As it happened: Friday's Today programme

Key Points

  • Follow Friday's Today programme with Justin Webb and Evan Davis.
  • Including: The government has released mug shots of Britain's most wanted tax evaders and calls for the Department of Health to target suicide prevention in men.
  • Comment and join in with the debate on our Facebook page or by using the #r4today hashtag on Twitter.
  1.  
    0707:

    Good morning and welcome to Friday's live page for the Today programme. Justin Webb and Evan Davis are presenting, live on BBC Radio 4 until 0900. You can listen to the programme live via iPlayer and have your say on what you hear via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

     
  2.  
    0707:

    Here's what's coming up on the programme between now and 0800 (subject to change):

    0709 Mugshots of Britain's most wanted tax fugitives are out this morning. It's the second year in a row that HMRC has published the details - as part of a £900m investment by the government in measures to prevent tax evasion. Tessa Lorimer, a barrister who specialises in tax fraud and has previously worked on HMRC investigations, examines the sort of crimes that tax evaders may have committed.

    0713 The US has ordered all non-essential government personnel to leave its consulate-general in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The BBC's Charles Haviland reports from the capital Islamabad.

    0716 Business news with Simon Jack.

    0719 A record seven million students in China graduated from university this year. But for many their high hopes are being crushed by the country's economic slowdown. The BBC's Beijing correspondent Martin Patience reports why the job hunt has never been harder.

    0723 Scientists believe the magnetic poles of the sun might be about to "flip", a signal that the 11-year cycle of solar activity is reaching its maximum. Steve Tobias, professor in applied mathematics at Leeds University, outlines how much is known about the "flip".

    0732 High-level talks between the US and Russia will go ahead later, just two days after President Obama cancelled a meeting with President Putin. Former US assistant secretary of state, PJ Crowley, and Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies and international energy policy, discuss what will be discussed.

    0738 The paper review.

    0741 The world's first talking robot 'astronaut' arrives at the International Space Station to serve as companion to Kochi Wakata who takes over command of the ISS in November. Dee Caffari, who sailed around the world "the wrong way" alone, and Professor William Harwin, from the school of systems engineering at the University of Reading discuss the isolation of being in space.

    0747 Thought for the Day with the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

    0751 Three times as many men commit suicide as women and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) says the Department of Health is failing to recognise the problem. Martin Seager, advisor at the Samaritans, explains what the government might be able to do to address the issue.

     
  3.  
    0710:
    Papers

    Friday's papers include extensive coverage of an acid attack on two British women in Zanzibar. Read the paper review in full here.

     
  4.  
    Chris Whitehouse

    tweets: @BBCr4today royal baby, highest birthdate in Europe and now a pregnant panda now that is a baby boom! #r4today

     
  5.  
    0713:
    Mugshots of tax evaders

    Mugshots of Britain's most wanted tax fugitives have been released by the government. It's the second year in a row that HMRC has published the details - as part of a £900m investment by the government in measures to prevent tax evasion. Read the BBC story in full here.

     
  6.  
    0714:

    The US has ordered all non-essential government personnel to leave its consulate-general in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The BBC's Charles Haviland joins us on the line now from the capital Islamabad.

     
  7.  
    0715:

    Charles Haviland says the Pakistan government has put Islamabad on a state of high alert but authorities think the targets are Pakistani targets, not foreign targets.

     
  8.  
    0720:

    And here's what's coming up on the programme between 0800-0900:

    0810 Only one of the 20 most-wanted tax evaders and fraudsters has been tracked down since they were named on a government list last year. The Today programme's Sima Kotecha reports and Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, outlines what needs to be done.

    0820 Leonardo da Vinci's studies of the human body, the subject of a current exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, have been proved remarkably accurate by later imaging techniques such as MRI, the results of which are also shown alongside Leonardo's drawings. Daksha Patel, contemporary artist, and Martin Clayton, curator of the Queen's Gallery exhibition in Edinburgh, discuss art's fascination with the anatomy.

    0831 Edinburgh Zoo has said there are "strong indications" that its female giant panda is pregnant. Iain Valentine, director of the zoo's giant panda programme, and Isabel Hilton, editor of china dialogue.net discuss the news.

    0837 Pope Francis has intensified his moves to combat corruption inside the Vatican administration, with a new decree issued on Thursday against alleged money laundering by the Vatican bank. The BBC's Rome correspondent, David Willey, reports.

    0842 Business news with Simon Jack.

    0846 America's Secretary of State and Defence Secretary will meet their Russian counterparts in Washington later with relations between the two countries at their lowest ebb for many years.

