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

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 06:12 GMT, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 07:12 UK
Today: Wednesday 28th March

Most Syrian opposition groups have agreed to unite behind the Syrian National Council - they don't believe President Assad when he says he accepts the UN-Arab League peace plan. An independent report on the causes of the riots in England last August has highlighted public concern about poor parenting and a lack of opportunities for young people. And also on the programme, why public opinion on Afghanistan is proving to be a headache for President Obama in election year.

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 how the governor of the Bank of England thinks that Royal celebrations are holding back the economy.


Playing music to patients undergoing surgery reduces their anxiety and could improve healing, according to new research. Apul Parikh, cosmetic surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford, describes how their findings show that it is not just the surgeons who feel the benefits from playing music.

The oil giant Total says it's considering digging a relief well to stop a gas leak from its Elgin platform in the North Sea, which could take six months. Dr Martin Preston, marine pollution specialist and honorary research fellow at the University of Liverpool, reflects on the dangers of the leak.


A group of MPs has criticised the stance taken by the NHS of replacing faulty breast implants made by the French firm PIP. At the moment women can have them removed on the NHS but then have to go to a private hospital if they want them replaced but as Stephen Dorrell MP, chair of the Health Select Committee, explains that women should be offered the option of paying for them to be replaced on the NHS to avoid having to undergo two lots of surgery.

Business news with Simon Jack.


Yesterday we reported on the new science of synthetic biology where researchers not only shuffle genes from one organism to another but they actually design and create new genes, and potentially build entirely new organisms that have never existed in nature. For many this raises important questions about control and regulation and a coalition of environmental groups has called for a moratorium. Science editor David Shukman reports.

Sports news with Alison Mitchell.


An independent report on the causes of the riots in England last August has highlighted public concern about poor parenting and a lack of opportunities for young people. Darra Singh, chairman of the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, outlines the main findings of the report.

Paper review.

A multi-millionaire American banker has established a new £25,000 award to recognise those who mentor and encourage new artistic talent but founder of the prize, John Studzinski, of the US private equity firm Blackstone, says he thinks that the Chancellor's decision to cap personal tax relief on charitable donations of £50,000 or more is a mistake. He outlines why he thinks we failing to get the most out of philanthropy in the UK.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James Piccadilly.


The university admissions system, Ucas, is recommending that improvements be made to the central clearing system but steps back its initial idea of moving to a post-results admissions system. Ucas Chief Executive Mary Curnock Cook and Killian Troy-Donovan, a student at Bristol University who went through the Ucas process last year, discuss this decision.


The tiny Channel Island of Sark has a unique constitutional position: part of Britain, but not the UK, it is still held as a fief on behalf of the Queen. It only became a democracy in 2008. But islanders have told us that that democracy is now under threat. They say they are being bullied and intimidated by representatives of Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, the owners of the Telegraph, in the local newsletter. The two brothers now own a third of the island and local people told us they think they are trying to take control of it. Sark decides its own laws, sets its own taxes and with only 600 inhabitants is small enough to be taken over. Sarah Montague went to the island to find out what they were complaining about.


A report on the riots in England last summer has concluded that a lack of support for young people contributed to the unrest and that we should all be doing more to help young people develop what they call "character". Serge Cefai, headteacher at the Sacred Heart Catholic School in Camberwell, and Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the charity Kids Company, analyse the report's recommendations.

Sports news with Alison Mitchell.

The Prime Minister will chair the government's civil contingencies committee Cobra this afternoon, as ministers continue to make contingency plans for a potential strike by fuel hauliers. Political reporter Chris Mason has the details.

In the emerging new science of synthetic biology, researchers actually design and create new genes and could potentially build entirely new organisms that have never existed in nature. Professor Anne Glover, chief scientific adviser to the EU, responds to the questions this type of science raised about control and regulation.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is facing fresh allegations over its behaviour after an Australian newspaper claimed it had a secret unit that promoted pirating of the technology used by pay-TV rivals. Neil Chenowerth, journalist for the Australian Financial Review and currently writing a book on the subject, called Murdoch's Spies, explains the background to the story.


The world's largest ever cleft lip and palate research programme is being launched and aims to collect DNA from all cleft children born in the UK and follow their development to adult. Rachel McDermott who's 20-month-old daughter Emily has a cleft lip and Professor Jonathan Sandy, lead researcher for the Bristol gene bank, which will be collecting the DNA, discuss their hopes for the programme.

Several Syrian dissident groups have agreed to recognise the Syrian National Council as the official representative of the Syrian people, after a meeting in Istanbul aimed at unifying the opposition movement. Patrick Seale, a veteran journalist who has written several books about Syria, reflects on what impact such an agreement could have.

Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific