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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 16:36 GMT
Monday, 19 December, 2005
Jeremy Paxman

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From programme producer Jasmin Buttar


In this season of good will, spare a thought for Tony Blair - who doesn't seem to be receiving much. The prime minister came back from a bruising battle over the EU budget only to find the newspapers full of leaked complaints from his supposedly close colleagues. Then his flagship education policy comes under attack - from his second-in-command John Prescott. And today, the MPs on the Health Select Committee have blasted his partial ban on smoking as "unfair, unjust, inefficient and unworkable". Michael Crick asks whether the prime minister's authority has already been dealt a deathly blow.


Since last September we've been following the story of Prudence Radebe, an extraordinary woman who's also part of a very depressing statistic. She's one of the millions in South Africa infected with HIV. But unlike most others in the country she's been on a course of anti-retroviral drugs. So how is she now - and what lessons does her case provide for President Thabo Mbeki?


Has President Bush defied America's cherished constitution? The Senate is set to investigate whether the president broke the law when he authorised an eavesdropping operation on American citizens. Peter Marshall has the latest on a growing controversy.


It is, of course, the season to be giving and receiving Christmas cards. But what are the Blairs, Camerons and the rest of our political elite sending out and what does it tell us about them?

That and more at 10.30, BBC TWO.

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