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Jerusalem hospital where there is no distinction between Arabs and Jews 21/2/02

Ariel Sharon
In a somewhat rare televised address to his people the Israeli Prime Minister appealed for steadfastness and said he would implement a Cabinet decision calling for buffer zones "to provide security for Israeli citizens, wherever they live".

Yasser Arafat restated his call for Palestinians to embrace a cease-fire. Meanwhile the death toll mounts - 49 killed this week.

But, in one hospital in Jerusalem, doctors and nurses have been doing remarkable work on both sides of the divide. While politicians talk of buffer zones, inside the Hadassah Hospital Arabs and Jews are treated just the same, as our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban reported.

Watch the item Read the transcript More from News Online


Sir Elton John speaks exclusively to Newsnight 20/2/02

Elton John
It is the biggest night of the year for the British music industry, with Robbie Williams and Dido among the big winners at the Brit Awards.

But despite all the back-slapping and celebration, there is not so much to party about.

The music industry is experiencing the biggest downturn in global sales in two decades. And one of the nominees has been putting the boot in too.

In an exclusive interview for Newsnight, Sir Elton John says the problem is that many of today's pop stars are just fodder for the industry and they prevent real new talent from emerging.

So is pop finally eating itself? Our Culture Correspondent, Madeleine Holt, caught up with Sir Elton in Philadelphia.

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Has Bush upset his friends as much as his enemies? 19/2/02

George Bush
President Bush came face to face with one member of his "axis of evil".

When he stood on a South Korean watchtower and gazed over at the communist North, he will have been aware that his demonisation of North Korea, Iran and Iraq in his State of the Union speech is increasingly controversial.

There are some signs that he is trying to refocus on diplomatic routes out of these problems, but is he really drawing back?

Allan Little discussed whether his "axis of evil" rhetoric has upset his friends as much as his enemies with a former British Ambassador to Iraq, the President of the Centre for Security Policy and the Ambassador to the Arab League UK.

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Can the NHS ever measure up? 19/2/02

Your NHS logo
It was a fairly typical news day for the NHS.

Nurses leaders complained about recruitment problems, Britain came close to bottom of a heart treatment league table, and unions complained about privatisation.

There may be a permanent air of crisis about the NHS but no-one could accuse the government of doing nothing.

Funding is up, reorganisations and strategy reports are in the pipeline. Evan Davis reported.

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Bringing the military into US schools 14/2/02

The events of September 11th have given a new focus to a radical American plan to improve education.

The problems of inner city schools are a constant dilemma for the US and now the bugle has sounded - they are calling in the military.

States as far apart as Washington, California and Georgia have all begun experimenting with the idea of converting state high schools into military academies in the hope that a bit of drill practise will restore discipline in the classroom, raise academic standards and reinforce the idea of good citizenship.

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Is this a show trial, or the beginning of a new kind of justice? 12/2/02

Slobodan Milosevic
'He has left so many families crying for the rest of their lives.'

The words of a Kosovo Albanian, who like many thousands in the Balkans was tuned in live to the remarkable, historic trial that's just started at the Hague.

She was talking about Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav leader who is in the dock facing 66 counts of atrocities from the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. His aim was to build a Greater Serbia.

The court's mission now is to show that he is to blame for the deaths of so many who were caught up in that. Linking the two is harder than it sounds.

Jeremy Vine discussed the trial with Judge Richard Goldstone and Dr John Laughland.

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Where is the evidence? 11/2/02

Lofti Raissi
The case of a man who was being held in Belmarsh prison, and the target of US extradition proceedings, could become a cause celebre among those who think the American battle against al Quaeda is in danger of infringing the rights of innocent people on a grand scale.

The US originally asked to extradite the Algerian pilot Lotfi Raissi from Britain on the grounds that he had trained the pilots who flew into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon - he was 'the key figure' - their 'biggest find'. But the evidence to back that up has not been forthcoming.

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A hero's return to Sierra Leone 8/2/02

Peter Penfold
Britain can claim some of the credit for ending the civil war in Sierra Leone - one of the most brutal and long-running in the world.

However our involvement was not without controversy, particularly the role played by a man the people of Sierra Leone regard as a hero, Peter Penfold, the former High Commissioner.

He was accused of approving an arms deal between the British mercenary firm Sandline and Sierra Leone's President, in contravention of UN sanctions.

The scandal threatened the career of the then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

Now for the first time Peter Penfold has been giving his side of the story. Newsnight accompanied him on his triumphant return to Sierra Leone.

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The Transport Secretary face-to-face with his greatest critic 7/2/02

TubeIn every major public service the government is in conflict with the unions. Who would have thought that possible back in 1997?

