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Page last updated at 05:21 GMT, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 06:21 UK
Today: Wednesday 23rd May

It's emerged that senior ministers are discussing what role, if any, Britain could play in the event of a conflict between Israel and Iran. More than 80,000 racist incidents have been recorded in schools across the country in the last four years. And also on today's programme, the creators of the play Tyrannicide Brief discuss the importance of the man responsible for the beheading of King Charles I.

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 news that investors in Italy are increasingly heading towards the exit sign.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

The paper review.


Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund who was in London yesterday, speaks to John Humphrys about the eurozone crisis and the threat of a Greek exit.

Tory party donor and adviser Adrian Beecroft has called the Business Secretary Vince Cable a "socialist who does very little to support business". Political correspondent Chris Mason has more details.

Business news with Simon Jack.


A report by the Health Protection Agency has concluded that there are new bacteria as dangerous as MRSA appearing in hospitals. The report's lead author, epidemiologist Dr Susan Hopkins, explains the new threat.

Jon Leyne reports from Cairo as Egyptians head to the polls today on the first day of voting for a new president.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

It has emerged that senior ministers are discussing what role, if any, Britain could play in the event of a conflict between Israel and Iran. Political editor Nick Robinson has more details.

The paper review.


The inventor of the first TV remote control, Eugene Polley, died yesterday at the age of 96, That was back in 1955 but it took another two or three decades to arrive into our homes. Inventor Trevor Baylis and Guardian columnist Zoe Williams reflect on the power of invention and the gadget which created the couch potato.

Thought for the Day with Vishvapani, an ordained Buddhist.


More than 80,000 racist incidents have been recorded in schools across the country in the last four years, a BBC investigation has found. Natalie, a 15 year-old victim of racism, Sarah Soyei of Show Racism the Red Card, and Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, discuss whether there is a rise in racism in schools.


As a second round of negotiations begins today on Iran's nuclear programme between Tehran and the members of the UN security council, how real is the threat of of a conflict between Israel and Iran? Mohammad Marandi, a professor at Tehran University and Dan Meridor, Israel's minister of intelligence and atomic energy, debate the prospects of conflict occurring.

The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution is to carry out an investigation into how we can improve public inquiries following broad criticisms of the process. The leader of the investigation, Lord Chief Justice Woolf, explains why it is needed.


A new adaptation of American neuroscientist David Eagleman's book Sum opens today at the Royal Opera House. The BBC's Tom Bateman reports on the production's idea that consciousness continues after death.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.


When it formed, the coalition created a new organisation called the Office for Budget Responsibility, whose job is to tell the government whether its fiscal policy is on track. The man in charge of the OBR, Robert Chote, and a critic of the scheme David Blanchflower, of Dartmouth College in the US, debate its merit.

Robert Chote will be speaking at an Institute for Government event called "Are independent evaluation offices the answer?" on Wednesday 23 May 2012.


The average family in Britain spends more than a quarter of their income on childcare, more than almost any other country in the world. The Today programme's Sanchia Berg reports from the Netherlands on their recent childcare reforms compare to childcare regulations in the UK.

Business news with Simon Jack

The BBC's Chris Morris reports from Brussels ahead of a European summit which is supposed to focus on broad economic issues, but it is being overshadowed by Greece.

A play about the events surrounding the trial of King Charles I and his persecutor, the Sergeant of Law John Cooke, has been playing at Gray's Inn. The producer of the Tyrannicide Brief Colin Manning and the author and barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC discuss John Cooke's importance in history.



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