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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Friday, 16 September 2011 07:21 UK
Today: Friday 16th September

Specialist divers have been unable to reach four workers trapped below ground at a mine in Swansea. Also in today's programme, as TV show Downton Abbey returns to our screens, we ask whether period dramas feed an unhealthy obsession with class.

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Business news with Dominic Laurie. Co-ordinated action by five central banks including the USA, the Eurozone, Japan and the UK has lifted stock markets around the world. The banks have offered to lend commercial banks unlimited amounts of US dollars from October until the end of the year. Tobias Blattner, European economist at Daiwa Capital Markets, explains the move. And the Friday Boss is Ian Grant, managing director of Encyclopaedia Britannica, who discusses how the books are competing with Wikipedia and the internet.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

With the party conferences set to begin, the Labour party has set out its new party agenda - The Purple Book - a collection of essays on the future of Labour policy. Former cabinet minister Tessa Jowell and Labour peer Lord Maurice Glasman comment on the direction the party now hopes to take.

Rescuers trying to reach four miners trapped underground at the Gleision Colliery near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley, have been forced to return above ground. Reporter Mark Hutchings has the latest on the rescue attempts and Plaid Cymru Assembly member for South West Wales, Bethan Jenkins, discusses how the miners' families are coping.

Six-year-old children in England are to be given a new phonics test to see whether they have grasped a basic understanding of simple words and letters. Sir Jim Rose is a former director at Ofsted who conducted a review that led up to the test. He is joined by Sheffield University's Professor Greg Brooks, a member of the European Commission high level group on literacy, to assess how effective the test will be.

Business news with Dominic Laurie.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is to deliver a speech explaining the decision to seek full membership at the UN next week. Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen outlines whether the application is likely to be approved.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The large nations at the heart of Europe such as Germany and France have been debating what should be done about the euro and the wider issue of European integration. In the eastern European nations that have recently joined the EU, the debate looks different, as Justin Webb found in Romania.

A review of the papers.

Researchers in Canada have discovered dinosaur feathers that have been perfectly preserved in amber and provide the most complete story of feather evolution ever seen. Alberta University's Dr Ryan McKellar who led the team that made the discovery, describes what the feathers reveal about dinosaur life.

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

Overseas doctors who come to the NHS have "little or no preparation" for working in the UK, according to a new report published by the NHS doctor regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC). It also says those trained under different cultural and professional standards need more support. The GMC's chief executive Niall Dickson, outlines what changes should be made to ensure foreign doctors meet UK professional standards.

Attempts to rescue four miners trapped underground have so far failed after specialist divers who entered the flooded mine were forced to turn back. So far no contact has been made with men who are trapped 90m (295ft) underground at a mine in the Swansea Valley. Wayne Thomas is an official with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in south Wales. He spoke about the continuing rescue effort and said the priority was to remove the water in the tunnel as quickly as possible.


More details are emerging about the suspected fraud at UBS, thought to have cost the Swiss banking group $2bn (£1.3bn). The BBC's business editor Robert Peston has the details.

With the return of the TV series Downton Abbey and success of TV shows such as Upstairs, Downstairs, writer AN Wilson and author Professor Alison Wright, discuss whether we are a nation obsessed with class.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.


In Libya fighters have entered Colonel Gaddafi's hometown Sirte, but were forced back after sustaining casualties. Richard Galpin reports

The Independent Riots Communities and Victims Panel has made a call for evidence to establish the causes of the August riots. The panel's chair, Darra Singh, discusses how the panel will gather evidence and what conclusions it hopes to draw.

Business news with Dominic Laurie.


One of the less reported features of the Arab Spring has been the role played by scores of British Arabs who have travelled to participate in uprisings in countries their parents left decades ago. Reporter Zubeida Malik has been talking to some of them for a Radio 4 documentary.


One of the four miners trapped 90m (295ft) below ground in the Swansea Valley has been found dead, police say. Chris Margetts, from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said that it was "quite possible the team has been split" and that the search and rescue effort continues.


A diplomatic showdown is now all but certain at the United Nations next week over the issue of Palestinian statehood. The Palestinian foreign minister has confirmed they will ask the Security Council to accept them as a full member of the UN, but the United States has threatened to use its veto to block the move. Today presenter James Naughtie spoke to former US President Jimmy Carter who brokered the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace deal, about whether the US supports the Palestinian claim to statehood.

European finance ministers are in Poland for a debt crisis meeting - the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is also attending. The air of impending catastrophe was slightly lifted yesterday with new arrangements to provide dollar loans for European banks - but the banks are only part of the problem. The real issue is the long term viability of the euro. The BBC's economics editor Stephanie Flanders looks at whether the finance ministers will make any moves that ensure that viability.


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