The BBC News at ten started with missing Madeleine again.
We are told that the police are questioning three people and searching a villa very close to where she went missing. Over to Portugal where the reporter tells us that the property is owned by a middle aged English blonde woman. Her son has staying there for a bit and has spent some time with journalists who became suspicious of his behaviour and went to the police.
We then moved over to the parents, the McCann's. We were told that they had agreed to a question and answer session with journalists, this being the first time the McCanns have actually answered direct questions. I was unaware of this until now. We didnt see much of the interview but the reporter advised us that "there is a sense that things are moving along now".
We then went over to another Algarve based reporter who advised us "Dont get carried away, we dont know anything". More on this later.
Then migrants. A special feature on Slough in order to confirm that the official figures on migrants were, in the least, sketchy. We were told "scores of Romany children" are arriving. In fact 88 have arrived in the last two weeks. (Four score plus eight). We can probably double that figure though because we were advised that most are pregnant. The local council are toiling with this influx. Official figures say that one thousand migrants have moved in but it is more like ten thousand. A couple of the Romanian children were interviewed.
We then saw a couple of locals interviewed for their opinions of the influx. One was not happy she was homeless and waited ten months for a house. This was due to the fact that the Bulgarians had been given all the houses first. I assume the Bulgarians migrated to Slough earlier than the Romany's. The next local was a middle aged man, not happy about any of it.
If you look at the newspaceman from last week you will see that we were advised that immigration is one of our (the British I assume) biggest fears - that and the Muslims. Anyway, eighty two different languages are spoken by pupils at schools in Slough and tens of millions of people enter the UK every year.
Hold on though, dont panic, these ten million are not all migrants. Some are just people coming back from holiday etc, in fact most of them are. The problem is in fact that we are undercounting migrants, this is because "we all move about more nowadays" and "keeping track of us all is impossible". We cant count people in and out again. The report finished with no solution offered, it has merely deposited this news in our minds, the news is that if we want "controlled migration" then we will need to be controlled as well, counted in and out. Anybody got a solution ?
Over to politics and Gordon Browns "campaign". We are told by Nick Robinson that Gogsy was doing a lot of PR, including an interview "with his friends on breakfast telly". Cue to the camera zooming in on another TV screen, this one showing the breakfast show with Gordon on the sofa, engaging in chat about missing Maddie; from a parents point of view though, not a politicians. We were further told of Browns "sofa politics" and his attempt to woo back "women's votes" from the charmer Cameron, who has apparantly lured the ladies to his Conservative camp. This is apparantly why Gordon was on breakfast TV because "its the type of program women watch" from their sofas. What does all this suggest to you ?
Reference was made to the eco towns I mentioned yesterday and that Brown has perhaps become "tainted with the cancer of mistrust that surrounded Tony Blair" One candidate will stand against Gordon in the leadership battle it was suggested.
Coming up - The Bitter Divide amongst America's Evanglist Christians - but first,
Three US soldiers are missing in Iraq, believed captured by al-Qaeda. Aside from this, twenty thousand extra US forces have been drafted in and the BBC has hooked up with them for a special report. We were with the US forces as we saw an Iraqi dragged screaming from his bed at three in the morning. The Americans believed he was a bombmaker. I felt it was quite disturbing viewing.
It is all worth it though because the Americans have re-opened the village market. There are 200 shopkeepers doing business and we saw images of a car boot like senario. I take it their shops have been destroyed. We were told that this US drive opposes "al-Qaeda in Iraq" as if this is a seperate entity from al-Qaeda. I suppose we will all soon have our own al-Qaeda's, I wonder if they will rebuild Hadrian's wall. Or maybe we will.
Despite the bustling market atmosphere depicted, the American soldiers base is attacked several times a day. The featured troop had lost 6 men so far. A potential problem seems to be that the surge is reaching its peak but the soldiers fear that the "war" may cease and they therefore "will not finish the job". Is this not inspirational, the genuine love of their chosen vocation. What humanity.
The nightly reminder of Alan Johnston was next.
Then a feature on the spiralling cost of drugs. The NHS cant afford them. This feature was in particular reference to cancer drugs and we saw a man who is dying. He is buying the drugs privately (although the NHS part subsidise) to prolong his life. The drugs are not a cure. A reporter with blonde hair and dressed in scarlet interviewed him. We were told that the man has spent his savings on the medication.
Two people arrested over the death of a pregnant lady, one is her husband.
Then it was time for the Christian Evangelical feature on Climate change. We began with images of CE students in America, being baptised, by jumping into a pool. This is a full body plunge baptism apparently. This christening was shown on huge screens to thousands of watchers, all whooping and cheering, like a cross between a late 80's rave and a football match.
We were told this was the biggest CE college in the world but the jury was still out on global warming.
To explain, we cut to images of a preacher, lecturing. "Dragon will come and possess the Antichrist" was all he said. We then saw another take of him, this time discussing climate change, when he advised "Its a hoax, like political issues". We then saw him taking a class on the book of Revelations just after showing a slide show of armageddon.
A clip was then shown of a BBC reporter asking a class how many of them believed in climate change. We saw them all sitting, none put up their hands. Cut to another group, in another CE college. They were asked the same question and all put their hands up. This was because their college had a different opinion from the first.
So it was explained "these two groups use the same two quotes from the Bible to prove opposite things". Furthermore, these are the "opposing souls of America" and "Science is political".
I turned over to ITV.
Missing girl again, the lady reporter from the Algarve was spitting the report out, almost venomously. The man was named. More of the story came out, the man spoke Portugese and English and had been helping the police. However he had been "hanging around the scene" and was "very vey vague". In addition, he had been helping the McCann family with translations etc. A Sunday mirror journalist was suspicious of him and had gone to the police. There was something odd about him we were told.
So could the police have a breakthrough ?
I sort of dozed through a bit but then fully awoke to the football. I genuinely thought there had been another terrorist outrage while the news was actually on. But no - strike, assault on, fired, scenes of chaos, people suffering, dark day, etc etc were all football related. Stupid me.