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Page last updated at 07:12 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 08:12 UK
Today: Friday 19 September 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.

Share values have soared in the US and Asia, after US officials confirmed it is urgently considering another rescue plan to ease the global crisis. Half of all maths lessons in English secondary schools have been judged inadequate by inspectors. And the return of the Puffin Post.

US officials say they will hammer out a "comprehensive" plan to help ease what has become a global financial crisis. North America editor Justin Webb discusses whether this is the big rescue that will save the world economy.

Almost half of England's schools are not teaching maths well enough, and they are putting too much emphasis on passing tests, a report by Ofsted inspectors says. Miriam Rosen, director of education at Ofsted, discusses whether the criticism is justified.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove

The government has decided to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in full, the BBC has learned. The convention obliges nations to put the best interests of a child first. Home Affairs editor Mark Easton explains why the UK has retained its opt-out for 17 years.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

The President of the National Black Police Association Commander Ali Dizaei has been suspended by the Metropolitan Police Authority following accusations of misconduct. Brian Paddick, former deputy assistant commissioner at the Met, discusses whether this is a crisis for the police service.

Russia's stock market has had its most difficult week since the late 1990s when its government defaulted on some of its debt. Its value has declined by more than half since May. Correspondent James Rodgers reports on how the stock market has been suspended several times.

Today's papers

The Bush administration is reviewing its war strategy in Afghanistan because of the problems there, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says. UK Defence Secretary Des Browne discusses how this will affect Britain.

Professor Stephen Hawking will unveil a new clock later today at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Its inventor Dr John Taylor says the clock offers a "radical new way" of telling the time. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports from below the clock.

Thought for the day with the writer Rhidian Brook.

Britain needs "transformational change" to cope with climate change, the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change says. Ian Cheshire, chief executive of Kingfisher, says that leading retailers "have a responsibility" to take action to tackle climate change.

US officials will announce a plan to help rid US banks of their bad assets, and ease what has become a global financial crisis. Alistair Milne, of Cass Business School, George Magnus, of UBS Investment Bank, and Martin Wolf, of the Financial Times, discuss whether the worst is over for the economy.

Tony Blair launched what he said was the biggest consultation exercise ever with voters, called The Big Conversation, in 2003; but now some are said to be disillusioned with the idea. Correspondent Sanchia Berg reports.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

The government is likely to sign the UN convention on the rights of the child in full, the BBC has learned. For the last 17 years the UK has kept an opt-out to allow them to lock up child migrants and asylum seekers. Children's Commissioner Sir Al Aynsley-Green and Jasmine Whitbread, of Save the Children, discuss whether children seeking asylum should be treated just like all other children.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

An increase in maths national test results "are generally not being matched by identifiable improvements in pupil's understanding of mathematics", an Ofsted report says. Kate Bellingham, former presenter of Tomorrow's World and maths teacher, discusses whether maths is taught just to pass tests.

When does a hill become a mountain? Climbers in Wales think they have the answer. A detailed survey has been carried out on two hills in Snowdonia, and one or both may now be considered high enough for promotion to mountain status. Chris Dearden reports on just how high a mountain has to be.

Tony Blair will begin a teaching course on faith and globalisation at Yale University. He's not only giving his first class on it but also doing a question and answer session in front of nearly 3,000 students. President of Yale Richard Levin explains how Blair will be received by the students.

(For copyright reasons, the audio for this item cannot be put online.)

Ali Hamid was at work in his fish shop in a busy street in the Karada district of Baghdad when he heard "an explosion that felt like an earthquake". Five members of his family were among the 65 killed. Over a year after the bomb, correspondent Mike Sergeant reports from on how he has rebuilt his life.

The children's magazine the Puffin Post was first launched in 1967 but faded from popularity in the 1980s. It is now being re-launched. Michael Morpurgo, children's author and former children's laureate, and Seri Glaister, publisher of the new Puffin Post, discuss whether it can be a success once more.


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