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Page last updated at 06:30 GMT, Saturday, 22 September 2012 07:30 UK
Today: Saturday 22nd September

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

Hundreds of demonstrators in Libya's second city, Benghazi, have driven out some, but not all, Islamist militias. Four people are reported to have been killed, and 40 wounded. The Liberal Democrats begin their annual conference today, with a message from Nick Clegg that further benefit cuts must be balanced by extra taxes on the rich. an explanation of last night's spectacular meteor storm, for those that saw it, and those that did not.

A police officer with Scotland Yard's Diplomatic Protection Group has said reports that the Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, did use abusive language are true. Mr Mitchell denies claims that he swore at the officer when he was told he couldn't pedal his bike out of Downing Street's main gate. Alan Soady gives his thoughts on the incident.

This week a secret video was released showing Mitt Romney, the US Republican presidential candidate, making disparaging comments about the 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income tax. Our North America Editor Mark Mardell asks if he can recover from a string of awkward moments that shook his campaign team.

How much of a future have our high streets really got? Experian, the information services company, has today published a report setting out how the UK's town centres will have changed by the end of the decade and what they need to do to survive. The study, Town Centre Futures 2020, looks at how retailers will need to adapt to the serve an ageing population. Bruno Rost from Experian explains.


Today, in Plymouth, there will be the premiere of a new choral symphony written for an event to celebrate 150 years of Plymouth University. The composer is Eduardo Miranda but he has been helped in his composition by artificial intelligence software that he has developed. Eduardo Miranda joins us in the studio.

Nick Clegg will launch the Liberal Democrats' annual conference in Brighton today with a promise to push for more taxes on unearned wealth. Our political correspondent, Iain Watson reports.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The situation remains tense around the southern Somalian port city of Kismayo as African Union soldiers continue preparations to capture Al Shabaab's last remaining stronghold. There are fears of a bloody showdown as Al Shabaab Islamist rebels are reported to be pouring hundreds of fighters into the city. If African forces do retake Kismayo what will it mean for the future of Al Shabaab in the region? The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse reports.

A look at today's papers.

Fifty years ago, the then French president Charles de Gaulle made a speech in the West German town of Ludwigsburg that is reckoned to have changed the course of history - a speech that heralded a new era of Franco-German reconciliation. So important was it that Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande will meet in Ludswigburg today. The Today programme's presenter Evan Davis is joined by the deputy mayor of Paris, Jean Louis Missika and Philip Collins, former speech writer for Tony Blair to discuss what makes a great speech.

Thought for the Day with Brian Draper - associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

The government's Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has been accused of branding a policeman a "pleb" after he refused to let him leave Downing Street via his usual exit. He denies he used the word but has apologised for comments he made during the incident. The Daily Telegraph's deputy editor, Ben Brogan and the political editor of the Sunday Times, Isabel Oakeshott, discuss how the debacle will affect the Conservative party.


A day of violent protests across major cities in Pakistan has left at least nineteen people dead, as thousands demonstrated against an anti-Islamic video made in the United States. In Karachi, police clashed with rioters as they torched banks and cinemas. Taji Mustafa is the spokesman for Hisbut Tahrir, a global Islamic political party which David Cameron has said he wants to see banned in this country.


People across the United Kingdom have tonight reported seeing large meteors in the night sky. There have been sightings in Northern Ireland, parts of central Scotland including Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Midlands and East Anglia. Evan Davis hears from people who saw it.

The latest sports news from Rob Bonnet.


Friday was the first day of the UKIP conference. The Today programme's Evan Davis was at the event in Birmingham and sent this report.

Reports from Libya say hundreds of demonstrators have stormed the headquarters of one of the Islamist militias in the city of Benghazi. Earlier, tens of thousands of people marched through the city in support of democracy and against militias, following the killing last week of the US ambassador. Protesters urged the Libyan government to ban the armed groups. The BBC's Rana Jawad reports.

The paper review.

An arrest warrant has been issued for theSouth African politician Julius Malema. The disgraced former youth league leader of the ruling ANC has been under investigation for corruption for months. While the details of the warrant are as yet unknown, it comes at a time of growing discontent on the part of the ANC party leaders over Malema's return to popularity. Our Africa correspondent Andrew Harding reports on the controversial comeback.

England's chief inspector of schools has said teachers must work extra hours if they want a pay rise. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, told The Times that inspectors would mark down schools that gave pay increases to teachers who were "out the gate at 3 o'clock". Martin Johnson, deputy general secretary of the teaching union ATL shares his thoughts on the issue.

Editor of the Spectator Fraser Nelson and former Labour MP and cabinet minister David Blunkett disuss the significance of Party conferences.

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