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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Saturday, 31 March 2012 07:21 UK
Today: Saturday 31st March

The government is changing its advice to motorists - we do not need to top up our tanks. A controversial levy on supermarkets is coming into force in Northern Ireland. With current river levels in England and Wales as low as they were in the summer of 1976, are drought precautions any better now as they were then?

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

Our political correspondent Terry Stiasny gives us the latest news on fuel.


Bradford West was a disaster for both Labour and its leader. The Today programme's Zubeida Malik reports from Bradford. Also on the programme is Mike Smithson, who runs the blog, Political Betting.


For the next three years big shops in Northern Ireland will have to pay an extra tax.

The money it raises is meant to help small businesses, but he NI Retail Consortium does not like it. Their director is Jane Bevis, and she debates this issue with the NI finance minister, Sammy Wilson, who's idea it was in the first instance.

Forty-five seats in the Burmese parliament are being contested tomorrow. Although the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi , who's contesting one of them, says the elections cannot yet be considered fully free and fair, it is seen by her as an important moment. Our correspondent Rachel Harvey reports from Burma.

Far right organisations from across Europe are holding a rally in Denmark today aimed at setting up an anti-Islamic alliance across the continent. The demonstration has been organised by the extremist group the English Defence League, which says it wants to halt what it calls the "Islamification of Europe". As our correspondent Richard Galpin reports, campaigners against racism are worried about it.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.


European finance ministers have agreed to raise the limits of the bailout funds available to troubled Eurozone economies to contain the fiscal crisis. So far the Eurozone ministers have made available 8000bn euros. Prof Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, and George Magnus, senior economics adviser at UBS Investment Bank, debate.

The paper review.

Scores of people working in arts organisations have lost their jobs this week because theatres, dance companies and animators have run out of money and have been forced to close down. More than 200 organisations were told last year by the Arts Council in England that from tomorrow they would no longer get regular funding. Our reporter Michael Buchanan has been speaking to some of them.

Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, Editor of the Tablet.

The President of the Family Division, Sir Nicholas Wall says there should be legal provision for 'no-fault divorce'. Speaking at family lawyer's group Resolution's annual conference this week, he said "My position is very simple. I am a strong believer in marriage. But I see no good arguments against no fault divorce." Currently you have to cite unreasonable behaviour to accelerate divorce and avoid living apart for two years. Baroness Deech, Oxford University specialist in family law, and Liz Edwards, chair of the family law group Resolution, discuss.


At this time yesterday morning Labour Party supporters were waking up, listening to the news reports, and probably thinking they had misheard. Their candidate had lost in Bradford West...? To a fringe party...? By a landside...? Surely not. But it was true and since then their leaders have been trying to find a way to explain it - and, of course, to "learn lessons" from it. The Today programme's Zubeida Malik is in Bradford.


Hose pipe bans come into force next week across southern and eastern England, and yesterday there was more bad news from the environment agency - river levels in England and Wales are now as low as they were in 1976. Trevor Bishop, head of Water Resources at the Environment Agency and Andrew Blenkiron, an East Anglia farmer.


Forget that queue at the petrol stations. Having given advice earlier in the week that supplies were threatened and the encouragement to store petrol in jerry cans, ministers are now saying that since the United Union has ruled out strikes over Easter there is no need to panic. Our correspondent Steve Blears reports from Yorkshire. Also on the programme is Simon Wessely, professor of psychological medicine at the institute of psychiatry, Kings College, London.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Has the political elite become disconnected from voters? In a difficult week for both main parties, Labour have failed to secure their core vote on Bradford and the Conservatives have been accused of being out of touch with ordinary Britons over donations, pasties and petrol. Jack Straw, former foreign secretary and Michael Portillo, former defence secretary, debate.

The paper review.

It is extremely difficult to find out what is going on in Syria. Journalists cannot operate freely there and communication to the outside world has been virtually cut. But we have managed to contact a citizen journalist from the opposition stronghold of Idlib in north west Syria who has told us of on-going massacres perpetrated by the regime in surrounding villages. At least 14 people have been killed and 200 injured in the last 24 hours at the village of Jabal al-Zawiya. Nour - the name he prefers we use - spoke to Andrew Hosken yesterday.


How many elite athletes still mix it with the amateurs with whom they first developed a love for their sport? Helen Clitheroe, a long distance runner, is one, she has just arrived in Portugal to train with her club the Preston Harriers. The Today Programme is following her progress over the year before the Olympics so before she left, Rob Bonnet went to Lancashire to see her.


The government is starting a national campaign today to make our homes and cars entirely smoke free. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer explains the serious health problems caused by second hand smoke.


A survey carried out by BBC Newsround on its 40th anniversary has suggested that just over 50% of today's school children know the Lord's Prayer by heart, as opposed to 90% in 1972. Are today's pupils missing out? Anastasia De Waal, Social policy analyst and head of family and education at the think tank Civitas and Cole Moreton, broadcaster and author of Is God Still An Englishman?, debate.

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