from Dale Farm where bricks and debris have been thrown at police after they moved in to evict travellers from the illegal part of the site. We'll also examine why the UN is apparently so interested in the case.

We'll also be hearing about the case of an undercover police officer who took part in a criminal trial under an alias - branded 'institutionalised police corruption' by a leading defence solicitor.

And Iain Watson reports on a growing gulf between David Cameron and Conservative backbenchers on the question of a referendum over Europe.

Jeremy's presenting. Join him at 2230 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:27 UK time, Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tonight Joe Lynam will be looking at who the winners and losers are from today's announcement that inflation rose to 5.2% in September from 4.5% the month before, matching the record level set in September 2008.

Paul Mason will be reporting on the spread of the Occupy Wall Street protest to London, where St Paul's cathedral has become an unexpected focal point in the debate over the future of capitalism.

Plus we will be speaking to Oscar-winning film maker Michael Moore about why he backs the movement and how he thinks it should and could evolve.

David Grossman will have analysis of what Sir Gus O'Donnell's report into former defence secretary Liam Fox's association with Adam Werritty contains and will be looking at the broader questions about how the government conducts itself that the row has laid bare.

Mark Urban will give us his take on what the wider impact will be of the exchange of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

And we will have the first interview with tonight's winner of the Man Booker prize.

Monday 17 October 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:15 UK time, Monday, 17 October 2011

On tonight's Newsnight we have a remarkable undercover film from Sue Lloyd-Roberts in the central Syrian city of Homs - known as the "capital" of the uprising - where she has been spending time with activists.

Afterwards we will be talking to Danny Abdul Dayem, a British citizen of Syrian descent who was shot in Homs in August and Feeda Kardous, a Syrian living in Britain who has visited Syria during the recent unrest and who has a more favourable view of President Bashar al-Assad.

Then Mark Urban will join us to explain if anything is going to be done about the situation in Syria by the international community.

Plus Iain Watson reports on political lobbying and how it might be shaken up in the wake of the Fox-Werritty row.

And, we'll be looking at energy - as the prime minister pledges to work "harder and faster" to bring down energy bills ahead of a summit on gas and electricity prices and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne says that people should shop around more to save money.

Friday 14 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:56 UK time, Friday, 14 October 2011


The news that Liam Fox has resigned as defence secretary has changed our plans for the programme. We will no longer be running a piece on how proposed changes to planning regulations might affect urban areas and speaking to Lord Rogers about this issue.

Instead the whole programme is devoted to Dr Fox's resignation, the events that led up to it, the questions that remain and where this leaves the government.

We will have analysis from our Defence editor Mark Urban and reporters David Grossman and Richard Watson.

And we will be joined on the programme by guests including shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy, former head of the British Army General Sir Mike Jackson, and journalists Fraser Nelson and Miranda Green.


Liam Fox has just resigned as defence secretary saying in his letter to David Cameron that he had "mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my Government activities to become blurred". Tonight we will have the latest on that.

Plus, recently there has been focus on how government proposals on changing planning laws could affect rural areas, but not so much emphasis on the impact on urban areas.

Award-winning architect and government adviser on urbanism Lord Rogers is concerned that slanting the playing field towards developers could be disastrous for our cities. He joins us on the programme tonight.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 17:20 UK time, Thursday, 13 October 2011

The independent watchdog for health and social care says a fifth of NHS hospitals are breaking the law, when it comes to properly feeding and treating elderly patients.

The Care Quality Commission visited 100 hospitals, and found cause for concern at more than half of them.

Tonight we examine what was said and how much of this a reflection of how the elderly are treated in Britain more generally.

Peter Marshall has a report looking into who are the backers who raised funds to pay for Adam Werritty to act as Defence Secretary Liam Fox's adviser, and David Grossman will have the latest developments on the story.

We have a live interview with former Barnsley MP Eric Illsley who was jailed for expenses fraud.

Susan Watts reports on the new obesity strategy for England in which the government has tried to stress the importance of personal responsibility.

And we have a report on how garments labelled "designed in Scotland" and sold by UK high street chain Edinburgh Woollen Mill are actually being made by North Korean labour in Mongolian factories.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:53 UK time, Wednesday, 12 October 2011

UK unemployment has risen to a 17-year high of 2.57 million, according to official figures. Tonight Joe Lynam will give us his take on those figures, the Eurozone crisis and Barroso's plan.

Jeremy will be joined by former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt and editor-in-chief at The Economist, John Micklethwait. 

Jonny Dymond will be asking members of the Mormon Church how they think they are viewed by the rest of the United States, and asseses the likelihood that one of their faithful could be elected the next president.

And ahead of the start of Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry on phone hacking, Steve Coogan will join us live in the studio. That and more at 2230 on BBC Two.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:02 UK time, Tuesday, 11 October 2011

David Cameron says he wants his to be "the greenest government ever", but last week Chancellor George Osborne sparked anger among environmentalists when he told the Conservative Party conference the UK would cut emissions no faster than others in Europe, and environmental measures would not be taken at the expense of British business.

And MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have warned today that the government's "schizophrenic attitude" to climate change is undermining investor confidence in low-carbon industries.

Tonight Susan Watts examines whether the green agenda is being watered down and
we will debate the issues in the studio.

US "supercop" Bill Bratton, who has gained a reputation for introducing bold
measures to reduce crime in New York, Boston and Los Angeles, is in London to take part in a government conference on how to tackle riots and disorder and has given us an interview.

We report on the jailing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for seven years, whom a judge ruled had criminally exceeded her powers when she signed a gas deal with Russia in 2009.

Mrs Tymoshenko said the charges were politically motivated. And the EU said it was disappointed with the verdict, and that Kiev's handling of the case risked deep implications for its hopes of EU integration.

Plus, Stephen Smith has been to talk to former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher about the Manchester riots, the coalition and the passing of Cool Britannia.

Monday 10 October 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:11 UK time, Monday, 10 October 2011

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has told MPs that he met his friend Adam Werritty 22 times at the Ministry of Defence and 18 times on foreign trips. Mr Fox also said that Mr Werritty, who has no government role or national security clearance, had not been involved in defence procurement issues. Tonight, we'll examine whether the Defence Secretary is guilty of impropriety or simply made some minor errors of judgement.

Following the violence which killed twenty-four people at a rally of Coptic Christians in Cairo at the weekend, Tim Whewell will ask if attacks against Christians in Egypt are becoming worse in post-revolutionary Egypt, and if so why. You can watch one of Tim's previous reports on this from Cairo here.

And Rory Cellan Jones has a fascinating film about whether the education system in England and Wales is failing to produce enough polymaths and top flight computer programmers who could one day emulate the likes of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Watch a preview clip here. We'll also be joined by the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey.

Join us at 2230 on BBC Two.

Friday 7 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 11:53 UK time, Friday, 7 October 2011

Moody's has downgraded the credit rating of 12 UK financial firms including Lloyds TSB, RBS, Nationwide and Santander UK amid concerns that the government is now less likely to support some firms if they get into trouble.

Moody's also downgraded nine Portuguese banks, blaming financial weakness.

Tonight Andrew Verity reports on the significance of this news and whether the belief that the days of UK government bank bail outs are over is correct. We will also be getting further analysis by studio by guests.

And Stephen Smith has a fresh Citizen Smith report. He's had an exclusive look the first wave of community organisers who are meant to build David Cameron's big society and we talk to Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 15:42 UK time, Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Bank of England has said it will inject a further £75bn into the economy through quantitative easing (QE), the first time it has added to its QE programme since 2009.

Tonight Paul Mason will take us through the details of what is happening, why it is happening now and how the Bank hope it to aid the fragile economic recovery.

With the BBC announcing that it is planning to cut 2,000 jobs and radically change programming in order to cut 20% from its budget over the next five years, Stephen Smith will report on the wider cultural impact of a shrinking Auntie.

We look at the impact of the work done by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer.

And we have a report from Mark Easton on mixed race Britain including some exclusive new stats which show that the numbers of people in Britain who are mixed-race is actually much higher than previously thought.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:17 UK time, Wednesday, 5 October 2011

David Cameron re-wrote his conference speech at the last minute to omit a call on households to pay off their credit cards. Tonight Newsnight picks through the detail of what stayed in and asks whether his appeal for a can-do optimism at an anxious time for the economy is likely to be heeded.
Paul Mason reports on talk of a concerted move to beef up balance sheets of struggling European banks, what is needed and what is likely to happen.
We have a strong Lyse Doucet film from inside Syria about the current nature of the anti-government protests.
Plus Jeremy talks to musician Brian Eno about art and music in an age of turbulence.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:54 UK time, Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Jeremy is in Manchester tonight with all the action and analysis from the third day of the Conservative Party conference. There has been a bit of a catflap over human rights, is it the Tories' claws four moment? (Sorry....)

We'll have the annual conference season interview with the Mayor of London (you can re-watch the interviews from 2009, and 2010 here).

This year Jeremy asks Boris if he'd consider standing for Parliament while serving as Mayor, and is offered a hand from Boris should he ever decide to give up his day job presenting Newsnight and run for leader of the Conservative party.

And Jeremy will be joined by an audience of 70 Conservative women to discuss the reasons for the government's worsening polling with woman, and to work out what more the Conservatives could do to appeal to women.

Monday 3 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:10 UK time, Monday, 3 October 2011

Tonight's programme will come from the Tory party conference in Manchester, where Jeremy Paxman will be joined by an audience of conference attendees.

Jeremy will be speaking to MPs Philip Hammond, David Davis and Don Foster. Also we'll be getting the journalist's view of the conference from Fraser Nelson and Kevin Maguire.

The main topic for discussion will be the economy and Chancellor George Osborne's big speech today and David Grossman will be giving his analysis of what the chancellor said.

Plus Iain Watson will be looking at the European economic crisis amid the news that Greece is likely to miss targets to cut its budget deficit.

And as the government announces that it is going to invest £50m to commercialise graphene - a carbon allotrope invented at Manchester University - we ask what is it and why is it important?

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