The government's plans for the London Underground date back to those heady days for Labour, but since then several railways disasters have added very real fears about safety to deep disagreement over the economics of the public private partnership.

Unlike Railtrack, The Tube will not be sold off, but major parts will be leased to private companies, so the principle of separation is just the same.

Timetabling, as well as the drivers, station and signals staff will stay the responsibility of London Underground Limited, in the public sector.

But the trains lines and stations will be leased to private sector companies for 30 years. They will be responsible for maintaining and upgrading the network in return for an annual fee from the government.

Newsnight brought the Transport Secretary face-to-face with his greatest critic, London's Mayor.

Read the transcript More from News Online


Why don't parents believe MMR is safe? 6/2/02

MMR vaccine
Sometimes a government U-turn is signalled a long way in advance and the signal comes in the form of the staunchest denial that any change of policy will happen. We had a defence of the multiple vaccine MMR in just those terms.

The Sun had claimed, 'Blair is wobbling,' but in the Commons the Prime Minister hit out at scare mongering over the vaccine.

Mr Blair urged parents with doubts to look at the full evidence - and spoke as if he had no doubts at all.

Jeremy Vine spoke to a parent who is worried about giving her children the vaccine and to the Public Health Minister.

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Why won't government doctors give us the facts? 5/2/02

Still from Smallpox drama
President Bush released his new budget and promptly flew to the University of Pittsburgh Medical centre to highlight the most eye-catching figure on the bottom line - he wants to spend nearly six billion dollars in the coming year to prepare for bioterrorist attacks.

Newsnight has learned that if a smallpox epidemic began, different countries would be expected to pool their vaccine stocks.

Jeremy Vine spoke to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Pat Troop, who is one of the government team in charge of drawing up our plans for dealing with bioterrorism. He began by asking her why we can not be told how large our supplies are of smallpox vaccine.

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11 September was "larger than the atom bomb" 4/2/02

Norman Mailer
Kirsty Wark spoke to the author Norman Mailer - whose books over fifty years have chronicled the changing culture of America.

Mr Mailer believes people will be writing about 11 September for a long time. He has written about the horrors of war in Vietnam, and served in the US army during World War II.

But, he believes that nothing compares in magnitude to the attacks on New York and Washington. This includes the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended the Second World War.

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How far will the stain spread into Andersen? 30/1/02

There was an extraordinary statement from the man who heads the firm that did Enron's accounts.

Speaking in New York, Joseph Berardino of Andersen said, 'People in our firm made serious errors in judgment in destroying documents. What was done was not in keeping with the values and heritage of this firm.'

Read between the lines and there might appear to be growing panic about how the fallout from the Enron bankruptcy will affect this huge accountancy firm whose operating arm in Britain was under scrutiny for its links with the government.

Jeremy Vine asked the Head of Andersen UK whether his firm's credibility had been fatally undermined.

Watch the item Read the transcript More from News Online


Far-reaching plan to transform the way British farmers operate 29/1/02

British farming is unsustainable, even dysfunctional.

That was not the conclusion of the Curry Commission report into our agricultural future - it was the starting point.

The Commission was appointed by the Government and it has come up with a vision that seeks to lead farmers away from the idea that 'pile em high and sell em cheap' is good business in the long term.

The Curry Commission wants farmers to direct their energies towards the environment - and it wants EU subsidies to be re-routed to help them do that.

Jeremy Vine discussed how farmers can become more efficient, as well as being custodians of the environment with the Sir Don Curry and farmers representatives.

Watch the item Read the transcript More from News Online


Bloody Sunday 29/1/02

Thirty years ago, on a cold January day in Londonderry, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association set off on a march to protest against internment.

What followed became known as Bloody Sunday - an event that not only ended the lives of fourteen people, but also, according to some, fuelled the decades of violence that followed.

The Saville Inquiry into the killings is still at least two years away from a conclusion - but Gordon Brewer has gone back to some of the people who were actually there in Derry when that march started.

Watch the item Read the transcript More from News Online


Hollywood is getting lent upon by America's politicians 30/1/02

At the height of the cold war the CIA had an agent in Hollywood.

Why? To keep an eye on communists and to try to influence the content of movies - the official denials were nonsense.

Fast forward to the current war on terror and the White House is enlisting the studios help in promoting "American values".

Clinton clashed with the moguls over sex and violence, but the war effort appears to have made President Bush some new friends in LA.

Both sides deny the dialogue is about propaganda, but our Culture Correspondent Madeleine Holt turned up deep unease in Hollywood.

Watch the item Read the transcript

Links to more Newsnight stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more Newsnight stories