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Page last updated at 06:12 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 07:12 UK
Today: Thursday 23 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.

Opposition parties have attacked as "fantasy" economic growth predictions contained in Alistair Darling's Budget - describing them as "preposterous" and "ludicrously optimistic". And an inquiry into MPs' expenses is due to be launched, the day after Party leaders failed to reach agreement on how the system should be reformed.


An inquiry into MPs' expenses is due to be launched, the day after Party leaders failed to reach agreement on how the system should be reformed. Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life, discusses if the second-home allowance will be replaced.


It is something of a tradition on the day after the budget for journalists, analysts and political parties to go to a lunchtime seminar by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Director of the IFS Robert Chote explains what he made of the Budget figures.


Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been making a speech in Chicago, justifying the speech he made there 10 years ago that argued for an interventionist foreign policy. Correspondent Matthew Price talks to Mr Blair about why he has chosen to return a decade on.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


What is claimed to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his life has gone on display for the first time - in celebration of the Bard's birthday. Professor Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and art historian Sir Roy Strong, discuss if the portrait is genuine.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Opposition parties have attacked as "fantasy" economic growth predictions contained in Alistair Darling's Budget. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, gives his reaction to claims that the UK economy would grow by 1.25% next year and 3.5% in 2011 - suggesting that the government should start cutting public spending sooner than planned.

Today's papers.


Are you sitting comfortably? The annual Milan Furniture Fair has opened - showcasing the very best of furniture design. British furniture designer Tom Dixon discusses what makes a good chair and to what extent a classic design can be reinvented.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Angela Tilby, vicar of St Bene't's Church in Cambridge.


The case of 12 men arrested over a suspected bomb plot in the UK who were all later released without any charges is set to be investigated in an independent review. Sir Ken McDonald, former director of public prosecutions, discusses how the case has been handled by police.


Chancellor Alistair Darling had said the UK economy would return to growth by the end of 2009 and expand by 3.5% in 2011 in his Budget speech. He discusses his forecasts and the "tough" future for public sector spending.


The newest additions to the People's Liberation Army Navy in China have been displayed publicly for the first time. A clip from the BBC's broadcast of the Spithead Royal Naval review from 1937 shows how the UK might have carried out such parades in the past.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The UN Security Council has called on Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka to lay down their arms and let the UN help evacuate civilians from the war zone. British surgeon Paul McMaster, who is working with Medecins Sans Frontieres, says the team have been working around the clock because there are dealing with so many casualties.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Indians are going to the polls in the second round of its month-long general election. South Asia correspondent Chris Morris reports from one of the states voting - Bihar - to understand its reputation for being one of the poorest and most lawless places in the country.


Winners of the Orwell Prize for political writing, journalism and blogging have been unveiled. Prize director Jean Seaton gives details of the winners and explains why the inaugural award for blogging was won by Jack Night - a pseudonym - for his blog about matters relating to policing and the police service.


There is growing evidence that African Americans are suffering more than others groups in the United States as a result of the recession. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that black unemployment has risen by 4.5% since the recession began. Correspondent Matthew Price reports from Barack Obama's home city of Chicago, where there is a growing sense that the areas he worked in as a community leader are "slipping back" as the recession bites.


What are the great turning points in British history? Historian and television presenter Michael Wood, Professor Mark Ormrod, of the University of York, and Professor Pat Thane, of the Institute of Historical Research, give a pitch for the particular years they believe set a new path for the life of the nation.


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