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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 January 2005, 16:16 GMT
Newsnight 4 January 2005
Gavin Esler

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Tuesday's programme, presented by Gavin Esler, covers the following stories:
Tsunami disaster

We ask how the world could and should change after the tsunami disaster which has one way or another touched us all. Andrew Harding reports from Aceh tracing the awful impact of the tsunami as seen by the local people who felt its force and saw the horrors it left in its wake.

We ask if the goodwill of most people around the world could lead to a new era of mutual assistance between governments and nations. We hear from US Under-Secretary of State Marc Grossman, UN emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland, the minister for International Development Gareth Thomas, and Mike Aaronson, Head of Save the Children.

And how could God allow any of this to happen - and for that matter how could science? Susan Watts reports on the sophisticated monitors that operate in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna which could have given advanced warning of the tsunami, had its staff not been on holiday and had governments agreed to share the information.

And Greg Neale of BBC History magazine looks back at the psychological impact of natural disasters in history - does any of this shake faith in the existence of God?

Newsnight is broadcast every weekday on BBC Two at 2230 in the UK.

You can also watch the show from this website, either live or on demand for 24 hours after originally broadcast, by clicking on the watch Newsnight button.

Susan Watts explores what warning systems are available and how they can be made more useful


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