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Page last updated at 07:07 GMT, Thursday, 5 January 2012
Today: Thursday 5th January

In the first of our New Year leader interviews, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg answers Sarah Montague's questions. And also on Today's programme, should assisted suicide law be relaxed and a government crackdown on scrap theft.

Business news with Simon Jack on the news that the government's changes to public sector pensions might not be saving the country any money.

Some independent research suggests the increase in retirement age from 60 to 67 for public sector workers might not save much because the benefits eventually available are more valuable than they are now. The BBC's Robert Peston has more details.

A committee of MPs and peers examining the government's plans for reforming the House of Lords by cutting the number of full-time members has rejected their proposals. Lord Tyler, a Liberal Democrat peer on the committee, explains the reasons behind the rejection.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Foreign Secretary William Hague is visiting Burma, the latest in a recent series of high profile diplomatic visits to the previously isolated country. The BBC's Southeast Asia correspondent Rachel Harvey reports from a film festival in Burma, taking place without censorship and organised by Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters.

The Commons International Development Committee has issued a report saying that it is right right to try to spend increasing amounts of aid money in the world's most difficult and dangerous places, but that money should be tied more clearly to political and social progress. The chairman of the committee, Malcolm Bruce, explains the report in more detail.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Hospitals, railway lines, utilities, sculptures, churches and even war memorials have all been targeted by metal thieves in recent years, as metal prices continue to climb ever higher. Andrew Hosken reports on what may be done to regulate the industry.

The paper review.

The group of injured servicemen rowing the Atlantic to try to raise £1m for wounded soldiers has hit a series of difficulties with the breakdown of their drinking water system and a string of physical ailments. Speaking from the Atlantic, rower Alex McKenzie recounts the challenges his team have been facing.

Thought for the day with the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

A new report from the Commission on Assisted Dying says assisted dying should be allowed if an adult has less than a year to live. Commission chair Lord Falconer and Baroness Finlay, former president of the Royal College of Medicine, debate the report.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has urged the UK to re-engage with Europe and called for more action on tax avoidance in the first of the Today programme New Year leader interviews.

Among the places counting the cost of the recent high winds is the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh where hundreds of panels of glass have been smashed or blown away from greenhouses and dozens of trees have been blown down. The BBC's Huw Williams has been taking a look.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Scotland Yard is reviewing whether or not to maintain a dedicated team of detectives to investigate the murder of Stephen Lawrence.. Danny Shaw has the latest and Cindy Butts, an independent member of the Metropolitan Police Advisory Group, gives her reaction to the news.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The government says it is going to try to do something about the theft of metal by imposing a better registration of scrap metal dealers and the possibility that a cashless system of paying for scrap could be introduced. Ian Hetherington, Director General of the British Metal Recycling Association, outlines how the changes could affect the industry.

The head of the main Syrian opposition group has said the Arab League monitoring mission should prove itself, or leave. Dr Burhan Ghalioun told reporter Paul Wood that the outcome would depend on the report due to be presented by the head of the monitoring mission.

The foreign affairs select committee has produced a report saying that although British ships have been allowed to carry armed guards on board to protect against pirates since last October, the government must provide more guidance on how force can be used against pirates. Peter Hinchcliffe, secretary general of the international chamber of shipping, explains the problem.

Should international aid be linked with political progress? Ruth Porter is from the Institute for Economic Affairs and Max Lawson is head of advocacy for Oxfam discuss.



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