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Page last updated at 07:19 GMT, Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Today: Wednesday 2nd February

President Mubarak has told the Egyptian people he will stand down - but not yet. President Obama has told him change must begin now. People in parts of Queensland are being urged to flee a top category cyclone that's heading their way. Also in today's programme, can food succeed where international diplomacy has failed? We visit the restaurant which serves food from trouble spots around the world.

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In business, with EMI being taken over by Citigroup, PWC's Peter Spratt and Chris Cooke from the music news website, CMU Daily look at what is next for the music giant. We return to European Commission's consultation on reform of the financial services with analysis from MEP for Wales Dr. Kay Swinburne and Stuart Fraser from the Corporation of London and City-UK and JM Finn's Brian Tora reflects on the markets.

Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak has said he will not stand for election in September after over a week of violent protests on the streets. But is it too little too late? Wael Nawara of the liberal party El Ghad and our Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen analyse the situation.

US drug maker Pfizer has announced plans to close its major UK research centre in a move that will effect up to 2,400 jobs. The company says it has nothing to do with the UK's science policy but Labour's shadow Business Secretary John Denham disagrees.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Councils in England could save as much as £7bn a year by using fewer buildings and merging their back-room offices, according to an inquiry led by Conservative MP Matthew Hancock. He discusses the findings with vice chair of the Local Government Association Liberal Democrat Richard Kemp.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

What do the protests in Egypt mean for the wider region? The Today programme's James Naughtie reports from Lebanon, the crossroads of the Middle East, where he will be hearing from Yemen, Jordan and Israel on how these Arab countries are viewing the unfolding events.

Paper review.

The Australian state of Queensland is bracing itself for a cyclone, which officials are saying could be the most powerful ever to hit the country. Australia correspondent Nick Bryant reports.

Thought For The Day with Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian.

The closure of drug company Pfizer's UK base in Kent has dismayed the science community. It has resulted in not just a loss of 2,400 jobs but also has wider implications for the research sector. Dr Richard Pike, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Science Minister David Willetts discuss the closure.

The announcement by president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak that he will not stand for re-election in September has been met with hostility by the crowds of protesters still on the streets. The BBC's Kevin Connolly has been getting reaction from Tahrir Square in Cairo. And newly appointed Finance Minister Dr Samir Radwan explains how the government will react to the continued pressure.

Northern Queensland is bracing itself for what is being described as the most powerful storm ever to hit the Australian state. Dr Simon Smith, a doctor working in Cairns, describes his fears as the cyclone approaches.

Can food succeed where international diplomacy has failed? Jonny Dymond reports from a restaurant in Pittsburgh serving food for thought from hostile countries.

Sport with Garry Richardson.

Will the Egyptian protests spread to the rest of the Middle East? Today presenter James Naughtie has been finding out the mood on the ground in Lebanon, which itself is in the middle of a political upheaval.

The government is to plough an extra £400m into mental health provision in a bid to put it on an equal footing with physical health and to shift the focus from medication. But are busy family doctors the best people to implement this strategy? Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, gives her thoughts.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Nasa is releasing the latest findings from its search for planets in the "Goldilocks Zone" of solar systems where water could exist in its liquid state. Physicist Dr Arfon Smith, from the Department of Physics at Oxford University, discusses the prospects of finding earth-like planets.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has just been awarded an honorary degree from the University of the Free State, long seen as a bastion of Afrikaner nationalism. Southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen reports on a new air of conciliation at the university.

Following President Mubarak's announcement that he will stand down in September, much now appears to rest now on Egypt's new vice-president, General Omar Suleiman. Dr Stephen Cohen, founder of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development (IMEPD), who spoke to Gen Suleiman this week, analyses the next moves in Egypt's political crisis.

Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for more than 30 years, has said he will not seek to extend his presidency at the end of his term. The wave of protests that began in Tunisia seems to be having a "domino effect" in the Arab world. The BBC's Frank Gardner knows the region well and analyses the current state of play in the region.


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