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Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 07:10 UK
Today: Wednesday 12 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 number of people out of work is expected to rise again when the latest unemployment figures are released by the Office for National Statistics. Police in Brazil have accused a TV presenter of ordering killings to get rid of drug trafficking rivals and boost his show's ratings. And Lord Mandelson has begun his week standing in for the prime minister - but says it is "absolute nonsense" to say he is in charge.


An international search is underway for a cargo ship with a Russian crew which disappeared off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean on 28 July. Nick Davis, chief executive of the Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre, considers what could have happened to the merchant ship Arctic Sea.


US President Barack Obama has accused some opponents of his healthcare reform proposals of trying to "scare the heck" out of people. Correspondent Jonathan Beale reports from the president's town-hall style meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


Some front line staff in Jobcentre Plus offices are not delivering the level of service promised by the government because of the volume of people using the services, Radio 4's Face the Facts programme has discovered. Presenter John Waite discusses the level of the service jobseekers are receiving.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


About 700 people missing in southern Taiwan after Typhoon Morakot have been found alive, say army officials. Correspondent Alastair Leithead reports on the frantic rescue efforts ongoing in Hsiaolin and surrounding villages.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The number of people out of work is expected to rise again when the latest unemployment figures are released by the Office for National Statistics. Reporter Jack Izzard interviews people who have been made redundant about the impact it has had on their lives. Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at the University of Sheffield, and Lord Layard, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, discuss the current jobless rate in the UK.

Today's papers.


Camels in the outback of Australia are to be culled because they are causing havoc in the natural environment and invading remote settlements. Professor Tony Peacock, of the University of Canberra, discusses how the animal has come to be such a nuisance.

Thought for the day with the novelist and columnist Anne Atkins.


A series of bomb blasts in Iraq have killed more than 40 people and wounded at least 200. The Iraqi government says it is in control and security is improving. Correspondent Natalia Antelava finds out whether the people of Baghdad share the government's optimism. Saad Yusuf Al Mutalibi, international affairs director at the Ministry of Dialogue and Reconciliation, says religious institutions in Saudi Arabia gave orders for the bombs to be placed. He also says authorities in the country are supporting international terrorism.


The number of people unemployed in the UK could reach 2.5 million when figures are released later. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson considers the extent of damage the recession is doing to the government.


Police are hunting for robbers who stole more than £40m of jewellery from an exclusive central London boutique. Peter Bleksley, a former Scotland Yard detective who now writes on crime and policing, discusses the hunt for the two robbers who were armed with handguns and got away with 43 jewels and watches.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Iraq is in the midst of a new wave of violence. More than 100 people have been killed in bombings targeting Shiite communities. With US forces now off the streets, it is left to the Iraqis themselves to prevent a new sectarian conflict. Iraq expert Toby Dodge, of Queen Mary, University of London, reflects on allegations that the responsibility for the violence is Saudi Arabia's.


Councils need do more to combat the recession's social impact, such as rising domestic violence and alcohol and drug abuse, a watchdog has warned. Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, discusses the the effects of the downturn's "second wave".


Christians in Pakistan are threatening to boycott celebrations of the 62nd anniversary of the country's independence. Aleem Maqbool reports on why Christians see themselves as a persecuted minority. Bishop of Bradford David James examines recent violence culminating in the murder of six members of one family, burned to death in their home.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


The Perseid meteor shower, an annual light show of shooting stars occurring as the Earth passes through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet, is taking place. Dr Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, explains the phenomenon.


UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have called Aung San Suu Kyi's conviction in Burma "profoundly disappointing". Biographer Justin Wintle and Mark Farmaner, director of human rights group the Burma Campaign UK, discuss the global reaction to the conviction of the Burmese opposition leader.



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