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Page last updated at 06:15 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 07:15 UK
Today: Wednesday 15 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.

A police sergeant seen in video footage apparently hitting a woman during the G20 protest in London has been suspended, Scotland Yard has said. And the US joins other nations in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks as the row over its rocket launch deepens.

0709

The government has released a list of 11 sites in England and Wales where new nuclear power stations could be built. David Bonser, chairman of Westinghouse Electric - which designs and makes equipment for the nuclear power industry, discusses the month-long public consultation period which now begins.

0713

New regular assessments of police forces and prosecutors to see how well they are investigating rape cases are to be announced by the Home Office. Lawyer Debaleena Dasgupta, who has brought cases against the police on behalf of women whose rape allegations have been mishandled, explains the significance of the announcement.

0717
Business news with Adam Shaw.

0719

The largest study yet on the safety of home births suggests that, in most cases, the risk to babies is no higher than if they are born in a hospital. Co-author of the report Professor Simone Buitendijk, of Leiden University Medical Centre, discusses if the results apply universally.

0722

The Today programme is following four people recently made redundant to report on their hunt for work. Reporter Sanchia Berg visits former car manufacturer Shaun Fenwick, who is retraining as a fitness instructor.

0727
Sports news with Arlo White.

0733

Schools should have "withdrawal rooms" to isolate disruptive pupils, a report on behaviour in schools in England will say. School Secretary Ed Balls considers if, as the Conservatives say, it is too difficult to exclude pupils permanently and discusses the Damian McBride email slur row.

0745
Today's papers.

0748

A team of 10 Scottish scientists are to attempt to crack problems such as predicting exact climate change effects by using mathematical algorithms. Professor Ben Leimkuhler, one of the mathematicians behind the research, and Prof Andrew Cairns, of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, discuss some of the numerical challenges presented by modern science.

0750
Thought for the day with the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

0755

Somali pirates have hijacked a fourth vessel in 48 hours, seizing a Lebanese-owned cargo ship. Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, UN special representative for Somalia, considers whether Somalia's piracy problem can be brought under control.

0810

The 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster is being marked with a gathering on Merseyside to remember the 96 football fans killed. Commentator Alan Green and former Home Secretary David Blunkett discuss the legacy of the tragedy.

0821

Protesting French fishermen are blocking ships from entering or leaving the three main French Channel ports. Charles Suckling, a ferry passenger stuck in Dunkirk and Chris Laming, a spokesman for P&O, describe the repercussions of the protest.

0826

The basic notion of discovery in history is being neglected because historians are becoming so self-referential and arguing amongst themselves, a historian says. Margaret Macmillan, warden of St Antony's College discusses her view with historian Dominic Sandbrook.

0829
Sports news with Arlo White.

0835

After his speeches to Europe about nuclear disarmament, US President Barack Obama will report to Congress on the implementation of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. Professor Joseph Nye, of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, discusses how North Korea's announcement that it is resuming its nuclear programme will affect the US.

0841

Many schools in England are repeatedly suspending pupils for short periods because it is too difficult to exclude them permanently, the Conservatives claim. Jerry Aplin, head of design and technology at a large secondary school in Devon, discusses his experience with disruptive pupils.

0845
Business news with Adam Shaw.

0848

One of Italy's most famous opera, ballet and musical theatre companies has cancelled two of its productions because of government cuts in funds. Correspondent Duncan Kennedy reports on the future of The Maggio Musicale Company and the condemnation of the cuts from critics.

0853

It is 20 years since the death of Hu Yaobang - the Chinese reformer who was general secretary of the Communist Party in the 1980s. Correspondent Quentin Somerville and Dr Yiyi Lu, of the foreign affairs think tank Chatham House, consider the impact of his death, which has been linked to a rise in student protest that led to the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.




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