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Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Thursday, 17 January 2013
Today: Thursday 17th January

The Today programmes hears from the Labour leader Ed Miliband. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has confirmed the death of a British national during an attack by Islamist gunmen on a gas complex in Algeria. The United States and India have grounded their Boeing 787 Dreamliners, amid concerns that batteries on the aircraft can catch fire. And also on the programme, 30 years from the launch of Breakfast Time - how has the programme changed the nation's viewing habits?

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 India, the US and European aviation authorities have followed Japan's lead and grounded all Boeing 787's which means effectively that almost all of the 50 in service are not in service.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The Free Syrian Army fighters have been accused of theft, looting and kidnapping for ransom so an increasing number of Syrians opposed to the government of President Assad are turning instead to hard-line Islamists, in particular to the Al-Nusra Front - jihadists close to al Qaeda and named by the United States as a terrorist group. The BBC's correspondent Paul Wood has been back to Aleppo and recorded an exclusive interview with one of the group's leaders.

Next year, Romania and Bulgaria will have been EU member states for seven years and restrictions on immigration from those countries will be lifted. Sir Andrew Green, the director of the campaign group Migration Watch, says that 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will come to Britain in the first five years.


Business news with Simon Jack. The owner of the Currys and PC World electrical chains - Dixons Retail - has announced a big jump in sales over the Christmas period.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is championing a scheme that is intended to try to solve the regular disputes involving developers when a wildlife habitat is going to be destroyed. The Today programme's environment correspondent Tom Feilden hears from the chief executive of the Environment Bank, which is behind the idea, and Simon King is president, the Wildlife Trusts, outlines the problems in general.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw is to announce new targeted Ofsted inspections of schools in the six most educationally under-performing areas England today. Sir Michael Wilshaw and David Simmons, of the local government association, discuss whether Councils that are judged not to be doing enough on school improvement.

The paper review.

Parliamentary officials in London are baffled by the accents of Scottish MPs, it has been revealed. A reporter from Hansard, which makes a verbatim report of daily proceedings in Parliament, sent a note to the Scottish MP Jim Sheridan, asking why he referred to the SNP as "big fairies". Lorraine Sutherland, editor of Hansard, says that this is not an isolated incident.

Thought for the Day with Lord Singh, director of the Network of Sikh organisations.

Algerian troops have surrounded a gas facility in the east of the country where some 20 foreign workers are being held hostage by Islamist militants. Robert Fowler, a former UN envoy to the region who was abducted in 2008 for four months, describes the hostage situation and John Baron, Conservative MP, member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, outlines what the British government's course of action should be.


As part of the Today programme's new year leader interviews, Labour leader Ed Miliband speaks to presenter James Naughtie. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson gives analysis.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Boeing's troubled 787 Dreamliner continues to face problems as more global regulators and airlines grounded the plane on safety concerns.


There is an explosive tax scandal in Greece at the moment - it follows from the so-called Lagarde List - a dossier of suspected tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts, it was passed by the then French finance minister, Christine Lagarde to her Greek counterpart George Papaconstantinou in 2010. The BBC's Athens correspondent Mark Lowen reports from the capital.

Business news with Simon Jack.


BBC Breakfast will celebrate its 30th anniversary today with special appearances from some of the show's original team, including Russell Grant and Diana Moran. Russell Grant, the astrologer, and Jean Seaton, professor of media history at the University of Westminster, reflect on the programme's history.

Nearly 200 Nigerian troops are due to join French forces fighting Islamist militants in Mali, where the first major ground operation has begun. David Gressly, the UN regional coordinator for the Sahel, examines the situation for the citizens in the region.

In the space of less than a week, Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster have called in administrators. Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, and David Bell, economist at Stirling University, examine whether there is likely to be more bad news for High Street retailers and what the repercussions will be for the labour market.

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