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Page last updated at 06:07 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 07:07 UK
Today: Wednesday 22 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 due to give a Budget statement to match the severity of the economic downturn. And South Africans are set to go to the polls in what is expected to be the most competitive general election since the end of apartheid in 1994.

0709

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to unveil soaring public borrowing and the worst recession since the end of World War II in the Budget. Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable discusses what else is likely to be contained within the document.

0713

Police in India say Maoist rebels have hijacked a train with at least 500 people on board in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Correspondent Sanjoy Majumdar gives the latest developments.

0715

Voting has opened in South Africa as what is expected to be the most competitive general election since the end of apartheid in 1994 gets underway. Correspondent Peter Biles reports on why such a high turnout is expected.

0718

Peace may have come to Northern Ireland but Belfast remains divided by so-called peace walls which separate Protestants and Catholics. More than 40 of them still stand. Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson visits one of the longest - and highest - walls on Cupar Street in west Belfast as it begins a re-decoration.

0721

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admitted it made a mistake when it claimed the UK faced a £200bn bill for bailing out the banks. Business editor Robert Peston explains why the figure was included in the IMF's Global Financial Stability Report in error.

0725
Business news with Adam Shaw.

0727
Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0732

Nine men questioned in connection with a suspected bomb plot have been handed over to the UK Border Agency. Security correspondent Gordon Corera explains why the government is seeking to remove the individuals on grounds of national security. Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, discusses how this decision will be seen by the Islamic community.

0739
Today's papers.

0743

Jack Jones, the former general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, has died aged 96. He was the epitome of the activist trade unionist of his generation: wounded in the Spanish Civil War, he helped to keep munitions factories in Coventry running through the Blitz and became a full-time union officer after the war. Politician Tony Benn remembers "one of the finest men [he] ever met".

0747
Thought for the day with the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

0750

The number of Tamil civilians who have escaped from areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka has risen to 77,000, the army says. Charu Lata Hogg, of foreign affairs think tank Chatham House, and Lal Wickrematunge, managing editor of Colombo newspaper the Sunday Leader, discuss the chance for a lasting peace in the country.

0810

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to give a Budget statement which conveys the severity of the economic downturn. Political editor Nick Robinson and economics editor Stephanie Flanders explain what the Budget is likely to contain. John Wraith, of RBC Capital Markets, discusses what the City is looking for from Mr Darling.

0817

What happens in the daily life of a hospital chaplain? After the National Secular Society called for an end to NHS funding for hospital chaplains, arguing the £40m annual cost could be better spent, reporter Angus Stickler visits Homerton Hosptial in east London to find out.

0821

The English qualifications agency's former head, who quit over last year's Sats fiasco, has described ministers' version of what happened as "fiction". Conservative education spokesman Michael Gove discusses if the portrayal of Dr Boston by ministers as "complacent and disengaged" is fair.

0826
Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0835

The White House has invited leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians for talks in Washington in a new push for Middle East peace. Elliot Abrams, of the think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses if the leaders are interested in a deal.

0840

The first ever British Pie Competition has been held. Cook Tamasin Day-Lewis and Matthew O'Callaghan, of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, discuss Britain's long love affair with the pie - and try out the new Today programme breakfast pie.

0845
Business news with Adam Shaw.

0848

A senior official in the White House when George Bush was president has made a damaging claim about a memo he wrote warning against torture. North America editor Justin Webb explains the allegations.

0851

The US space agency Nasa is revealing the results of a public online vote about what the biggest benefit on Earth has been as a result of space exploration. Author and astronomer Dr David Whitehouse and Professor Sir David King, of Oxford University, discuss the vote and the future of space discovery.

0856

Jack Jones, who led the Transport and General Workers' Union in the 1970s, has died at the age of 96. Rodney Bickerstaffe, former president of the UK National Pensioners Convention, discusses Mr Jones's life.




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