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Page last updated at 07:04 GMT, Thursday, 19 January 2012
Today: Thursday 19th January

Unions representing nurses and midwives have declared their outright opposition to the government's proposed changes to the NHS in England. Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf talks about his plans for a comeback. And Leonard Cohen's reasons to be cheerful.

Business news with Simon Jack on Ireland's progress in its austerity programme ahead of a report on whether the country will need another bailout.

Nasa hopes to have finished building a 12-tonne chamber, designed to simulate conditions on the surface of the planet Venus, by May this year. Dr Rodger Dyson, Nasa engineer and leader of the Extreme Environment Test Chamber, explains what they aim to achieve.

The Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have decided to oppose outright the government's Health and Social Care Bill. Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, outlines their concerns.

A report by a group of MPs has said a lack of supervision and failures in communication led to the UK's border checks being relaxed too frequently. Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, explains their findings.

Business news with Simon Jack.

A new study looking at the commonly held belief that more men than women tend to study maths has cast doubt on whether there is a gender gap at all. Dr Gijsbert Stoet, a psychologist at Leeds University who led the research, and Kate Bellingham, former government careers champion in the area of maths and science, discuss the findings.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond says he will hold an independence referendum in the autumn of 2014, despite a lag in support for the nationalists. Scotland correspondent Colin Blane gauges the public mood and examines if the ruling Scottish National Party can win the nation around.

The paper review.

Tony Blair's former chief-of-staff, Jonathan Powell, says Britain really did use a plastic rock in a park to spy on Russia in 2006, despite attempts by the government to dismiss the story at the time. Sir Tony Brenton, a former ambassador to Russia, reacts to the allegation.

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

At the end of this month, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf will return to Pakistan in an attempt to resurrect his political career. Mr Musharraf told the Today programme's Justin Webb about his hopes for the future amid extreme instability in his country.

Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband are making speeches today on what can be broadly called the morality of capitalism. Former RBS chairman Sir George Mathewson and the BBC's Nick Robinson and Robert Peston analyse just how far public opinion and the government should, and can, influence executive pay and bonuses.

Leonard Cohen is set to release his first studio album in eight years. Musician and broadcaster Jarvis Cocker had an exclusive interview with the singer and describes what we can expect from the album.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Arab League monitors are to issue their report on Syria, after a one-month deployment of around 100 monitors. The Today programme's Zubeida Malik spoke to one monitor, Anwer Malek, who resigned mid-way through the mission. And Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen gauges the mood in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives are calling on the government to scrap its planned changes to the NHS in England as part of the Health and Social Care Bill. Chris Ham, chief executive of the King's Fund, analyses the bill and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley responds to opposition to it.

It is 30 years to the day since the publication of the first Adrian Mole novel. Author Sue Townsend reflects on the life of the UK's most angsty teenager.

The Prime Minister David Cameron is to set out his vision for "moral capitalism" in a major speech on the economy and the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, is calling for tighter regulation on takeovers to protect the to protect the long-term interests of British business. Mary Ann Sieghart, columnist for the Independent and Dan Hodges, commentator for the Telegraph, discuss the future of capitalism and how politics can influence it.


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