As it happened: Today programme on Thursday August 15

Key Points

  • Follow Thursday's Today programme with James Naughtie and Justin Webb.
  • Including the latest on the situation in Egypt, A-level results due and what new exhibitions reveal about Vivien Leigh.
  • Comment and join in with the debate on our Facebook page or by using the #r4today hashtag on Twitter.

    Good morning and welcome to Monday's live page. The Today programme is live on BBC Radio 4 until 0900 this morning, with Justin Webb and James Naughtie presenting.


    You can listen to the programme live via iPlayer and have your say on what you hear via our Twitter and Facebook pages.


    Coming up before 0800: A rise in seagull attacks (0715), the two girls arrested for drug smuggling in Peru are awaiting questioning by police (0725) and it's A-level results day in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (0750).


    Coming up before 0900: A state of emergency has been declared in Egypt (0810). The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in Britain has risen sharply (0830). And the number of organ transplants carried out in the UK has reached a record high. (0740)


    There has been strong international condemnation of the deadly crackdown against protest camps in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Read the latest on the situation here.

    0712: Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    "The euphoria that followed the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 feels very distant. The prevailing mood now is "winner takes all"." Read our Middle East editor's analysis on the situation in Egypt in full here.


    Conservative MP Douglas Carswell says it is a disgrace that the UK government has not been more robust in saying that the democratically-elected leader of Egypt should be the leader of Egypt and should not be ousted by force.


    See what's coming up later in the programme. Our provisional running order is available here.

    Cllr Paul Brant Liverpool deputy mayor

    tweets: UK Gov should support democracy in Egypt, should have made clear to Army. @DouglasCarswell on @BBCr4today totally correct.

    Sea gulls

    Here's the Today programme's Sima Kotecha's picture of the seagulls she saw in St Ives in Cornwall.

    Adel Darwish

    tweets: measured response from @mingcampbell against historical-facts-deprived @DouglasCarswell ignorantly comparing #Egypt with Burma #R4Today


    tweets: Sir Ming Campbell on cutting aid to Egypt: "I don't think it will make much difference to the capability of the Egyptian military."

    Jim Naughtie, Justin Webb and Douglas Carswell Jim Naughtie, Justin Webb and Douglas Carswell

    Here's a picture of Conservative MP Douglas Carswell with Jim and Justin ready to debate Egypt (along with Sir Menzies Campbell) in our studio.


    The two women arrested for drug smuggling in Peru - one from Scotland and one from Northern Ireland - are awaiting questioning by police. Watch the BBC's Will Grant's latest report from Lima.

    Bags of drugs

    Sandra Gregory, who was jailed in Thailand in 1993 for trying to smuggle heroin, now travels round schools telling pupils of her story to warn them of the dangers of what can happen.


    "We end up with two little girls in third would prisons for somebody else's crime," Ms Gregory says. "My own experience, I look back in horror and still look back with shame at what I did."

    BBC Breakfast

    tweets: Universities Minister, David Willetts tells us "there is equal value in apprenticeships for pupils who cannot get a place at university."

    Mishal Husain BBC News

    tweets: No morning rush hour in Cairo today. Streets almost deserted #egypt

    Mark Simpson BBC Ireland Correspondent

    tweets: Storm clouds over Stormont. Sinn Fein say Peter Robinson's stance on Maze Jail is 'hysterical' & 'cowardly'. Prepare for some DUP thunder...


    The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK rose by a quarter in three months, figures from the Office for National Statistics say. Read more analysis and get in-depth statistics here.

    Border agency badge

    Sarah Mulley, associate director for Migration and Communities at the IPPR says the government needs to look at local impacts of migration to help communities on the ground.


    Meanwhile, over on BBC Breakfast, Universities Minister David Willetts says: "We've opened up the system, we've made it easier for universities to take on the people that they want to recruit without so many controls (as) in the past."

    An injured Egyptian youth

    Security forces in Egypt have carried out a day-long operation to break up camps of supporters loyal to the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi. To find out more about the situation in Egypt, look at pictures and get in depth coverage here.


    Here's a round-up of the morning's papers, many of which are leading with the situation in Egypt.

    0745: Breaking News

    A record number of students have already been accepted on university courses with 385,910 securing a place, up 9% on this time last year, Ucas figures show.


    Back on the migration story, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK says: "This is a considerable increase, it suggests there's a great deal of interest in coming to work here in these countries".


    tweets: #r4today Absurd hypocrisy and fundamentally racist to create "concerns" about European workers in UK. We all have the right to work abroad!