    0852 The Metropolitan Police has been working with insect experts the National History Museum to improve forensic techniques in murder cases. Amoret Whitaker, forensic entomologist at the National History Museum, and Jackie Sebire, detective chief Inspector from the Metropolitan Police's homicide and serious crime command, outline what the project aims to achieve.

     
  9.  
    0720:

    On the tax story, barrister Tessa Lorimer told Evan Davis we are talking about millions, if not billions, of pounds evaded annually by the UK's most-wanted tax fugitives.

     
  10.  
    0720:

    Simon Jack's business news includes reports on concerns in Saudi Arabia over the growth of the Shale gas industry. If you missed Simon's round-up of today's Business headlines at 0615 you'll be able to download the podcast here shortly.

     
  11.  
    0721:

    Scientists believe the magnetic poles of the Sun might be about to "flip", a signal that the 11-year cycle of solar activity is reaching its maximum. Steve Tobias, professor in applied mathematics at Leeds University, outlines how much is known about the "flip".

     
  12.  
    0723:

    Here's the Daily Mail's report on what's happening to the Sun's magnetic poles.

     
  13.  
    0726:
    Students in China

    A record seven million students in China graduated from university this year. But for many their high hopes are being crushed by the country's economic slowdown. The BBC's Martin Patience reports.

     
  14.  
    0727:

    One employer says many of the graduates have the wrong attitude - they need to lower their expectations and get experience in the real world to get a good job.

     
  15.  
    0728:

    Remember you can listen to the Today programme live via BBC iPlayer.

     
  16.  
    Peter Matthews

    tweets: Other thing with Chinese graduates is they are forced to live in very poor living conditions @BBCr4today

     
  17.  
    Hilary Wingfield

    tweets: @BBCr4today Sounds like same problem in #china as in UK. Graduates who studied 'management' and want to be a stockbroker.

     
  18.  
    Paul Charman

    tweets: Interesting story in China's grad recruitment @BBCr4today Higher numbers graduating and employers feeling grads are ill equipped

     
  19.  
    0735:
    US President Barack Obama with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit.

    High level talks between the US and Russia will go ahead later, just two days after President Obama cancelled a meeting with President Putin.

     
  20.  
    0736:

    Former United States assistant secretary of state, PJ Crowley, and Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies and international energy policy, discuss what will be talked about.

     
  21.  
    0737:

    Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies and international energy policy, says the Russians brought around the situation and need to take a good look at what is in their national interest. He says the US has treated Russia "very, very nicely". He adds: "The US needs to send a clear message that it cannot be business as usual".

     
  22.  
    0741:

    Former United States assistant secretary of state, PJ Crowley, says it becomes more difficult for the US to solve international issues without some cooperation with Russia. He says the relationship is going through a difficult patch but there is effort to cooperate as much as possible. Washington is wary about a total freeze in relations as it will need Russia's acquiescence if it needs to put pressure on Iran in future.

     
  23.  
    0741:

    Here's more on this story we're covering now about the talks between the US and Russia from Kim Ghattas, the BBC's correspondent in Washington. Read Kim's analysis.

     
  24.  
    Bob Hawkins

    tweets: Am I right in thinking that the panda offspring will be 4th in line to the throne?

     
  25.  
    Ron Delnevo

    tweets: @BBCr4today: Russians "brought about this unfortunate situation" says @Dr_Ariel_Cohen #r4today" Russia & US:Two punch-drunk heavyweights?

     
  26.  
    Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: Chairing a politician free Any Questions with a performance poet, a bacteriologist, low tax campaigner & an Economist scribe @BBCRadio4 at 8

     
  27.  
    Howard Jacobs

    tweets: Just did a live interview on @BBCr4today discussing recent IAAF announcement that they will try to impose 4 year bans for doping violations.

     
  28.  
    0746:
    An anti-doping laboratory

    Howard was speaking to the Today programme's Rob Bonnet about the news that the world athletics' governing body, the IAAF, will revert to four-year bans for drugs offenders from 2015 as part of its "unwavering commitment against doping".

     
  29.  
    0753:
    Depressed man

    Three times as many men commit suicide as women and Campaign Against Living Miserably says that the Department of Health is failing to recognise the problem. Martin Seager, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, SW Yorkshire Partnership Trust, explains what the government could do to address the issue.

     
  30.  
    0753:

    CALM founder Jane Powell says the issue is cultural as we don't think of men as needing help in any way. Society says being weak is what women do and being strong is what men do.

     
  31.  
    0754:

    On air now - the world's first talking robot 'astronaut' arrives at the International Space Station to serve as companion to Kochi Wakata who takes over command of the ISS in November.

