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Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:32 UK

Evan and Jim's review


Coming just before the publication of the latest unemployment figures, which show 2.44 million people out of work, the programme took an in-depth look at job losses and the recession.

An investigation by Radio 4's Face The Facts programme has been examining the Jobseeker's Allowance, currently claimed by more than 1.5 million people.

It has found evidence that frontline staff at some of the 750 Jobcentre Plus offices in England, Scotland and Wales are unable to deliver the personal and professional service promised to everyone by the government. We spoke to the programme's presenter, John Waite.

Today reporter Jack Izzard has been looking at the human cost of rising unemployment. He's been talking to people who have been made redundant and the impact it has had on their lives.

And Evan conducted a robust interview with the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson. After Labour's initial success in reducing unemployment, he asked to what extent the recession threatened to reverse the very things which the government had thought were its biggest achievements.

Elsewhere, as the Conservatives accuse the Labour Party of "failing to to protect community life".

Ed Vaizey, the shadow arts minister, was interviewed about what he says is the "worrying decline" in local authority library services.

The merchant ship Arctic Sea disappeared as it was passing through the Dover Strait at the end of July. It hasn't been heard from since.

There's an international search going on for the ship, and suspicions that it might have been taken over by pirates in the Baltic before it entered British waters. Today talked to Nick Davis, chief executive of the Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre.

Australia's million camels are enjoying a population boom. With their numbers doubling each decade, the creatures are increasingly causing problems, stripping vegetation and even invading remote settlements.

But a cull, about to take place in the Outback, is proving controversial. Professor Tony Peacock, an expert in feral wildlife from the University of Canberra explained.

Conservationists are desperately trying to save one of the most endangered amphibians in the world - the large mountain chicken frogs of Montserrat, which are being threatened by a fungus. We were joined by Professor John Fa, head of the conservation programme at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which is running a breeding programme for them.

And the Perseid meteor shower, the annual light show in the sky caused by the earth passing through some of the dusty debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet, is about to reach its zenith.

Dr Marek Kakula, public astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, explained why it occurs and how best to see it.


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