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Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009
Today: Thursday 15 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.

Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport are expected to get the go-ahead from the government today. And efforts to get a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are said to be making progress - but the fighting is continuing.

Many large companies are giving their sales results for the Christmas period, amid fears that it could have been one of the worst Christmases - for retailers at least - in recent history. Business presenter Adam Shaw gives the details and Simon Fox, the chief executive of HMV, reports the company's Christmas success.

The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates. There are fears that the weakest countries may be forced out of the eurozone. Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group, discusses the difficulty in setting interest rates for 16 different countries.

More than 1,000 Gazans and 13 Israelis have reportedly died as Israel's war on Hamas militants enters its 20th day. Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, discusses how the conflict can be brought to an end.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The government is due to announce the approval of a controversial plan to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport, the BBC understands. Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers and Baroness Valentine, of business group London First, discuss if the runway should be given the go-ahead.

Today's papers.

A report into the damaged wind turbine in Lincolnshire which was said to be hit by a UFO will not be published - because the investigation has not come up with an answer. Dale Vince, managing director of wind farm operator Ecotricity, says UFOs have not been ruled out of an inquiry into a damaged wind turbine.

Using a checklist during major operations can cut deaths and complications by more than a third, research shows. Health minister Lord Darzi, who helped to draw up the proposals, discusses why the guidelines are making such a difference.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Angela Tilby, vicar of St Bene't's Church in Cambridge.

Savers who lost money in the Equitable Life assurance company could be offered compensation by the government in an announcement due later. Former policy holder Anne Berry says she is very sceptical of what she will hear. Ros Altmann, an advisor to the pension industry, discusses if the government will go far enough.

Yesterday was the one of the worst days for job losses in the UK since the start of the recession. Richard Lambert, of the CBI, and economist Ben Broadbent discuss if, as the government says, half a million job vacancies still exist in the country.

Government minister Baroness Vadera has been criticised as "living in a parallel universe" after she claimed to be seeing a few green shoots of recovery in the economy. Political editor Nick Robinson examines the business minister's career.

The long-list of nominations for next month's Bafta Film Awards has been announced. Arts correspondent Rebecca Jones and film critic Mark Kermode discuss the 11 nominations for British film Slumdog Millionaire and the two nominations for Kate Winslet.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The number of people with dementia in the UK - currently around 700,000 - is expected to double or even triple in the coming years. The government plans to set up a memory clinic in every town and to give all GPs training in how to spot the symptoms correctly. Author Deborah Moggach discusses the difficulties she faced in caring for her mother during her slide into severe dementia.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

There are renewed calls from economists and commentators for Britain to join the euro - as the pound is now at such low levels against the currency. Peter Sutherland, former director-general of the World Trade Organisation, discusses a campaign beginning with the publication of 31 essays calling for the euro to be adopted.

Two months on from Eastern Congo peace talks beginning, there is no sign of any breakthrough. Correspondent Mike Thomson gives the latest developments on talks between rebel and government leaders taking place in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Could there be an upside to political gaffes? Business minister Baroness Vadera's comments that she saw "green shoots of recovery" in the economy have attracted a lot of criticism from economists and the Conservatives. Journalist Matthew Parris discusses if there are any positives to take from her situation.

Will 2009 be the year China faces widespread protest and disruption? Official figures indicate up to 10m rural migrants have already lost their jobs as southern factories close, annual growth falls and exports decline for the first time in nearly a decade. Beijing correspondent James Reynolds and author Mark Leonard discuss the risk of widespread social unrest.


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