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Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010
Today: Monday 18th January

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 United Nations Secretary General has spoken of Haiti facing a crisis on the scale of the 2004 Asian tsunami which killed more than 200,000 people. And new research suggests that the gap between the UK's richest and poorest cities has widened during the economic downturn.


Aid has begun reaching those in need in Haiti, but some relief organisations have complained that a bottleneck at Port-au-Prince airport - which is now controlled by US officials - is preventing deliveries from getting through. Caroline Gluck from Oxfam describes how those working for relief agencies are living themselves, and organising the delivery of help in such a chaotic environment.


Somali pirates have been fighting over a huge ransom paid to free a Greek-flagged oil tanker. Will Geddes, managing director of the London-based firm International Corporate Protection, analyses why the tanker has yet to be freed.


This week President Obama will have been in the White House for a year. Opinion polls show Americans sharply divided on his first year in office. Our North America Editor Mark Mardell has been to the president's Obama's adopted home town of Chicago to see if black Americans share the disappointment reflected in the polls.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.


The big banks are set to announce their multi-billion dollar bonus pay-outs. Lord Myners, the Financial Services Secretary, discusses the bonus plans.

The paper review.


It is more than a year since the Israeli attack on Gaza known as Operation Cast Lead was ended. But Gaza has been under an economic blockade since Hamas took control there. Edward Stourton describes the situation there now.

Thought for the day with Rabbi Lionel Blue.


The UK Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society for Public Health are launching their 12-step public health manifesto, calling all the major political parties to put steps such as banning smoking in cars with children, proactive chlamydia screenings for university and college freshers and banning the use of transfats on top of their agendas for the general election. Prof Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health and Geoff Mulgan, director of the Young Foundation, discuss the measures.


Food and water are finally reaching some parts of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, but relief efforts are being slowed by bottlenecks. Large numbers of earthquake survivors are having to fend for themselves. Mike Thomson is in Haiti.

Suspected Taliban militants have launched an attack in the Afghan capital Kabul, setting off explosions and sparking a gun battle. Allan Little reports from Kabul.

The battle for middle-class votes seems to be on, judging by today's announcements from Labour and the Conservatives. Our political editor Nick Robinson has been looking at them.

Today is Martin Luther King Day and for African Americans in particular it is a day to reflect on King's legacy. Within the African American community, there's a simmering debate over a new film, Precious, which opens in Britain next week. Tom Brook reports on the film and the controversy surrounding it.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

The Conservatives are setting out their plans to improve the education system today as part of their election manifesto. David Cameron is expected to say that a Tory government would make it easier for "high flying professionals" to move into teaching. Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove outlines the plans.

Edward Stourton has been in Gaza a year on from the Israeli offensive reporting on how life is now lived there. He spoke to the Hamas political advisor Ahmed Yousef about President Obama's new approach to the region.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Today programme is currently featuring a poem written and read by each of the 10 shortlisted poets for this year's TS Eliot prize. Today's poem is by Philip Gross from his collection The Water Table.

President Obama's war crimes ambassador is speaking in London today about changes to the international criminal justice in the last few years, notably through the International Criminal Court. Ambassador Stephen Rapp assesses America's record on international criminal justice.

A fragile manuscript telling the original story of Sir Issac Newton's eureka moment, when a falling apple triggered the line of thought which resulted in the scientist's theory of gravity, is being made available to all on the internet. Keith Moore is the head of library and archives at the Royal Society.

A report for the think tank the Institute for Government, says the office of prime minister has a greater concentration of power than almost any equivalent in the developed world, but an administrative centre that is relatively weak. Dr David Halpern, a former analyst at the No 10 strategy unit, is director of research at the Institute and explains the report's findings.



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