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Page last updated at 06:07 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009
Today: Saturday 24 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 be asked to pay 12,000 to the families of all those killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland - including members of paramilitary groups. And a protest is to be held outside the BBC's London HQ over its refusal to broadcast a charity appeal for Gaza.

There is a row over plans to pay compensation to the families of all those killed in Northern Ireland's Troubles - including the families of paramilitaries. Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson explains the recommendation which could cost the government 40m.

President Barack Obama has spoken to Gordon Brown on the phone - one of the first European leaders to get a call. Political correspondent Iain Watson considers if Guardian claims that he is the first European leader to receive a call is accurate.

Today's papers.

Yesterday in Parliament with correspondent Mark D'Arcy.

A demonstration will be held to protest against the BBC's decision not to broadcast an appeal for aid to the people of Gaza. It is being organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee - an umbrella group for some of the big charities. Politician Tony Benn discusses why he will be attending the protest outside BBC Broadcasting House.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

US President Barack Obama has named his two key envoys - to the Middle East, and Pakistan and Afghanistan. Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, who worked with Richard Holbrooke - the man named envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, says he fears the UK is wasting the lives on young men and women on the front line because the government has no plan for Afghanistan. He also says the international community has failed to create a stable political environment.

Today's papers.

The pound's recent steep decline has prompted some financiers to talk of a crisis of confidence in the currency. But is there any alternative? Today reporter Jack Izzard visits the town of Lewes in East Sussex where locally-produced banknotes have become part of everyday life.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Bob Marshall, an Anglican Priest.

US regulators are to allow the world's first clinical trials of an embryonic stem cell therapy. Science correspondent Tom Feilden and stem cell expert Chris Mason examines the importance of the decision, and if it reflects a new era in US science.

The government is to be asked to pay 12,000 to the families of all those killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland - including members of paramilitary groups. Former Northern Ireland First Minister Lord Trimble discusses the proposals which would cost an estimated 40m.

Jonathan Ross has returned to television screens after his 12-week suspension from the BBC. Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, and Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of the Sun, discuss if the reaction over the return to Ross reflects a change in mood towards public service broadcasting.

President Obama has asked the Pentagon to plan for "a responsible military drawdown from Iraq." In Baghdad the streets are already largely free of US soldiers, who have been handing over responsibility for security to Iraqi forces. Correspondent Jonny Dymond considers if this marks a new beginning for the city.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

Are banking executives to blame for the crisis in the financial sector and the recession or are they just scapegoats? Sir George Cox, former chairman of the Institute of Directors, and Alex Brummer, City editor of the Daily Mail, discuss if the men responsible for running the banks are responsible for the downturn.

The International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander has written to the BBC asking it to reconsider a decision not to broadcast an appeal for aid to the people of Gaza. He discusses why he believes the appeal should run by a publicly-funded broadcaster with Caroline Thomson. She says that the BBC must retain the confidence of the audience and maintain its reputation to enable appeals to be successful. Mr Alexander says the public is intelligent enough to distinguish between support for aid and impartiality in a conflict.

The film Slumdog Millionaire - nominated for ten Oscars including Best Film and Best Director - has opened in cinemas across India. South Asia correspondent Chris Morris reports if the film - which depicts the slums of Mumbai - accurately reflects the situation in the city.

Today's papers.

Some recently discovered cantatas - claimed to be the work of Handel - have been questioned for their authenticity. Tatty Theo, director of the Brook Street Band who discovered the work, and Dr David Vickers, who co-edited the forthcoming Cambridge Handel Encyclopaedia, discuss the work that has been performed for the first time.


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