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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Today: Wednesday 27th January

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The gap between rich and poor is wider now than 40 years ago, a government-commissioned panel has reported. And the former attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, will tell the Chilcot inquiry today why he advised that going to war in Iraq would be legal.

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider now than it was 40 years ago, according to a National Equality Panel report. John Hills, the panel's chair and Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, explains its findings.

The government's chief legal adviser at the time of the Iraq invasion is to appear before the Chilcot inquiry today. Lord Goldsmith will set out his decision for advising that the invasion would be legal, a day after two former Foreign Office lawyers told the inquiry the war breached international law. Correspondent Peter Hunt sets the scene for Lord Goldsmith's appearance.

In a landmark move, landowners and leading conservationists have issued a joint statement on the future of farm subsidies. It calls for more money to be paid to farmers for looking after the countryside and promoting biodiversity instead of food production. Rural affairs correspondent Jeremy Cooke examines the proposals.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

President Obama is to deliver his first state of the union speech tonight, and is expected to explain why unemployment is so high despite billions of dollars being pumped into the economy. Some Americans believe that the money is not being spent properly and that government-led solutions do not work. North America editor Mark Mardell reports from Baltimore.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The gap between rich and poor is wider now than it was 40 years ago, according to a new government-commissioned report. The National Equality Panel found that in areas such as neighbourhood renewal, taxation and education, policy action was needed to limit inequality. Theresa May, shadow minister for women and equalities, discusses the Tories' equality policies.

The paper review.

World leaders, CEOs and prominent economists are arriving in Davos this week for the annual World Economic Forum. Disputes over how best to reform the global financial system are set to dominate the talks. Evan Davis spoke to Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank, about the forum and President Obama's banking system proposals.

Thought for the day with the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

All-party talks on the devolution of judicial powers to Northern Ireland are set to continue following the latest session which broke up late last night. Northern Ireland political editor Mark Davenport reports on the latest negotiations.

President Karzai is to outline plans to re-integrate Taliban fighters into Afghan society and government at a conference in London tomorrow. A news conference under the theme "Afghan Women Leader's Priorities for Afghanistan Stabilization and Reconstruction" is being held ahead of the main meeting. Wazhma Frogh, an Afghan womens' human rights campaigner who was awarded the U.S. Department of State International Woman of Courage Award in 2009, discusses how the role of women is integral to Afghanistan's development and her fears about the Taliban.

The gap between rich and poor is wider now than it was 40 years ago, according to a National Equality Panel report. Labour has made tackling inequality a priority, narrowing the gender pay gap and increasing educational achievement for some ethnic minorities, but the report indicates that the gap in earnings has increased. Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality and Labour's deputy Leader, assesses the report's findings and Labour's policies on tackling inequality.

Is Calais part of England? An open invitation for all London 2012 Olympic athletes to base themselves and train in Calais has been made by the chairman of the Pas-de-Calais regional council. Diana Hounslow, the region's head of tourism, and Robert Tombs, history professor at St John's College, Cambridge, discuss whether the French feel an affinity with their British neighbours.

Peter Aldridge of 4th Battalion, The Rifles, was named earlier this week as the 250th British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. He was under the command of Major Richard Streatfeild who has been sending the Today programme regular reports of his deployment in Helmand province. In his latest despatch, Major Streatfeild pays a personal tribute to Rifleman Aldridge.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Leading British civil servants have called for an urgent change in the way the business of government is conducted. The Better Government group, which includes the former cabinet secretary Lord Butler, Sir John Chilcot, and the former permanent secretary at the ministries of defence and work and pensions, Sir Richard Mottram, are publishing a report today calling for better targeted legislation, fewer government initiatives, and more transparency over tax and spending. Sir Richard outlines the group's proposals.

All patients admitted to hospital should be assessed for dangerous blood clots, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice). It says new guidelines on deep vein thrombosis covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, could save thousands of lives. Professor Tom Treasure, chairman of the Nice guideline development group, discusses the recommendations.

UN development projects in Gaza are being stalled by Israel's blockade of the region. Despite months of intensive negotiations, 26 United Nations building projects, including schools and health clinics, remain unfinished because construction materials are unable to get through. Middle East correspondent Tim Franks, reports on how the UN is changing its tactics to tackle the restrictions.

The gap between rich and poor is wider now than it has been for the past 40 years, according to National Equality panel report. Labour has made tackling inequality a priority and while some policies have reduced inequality, large gaps still exist. David Laws, Liberal Democrat spokesman for children, schools and families, outlines his party's equality policies.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The London Afghan Conference takes place tomorrow and among those attending is the Afghan Finance Minister, Dr Omar Zakhilwal. Accusations of corruption are threatening President Karzai's administration. Dr Zakhilwal discusses how he will tackle corruption and gives his opinion of Afghanistan's policy of negotiating with moderate Taliban elements.

This is an extended version of the broadcast discussion.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place today. The battle to bring Nazi war criminals to justice is still being fought. Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel Office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, describes his efforts to track down a list of more than 400 Nazis still at large, detailed in a new book entitled Operation Last Chance.



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