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Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Today: Tuesday 27th October

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

New research indicates that, in the past 20 years, there has been a 70 per cent rise in the number of foetuses aborted because they have Down's syndrome. And the Czech Constitutional Court is to begin considering what could be the last legal challenge to the ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.


The number of foetuses diagnosed with Down's syndrome in England and Wales has risen by more than 70 per cent in the last 20 years. Researchers have found that more than 1800 babies had a high chance of developing the condition, but that the number of babies being born with the condition has remained static. Joan Morris, professor of medical statistics at Queen Mary, University of London, who compiled the research, and Jane Fisher, chief executive of Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC), examine the increase in the number of foetuses with Down's syndrome.


American space agency Nasa is making final preparations for the launch of its new Ares rocket, which will eventually replace the space shuttle and is hoped one day to reach Mars. Ares was commissioned by the previous White House administration and tight spending budgets are raising doubts over the future of the project. Correspondent Pallab Ghosh reports from the launch site in Florida.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Legislation has been passed in Paris to give French citizens who live abroad their own MPs. The first will be voted for in the 2012 French national elections. This would see French people living in the UK having their own MP to the French parliament. Benedicte Pavoit, UK correspondent for France 24, discusses the new legislation.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


World leaders are meeting in a few weeks to try to draw up a new agreement on limiting carbon dioxide. Lord Stern, author of a major report into climate change, is concerned that leaders are not dedicated to reducing emissions. Lord Stern examines the climate change agenda.

The paper review.


American Rapper 50 Cent has produced a book on how to get ahead in business, by overcoming your fears. 50th Law, written with Robert Greene, is based on the artist's early experiences hustling on the streets of South Queens, selling drugs. Evan Davis spoke to 50 Cent about his new book, and asked him if he finds any parallels between the world he grew up in and modern corporate life.

Thought for the day with Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations.


The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has said the civil justice system is failing. In an interview with Radio 4, Lord Judge raised grave concerns about the system and that a threat of civil disorder could escalate from the shortfall. Bridget Prentice, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, discusses Lord Judge's comments, and the civil justice system.


More babies with Down's syndrome are being aborted. The number of women deciding on abortion after being told their child has the condition is three times higher than it was 20 years ago. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge met one mother who had a positive test result and decided against having an abortion. Rob Llewellyn, consultant obstetrician in Swansea and Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, discuss why more women are choosing to abort their babies with the syndrome.


An Al Qaeda-linked Iraqi group has said it carried out Sunday's double suicide bombing in Baghdad. Correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse reports on the questions being asked about Iraq's security.


A new book has been published that examines into our language might have changed if King Harold had defeated William the Conquerer at the battle of Hastings. David Cowley, author of How We'd Talk If The English Had Won In 1066, and Professor Clive Upton, head of modern English at the University of Leeds discuss how the battle affected the English language.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), the organisation which the government has asked to look into new child protection laws, has found that many people will voluntarily decide to be ISA registered. Sir Roger Singleton, head of the ISA, discusses whether firms who do not need to be Criminal Records Board checked, will end up with a competitive edge over those that do.


Nasa is scheduled to launch the first of its prototype rockets for the new Ares rocket. Ares will replace the shuttle fleet. Cuts in the Obama administration's space spending has led to concerns over the project's future. Dr Chris Riley, science writer and documentary maker, comments on the scientific importance of Ares.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Geologists have unveiled the skull of a huge ancient reptile which has been found on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. The skull belongs to a pliosaur - a huge creature which lived around 150 million years ago. Richard Edmunds, a geologist and Earth Science manager for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, discusses the find.


The UN's Millennium development goals are due to be met by 2015. One of the goals is to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth by 75 per cent. Correspondent Lyse Doucet reports from Afghanistan, which has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world.


What is the best philosophy for to excel in business? Sir Tom Hunter, entrepreneur and philanthropist and Dr Peter Lunn, author of Basic Instincts: Human Nature and the New Economics, discuss whether goodwill or ruthlessness lead to success.



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