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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 12:44 UK
Today: Friday 18 July 2008

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

Installing defibrillators in public places does save lives, says a team of researchers from Cardiff University. Dr Michael Colquhoun, who led the research team, and Dan Elms, who was treated with a defibrillator, explain their importance.

Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between a mother and baby because it releases a hormone which encourages trust, new research has found. Dr Enrico Rossoni, a research fellow at Warwick University who worked on the study, discusses his findings.

The British government is to fund a board of Islamic theologians in an attempt to sideline violent extremists. Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, discusses the proposal.

Officials in the Treasury are looking at ways of relaxing Gordon Brown's so-called fiscal rules on government finances. Robert Chote, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, says the government seems to be anticipating continued economic troubles.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the company at the centre of the row in the UK over school tests for 11-year-olds, has been running large parts of the US examination system for more than 60 years. Our North America business correspondent Greg Wood investigates the company.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who rose from prisoner to president of South Africa, is celebrating his 90th birthday. Our Southern Africa correspondent, Peter Biles, has been watching the festivities.

Sports news with Jon Myers.

This week the government announced controversial new proposals to reduce knife crime, including longer sentences. But will these new measures have any effect? Reporter Angus Stickler visits a youth project in south London to speak to some young men convicted of violent crimes.

Today's papers.

The BBC has learned that staff at the Hard Rock café in London are on base salaries of just over £2 an hour, and that the company relies on tips to raise the wages to the legal level. Our employment correspondent Martin Shankleman reports.

Thought for the day with John Bell of the Iona Community.

The government's strategy to prevent extremism will involve creating a theological board of leading Imams and Muslim women who will rule on controversial issues affecting Muslims in Britain, in an attempt to sideline violent extremists. The communities secretary Hazel Blears says that communities must be at the centre of the response to violent extremism.

The government is considering re-writing its own rules on borrowing in order to counter the economic slowdown. Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable and shadow chancellor George Osbourne discuss the plans which Mr Osbourne says signifies the "final collapse of Brown economics".

Kathleen Tattersall, head of the examinations regulator, has said that this year's Sats marking "is at least as good as previous years". Professor Alan Smithers, director for education and employment research at the University of Buckingham, discusses who is responsible as pressure grows on the government to sever links with the US company paid to mark the school test papers.

It's always said about a joke: you had to be there. So can Renaissance humour thrive in the 21st Century? Literature and comedy from 1500-1700 comes under scrutiny at a conference at the University of Leicester, where experts will gather to ponder ribticklers such as early Tudor (or should that be toilet?) humour. Dr Sarah Knight, a lecture in Renaissance Literature and one of the organisers of the conference, explains the appeal of Elizabethan and Jacobean humour.

Sports news with Jon Myers.

More than 1000 people a day are being forced onto relatively high-cost pre-payment meters for their energy because they are in debt, according to the Energywatch regulator. Social policy correspondent Kim Catcheside reports. Duncan Sedgwick, chief executive of the Energy Retailers Association, it is up to suppliers to make sure that their offer is competitive to customers.

Should super strength lager be banned? Homelessness charity Thames Reach has criticised the government for allowing the drinks industry to sell dangerous 9% super-strength beers. Jeremy Swain, chief executive at Thames Reach, and David Poley, of drinks company Portman group, discuss the issue.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

More than 60 years after Nazi soldiers committed one of France's worst wartime atrocities, a German prosecutor has begun an official investigation into what is often described as the country's forgotten massacre. Our Paris correspondent Emma Jane Kirby investigates.

An 18-year-old was stabbed to death last night in south London, becoming the 21st teenager to die of violence in the capital so far this year. Denzil Howill, who runs Foundation for Life, a youth justice project in south London, says there's still a serious problem with violent crime among young people but "things are improving".


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