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Page last updated at 06:20 GMT, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 07:20 UK
Today: Tuesday 24th July

Fears that Spain might ask for a bailout have led a major credit ratings agency to revise its view of three of Europe's strongest economies, including Germany. A Treasury minister says paying tradesmen cash-in-hand for a discount is "morally wrong". And, if you are caught in the rain without an umbrella, should you walk or run?

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


A new report by the Lords Science and Technology Committee suggests the UK must produce more high calibre science graduates to secure economic growth. The report recommends that maths should be compulsory for all students post 16 years-old, and want universities to toughen up their maths requirements for entry into Science, Technology and Engineering and Maths courses. The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Willis chairs the committee.

European financial markets had a turbulent day on Monday driven by continuing concerns about Spain's national debt. The German, French and Italian stock markets dropped sharply by three per cent. Observers say the Spanish debt situation is appearing increasingly precarious, and further financial assistance may be needed from the Eurozone. Our Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt gives us the latest.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.


In the latest issue of the European Journal of Physics, Franco Bocci ponders if you are caught in the rain without an umbrella, should you run or walk? David Tong, professor of physics at Cambridge university explains Prof Bocci's mathematical analysis and conclusion.

Opinion polls are suggesting a rise in support for the UK Independence Party. At the weekend our chief political correspondent Ben Wright joined some former Tories who are now in UKIP at a conference called The Next Big Step.

Sports news with Garry Richardson


Attacks are occurring every few days in Iraq, 237 people were killed in June. There also appears to be some link between events in Syria and Iraq, the two are fuelling each other. Rami Ruhayem, the BBC's correspondent in Baghdad and the BBC's Wyre Davies discuss and debate the situation. Also on the programme is Professor Fawaz Gerges from the London School of Economics.

Paper review.

Different countries have different physical strengths, being good at different types of sport. Johnny Acton, co-author of the book How to Watch the Olympics, explains how Britain and other countries compare.

Thought for the day with Anne Atkins, novelist and columnist.


Last year Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a "wellbeing agenda" would see ministers using a number of methods to measure how happy Britain is, including a survey of 200,000 people. The results will allow each local authority to compare and contrast the happiness of their residents, and Cameron wants government policy to react to the results. The results are coming out later this morning. The BBC's home editor Mark Easton and the former cabinet secretary Lord O' Donnell discuss the possible consequences.


New questions have been raised over Greece's bailout. In Spain, the national government is struggling to manage its own finances; Italy is facing some contagion effects of Spain, with borrowing rates rising; and there are question about how well Germany can cope with all the pressures elsewhere. Andreu Mas-Colell, economics minister for the Catalonian Parliament, and Jim O'Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, analyse the situation.


This week, the 22 year-old singer songwriter, Cosmo Jarvis releases a new album and first feature length film, called Think Bigger. Some, including the musician and producer Brian Eno, think that Jarvis's approach marks a turning point in popular culture. The BBC's Mark Coles reports.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The Crown Prosecution Service is about to announce its decision on charges against at least some of the journalists arrested in the phone-hacking investigation. Also, the final submissions are being made to the Leveson inquiry today. Actor Steve Coogan, who has become a campaigner for reform in media regulation, and Andrew Neil, former editor of The Sunday Times, examine what has been achieved by the inquiry.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing its most serious crisis for years, as a growing band of mutinous soldiers makes significant advances in the mineral-rich east of the country. The rebel movement, calling itself M23, is accused of rape, looting and recruiting young men and boys by force. It is also suspected of receiving support from neighbouring Rwanda, a key ally of the US and the UK. Our east Africa correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse has gained access to territory controlled by the rebels and sent this report.

A committee of MPs is proposing that laws governing casinos and high stake slot machines should be loosened up. The Culture Media and Sport committee visited Brussels, Australia and Macao for insights into the industry. The upshot is, they want local authorities to have far more power to decide on whether they have a casino and how many high stakes slot machines they have. John Wittingdale is the chairman of the committee.

The Queen has a Diamond Jubilee lunch with a clutch of prime ministers at Downing Street today - David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major. Lady Thatcher however, is unable to attend. Anne McElvoy from The Economist and the veteran political journalist Nicholas Jones, debate the possible topics of conversation.

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