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Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Today: Tuesday 24th January

A committee of MPs says the government's planned reform of the NHS in England is disrupting efforts to improve efficiency. New guidelines will cut sentences for drug mules and increase penalties for gang leaders. And also on today's programme, have new fossil fuels shattered the dreams of the green lobby?

Business news with Simon Jack on a rejection by European finance ministers of an offer from private creditors to restructure Greece's debt.

Proposals to try to curb executive pay and to encourage shareholders to exercise more power in companies have stirred up anger among some Conservative MPs. Peter Bone MP explains why he thinks the proposals are "claptrap".

A group of MPs have warned that the government's controversial plans to reorganise the NHS in England are hindering efforts to cut costs by "salami-slicing" services for short-term savings. Conservative MP and chair of the health select committee Stephen Dorrell outlines its concerns.

Until recently, fossil fuels have widely been seen among scientists and environmental campaigners as a diminishing resource. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on how the discovery of new techniques to extract shale gas has rapidly changed the world of energy generation.

A controversial trial treatment for vision loss using human embryonic stem cells has produced "groundbreaking" early results. Daniel Brison, professor of Clinical Embryology and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, discusses his cautious optimism about the outcome.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The European Union has approved tough sanctions against Iran, in an attempt to stop Tehran's alleged nuclear weapons programme. Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a former State Department policy adviser, analyses the reaction of the United States.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has said the government wants shareholders to hold binding votes over executive pay. CEO of Bramdean Asset Management Nicola Horlick explains why she is sceptical about whether the measures will work to curb excessive pay.

The paper review.

A new book that claims to throw light on the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama has been making waves in the United States. Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas: A Mission, a Marriage, outlines her impressions of the personalities of the First Couple.

Thought for the day with Vishvapani, an ordained Buddhist.

New legal guidelines are being published on making sentences more lenient for people used by criminal gangs to smuggle drugs into the country. Judge Henry Globe, a member of the Sentencing Council which issued the guidelines, outlines the changes.

The health select committee has said health trusts in England are resorting to short-term salami-slicing of services to meet the government's efficiency targets instead of looking for long-term reforms to practices. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley responds to the report's findings.

Plans to create what is being billed as the world's leading design museum in London will be unveiled today. Fashion designer Paul Smith reflects on the place of design in the UK.

In the Syrian city of Douma, more that 150,000 anti-government mourners have gathered for the funerals of 12 people killed in the last three days. Middle east editor Jeremy Bowen has just visited the city of Homs, which is partially under rebel control, and describes what he saw.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

A US Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi women and children has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty, ending the largest and longest-running criminal case against US troops to emerge from the Iraq war. Utah University law professor Amos Guiora reflects on the outcome of the trial and the Nick Broomfield, who made the documentary Battle for Haditha, outlines his views.

With the discovery of techniques to extract shale gas, the narrative of the future of energy has changed. Tony Juniper, freelance writer and green campaigner, and Lord Lawson, chairman and founder of Global Warming Policy Foundation, discuss if these new ways of extracting fossil fuel have thrown a spanner into the works of green campaigners.

Business news with Simon Jack.

There are worrying signs that political chaos in Yemen is allowing the militant jihadi group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to spread its influence in one of the most strategically vital corners of the Middle East. Fighters loyal to Ansar al Sharia, an offshoot of Al Qaeda have seized a swathe of territory in south east Yemen and have forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee to the southern port city of Aden, from where HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur has sent this special report.

Lord Coe has said that parents should be given time off work to watch their children play sport as a way of encouraging Britons to become more active. Lucy Cavendish, journalist, novelist and mother of four, and Tim Dowling, Guardian journalist and father, discuss if children actually want their parents shouting on the sidelines in the first place.


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