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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Saturday, 19 January 2013
Today: Saturday 19th January

The Algerian government has strongly defended its handling of the continuing hostage crisis, saying its use of military force has prevented a catastrophe. James Naughtie has spoken to the American defense secretary, Leon Panetta. There have been chaotic scenes at Heathrow Airport, where hundreds of flights were cancelled because of snow. And later in the programme, Gareth Edwards on scoring could be called rugby's greatest try.

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

British Airways has apologised to passengers after snow has caused cancellations and delays. The BBC's Clare Burton reports from the airport.

Parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy with Yesterday in Parliament, including David Cameron's briefing on the status of British hostages caught in an attack in Algeria.

Snow is still causing severe disruption in many areas of the UK. Sian Lloyd is in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, one of the worst hit areas.

Charles Calomiris, Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School, discusses whether meaningful banking reform is likely to happen in this country.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Mixed reports have come from Algeria about how many hostages are still held at a gas plant there, President and Chief Executive of the Algerian Business Council Abderrezzak Osmani talks about the situation.

The Newspaper review

After David Cameron postponed his speech on Europe this week, political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue has assessed the arguments on both sides of the question about a possible British Exit from Europe.

The results of the German regional elections are announced tomorrow, Berlin Correspondent Steve Evans reports.

Thought for the Day with Baptist minister Reverend Roy Jenkins.


Andrew Johnson, director general of the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association, and James Daley, a Which magazine money expert, debate whether the gift card could be the next casualty of the high street.

The rescue operation of hostages in Algeria has been going on since Thursday. Beatrice Khadige, Bureau Chief for the news agency AFP in Algiers, talks about the situation.

Lance Armstrong has admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs to help him become a champion cyclist, we will hear him in interview with Oprah Winfrey.

England's school inspector Ofsted has said this week that it will inspect local authorities with an excess of under-performing schools. Mark Rogers from the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives gives his view.

Paul Mason, Newsnight's economics editor, and Dr David Brown, senior lecturer in American studies at the University of Manchester, discuss a 150 year-old letter to Lancashire cotton workers from then President Abraham Lincoln.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Leon Panetta, the American Defense Secretary, talks to James Naughtie about the Algerian hostage situation.

Passengers at Heathrow's Terminal 5 give their views on the disruption at the airport.

Ahead of the Six-Nations Rugby tournament, Welsh singer Cerys Matthews has been following the personal story of Gareth Edwards, who scored in the Barbarians match against the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1973.

The newspaper review.


The Royal Institution is one of the oldest scientific organisations in the world, but due to financial trouble it may have to sell its prestigious home in Mayfair in London. The Today programme's science correspondent Tom Feilden and physics professor Jim Al-Khalili talk about the Institution's fate.


Four huge, barrel-shaped lumps of lard have washed up on the East coast of Scotland, perhaps relics from a merchant ship sunk during WWII. Jeremy Lee, Head Chef at the Quo Vadis restaurant in London's Soho makes the case for bringing back the old-fashioned food-stuff.

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