    Chris Thody

    tweets: If we just renamed "Bulgarians and Romanians" as "Ozzies and Kiwis" I'm sure we'd all feel much better. #R4Today


    The tale of the woman in Cornwall who has taken to wearing a colander on her head has been met with much amusement on Twitter. "New fashion statement?" asks Sharon Halliday.

    Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    Danny Shaw (DannyShawBBC) on Twitter Fascinating British study analysing murders of children by their father here.

    Students sit exams

    Thousands of students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will find out their A-level results today. Discover how this year's results compare to previous years here.


    David Eastwood, vice chancellor of Birmingham University and chairman of the so-called Russell Group of top universities, says there are a lot of high quality institutions and those students who don't get AAB will get a high quality education.

    John Cooper QC

    John Cooper (John_Cooper_QC) on Twitter Plea to media: Limit the deluge of images of teenage girls screaming, crying, hugging & nervously opening envelopes. And to the radio, please no broadcasts of screaming teenage girls opening envelopes @BBCr4today


    Here's a little more on what Sarah Mulley of the Institute for Public Policy Research had to say earlier on migration. "Perhaps it is a surprise that the increase seems to be happening this early, but we would obviously expect a significant increase in the number of people coming from these countries.

    "The most important question for the government, rather than obsessing about the particular numbers, is about making sure that we're prepared whatever the numbers are."


    Still to come: state of emergency in Egypt (0810), new developments in cancer research (0830) and the diaries of Vivien Leigh (0820) #r4today

    BBC Radio 5 live

    tweets: Universities minister David Willetts: 'It's looking like more A-level students have got their first university choice than ever' #resultsday

    Kim Clijsters Tennis player

    tweets: Crazy to wake up hearing about @bartoli_marion retiring but understand the feeling... Congrats on a great career!


    We reported earlier how seagulls attacks have been particularly rife this summer because of a late breeding season and the unusually hot weather, with one woman using a colander to keep them away. Listen to Today's Sima Kotecha report from Cornwall. It seems to be a popular item - our tweet on this story has now been re-tweeted over 60 times.

    John Prescott

    tweets: Good luck to everyone waiting for their #ALevels. Remember, it's not the end of the world if you don't get what you want. It all works out!


    Remember you can listen to the programme live online on using iPlayer.


    Some news in from Surrey - where there's an unusual hold-up for traffic on the A3. Police are trying to round-up around 25 ducks which are walking up the dual carriageway near Guildford.

    A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi

    Egypt's interim PM Hazem Beblawi has defended the deadly operation to break up protest camps in Cairo, saying the authorities had to restore security. Read full coverage and analysis on the BBC's special report here.


    The Egyptian ambassador to London, Ashraf Elkholy, says he wants to express his regret at the deaths of all Egyptians. "There have been 48 days of this site and they are occupying this area and there are lots of people living there and there had to be lots of warnings that they had to leave," he says.


    The removal of the protests was a "very gradual" operation and "the shooting was from both sides," Mr Elkholy says.


    You can see BBC correspondent Hugh Sykes' photographs from Egypt on Radio 4's The World at One's website.

    A supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shouts during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Nasr City district, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013.

    Here's the BBC's photo gallery of the pro-Morsi camps being cleared.

    Will Stone

    tweets: Great evocative report from @HughSykes in #cairo #r4today


    "If everyone puts the country first this will be resolved and this will be resolved peacefully," Mr Elkholy says.

    Ellie Hunter Reporter, Derbyshire Times

    tweets: A frightening picture painted by @HughSykes on Cairo on @BBCr4today

    Nikki Bond

    tweets: Feeling very uneasy and disturbed by the discussion on Egypt on @bbcr4today

    Still from Gone With The Wind Vivien Leigh won an Oscar for her role in Gone With The Wind

    The V&A Museum has acquired thousands of items of correspondence, diaries, and photographs that belonged to the actress Vivien Leigh. Read more and see some of the acquisitions here.


    Keith Lodwick, curator at the V&A, says the archive includes 7,500 letters to people including Winston Churchill.

    Nick Jefferson

    tweets: Admittedly a very difficult brief, but the Egyptian ambassador to the UK is making a hash of this #R4Today

    Aisha S Gani

    Tweets: Egyptian ambassador to UK still maintains that because 33mn people apparently took to the streets, the ballot box became irrelevant #R4Today


    Find out more about what is coming up at the Victoria & Albert museum on their website.

