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Page last updated at 06:12 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 07:12 UK
Today: Wednesday 29 July 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.

Two more of the British hostages held in Iraq are now thought "very likely" to be dead, the BBC has learned. There is no doubt using a sunbed or sunlamp will raise the risk of skin cancer, say international experts. And the US and China pledge to fight protectionism and express concern about nuclear Iran, after two days of talks.


Wind turbine company Vestas is going to court in an attempt to force workers staging a sit-in at its Isle of Wight factory to leave the building. Peter Kruse, a spokesman for Vestas, explains why the decision to close the site was made.


Two more of the remaining three British hostages held in Iraq are now thought "very likely" to be dead, the BBC has learned. Security correspondent Frank Gardner reports on the fate of private security guards Alan McMenemy and Alec Maclachlan.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


How have those on the front lines of the health service been coping with the Swine Flu pandemic? Reporter Angus Stickler spends a day at Homerton Hospital in the London Borough of Hackney to gauge how doctors and nurses are attempting to ensure that the extremely contagious disease is kept at bay.


There is no doubt using a sunbed or sunlamp will raise the risk of skin cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says. Sarah Woolnough, head of policy for Cancer Research, and Kevin Melnyk, of the Sunbed Association discuss whether the use of sunbeds is definitively "carcinogenic to humans".

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Families who claim their children were born with defects caused by exposure to toxic waste are due to learn the outcome of their legal action. Correspondent Katharine Carpenter reports on the claims that the mothers inhaled harmful toxins when they were pregnant because of the way Corby Borough Council reclaimed land from an old steel works.


A "vicious circle" of problems is blighting social services in England making improvement difficult, a government-appointed taskforce says. Bob Reitemeier, chairman of the Children's Society, discusses the warnings of serious staffing shortages and a lack of leadership.

Today's papers.


The UK Met Office is issuing a revised summer forecast for more unsettled weather well into August. Philip Eden, vice president of the Royal Meteorological Society, explains why the "barbecue summer" predicted in April is no more.

Thought for the day with Rabbi Laura Janner-Klauser, of Alyth Gardens Synagogue.


Somalia "poses a greater terrorist threat to the UK than Afghanistan", former Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch Brown has said. Nicolas Bwakira, the African Union's special envoy to Somalia, discusses what the UN Security Council should be doing about the situation. Yusuf Garaad Omar, head of the BBC's Somali Service, discusses the strength of the transitional government in the country.


Two more of the five British hostages seized in Baghdad in 2007 are thought "very likely" to have died. Anas Altikriti, chief executive of the Cordoba Foundation - which works on conflict resolution, discusses what hopes there are for the last remaining hostage.


A lack of government action to tackle gender stereotypes in schools has contributed to women's pay failing to catch up with men's, a report has said. Baroness Margaret Prosser, who chairs the Women and Work Commission, and Vivienne Brown, president of the Institute of Career Guidance, discuss how the gender divide at work can be tackled.


Mick Jones, the guitarist in punk band The Clash, has set up a rock and roll public library close to where he formed the band with Joe Strummer in 1976. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge discovers why he has opened the doors to his vast collection of memorabilia from over three decades in the music business.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Following reports on the Today programme about the Democratic Republic of Congo - especially one which focussed on a woman who suffered terribly at the hands of a rebel militia group - listeners offered generous donations to help. Mike Thomson reports on the assistance Zawadi Mongane has received since the broadcast and on a new project set up to help 16 other women in the Congo.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


An Australian woman has been rescued after being stuck in her toilet for a week. Correspondent Phil Mercer reports on the 67-year-old who was rescued after a neighbour heard her cries for help while hanging out washing in his garden.


Could Germany have won World War II if it wasn't for Hitler's ideological obsessions? Author Andrew Roberts reflects on the strategic and tactical mistakes the Third Reich made.


The language of architecture is so opaque - from colonettes to clasped buttresses - that those who are not in the industry are unlikely to learn the terminology. Writer and illustrator Matthew Rice explains why he has produced a guide to help bluff through a challenging architectural discussion.


A new six-part documentary on BBC One promises to show what it is like to live inside one of the UK's first retirement villages. John Payne, partnership director of the ExtraCare Charitable Trust - the company which runs the village, and writer Stanley Johnson, discuss Lovat Fields in Milton Keynes which has 300 residents, all of whom have retired.


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