BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May 2005, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Thursday 19 May, 2005
Kirsty Wark

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Thursday's programme, presented by Kirsty Wark, covers the following stories:


Government troops have retaken the Uzbek border town of Korasuv - visited by Tim Whewell in last night's programme. Many we spoke to from the rebel group and local residents are now in jail. Tim will examine the events of the last twenty-four hours and assess how Russia's influence in the region has waned.


Our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban is looking at how the former Soviet republics are proving a nightmare for western leaders and asking if their attitude towards President Putin now has to change.


"As a result of saying yes to everything, you end up losing your identity" General de Gaulle once said. The lesson has not been forgotten by France as latest polls indicate a large number of the French public will vote "No" in their referendum on Monday. Allan Little reports from France on how the fear of turning into an "Anglo Saxon" country is galvanising the "No" campaign.

British rebate

And staying with France, Britain's three-billion pound EU budget rebate may be in jeopardy. According to President Chirac, "le cheque Britannique" should be reconsidered. We examine the possible consequences for this country if our EU partners were to get their way.

Obi Mikel

Manchester United have lodged a complaint with football's governing body, FIFA, over Chelsea's pursuit of Nigerian teenager, John Obi Mikel who's already signed for the Old Trafford club. The deal was announced at the end of April, the young player has since gone missing but has been quoted in the Norwegian media as saying he wants to join Chelsea. Michael Crick unravels an intriguing tale.

Newsnight turned 25 on 30 January 2005. You can visit our special anniversary website to find out more about the programme's history and watch the first Newsnight ever broadcast.

French referendum
Could the French antipathy be in part due to their fear of becoming more like the UK?

Uzbek troops retake rebel town
19 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Leaders call for French 'Yes'
19 May 05 |  Europe

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

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