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Page last updated at 07:07 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009
Today: Thursday 5 March 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 Bank of England is expected to cut interest rates to a record low and start increasing the money supply. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says the country faces unprecedented challenges, as he gives details of its economic stimulus plans. And Sudan dismisses a warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against its president as a plot, and expels aid groups.

The Bank of England is expected to cut interest rates to a record low and start increasing the money supply in an attempt to revive the economy. Jim O'Neill, global chief economist at Goldman Sachs, discusses how much he believes the rate will be cut.

Sudan has dismissed the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against its leader as a "neo-colonialist" move to destabilise it. Oxfam's spokesman for Sudan Alun McDonald discusses if its work can still be carried out in the area.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Twenty-five years ago, miners at the Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire staged a walkout in protest against its proposed closure - which began the 1984-5 miners' strike. Correspondent Nicholas Jones, who reported on the strike for BBC radio, returns to the Yorkshire coalfield in an attempt to renew his acquaintance with Arthur Scargill, the former leader of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Sports news with Garry Richardson

The Kepler Space Telescope will blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida to survey space for earth-like habitable planets orbiting distant stars. Science correspondent Tom Feilden considers how probable it is that the telescope will find the conditions necessary for life to flourish.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the coming year will be the most difficult the country has faced this century because of the global economic crisis. Business editor Robert Peston reports on the current state of the Chinese economy.

Today's papers.

Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman was repeatedly taunted at Prime Minister's Questions about claims she is positioning herself for a leadership bid. She described the accusations as "political gossip". Political correspondent Norman Smith reports on who the next Labour leader might be.

Thought for the day with Professor Mona Siddiqui, of the University of Glasgow.

The European Court of Justice will rule on whether British employers are discriminating against older people because they can force them to retire at 65. George Magnus, a senior economic adviser to UBS, and John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, discuss if the current system is unfair on those who still want to work.

It is 25 years since the beginning of the miners' strike. Miners walked out of the Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire in protest at plans to close it. Correspondent Bob Walker talks to a miner who returned to work after six months - crossing the picket lines. Conservative peer Norman Tebbit discusses his memories of the how government dealt with the industrial unrest.

How much trouble is Pakistan in? The attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore have provided another example of instability in the region. Pakistan's former High Commissioner to London Professor Akbar Ahmed considers if Pakistan could now be considered a failed state.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Doctors' leaders have called on the government to abolish prescription charges for all patients in England. Michael Summers, of the Patients' Association and Professor Nick Bosanquet, a professor of health policy who advises the Commons health committee, discuss if the current system is working.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Labour MPs are praising the National Union of Mineworkers for what they call their "noble" fight in the miners' strike - 24 of them have signed a Commons motion, describing it as "the most important industrial struggle fought by the British Labour movement since the Second World War". MP Michael Connarty examines the divisions caused by the strike.

Michael Jackson will announce that he is going to do a series of 50 concerts in London. Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini and pop entrepreneur Pete Waterman discuss who will go to see the star that hasn't performed or released an album since 2001.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to meet Nato foreign ministers and EU officials in Brussels. Europe editor Mark Mardell considers attempts by the US to retain good relations with Europe - as Obama calls for more troops from Nato in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has returned from Washington following his speech to Congress. North America editor Justin Webb and political editor Nick Robinson discuss what the US thought of Mr Brown's address.

The audio used in this item is an extended version of the piece broadcast.


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