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Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009
Today: Monday 19 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 set to announce another series of measures in a bid to free up banks to start lending again. And David Cameron is to bring former Tory leadership rival Kenneth Clarke back into the shadow cabinet, BBC News learns.

RBS has announced losses for 2008 of between 7bn and 8bn. Business editor Robert Peston reports on the "staggering" losses.

US President-elect Barack Obama is only a day away from his inauguration. North America editor Justin Webb considers whether an approval rating of over 70% means that he will inevitably disappoint some people.

The 10th anniversary of the Macpherson inquiry into the way the police investigated the murder of Stephen Lawrence will be marked by a series of events. Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips, who will make a speech on the issue, discusses if "institutional racism" is still a problem a decade on.

The government is expected to give details of a new round of measures to encourage the banks to make new loans. Business presenter Nick Cosgrove examines the details of the new plan. Business editor Robert Peston interviews the head of RBS Stephen Hester to discuss a possible increase in the government stake of the bank.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

As the government releases new plans to help the economy, the Conservatives will announce the return of former chancellor Kenneth Clarke to the front bench. Shadow chancellor George Osborne discusses Mr Clarke's post as shadow business secretary and debates whether new proposals to help the economy will work.

Today's papers.

Essay questions in Sats, exams for 14-year-old school pupils, should be scrapped because they are subjective, a paper published today by the Centre for Policy Studies argues. Report author Tom Burkard, director of the Promethean Trust, discusses the difficulty in marking answers written as essays.

Artist and children's presenter Tony Hart has died, aged 83. He had suffered from health problems for a number of years, including two strokes. Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman Animations - which created the character Morph, discusses the man well-known for 50 years of children's television work and the design of the original Blue Peter badge.

Thought for the day with the religious commentator Clifford Longley.

Now that fighting has stopped in Gaza, a sense of the impact on the people in the region is beginning to emerge. Correspondent Christian Fraser and John Ging, director of operations in Gaza for UN relief agency Unrwa, discuss the fragile ceasefire and the cost of the conflict.

The government has announced further measures to support the banking system. Chancellor Alistair Darling says banks have been slow to reveal how much of their assets are at risk, but plans will help to increase lending.

Politicians Tony Benn and Lord Tebbit are both backing a campaign to install a statue of Battle of Britain hero Sir Keith Park in central London. Economics editor Hugh Pym discovers the history of one of the key commanders in the battle.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

Former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke will return to the Conservative front bench as part of a major reshuffle, BBC News has learned. Political editor Nick Robinson discusses if the return of the former chancellor shows in a change in thinking from David Cameron.

Coverage of international affairs on the main television channels is under threat, a report commissioned by the charity Oxfam says. Report author Phil Harding, formerly of BBC World Service and former editor of the Today programme, and Dorothy Byrne, head of news and current affairs at Channel Four, discuss the importance of keeping global events in the news.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

US President-elect Barack Obama has told a huge crowd of supporters at a pre-inauguration rally in Washington that "anything is possible in America". Philip Lader, former US ambassador to London, Sir David Manning, former UK ambassador to the US, discuss the potential of the new administration.

A new cultural exchange has been planned between Iran and the UK - spearheaded not by a politician or the government, but by the director of the British Museum. Front Row presenter John Wilson was at the signing ceremony in Tehran and reports on the ancient clay cylinder that helped to seal a deal that could open a new diplomatic channel between the two countries.

How will bankers react to new government proposals? George Magnus, senior economic adviser to UBS, and Sir Howard Davies, former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, discuss if these measure will finally see the banking industry return to some sort of normality.



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