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Page last updated at 06:46 GMT, Monday, 3 May 2010 07:46 UK
Today: Monday 3rd May

President Obama has described the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster. Police in New York say they're looking for a middle-aged white man in connection with the failed car bomb attack on Times Square. And Boris Johnson discusses the world's oldest political pamphlet.

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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Two more opinion polls have put the three biggest parties within 5% of each other, with the Conservatives in front, seeming to confirm a picture that has been taking shape over the last couple of weeks. Ben Page, chief executive of the pollsters Ipsos-Mori, analyses what all the numbers mean.

President Obama is to visit the US Gulf coast today as a large oil spill heads towards four states. Incident operations coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Doug Helton, discusses the possible scale of the disaster.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A financial rescue package has been agreed to enable the Greek economy to carry on without defaulting on its debts. But does this leave the country locked into an age of austerity without a key? The BBC's Europe editor Gavin Hewitt has been gauging reaction in Athens.

In some parts of North-East England, the public sector accounts for well over half the total number of jobs and it's a figure of which politicians will be mindful, knowing that they will have to cut public spending after the election. Correspondent Kevin Connolly reports from Morpeth in Northumberland where politicians are fearful of alienating a vast body of potential voters who live and work there.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The role of the state and the size of the state has been one of the key dividing lines in this election. Communities Secretary John Denham discusses how the state of the public finances may mean the scaling-back of targets for public services.

The paper review.

The Romans produced their first handbook on electioneering 2000 years ago and was written by Cicero's brother Quintus in the first century BC. London Mayor Boris Johnson and classics professor Mary Beard discuss how some of the strategies for winning over voters are eerily familiar.

Thought for the day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.

The eurozone countries and the IMF have agreed a loan worth more than £95bn to save Greece from bankruptcy. Wolf Klinz, a German member of the European Parliament, discusses how in return for the bailout package, Greece will be expected to make severe spending cuts.

Shadow Education Secretary Michael Gove discusses how the role of the state has been one of the key dividing lines of the election.

On the very day that the World Snooker Championship is decided, at the Crucible in Sheffield, the reigning champion, John Higgins, finds himself suspended from the sport. Former chief executive of Liverpool Rick Parry explains how there is a potentially lucrative business in match-fixing in sport.

Until recently, unkind political wonks have considered the Liberal Democrats to be a bit of a political joke, and have saddled them with a sandal-wearing, guitar-strumming hippy image. The author Will Self investigates them as they experience a surge in popularity and reports on whether it is time to re-examine the nature of the modern Liberal Democrats.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The role of the state has been one of the key dividing lines in this election. Liberal Democrat David Laws discusses his party's view of the ideal balance between state and society.

Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to a 110 billion-euro rescue package for Greece to prevent a default and stop the worst crisis in the currency's 11-year history from spreading through the rest of the currency bloc. Greek MP Liana Kanelli from the Communist Party outlines her view that the situation in Greece is not an economic crisis but a disaster.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

President Obama says that he holds BP fully responsible for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which he said was potentially an "unprecedented environmental disaster". Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs Richard North and senior climate advisor for Greenpeace Charlie Kronick, debate the long-term effect of the oil spill on wildlife, fisheries, and the tourism industry.

With all the talk of a hung parliament, minority governments, no clear majority, and the obvious fact that the next government is going to have to take some tough decisions on spending and taxation, we come to the question of mandate. Biographer of Tony Blair Anthony Seldon and historian and journalist Peter Hennessy, discuss what the government will need to do in order to carry forward its programme in difficult times.

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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