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Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Today: Wednesday 18 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.

Further troops will be deployed to Afghanistan by President Obama. And two of the biggest car makers in the US have asked for more than $20bn of public money to keep them in business.

President Obama is sending a further 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to meet what he calls "urgent security needs". Lord Ashdown, former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, discusses if he thinks more resources are needed in the region.

Sir Allen Stanford, best-known in England for his sponsorship of the Stanford Twenty20 cricket tournament in the West Indies, has been charged by US authorities for investment fraud. Lawyer William Shepherd, who specialises in stockbroker fraud, discusses if investors are panicking and Colin Croft, cricket journalist and former West Indies fast bowler, discusses the impact on cricket in the Caribbean.

The Metropolitan Police Authority is to begin an inquiry into why black minority ethnic (BME) police officers are less likely to be promoted and more likely to leave the force earlier. Head of the MPA Race and Faith Inquiry Cindy Butts discusses what she is hoping to discover.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

BBC programme Inside Out has uncovered a film made with poet Sir John Betjeman in 1968, looking at the changing face of Leeds brought about by the slum clearances of the time. The man responsible for bringing Sir John to Leeds in 1968, Dr Jeffrey Sherwin, the founder of Leeds Civic Trust, remembers his attitude to the city.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The government should give the same financial support to manufacturing as it has to failing UK banks, a report suggests. Ian Brinkley, associate director of the Work Foundation, and Richard Jeffrey, chief investment officer of Cazenove Capital Management, discuss if emergency funding should be given.

Today's papers.

The Russian rugby legend Prince Alexander Obolensky is to be commemorated with a five metre statue to be unveiled in Ipswich. He is most famous for helping England to beat the All Blacks for the first time in 1936. James Hehir, chief executive of the council behind the statue, and Princess Alexandra Obolensky, niece of the "flying winger", discuss the impact the Russian made on the game.

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

Reality TV star Jade Goody, who has terminal cancer, will marry her boyfriend Jack Tweed on Sunday "health permitting". It is expected that the ceremony will be filmed for TV. Jade Goody's publicist Max Clifford and Times columnist Matthew Parris discuss the continuing public fascination with the TV star.

Ten years since the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, the police force "is still institutionally racist" despite efforts to tackle the issue, a report concludes. Dr Richard Stone, who was involved in the inquiry, Stephen Otter, chief constable of Devon and Cornwall, and Uanu Seshmi, head of a centre for boys who have been excluded from school, discuss if improvements have been made in the police force.

Texan billionaire and cricket promoter Sir Allen Stanford has been charged over a $8bn (5.6bn) investment fraud, US financial regulators say. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders considers what effects this could have on cricket in England and the West Indies.

The Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, famous for modernist work, is to be celebrated with a new exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London. Jonathan Glancey, of the Guardian, and Kate Bush, head of Barbican Art Galleries, discuss if Corbusier's love for concrete can be sold to the British.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The fraud charge against Sir Allen Stanford means a great deal for cricket, but what does it imply for financial regulators? Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics discusses the pressure being put on the authorities following Bernard Madoff's alleged $50bn (33bn) fraud.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

If the government is serious about helping the "real economy", loan guarantees and emergency funding ought to be extended to the manufacturing sector, the Work Foundation says. Clinical psychologist Micheal Gallagher, and inventor Sir James Dyson discuss if the economy is too reliant on the service sector.

After the Conservatives announced new proposals for local councils, do people really want more power over local affairs? Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics, and Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins discuss why Britain remains so strongly centralised compared to other nations.

A World War II soldier held captive by the Japanese for more than three years is publishing his wartime diary as he celebrates his 90th birthday. The POW in question, John Baxter, discusses his experiences.

The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has been classified as low-risk and has been recommended for release from Broadmoor prison, the Sun reports. Retired Detective Superintendent Chris Gregg, who investigated four of the Yorkshire Ripper cases, discusses the claims.


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