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Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009
Today: Friday 27 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 Treasury says banker Sir Fred Goodwin's refusal to give up his 693,000-a-year pension was "unacceptable". And more bad news from the UK's banks is expected later when the Lloyds Banking Group posts its results for 2008.

The Treasury has said that banker Sir Fred Goodwin's refusal to give up his 693,000-a-year pension is "unfortunate and unacceptable". Michael Fallon, a Conservative member of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, discusses if the pension agreement was "obscene".

The economic turmoil is so often described as a "global crisis" rather than a problem specific to one country, but the crisis is affecting every country differently. Correspondent Jonny Dymond reports on the particular way in which Hungary is feeling the impact of the current difficult conditions.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is in Iraq on his first visit since April 2008. He discusses what he hopes the trip will achieve, and US President Barack Obama's speech on "the way forward" in Iraq.

The audio for this item has been edited from the version broadcast.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet

After the 24.1bn loss announced by RBS, Lloyds Banking Group says that HBOS, which it absorbed in January, made a pre-tax loss of 10.8bn in 2008. Business editor Robert Peston says the figures were less of a shock but are still huge.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to give the prestigious Romanes Lecture at Oxford University. The speech focuses on the connection between science and economics and comes as debate rages within the science community over what kinds of scientific work should get public funding. Professor Don Braben, a physicist at University College London and Lord Krebs, principal of Jesus College, Oxford, discuss if the government should increase funding for science.

Today's papers

Farmers ploughing their fields in the Fens have been uncovering an unusually large number of "bog oaks" - ancient remnants of the forests which once covered Britain preserved deep in the peat soils of the Eastern counties. Environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee explains the importance of such finds.

Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet.

The average council tax bill in England is going up by 3% - the second lowest figure in the history of the tax, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy says. Professor Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics, and Sir Jeremy Beecham, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association, discuss if local government resources are being squeezed.

The former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin has rejected calls to give up his 693,000-a-year pension. Political editor Nick Robinson reports on the Treasury's reaction to this announcement and Labour MP John Prescott discusses his reaction to Sir Fred's decision.

Today presenter Evan Davis has turned his talents to stand-up comedy for a Comic Relief series on Radio 4. The programme, Stand Up with the Stars, trains four presenters in the art of stand up comedy before setting them loose on the general public. Comedian Paul Merton, one of the mentors on the programme, discusses what makes a good stand-up routine.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Book publisher Hodder & Stoughton has announced it is going back on a decision to sell a book exclusively at Waterstone's for four months. Tim Hely Hutchinson, chief executive of Hachette UK - of which Hodder & Stoughton is a part, says the company made a mistake. Independent bookseller James Daunt, founder of Daunt Books, discusses the importance of independent sellers.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has delivered an assessment of the progress made since a formal apology to Aborigines for past injustices was made. Correspondent Nick Bryant reports on the disappointment that many Aboriginal leaders feel about the preservation of some policies introduced by the former conservative government.

British doctors are debating whether it is ethical to start clinical trials of voice box transplants. Health reporter Matthew Hill explains developments that may make the transplant possible in such a way that the patient would not need to take anti-rejection drugs.

An exhibition of Gerhard Richter paintings has opened at the National Portrait Gallery. Nicola Stanbridge reports on the man - now in his late 70s - who fled from East to West Germany just months before the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and is considered as one of the greatest living painters.

A leading headteacher says that the billions of pounds of government money spent on IT in schools has failed to improve education. Anthony Seldon says the possible downsides of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have been ignored. He discusses his view with Liz Steele, headteacher of Glemsford Community Primary School in Suffolk.


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