    Steve Rowland-Jones

    tweets: "This can be resolved and resolved peacefully," Egyptian ambassador in London, Ashraf El Kholy told James Naughtie.

    Bob Hawkins

    tweets: Who was it said ' a diplomat is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country'.....a good example is the Egyptian ambassador on #R4Today


    Keith Lodwick, curator at the V&A, says Vivien Leigh "was one of the most beautiful women of the 20th century".

    Chris Hamilton BBC News social media editor

    tweets: Death of Sky News cameraman Mick Deane was 4th most read story on BBC News yesterday. Touched a lot of people.

    Today studio webcam Today studio webcam

    Here's a picture of Victoria and Albert Museum curator Keith Lodwick, and Jo Botting, curator of the upcoming Vivien Leigh retrospective season at the British Film Institute, joining Justin Webb in the Today studio to talk about the V&A in London acquiring thousands of letters and photos and diaries belonging to the actress.


    The colander on head story has now been re-tweeted over 80 times. The following tweet is just one of the jokes we have been sent. Funny? You decide.

    Lachlan Mackinnon

    tweets. I tried wearing a colander on my head to avoid seagull attacks too: it was a draining experience @BBCr4today @sima_kotecha

    BBC Radio 5 live

    tweets: 5 live Breakfast hears why octopus are the "cleverest" of the invertebrates and experts say shouldn't be eaten. Listen here.

    HIV virus illustration

    The government has decided to allow doctors, dentists and other health workers who have HIV to be allowed to treat patients - reversing restrictions that have been in place for 20 years. You can read more about the story and watch the BBC's Jane Draper's report here.


    Allan Reid had to give up dental practice after 17 years in the profession when he was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2008. He says he welcomes the policy change but hopes there will be ways that people like him can get back into the career they had to give up.


    Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, says people will only be able to work if they are on effective treatments and monitored at least every three months.

    BBC Breaking News

    tweets: Turkey PM Erdogan calls for urgent UN Security Council meeting over #Egypt "massacre"

    Scottish saltire flag with Big Ben

    Last month officials from the Scottish government met with representatives of Nato to discuss membership of the alliance in the event of independence, it has been confirmed. Read more about the meeting here.


    Here's some fuller quotes from the Egyptian ambassador in London, Ashraf Elkholy, who spoke to James Naughtie earlier. "Only the fight is between people (who) are resisting the authority, they are resisting the police. Don't tell me there is any country around the world (where) the people have to resist the police by using machine guns and weapons.

    "So everybody is respected, and they have to respect the authorities, and you have to maintain law and order, because this is the obligation of any government or any state."


    Andy Verity reports on the tale of the Russian bank customer who turned the tables when the a bank failed to read the terms and conditions. Read more on the story here.

    0850: BBC Wales News

    tweets: High flying guests: Bees take up residence in hotel's rooftop hive Read story and see picture

    Tony Egginton and Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington Tony Egginton and Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington

    BBC News reports how a Midlands directly-elected mayor has been banned from wearing his chains of office. Supporters of Tony Egginton, who has been mayor of Mansfield since 2002, said the decision was "disgusting".

    0853: Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    It's quieter than usual in Cairo. There are potential flash points at the funerals of the dead from Wednesday.

    0855: Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    Egypt is more polarised than ever. By moving in the way the army did it closed off any options for negotiation that existed and chances of a political discussion are finished.

    Hilary Burkitt

    tweets: Can anyone verify that @BBCr4today had story this morning on woman who wore colander on head to repel seagull attacks? Or was I dreaming?


    In Egypt, the health ministry now says at least 343 people have died, that's the official figure from the government, the Muslim Brotherhood say the death toll is much higher.


    Cyclists often say that aggressive motorists justify their behaviour on the basis that they alone pay "road tax". But, as BBC's Roger Harrabin reports, there is no such thing.

    Peter Matthews

    tweets: The other point @BBCr4today is if VED did pay for the roads it would have to be a helluva lot higher! Cars are massively subsidised.

    Lucy Wake

    tweets: road-users who've been cut up by aggressive cyclists may sympathise" WTF @BBCr4today when did u last hear 'cyclist ran over & killed driver


    That's it from us today. Thanks for listening and keeping up with our live page. Our editors were Andrew Bryson and Lewis James. Next up on Radio 4 it's Inside the Ethics Committee.


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