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Page last updated at 07:18 GMT, Monday, 7 January 2013
Today: Monday 7th January

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are to launch a joint programme for the second half of this parliament. They say their coalition remains "steadfast and united". Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, gives his view on whether the party will be able to make the transition from being a single issue party to a mainstream political player. Also in today's programme, the writer Wilbur Smith explains why he has has been offered a book deal worth £15m.

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 that there have been further confessions by the International Monetary Fund of getting its maths wrong.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


A report from the charity Barnardo's says that under the government's "universal credit" it will be impossible for some of the poorest families in the UK to "strive" their way out of poverty because of high childcare costs. Anne Marie Carrie, chief executive of Barnardo's, outlines the criticism.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Financial regulators and central bank governors from the world's biggest economies have made history by agreeing rules on the minimum quantities of cash and liquid or sellable assets that all banks must hold. The BBC's business editor Robert Peston explains that it is an attempt to make banks less vulnerable to the kind of runs that shattered Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers.

David Cameron has suggested there should be restrictions on EU immigrants claiming benefits in the UK as part of a new relationship with the EU. Sarah Mulley, associate director at Institute for Public Policy Research, and John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, discuss fears that the UK will see an influx of immigrants from new EU members Bulgaria and Romania when a five-year quota restricting numbers expires at the end of this year.

The Today programme has asked well-known figures what they would do if they were to set their alarms half an hour early. In this final instalment, Seb Emina, author of The Breakfast Bible, talks on the importance of taking the time to start your day with breakfast.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The UK Independence Party (UKIP) starts the new year on a high in terms of its position in the polls. Nigel Farage, Leader of UKIP, gives his view on whether the party will be able to make the transition from being a single issue party to a mainstream political player.

The paper review.


Can our ancient ancestors, who lived in tribal societies, give us an insight into how we should live our modern lives? Pulitzer Prize winner Professor Jared Diamond explains the subject of his new book The World Until Yesterday, which looks at his field work, carried out over five decades in New Guinea.

Thought for the Day with Canon Dr Alan Billings, an Anglican priest.


Robert Francis QC, who has led the public inquiry into Stafford Hospital, is expected to report back shortly. According to the Sunday Telegraph he will call for an overhaul of regulation to ensure that poor managers are weeded out and there is better training for healthcare assistants. Mike Travis, a children's nurse based in Liverpool, and Roy Lilley, former chair of an NHS Trust, debate whether these are the right ways to overhaul and improve the NHS.


The prime minister and his deputy, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg are preparing for a mid-term review of the coalition - which Labour has dismissed as a rebranding exercise. David Laws, MP for Yeovil and Minster for Schools and State, explains the government's plans and the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson gives analysis.


The Russian region of Mordovia has invited French actor Gerard Depardieu to set up home there, hours after he received his Russian passport. Edward Lucas, international editor of the Economist and a former Moscow bureau chief, explains what Russia are hoping to get out of the invitation.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

It is a month now since Belfast City Council voted not to routinely fly the union flag, a month that has seen the worst street violence since the Good Friday agreement settled so many of Northern Ireland's troubles. The Reverend Mervyn Gibson, whose church was the location for a meeting of community leaders over the weekend, outlines the progress of a search for ways to end the crisis.


The writer Wilbur Smith explains why he has been offered a book deal worth £15m.


Israel's parliamentary election campaign seems to be proceeding along fairly predictable lines, with the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, likely to be re-elected as head of some sort of coalition government. Middle East Correspondent Kevin Connolly reflects on the level of influence held by his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The government needs to end its fixation with having the fastest broadband speeds in the world, according to a new report from Policy Exchange called The Superfast and the Furious. Chris Yiu, the report author and head of digital government at Policy Exchange, and Dr Peter Cochrane, former chief technology officer at BT, discuss the prospects for the UK's technological advancement.

Prime Minister David Cameron says his government has started the new year with a "full tank of gas", but the government is only just halfway through its five-year term. Steve Richards, chief political correspondent at The Independent, and Anne McElvoy, public policy editor at the The Economist, discuss how the coalition have performed so far and what they will need to do during the rest of their time in office.

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