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Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Friday, 8 June 2012 06:59 UK
Today: Friday 8th June

The Home Secretary has angered police officers by saying the new Chief Inspector of Constabulary should be the man who led a controversial review of their pay and conditions. Is the UK government right to boycott Euro 2012?The UN's international envoy, Kofi Annan, has blamed the failure of his peace plan mainly on the Syrian government. Also on Today's programme, singer-songwriter Neil Young on the dark and violent themes behind his latest album.

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 China's decision to cut its interest rates for the first time since 2008.


The Home Office and the Police Federation are at loggerheads over the choice of former rail regulator Tom Winsor as the preferred new Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales. Dr Tim Brain, former chief constable of Gloucester, and the criminologist and filmmaker Roger Graef, debate the choice.

Business news with Simon Jack.

George Osborne has announced that he wants to see a further £10bn shaved off the welfare bill, but what universal benefits for the elderly are off limits? The BBC's James Landale reports.

Nine million Chinese high school students will be taking their university entrance exam today. As John Sudworth reports from Shanghai, their future college, career and life prospects depend on the result.

Theresa May is to announce plans to make forced marriage a criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone explains the decision.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.


The international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan is to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the situation in Syria. PJ Crowley, assistant secretary of state under President Obama's administration, gives his thoughts on the US approach to the problem.

The paper review.

Singer-songwriter Neil Young gives a rare and exclusive interview with Front Row presenter John Wilson, discussing the dark and violent themes behind his latest album.

Thought for the day with the Bishop Tom Butler.

It has been reported in the New York Times that President Obama authorised the use of the Stuxnet virus against an Iranian nuclear facility. Journalist and author Misha Glenny and Peter Sommer, professor of cyber security at De Montfort University, discuss whether we should be worried about the escalation of cyber warfare.


UK government ministers are to boycott England's three group games at Euro 2012 over Ukraine's treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. The Ukrainian ambassador to London gave his reaction to the BBC's sports editor David Bond.


The former rail regulator Tom Winsor has been named the government's preferred candidate to be the next Chief Inspector of Constabulary, the first holder of the post to have never served as a police officer. Paul McKeever, who chairs the Police Federation, and Home Office minister Nick Herbert debate the news.

It is 50 years since the end of National Service. The Today programme's Nicola Stanbridge has been talking to ex-conscripts with differing experiences and conclusions about the value of their time in uniform.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

Christian Guy, managing director of the Centre for Social Justice, and Paul Johnson, director of the IFS, debate whether it is time to look again at the universal benefits for the elderly.


Take a look at the rock and pop charts of late and you'll find scores of bands and singers, everyone from Adele to new band Alabama Shakes, making music heavily influenced by the past. Mark Coles investigates whether pop has run out of ideas.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Scientists in Sheffield believe they may have found the cause for "colony collapse", which wipes out whole bee hives at a time. Dr Stephen Martin, from the department of animal and plant scientists, explains what has been discovered.

Matthew Parris from the Times and Sunny Hundal, editor of Liberal Conspiracy, debate the decision to criminalise forced marriage.

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