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Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Today: Wednesday 21 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.

President Obama has asked for a suspension of the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. Official figures out later are expected to confirm that the number of people out of work rose again in December. And did more Britons die on the Titanic because they queued?

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has published its review into public service broadcasting and how it should be funded once the analogue signal is switched off in 2012. Media correspondent Torin Douglas examines what this means for public broadcasters.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

President Obama has issued a request to suspend the military trials process at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Correspondent Jonathan Beale reports from Guantanamo and discovers that closing it down, as the new president has pledged to do, will be easier said than done.

Coastguards are monitoring hundreds of tonnes of timber that fell from a cargo ship in the English Channel. Alison Kentuck, receiver of wreck at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, explains what will happen to the wood once it washes ashore.

A remarkable dung beetle has dumped its usual dinner of faeces and begun attacking and eating millipedes 10 times its length. Science correspondent Tom Feilden discusses the rare example of a scavenger species turning carnivore.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The government has published the first ever constitution for the NHS in England. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of patients. Health Secretary Alan Johnson discusses if the constitution will change the health service.

Today's papers.

More British passengers on the Titanic died than Americans because they queued, an Australian researcher believes. David Savage, of Queensland's University of Technology, explains why he believes the British stereotype of being polite - even when faced with disaster - led to more casualties.

After a sober inaugural speech that warned Americans of difficult days ahead, the serious work of the Obama presidency will begin in the Oval office. James Naughtie reports from Washington on the presidential couple, who remained out on the town until the early hours.

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

RBS and the new Lloyds Banking Group should be nationalised, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee John McFall argues. Vince Cable, the Lib Dem treasury spokesman, and economist Tim Congdon discuss the markets' reaction to the most recent government rescue plan.

An Ofcom report into public service broadcasting says there will be a shortfall in funding of up to 235m a year by 2012. Chief executive Ed Richards discusses what this will mean for the major public broadcasters.

President Obama has asked for the military trials process in Guantanamo Bay to be suspended. The judge, who was due to hear the case of five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks, says he will rule on the request. Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith welcomes the news.

The Cornish village of Helford has been getting quieter as locals find themselves outnumbered by second homeowners. Correspondent Alex Bushill reports on how a row over plans to build a jetty to help fishermen bring in their catch has exposed the fault lines between the wealthy outsiders and those who live in Helford all year round.

BBC viewers in the south west can find out more about this story on tonight's Inside Out, at 7.30 on BBC 1. Viewers elsewhere can watch the film from Thursday on the BBC iPlayer

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Israeli army says its troops have completed their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Both Israel and Hamas declared ceasefires at the weekend. Correspondent Tim Franks reports from Jerusalem.

About 1,000 former servicemen are suing the Ministry of Defence for the health problems they've suffered from, they claim, nuclear tests carried out in the 1950s. One of the claimants Donald Terrence James and lawyer Clive Hyer discuss the first hearing of the case.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Inauguration Day in the US is over and now the spotlight will be on if President Obama's pre-election pledges will be carried out. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, has been involved in the preparation of foreign policy. He discusses why he believes President Obama will measure up to the challenges ahead.

The government has revived plans for so-called "secret inquests". Its Coroners and Justice Bill, which was published last week, proposes that inquests should be held in private if there are concerns over national security. Matthew Hall, a former criminal barrister, discusses how often this measure could be used.

Media regulator Ofcom has unveiled recommendations aimed at protecting the future of Channel 4 and public service broadcasting as a whole. Chief executives David Elstein, formerly of Five, and Andy Duncan, of Channel 4, discuss the implications of the report.


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