• News Feeds
Page last updated at 06:05 GMT, Tuesday, 4 January 2011
Today: Tuesday 4th January

A major part of the government's efforts to reduce the deficit has taken effect, with VAT rising to 20%. Also in the programme, why growing numbers of white Britons are converting to Islam.

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.

Get in touch via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The leading pathologist, Professor Derrick Pounder, claims that carrying out a post-mortem on one in every five deaths in England and Wales is far too many. Professor Pounder and Dr Roy Palmer, medical secretary of the Coroners Society, discuss how effective the current system is.

Flood waters in Australia are continuing to rise, and the military are having to fly in food and medical supplies to thousands of residents in Rockhampton. Correspondent Nick Bryant made the journey into Rockhampton by boat and reports on the scene he found there. And Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter explains how the city is coping with the crisis.

VAT went up by 2.5% at midnight. Business editor Robert Peston analyses the reaction of high street companies. And Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson discusses whether the coalition's balance between tax rises and spending cuts is wrong.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The New York Times claims that Facebook has raised money from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor. Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones reports on rumours that the amount invested values the social networking website at $50bn.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

It is just short of a year since a terrible earthquake devastated Haiti, killing 230,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless. Mike Thomson, who reported from Haiti just after the earthquake, returns to find out whether the country is recovering.

Paper review.

This morning there will be a partial solar eclipse across Britain as the moon passes in front of the sun. The BBC's Alison Moss reports on the event from Felpham, near Bognor Regis.

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

Eight police forces in England and Wales are testing new ways of dealing with complaints of anti-social behaviour, following the death of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter, whose calls for help were not prioritised. Kim Langley describes her battle against anti-social behaviour. And Simon Edens, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, explains how the changes will help to stop victims from slipping through the net.

The top rate of VAT has risen from 17.5% to 20% as the government looks to boost tax revenues to cut the UK's debt levels. Tax expert John Whiting, of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, explains why the move is so attractive to the Tories. And George Osborne responds to claims that the tax raise has come at the wrong time for the UK economy.

Graham Seed's 30 year stint playing Nigel Pargetter in the Archers came to an end on Sunday night when Nigel fell off a roof. The former Archers actor speaks about happy times on the Radio 4 series.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The coalition is being criticised for creating what Labour calls a "lost generation" of young unemployed people. Professor Paul Gregg considers whether Britain's youth are being treated unfairly.

In Ivory Coast, a deputation of African leaders appears to have failed to persuade incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to step aside. Ohoupa Sessegnon, spokesman for Mr Gbagbo's Popular Front party, responds to general claims that he lost the election.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A study commissioned by the charity Faith Matters has found that an increasing number of white British people are converting to Islam. Catrin Nye, of the BBC's Asian Network, asked one convert in Birmingham why it is largely women who are changing their religion.

China is planning to cut the amount of rare earth elements that it exports in order to produce more electronic goods. Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Mark Leonard, executive director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, discuss why the United States says it is "very concerned" by the proposed limit on exports.

There are claims that the recent volatility in weather, from droughts to the floods in Australia, may all be down to La Nina. Liz Bentley, of the Royal Meteorological Society, explains its impact on weather across the globe.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific