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Page last updated at 07:14 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009
Today: Thursday 26 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.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is preparing to announce record losses, as it emerges that the chief executive who led it to disaster is already getting a huge pension. And a cross party group of MPs has strongly criticised the Ministry of Defence over some of its procurement projects.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the biggest annual loss in UK corporate history. Business editor Robert Peston talks to the new chief executive of RBS, Stephen Hester, about the figures.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson is expected to make concessions as full details of the government's controversial bill to part-privatise Royal Mail is published. Economist Ian Senior, an enthusiast for privatisation, discusses if concessions will infuriate politicians on both sides of the argument.

The number of teenage pregnancies in England and Wales has risen, new figures are expected to show. Reporter Mark Hutchings speaks to two 16-year-olds with babies - together with their mothers - in the valleys of Pontypridd and Aberdare in Wales.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Some of the oldest words in the English and other Indo-European languages have been identified, scientists believe. Leader of the research Professor Mark Pagel, of Reading University, discusses some of the oldest words in use and the ones that are likely to become extinct.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The number of people in England having obesity surgery has risen by 40% in the last year, figures show. Michelle Ricard, who had a gastric band fitted and lost five stone, and weight loss surgery specialist Mr Justin Morgan, of Southmead Hospital in Bristol, discuss why the numbers have increased.

Today's papers.

As Royal Bank of Scotland releases figures expected to show record losses, how will workers at the company be affected? Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the union Unite, discusses how many workers could be lost.

The UK recession is now affecting most sectors of the economy and all regions of the country. Over the next 12 months, the Today programme will be following four people who have been made redundant. Reporter Sanchia Berg speaks to Lucy Bennett, an out-of-work young architect in London.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Dr David Wilkinson, principal of St John's College, Durham.

The UK is "20 if not 30 years behind the rest of Europe" on teenage pregnancy, the head of sexual health advice charity Brook says. Children's minister Beverley Hughes discusses if figures for young pregnancies, which are expected to rise, can be curbed by government intervention.

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced losses of 24.1bn for 2008, the biggest corporate loss in UK history. Chancellor Alistair Darling discusses a scheme to siphon off the bank's toxic assets, said to be worth 325bn.

Part-privatisation is the only way to keep the Royal Mail healthy, the government says. Opponents of the scheme say that it is the beginning of the end of a universal service run in the public interest. Reporter Angus Stickler accompanies one postman on his round in Oxfordshire to discover what people in the area think.

Audio for this item is currently unavailable.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Police forces in England and Wales are inefficient and unaccountable, the think tank Reform says. Elizabeth Truss, deputy director of Reform, and Councillor Bob Jones, chairman of the Association of Police Authorities, discuss if the police should be split into smaller units and if the Met should be given a wider role.

The British sculptor Antony Gormley has been commissioned to fill the vacant fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for 100 days - as part of a sequence of different projects for the square. Arts correspondent Razia Iqbal talks to Mr Gormley about the ambitious plans he has.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

The longlist for the new George Orwell prize for blogs has been announced. Director of the prize Jean Seaton and longlisted blogger Hopi Sen, author of Blog from the Backroom, discuss if blogging has become as respected as novel writing or journalism.

What happens to the paper-trail of documents containing personal information? Correspondent James Alexander reports on the transfer of many personal records underground - to be stored down Britain's biggest salt mine at Winsford in Cheshire.

Teenage pregnancies in England and Wales are expected to rise when official figures are released. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and Anastasia De Waal, of the think tank Civitas, discuss why the UK still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe.


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