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Page last updated at 07:18 GMT, Saturday, 17 March 2012
Today: Saturday 17 March

The chancellor is preparing to announce that he is scrapping national pay rates for public sector workers. Following the Archbishop of Canterbury's plans to step down, the Church of England must now seek a candidate who can keep together its warring liberal and traditionalist wings.

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

The Chancellor prepares to announce his plans to scrap national pay rates for public sector workers, such as teachers, nurses and civil servants. Political correspondent, Susannah Mendonca reports.

Paper review.

In the world of James Bond, the British secret services have a licence to kill. Whilst officials have always claimed that this is the work of fiction, it has been revealed that 70 years ago, Britain carried out an assassination of a senior Nazi figure, and have since considered more. Security correspondent Gordon Corera discusses how practically effective and ethical targeted killing is.

Religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott previews the race for Lambeth Palace and who he thinks will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Since the former Liberal Democrat peer Jenny Tonge resigned over comments made about Israel, she has spoken about the incident in the House of Lords for the first time since the row. Correspondent Mark D'Arcy watched her speech.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The World Health Organisation is warning that the overuse of antibiotics means that in the near future something as simple as a scratched knee or a sore throat could kill. Dr Carmen Pessoa-Silva leads their microbial resistance programme discusses the prospect of a "post-antibiotic era".

Syrian state television claims there have been two car bomb attacks in Damascus. Correspondent Jon Donnison reports from Beirut.

The paper review.


Lady Thatcher's private papers from 30 years ago are released today by her foundation at Churchill College, Cambridge. They show how 1981 was a particularly grim year for her: the government's economic policy did not seem to be working, she was very unpopular, and facing rebellion not only from the "Wets" in her cabinet, but many backbenchers too. Sanchia Berg reports.


Gillian Reynolds, the radio critic for the Telegraph gave, as her New Year wish on the Radio 4 programme Broadcasting House, her hope that Today programme presenters should stop saying "umm" on air "otherwise I will reach through the radio and personally strangle you". Broadcasting House have despatched their hesitation correspondent, none other than Nicholas Parsons of Just a Minute fame, to the Today studio to investigate just how often our presenters "umm".

Thought for the Day with Catherine Pepinster, the editor of The Tablet.


What went wrong with Tesco? Britain's leading retailer is having problems and has admitted taking its eye off the ball. Shoppercentric founder Danielle Pinnington and senior lecturer in retailing John Pal debate if there is a point where companies just cannot grow any further.


David Cameron's visit to the US was hugely publicised this week. A slightly less publicised visit, but perhaps one of equal importance, is one the Business Secretary Vince Cable is making to India. He explains the aims of the trip.

The National Office of Statistics has announced that the official 2012 shopping basket includes takeaway chicken, computer tablets and pineapples. Futurologist Peter Cochrane muses on what we will be buying in 15 or 25 years' time.

The way parents and the medical profession approaches childbirth has gone through vast changes since the setting up of the National Childbirth Trust more than 50 years ago. Health correspondent Jane Dreaper reports on its claims that it is now large enough to support every expectant mother in Britain.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Since the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams announced his plans to step down at the end of the year, the Times' Ruth Gledhill, Sir Peter Bottomley from the House of Commons' ecclesiastical committee and the Rev Sharon Ferguson of the Lesbian and Gay Christina Movement discuss how the decision is made for a new candidate.

The chancellor's plans to scrap national pay rates could mean that the public sector will be affected by regional cost of living. James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chambers of Commerce and Mark Serwotka, leader of the PCS union, debate the reported plan.

Paper review.


Private papers released today reveal that Margaret Thatcher had a secret meeting with Rupert Murdoch only three weeks before his bid to take over the Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Sir Harold Evans, a former editor of the Sunday Times and one of the men who also put in a bid, discusses the revelation.

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