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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Thursday, 18 August, 2005
Gavin Esler
Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler

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Tonight's programme is presented by Gavin Esler

From tonight's presenter:

Shoot to kill - shoot to protect?

The role of the police in the killing of a young Brazilian man as part of the hunt for the London bombers took another serious turn today. Lawyers for the victim's family met representatives of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and were clearly unimpressed by what they heard.

We'll have two reports - the first on what is known about the Met Police rules about when they can shoot a suspect, and why the rules are not published; the second on the Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair who has been called - among other things - the PC PC, amid claims that he is so politically correct he is a less effective copper.

Plus we'll debate the issues raised with a man who helped draw up previous rules for police with guns and one of the politicians who wants a public inquiry.

Iraq protest

We've a special profile of Cindy Sheehan whose son Casey was killed in Iraq last year.

Mrs Sheehan is now staging a protest by camping out at George W Bush's ranch in Texas, demanding to meet the president. But even as Mrs Sheehan becomes a kind of celebrity in the United States, does her grief give her any special moral authority in this matter?

What of the many other relatives of those killed in Iraq - including some in Mrs Sheehan's own family - who mourn their war dead but accept that serving soldiers in combat in an all-volunteer army may, sometimes, be killed? How damaging could the anti-war movement growing up around her be for President Bush? I'll be talking to Mrs Sheehan in person.

Post Office gamble

You might not think that privatising the post office could bring down a government - and steady on, I am not talking about Britain here. But that is exactly what could happen in Japan. In his determination to sell off Japan Post, Prime Minister Koizumi has staked his political life, divided his party and called dangerous snap elections.

Tonight Kylie Morris will explain why the policy is so perilous and how the colourful Koizumi is transforming Japanese politics.

Don't forget that you can watch Newsnight online via this website. The programme is available in broadband either live or on demand for 24 hours after originally broadcast. Use the links at the top right hand side of our homepage.

The anti-war protestor camped outside Bush's Texan ranch

Vigils to support Sheehan protest
18 Aug 05 |  Americas


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