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Page last updated at 07:49 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009
Today: Friday 27 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.

Police in Northern Ireland have charged a prominent Republican with the murder of two soldiers. Gordon Brown and Buckingham Palace have discussed scrapping the centuries-old law against an heir to the throne marrying a Catholic. And the schools minister Jim Knight discusses whether science GCSE exams have been 'dumbed down'.


Gordon Brown has been in discussions with Buckingham Palace over possible reforms to the laws of succession, which would see women having an equal claim to the throne as men, and heirs being allowed to marry Catholics. MPs will debate a private members bill on the very same proposals brought by the Liberal Democrat MP, Evan Harris. Mr Harris discusses why he feels the laws governing succession need to change.


The exams watchdog Ofqual has criticised the standards of science GSCEs in England, particularly physics, which it says has become "too easy". Kathleen Tattersall, chairwoman of Ofqual, looks at what can be done to ensure that standards are improved.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


Campaigners from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the charities Shelter and Crisis, and the Chartered Institute of Housing are urging the government to legislate to protect people who face eviction because their landlords are in mortgage arrears. Correspondent Kim Catcheside speaks to a woman who is facing eviction.


A Queen's University academic has conducted research that concludes that crabs can feel pain. Professor Bob Elwood, professor of animal behaviour at Queen's University, Belfast explains how he made this discovery.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Gordon Brown is visiting Brazil ahead of the G20 summit in London. Political editor Nick Robinson speaks to the prime minister about what he has achieved during the visit, and his hopes for the G20.

Today's papers.


The Metropolitan Police has warned bankers that there is likely to be disruption caused by anti-capitalist protestors during the G20 summit. Many banks have advised staff to avoid drawing attention to themselves by dressing down and cancelling any unnecessary meetings. Reporter Jack Izzard gauges the reaction in the city.


The exams watchdog Ofqual has said the standard of science GCSEs in England has deteriorated and they are now "too easy". Jim Knight, the schools minister discusses Ofqual's findings.

Thought for the day with Sir Jonathan Sacks.


For the first time in living memory, police are being asked to investigate the Security Service, MI5. There will be an inquiry into claims that an MI5 officer was complicit in the torture of ex-Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed. Correspondent Frank Gardner and former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith discuss the investigation.


Gordon Brown has been in discussions with Buckingham Palace over possible reforms to the laws of succession, which would see women having an equal claim to the throne as men, and heirs being allowed to marry Catholics. MP Chris Bryant discusses the implications for the monarchy.


Colin Duffy, a high profile Republican in Northern Ireland has been charged with the murder of two soldiers shot dead at Massareene Barracks in Antrim. Correspondent Mark Simpson reports.


The security of City financiers is expected to be under threat from anti-capitalist protesters during the G20 summit. Public anger over bonuses has already manifested into violence when Sir Fred Goodwin's home in Edinburgh was attacked. Michael Meacher, former environment minister, and Fraser Nelson, the political editor of the Spectator, discuss whether bankers have been unfairly demonised.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Four housing charities are calling for the government to legislate to protect tenants who face homelessness if their landlord's property is repossessed. Housing minister Margaret Beckett explains what the government can do to help people in this position.


President Obama is to give a speech outlining his plans for Afghanistan, and is expected to announce the deployment of 4,000 extra troops. Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest level since the US led invasion in 2001. The new strategy will also focus on preventing al-Qaeda members believed to be in safe havens across the border in Pakistan from crossing over into Afghanistan. Emile Nakhleh, former director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Programme at the CIA and Michael Semple, former head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, discuss whether or not foreign forces are contributing to the unrest there.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


Barack Obama's policies on science have been a sharp departure from those of the Bush administration, with a reversal on the attitude to federal funding of stem cell research and a pledge to spend more public funds on dealing with climate change. Harold Varmus, author of The Art and Politics of Science discusses the history of the relationship between politics and science in the US.


Gordon Brown has discussed a revision to the laws of succession that would give women equal access to the throne and would allow heirs to marry Catholics. Lord Rees Mogg discusses how the changes could be implemented.


Roy Clare, the chief executive of the Museums and Libraries Association has said members of boards and governance of many of Britain's cultural and creative organisations are "male, stale and pale". Mr Clare discusses his comments with Sir Christopher Frayling, former chairman of the Arts Council.



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