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Page last updated at 06:09 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 07:09 UK
Today: Saturday 22 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 Lockerbie bomber's release was raised during trade talks between the UK and Libya, Colonel Gaddafi's son reportedly tells Libyan TV. And the Iraqi government has said it is increasing security in the capital after a series of bombs killed more than 100 people and injured over 500.


Who is telling the truth about the background to the Lockerbie bomber's release? Correspondent Christian Fraser and political reporter Alicia Maccarthy reflect on allegations that the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was tied to trade deals.


North Korea has said it will ease restrictions on cross-border traffic imposed last year amid rising tensions with the South. Correspondent John Sudworth reports on the first meeting between officials from North and South Korea for almost two years.

Today's papers.


Teenagers who failed to get their first choices for university are rushing to find courses amid a squeeze on places. Richard Garner, education editor of the Independent, discusses the severity of the shortfall of places to university is.


The Fortune Group, a number of young performers from Afghanistan, Iraq and Zimbabwe who have all been forced to flee from their countries because of persecution, is staging a show in London. Reporter Rajini Vaidyanathan meets the group to understand why they consider themselves fortunate to be alive.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


At least four police have been killed in a string of suspected suicide bombings in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, with fears the death toll will rise. Andrei Kortunov, president of the New Eurasia Foundation, and Oksana Antonenko, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, discuss a recent increase in Islamist violence in Russia's North Causasus.


EU monitors in Afghanistan are to publish their assessment of the elections in the country. Correspondent Ian Pannell reports on the wait for the country's election commission to announce preliminary results from the poll.

Today's papers.


The 10th Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships are being held in Finland. Founder of the competition Christine Lund discusses, on her mobile phone, the best technique for competitors - some of whom have removed their bras to use as catapults in previous years.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Roy Jenkins, a Baptist minister.


Former chairman of Lloyds Banking Group Sir Victor Blank has been explaining the decision to go ahead with a merger with Halifax Bank of Scotland which led to his resignation. Sir Victor explains why the merger had fitted Lloyds' growth plans to business editor Robert Peston.


The Iraqi government has said it is increasing security in the capital after a series of bombs killed more than 100 people and injured over 500. Correspondent Natalya Antelava reports from Baghdad. Patrick Cockburn, of the Independent, and Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, discuss the worst violence in Iraq for several months.


Britain and the US have strongly condemned the jubilant welcome given in Libya to the man convicted of the bombing of a US plane over Lockerbie. John Gair, an eyewitness to the bombing and local historian, discusses how the people there have dealt with the tragedy and what he thinks of the current furore.

Could a rugby injury be faked?


Former Harlequins rugby director Dean Richards has admitted he ordered the fake blood substitution of Tom Williams that led to his own three-year ban. Actor Nick Asbury, fight captain of the Royal Shakespeare Company, explains how one should go about faking an injury convincingly.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet


Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has defied strong criticism from the UK and the US by meeting Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on Libyan TV. Correspondent Christian Fraser reports on why Col Gaddafi chose to meet Megrahi. Shadow foreign affairs minister David Lidington and Lib Dem MP Ed Davey discuss whether Megrahi was released to ensure UK trade deals with Libya.

Today's papers.


Amelia Al-Qazaz, who was educated privately at Teesside High School in Stockton on Tees, has now received 10 As at A-level but was refused a place at Oxford University. Headmaster of the school Thomas Packer discusses whether fee-paying schools are at a disadvantage.


How easy is it to establish a bank? Chancellor Alistair Darling has said it is good to have more competition in the banking sector. Entrepreneur Nigel Brown and Giles Andrew, co-founder of, discuss what can be done to increase competition in the sector.


EU monitors in Afghanistan are to report on the elections in the country. Jahid Mohseni, of Tolo TV - which broadcast the presidential debate in the course of the campaign, discusses whether the election results will have international legitimacy.


A "festival of invention" is taking place in Coventry. Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes is judging some of the entries. She explains why she wants to get the creative industries to move out of London.


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