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Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Monday, 7 March 2011
Today: Monday 7th March

Rebel forces in Libya have been forced to pull back after fighting near the strategically important oil town of Ras Lanuf. Also in the programme, the man who hopes he will be able to keep his own voice once motor neurone disease takes his power of speech away.

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Business news with Adam Shaw.

Chris Patten, the man set to become the BBC's new chairman, will be questioned in Parliament this week. The former cabinet minister and director of the Institute for Government, Lord Adonis, explains concerns that there is no way for MPs to block the appointment, should they find him wanting.

Lung cancer rates in women over 60 have doubled since the 1970s, but have improved for men, according to new research from Cancer Research. Jean King, the organisation's director of tobacco, analyses the findings.

Forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi have mounted strong counter-offensives as they try to retake Libyan towns controlled by the rebels. From Misurata, Mohammed Bin Rasali, from the civil committee running the town, describes what happened when Gaddafi forces attacked. And Jeremy Bowen explains why it is hard to get a clear picture of the situation.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Chancellor has hinted at the possibility of cutting fuel duty in the next Budget, as the price of petrol hits £1.35 a litre or more. Donald Hirsch from the Centre of Social Policy at Loughborough University, and John Whiting, tax director at the Chartered Institute for Taxation, discuss who is affected most by rising fuel costs and the impact that altering duty might have on the Treasury.

It could take months to find and identify the remaining bodies of victims from the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Phil Mercer outlines why the aftermath of disasters take such a long time to sort out.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

David Cameron says the Budget will be focussed on growth, with entrepreneurs rather than government funding the key to bringing us out of our current economic situation. As part of that drive, Business Secretary Vince Cable explains how he aims to boost the economy.

Paper review.

The trial begins today of the former French president Jacques Chirac on charges that he misused public funds while he was the mayor of Paris, using money to support his own party. From Paris, Christian Fraser examines the controversial case.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College at Durham University.

Questions have been raised over the suitability of Prince Andrew's position as a trade envoy, in light of his friendship with a convicted child sex offender. Labour's former Foreign Office minister, Chris Bryant, and Royal historian Hugo Vickers debate if the Duke should remain in his role .
British scientists have developed a highly-advanced computer programme that can pinpoint the very early stages of Alzheimer's in a matter of hours rather than months. John Wright, who has Alzheimer's, tells his story and Simon Lovestone, consultant in old age psychiatry at Maudsley Hospital, discusses how the findings will help people tell the disease from mere signs of old age.

Libyan government forces are advancing towards the oil port of Ras Lanuf, checking the rebels' westward progress. The BBC's John Simpson analyses conflicting reports from different parts of Libya. Professor Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, and Oliver Miles, former UK ambassador to Libya, analyse the role of UK diplomacy during the rebellion.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Last week on the Today programme, Margaret Atwood suggested that TV dinners were a thing of the past. The Guardian columnist Zoe Williams and Jean Seaton, professor of media history at Westminster University, debate her claim and consider whether it is the PC dinner that has now encroached on our table time.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Of all the catchphrases dreamed up by what we once called "new" Labour, perhaps the most resonant of all was "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime." Now the party's shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan, considers whether they were, in the end, too tough.

A 43 year-old man from Bolton who has motor neurone disease could become the first person in the UK to use a speech synthesiser of his own voice. Sally Williams reports on Laurence Brewer, who wanted so much to be able to communicate with his son that he is now recording hundreds of phrases so his speech patterns can be synthesised.

The Romantic Novelists' Association hold their annual awards ceremony tonight, and many of the nominees feature royal love stories. Jenny Haddon, of the Romantic Novelists' Association and author of How to Marry a Prince, and Nicholas Tucker, author of the Rough Guide to Children's literature, consider why fairy-tale princesses have such an enduring appeal.



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