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Page last updated at 06:34 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 07:34 UK
Today: Thursday 11 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.

UN health officials have called an emergency meeting to discuss swine flu, amid rumours that the first global flu pandemic in 40 years will be declared. And a gunman armed with a rifle has shot and killed a guard inside Washington DC's Holocaust museum before being wounded in turn, city police say.


A review of home education in England is expected to recommend a national registration scheme for home educators. Fiona Nicholson, a trustee of home education support organisation Education Otherwise, and Peter Traves, director of Children Services for Staffordshire, discuss whether local authorities should have the right to visit any child taught at home.


A woman is due in court charged with four counts of sexual assault and three counts relating to the distribution of indecent images of children. Michelle Elliott, of children's charity Kidscape, reflects on what Police have called a "significant and distressing situation".


The growth of online betting is alarming, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) says. Simon Cox, reporter on Radio 4 programme The Report, explains why the ITF wants to ban "game betting" - in which gamblers wager online during matches.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


New laws should be introduced to ban the dowry system - an old South Asian tradition where the bride's parents hand over gifts to the groom's family at the wedding - a Labour MP says. Barrister Usha Sood discusses considers whether, as is Virendra Sharma MP alleges, the practice is degrading to women and can lead to domestic violence.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Is the recession over? Reports from the Office of National Statistics show that manufacturing is showing gentle signs of recovery. John Moulton, of private equity company Alchemy Partners and Steven Bell, chief economist at the GLC Hedge Fund, discuss if confidence has returned in the UK.

Today's papers.


The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is to perform at the Proms. The audience have been invited to bring their ukuleles with them and play along. Members of the orchestra show what a ukulele should sound like and Matthew Reynolds, owner of the Duke of Uke specialist shop, discusses the appeal of the instrument.

Thought for the day with Dr David Wilkinson, principal of St John's College, Durham.


In Zimbabwe, a country with more than 1.5m orphans, children have to grow up quickly. In the third of his series of reports from Zimbabwe, correspondent Mike Thomson reports on the children who are forced to take on the responsibilities of parenthood while they are themselves not yet in their teens.

The BBC is not allowed to operate legally in Zimbabwe so some names and places have been changed to protect the people Mike has spoken to.


The Tories have rejected claims that they are planning "massive" cuts after the next election. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne and his shadow counterpart Philip Hammond discuss whether public spending cuts are inevitable.


Yoko Ono has been nominated for a lifetime achievement award by the music magazine Mojo. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge went to meet Yoko - along with her son Sean Lennon - to discuss if this means that the world is finally ready to accept her as a talented musician in her own right.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The first information commissioner, Richard Thomas, is about to leave office. He will be remembered for warning that we were in danger of "sleepwalking" into a surveillance society and his championing of the powers granted by Parliament under Freedom of Information legislation. He reflects on his six years in the post.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


It is exactly one year until the World Cup begins in South Africa - the first African country to host the tournament. Southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen reports on the legacy that the tournament is hoped to leave for children in the country.


One of the men arrested in April in a series of anti-terrorism raids has been speaking to the BBC about his case. Correspondent Mike Wooldridge reports on his conversations with the man, one of 12 people arrested in Liverpool, Manchester and Clitheroe in Lancashire, all but one of whom was of Pakistani origin and 10 of whom were on student visas.


Britain's libel laws are being criticised by US legislators. Members of Congress in Washington are trying to pass new laws to protect US journalists and NGOs from "libel tourism" - the practice of foreigners using UK libel law to silence their critics. Lawyer Laurence Harris examines if UK libel laws are stifling free speech.


UN health officials have called an emergency meeting to discuss swine flu, amid rumours that the first global flu pandemic in 40 years will be declared. John Oxford is Professor of virology at Queen Mary University of London, discusses if the virus has now become a global problem.



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