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Page last updated at 06:20 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 07:20 UK
Today: Wednesday 20 May 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.

MPs are to debate wide-ranging changes to their expenses regime, which will sweep away what Gordon Brown has called "centuries of history" for parliament. And the findings of an inquiry into alleged child abuse by Catholic orders in the Irish Republic are due to be published.

0709

Around two million Pakistanis have now been forced to leave their homes because of fighting between the army and the Taleban. One of them, school headteacher in the Swat Valley Ziauddin Yusafzai, talks to reporter Zubeida Malik. Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas discusses who is in control of the main town of the Swat Valley, Mingora.

0714

A new strain of MRSA can trigger a deadly form of pneumonia in people who catch the flu, a medical journal reports. Science correspondent Tom Feilden examines the findings, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, which show that this new strain is becoming increasingly widespread.

0717
Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

0721

Japan's economy has seen its worst ever quarterly performance, with GDP shrinking 4% in the first three months of 2009. Correspondent Roland Buerk reports on how the world's second biggest economy, which depends heavily on exports, has been affected by the global downturn.

0724

Many wrecks in the English Channel are in danger of being lost forever because of the damage done to them by fishing boats and trawlers, an archaeological survey claims. Dr Sean Kingsley, of Wreck Watch, and Mark Beattie-Edwards, of the Nautical Archaeology Society, discuss if historically important wrecks should be raised.

0728
Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0734

An unusual hush came over the House of Commons as Speaker Michael Martin gave his resignation announcement. Today presenter James Naughtie considers the atmosphere around Westminster.

0741
Today's papers.

0744

World Metrology Day, which celebrates measurement and precision, is being commemorated. Professor John Pethica, chief scientist at the National Physical Laboratory, explains the significance of the day.

0747
Thought for the day with Akhandadhi Vas, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian.

0750

The House of Commons will vote on whether to freeze the BBC licence fee for a year instead of allowing it to go up by £3 to £142.50. Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt explains why the Conservatives have called for the vote. Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, discusses the long term future of the licence fee.

0810

After nine years as House of Commons speaker, Michael Martin will step down on June 21st. Alan Duncan, shadow leader of the House, and Environment Secretary Hilary Benn reflect on a day most MPs never expected to see. Political editor Nick Robinson examines what will happen following the resignation.

The audio of this item has been changed from the version broadcast on the programme.

0823

Can the public be trusted to choose public art? Andrew Shoben, professor of public art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Ossian Ward, arts editor of Time Out, discuss if those who commission work should seek consultation on what should be featured.

0826
Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0832

Commons Speaker Michael Martin has announced his resignation. Members of the House of Lords Roy Hattersley, Shirley Williams and Norman Lamont discuss the first Commons Speaker to be effectively forced out of office for 300 years.

'World's most dangerous country'

0842

Can the US win the war in Afghanistan? Lord Guthrie, former chief of the defence staff, discusses whether President Barack Obama's new strategy in the area has been a success and considers the continuing conflict in Pakistan.

0847

India's new government is expected to be sworn in after the Congress Party claimed victory in the country's general election. South Asia correspondent Chris Morris reports on the promises to accelerate economic growth and spread its benefits to India's poor.

0851
Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

0854

The findings of a nine-year inquiry into abuse suffered by children in Catholic institutions in Ireland over a 60-year period are due to be published. Michael Kelly, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper, and Maeve Lewis, executive director of One in Four - a charity providing support for victims of sexual abuse, discuss if the inquiry will criticise the Church's handling of sex abuse complaints.




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