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Page last updated at 05:58 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 06:58 UK
Today: Friday 29 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.

Senior Tory MP Bill Cash paid his daughter £15,000 in rent from Parliamentary expenses despite owning a flat closer to Parliament. And General Motors and the US Treasury have improved the offer to GM's bondholders, as they prepare for the firm's move into bankruptcy protection.

0709

What effect will the Westminster expenses revelations have on the voting for the European Parliament? John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, discusses how well smaller parties could do in the vote.

0713

Efforts are continuing to secure the sale of General Motors' (GM) main European business Opel and its UK brand Vauxhall. Berlin correspondent Steve Rosenberg speaks to Germany's Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who has called recent action by GM "pretty scandalous".

0716
Business news with Adam Shaw.

0718

A project to return beavers to the wild in Scotland for the first time in 400 years has begun. They are being released in Knapdale Forest in Argyll. Reporter Colin Blane reports on the environmental benefits and fishermen's headaches the introduction may cause.

0720

Around seven million people in the UK are involved in illegal downloads, costing the economy tens of billions of pounds, government advisers say. Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones considers the worth of intellectual property available for free online.

0723

New carbon capture technology is being tested for the first time in the UK on a working coal-fired power station. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on whether this could kick start a whole new North Sea carbon capture and storage industry.

0728
Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0734

International scientists say they have found the first evidence of resistance to the world's most effective drug for treating malaria. Correspondent Jill McGivering reports from Cambodia on why the region has become a nursery for drug resistant strains of the disease. Professor Brian Greenwood, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, discusses how hard a new strain of the disease would be to contain.

0741
Today's papers.

0744

Poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney has again turned to the past for his latest collection of poems. Arts correspondent Rebecca Jones talks to the writer, a former Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, about the current row engulfing the post and his own work.

0748
Thought for the day with the writer Rhidian Brook.

0751
Pro-life campaigners are continuing their fight for the publication of details of late medical abortions. Reverend Joanna Jepson, who is behind the campaign, and Dr Kate Paterson, a consultant gynaecologist at Imperial College NHS Trust, discuss on the Today programme whether details of terminated pregnancies, in cases where there is a serious risk of a physical or mental abnormality, should be disclosed.

In a correction to the broadcast introduction, Reverend Jepson was born with a jaw deformity and not a cleft palate.

0810

The beginning of the European elections - expected to be the biggest transnational elections ever to be held - is less than a week away. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his shadow counterpart William Hague discuss why you should vote for their parties.

0825

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has begun a four-day broadcast of his national TV programme, Alo Presidente, to mark its 10th anniversary. Mr Chavez has appeared with an audience of loyal supporters and talked about a vast array of topics.

0828
Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0835

"Child protection in the UK and Ireland is a disastrous mess and no amount of... tinkering around the edges will be enough to fix it", the Lancet medical journal says. The editor, Richard Horton, and paediatrician Professor John Wyatt, of UCL, discuss if childcare professionals are being sent mixed messages.

0843
Business news with Adam Shaw.

0845

A pioneering project off the coast of Japan aims to go further into an earthquake zone than ever before. BBC environment correspondent Richard Black, the first journalist to visit the research ship Chikyu, reports on the drilling for rock cores from the quake-generating Nankai Trough to explore what causes tremors.

0849

All of Africa's problems - disease, natural disaster and war - could be solved by good governance, the only African woman to have won the Nobel Peace Prize says. Professor Wangari Maathai explains her argument - that Africans alone must be responsible for bringing about the change towards free and fair elections and governments based on human rights.

0855

It is often said that the public are not sufficiently engaged with politics. But all that has changed with the argument over expenses and allowances. Tim Montgomerie, of the website ConservativeHome, and Paul Goodwin, a member of the Stand Down Margaret campaign, discuss why the public has become so involved in the issue of expenses.




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