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Page last updated at 06:14 GMT, Thursday, 12 April 2012 07:14 UK
Today: Thursday 12th April

A ceasefire has come into effect in Syria though there's scepticism about the regime's pledge to honour it. A survey of charities has revealed overwhelming concern that changes to tax relief will lead to a drop in donations from wealthy benefactors. And also on the programme, William Boyd will write the next James Bond novel, he joins us in the studio.

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 US government suing the technology giant Apple and some major book publishers over the price of electronic books.


US Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination, leaving the field open for his rival Mitt Romney, a man who has divided the Republican party. Jonathan Haidt, professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia and author of the book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, reflects on why American politics is currently so divided?


Syria's government has announced it will cease military operations from today in line with plans by Kofi Annan for a ceasefire after political negotiations to end the bloodiest crisis of the Arab spring. Ausama Monajed, spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Council, outlines what next for the opposition movement.

David Cameron has delivered a speech in Indonesia overnight in which he said Islamic extremists must be stopped from undermining fledgling democracies. Deputy political editor James Landale has the details of the prime minister's visit.

Business news with Simon Jack.


Two Budgens stores in North London have come up with a novel way of encouraging customers to donate to charity by selling blocks labelled "hope" which shoppers can buy along with their groceries with the proceeds go to the Alzheimers Society. The Today programme's Zubeida Malik speaks to shoppers about the move. While Andrew Thornton, owner of the Budgens branches involved, and Julian Baggini, philosopher and editor-in-chief of The Philosopher's magazine, discuss whether an initiative like this can change the way we think about donating money.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.


Spain is the focus of the latest Eurozone worries, as it becomes clear just how daunting a challenge the government there faces, in cutting its deficit and imposing austerity. Reporter Tom Burridge speaks to people in Madrid while Cristina Manzano of Fride, a think tank specialising in European affairs, and Professor Santiago Carbó Valverde, economist at the University of Granada, discuss whether Spain can avoid joining Greece, Ireland, Portugal in needing a rescue loan from the EU.

The paper review.


The American jazz pianist and band leader Robert Glasper has accused jazz of being irrelevant, backward looking and snobbish and believes that for jazz to survive and thrive in the future it has to incorporate modern music, like hip hop, rock and pop. Arts correspondent Rebecca Jones spoke to him ahead of a UK tour next month.

Thought for the day with the writer Rhidian Brook.


The row over the impact on limiting tax relief on philanthropic rumbles on as ministers say the change will prevent abuse of the tax code by wealthy people while charities have said it will deter donors and lose them millions of pounds. Marcelle Speller, founder and chief executive of localgiving.com - a website which links small charities and community projects with philanthropists, and Alex Henderson, tax partner at the accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, discuss the reforms.


A ceasefire has come into effect between the government and opposition forces in Syria -- under a peace plan negotiated by the international envoy, Kofi Annan. World affairs correspondent Fergal Keane reports from the Syria/Turkey border while Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi responds.


The Booker nominated author, William Boyd, has been asked to write the new officially sanctioned James Bond book. He speaks to the Today programme about following in the footsteps of authors like Kingsley Amis and Sebastian Faulks who have both written new Bond books since the death of his creator, Ian Fleming, in 1964.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.


A lead story in The Times today - based on a Freedom of Information Act request - reveals hundreds of thousands of people are discharged overnight from hospital in England. Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA Consultants Committee and a consultant anaesthetist in a maternity unit, gives his reaction.

Business news with Simon Jack.

A new book which looks at how victims of traumatic events often respond positively to what has happened to them explores how in many cases, rather than ruining their lives, the victims are spurred on to benefit from what has happened to them. Stephen Joseph, author of What Doesn't Kill Us and professor of psychology, health and social care at University of Nottingham, and Michael Patterson, who lost both his arms in an attack by the Provisional IRA while serving as an officer with the RUC in 1981, discuss people's behaviour after devastating events.


With the London Olympics only a few months away attention has already turned to what kind of legacy will be left behind. Barcelona, which hosted the games back in 1992, has been hailed as the Olympics that set the standard. As part of a series on former host cities, sports editor David Bond reports.

School staffrooms may soon be a thing of the past as ministers consult on how to free up schools from over-prescriptive building rules which currently includes providing teachers with "accommodation for use by the teachers at school, for the purpose of work and for social purposes". Tim Loane writer, actor and director of Channel 4's Teachers, and Francis Gilbert, teacher and author of I'm a Teacher, Get Me Out of Here!, discuss the potential effects of scrapping staffrooms.

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