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Page last updated at 07:36 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Today: Wednesday 25 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.

Barack Obama has urged Americans to be patient in waiting for the economy to recover. School caterers in England say new rules on nutrition will drive children away from school canteens and into fast food shops. And the latest offering from Mark Twain, nearly 100 years after his death.


In an hour long presidential news conference, Barack Obama claimed that his draft budget would strengthen the economy in the long run and prevent a repeat of the current financial crisis. North America editor Justin Webb reports from the conference.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned the government against further spending to stimulate the economy given the high level of UK debt. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders discusses the governor's comments.


A report by charity Grandparents Plus has suggested that grandparents who provide free care for their grandchildren ought to be compensated by the state in the form of tax credits. Reporter Zubeida Malik talks to two grandmothers.


Pablo Picasso's huge black and white painting Guernica has only been seen in Britain once, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1939. Seventy years later, a tapestry replica of the painting is to be displayed to mark the gallery's refurbishment. Correspondent Rebecca Jones reports.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


New standards covering the nutrient content of school meals across England will come in to force in September. However, many caterers say the new rules are "too prescriptive" and could see pupils eating in fast food outlets instead. Judy Hardogan, chief executive of the School Food Trust and Neil Porter, chairman of the Local Authority Caterers Association discuss whether or not the plan can be successfully implemented.

Today's papers.


More than half a million people took part in the RSPB's 30th Big Garden Birdwatch this year. Reporter Tom Feilden describes the event.

Thought for the day with Professor Mona Siddiqui.


There are signs in the US that President Obama's popularity may be waning after widespread public anger over AIG bonuses and concerns about the economy. Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson discusses the Obama presidency so far.


Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned against further significant government spending to stimulate the economy, given the high levels of UK debt as a result of recent stimulus packages. He was answering questions from MPs at a Treasury committee. Former minister Geoffrey Robinson, Professor David Smith, chairman of the shadow Monetary Policy Committee, and Hugo Dixon, editor-in-chief of BreakingViews.com, a city commentary service, evaluate the governor's warning.


In an hour long press conference, President Obama urged Americans to be patient and look beyond "short-term interests" when it comes to economic recovery. Reporter Matthew Wells watched the press conference with a couple in their suburban home in New Jersey.


The criteria by which peers are appointed is to be amended to ensure independence from political parties and commitment to spending time in the House of Lords. Lord Jay, chairman of the House of Lords Appointment's Commission, explains why these criteria are only now being introduced.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


A study by Harvard and Manchester universities has concluded that the British people are ready for a black prime minister but the British political system is not. Harvard's professor of public policy Robert Putnam and Michael Eboda, chief executive of Powerful Media Ltd, which publishes a list of Britain's 100 most influential black people, discuss the report.


A report by charity Grandparents Plus has suggested that grandparents who provide free care for their grandchildren ought to be compensated by the state in the form of tax credits. Sam Smethers, chief executive of Grandparents Plus, explains why the report reached this conclusion.


A new short story by Mark Twain is to be published, 99 years after his death. The Undertaker's Tale will appear in the Strand magazine this month. Presenter Evan Davis discusses Twain's work with the Strand's managing editor, Andrew Goolli and Professor Peter Messent, a Twain expert at the School of American and Canadian Studies at Nottingham University.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


American pollster John Zogby examines President Obama's popularity after 65 days in the White House.


Pablo Picasso painted Guernica as a protest against the 1937 bombing of the Spanish town of the same name by Luftwaffe bombers during the Spanish civil war and for many art-lovers it has come to symbolise the barbarity of war. A tapestry version of the painting, which usually hangs outside the UN's security council chamber, is coming to London's Whitechapel gallery. Art critics Andrew Graham-Dixon and Sister Wendy Beckett discuss the impact of the painting.



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