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Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Today: Tuesday 10 February 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.

Australia's PM Kevin Rudd promises to help rebuild his country "school by school" after the worst fires in its history. And the former bosses of the two biggest UK casualties of the banking crisis - Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS - are to be questioned by MPs.

A severe storm is sweeping Britain, bringing heavy rain, fierce winds and treacherous driving conditions. Craig Woolhouse, head of flood defences at the Environment Agency, discusses the 90 flood warnings which have been issued, mostly in south-west England.

Polls have opened across Israel in a snap election called by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is stepping down. Today presenter Edward Stourton interviews Israeli pollster Rafi Smith, of the Smith Research Centre, about who is likely to become the new prime minister.

Banks could face legal action from disgruntled workers if they don't get their bonuses, a city lawyer says. Lawyer Ronnie Fox says he has clients at three different banks who are thinking of bringing legal actions.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

US President Barack Obama has warned that the economy faces a "deepening disaster" and that Congress must stop a crisis becoming a catastrophe by passing his economic stimulus plan. Correspondent Kevin Connelly examines the rest of the contents of Barack Obama's first televised press conference since becoming president.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

It is 30 years since the revolution in Iran came to its climax - bringing Ayatollah Khomeini to power. Correspondent John Simpson remembers Mr Khomeni's return from exile three decades ago.

Jacqui Smith should explain her conduct in claiming "second home" expenses for the house she shares with her husband and children, the Conservatives say. Today reporter Andrew Hosken explains how rules about the second home allowance for MPs work.

A store room inside a 2,600-year-old Egyptian tomb has been unearthed by archaeologists. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, explains the historical importance of more than 20 mummies found at the site.

Today's papers.

Thought for the day with columnist and novelist Anne Atkins.

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has vowed his country will rally after the worst bushfires in its history. Correspondents Nick Bryant and Phil Mercer examine what has now become the country's worst natural disaster in more than a century.

The former heads of the banks RBS and HBOS are to be questioned by MPs about who is responsible for the mistakes which led to them being bailed out by the government. Political editor Nick Robinson and business editor Robert Peston discuss what sort of questions the bosses will face.

An unusual recital is taking place, scheduled to last a total of 639 years, in the German town of Halberstadt. A new note is being played in John Cage's As Slow As Possible, which will not change for another year and a half. Correspondent Steve Rosenberg waits patiently to discover the appeal of the slowest recital in musical history.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Polls have opened across Israel in an early election and the leader of Israel's right-wing opposition party Likud, Binyamin Netanyahu, is the favourite to become prime minister. Today presenter Edward Stourton travels along the length of the Gaza border to discover how the recent conflict will affect the outcome.

The Australian authorities need to start thinking of different ways to avoid bush fires in future, writer and academic Professor Germaine Greer says. She and Neil Savery, national president of the Planning Institute of Australia, discuss whether there needs to be a fundamental change in policy across Australia to make sure fires are managed properly.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

The number of rats are increasing, the National Pest Technician's Association says. Director of the association Peter Crowden discusses why numbers released in his annual survey have increased.

When Paul Dirac, the youngest theoretical physicist ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics said "a physical theory contains mathematical beauty" over half a century ago, what did he mean? Jim Al-Khalili, professor of physics at the University of Surrey, and biographer Graham Farmelo discuss if aesthetics and logical thinking can go together.


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