• News Feeds
Page last updated at 07:11 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Today: Wednesday 11 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.

Both the main political parties in Israel are claiming the right to form the next government after an inconclusive general election which could lead to weeks of coalition negotiations. And the number of people out of work has risen to over 2m, official figures are likely to show.

The body that advises the government on illegal drugs is to recommend ecstasy be downgraded to a Class B drug. Martin Barnes, who is chief executive of DrugScope and also sits on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs - but does not speak for them, discusses with Ian Johnston, president of the Police Superintendents' Association, how the government should react.

With almost all the votes counted in the Israeli elections, the governing centrist Kadima has 28 seats and the right-wing Likud opposition 27, election officials said. Middle East correspondent Tim Franks considers which parties may make up the new government.

The government's controversial plan to pay private companies to find jobs for the long-term unemployed has been put under pressure by the rise in unemployment, which is likely to pass the two million mark. Tom Riall, chief executive at Serco Civil Government - one of the companies bidding for the contracts, discusses why there has been a "short pause" in the tendering process.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

After former bosses of the two biggest UK casualties of the banking crisis apologised "profoundly and unreservedly" for their banks' failure, current bankers will now face the Treasury Select Committee. Michael Fallon, one of the MPs on the committee, and Michael Bolton, former head of specialist lending at HBOS, discuss what they think will happen.

Today's papers.

The General Synod of the Church of England is to discuss a motion calling on it to recognise explicitly its aim of converting people to Christianity. Paul Eddy, a lay member of the Synod, and David James, Bishop of Bradford, discuss if raising the issue may damage the Church's relations with members of other religions.

Thought for the day with Akhandadhi Das - a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian.

The leaders of Israel's two main parties have claimed victory in a snap general election. Today presenter Edward Stourton reports from Israel on what could be a prolonged period of political wrangling.

The number of jobless people in the UK is expected to rise above two million for the first time since 1997 when figures are published later. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge and Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at Sheffield University, discuss if the situation has become desperate for job seekers.

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is to be sworn in as prime minister in a unity government with President Robert Mugabe.

Note: Audio is unavailable for this item.

Somali pirates are likely to embark on a renewed spate of attacks on shipping, the head of operations for the EU's anti-piracy taskforce says. Frank Gardner reports on how Cdr Gerry Northwood, head of the taskforce codenamed Operation Atlanta, will protect vulnerable food ships travelling to the country.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

There are calls for the illegal drug ecstasy to be downgraded to a class B drug, and the head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has said "there is not much difference between horse-riding and ecstasy". Neuroscientist Professor Colin Blakemore, of Oxford University, and psychologist Professor Andy Parrott, of Swansea University, discuss if "society tolerates - indeed encourages - certain forms of potentially harmful behaviour but not others".

What do the Palestinians make of the results of Israel's election? Dr Sabri Saidam, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, discusses how the result will affect diplomatic relations.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

After months of talks, Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is due to be sworn in as the country's prime minister. Correspondent Peter Biles visits a South African civil rights activist, Kumi Naidoo, who is marking the moment by ending his three week hunger strike in support of the people of Zimbabwe.

Are women in Hollywood movies dumb and are they getting dumber? Feminist historian Diane Purkiss, of Keble College, Oxford, and Stacey Abbott, author of Falling In Love Again; Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema, discuss if films like Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bride Wars portray women as shallow and not very intelligent.

Despite almost all votes counted , the official election results in Israel may not be released for days. Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, Israeli journalist Danny Rubenstein and Gil Hoffman, political editor of the Jerusalem Post, discuss who they believe will take power.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific