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Page last updated at 06:46 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 07:46 UK
Wednesday 21th April

All UK airports have reopened and most of the restrictions have now been lifted. The IMF is calling for new taxes on banks to cover the cost of future bailouts. A party political broadcast; on behalf of the Clangers. And new evidence shows that training your brain does not in fact sharpen your mind.

To speed up the loading time for this running order, we have replaced the audio with links. To hear the reports, interviews and discussions, just click on the links.

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Flight restrictions due to the volcanic ash cloud are being eased. John Beddington, the government's chief scientist, outlines the reasons for ending the unprecedented halt of the whole aviation industry.

After the first leaders' debate 120,000 voter registration forms were downloaded from the Electoral Commission website. Today reporter Sanchia Berg has been looking at the figures. Jennie Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission puts the numbers in perspective.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

The leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, outlines his party's protectionist economic policies.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The industrial and business landscape of north-east England has changed almost beyond recognition in recent decades. But the recent collapse of Northern Rock was a particularly hard blow for the region. Today presenter James Naughtie examines the current state of the area's economy.

Aircraft are once more flying over the UK. The BBC's Maddy Savage provides an overview of the current situation at airports throughout the UK.

The paper review.

We have a special election broadcast by The Clangers, the stars of the much-loved iconic 1970 British children's television programme. The final last Clangers programme was broadcast on election night in October 1974. Its creator, the late Oliver Postgate, was worried by politics and economic turmoil at the time. Stephen Sylvester, one of the voices of the Clangers, takes us back in time and reflects on the parallels with today.

Thought for the day with Rabbi Lionel Blue.

The IMF is proposing a radical levy on banks and other financial institutions to finance any future rescue packages of the kind that were required after the crash of 2009. The BBC's business editor Robert Peston examines the proposals and the Work Foundation's Will Hutton analyses the proposals' viability and the impact they may have on future trading.

UK airports have re-opened. But were officials right to stop UK flights in the first place? The shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers has called for an inquiry into the ash crisis, accusing the government of being to slow to reopen UK airspace. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis describes how the decision was made to end the flight ban.

The row over MPs' expenses has haunted this election campaign. The BBC's election reporter Kevin Connolly is now in Norwich, scene of the first by-election resulting from the expenses crisis and John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University gives an insight into the voter's mind.

The election campaign has been electrified by the Clegg effect. Gordon Brown has been accused of cuddling-up to the Liberal Democrats with his now famous use of the phrase, "I agree with Nick". That is not something the Liberal Democrat leader himself is keen to entertain. Nick Robinson, our political editor, has been listening to Mr Clegg's news conference this morning.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

One of the consequences of conflicts like the Afghan campaign is the help needed by some servicemen and women who come home, often with injuries, physical and mental. James Naughtie has been hearing how two soldiers fared after leaving the army.

The results of a large scale mass-participation experiment indicates that brain exercise games do not sharpen the mind. Evan Davis was in fact one of the participants who did the exercises very religiously for six weeks. Cambridge neuroscientist Adrian Owen explains the research findings.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

This election has been dominated by the talk of opinion polls. John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, and the BBC's election psephologist, outlines recent polling trends.

The IMF has joined the chorus calling for a tax on banks. Or, two taxes in fact. One levy to raise money to cover future bailouts, plus financial activities tax, or FAT, on wages and profits. Shadow chief secretary Phillip Hammond explains the Conservatives' perspective.

How should archaeologists behave in a war-zone? Should the co-operate with the military to protect antiquities found on battlefields? Newcastle University's Dr Peter Stone and Dr Yannis Hamilakis of Southampton University, debate the question.

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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