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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 17:33 GMT
Tuesday, 22 November, 2005

Details of tonight's programme
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Jeremy Paxman's biography


From programme producer Liz Gibbons


At first glance, there was both good news and bad news for the Government on asylum today. The number of asylum applications has risen but so have the number of deportations.

What has happened to Tony Blair's latest asylum pledge?

In October last year he promised that by the end of this year the total number of monthly removals would exceed the number of unfounded applications

Today's figures show the Government has failed to meet this promise.

We'll be finding out what's gone wrong, and why.

Al Jazeera

Could George Bush really have planned to attack the offices of Al Jazeera in Qatar during the Iraq war?

According to today's Daily Mirror a transcript of a conversation between Bush and Blair, in April 2004, suggests the President raised the possiblity of attacking the channel's HQ. It's suggested Blair counselled against it.

Downing Street has, so far, refused to comment on the allegations. But Arab satellite channels - Al Jazeera amongst them - have been leading their bulletins with the story all day. The Editor-in-Chief of Al Jazeera will be talking to us live.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel was today sworn in as Germany's first ever woman Chancellor. Her party was elected promising a radical programme of tax cuts. But in the course of the coalition talks, with the opposition SPD, she's revised that plan - no tax cuts and a rise in VAT.

Has she negotiated away any chance of kick-starting the German economy? Stephanie Flanders is finding out.

PM under pressure

The Chancellor at war with the Prime Minister, the Cabinet increasingly frustrated having to justify controversial policies. The question everyone's asking - just how much longer can the PM survive?

That was 15 years ago and the PM was Margaret Thatcher.

Yes, it's 15 years to the day since Mrs Thatcher quit Downing Street, Martha Kearney recalls the drama of her final weeks in power.

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Margaret Thatcher's final weeks in Downing Street


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