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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 17:17 GMT
Wednesday, 16 November, 2005

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Kirsty Wark's biography


From Kirsty Wark

Is this a wind up?

Could a wind up machine costing around $100 change the world?

Today Nicholas Negroponte, Director of MIT's Media Lab, unveiled a laptop run on batteries that can be recharged by turning a crank.

He hopes the prototype will tempt governments, especially in the developing world, to buy the computer and link every child in the world to the internet.

MIT have already set up a non-profit organisation called One Laptop Per Child to that end.

Several countries have expressed interest, but no one has yet written a cheque.

The machine can be operated in black and white or colour, the screen will most likely be the same size as those on portable DVD players, and can piggy back on an existing wireless connection.

But in countries where malnutrition and lack of medicines are the most pressing problems, will laptops be an absurd luxury? Or is it just too revolutionary an idea to ignore?

We'll be speaking to the CEO of One Laptop Per Child.

The risks of cousin marriage

Cousin marriage can cause genetic problems - that's always been a recognised possibility but tonight on Newsnight the Labour MP Ann Cryer calls for an end to the practice. This follows an investigation by this programme reporting that British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely to have children with recessive disorders than the general population.

It's estimated that at least 55% of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins, a tradition also common in other South Asian and Middle Eastern countries.


Policing debate

Sir Ian Blair, the head of the Metropolitan Police in London, is proving to be the most vocal and forthright of the men that have held that job.

He openly called for the law to be changed to allow terror suspects to be held for 90 days without charge - something the commons rejected, thus inflicting on Tony Blair his first defeat.

Tonight he gives the Richard Dimbleby lecture in which he will say all bets are off on policing after the July bombings, and that we need to have a serious public debate about what the public actually wants from the police.

What is the answer?


Michael Crick will be here with a tale of two Davids... no, not that two. This time David Cameron and David Blunkett.

I hope you'll be watching.


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The potential health risks to children of cousin marriage

Sub-$100 laptop design unveiled
29 Sep 05 |  Technology
The risks of cousin marriage
16 Nov 05 |  Newsnight
Your views: Cousin marriage
16 Nov 05 |  Newsnight

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