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Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009
Today: Monday 16 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.

Pakistan's government has said a sacked Supreme Court chief justice will be reinstated, prompting the opposition to call off a major rally in the capital. Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock responds to Arthur Scargill, who accused him of betraying the miners in their strike. And the 11 hour play that is a smash-hit in Paris.


Pakistan's government has announced the reinstatement of the sacked Supreme Court chief justice. An official from the opposition party of Nawaz Sharif welcomed the announcement calling it a new dawn for the country. Mr Sharif has now called off a planned protest march on the capital Islamabad. Ahmed Rashid, veteran Pakistani journalist and author, explains the implications for the country.


Iraqis are showing signs of being happier with their lot according to a survey of public opinion compiled for the BBC and the American broadcaster ABC. Correspondent Hugh Sykes explains the survey's findings.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The European Space Agency is launching a space mission to measure the planet's gravity. The mission will help provide scientists with more accurate measurements of the oceans and sea-level rise and how heat is distributed around the world. Professor Marek Ziebart from University College London explains how this mission could even improve earthquake predictions.


The Today programme is following four people over the next year who have recently been made redundant. Sanchia Berg catches up with Alan South, who lost his job in the City of London last March.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Proposals to set a minimum price for alcohol have been drawn up by England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson. Dr Petra Meier, lecturer at Sheffield University, conducted an independent study for the Department of Health and explains the impact of price on alcohol sales. Tim Howe, chairman-elect of The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, discusses the implications of the proposals.

Today's papers.


A substance known as 'biochar' is causing great excitement in the world of science. It is charcoal - a pure form of carbon - made from wood, wood waste, farm waste, even sewage. Scientists are excited because if you bury the 'biochar' rather than burn it, you can lock up the carbon which might otherwise have ended up in the atmosphere and contributed to climate change. Environment analyst Roger Harrabin explains how it works.

Thought for the day with Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister


A teachers' conference has been told that teachers and parents are at risk of creating a generation of children unable to accept criticism. Carol Craig, the chief executive of the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing who made the claim, and Ian Morris, head of philosophy and well-being at Wellington College, discuss whether today's parents are breeding a generation of egotists.


Pakistan's government has reinstated several sacked judges, including the chief justice after the opposition prepared to march in Islamabad against the government. It has been reported that opposition activists and leaders detained over the last week of mounting disturbances would be freed and a ban on demonstrations in the capital and several provinces lifted. Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's High Commissioner to UK and Pakistan correspondent Barbara Plett explain the significance of these actions.


Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock criticised Arthur Scargill at a gathering last week, accusing the former leader of the National Union of Miners of "suicidal vanity". Mr Scargill has also recently targeted Lord Kinnock, saying that he had "betrayed" the striking miners. Lord Kinnock gives his response to the NUM leader's accusations.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Two British soldiers have been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.


It is a year since the American investment bank Bear Stearns was rescued with $30bn of federal money used to support a takeover by JP Morgan. Tetsuya Ishikawa, a former investment bank employee and author discusses with author William Cohen what has happened since the takeover.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The hit of the spring theatre season in Paris is a play called the Satin Slipper, which was written in 1929 by the dramatist and diplomat Paul Claudel. Hugh Schofield checked out the play - which is a staggering 11 hours long.


A High Court judge has ruled that cyclists who don't wear helmets could be blamed for injuries resulting from an accident. The ruling emerged during a case of a cyclist who was hit by a motorbike and who suffered severe head injuries. John Franklin, who writes on cycling safety, says judgements need to be made on a broad range of evidence.


The Metro newspaper celebrates its 10th anniversary of what is now the world's largest circulated free daily. Steve Auckland, head of Associated Newspapers' free division, and former editor of the Daily Mirror Roy Greenslade discuss the impact these free dailies has had on the wider newspaper industry.


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