     
  32.  
    0756:

    Dee Caffari, who sailed around the world "the wrong way" alone explains she coped with the isolation by becoming very good at one-sided conversations and developing a very special relationship with her boat.

     
  33.  
    Alison Collington

    tweets: @BBCr4today So true discussion on male suicide. My father committed suicide 31 years ago. Taboo then and still now. #r4today

     
  34.  
    0758:
    Humanoid communication robot Kirobo

    Here's a picture of the world's first talking robot "astronaut".

     
  35.  
    0800:

    "If the robot can make a cup of tea, it can probably have a place on the boat," says @deecaffari.

     
  36.  
    Matthew Currey

    tweets: "@BBCr4today: "We equate manhood with being invulnverable" says CALM founder Jane Powell #r4today" @theCALMzone agree this needs to change

     
  37.  
    John Binns Mental health campiagner

    tweets: good discussion on male suicide @BBCr4today. My experience is men don't ask for help..Fear seeming weak. 2/3 seeking my advice Women

     
  38.  
    Vanda Zajko

    tweets: Fascinating item on human beings' anthropomorphising tendencies and robots in space on #r4today

     
  39.  
    0808:
    Mugshots of tax evaders

    Coming up next: Only one of the 20 most-wanted tax evaders and fraudsters has been tracked down since they were named on a government list last year. The Today programme's Sima Kotecha reports and Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, outlines what needs to be done.

     
  40.  
    0809:

    George Osborne is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying: "The government has stepped up HMRC's enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats relentlessly around the world. This new list will help put more tax fraudsters in the spotlight and bring them to justice."

     
  41.  
    0809:

    Meanwhile, Labour says the arrest rate suggests the project had been a "huge failure".

     
  42.  
    0813:

    HMRC has produced this flickr page with images of the "most-wanted".

     
  43.  
    0814:
    Map of the suspected locations of the UK's tax fugitives.

    The Guardian has just published this map of the suspected locations of the UK's tax fugitives.

     
  44.  
    Steve Brooks

    tweets: #r4today Tobacco smuggler... alcohol smuggler.. No bankers, accountants or CEOs. What a surprise. #TaxDodgers

     
  45.  
    0816:

    Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury says HMRC has received intelligence on 17 people and has caught two people so far. "We will go as far as we can and pursue them relentlessly to bring them to justice," he says.

     
  46.  
    0817:

    Sajid Javid says: "If we hadn't gone through the process the public wouldn't have got involved and we wouldn't have caught those two people."

     
  47.  
    0820:

    "We have to be very strong on tax avoidance and Britain is leading the way as it needs international cooperation," Mr Javid says. "This is part of the package of tackling avoidance and evasion."

     
  48.  
    0820:
    Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci

    Leonardo da Vinci's studies of the human body, the subject of a current exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, have been proved remarkably accurate by later imaging techniques such as MRI, the results of which are also shown alongside Leonardo's drawings.

     
  49.  
    0822:

    Martin Clayton, curator of the Queen's Gallery exhibition in Edinburgh, says it has 30 of da Vinci's studies. "He saw no division between science and art - he wanted his paintings to be as true to life as possible and wanted his science to be beautiful and harmonious," he says.

     
  50.  
    Karl McCartney MP for Lincoln

    tweets:‏ Good on @sajidjavid for sticking it to @BBCr4today @BBCPolitics on improvements: bringing 3x as many to court for tax evasion

     
  51.  
    Political pictures Photography agency

    tweets: Very poor interview from Sajid Javid on @BBCr4today on tax makes the govt look and sound rather silly

     
  52.  
    0825:

    Here's more information on Hollyroodhouse's Leonardo da Vinci exhibition.

     
  53.  
    ChrissieSilverSurfer

    tweets: What happens if fugitives found in countries with no extradiction agreement? What cost to bring them back to UK?

     
  54.  
    0828:

    More now on the senior mafia boss found living in Uxbridge in West London. A judge will decide today whether he should be released from custody - due to claims that there are problems with the warrant he was arrested under.

     
  55.  
    Gavin Hewitt Europe editor

    tweets: Another day. More mixed results in ezone. French industrial output shrank 1.4% in June from May. P Hollande's optimism may be premature.

     
  56.  
    0831:

    A judge in southern Italy is pioneering a programme to help children of mafia bosses to escape a life of crime - by taking them away from their parents at the first sign of trouble. You can read more on this from the BBC's Alan Johnston, who's based in Italy.

    A woman an an anti-Ndrangheta protest 2010 Thousands take part in anti-mafia protests every year to remember the victims of violence
     
  57.  
    0833:

    "Very much on wanted list for the Italians for last 19 years" says Sunday Times' Rome reporter @JohnFollain of mafia boss found in Uxbridge.

