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Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Thursday, 7 April 2011 06:59 UK
Today: Thursday 7th April

Portugal has become the third country in less than a year to ask the European Union for emergency financial aid to tackle its debt crisis. Also in today's programme, Daniel Barenboim, on his mission to bring classical music to new audiences.

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Business news with Lesley Curwen: Portugal finally made its long awaited appeal for a bailout last night. Portuguese economist Alvaro Santos Pereira looks at how serious its financial position really is. Mark Capleton, a strategist at Societe Generale, considers why the European Central Bank may raise the cost of borrowing. And Justin Urquhart Stewart from Seven Investment Management looks at the markets.

A group of environmental charities has criticised government plans for a London to Birmingham high speed rail link as unacceptable, complaining that the line will damage important wildlife sites. Deborah Tripley, chief executive of the Environmental Law Foundation, explains the group's concerns.

Portugal has said it needs financial support from the EU, on the eve of an expected rise in interest rates by the European Central Bank. Professor Nogueira Leite an economic advisor to the one of the country's opposition parties and Gabriel Stein, Director of Lombard Street Research, give their analysis of the situation.

The funeral of Ronan Kerr, the Catholic constable murdered last weekend, was a powerful expression of cross-community anger at the recent violence in Northern Ireland. Author and historian Brian Feeney describes the mood to Today presenter Justin Webb.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

Police in New York are hunting for more victims of a serial killer who they suspect of targeting women working as prostitutes. The BBC's Laura Trevelyan reports from the normally tranquil community of Oak Beach near Long Island, which is now the focus of the police investigation.

Laurent Gbagbo is still holed up in a bunker of the presidential residence in Ivory Coast, besieged by opposition forces and insisting he was rightfully elected, despite international rejection of that claim. Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, discusses the stand off.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

The Libyan opposition has complained that Nato is not doing enough to stop attacks by Colonel Gaddafi's army, as the defenders of Yefren and Zentan fight government forces on three sides. One rebel fighter in Yefren, known simply as Aydress, voiced his disappointment to reporter Andrew Hosken, while his fellow rebel Soliman Albrassi translated.

Paper review.

A row has broken out among scientists over Astronomer Royal Lord Rees' acceptance of the £1m prize from the Templeton Foundation for a person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension. Professors Lewis Wolpert and Peter Atkins discuss his decision.

Thought for the Day with The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

Justin Webb is in Northern Ireland, where the entire nation has expressed its anger at the murder of Catholic constable Ronan Kerr by dissident republicans. John, the father of a Catholic policeman, spoke to Justin about how the murder has affected his family.

Portugal has announced that it is requesting financial support from its Eurozone partners. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders, EU affairs spokesman for Germany's CSU party Thomas Silberhorn and Stephen Bell, chief economist at the hedge fund GLC, discuss the repercussions of the move.

After 60 years of classical acclaim and hundreds of performances in the world's greatest concert halls, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim is still keen to win over new audiences. He told arts editor Will Gompertz why he wants to get classical music out of the concert hall.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

A court case alleging that the British government is responsible for the torture and abuse of suspected rebels in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s and 60s is opening in the High Court in London. Mike Thompson reports on the case, for which much of the prosecution's evidence is based on hundreds of previously secret government files.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

Teachers are striking at a school near Blackburn in Lancashire, protesting at the bad behaviour of some pupils and the lack of support in dealing with it. Laura Bicker reports from outside the gates of Darwen Vale High School. And Harry Devonport, director of education in Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, considers this highly unusual picket line.

Egypt is trying to build an independent media, following an apology by its much despised state broadcaster for its actions during the revolution. Elizabeth Smith, a former controller of English Programmes at the World Service who now runs the Transforming Broadcasting consultancy, gives her advice.

There has been an increase in the number of anti-depressants being prescribed in England, with a 40% rise between 2006 and 2010, according to data obtained by the BBC. Home editor Mark Easton analyses the figures. Ian Reid, professor of mental health at Aberdeen University, and Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, debate the trends.



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