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Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 10:15 UK
Today: Friday 14 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.

David Cameron has spoken up for the NHS after a Conservative MEP criticised the health service on US television. The Army has paid tribute to three soldiers killed yesterday in Afghanistan. And one of UK's largest collections of meteorites goes to auction.


A Conservative MP has survived an attempt to deselect her following criticism over her Commons expenses. Iain Watson reports on the vote which followed revelations that St Albans MP Anne Main allowed her daughter to live rent-free in a taxpayer-funded flat, which she said was cleared by Commons authorities.


A radical Shiite group affiliated with Iran has been holding talks with the Iraqi government. The talks are part of the national reconciliation process and could lead to the group's participation in the upcoming parliamentary election in January. Correspondent Natalia Antelava reports on hopes that negotiations with Asa'ib al-Haq or the Leagues of the Righteous, could help facilitate the release of hostage Peter Moore, who they claim to be holding.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


Hillary Clinton's tour of Africa is coming to an end after visiting seven countries in eleven days. Gibril Faal, chairman of the African Foundation for Development, discusses the intentions of the Obama administration in Africa.


A device designed to stop potential speed boat suicide bombers, like those who attacked the USS Cole in Aden in 2000, is being tested in the UK. Home Affairs Correspondent Rory Maclean went to Portsmouth with Home Office minister Admiral Lord West to see the Air Launch Running Gear Entanglement System being put through its paces.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Farming minister Jim Fitzpatrick has questioned the Muslim tradition of separating men and women at weddings. Mr Fitzpatrick explains why he walked out of a marriage ceremony in his East London constituency when he and his wife found out they would have to sit in different rooms.


The NHS has come in for abuse in the US by opponents of President Obama's proposed health reform. US businesswoman Emily Walker describes how the British health service is viewed on the other side of the Atlantic.


One of UK's largest collections of meteorites, picked up by Scottish collector Rob Elliot from locations around the world, is going on display in Edinburgh before it goes to auction. Scotland correspondent Colin Blane reports on the auction, which is expected to fetch as much as £500,000.

The paper review.


The NHS is to engage in its biggest vaccination programme in 45 years in an attempt to minimise the damage caused by swine flu. Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, discusses the logistical challenge of vaccinating some 14 million people.

Thought for the day with John Bell of the Iona Community.


US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has been talking about the challenge in Afghanistan, saying that defeating the Taliban could take "a few years" and leaving open the possibility of sending more troops. Writer Robert Fox discusses the next phase in the Afghan conflict.


David Cameron has spoken up for the NHS after a Conservative MEP criticised the British health service on US television. David Grossman reports from Washington on the abuse being heaped on the NHS by opponents of President Obama's health care reforms. Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley discusses MEP Daniel Hannan's comments.


One of Iran's defeated opposition presidential candidates has said some protesters held after July's disputed poll were tortured to death in prison. Jon Leyne reports on the response to reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi's allegations.


Les Paul, one of the pioneers of the electric guitar, has died at the age of 94. Music broadcaster Bob Harris examines the legacy of the influential musician and guitar maker.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The aftershocks of the MP expenses revelations continue, but the last 24 hours have been good for embattled Conservative MPs. Alan Duncan has not been sacked, despite his comments about the hardship MPs are suffering. And Anne Main, the MP for St Albans, was not deselected by her local party. Tim Montgomerie, of website, discusses whether anger over the issue is starting to abate.


The Premier League is about to kick off another season. Andy Ward, author of Football Nation, and Hunter Davies, author of the Glory Game, discuss whether, with so many foreign players, managers and owners involved in the game, it can still be described as an English league.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


Farming minister Jim Fitzpatrick's decision to walk out of a Muslim wedding when he and his wife were separated has sparked a debate among British muslims. Ibrahim Mogra, an Imam from Leicester, explains the rules governing weddings held in a mosque.


We will find out next week whether cricketer Mark Ramprakash has been picked to play in the final test of the Ashes. He is on good form and puts it down to his participation in Strictly Come Dancing, which he won in 2006. Sports psychologist Dr Victor Thompson and Liberal Democrat ballroom star Vince Cable, discuss whether the elixir of dance could benefit all of us.


The shortlist for "one of the most ambitious and wide ranging art commissions in the UK" is to be announced. Executive director of the Arts Council, Moira Sinclair, and shortlisted artist John Cockrum, discuss the Artists Taking the Lead project.


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