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Page last updated at 06:07 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 07:07 UK
Today: Tuesday 21 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.

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to announce a £1bn package to support housing in Wednesday's Budget. And proposals to bring down speed limits in areas where there is a higher risk of accidents are expected to be announced by the government.


A pill said to help dieters lose extra pounds is to go on sale over the counter in the UK for the first time. Pharmacist David Pruce, director of policy and communication at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, discusses Orlistat - brand name Alli - the pill aimed at adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or more.


Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney has said interrogation techniques used by the CIA detailed in memos had produced results in the past. North America editor Justin Webb explains why Mr Cheney has called for the release of further documents explaining where results have been achieved by using such techniques.


A new section in the driving test where candidates will be asked to drive without being directed by the examiner is to be announced by the government. Steve Garrod, chief examiner for the Driving Instructors Association, discusses the proposed changes.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Soldiers have always found ways of telling their stories, despite censorship - bringing home the realities of life on the frontline. Correspondent Bob Walker reports on one solider serving in Afghanistan, who is causing a stir in his hometown pub where they are posting his messages in the bar.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Britain's bees are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. Various government bodies and research institutions have agreed to provide £8m to look into why populations are falling. Sarah Mukherjee talks to Tim Lovett, president of the British Beekeepers Association. Environment Secretary Hilary Benn discusses why the government announced that £2m would be spent on looking at the problem earlier in the year.

Today's papers.


The Sun is the dimmest it has been for nearly a century. Mike Lockwood, professor of physics at Southampton University, explains why there are no sunspots and very few solar flares.

Thought for the day with Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the network of Sikh organisations.


Pakistan's President Zardari has approved an agreement which will allow for Islamic law in the Swat Valley in the country near the Afghan border. It effectively empowers the Taleban there and in surrounding areas. Reporter Zubeida Malik talks to one British family with roots in the region about how this ruling has affected them.


The anti-obesity drug Alli is to become available over the counter for the first time. Dr Donald Hensrud, a preventive medicine and nutritional specialist, explains the drug to science correspondent Tom Feilden. Prof Gareth Williams, of the University of Bristol, and Prof Nick Bostrom, of Oxford University, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of it becoming more readily available.


Snooker player Steve Davis is returning to the Crucible in Sheffield for a record 29th consecutive appearance at the World Snooker Championships. Former England footballer and presenter of Match of the Day Gary Lineker and Olympic gold medallist Lord Coe discuss how and why veteran sports stars keep on competing.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The taxi driver convicted of assaults on 12 women over 18 months in London - John Worboys - is to be sentenced. Correspondent Kevin Connolly examines how police investigate sexual assaults in the US. Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College, London, explains why - according to government estimates - as many as 95% of rapes in England and Wales are never reported at all.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


A Tamil Tiger spokesman has accused the Sri Lankan government of shelling civilians and wreaking carnage during its military offensive in the north. Labour MEP Robert Evans discusses the allegations, which have been denied by the government - which has in turn accused the rebel group of targeting civilians.


South Africa continues its preparations to become the first African nation to host the World Cup finals. Former South African and Leeds United football star Lucas Radebe discusses the massive operation underway, and returns to his home town Soweto - notoriously the scene of the massacre of school pupils by police in the apartheid years.


Diplomats have walked out of a UN anti-racism conference during a speech by the Iranian president in which he described Israel as "totally racist". Retired diplomat Lord Hannay and Anthony Lerman, director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, discuss if that the right approach or whether they should they have stayed to voice their disapproval.


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