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Page last updated at 05:57 GMT, Wednesday, 20 April 2011 06:57 UK
Today: Wednesday 20th April

A new report from the King's Fund indicates that hospital waiting times in England have risen to their highest level in three years. Parcel bombs have been sent to the Celtic football club manager, Neil Lennon, as well as to a leading Scottish lawyer and a politician. Also in today's programme, is obesity infectious?

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Business news with Lesley Curwen: A compensation ruling which could see banks pay out billions of pounds to customers is due to be made in the High Court. Ben Heffer, analyst at the financial research firm Defaqto, and Paul Clark, chief executive of Charter UK, discuss what went wrong. And David Weaver, of Global Environmental Solutions and a former senior executive at BP, looks at the company's future one year after the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Download the podcast.

Several studies carried out in the US have revealed that seeing obese people around you can induce you to eat more. Margaret Campbell of the University of Colorado, one of the academics involved, explains whether obesity is infectious.

A new report from the King's Fund indicates that hospital waiting times in England have risen to their highest level in three years. John Appleby, chief economist at the Kings Fund, explains how financial constraints, including the need to find £20bn worth of efficiency savings from its protected budget, may be impacting the NHS.

Parcel bombs have been sent to three leading figures at Celtic football club, including the manager Neil Lennon. Former chairman of Celtic Michael Kelly and former first minister Henry McLeish give their reaction.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Simon Hughes, has warned his party that the upcoming local elections may be the most challenging in their history. Chief political correspondent Norman Smith reports from one of their constituencies in Lewes, East Sussex, to find out just how vulnerable the Lib Dems are.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Comparisons between the Libyan conflict and the war in Vietnam are being made, after it was announced last night that British forces are being deployed to Libya to advise opposition forces, but not to fight. Conservative MP Colonel Bob Stewart, who commanded British forces in Bosnia, and Sir Max Hastings, military historian and journalist, debate the threat of mission creep.

Paper review.

Opinion polls show that more people would currently vote "no" in the referendum on whether to change the electoral system to the Alternative Vote, which is being held in 15 days' time. YouGov's Peter Kellner explains the demographics at work and analyses why the "no" campaign has taken a clear lead.

What is it like being king? Prince William's godfather, ex-King Constantine of Greece, spoke to the BBC's royal correspondent, Peter Hunt, about what he calls the "impossible task".

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

There were two million holes dug in roads by utility companies last year, several hundred thousand of which were not completed. Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's Economy and Transport Board, and Les Guest, chief executive of the National Joint Utility Group, debate the problem.

Hospital waiting times in England have jumped to their highest rate since April 2008, according to a report by the King's Fund. Nigel Edwards, who runs the NHS Confederation, and David Flory, the NHS's deputy chief executive, discuss how £20bn of efficiency savings will be made to the protected NHS budget without further hitting patient care.

The Department of Work and Pensions has released a report suggesting that a quarter of today's children are likely to reach the age of 100. Professor Lewis Wolpert, of University College London, examines the social and economic impact of greater longevity.

It is exactly a year since the disaster at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 crew and set off the largest off-shore oil spill in US history. Tom Feilden reports from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, where scientists continue to assess the long-term damage of the spill and the legacy it has left on the environment.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Tension between France and Italy is growing, after the Italian authorities allowed Tunisian migrants to cross the border into France. Jacques Myard, French MP with Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement, and Lucio Malan, the Italian senator with Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, debate the reasons behind the dispute.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

The Syrian government has lifted its 48 year-long state of emergency, in response to growing unrest and opposition to President Bashar al-Assad. Ziad Haidar, a Syrian journalist who writes pro-government articles, and Rime Allaf, the Syrian writer and associate fellow at Chatham House, examine the potential effect of the move.

The controversial South African youth leader Julius Malema is to give evidence in a high-profile trial in Johannesburg, where he is accused of inciting race hate. Stephen Sackur reports.

A film aimed at highlighting the use of racist words in football is being circulated among fans. David Baddiel, the writer, broadcaster and comedian, and Daniel Wynne, spokesman for the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, discuss whether traditional taunts are actually meant to be harmful. This item contains language which you may find offensive.


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