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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Thursday, 12 January 2012
Today: Thursday 12th January

Insurance companies are being urged to take a tougher line on whiplash claims. The government says it will go ahead with plans to cut spending on welfare, despite a series of defeats in the House of Lords. And also on the programme, why supporters of nuclear power are blaming James Bond for fears about the industry's safety.

Business news with Simon Jack on the future of Royal Bank of Scotland in the face of thousands of job cuts.

A new study in Nature suggests that habitable planets may orbit billions of stars in the Milky Way. The six year study used the technique of gravitational microlensing to measure how common planets are in the Milky Way and concluded that planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception. Keith Horne, professor of Astronomy at St Andrews University, explains what they found.

Has the ransom money from piracy benefited the coastal communities in Somalia? Dr Anja Shortland, of Brunel University, explains her analysis of the industry of piracy.

It is the second anniversary of the earthquake which devastated Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless. The BBC's Laura Trevelyan reports from Haiti where 500,000 people are still living in tents.

A "higher threshold" for whiplash claims and more transparency for referral fees are the main recommendations from the Commons transport select committee's examination of the motor insurance industry. Louise Ellman chairs the select committee and outlines their proposals.

Tesco results are out for the last quarter, covering Christmas, and are expected to be weak. Chief executive of Tesco Philip Clarke outlines why the supermarket has lost market share.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Scotland Yard and the Director of Public Prosecutions are to issue a joint statement about the alleged involvement of the security and intelligence services in the ill-treatment of British detainees abroad. Read the news report.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

The government has lost three votes in the House of Lords over its plans to cut spending on welfare, which would affect disabled young people and cancer sufferers. Baroness Meacher, crossbench peer who tabled the amendment, outlines her argument against the cuts and Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, responds.

The paper review.

Seventy years ago the French Resistance hero, Jean Moulin, was sent from London to unite the rival factions within the Resistance. But he was betrayed when Resistance leaders met secretly, which lead him to be tortured by Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie. Raymond Aubrac is the last survivor from the senior ranks of the Resistance and described his experience of that meeting to the BBC's Hugh Schofield.

Thought for the day with the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

The charity sector is calling on MPs to investigate the operation of the Health Lottery, run by media owner Richard Desmond. Sir Stephen Bubb, of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, outlines their concerns. And Jeremy Muller, one of the three directors of the Community Interest Companies which manage the health lottery gives his response.

The Commons transport select committee is calling for urgent action to cut the amount of compensation paid to people who claim they suffered whiplash in car accidents. Former justice secretary Jack Straw and Nick Starling from the Association of British Insurers discuss whether action is needed.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to cut thousand of investment banking jobs and sell or shut part of the business. Business editor Robert Peston has the details.

A new portrait the great enlightenment scientist Robert Hooke will be hung at the Institute of Physics in London today, a recreated likeness after the only portrait of his was destroyed in a fire, some say at the hands of his rival Isaac Newton. Rita Greer, painter of the Hooke portrait, and Dr Allan Chapman, historian of science at Oxford University and Hooke biographer, discuss the new painting.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is launching a Childrens' Society report into childhood and happiness. He outlines what he believes is the key to content kids.

Business news with Simon Jack.

According to a new scientific paper, Chinese researchers found that teenagers who use the internet for prolonged periods of time affect the make-up of their brains. Colin Drummond, professor of addiction psychiatry at King's College London, explains whether people can be addicted to the internet.

Two years ago, more than 200,000 people lost their lives in the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti. The Today programme's Mike Thomson visited an emergency hospital in Port-au-Prince just after the earthquake, where he met a mother who has already lost her three young daughters. Two years on, he reports on what has happened since.

A graduate made to work for free in Poundland in order to keep her unemployment benefit is taking legal action against the government, arguing that a government scheme designed to get the jobless back to work amounts to forced labour. Jim Duffy, of public interest lawyers, outlines the case.

Fifty years ago filming began on James Bond movie Dr No, and the Royal Society of Chemistry reckon that the film ensured that hundreds of millions of viewers over the years have been subjected to a representation of nuclear power as a barely-controllable force for evil. Professor David Phillips of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Tom Burke, visiting professor at Imperial and University College London, discuss Bond's responsibility for our nuclear fears.


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