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Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 07:27 UK
Today: Wednesday 14th April

The Liberal Democrats are to present their manifesto today, setting out how the party plans to create a "fairer Britain". And 67 people have died and others are trapped under rubble after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Qinghai province in China.

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The first televised leaders' debate of the election campaign is to be aired tomorrow, under a growing sense of voter dissatisfaction. John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, assesses the parties' campaigns so far.

The fate of Manchester United could be decided this week as the Red Knights Strategy Group meets to discuss plans to takeover the debt-hit club. The consortium of 30-40 wealthy investors could sign a deal outlining a new ownership model for the team to buy off the current owners. BBC sports editor David Bond outlines the possible deal.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

At least 300 people have died and thousands are feared hurt after a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck China's Qinghai province. Francis Markus, spokesman for the Red Cross in Sichuan where 90,000 people were killed in a huge earthquake in 2008, comments on the challenges facing rescue teams.

How has Britain changed in the 13 years since Labour came to power? Binge-drinking has become an increasing problem particularly on weekend nights in city centres. In the first of a series of reports investigating how British society has changed in the past decade, John Humphrys speaks to Sir Ian Blair, former Metropolitan police commissioner, about the pressure police face in tackling alcohol-related crime.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The second of three reviews into climate change emails from the University of East Anglia will be published later today. The emails caused uproar after appearing to show scientists tampering with data supporting the theory of climate change. Environment analyst Roger Harrabin outlines the latest review, and Tom Burke, visiting Professor of environmental science and technology at Imperial College, examines how the emails have affected attitudes to climate change.

The paper review.

The election debate has so far mainly focussed on the budget deficit and how best to boost the economy. One way would be re-orient the economy towards manufacturing, exports and investment. Evan Davis spent the day in Manchester, looking for signs that the transition of our economy is underway.

Thought for the day with Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations.

The Liberal Democrats launch their manifesto this morning, aiming to make Britain "fairer" and to present the "tough choices" the country faces. Danny Alexander, the party's manifesto co-ordinator, outlines the party's commitments.

Over the course of the election campaign, the Today programme will be investigating the big trends in British society over the past 13 years, and how the trends have influenced the choices that politicians have made on our behalf. In the first in a series of reports, John Humphrys visited Cardiff on a Saturday night , to see how the government has attempted to tackle the rise in binge-drinking. Ben Page, chief executive of pollsters Ipsos Mori, assesses how social environment issues rank in voters' priorities.

The Conservatives launched their election manifesto yesterday, pledging to break-down the power of central government to hand greater control of how we are governed to the public through local referendums, allowing parents to start their own schools and to introduce directly-elected police commissioners. Jonathan Tonge, professor of politics at the University of Liverpool, and Phillip Blond, director of independent public policy think-tank ResPublica, examine whether localism improves society.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Tories want parents to be able to set up their own schools. The same approach has been adopted in the US and Sweden, with mixed results. Tim Harford, Radio 4's More or Less presenter and Today programme number cruncher for the election, and Mike Gibbons, chief executive of the Richard Rose Federation which runs some academies, examine the pros and cons of charter schools.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

As the parties battle out their economic policies of how best to make us richer, should they be focussing on what makes us happier? Francois Lelord, author of the international bestselling novel Hector and the Search for Happiness, and AC Grayling, professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, examine how politicians aim to increase our happiness.

The musical Hair is celebrating its opening night in the West End this evening. The muscial which deals with pacifism, sexuality, nudity, race and class was seen as very controversial when first released in the 1960s. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, co-producer of the current production, and Dame Ann Leslie, veteran foreign correspondent at the Mail, discuss the show's cultural significance.

The constituency of Colne Valley is a three way marginal seat and will be hotly battled over the coming weeks. Labour won the seat by only 6000 votes in the last election. The constituency's prospective parliamentary candidates for the three main parties, the Conservative's Jason McCartney, Labour's Debbie Abrahams, and the Liberal Democrat's Nicola Turner, debate their parties' policies.

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.


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