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Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Friday, 2 March 2012
Today: Friday 2nd March

The Red Cross is to enter the district of Baba Amr in the Syrian city of Homs to deliver food and medical supplies after the month-long siege. Some 17 million people in England have poor numeracy, according to campaign group National Numeracy. And does money make a good subject for fiction.

We are no longer providing clips of every part of the programme but you will be able to listen via the BBC iPlayer .

Business news with Simon Jack, with Friday boss Simon Bransfield-Grath, chief executive of solar panels company Eight19.


The number of adults with poor numeracy skills has reached 17 million in England alone, according to a new organisation called National Numeracy. Chris Humphries, chair of the group, outlines why they want to increase the nation's numeracy.

The International Committee of the Red Cross have been told by the Syrian authorities that they can go into the Baba Amr area. Saleh Dabbakeh, Red Cross representative in Damascus, explains that their priorities when they arrive.

The business news with Simon Jack.


Seventy-five-year-old singer Engelbert Humperdinck has been announced as Great Britain's entrant in this year's Eurovison Song Contest., Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini explains the tactics behind the decision.


The people of Iran are to vote for a new parliament in the country's first elections since 2009. World affairs editor John Simpson gives his analysis of the vote.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge

has resigned after provoking an outcry by saying that Israel "is not going to be there forever in its present form". She explains why she is standing by her remarks, while Conservative MP Robert Halfon explains why it was right that she stepped down.

Paper review.


The economic crisis has spawned a new wave of works of fiction examining the world of money and finance. Author Aifric Campbell and Professor John Sutherland discuss whether money makes a good subject for novels.

Thought for the day with the Bishop Tom Butler.

Hundreds of jobs are to be lost after defence giant BAE Systems confirmed it was ending manufacturing at its factory in East Yorkshire. Ian Gent, staff union convener at BAE systems, gives their reaction while Howard Wheeldon, independent defence and aerospace analyst, reflects on the implications of the move.


The International Committee of the Red Cross is hoping to get urgently needed food and medical aid to the worst affected district of Syria's third city Homs today. The Today programme's Andrew Hosken speaks to Mohammed, a resident Insha'at, bordering Baba Amr. Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary General and foreign office minister, reflects on the United Nations' role in the conflict.


Millions of people are struggling to understand their pay-slips or calculate money in shops according to campaigners. Paula Rodriguez, a mother who took up maths at 29, describes her experiences while Conservative MP Graham Stuart, chair of the Education Select Committee, and Matt Parker, maths outreach co-ordinator at Queen Mary University, discuss why so many people struggle with numbers.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The European Union deal that Britain withdrew from last December is being signed today. Europe correspondent Chris Morris and former Bank of England deputy governor Sir John Gieve explain what difference it will make.


In Russia, Vladimir Putin is almost certain to come first in Sunday's presidential elections. The BBC's Bridget Kendall reports from an isolated town, based near an oil field in central Siberia, on the feelings there on the Russian election.


The Scottish Labour Party is gathering in Dundee for its annual conference. Party leader Johann Lamont talks about independence and their relationship with Westminster ahead of her conference speech.

Business news with Simon Jack.

As the Red Cross prepares to enter the Syrian city of Homs to get food and medical aid to residents there, the debate continues on whether the international community should intervene. Philip Collins, Times columnist and former Blair speech writer, and Baroness Neville-Jones, former chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee and minister for security, discuss what should happen next.


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