Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 07:10 UK
Today: Monday 24 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 Scottish parliament is being recalled to hear the Justice Secretary explain his controversial decision to free the Lockerbie bomber. Forest fires in Greece have forced thousands of people to leave their homes. And England have regained the Ashes after defeating Australia in the Oval test match.


The Scottish justice secretary is to defend his decision to release the Lockerbie bomber to a recalled Scottish Parliament. Opposition parties will demand to know how Kenny MacAskill aims to repair the damage they claim has been done to Scotland's global reputation over the release of Abdelbaset Ali al Megrahi. Independent MSP Margo MacDonald discusses the aspects of the case Mr MacAskill needs to clarify.


MPs are calling for the agency in charge of safety-testing lorries, buses and coaches to be given extra powers to get dangerous vehicles off the road. The Commons Transport Committee said non-compliance among foreign-registered vehicles was unacceptably high. Committee chairman Louise Ellman MP explains why more must be done to ensure compliance with safety standards.


Afghanistan is in limbo - preliminary results of the presidential election are expected tomorrow at the earliest and the final tally will not be known until 17 September. Correspondent Hugh Sykes went to talk to Afghan refugees in northern France to gauge their reaction to the poll.

The business news with Tanya Beckett.


Car dealerships in the US have been under siege as the government's Cash for Clunkers programme comes to an end. Almost half-a-million deals were done under the scheme in which the federal government offered a grant of $4,500 to anyone trading in a old vehicle for a new one. Correspondent Kevin Connolly reports from a suburban showroom as the deadline for the scheme approaches.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Thousands of people living in Athens have spent the night away from their homes because of fires that have destroyed large areas of forest. No casualties have been reported but one senior Greek official describes the fires an ecological disaster. Correspondent Dominic Hughes reports from the Greek capital where wildfires have raged almost unchecked for two days.

The paper review.

Thought for the day with Rabbi Lionel Blue.


Farming unions say walkers need to be more aware that cows with calves are very protective of their young and can be dangerous. Three people have died in the past three months and others have been injured. The former Home Secretary, David Blunkett, was trampled earlier this year as he walked Sadie, his guide dog. Correspondent Colette Hume reports from a field in the Vale of Glamorgan on the advice for avoiding a dangerous rural run-in.


England's cricketers have spent the night celebrating after defeating Australia by 197 runs at the Oval to regain the Ashes. Correspondent Nick Bryant reports from Sydney where the victory sparked jubilation among England fans and dismay among Australians. Former England captain Mike Gatting and Test Match Special commentator Vic Marks discuss England's urn winning performance.


A recalled Scottish Parliament is to hear Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill's statement on the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor examines the political consensus emerging against Abdelbaset Ali al Megrahi's release. Lord Steel, a former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, discusses whether the furore over the decision and its foreign policy implications highlights a flaw in devolution.


Actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones has completed his on-screen adventure exploring Britain's rivers, but was his TV series "a kind of canoeists' manifesto" as suggested in the Sunday Times? Columnist Charles Clover, who made the accusation, and Griff Rhys Jones debate whether canoeists should have a right to roam.


Fire fighters in Greece have resumed their battle against wildfires threatening areas near Athens. Large areas of forest have been destroyed. Professor Nikolas Markatos, head of Chemical Engineering at Athens Technical University, discusses an early warning system he has designed which is ready for use but has not been put in place.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Southampton Council wants to sell some of its famous artworks to fund the construction of a museum dedicated to the Titanic. They have asked permission from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to sell After the Race by Sir Alfred Munnings and Eve by Rodin among other pieces. Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet member for Culture and Heritage on Southampton City Council and Charles Saumarez Smith, chief executive of the Royal Academy, discuss whether the council should be allowed to sell.


The authorities in Greece have told 10,000 people in a suburb of Athens to leave their homes, because of wildfires which have spread to the outskirts of the city. Greece has called on Italy and France to help contain the fires, which have devastated thousands of acres of land. Correspondent Malcolm Brabant, who is one of those who had to leave their homes, discusses how the devastation caused by the fire.

The business news with Tanya Beckett.


The success of black athletes was highlighted once more at last week's World Athletics Championships in Berlin. A new book says that it does come down to genetics -- and that certain groups are cut out to do different things well. The book is provocatively called "Taboo: why black athletes dominate sports and why we're afraid to talk about it". Its author, Jon Entine and Matthew Syed, sports writer on The Times, discuss the importance of genetics in sport.


After a weekend of sporting triumph, there is something else to look forward to this week. Mike Perham, aged 17, is set to become the youngest person in the world to sail solo around the world. Evan Davis talks to him on his boat, 540 miles off Land's End.


The leadership of the Pakistani Taliban is in doubt amid allegations of trickery, smokescreens and lies. Over the weekend, tribal elders informed news agencies of a new leader to replace Baitullah Mehsud, who was recently killed and named him as Hakimullah Mehsud. But intelligence officials insist Hakimullah is either dead or wounded and suggested the announcement was misinformation designed to cover up a leadership struggle at the top of the terrorist organisation. Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, Rohan Gunaratna, discusses what is going on inside Pakistan's Taliban.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific