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Page last updated at 05:56 GMT, Friday, 5 August 2011 06:56 UK
Today: Friday 5th August

Turmoil on world stock markets continues with big falls in Asia overnight. Former Italian PM Romano Prodi analyses the crisis. Also on today's programme, we look at the latest evidence for life on Mars - and our fear of it.

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.

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Business news with Lesley Curwen, on market reaction to the eurozone crisis, and with today's Friday boss Michael Queen, head of the 3i investment fund.

Three months after the two main Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a unity deal, reconciliation still appears to be a struggle. Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison reports.

How does spending an extra couple of pounds on a bottle of wine affect the quality of your purchase? Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter magazine, explains paying anything less than £5 could leave a nasty aftertaste.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced its half year results. Chief executive Stephen Hester reflects on how the bank is dealing with the current stress of the global markets.

A simple test for oxygen in the blood could save the lives of children born with heart defects, because it picks up early signs that would otherwise be missed, according to a report in the Lancet. Dr Andrew Ewer, lead author of the report, explains the benefits.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

A joint investigation by the BBC and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at City University has found evidence that the Ethiopian government is using access to long term development aid as a weapon to crush internal political opposition. Angus Stickler reports.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

The Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has told President Bashar al-Assad of Syria that he will face "a sad fate" if he does not accept the need for reform. Jim Muir reports on President Assad's hold on power. And Konstantin Kosachev, member of the Russian Duma in Vladimir Putin's party and chairman of its International Affairs Committee, outlines Russia's position on the Arab Spring.

Paper review.

Economists are warning that the growing financial crisis in Europe could seriously impact the banking sector. Business editor Robert Peston considers the threat to banks and why Germany could be key to solving the problem.

Nasa is launching a spacecraft to Jupiter. Nasa project scientist Steven Leven explains what the Juno mission hopes to find.

Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet.

The government is publishing a map of local authority assets, from restaurants to golf courses, in a bid to improve their management. Communities and local government minister Eric Pickles and Peter Fleming, head of the improvement board at the Local Government Association in England, debate how the government can use its assets to benefit the community.

EU President Jose Manuel Barroso has expressed concern over "undisciplined communication" within the eurozone and the complexity of the package aimed at resolving the debt crisis. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders , Romano Prodi, former Italian prime minister and former president of the European Commission, and Olli Rehn, EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, examine Europe's response to the economic crisis.

Official Rajar figures show that radio listening has risen, and this programme now attracts more listeners than at any time in its long history. Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect Magazine, and Professor Richard Evans, president of Wolfson College, Cambridge, discuss the reason for radio's popularity and whether we are merely riding a remarkable wave of news.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

With markets fast losing confidence in the finances of Italy and Spain, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has told European leaders that "we are no longer managing a crisis just in the euro-area periphery". Former deputy governor of the Bank of England Sir Howard Davies examines the implications for the UK economy.

President Pinera of Chile is visiting the scene of the mining accident this week to mark the anniversary of the moment when 33 men were trapped by a rock fall. Jonathan Franklin, author of The 33 which is being serialised on Radio 4, recalls the drama.

Scientists say they have discovered evidence of liquid water on Mars. Science fiction writer Brian Aldiss and author and astronomer Dr David Whitehouse discuss our high expectations of life on the red planet.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

Who ran the British Empire? The Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng, author of Ghosts of Empire, and the writer Richard Gott, author of Resistance, Repression and Revolt, debate Britain's overseas rule.



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