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Page last updated at 06:12 GMT, Saturday, 23 June 2012 07:12 UK
Today: Saturday 23rd June

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says plans to reform the Civil Service are not an attack, the saga of the collapse of the Christmas hamper scheme Farepak continues as the judge who exonerated its directors puts the blame on HBOS. Also, as Jimmy Carr gives his first on-camera response to the tax avoidance row, what do people think of the comedian?


Large parts of England and Scotland are on flood alert after forecasters predicted a month's worth of rain would fall in just 24 hours. More than ninety flood warnings have been issued, 41 in northwest England, 46 in northeast England and five in Scotland. The north west of England is expected to be worst hit with heavy rain and high winds expected to last into Sunday morning. Owner of an independent bookshop Kate Claughan gives her account of the damage caused.

The Syrians have shot down a Turkish jet fighter that was flying in their airspace. Correspondent Jonathan Head in Turkey assesses the story.

Greece lost the Euro 2012 quarter-final against Germany as Chancellor Angela Merkel cheered on her country. The BBC's Athens correspondent Mark Lowen asks a few people their thoughts.

A memorial to the men and women of Bomber Command is being opened in Green Park by the Queen next week. However, it has caused some dispute over whether or not another memorial is needed in central London. Journalist and author, Simon Jenkins and retired Air Vice-Marshal Tony Mason discuss the meaning of the memorial.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.


Immigration policy has been in the news again. Ed Miliband, said Labour had to change its approach to immigration and the Conservative Party co-chairwoman, Lady Warsi, lobbied Cabinet colleagues to drop plans to stop UK citizens who earn less than £40,000 bringing a foreign spouse into the country. Former Conservative cabinet minister, Peter Lilley and the director of the Commonwealth Society, Danny Sriskandrajah join the debate.

The paper review.


As earlier floods have damaged homes and businesses, the weather has also wreaked havoc at the Isle of Wight festival. Correspondent Mike Thomson reports.

Thought for the Day with the Brian Draper, Associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

The government's civil service reforms are going to introduce an appraisal system to make it easier to identity the best and the under-performing. That could mean 40,000 staff could face potential action. Both Sir Bob Kerslake and the cabinet office minister, Francis Maude have defended the reforms. Trade minister Lord Jones and former cabinet secretary Lord O'Donnell give their thoughts.

The saga of the collapse of the Christmas hamper scheme. Farepak continues as the judge who exonerated its directors puts the blame on HBOS. Louise McDaid who chairs the Victim Committee and solicitor Richard Highley representing two of the exonerated directors explain its significance.

More than a thousand branches of NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank are extending their opening hours today and will also open on Sunday to help customers who have had problems gaining access to their money. A computer system failure brought a halt to payments in and out of their accounts. Director of customer services Susan Allen explains the decision.

Heavy rain is causing problems in northern England, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland tonight. Forecasters say as much as a month's rain could fall in 24 hours. There are more than 75 flood warnings in force for the north-east and north-west of England. Floor risk manager at the Environment Agency, Pete Fox clarifies the situation.


Sports news with Rob Nothman.

The Rio Summit, which saw the gathering of world leaders, has been accused of being "devoid of progress." Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and campaigns and policy director of Friends of the Earth Craig Bennett join the Today programme.


You are ten times more likely to die in a traffic accident in Liberia than you are in the United Kingdom. The roads there are shocking and the health service was destroyed in the civil war. The Today programme has a team out in the country and presenter Sarah Montague tells us what happened.

The paper review.


Jimmy Carr gave his first on-camera response to the row over tax avoidance last night. He has already written on twitter that he made "a terrible judgement." The Today programme's reporter Nicola Stanbridge asked the people in the City of London what they thought of the comedian.

This weekend marks the centenary of Alan Turing's birth, a man who committed suicide after being persecuted for his homosexuality and played a crucial role in breaking the German codes during the Second World War. Science correspondent Tom Fielden looks at his life's achievements.

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

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