• News Feeds
Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009
Today: Thursday 26 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.

Some councils in England have been accused of acting "negligently" for investing millions of pounds in Icelandic banks. Gordon Brown is heading for Brazil in his continuing efforts to forge a global approach to the economic crisis. And should ownership of a second home be restricted in rural areas to help first time buyers?


The UK treasury has failed to sell all its gilts, or government guaranteed bonds, for the first time since 1995. Analysts attribute the lack of interest in gilts to fears over the state of public finances following Mervyn King's comments that the government could not afford a further economic stimulus package. Correspondent Norman Smith explains the political implications.


Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats under freedom of information reveal that local authorities in England and Wales used surveillance powers designed to prevent serious crime and terrorism more than 10,000 times in the past five years. Julia Goldsworthy, Liberal Democrats' communities and local government spokesman, discusses the impact of surveillance on civil liberties.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


A proposal from Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor to limit the number of properties in rural communities being bought up as second homes has been rejected by the government. Reporter Jon Kay travels to a village in Devon where there is a high prevalence of second homes.


A study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry shows that a "small but significant" minority of mental health workers offer treatments to homosexuals to try to "turn them" heterosexual. Professor Michael King, from the department of mental health at UCL Medical School, examines why such treatments are still being offered despite being discredited by the medical community.

Sports news with Jon Myers.


An open letter to The Times calls for the government to launch an inquiry into allegations of British complicity in the rendition of people detained by British Forces, and in the torture of some of them in detention centres abroad. Among the signatories were several peers, including Lord Guthrie, who explains why he thinks an inquiry is necessary.


Today's papers.


At least 12 new lines of overhead pylons are being considered across England and Wales, according to research by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. The CPRE's policy director Neil Sinden and the Guardian's architecture critic, Jonathan Glancey debate whether pylons are intrusive eyesores or can be viewed as objects of beauty.

Thought for the day with Dom Anthony Sutch.


Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor has urged the government to put restrictions on the purchase of second homes in rural communities. Mr Taylor discusses the problems faced by villages with large numbers of second home owners with property expert Kirstie Allsopp.


The Audit Commission has concluded from a report on English local authorities' deposits in the Icelandic banks that many behaved "negligently". The report states that councils are not expecting to cut services or increase council tax significantly as a direct result. Rita Greenwood, finance officer at Havering Council, one of the councils found to be negligent, responds to the accusations. Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, and John Ransford, chief executive of the Local Government Association, discuss the implications of the report.


The number of teenage pregnancies in England and Wales is still going up, with figures last month suggesting there were nearly 43,000 pregnancies in under 18s. It is understood the rules on advertising are to be relaxed to allow pregnancy advice services to be advertised on TV and radio for the first time. Andrew Brown, chairman of the Committee on Advertising Practice, explains what has been involved in the review.


Some 25,000 pupils across the UK will be involved in producing their own news stories as part of the BBC's School Report News Day. Romaissa and Rayma, from Islamia Girls' High School produced a report on celebrity culture, and they discuss their experience interviewing PR guru Max Clifford.

Sports news with Jon Myers.


The Optimum Population Trust is holding a conference on how population growth will affect climate change, with a leading environmentalist, Dr Martin Desvaux warning that the UK will be unable to reach its carbon emission reduction targets whilst sustaining its population. Correspondent Caroline Duffield reports from Lagos, Nigeria on the problems caused by a rapidly growing population, while correspondent James Rodgers reports from Moscow, where the population is shrinking. Professor John Guillebaud, professor of family planning and reproductive health at UCL, discusses how population growth can be brought down without infringing on people's right to reproduce.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Professor James Murray, from the University of Oxford, will give a lecture to the Royal Society on how mathematics can be used to assess the compatibility of married couples. Professor Murray explains how the data is compiled and analysed.


Bankers and business leaders from the countries involved in the G20 summit are meeting for breakfast in Canary Wharf ahead of the talks to address the global economic crisis. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders reports.


A group of British and European scientists have voiced their concern over EU proposals to tighten regulations on how animals are used in research. They say the new rules could "seriously impede the further advancement of European medical and veterinary research". Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, one of the nine British research groups to complain, explains how the regulations could affect scientific advancement.


The Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health has published proposals for pregnancy advisory services to be advertised on TV and radio in response to figures showing teenage pregnancy is going up. Graham Allen, the Labour MP for Nottingham North, whose constituency has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in western Europe and Simon Blake, chief executive of sexual health charity, Brook discuss whether advertising would make an impact on teen pregnancy figures.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific