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Page last updated at 06:09 GMT, Monday, 27 August 2012 07:09 UK
Today: Monday 27th August

Labour says MPs must be given the chance to examine the government's decision to award the West Coast Main Line franchise to First Group; we talk to Richard Branson. What is the secret to curing the serial procrastinator? And, should Heathrow get a third runway?

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.


Should Heathrow Airport have another runway?
The former chancellor of the exchequer, Alistair Darling, explains why he is in favour of the move.

Mitt Romney will be formally adopted as the Republican candidate at the party's convention in Tampa. Florida this week - it should happen today but the opening session has been canceled because of an approaching hurricane. With the opinion polls suggesting he and Obama are neck-and-neck, this is his opportunity to convince America he should be their next president. But, as the BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell reports, he has to balance pleasing his party, and appealing to swing voters.

Business news with Simon Jack.

A new Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) report argues that Sweden shows that free market reforms are economically beneficial and that an expansive welfare state is economically damaging and not the key factor in producing positive social outcomes. Is it true that our view of Sweden's success is a myth? The IEA's Mark Littlewood and Nick Pearce, of the think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, debate.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.


The drought in one part of West Africa has become so bad that nearly five million people are facing severe food shortages in one country alone. In Mali, two-thirds of the country has been taken over by Islamists, some of whom have links with al-Qaeda. A new unity government announced last week might have ended months of fractious rule after an army coup in March; but with pressure building for military action to retake the north, and food supplies at rock bottom, most people simply have their eyes on survival. Our correspondent Mike Thomson reports from Mali.

Paper review.

Neil Armstrong has died at the age of 82. In 2009, we marked 40 years since the astronaut became the first man to set foot on the moon by hearing from people about what it meant to them at the time, we can return to another of those thoughts, by Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal.

Do you find it hard to get things done? Do you leave tasks to the very last minute? Apparently you are not alone. One in five of us procrastinate to such an extent that it damages our careers, our health and our relationships - according to Professor Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University. It is the subject of a documentary on Radio 4 tomorrow, in which the writer Rowan Pelling meets fellow sufferers and experts to see if there is a cure for her lifelong problem. Also on the programme is Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School.

Though for the Day, with Rev Prof David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College, Durham University.


More politicians have come out in support for a third runway at Heathrow, with Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson and Alistair Darling joining the chorus of voices calling for the project to be approved. Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, former transport spokesperson and Tim Yeo, Chairman of the Commons Climate Change Committee and former Conservative environment minister, who had been against expansion of Heathrow, debate if the project should go ahead.


Opposition activists in Syria have accused the government of killing more than 300 people near Damascus. The Foreign Office says if the reports are true, it would "be an atrocity on a new scale". President Assad has called the uprising "a foreign plot". The BBC's Cairo correspondent Jon Leyne has the latest and the LSE's Prof Fawaz Gerges analyses the situation in the country.


The Republican National Convention officially begins today, though proceedings will actually begin tomorrow, it is hoped, due to the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac. Colleen Graffy, a former deputy assistant secretary of state at the US State Department under President Bush and Associate Professor of Law at Pepperdine Law School in London, previews the political action.


Three years ago on this programme we marked the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, by speaking to people about their memories of the moment Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. The astronaut has died at the age of 82. We hear from the actor Sir Patrick Stewart, perhaps best known as Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

The man who did most to defeat the Germans was the Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. He masterminded the defeat of the Nazis at Stalingrad - the battle that began 70 years ago this month, and one of the key turning points of the Second World War. Zhukov is still a hero in Russia, there was a 12-part television drama about him in Russia this year. And a new book, Stalin's General, looks at his rollercoaster life in the Soviet Union. Its author, Geoffrey Roberts, reflects on Zhukov's life and times and what they say about Stalinist Russia.

Sports news with Rob Nothman.

0831 When Virgin lost the franchise to run West Coast Main Line train services, Sir Richard Branson called the decision "insane". There is a Downing Street petition backing Virgin with more than 100,000 signatures, and Sir Richard himself has offered to keep the service running on a not-for-profit basis while the decision is reviewed. He explains his offer. 0838
Paper review.


Is there a lion wandering around Clacton in Essex? Che Kevlin lives in St Osyth and thinks he heard it last night.

The business news with Simon Jack.

There have been reports and eye witness accounts of a lion on the loose in Clacton in Essex. Nishan Wijeratni is a spokesman for Essex Police.


Where does hould George Orwell's true political identity lie and does he have universal appeal? Last week, Baroness Bakewell claimed that Mark Thompson, the outgoing Director General of the BBC, rejected a statue of Orwell outside Broadcasting House in London apparently telling her: "Oh no, Joan, we can't possibly. It's far too left-wing an idea." D.J Taylor, Biographer of Orwell and Dr Tony Wright, former Labour MP and Professor of Government and Public Policy at UCL, co-editor of Political Quarterly, debate.


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