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Page last updated at 07:23 GMT, Thursday, 15 March 2012
Today: Thursday 15th March

Britain's largest abortion provider has said that women arriving at their clinics have been facing increasingly aggressive tactics by anti-abortion campaigners. Court interpreters are protesting against changes to the service which they say could lead to miscarriages of justice. And also on the programme, 100 years since Captain Oates said he "may be some time", has the quality of heroism changed?

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 on the credit rating agency Fitch's warning that it could downgrade the British economy's Triple-A status over the next two years after downgrading the country's rating's outlook down to negative.


A herbal remedy for toothache, used for centuries by a remote Incan tribe in the Amazon is being turned into a commercial treatment for dental pain. Francoise Barbira-Freedman, an anthropologist at Cambridge University, describes how she discovered the remedy.


Interpreters will hold a protest outside the Commons today about a new contract to privatise court interpretation services because they claim the contract could lead to miscarriages of justice because some interpreters lack the competence to do the job. David Evans, chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the Magistrate's Association, outlines the issues involved.

David Cameron continues his visit to the United States by travelling to New York today, where he will go to the site of Ground Zero and pay his respects to the victims of the September the 11th attacks. North America editor Mark Mardell has the details.

The Which? consumer group says major food companies are still failing to display the calorie content of their products, despite the launch of a government initiative in England a year ago to tackle obesity. Richard Lloyd, chief executive of Which?, outlines their concerns.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Svalbard is a group of islands halfway between Norway and the North Pole and is becoming a surprisingly popular destination for international politicians. The European Union's high representative, Baroness Ashton, is the latest to visit after flagging her interest in the opportunities offered by the region from climate change research to energy exploration. The BBC's Paul Henley reports.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


A new warning has been given about the difficulties facing the international community in Syria about weapons of mass destruction. Bruce Riedel, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a former CIA official, outlines what the regime claims to have. While Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen gives his analysis one year on from the start of the Syrian uprising.

Paper review.


It is 100 years since Captain Lawrence Oates walked out of his tent in the Antarctic with the words "I am just going outside and may be some time" sacrificing himself for the sake of his team. Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge, and Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, reflect on whether the face of heroism has changed since then.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Roy Jenkins, Baptist minister in Cardiff.

Margaret Hodge, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will respond today to criticism that her committee has overstepped the mark when questioning civil servants. Mrs Hodge and Jonathan Baume, secretary general of the First Division Association which represents senior civil servants, debate the relationship between the government and the civil service.


Britain's largest abortion provider has said that women arriving at their clinics have been facing increasing aggressive tactics by anti-abortion campaigners. The Today programme's Sanchia Berg reports from an anti-abortion protest in central London while Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, and Robert Colquhoun, UK campaign director for 40 Days for Life, debate whether these tactics are overly aggressive.

The former attorney general Lord Goldsmith has revealed that a committee set up to look at Fifa reforms has expressed deep concerns over the way allegations of misconduct in the World Cup bidding contests for 2018 and 2022 were handled. Sports editor David Bond has the details.


To make a great recording you need more than just a laptop and a good idea according to fans of our great music studios who are claiming the digital world threatens to blow them away. Arts correspondent David Sillito reports.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


According to more than 1,400 interpreters, the government endangering the concept of equal justice for all by contracting out the courts interpreters system in England and Wales. They are boycotting the new privatised contract which they claim is leading to chaos for magistrates and crown courts dealing with non-English speaking foreign defendants. The Today programme's Andrew Hosken has been speaking to some of the interpreters concerned about how the new system's working out. While Justice minister Crispin Blunt responds.


Business news with Simon Jack on Ireland's first ever commercial oil find.

A manager at US banking giant Goldman Sachs in London has quit, saying he could no longer work there "in good conscience". Geraint Anderson, author of City Boy and new book Just Business and Chris Cummings, chief executive of TheCityUK, discuss whether this is reflective of City culture more generally.

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