• News Feeds
Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 09:18 UK
Today: Thursday 6 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.

It is being claimed there is still too much regional variation in the provision of IVF services on the NHS for couples in England. MPs have warned that government promises to put victims of crime at the heart of the criminal justice system in England and Wales fall short of reality. And Britain's only matador looks back on his career.


ITV has produced its financial results for the first half of the year. They were expected to be poor, and they are poor. But with the UK in the midst of recession, the company is still in profit. Steve Hewlett, media consultant and presenter, discusses whether reports of ITV's demise been exaggerated.


A Conservative MP who has done a survey of primary care trusts in England claims that 80% of them are not offering three cycles of IVF treatment to infertile couples, though that is the standards set by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice). Grant Shapps MP discusses his survey that suggests that provision of services has shrunk. Jo Webber, deputy policy director of the NHS Confederation reacts to the claims.


Former US president Bill Clinton's dramatic intervention on behalf of two US journalists jailed in North Korea has opened new options for Barack Obama's diplomatic strategy. Jonathan Beale investigates whether Bill Clinton's success opens up a new role for him as an international trouble shooter for the Obama administration.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The government is being accused of suppressing a report that says the Ministry of Defence is wasting up to £2.5bn a year in "incompetent" decisions on procurement. The Conservatives claim that the estimate was produced by former MoD official Bernard Gray, but that the government has delayed its publication because of embarrassment. Dr Paul Cornish, head of the international security programme at the foreign affairs think tank Chatham House explains the significance of the report.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee is due to announce its regular update to interest rates. For the moment, however, their quantitative easing programme is in the spotlight. £125bn has been spent so far and last month they pushed the pause button on the programme. Jim O'Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, and David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, discuss if the bank should go further.

Today's papers.


Elections are being held in some areas of Sri Lanka for the first time since the end of a bloody civil war. The government hopes the poll, important for regional bodies - particularly in northern areas until recently controlled by Tamil Tiger fighters, will help unite this island. Andrew Hosken reports on the importance of cricket as another unifying force in the country.

Thought for the day with Dom Anthony Sutch, a Benedictine monk.


The Commons Justice Committee says that the policy to bring the victims of crime into the heart of the justice system may have produced damagingly high expectations. Because prosecutors are serving the public interest as neutrals, they cannot operate purely on behalf of victims. Paul Farmer, chief executive of charity Mind, the mental health charity, who gave evidence to the Committee, raises his concerns over the treatment of victims with mental health difficulties. Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service, reacts to the committee's concerns.


ITV will appoint a new chief executive this week, replacing Michael Grade. The job is promised to be one of the most challenging in broadcasting. The person who takes over the reins has to be able to deal with declining advertising revenues, a large pension deficit, the rise of the internet, and above all changing television habits. ITV chief operating officer John Cresswell explains whether there will still be a role for high cost British production, delivered from a channel such as ITV1.


Should the elderly still get free bus passes - as they have in England since last year? A report commissioned by councils in England says money for bus passes is spent "inefficiently" and could be "better targeted". Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics, and Joan Bakewell, the government's voice of older people, debate whether free bus passes should be means tested.


You have probably not heard of Charlie Winston, a musician who grew up in Suffolk but he is number one in the French music charts. How does that compare to success in Britain? Nicola Stanbridge investigates our Anglo-French musical relations.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The Conservatives are calling on the Government to release a report by a former MoD official, Bernard Gray, after it was claimed the report says between £1.5bn and £2.5bn a year is being wasted through "incompetent" decision-making on procurement. Quentin Davies MP, minister for defence equipment and support, discusses the current state of defence procurement.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Today would have been the 200th birthday of the longest serving Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson. BBC reporter Phil Greer witnesses a new monument being unveiled on the Isle of Wight, where Tennyson lived.


The festival that started them all - Woodstock - took place 40 years ago, but how does the shambolic weekend compare with modern music festivals? Michael Lang, the co-creator of the Woodstock Festival, and Mark Ellen, editor of Word magazine, discuss how the character of music festivals changed over the years.


Thousands of vulnerable people could be at risk, according to housing associations and charities, following a little noticed change in benefit. The government used to ring fence £1.6bn of local authority funding for so called "supporting people" projects - including supervised hostels for homeless people, refuges for victims of domestic violence, and sheltered housing. But from this April that ring fence was removed. Local authorities still receive the money, but can spend it according to local priorities they set themselves. Sanchia Berg reports on concerns that those vulnerable people might slip off the priority list.


Who was the last British bullfighter? Frank Evans had a career in the ring that started when he saw his first bullfight in Grenada in 1963. The fighter known in Spain as El Ingles was still fighting as late as 2005, and indeed popped out of retirement briefly last year. Mr Evan's discusses his life as a British matador.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific