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Page last updated at 06:23 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 07:23 UK
Today: Wednesday 19th May

Troops in Thailand have launched a major operation against anti-government red-shirt protesters barricaded in central Bangkok. And the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, will set out what he calls the biggest shake up of the political system for nearly two centuries.

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Thai troops have launched a major operation against anti-government red-shirt protesters barricaded in central Bangkok. Correspondent Alastair Leithead reports on the latest violence from inside the protesters camp.

Police officers are to be given new powers when they charge offenders. Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation, comments on the police's reaction to the proposals.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

Wealthy students are seven times more likely than poorer students to go to the most selective universities, despite millions of pounds being spent to encourage wider participation, a new report has found. Sir Martin Harris, director of the Office for Fair Access which conducted the report, explains why disadvantaged students are less likely to study at the top universities.

The smallest water lily in the world has been saved from extinction by experts at Kew Gardens, London. Kew's director Professor Stephen Hopper, showcases the tiny flower in the Today studio.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The sporting community will later launch the official mascots for the London 2012 Olympics. Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games explains how they made their choice.

The paper review.

MPs for the new government are to be sworn in today. Today presenter James Naughtie reports from the House of Commons for the first gathering of the new MPs.

Thought for the day with Dr Indarjit Singh.

Anti-government protesters have been exchanging fire with Thai troops trying to break up their camp in Bangkok. Former Thai senator Meechai Viravaidya gives his thoughts on the crisis.

The new Home Secretary Theresa May is to announce plans to restore some charging powers to police officers, which will reduce the number of times police have to refer to the Crown Prosecution Service. Ms May outlines the new proposals, and discusses the future of the Human Rights Act.

European stock markets have slumped in reaction to Germany's ban on the naked short selling of shares. Business editor Robert Peston examines the affect of the move on financial markets.

Africa is marking its debut as host of the World Cup tournament by holding a live concert featuring some of Africa's most celebrated musicians. Among those performing are Amadou and Mariam, a blind couple from Mali who have become one of Africa's most successful bands. Today presenter Sarah Montague spoke to the couple about what the World Cup means for Africa.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The government is to implement the Tories' Big Society idea, including a national citizen service for 16-year-olds and a bank to help finance neighbourhood groups. Nat Wei, founder of Teach First and who is to lead the Big Society project, discusses the initiatives.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) today publishes its annual review outlining details of the cases and volume of complaints it has addressed. The body has frequently been criticised for failing to tackle the more excessive behaviour of the press. The commission's chair Baroness Peta Buscombe, explains the work of the PCC.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

Chris Hogg reports that Thai protests are "far from over" despite leaders' surrender.

London is to get its first "pensioners' playground" later today. Based in Hyde Park it will feature fitness equipment designed to provide exercise for the over 60s. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge took a look at the new project.

The Olympic mascots will today start their journey in the North of England as they make their way down to London for the games. Jim White, columnist for the Daily Telegraph and Robert Opie, consumer historian of the Museum of Brands in London, discuss the significance of mascots.



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