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Page last updated at 06:06 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009
Today: Saturday 3 January 2009

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

With presenter Ed Stourton on Israel's border with Gaza, Hamas leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshaal, warns Israel it would face a "black destiny" if it launched a ground offensive on Gaza. And Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discusses changes made during his first year in charge of the party.

0709
President Bush has blamed the Palestinian militant group Hamas for the renewed violence in the Gaza Strip. Presenter Edward Stourton, who is on Israel's border with Gaza, Chris Gunness, of the UN Relief Agency, and correspondent Mike Sergeant discuss the most recent developments, including the death of another senior Hamas figure in an Israeli airstrike.

0715
Sri Lanka's military have seized control of the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto capital of Kilinochchi, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced. Correspondent Roland Buerk reports on what has been described as an "unparalleled victory" for government forces.

0717
Today's papers.

0720
Is anyone still trying to start a company in the current economic climate? Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones reports on the hopeful young entrepreneurs determined to start new technology companies.

0724
Jim McNeill is trying for the third time to get to a part of the Arctic where he thinks no human has been before. He discusses his attempt to reach the point at the centre of the Arctic Ocean which is known as the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.

0727
Sports news with Jon Myers.

0732
Russian gas giant Gazprom says it can no longer depend on Ukraine as a transit route to the EU and is looking to develop alternatives. Mikhail Kroutikhin, oil and gas analyst at Russian consultancy firm Rusenergy, discusses the dispute over debts and energy prices.

0738
Today's papers.

0740
Israel have carried out further bomb attacks in Gaza. Presenter Edward Stourton, on Israel's border with Gaza, gives his eyewitness account as the attacks take place.

0741
What is it like to be in the cockpit of a war plane? Reporter Huw Williams talks to some of the Israeli airmen who are bombing Gaza to discover how aware they are of the moral complexities of the job they are doing.

0748
Thought for the day with the Reverend Roy Jenkins, Baptist Minister in Cardiff.

0751
Sri Lankan forces say they are pressing on with their offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels after capturing Kilinochchi. Professor Jonathan Spencer, of the University of Edinburgh, and Suren Surendiran, of the British Tamils Forum, discuss the fate of the town, which had been in the hands of the rebels for the last decade.

0810
At the beginning of each year, the Today programme speaks to the leaders of the three main political parties. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discusses the changes he has made during his first year in charge of the party.

0820
What is the political situation surrounding the conflict in Gaza? Gill Hoffman, of the Jerusalem Post, and Griff Witte, of the Washington Post, discuss what relevance recent elections in the US and forthcoming elections in Israel have on the situation.

0826
Sports news with Jon Myers.

0830
Israel would be making a "foolish mistake" if it sent tanks into Gaza, The Hamas leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshaal says. Presenter Ed Stourton, on Israel's border with Gaza, reports on what is described by the UN as a "worsening humanitarian crisis". Hamada Abu Qammar, one of the BBC's Gaza producers, and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, discuss the context to the conflict. Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg says "Israel has every right to defend itself from unacceptable rocket attacks from Hamas".

0842
Today's papers.

0845
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. Astronomer Royal Professor Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, discusses the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of a telescope to study the stars.

0850
While the US and others press for a ceasefire, the Israelis look set for military action on the ground in Gaza. Diana Buttu, former legal adviser to President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas - though never a member of Palestinian political party Fatah, discusses how the last week has affected the Palestinian cause.

0854
We are failing in how we teach history to our children, the historian and former director of the V&A Museum Sir Roy Strong says. He discuses his view that children don't know how the UK and its institutions work with history teacher Peter Hyman.




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