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Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010
Today: Saturday 6th February

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Arms trade campaigners have criticised the out of court settlement between defence group BAE Systems and British and US authorities. And explosives have been found in a popular tourist resort in Portugal.

Livingston MP Jim Devine has said he is "absolutely devastated" at being charged by police for falsely claiming parliamentary expenses. The Crown Prosecution Service announced that the Labour politician had been accused of dishonestly claiming for cleaning services and stationery. Political correspondent Ross Hawkins outlines the charges against Mr Devine.

Arms Trade campaigners have criticised the out of court settlement reached between the UK's biggest defence manufacturer BAE Systems and British and US authorities. The firm is to pay £280m in fines over investigations into whether it paid bribes in Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. Kaye Stearman, from the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, reacts to the case.

After nine weeks of public evidence, the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war is reaching the end of its first phase of hearing witness statements. Correspondent Peter Hunt considers the week's testimony and the differing recollections of two former Cabinet ministers, John Reid and Clare Short.

The paper review.

David Chaytor MP has put forward a bill to increase the scrutiny powers of local councils. Shortly after making the recommendation he was informed that the Crown Prosecution Service would press charges over his parliamentary expense claims. Parliamentary Correspondent, Mark D'Arcy reports on yesterday's events in parliament.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Do crime statistics provide an accurate account of crime in the UK? This week the Conservatives used inaccurate figures which had been influenced by a change in recording methods in 2002. Roger Graef, documentary film-maker and criminologist, and Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, consider the reliability of crime figures.

The paper review.

The Tea Party movement in the US is holding its first national convention this week, and former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin will feature as a special keynote speaker. The movement has played a significant role in influencing anti-Obama public opinion in the US. Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican Governor of New Jersey and co-chair of the moderate Republican group the Republican Leadership Council, comments on the rise in the movement.

The John Terry affair has shone a light on the strange off-the-pitch world of footballers and their WAGs. But is what we see in the press an accurate depiction of the life of a footballer? Alison Kervin, a former sports journalist who has spent time with footballers' partners, describes what life is like for a WAG.

Thought for the day with Brian Draper.

A new discovery this week found that some patients in a persistent vegetative state are in fact conscious and able to answer questions by thinking. The findings raise further ethical issues on the treatment of brain-damaged patients. Helen Gill, a consultant on Low Awareness States at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, and Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University, consider the implications of the findings on the care for brain-damaged patients.

British and US forces are preparing to launch an offensive against the last remaining Taliban stronghold in Helmand. Operation Moshtarak, which means "together" in Pashtun, will aim to remove 1000 Taliban fighters from the Marjah and Nad-e-Ali areas of central Helmand. Colonel Richard Kemp, who commanded British troops in Afghanistan in 2006, and Robert Fox, defence correspondent for the Evening Standard, examine the operation.

A new collection of poems by the hard-drinking US writer Charles Bukowski is being published. The California-based writer famed for his work about low-life America died in 1994. John Martin, Mr Bukowski's US publisher, and British author Howard Jones, reflect on the poet's life and works.

England captain John Terry has been sacked from his position following revelations about his private life. Manager Fabio Capello said he made the decision based on the effect the revelations would have on the whole squad. Matthew Syed, columnist for the Times, and former England table tennis player, gives his opinion of the sacking.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The UK's biggest defence manufacturer BAE Systems has been fined £280m in an out of court settlement over investigations into whether it paid bribes in Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. The majority of the money will be paid to the US where BAE admitted misleading the authorities in relation to its controversial £40bn al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Britain's Serious Fraud Office dropped its investigation over the same deal in 2006 on the grounds that the investigation was threatening Britain's national security. Former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith comments on the outcome.

Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, has said a deal could be agreed on the exchange of uranium from other countries including Russia and France. Mr Mottaki made the comments at a security conference in Munich. Defence and security correspondent Nick Childs reports on the latest developments in the Iranian nuclear row.

The paper review.

The MPs expenses scandal looks set to continue after three Labour MPs and a Tory peer facing criminal charges over their expenses claims are to appeal against the charges. Flora Watkins reports from Thanet North where Tory MP Roger Gale successfully appealed against repaying some of his expenses.

Following the scientific discovery this week that patients in a vegetative state could in fact be able to think and communicate, the Today programme spoke to a woman who's mother has been in a vegetative state for four years. She describes how she feels about her mother's condition.

Some scientists are questioning the environmental cost of owning a pet, saying that pet lovers have a higher carbon footprint than people without pets. There are an estimated 20m domestic cats and dogs in the UK. Dr John Barrett, research associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute, York University, and Tony Juniper, an environmental campaigner, consider the environmental impact of man's best friends.



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