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Page last updated at 05:58 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 06:58 UK
Today: Wednesday 1 April 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.

World leaders gather in London to discuss ways to resolve the worst financial crisis since the 1930s amid warnings of protests. And millions of people in England are set to wake up in new council areas - as a result of the biggest local government shake-up in 30 years.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown has set out five different "tests" the G20 summit must meet. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders explains what the tests are and how those at the summit intend to pass them.


The government must halt plans to sell-off part of the Royal Mail until it has explained what the deal involves, a cross-party committee of MPs has said. Conservative MP Peter Luff, who chairs the committee, discusses in what other ways the Royal Mail could be made profitable.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


A US marine has gone on trial accused of killing an unarmed captive in Iraq, in a case sparked by his own alleged confession during a lie-detector test. Reporter Peter Bowes explains the charges of unpremeditated murder and dereliction of duty.


A government advert aimed at scaring parents into giving up smoking upset children and broke several rules, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says. Christopher Graham, director general of the ASA, and Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the charity Action on Smoking and Health, discuss why the adverts will no longer be shown before 7.30pm.

Sports news with Arlo White.


The Committee on Standards in Public Life has announced that it plans to bring forward its inquiry into MPs' expenses. Political correspondent Iain Watson considers whether the entire expense system could be rationalised, and what this might mean for MPs' pay.


France will walk away from this week's G20 summit if its demands for stricter financial regulation are not met, the French finance minister has told the BBC. Europe editor Mark Mardell considers how both France and Germany are trying to put their own particular stamp on the outcome of the meeting.

Today's papers.


Following Barack Obama's gift of 25 classic US films when Gordon Brown visited Washington, the prime minister may be in a mood to return the favour. But which British films would he pick as gifts for global leaders as they arrive in London for the G20 summit? Film director Richard Curtis and cultural commentator Sarfraz Mansoor discuss which quintessentially British films would be suitable.

Thought for the day with Brian Draper, associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.


The gap between health and social care must be bridged, the head of England's new super regulator says. Chairman of the new Care Quality Commission Baroness Young and Michael Summers, vice chairman of the Patients Association, discuss the aims of the new regulator.


US President Barack Obama is to visit Downing Street as global leaders arrive in London for the G20 summit. Political editor Nick Robinson, North America editor Justin Webb and Beijing correspondent James Reynolds discuss the prospect of international agreement on the financial crisis and the possibility of "unprecedented" levels of protests.


The system of species classifications separating humans from the other great apes should be scrapped, a group of scientists say. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on the surprising levels of intelligence scientists have seen in the animals.

Sports news with Arlo White.


Senior civil servants, top NHS managers and judges will get a lower than recommended pay rise of 1.5% next year, Gordon Brown has announced. Jonathan Baume, of senior civil servants' union the FDA, discusses if civil service executives are being treated fairly.


Officials from the two biggest Palestinian factions have returned to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to resume reconciliation talks. Correspondent Aleem Maqbool reports on accusations from human rights groups that both Fatah and Hamas are guilty of widespread abuses of power.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Prominent names in British politics have selected the most memorable and significant House of Commons speeches over the last century. Politician Tony Benn and Matthew Parris, of the Times, discuss the choices they made.


A poll has been conducted to find the ten orchestras that have made the biggest non-musical contributions to society. James Inverne, editor of Gramophone magazine, and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber discuss why one orchestra can be more inspiring than another.


London is braced for a day of demonstrations ahead of tomorrow's summit of G20 leaders. Reporter Jack Izzard reports on the businesses based in London's financial district which could face major disruption. Bill Emmott, former editor of the Economist, discusses what he believes will be achieved by the summit.



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