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Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Today: Wednesday 10th March

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The former head of MI5 has claimed US intelligence services "concealed" their mistreatment of terror suspects. And reoffending by thousands of criminals serving short sentences in England and Wales costs up to £10bn a year, a new report has found.

The former head of MI5, Lady Manningham-Buller, has claimed that US intelligence services concealed the mistreatment of terror suspects from British officials, only finding out that the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded after she retired in 2007. Security correspondent Gordon Correra outlines the accusations.

On Monday the House of Commons debated how many pupils who receive free school lunches get into Oxbridge, which is used as an important indicator of social mobility. The Today programme has deployed the Financial Times' Tim Harford who presents the Radio 4 numbers programme, More or Less, to check the numbers being thrown around by the political parties in the run-up to the election. Mr Harford analyses the free school lunches data argument.

What will the criminal justice system look like in the coming age of austerity? The question is the focus of a conference being held today at King's College, London, which will publish a series of letters from academics addressed to "an incoming minister..." on what should happen to the criminal justice system. Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology and Social Work at Glasgow University and who wrote one of the letters, discusses his concerns for the future of the criminal justice system.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

Baroness Ashton will today appear before the European Parliament in Strasbourg to try and persuade MEPs that she can successfully lead the creation of a new European Diplomatic Service. Her appointment as the European Union's new foreign affairs chief has been criticised by the press and other EU politicians for lacking experience and a vision. Europe editor Gavin Hewitt reports on the challenges Lady Ashton faces.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The British Medical Association (BMA) is writing to Health Ministers calling for a suspension to place basic information about patients' health in England onto a central database. They say there has not been sufficient evaluation of the pilot scheme to make the records, which include information about allergies and prescriptions, available centrally. Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA Council, and Dr Simon Eccles, medical director for Connecting for Health, examine whether patients' Summary Care Records should be centrally available.

The paper review.

Maurice Broomfield was the foremost industrial photographer of the 1950s. His photos of British factories have a glamour and drama more usually associated with film and are seen as works of art recording a now vanished era. This year sees two exhibitions of his work in Derby and at the Pallant House gallery of modern art, Chichester. Reporter Sanchia Berg spoke to Mr Broomfield, who is now 94, about how his work captures the changes in modern British society.

Northern Rock has posted a £257.5m pre-tax loss for the last full year. Business editor Robert Peston explains the figures.

Thought for the day with Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London.

A review of climate change research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is to be carried in an effort to restore the organisation's credibility after it published errors, including most famously the suggestion that the Himalayan glaciers might be gone by 2035. The world's leading science academies, including Britain's Royal Society, will be involved in the new panel, based at the UN in New York. Martin Rees, the Royal Society's president, discusses whether coverage of climate change is damaging the public's view of its existence.

This is an extended version of the broadcast interview.

Tributes were paid yesterday to two British soldiers killed on the same day in the Sangin district, Afghanistan. The tiny region in Helmand province has become the deadliest arena for the British military. Up to 1500 British and Afghan troops are trying to protect the area of just several square kilometres. Defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt reports from Helmand province, and Brigadier Gordon Messenger, spokesman for the British military, outlines why the district is so dangerous.

Wales' first National Theatre company is about to take to the stage in a bid to remedy the country's lack of theatrical tradition. Wyre Davies reports from the rehearsals.

The US vice president Joe Biden has condemned Israeli plans to build 1600 homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Correspondent Tim Franks examines the damage to peace talks, and Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev comments on the controversy surrounding the settlements.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Treasury is set to announce the budget day in a written statement this morning as the prime minister is prepares to set out the economic battleground for the election in a speech later today. Political editor Nick Robinson outlines the challenges for the budget.

Reoffending by thousands of criminals serving short prison terms in England and Wales is costing the taxpayer up to £10bn a year, according to a new National Audit Office (NAO) report. It found that many prisoners were spending all day in their cells, rather than being engaged in training and rehabilitation. Former Home Secretary David Blunkett and former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, discuss prisoner rehabilitation.

Henry Ford attempted to build a US style model community, Fordlandia, in the heart of the Amazon jungle in the 1920s to be used as a latex plantation to source the raw material for his car tyres. The amazing tale is told in a new book, Fordlandia, by Greg Grandin, a professor of history at New York University. Prof Grandin and Dr Sarah Richardson from the University of Warwick, reflect on Ford's ambitions.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

The Large Hadron Collider is to close for a year to allow repairs to be made. Dr Steve Myers, director of accelerators and technology at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern), explains the reasons behind the shut-down.

The government's attempt to regenerate communities devastated by pit closures has been strongly criticised by the Commons Public Accounts Committee with claims that the various schemes are not providing value for money. The committee says that despite spending £630m, the government is unclear about what improvements have been made to those living in the former coalfields. Reporter Bob Walker has been talking to people in Derbyshire about what progress has been made.

Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin's right hand man during the Soviet purges, was a butcher on a mass scale, but he held a secret passion for the written word and owned a huge library. Dr Rachel Polonsky, a Cambridge academic who lived in Moscow for a decade has written a new book about the library. Dr Polonsky and Robert Service, professor of Russian History at St Antony's College, Oxford, and biographer of Trotsky, reflect on Molotov's personal library.



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