• News Feeds
Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Today: Tuesday 20th December

A committee of MPs has criticised tax officials for conducting "cosy" negotiations with big companies owing millions to the state. Reports from North Korea say the authorities have imposed restrictions on the movement of the population, as the country's new leader takes power. And also on the programme, we explore the sometimes strange connection between people's names and the jobs they do.

Business news with Simon Jack on allegations that "cosy" deals between HM Revenue and Customs and big companies are costing millions of pounds to the taxpayer.

An unexpected consequence of the summer riots has been identified by the Chief Inspector of Prisons at Feltham Young offenders Institution in West London. Chief Inspector Nick Hardwick says young people jailed for taking part in the rioting are being targeted by other inmates whose family and friends were caught up in the violence.

A committee of MPs has published a report saying there are "serious concerns" about how the taxman agrees large settlements with big business. It comes as tax campaigners, UK Uncut, are taking HM Revenue and Customs to court to try to get them to reclaim millions in tax from Goldman Sachs. Tim Street of UK Uncut Legal Action outlines what they hope to achieve.

The Law Commission, which is responsible for proposing legal reforms in England and Wales, says that small and medium businesses should be able to sue insurance companies for loss of income if there is a late payout. Law Commissioner David Hertzell explains the proposal.

Business news with Simon Jack.

In Bangladesh, the case of a young woman whose husband allegedly chopped off her fingers because she attended college against his wishes has stirred up a debate about how the country addresses domestic violence. Hawa Akhter Jui told her story to the BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan. Some listeners may find some of the descriptions upsetting.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

The secretive nature of North Korea is seen in how little we know about its new leader, Kim Jong-un, who succeeds his late father as leader. Beijing correspondent Martin Patience, reports from the border with China to find out what people are saying about what will happen next.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury will tell MPs what progress has been made in settling public sector pension disputes with the unions. Political editor Nick Robinson has the details.

A look at today's papers.

Young unemployed people from across Europe are coming to Cornwall to learn traditional crafts such as fishing and boat-building. Jon Kay reports on how it is hoped it will increase their chances of finding work back home.

Thought for The Day with Canon Angela Tilby.

Almost nine-thousand foster carers need to be found next year to avoid a shortfall, according to the charity Fostering Network. Foster carer Karen tells us about her experiences and Robert Tapsfield, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network, outlines the challenges facing this sector.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has criticised the tax authority, HMRC, saying there were "serious concerns" about how some large settlements were reached with big companies. Chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym reports and chair of the committee Margaret Hodge outlines what they found.

Why do some people have names that seem to perfectly fit their job? The New Scientist's John Hoyland explains his theory of "nominative determinism" and prison reformer Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, and the Reverend Michael Vickers explain why they were drawn into their careers.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

The Financial Services Authority said last week that "good risk management" means planning for unlikely but severe scenarios, and this means that businesses must not ignore the prospect of the disorderly departure of some countries from the eurozone. Chris Renardson of PIPC management consultancy looks at what contingency plans companies should be putting in place if the collapse of the euro is a possibility.

Business news with Simon Jack.

According to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), banks and companies selling foreign currency have been charging travellers too much. Clive Maxwell of the OFT outlines a new deal which means that banks will no longer be able to charge customers who used debit cards to buy currency.

The musician Laura Marling told an audience on her current tour that she will not be doing a planned encore. Andrew Harrison, editor of the music magazine The Word, and music writer Dave Simpson discuss whether spontaneous encores have become a thing of the past.

In the government's dispute with unions over pensions, council workers and staff in the NHS look like they have reached a deal, but the largest teaching and civil service unions are still at loggerheads. Economist and columnist Will Hutton and Tom McPhail, a pensions analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, discuss what it means for pensions in the future.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific