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Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010
Today: Thursday 28th January

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The future of Afghanistan is to be considered at an international conference in London. In an interview for this programme President Karzai has made clear he thinks foreign troops will be needed for many years to come.

Corruption and political trust are high on the agenda at an international conference looking at the future of the country. $2.5bn was paid in bribes in Afghanistan last year alone. Radio 4 presenter Martha Kearney reports from Kabul on how corruption is affecting political trust.

World figures are meeting in London today to consider the future of Afghanistan and how to deal with the level of corruption that plagues the country. Ahead of the conference, Gordon Brown and President Karzai speak to James Naughtie about accusations of corruption in the presidential election.

Afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to leading anti-corruption NGO Transparency International. Sir Edward Clay, a former British High Commissioner in Nairobi who spoke out against government corruption, gives his opinion of how corruption can be beaten when many believe that the president and his supporters stole the first round of last year's presidential elections.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Vladimir Jurowski, the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, is introducing rules-free concerts to open up classical music to a younger audience. This week he will conduct the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the Roundhouse, London, a venue best known for pop concerts and noisy happenings. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge took a look at the rehearsals.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

In his first State of the Union address, President Obama has said that that creating jobs will be his number one focus. The speech comes at a time of political difficulty for the Obama administration after losing a crucial US Senate seat. North America editor Mark Mardell watched the speech with US voters.

A member of the Iraq War inquiry has spoken publicly about what he says is the antisemitism which greeted his appointment to the Chilcot committee. Sir Martin Gilbert made the comments to internet radio station, Israel National Radio. Middle East correspondent Tim Franks outlines the accusations.

The paper review.

Have you ever heard of a red and yellow dinosaur? For the first time scientists have been able to determine what colour dinosaurs used to be from evidence left in fossilised remains. The Sinosauropteryx, a meat eater that lived in China, was found to be orange with white stripes on its tail. Anthony Browne, renowned illustrator and the sixth Children's Laureate, considers what the discovery will mean for dinosaur pictures in children's books.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Angela Tilby, Vicar of St Benet's Church in Cambridge.

The number of students from disadvantaged areas awarded a place at the top universities has risen, according to new research. As government policies continue to widen access to higher education for poorer students, John Selby of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and Professor Steve Smith, president of Universities UK, examine whether the pressure of university funding cuts will fall onto middle income families.

The Afghan conference in London hopes to pave a way for a stable government and out of the conflict that has lasted nearly nine years. Corruption, trust and the incorporation of the Taliban into the government are all questions to be addressed over the next few days. Gordon Brown and President Karzai discuss their hopes for the conference and the future of Afghanistan.

A chocolate exhibition is being held in China's Olympic stadium this week. In a drive to change laws allowing the eating of dog meat, Chinese authorities are promoting the silky western pleasures of chocolate in extravagant ways. Beijing correspondent Damian Grammaticus took a walk around the Chocolate Dream Park.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

It is the second day of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos where the world's top business leaders and politicians are meeting to consider the future of the banking system. Evan Davis spoke to HSBC chief Stephen Green about the future of the bank.

How would you define your identity - white, black, gay, disabled? Tick-boxes are becoming increasingly meaningless according to the Institute for Public Policy. It found that the current approach to identification gives a simplistic and sometimes false picture of disadvantage, exclusion and inequality. Simon Fanshawe, the report's co-author and a writer, comedian and gay rights campaigner, and Claude Moraes, a Labour MEP, debate the government's use of identity tick-boxes.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

It is six months since Operation Panther's Claw in the Babaji district of Helmand province concluded. It was the biggest British military operation last year and left 10 soldiers dead and many others seriously wounded. Correspondent Ian Pannell followed British forces been back to the same area to see what progress has been made.

How has the US reacted to President Obama's first State of Union address? A year after his inauguration, the president's popularity is declining and his healthcare reforms have been heavily criticised. Stryker Maguire, contributing editor of Newsweek, and Jonathan Freedland, columnist for the Guardian, assess the president's first year in office.



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