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Page last updated at 07:21 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010
Today: Thursday 21st 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.

Access to weight-loss operations on the NHS is "inconsistent and unethical", the Royal College of Surgeons has said. And a Foreign Office minister has revealed that British counter-terrorism projects in Pakistan are being cut because of the weak pound.


Access to weight loss operations on the NHS is "inconsistent and unethical", according to the Royal College of Surgeons. Senior surgeons claim that access to the surgery is a postcode lottery. David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation's Primary Care Trust Network, discusses obesity procedures on the NHS.


The White House insists it will not abandon its plans for health care reform, after President Obama's bill took a devastating hit with the loss of a US Senate seat in Massachusetts. The Republican win reduces the Democrats' majority in the Senate to 59, making it more difficult for the bill to be passed. North America editor Mark Mardell examines the prospects for President Obama's health care reforms.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Readers of the New York Times will be charged for full access to the newspaper's website from 2011. Declining advertising revenues could force other big-name newspapers to follow its lead. Tim Luckhurst, Professor of Journalism at the University of Kent and a former editor of the Scotsman, discusses the future of newspapers.


A new film made by Aborigines in Australia is set to become a hit. The musical comedy, Bran Nue Dae, features a starry cast and is being seen as a big test of whether a film portraying Aboriginal Australia can cross over into the mainstream. Nick Bryant reports from Sydney.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.


Funding for counter-terrorism programmes in Pakistan has been cut to make up for a fall in the value of the pound, government minister Lady Kinnock has revealed. The programme faces a £110m funding gap despite Gordon Brown telling the House of Commons yesterday that terrorism on the Afghan-Pakistan border remained the number one security threat to the West. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Wallace of Saltaire comments on the revelations.

The paper review.


Tens of millions of pounds have been raised by aid appeals for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. The money has been used to buy high-energy biscuits. But staples including rice, flour and salt are still sitting in pallets at the Haiti international airport. Adam Mynott explains the supply problems.


Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee has unveiled his latest venture for the UK government, offering the public better access to official data. From today, data about everything from school performance to traffic statistics and crime figures will be on the data.gov site: people or companies can use the data as they wish. Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones explains the initiative.

Thought for the day with the John Bell of the Iona Community.


A businessman jailed for seriously injuring an intruder was released from jail yesterday after having his sentence reduced. Munir Hussain attacked the man with a cricket bat after the lives of his family were threatened by knife-wielding burglars in their home in Buckinghamshire. The Court of Appeal reduced Mr Hussain's 30-month prison term to a year, and ordered that it should be suspended for two years. Michael Wolkind QC, Mr Hussein's lawyer, discusses the outcome of the appeal.


Senior surgeons claim that access to weight loss surgery on the NHS is "inconsistent", "unethical" and a postcode lottery. The Royal College of Surgeons says that some patients, who already meet criteria set by the health watchdog Nice, are told to wait until they become more obese before they can receive operations such as gastric bands. Health correspondent Jane Dreaper outlines the accusations. Bariatric Surgeon Dr Peter Sedman and health service commentator Roy Lilley discuss how the NHS deals with obesity.


Reporter Angus Stickler spoke to Haitians living in the UK shortly after the earthquake hit, as they desperately struggled to contact their loved ones back home. Michael Philistin, who lives in London and tried to reach his grandson, discusses whether he has been able to speak to his relatives.


The nominations for this year's Bafta film awards have been announced and three movies - An Education, Avatar and The Hurt Locker - are up for eight awards each. Film critic Mark Kermode considers the nominees.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to deliver a major speech today on how the internet can spread freedom around the world. She is expected to address Google's withdrawal from China after the email accounts of human rights activists were hacked into. Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer specialising in cases against repressive governments, and Tom Watson MP, a prominent blogger who has tabled an Early Day Motion on the Google-China issue, discuss how the internet is used by rogue governments.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


An exhibition tracing the "forgotten story" of 1000 years of Muslim science will open at the Science Museum in London today. It will feature triumphs of Islamic science and technology, including a six metre-high 13th century clock, medieval medical instruments and a model of Zheng. Correspondent Nick Higham took a look at the exhibition.


Funding of counter-terrorism programmes has been cut due to the falling value of the pound, government minister Baroness Kinnock has revealed. Political correspondent Norman Smith discusses the damage to the government and Kim Howells, chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, examines the cuts.


President Obama has acknowledged in a television interview that voters in the United States are angry and frustrated. While much of the country seems to be losing faith in the president a year into his administration, his Democratic supporters want him to be more aggressive in pursuing his agenda. Reverend Al Sharpton, a leading civil rights activist and a former presidential candidate himself, comments on President Obama's falling popularity.


Unemployment has fallen for the first time in almost two years, new figures have revealed. The number of people out of work fell by 7000 to 2.46m in the three months to November, and the total number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance also fell for the second month. Richard Exell, labour market expert for the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and Katja Hall, director of employment policy at the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), discuss the fall in unemployment.



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