     
  58.  
    0834:

    More on the story that America is ordering most of its diplomatic staff to leave the US consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore. A US official said there had been a specific threat against the mission.

     
  59.  
    0835:

    Ahmed Rashid, who has written several books on Pakistan and the Taliban, says there is a wave of terrorism going through Pakistan at the moment.

     
  60.  
    0837:

    Ahmed Rashid says Pakistan needs to get the civilian and military agencies working together. He says the government has been slow at getting its act together

     
  61.  
    0841:
    Forensic entomology lab

    Forensic entomology is one of those policing specialties that has not received much attention.

    Amoret Whitaker, a forensic entomologist at the Natural History Museum and Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire from the Metropolitan Police, join Evan Davis now to explain what forensic entomology involves.

     
  62.  
    0842:

    Amoret Whitaker, forensic entomologist at the National History Museum, says new research looks at how quickly flies can lay their eggs on or in zips and it seems to depend on the quality of the zip. She says: "It's incredibly crucial to have this kind of information - we are working out how old the insects on the body are, we need to know how accessible the body is to insects."

     
  63.  
    0843:

    Jackie Sebire, detective chief Inspector from the Metropolitan Police's homicide and serious crime command, says this work is vitally important in policing, establishing cause of death is very difficult in these cases and police have to create a timeline working with entomologists to gather evidence.

     
  64.  
    0844:

    Here's details of one case that Det Ch Insp Jackie Sebire worked on using these techniques - the murder of Leah Questin by Clinton Bailey.

     
  65.  
    0845:

    How can you tell when a panda's pregnant? Listen to the Today programme explanation here.

     
  66.  
    Mary Whittaker

    tweets: Yuk - @BBCr4today report on flies getting at bodies in suitcases while I eat breakfast. The maggot experts are all women at least.

     
  67.  
    Lonely Joe Turner

    tweets: Delightfully stomach-churning entomology package over breakfast from @BBCr4today

     
  68.  
    Janet O'Kane

    tweets: Interesting on @BBCr4today about forensic entomology. Apparently increasing numbers of bodies are being found in suitcases/bags.

     
  69.  
    0848:
    Evan Davis

    Remember you can listen to the Today programme live via BBC iPlayer.

     
  70.  
    0848:
    Vladimir Putin, right, and Barack Obama in Northern Ireland, June 2013

    More on the story that America's Secretary of State and Defence Secretary will meet their Russian counterparts in Washington today with relations between the two countries at their lowest ebb for many years.

     
  71.  
    0849:

    Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski tells Justin Webb that it's important to have a sense of perspective on the issue. He says the situation is not comparable to the past but it is a shame the situation has become so volatile.

     
  72.  
    Martin Cullingford

    tweets: Nice fact from @BBCr4today There's a point in the Southern Ocean where you're nearer the International Space Station than to anyone on earth

     
  73.  
    0853:

    Dr Brzezinski says Russia is "relatively isolated internationally". He says Putin has a complex motivation which ignores the rising middle class in Russia which is increasingly Western in its leanings and increasingly interested in democracy.

     
  74.  
    0853:
    Amoret Whitaker

    For more information about forensic entomology, you can listen to The Life Scientific with Amoret Whitaker (who we heard from on the programme earlier), first broadcast on Radio 4 in January.

     
  75.  
    0854:
    Panda at Edinburgh Zoo.

    Edinburgh Zoo says there are "strong indications" that its female giant panda is pregnant.

     
  76.  
    0856:

    Iain Valentine, director of the zoo's giant panda programme, says the panda's rise of progesterone overlaid with behavioural changes such as nest building and a decrease in appetite mean "everything is looking positive".

     
  77.  
    0857:

    Isabel Hilton, editor of china dialogue.net, says the panda cubs would belong to China, where they are a national symbol.

     
  78.  
    Wendy redRobin

    tweets: @BBCr4today oh please not another #royalbaby media overkill at the gates of Edinburgh Zoo #pandababy

     
  79.  
    0859:

    Pandas have sex three times a year and can "barely reproduce" @isabelhilton says.

     
  80.  
    ducksandchucks

    tweets:"@BBCr4today: Pandas have sex three times a year and can "barely reproduce" @isabelhilton tells #r4today" >>> bearly?

     
  81.  
    Jessica Abels

    tweets: Panda Watch! The mood is tense. @BBCr4today casually referencing Anchorman just made my Friday. You stay classy, Justin and Evan.

     
  82.  
    0904:

    Our editors today were Monica Soriano and Laura Cooper. Coming up next on Radio 4, Eve Stewart is Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs. Thanks for listening and have a good morning. We'll be back on Monday.

     

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