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Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 08:58 UK
Today: Monday 21 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.

MPs on the Transport Select Committee have criticised Network Rail for management failings, and the government for a lack of ambition in their vision of the railways. Labour MP Louise Ellman, chair of the committee, says that vision is needed for expansion.

Benefit claimants could be forced to pick up litter and clean graffiti under plans due to be unveiled by ministers. Dr Jonathan Richards, a GP from Merthyr Tydfil, and Frank Field, an MP and former welfare minister, discuss what impact this will have on benefits.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Portugal's attorney general will make a statement about the Madeleine McCann case. Correspondent Steve Kingstone reports from Praia da Luz.

Scientists claim to have overcome the problem of rejection by the human body of animal parts used in transplants. Professor John Fisher, who led the team at Leeds University, discusses the findings.

Sports news with Philip Studd.

Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS), the UK's top mortgage lender, will reveal how many investors have opted to buy new shares in the business. Peter Spencer, of the forecasting group Ernst & Young ITEM club, discusses predictions for the economy.

President Sarkozy of France will make his first official visit to Ireland. Earlier this month, Sarkozy said Ireland would have to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Declan Ganley, of the anti-treaty lobby group Libertas, says he promises to put forward candidates in every country in the European elections next summer.

Today's papers.

An exhibition by the photographer Robert Altman looks back at the 1960s. The pictures capture an era that began with flower power and ended with riots and social turmoil. David Sillito went to meet the photographer, who was at the time the chief staff photographer of Rolling Stone magazine.

Thought for the day with Reverend Dr Alan Billings, director of the Centre for Ethics and Religion at Lancaster University.

The Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London will launch a pilot scheme which will allow it to measure performance by looking at the outcomes for patients. Professor Stephen Smith, chief executive of the trust, discusses the proposals.

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell will propose a Welfare Green Paper expected to force those unemployed for more than two years to work full-time in the community. He says that these plans would "transform lives".

It is the 70 year anniversary of the Beano, and a special edition has been released. The guest editor, creator of Wallace and Gromit Nick Park, has created a Dennis the Menace comic strip that features all the presenters on the Today programme. Nick Park and Alan Digby, editor of The Beano, discuss Humphrys and the Naughtie gang.

Sports news with Philip Studd.

A former commander in Afghanistan has left the Army, and is making his reasons public. Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Tootal says the Ministry of Defence underestimate the difficulty of the mission and wounded soldiers are still not being properly cared for.

Traffic reduction measures have come into force in Beijing in a last minute attempt to improve air quality before the Olympics which start in less than three weeks time. Correspondent James Reynolds reports.

Is there an argument for weakening the authority of Canterbury over Anglican churches in other countries? Theologian Theo Hobson and the Right Reverend Nick Baines, the Bishop of Croydon, discuss the importance of international relations within the Church.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

While troubles in today's economy are creating headlines, one academic economist, Angus Maddison, has been devoted to compiling statistics on world economies on a slightly longer time horizon, since the year 1AD. He explains how you can work out the GDP of the Roman Empire.

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell says his proposals for welfare reform return to the founding principles of the Welfare State. Neal Lawson, of Labour pressure group Compass, and Iain Duncan-Smith, former Conservative leader, discuss the green paper.


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