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Page last updated at 06:11 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 07:11 UK
Today: Wednesday 5 August 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.

Iran is preparing to swear in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term in office, following weeks of post-election unrest in the country. And former US President Bill Clinton has left North Korea with two US reporters whose release he has helped to secure.


Lloyds Banking Group has published its results for the first half of 2009. Business editor Robert Peston reflects on the figures, which show a loss of around £4bn.


An inspection of Cookham Wood young offenders institute in Kent has described conditions there as "seriously unsafe". Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, and Paul Carroll, of the Prison Service, discuss the first inspection since it changed from being a women's prison to solely catering for 15 to 17-year-old males.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been sworn in for a second term as Iran's president, after weeks of post-election unrest. Correspondent Jon Leyne reports on the beginning of the ceremony.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Former US President Bill Clinton has left North Korea with two US reporters whose release he has helped to secure. John Everard, British ambassador in Pyongyang until 2008, and Korean expert Aidan Foster Carter, of Leeds University, discuss why North Korean leader Kim Jong-il issued a special pardon to the journalists.

Today's papers.


An initiative hoped to halt the decline in bee numbers is being launched. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on the idea behind the new, and apparently more simple way to keep bees - to encourage more people to try their hand at beekeeping.

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


There has been a slight fall in the proportion of 11-year-olds in England reaching the standard expected of them in English national curriculum tests. Reporter Sanchia Berg asked one 11-year-old boy to sit part of a writing paper and an experienced Sats marker, Roberta Bowen, to assess it. Former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo, who was once a primary school teacher, discusses ways to make children more enthusiastic about books.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being sworn in for a second term amid continuing post-election protests. Reporter Jack Izzard examines the background to the inauguration. Correspondent Mike Wooldridge reports on the ceremony itself. Martin Indyk, a former senior State Department official in Washington, explains the importance of events in Teheran for the Obama administration.


A memorial service to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Fastnet race is to take place. Fifteen people died and dozens of boats were sunk in one of the worst storms ever to hit an ocean yacht race. Matthew Sheahan, whose father died in the tragedy, and Janet Grosvenor, former deputy secretary of the race, remember the disaster and discuss how it has changed the rules and the equipment used in the Fastnet.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Lloyds Banking Group, which has been bailed out by the taxpayer, has reported a loss of around £4bn. Stephen Alambritis, chief spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, discusses if lending has become easier since government intervention.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Oxfam has been blamed for the closure of a rare and antiquarian bookshop in Salisbury. The charity is now the biggest second-hand book retailer in Europe. Peter Moore, of the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association, and Sarah Farquhar, head of Oxfam's retail operations, discuss whether the charity has been behaving more like a business.


A review of the rape laws which were due to be announced today have been delayed, newspapers report. Political correspondent Ross Hawkins says that the announcements now look likely to take place in the autumn.

The World War I veteran Harry Patch is to be buried. The former plumber, who fought in the battle of Passchendaele in 1917, gave an interview to reporter Mike Thomson for the Today programme in 2005. Thom Yorke, the leader singer of the band Radiohead, heard the interview and wrote a song inspired by it. The Today programme plays Radiohead's song - Harry Patch (In Memory Of) - for the first time.



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