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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 19:30 GMT
Wednesday, 14 February, 2007
By Kavita Puri
Programme producer, BBC Newsnight

Child in Zambia

Presented by Jeremy Paxman


Remember Make Poverty History that campaigned to cancel third world debt. And the lofty proclamations by politicians at the G8 in Gleneagles to reduce debt.

Tonight, we have a shocking investigation into vulture funds that make a mockery of these pledges. These companies buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply - when it is just about to be written off - and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest.

Tomorrow morning a high court judge in London will rule whether a vulture fund can extract more than $40 million from Zambia for a debt which it bought for just $3 million.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast has tracked down the man who represents the company, and you couldn't make it up, he calls himself Goldfinger.


A judge has ruled that in the case of five of the seven British servicemen facing court martial over the death of the Iraqi prisoner Baha Musa, there is no case to answer over charges of mistreating Iraqi civilians in Basra.

Mark Urban has the details and looks into what this means for the future of courts martial.


It sounds out of this world - could climate change be due to the clouds, sun and cosmic rays? That's what a new book out tomorrow claims.

The author of "The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change" will be in the studio tonight up against a critic of his theory. You can see an early extract on our website as part of our Book Club here.


The hard man of rock Noel Gallagher talks to us ahead of his lifetime achievement gong at the Brit Awards tonight.

He tells us what he thinks about Tony Blair and David Cameron, as well as his plans to go solo.

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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