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Page last updated at 06:48 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 07:48 UK
Today: Monday 27 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.

The Health Protection Agency says it expects swine flu to reach Britain. The number of people killed in the outbreak in Mexico has risen to 103. The government is publishing its Equality Bill, requiring councils and health authorities to tackle some of society's class divisions. And the British polecat is thriving once again.


Swine flu has spread from Mexico. In the US, 20 people have been infected and there are also confirmed cases in Canada. Correspondent Stephen Gibbs reports from Mexico City.


The government is to publish its Equality Bill in which it outlines its plans to reduce inequality in England and Wales by putting a duty on public bodies to try to eradicate class disadvantage. Professor Danny Dorling, a Sheffield University geographer who has researched inequality and Dr Peter Marsh, co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, discuss whether or not the legislation will work.

Today's papers.


Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the children's commissioner, has called for an end to the arrest and detention of the children of failed asylum seekers, in part due to "serious concerns" about the way they are looked after. Sir Al Aynsley-Green explains what the problems are.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The RSPCA has reported an upsurge in the number of pets being abandoned, which they attribute to the economic downturn. Tim Wass, chief officer of the RSPCA inspectorate, describes the scale of the problem.

Sports news with Arlo White.


There is to be greater access for journalists to family courts in England and Wales, although judges will still be able to close the courts if they feel it is necessary for a child's protection. Andrew Greensmith, a member of Resolution, the organisation of family lawyers, discusses how the system will work.


The government's former chief scientific advisor Professor Sir David King has expressed concern that the government is being "misled" on the economic impact of climate change as the information they are using - Lord Stern's review - is "out of date". Professor King discusses the possible ramifications.

Today's papers


Bob Dylan has played a gig aimed at his most devoted fans, with tickets only being available via his website to those with a password. Gavin Martin, music critic for the Daily Mirror and Gideon Coe, BBC 6music presenter, discuss Dylan's enduring appeal.

Thought for the day with John Bell of the Iona community.


The government will publish a report aimed at reducing inequality through measures such as forcing companies to reveal if there is a pay gap between men and women. Minister for Equality Harriet Harman explains how the legislation will work.


There are concerns that swine flu could develop into a pandemic after cases have been reported in the US and Canada. John McCauley from the division of virology at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and Hugh Pennington, formerly of the University of Aberdeen's department of medical microbiology, discuss the severity of the outbreak.


In the row over MPs' expenses, the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has come up with what might be regarded as a compromise. Political correspondent Norman Smith reports.


Fifty years after John Fahey pioneered the use of the steel string guitar as an instrument for modern composition musician, James Blackshaw is being hailed by critics as the new master of the 12 string guitar. Nicola Stanbridge reports.

Sports news with Arlo White.


Family courts in England and Wales are to be made more accessible to the media. There will be more opportunity for journalists to report on the work of the courts, whose secrecy has often been criticised. Justice Secretary Jack Straw discusses the purpose of these changes.


India is to vote in the third round of its general election. The state of Gujarat is viewed as one of the most important states taking part, as it is regarded as an economic success story. Correspondent Chris Morris reports from the city of Ahmedabad.


Conservationists have expressed relief as the polecat population seems to be growing once more. Environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee reports.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Today's papers.


The government has begun to implement new measures to help the unemployed, particularly if they have been out of work for over a year. Reporter Sanchia Berg talks to Alan South, an unemployed former city worker as he visits one of the "welfare to work" offices which has offered to help him.


The Sri Lankan government has said it is ending combat operations against the Tamil Tigers. Correspondent Charles Haviland reports from Colombo.


A leading expert on the public understanding of science argues that scientists should stop criticising each other's attempts to communicate science to the masses. Kathy Sykes, professor of sciences and society at the University of Bristol, has argued that experts are always attacking each other either for "dumbing down" or being elitist. She discusses her comments with Ben Goldacre, who writes a science column for the Guardian.


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