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Page last updated at 06:14 GMT, Saturday, 8 August 2009 07:14 UK
Today: Saturday 8 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.

The UK's commitment to Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the incoming head of the Army has said. The state pension retirement age could be heading for 70, the UK's pensions regulator has told the BBC. And Lottery operator Camelot has been criticised for allowing Britons abroad to buy tickets online that they cannot claim prizes on.


The UK's commitment to Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the incoming head of the Army has said. Correspondent Ian Pannell reports on the comments of Gen Sir David Richards, who takes over on 28 August.


Who is in charge of the government? Harriet Harman has gone on holiday and Peter Mandelson is not yet back yet from Corfu. Political correspondent Ross Hawkins examines who is in charge in Downing Street, which insists there's nothing to worry about as a "number of senior ministers are helping out".

Today's papers.


Pakistan's most wanted man, Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, has reportedly been killed by a US missile. Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author who has written extensively about the Taliban, discusses whether he is confident that Mr Mehsud has been killed.


The UK state retirement age is likely to rise higher than the current planned increase to 68, the pensions regulator says. Business correspondent Joe Lynam reports on whether millions of people would "undoubtedly" have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.


The Vatican is conducting an inquiry into religious orders in the United States which allow their nuns to work in their local communities and to stop wearing traditional habits. Religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott reports from California on complaints from many nuns that they are being victimised.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Ceremonies have been held in Georgia to mark the first anniversary of its war with Russia over South Ossetia. Correspondent Tom Esslemont reports from Georgia on a day of sombre ceremonies. Donald MacLaren, Britain's ambassador to Georgia until 2007, discusses the efforts of the European Union in the region.

Today's papers.


The price of honey is going to shoot up as a result of recent wet weather, the British Beekeepers Association warns. Martin Smith, the association's chairman, discusses yet another problem for beekeepers as the bee population continues to decline.


Indonesian police have stormed a house in central Java believed to contain one of South-East Asia's most wanted men. Rohan Guhnaratna, of the School of International Studies in Singapore, says that Noordin Mohamed Top is the most important terrorists in South-East Asia and is responsible for all the major attacks in Indonesia since 2002.

Thought for the day with Canon David Winter.


A committee of MPs has attacked the way some mortgage lenders levy high charges on customers who fall into arrears. John McFall, chairman of the Treasury Committee, and Adrian Coles, director of the Building Societies Association, consider whether some lenders are breaking the rules by using repossession as a first, rather than last, resort with borrowers in arrears.


There are growing indications that Pakistan's most wanted man, Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, has been killed by a US missile. Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's High Commissioner for the UK, considers the significance of this development.


The number of people being declared insolvent has hit a new record in England and Wales. Carol Highton explains her personal tragedy - her son Bryan committed suicide because of debts he owned to a loan shark. Peter Richardson, of London Trading Standards, discusses the 33,073 personal insolvencies in the second quarter of 2009.


The Royal Institute of British Architects is celebrating its 175th anniversary. To mark the occasion, five leading architectural practices have been to come up with new ideas for public lavatories. Reporter Sanchia Berg examines the rich architectural heritage of public conveniences with the writer and broadcaster Lucinda Lambton.


Iran has put more opposition activists and protesters on trial after disputed elections, Iranian media report. Correspondent Jon Leyne reports on the second group of people brought before Iranian courts following violent protests in the wake of June's presidential elections.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


How do the results of the City affect the real economy? Today presenter James Naughtie spends an afternoon in the City of London to see if a recent rally in share prices and more positive results from some financial institutions mean that unemployment, bankruptcies and insolvencies will soon begin to fall.


The UK could be committed to Afghanistan for many years beyond the military phase, the next head of the Army says. Mike Gapes, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, discusses the UK's role in development, governance and security sector reform.

Today's papers.


Who is running Great Britain this weekend? Lord Mandelson is in a villa in Corfu and Gordon Brown is still on holiday. Comedian Chris Neill imagines what might be contained in the latest diary entries of Harriet Harman, who was in charge during the week.


Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all of its websites. John Ridding, chief executive of the Financial Times, and Charlie Beckett, director of Polis - LSE's media think tank, discuss if this signals the end of free news.


Should men act their age? Recently, 72-year-old Jack Nicholson has been limbo dancing, 62-year-old Steven Tyler has been falling off a stage whilst trying to perform an impromptu catwalk and more details of 72-year-old Silvio Berlusconi's activities emerge by the day. Journalist Edward Enfield and Michael Winner, a film director and restaurant critic, discuss whether those of a certain vintage should know better.


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