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Page last updated at 06:15 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 07:15 UK
Today: Wednesday 3 June 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 figures in the Labour Party have urged Gordon Brown to assert his authority ahead of Thursday's European and English local elections. And US President Barack Obama is heading to the Middle East on a visit aimed at increasing US engagement with the Islamic world.


Shell Oil is being taken to court in New York by relatives of those who were executed in Nigeria in 1995 - including the son of the environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. Shell is being accused of complicity in the killing. Correspondent David Loyn explains the implications of the case on multi-national companies.


The Green party is hoping the current political turmoil will cause voters to turn away from the big parties in the European elections. The Greens got 15% of the vote in their breakthrough year of 1989. Party leader in England and Wales, Caroline Lucas, discusses the party's prospects.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


It is nearly the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, when troops and tanks stormed into the central Beijing square ending weeks of protests by students. The massacre is rarely referred to in public in China - and the government has never apologised to the families of those who lost their lives. Correspondent Quentin Sommerville reports from the square to see what it means to people today.


Literary works by authors from the mid-17th century up to the start of the 20th century, are now available online. Letters, diaries and jottings which would have taken hours to request from a library, are now available on British Literary Manuscripts Online. Mark Holland, of the publisher Gale - which runs the website, discusses how the website can be used.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Hugh Huddy describes his "deepest shock" at the tragedy


The family found dead under the cliffs at Beachy Head in Sussex has been named. Neil and Kazumi Puttick took their own lives, carrying with them the body of their five year old son, Sam, who had died as a result of meningitis three days earlier. A friend of the family, Hugh Huddy, talks about the tragedy.

Today's papers


On the edge of St James Park in London, just behind the Treasury and the Foreign Office is the warren of underground rooms that were Winston Churchill's secret headquarters for much of World War II, converted in the summer of 1939. Author and historian Richard Holmes discusses some of the events and the sprit of the bunker.

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


Three government ministers have resigned ahead of tomorrow's elections. Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats discusses the elections and expected government re-shuffle.

Politics 'needs a major change'


The prime minister needs to "take control" of his party ahead of the European elections, the party's former deputy leader Roy Hattersley says. Former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer consider how Gordon Brown can demonstrate his authority.


Labour's Deputy Leader Harriet Harman says that Labour has work to do and "we are going to do it" and rejects suggestions that the government is in chaos.


Downing Street says there is "strong reason to believe" that a British citizen has been executed by al-Qaeda militants in Africa. Security Correspondent Frank Gardner reports on Edwin Dyer who was kidnapped in Niger in January, but was being held in Mali.


Great tits change their voice in urban areas, scientists at Aberystwyth University have discovered. Animal behaviour expert Dr Rupert Marshall, the leader of the research, explains how this can be proved.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


As Jacqui Smith announces she is to stand down as home secretary, rumours about the future of Gordon Brown's future as prime minister feature on many of the newspapers' front pages. Political editor Nick Robinson examines how Mr Brown intends to "take control", as one former minister urged.

Tiananmen victims 'still bullied'


It is almost 20 years since the Tiananmen protests, and although China has changed dramatically in economic terms since then, how much has changed politically? Kate Adie, a BBC correspondent in Beijing at the time of the protests, and Jonathan Fenby, China director at the research service Trusted Sources, discuss if the slaughter could have been prevented in 1989.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The results of the local government elections are expected to be bad for Labour - nowhere more so than in the four remaining county councils still held by the party. Correspondent Bob Walker visits Derbyshire, where Labour has held power for almost 30 years but faces the prospect of losing overall control.


Will voters use their vote in the European elections to show their frustration towards the main political parties? Political commentator Anthony Howard, political columnist at the Independent Steve Richards and Julia Clark, head of political research at Ipsos Mori discuss why protest votes might be used.



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