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Page last updated at 06:14 GMT, Wednesday, 10 October 2012 07:14 UK
Today: Wednesday 10th October

There is a warning that poor harvests in Britain and around the world could mean higher food prices. Foreign Secretary William Hague talks to Today presenter James Naughtie about Syria and who is winning the battle for the social soul of the Conservative Party. And also on the programme what one man's story of losing his sight can tell us about our memories.

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 news of the proposed merger between the aviation and defence giants BAE and EADS.

Sports news with Gary Richardson.


Five of the country's most notorious murders who are serving "whole of life" tariffs are appealing against their sentences, arguing that they are excessive. The BBC's Clive Coleman explains why they are arguing that the "whole of life" tariff is too inhumane as a punishment.

Britain's farmers are warning of a very poor harvest this year. Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union, says that crop yields are down 15 per cent and that is having an effect on effect on food prices.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The Conservative Party under David Cameron has made great efforts to become more liberal on social issues, but the popularity of fringe meetings against gay marriage and the re-emergence of abortion as an issue, suggest its success may be limited. Today presenter James Naughtie reports from the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

Sports news with Gary Richardson.


A police chief described Sir Jimmy Savile as a "predatory sex offender" yesterday as the scale of his abusing started to become clear. Writer Jon Brown and Mark Williams Thomas, a former child protection expert who presented the ITV programme that revealed what was going on, outline how Savile got away with it for so long.

The paper review.

This weekend, the Serpentine Gallery in London is organising a Memory Marathon, a series of talks and exhibits devoted to the subject. John Hull is a theologian and writer who went totally blind more than 30 years ago, describes how blindness can affect our sense of memory.

Thought for the Day with Rev Joel Edwards.


It is the final day of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham and David Cameron will address the hall. Former party leader and Foreign Secretary William Hague discuses Syria and the party's efforts to become more liberal on social issues.


The National Farmers' Union has a bleak picture of this year's harvest, according to a survey of its members. Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University, and Lord Haskins of Skidby, a farmer and former chairman of Northern Foods, examine whether the UK's food prices are already rising more quickly than those in the rest of Europe.

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he expects BAE Systems and EADS to announce before the London stock market opens on Wednesday if they will seek more time for talks on a $45bn merger. The BBC's business editor Robert Peston explains the developments.


The winner of the country's leading literary prize, the Man Booker, is announced next week and in the run-up to the award, Today will be talking to the six authors who've been selected for the shortlist. The BBC's arts correspondent Rebecca Jones went to see Hilary Mantel at her home in Devon to talk to her about the book.

Sports news with Gary Richardson.

The changes to the health service introduced by the coalition are some of the biggest in the 65 year history of the NHS, and they been the subject of heated debate at all the party conferences this year. Six health professionals and patient group representatives discuss the success, or otherwise, of the government's health reforms.

Business news with Simon Jack.


Providence Resources, an Irish and UK listed exploration company, has confirmed it expects to recover £17bn pounds' worth of oil from Irish waters. Tony O'Reilly, the company's chief executive, told Today programme business presenter Simon Jack that the find is "hopefully the renaissance of Irish offshore".

What should we reasonably expect from the technology of the future? Dr Ian Pearson, futurologist and Maggie Philbin, former Tomorrow's World presenter, examine whether people still find new technology surprising.

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