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Page last updated at 06:15 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 07:15 UK
Today: Monday 7 September 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 son of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has said his country will resist demands from the families of IRA victims for compensation. And the government is to make it easier for private sponsors to take over and run English state schools, in a bid to speed up its academies programme.


Private sponsors who wish to take over and run English state schools will no longer have to provide up-front funds of £2m, instead having to prove "the necessary skills and leadership" to run an academy. Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, discusses the academy system.


The chairman of the Department for Work and Pensions' ethnic minority advisory group, Iqbal Wahhab, has threatened to resign after being frustrated by ministers holding "endless, fruitless meetings". He discusses why the Treasury has refused to back government plans to ask companies bidding for public contracts to disclose employees' ethnic backgrounds.


Artist Ben Turnbull wants to explore children's response to violence by placing two bubble-gum dispensers containing replica Beretta and Magnum firearms near London schools and then filming the pupils' reaction. He discusses his proposal, which the police have said would be illegal, with Lyn Costello, co-founder of the charity Mothers Against Murder and Aggression.


Parents will need to start being aware of the scope and sophistication of social networking sites on the internet if they are to protect vulnerable children from sex offenders, the police warn. Jim Gamble, spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, discuss how parents can use the resources on offer to minimise risk.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Gordon Brown has confirmed the UK will support compensation claims being made against Libya by IRA victims' families. Lawyer Jason McCue, who represents some of the families, discusses how the news has been received by his clients.


A terror suspect has been released from a control order because ministers did not want to reveal secret intelligence to any court hearing his case. Home Secretary Alan Johnson agreed the move after law lords ruled the suspect, known as AF, was entitled to know more about the allegations against him. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile discusses the release.

Today's papers.


Eight jazz musicians are to begin playing a 12-bar tune continuously for 24 hours. Jazz pianist and Radio 3 presenter Julian Joseph, who will begin the tune from the Today studio, and Paul Pacifico, organiser of the musician's tour around the country, explain the ideas behind the NeverEndingSong.

The audio for this item has been edited from the broadcast version.

Thought for the day with Rabbi Lionel Blue.


London Midland bosses say they will meet unions to discuss the cancellation of all but one of the company's Sunday services because of a lack of drivers. Andy Thomas, operations director for London Midland, and Bob Crow, general secretary of transport union the RMT, discuss why the service relies on drivers volunteering on Sundays.


The Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, has said that nobody in the British government wanted to see the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbasset al-Megrahi. He was responding to claims made by the shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, that the government had made a "very partial U-turn" after Gordon Brown confirmed that the UK will support compensation claims being made against Libya by IRA victims' families.


The government is to make it easier for private sponsors to take over and run English state schools, in a bid to speed up its academies programme. Children's Secretary Ed Balls discusses whether extra spending on academies has had a divisive impact on other local schools.


There was a time when crime reporters were a kind of brash aristocracy of Fleet Street, providing gory stories from murder scenes and telling the tale of the villains whose trail they followed. Author Duncan Campbell and former Scotland Yard detective Mark William-Thomas discuss whether the age of the gritty crime reporter has passed.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Men working in the UK's financial sector receive five times more in bonus payments than women, according to a survey of 44 leading companies. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, discusses the continuing gender disparity in pay and debates the calls for him to resign his leadership.


Is the tone of public debate getting nastier? Authors David Denby and Toby Young discuss the term "snark" - a style of language encouraged by the new hybrid world of print, television, radio, and the internet.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Understanding the brain has long been an enormous challenge to scientists. Today presenter Evan Davis is taking part in an experiment on BBC series Bang Goes the Theory to find out whether computer based brain training games actually work. He visited the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge to have the "before" brain scan and to understand the progress being made using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. In six weeks time, he will have a second scan to see whether brain training has made a difference.


Chris Evans is to replace Sir Terry Wogan as Radio 2's breakfast DJ, the veteran broadcaster has announced. The 71-year-old broke the news to his listeners just after this morning's 0800 news bulletin, calling it "the hardest thing I have ever done".


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