Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Today: Tuesday 31st January

Thousands of vocational courses are to be excluded from school league tables in England. Insurance companies say thousands of people will struggle to find cover because their homes are in areas at high risk of flooding. And also on the programme, the art of storytelling from the children's laureate, Julia Donaldson.

Business news with Simon Jack on a new EU treaty signed by 25 member states that aims to enforce budget discipline and why Portugal's borrowing costs have soared.

A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that the government's public sector pension reforms are unlikely to save money in the long term. The IFS's director, Paul Johnson, explains why.

The editors of three leading health care journals believe the government's plans for NHS reforms in England have destabilised and damaged services. Dr Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, and Dr Charles Alessi, chair of the National Association of Primary Care, discuss whether their criticism is fair.

Prince Harry has said the Queen is only able to carry out the public duties she does because she has her husband the Duke of Edinburgh at her side. Royal correspondent Peter Hunt has the details.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The government is to reduce the number of qualifications included in school league tables in England, saying too many weaker schools teach subjects of little academic worth to boost their position in performance tables. Despite efforts, tens of thousands of teenagers still leave education with poor literacy. The Today programme's Sanchia Berg visited one further education college to find out more.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency is due to end its three-day visit to Iran. Iran's foreign minister has offered to extend the UN nuclear inspectors' visit, hoping its findings would help ease tensions, despite international claims that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Conservative MP John Baron and Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation programme at the the International Institute for Strategic Studies, discuss what should happen next.

The paper review.

Republicans in the state of Florida will vote later on who should be their party's candidate to face Barack Obama in the US presidential election. North America correspondent Jonny Dymond reports on how the winning nominee will struggle to win support amongst Hispanics, the fastest-growing part of the US population.

Thought for the day with Lord Singh, director of the network of Sikh organisations.

Insurers are to list the areas in England and Wales where they believe tens of thousands of homes are at high risk of flooding. MPs are warning that there is not enough money to maintain and improve necessary flood defences. Councillor Derek Cotty, chair of the local flood forum in Runnymede, which was identified as an area at risk, outlines his concerns, while Environment minister Richard Benyon responds.

Thousands of vocational courses are to be excluded from school league tables in England because the government says under-performing schools are relying on subjects of "little academic worth". Christopher McShane, head teacher of Winton School in Hampshire, explains why vocational qualifications should have equivalent value to academic ones. David Blunkett, former education secretary, and Professor Alison Wolf, author of the government's review into vocational education, discuss the measures.

The rock band AC/DC are celebrating their 40th anniversary next year and this week sees the release of an unusual tribute album. The BBC's Mark Coles discovers how the hugely popular heavy rock band has attracted musical tributes from across the spectrum.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

A joint investigation by the BBC and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that the number of people who have died after being restrained by the police is higher than official figures suggest. Angus Stickler reports.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Britain has called for a stronger international approach to tackle the root causes of the problems in Somalia ahead of a conference on the country hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron aimed at kick-starting a process to stabilise the country. East Africa correspondent Will Ross reports from the region of Puntland, where the announcement was made.

The Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was imprisoned for five months by the Iranian regime during the protests of 2009, during which Iranian television broadcast a "confession" by Mr Bahari, which his family and supporters dismissed as being obtained under duress. He describes his experiences.

As part of World Book Day 2012, a competition is being launched to find the UK's "Storytelling Superstar". Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, reflects on what makes a good storyteller.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific