The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost "all credibility" over the way it dealt with paedophile priests. And a teaching union has claimed that efforts to give pupils a voice in school matters are being exploited by some head teachers.
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Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has singled out the president of Barclays, Bob Diamond, as
the "unacceptable face of the banking sector"
in his strongest attack on the City since the start of the financial crisis. Political correspondent Tim Reid outlines Lord Mandelson's comments.
threatening to launch further attacks against Gaza
after earlier this week commencing its biggest set of air strikes since the end of January 2009. Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison outlines Israel's latest offensive on Gaza.
The paper review.
A provocative liberation song, Shoot the Boer, has been
banned in South Africa by a high court judge
who ruled that the song was unconstitutional, and anyone caught singing it could be charged with inciting murder. Karen Allen reports from Johannesburg.
On the Today programme yesterday we spoke to Bob Crow, leader of the RMT union, about the High Court's decision to grant an injunction halting a four-day national rail strike. Mr Crow argued that the law on balloting is unworkable after Network Rail was granted an injunction after it alleged discrepancies in the RMT's ballot for industrial action. Tom Flanagan, a specialist in employment law at Pinsent Masons,
examines whether balloting rules restrict unions.
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.
Earlier this week the media regulator Ofcom ordered BSkyB to cut the price it charges rivals, such as BT and Virgin, to show its sports channels. Sky announced it would appeal against the decision. Torin Douglas asks if the outcome of the row
could be determined by the upcoming general election.
The paper review.
MPs have criticised
the lack of women on boards of big City companies,
suggesting that having more women in top jobs in banks and other financial services would help guard against dangerous herd mentality. India Gary-Martin, president of the City Women's Network, and Patience Wheatcroft, editor in chief of Wall Street Journal Europe, consider how to increase the number in high powered careers.
Around 6000 people in Northern Ireland
still have no electricity after Tuesday's ice storms.
Emergency relief centres have been opened to help people without heat or power. Ruth McDonald reports.
Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet.
Since the recession, the pay deals of those in the public sector including the BBC, charities, and councils, have come under closer scrutiny. Sir Andrew Foster, chairman of the Commission on 2020 Public Services, and Professor Stefano Harney, deputy director of the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary's University, examine whether
large public service salaries should be offered to lure talented people
from the private sector.
This week business leaders backed a Tory proposal to partly reverse a planned rise in Nation Insurance contributions by 1%. Geoffrey Robinson MP, businessman and former Paymaster General during Tony Blair's government, gives his opinion on how Labour will be affected by the
loss of support from some business leaders.
A government drugs advisor has resigned in protest against the decision to make the drug, mephedrone, illegal. Eric Carlin is the second member of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs to stand down this week, claiming that the recommendation to criminalise mephedrone was being rushed through and unduly based on media and political pressure. Mr Carlin, and Professor Colin Blakemore
debate the role of government science advisers.
The annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race takes place on the River Thames today, in one of the greatest battles of sportingpride. But a new book, Lords of the Sea by former Cambridge rower John Hale argues that rowing represents the foundation of democracy, describing how the rowers of the fleets of ancient Athens became the first ordinary people in history to get the vote. Mr Hale, and Deaglan McEachern, Cambridge University Boat Club President,
reflect on the importance of rowing in Ancient Greece.
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.
The Pope's personal preacher has compared allegations that the Vatican tried to stifle cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests to what he called 'the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.' Both Jewish organisations and victims of priest paedophiles have expressed outrage at the preacher's remarks, made in front of the Pope. Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet,
reacts to the comments.
The paper review.
Teachers are calling for industrial action over the increasing involvement of pupils in staff interviews and key decisions affecting schools. In England and Wales there is a legal requirement for schools to take pupils' views into account, whilst in Scotland and Northern Ireland pupils are encouraged to do so. Chris Keates, general secretary of the Teachers Union NASUWT, and Stephen Heppell of Bournemouth University,
discuss whether students have too much influence on school matters.
A headteacher who resigned after a row over the slaughter of a school lamb is to return to her post. Andrea Charman stepped down from Lydd Primary School, Romney Marsh in February after what some saw as an internet hate campaign. Michael Howard, Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe,
comments on Ms Charman's reappointment.
The Today programme is conducting a series of interviews with party elders in the run-up to Gordon Brown's expected visit to the Palace before the general election. In the first of the series, Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Liberal Democrats,
gives his opinion of the party's campaign.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has personally attacked the president of Barclays, Bob Diamond, in an interview in The Times, describing Mr Diamond as the "unacceptable face" of banking for taking a £63m salary. Barclays has reacted to the comments, stating that Mr Diamond's salary is £250,000. Business editor Robert Peston
comments on the row.
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