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Page last updated at 07:42 GMT, Saturday, 18 December 2010
Today: Saturday 18th December

Snow and ice are causing disruption across the UK with hundreds of motorists spending much of the night stranded on the M6 motorway. Senior GPs say the UK could be facing a severe outbreak of flu, because of a drop in the number of people being immunised. And is cruelty necessary in good comedy?

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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0709
Blizzards and widespread ice in many parts of the UK are causing considerable disruption, with more wintry weather forecast for the weekend. Correspondent Helen Fawkes reports from Gatwick Airport.

0712
As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to defend himself in court, his supporters say they will continue to target companies that cut links with his website. Correspondent Rajesh Mirchandani reports from the hi-tech hub of Silicon Valley in California where the BBC has been allowed into one internet firm that came under attack.

0715
Paper review.

0718
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says his country will nationalise all US and UK companies operating in the country unless Western sanctions are removed. Correspondent Karen Allen reports from Zanu-PF party's annual conference.

0722
Does the peer review system for scientific papers really work? Former editor of the British Medical Journal Richard Smith says the system has too many problems to be credible and would like to see it abandoned.

0728
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0732
The British Medical Association is warning that the seasonal flu outbreak could be particularly bad this year. Professor Dame Sally Davies, interim Chief Medical Officer for England, outlines her recommendation that those at risk ensure they are given their seasonal flu vaccination.

0736
Government figures obtained by the Today programme show that thousands of boys start secondary school only able to reach the reading standard of seven-year-olds or below. Nottingham Labour MP Graham Allen discusses what to do for children who leave primary school and cannot read properly.

0742
Paper review.

0743
Hundreds of drivers have been stranded on the M6 overnight. Jon Caudwell from the Highways Agency, outlines how snowfall is affecting UK roads.

0748
Thought for the Day with Reverend Rob Marshall, an Anglican priest.

0750
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Housing Minister Grant Shapps have been accused of behaving "like Laurel and Hardy" by a senior Liberal Democrat. Liberal Democrat MP Richard Kemp and Mr Shapps debate if Conservative ministers are not facing up to the reality of public spending cuts.

0810
The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, says he is convinced the US is preparing to indict him. Veteran journalist and Assange supporter John Pilger and Daily Telegraph columnist Janet Daley discuss why some people are prepared to support him .

0818
Snow update.

0820
The New York Times' dance critic Alastair Macaulay described the Sugar Plum Fairy in the New York City ballet's Nutcracker as looking as though she had "eaten one sugarplum too many". Chief dance critic of The Times Debra Craine and Creative Director of the Royal Opera House Deborah Bull debate whether or nor Mr Macaulay stepped over the line.

0825
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0835
Our reporter Tom Bateman witnesses the effects of heavy snow on Swansea and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond outlines the current weather prospects for the UK.

0849
The problem with England's cricket tours Down Under is that all the action takes place in the middle of the night. Commentator and Cricket Fan Nicholas Lezard discusses how his insomnia has arrived at the same as the Ashes as he sits up all night and then sleeps fitfully throughout the day.

0851
Frankie Boyle's recent comments about Katie Price and her disabled son on his Channel 4 show last week have been the subject of complaints to Ofcom. Arts editor Will Gompertz and comedians David Schneider and Alex Horne discuss whether cruelty is necessary in good comedy.




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