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Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Today: Wednesday 14 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.

The government is to give more details of its plans to guarantee loans to struggling businesses. And the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is in the Middle East to press for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

A plan to guarantee up to 20bn of loans to small businesses to help them survive the economic downturn is set to be unveiled. Business editor Robert Peston and credit analyst Paul Mortimer Lee, of BNP Paribas, discuss if proposals will target "genuine business needs".

Police radios in London can now operate from the capitals 125 underground stations - correcting a weakness in the emergency system that was identified after the July bombings in 2005. Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, of the National Policing Improvement Agency, discusses if there are still security concerns ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Three rockets have been fired from Lebanon into Northern Israel, news agencies are reporting. Correspondent Mike Sergeant reports from Jerusalem.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A new body to represent the four million people in the UK who like to go fishing has been set up. Science correspondent Tom Feilden visits the River Wandle in Wimbledon to consider the Angling Trust's claims that it will fight, among other things, pollution, poaching, and commercial overfishing.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

In Africa, international companies have been buying vast areas of agricultural or mineral-rich land. Correspondent Mike Thomson examines Africa's biggest ever private land deal - a US entrepreneur leasing 400,000 hectares of fertile ground in Southern Sudan from a local warlord.

Today's papers.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has designed a coat that costs 2500 - for a dog. However, the RSPCA has issued a warning that animals can overheat in clothing and would consider taking legal action against an owner who over-dressed their pet. Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, and Lilly Shahravesh, owner of "canine couture" company Love My Dog, discuss the desire to dress dogs well.

Thought for the day with the Right Reverend Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark.

Israel is continuing its military drive into Gaza as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon heads to Cairo in an effort to secure an end to the 19 day military conflict. Reporter Sanchia Berg speaks to Palestinians inside the strip. Major Jacob Dallal, of the Israeli Defence Force, discusses accusations that humanitarian targets and the UN have been hit.

The government is to set out its latest proposal to tackle the recession. It will underwrite 20bn of loans to small and medium-sized businesses. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson discusses if this plan will make banks more willing to lend.

The chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Mervyn Davies is to be made a life peer and trade minister by Gordon Brown. Political editor Nick Robinson reports on the man expected to add bank experience to the government at a time of continuing economic difficulties.

The world premiere of Skin Deep, a satirical operetta about cosmetic surgery, is to take place at the Grand Theatre and Opera House in Leeds. Arts correspondent Rebecca Jones talks to writer Armando Iannucci, writer of I'm Alan Partridge and In the Thick of It, about the work that includes the Dance of the Seven Bandages, a Ballet of Transplant Organs and a Chorus of Creams.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Russia and Ukraine are still arguing over the rights and wrongs of the gas dispute. At the centre of the row is the state-controlled monopoly Gazprom, in which many super-rich Russians have shares. One of them - former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev who once spied in London - discusses if differences between the two countries can be resolved.

A new art installation going on display at the European Council building in Brussels has angered EU members with its lampoons of national stereotypes. Europe editor Mark Mardell reports on the portrayal of Bulgaria as a toilet, Romania as a Dracula theme-park and France as a country on strike.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Was Florence Nightingale really such a good nurse? In his review of a new book on her, eminent microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington criticises her for not understanding either germ theory or the importance of using clean water. He discusses his critique with Mark Bostridge, the author of the book in question.

Even if Israel achieves its objective of weakening Hamas, what will the consequences of the assault be? Alistair Crooke, former mediator with Hamas on behalf of the EU and director of the Conflicts Forum which engages directly with Islamist movements, discusses the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's comments that the conflict in Gaza may be drawing to a close.

Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke says the US economy will be given a "significant boost" by President-elect Obama's stimulus package. Mr Bernanke is in the UK to deliver a lecture at the London School of Economics and Sarah Montague went to listen to the speech and gauge the reaction.

Is the era of relative peace and prosperity at an end? Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman and Bill Emmott, former editor of the Economist, discuss outgoing US President George W Bush's warning that the US will face enemies determined to attack his country.



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