Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In tonight's Newsnight

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Tuesday 8 September 2230 BST - BBC Two
Presented by Jeremy Paxman

As our Economics Editor Paul Mason points out in his blog, today is a big day for politicians to craft their evasions about what public services they are going to cut.

Chancellor Alistair Darling has delivered a lecture on the future of public services in which he said the government will have to make "tough choices" to deal with the effects of the recession.

And Conservative leader David Cameron has made a speech promising to cut £120m from the cost of politics - slashing MPs' pay and allowances, quangos and the like.

But although Mr Darling used the word "cutting" 11 times, it was mainly in the context of "cutting costs" not services, and even Mr Cameron admitted his proposals were a pinprick in relation to the £175bn deficit we expect by the end of financial year 2009-10 and

Tonight, Paul will be taking a look at the fine print of both speeches and their likely effects on the economy and the electorate.

Also tonight, provisional results in Afghanistan show President Hamid Karzai has passed the 50% mark needed to avoid a presidential election run-off with rival Abdullah Abdullah, but fraud claims are casting doubt on the result.

Mark Urban will be assessing where the UN-backed election complaints commission's warning that it had found "clear and convincing evidence of fraud" leaves both Afghanistan and its international backers.

And we have a film from Nick Bryant in Australia on how the lucrative business of luring foreign students to Australia is being jeopardised by a series of racist attacks on Indian students and questions about the quality of the education on offer. Read more about that story here.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two for all that and more.


The convictions of the would-be airline bombers who were plotting what could have been the worst terrorist attack in British history raise all kinds of questions about intelligence gathering, disaffection among some young British Muslims, and links with Pakistan.

Richard Watson reports.

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