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Page last updated at 06:18 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 07:18 UK
Today: Wednesday 19 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.

Presidential elections in Afghanistan must be accompanied by major reforms in governance and aid, a leading international agency has warned. And coroners are refusing to test for an infection which causes vCJD - despite government pleas that it could help protect the public, the BBC has learnt.


The government must do more to ensure arms exports are not being used against civilians in war zones, a joint report by four select committees says. Roger Berry, chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, expresses his concern that arms exported from the UK had been used against civilians in Sri Lanka's civil war.


Coroners say that checking for the infection that causes vCJD could undermine their neutrality. Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh reports on claims from scientists that the checks during post-mortem examinations could help find out how many people in the population have the infection without knowing it.


Sickness rates of NHS staff are much higher than those in the private sector, an interim report is expected to say. Dr Steve Boorman, who led the review, discusses whether there is a business case for the NHS to do more to help health workers.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


A points-based immigration system proposed by both Labour and the Conservatives is to be explained by the Migration Advisory Committee. Nichola Carter, a partner at Penningtons Law, discusses the formula for determining which non-EU citizens can expect to attain residence rights.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Why don't young people want to become detectives anymore? The Criminal Investigations Department says that it is struggling to get enough new recruits. Dennis Weeks, of the National Detectives' Forum, and criminologist Roger Graef, discuss whether the perceived glamour of detective work - so often depicted on television and in films - is a reality.

Today's papers.


The Greyhound bus service - one of the great symbols of the US highway - is being brought to the UK. Author Irma Kurtz discusses whether the British Greyhound will reach the cultural status of its US cousin - featuring in film, fiction and songs by Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel.

Thought for the day with Akhandadhi Das - a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian.


Afghans are to go to the polls in presidential elections under the threat of fresh violence, which the Taliban claims to be behind, breaking out in Kabul. Presidential candidate Dr Ashraf Ghani discusses the likely outcome of the vote. Ahmad Nader Nadery, a commissioner at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, discuss what sort of presence his organisations will have at these elections.


Coroners are refusing to test for an infection which causes vCJD - despite government pleas that it could help protect the public, the BBC has learnt. Michael Powers QC and Professor Graham Medley, of Warwick University, discuss whether doing such tests would undermine coroners' neutrality.


Philosopher Alain de Botton is to be the first ever writer-in-residence at a UK airport. Presenter Evan Davis visits Heathrow's Terminal Five where De Botton is spending a week and is due to write a book about the experience.


There are 5,000 detective vacancies in police forces across the UK, the Police Federation says. Reporter Andrew Hosken examines why being a detective no longer has the allure it once had.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


A suicide car bomber has killed 10 people in an attack on a convoy of Western troops in the Afghan capital Kabul. Correspondent Ian Pannell reflects on his interview with the warlord-turned-militant Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - who is top of the US Most Wanted list - who says foreign forces must leave the country and an interim government should be set up if there is to be any peace deal.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


The International Rugby Board has extended the ban on former Harlequins boss Dean Richards to all competitions around the world following the now notorious "fake blood" incident. Leinster team doctor Professor Arthur Tanner, who some newspapers report was the first man to raise suspicions about whether the blood was real or not, discusses what made him question the injury.


A college in Oxford is offering free tuition to students. Professor Audrey Mullender, principal of Ruskin College, discusses the winner's responsibilities - which include agreeing to be followed by the media and recording their journey on social networking websites.


Zambian former President Frederick Chiluba has been cleared of corruption charges after a long-running trial. Sir Edward Clay, a former British high commissioner in Nairobi, discusses accusations that Chiluba embezzled $500,000 during his 10-year presidency - which cannot, a judge has ruled, be traced to government money.


Was Henry Kissinger, a key figure in both the Nixon and Ford administrations, a hero or a villain? Historian Sir Alastair Horne and Dr Timothy Lynch, of Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London, discuss the truth about the US diplomat.



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