Best of Today

Best of Today

Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories.

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All episodes (19)

  • Wednesday's business with Simon Jack

    Wed, 28 Jan 15

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Available:
    7 days remaining

    Featuring a look at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

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  • Why does Libya still face unrest?

    Wed, 28 Jan 15

    Duration:
    3 mins

    Available:
    7 days remaining

    US Ambassador to Libya, Deborah Jones, summarises why Libya is in disarray three years since Colonel Gadaffi, the Libyan dictator, was overthrown with help from NATO forces, including the UK's.

    Download 2MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Unusual baby names: Fab or fad?

    Wed, 28 Jan 15

    Duration:
    4 mins

    Available:
    7 days remaining

    Earlier this week a French court banned a couple from naming their daughter 'Nutella' on the grounds that the name might expose the child to 'mockery or disobliging remarks'. But what's in an unusual name? Lucy Cavendish, a journalist and mother whose daughter goes by the name of ‘Sparkle’, says she wanted a "glamorous" name for her child. However, social anthropologist Kate Fox claims calling your baby an usual name is a "trendy" fad.

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  • Tuesday's business with Simon Jack

    Tue, 27 Jan 15

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Available:
    6 days remaining

    Featuring a full look at the UK's 2014 economy.

    Download 6MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • X-Ray Audio: the exhibition on forbidden Soviet music recorded on X-Ray sheets

    Tue, 27 Jan 15

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Available:
    6 days remaining

    An exhibition at the Horse Hospital arts venue in London has revealed music banned in the Soviet Union during the cold war was smuggled into the UK by embossing the gramaphone onto X-Ray sheets. The bootlegs became known as ‘bones’ or ‘ribs’. Bones were medical X-Ray fluorography sheets unofficially obtained from hospitals, cut into discs, and embossed with the grooves of bootlegged gramophone records. The quality was poor and the discs wore out quickly but the cost was low, just a couple of roubles compared with the cost of an actual LP from the west. Stephen Coates has curated an exhibition X-Ray Audio and Victoria Bazoeva is a Russian music journalist.

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  • Interview with Prime Minister David Cameron

    Tue, 27 Jan 15

    Duration:
    16 mins

    Available:
    6 days remaining

    Prime Minister David Cameron discusses the election win of the anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece, why he wants to cut the annual benefits cap from £26k to £23k, how pension benefit should remain unchanged, the country's economic deficit and why he thinks TV leaders' debates are better outside the general election campaign.

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  • How coding is similar to knitting

    Mon, 26 Jan 15

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Available:
    5 days remaining

    For Radio 4's knitting day Today spoke to Lorna Hamilton-Brown, known by some as the Banksy of knitting, and comedian and mathematician Matt Parker on the similarity between knitting and coding.

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  • Syriza's Yanis Varoufakis: 'Greece to move forward'

    Mon, 26 Jan 15

    Duration:
    7 mins

    Available:
    5 days remaining

    Syriza's Yanis Varoufakis, tipped to be Greece's next finance minister, tells Today how his newly elected party intends to move forward: 'We will take to the eurozone a plan for minimising this Greek debacle, we are going to put three or four things on the table: genuine reforms and creating a rational plan for debt restructure.. we want to bind our repayments to our growth.'

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  • Osborne "Syriza will struggle to deliver."

    Mon, 26 Jan 15

    Duration:
    7 mins

    Available:
    5 days remaining

    The party that will form Greece's new government, Syriza, has won an overwhelming mandate for its plan to end austerity in the country and renegotiate the terms of its bail out with the EU and IMF. Chancellor George Osborne gives Today his reaction to Syriza's win and says "If your economy has shrunk you are going to look for other answers...the things the new government has promised, it's going to be very difficult to deliver".

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  • Monday's business with Simon Jack

    Mon, 26 Jan 15

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Available:
    5 days remaining

    Monday business includes an examination of what comes next for Greece and the Eurozone following the election of the anti-austerity Syriza party.

    Download 6MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Restaurant critics

    Sat, 24 Jan 15

    Duration:
    4 mins

    Available:
    3 days remaining

    How valuable to a restaurant is a good review by a critic? Now that we have tripadvisor, bloggers and social media you might have thought it wouldn't matter so much. But what if that review is broadcast to millions via television? The restaurant critic Giles Coren has a new series which started this week on BBC America called Million Dollar critic. Giles Coren, The Times restaurant critic and Tracey Macleod, the Independent's restaurant critic discuss.

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  • When should a flag be flown at half-mast?

    Sat, 24 Jan 15

    Duration:
    4 mins

    Available:
    3 days remaining

    Flags on government buildings in England and Wales were flown at half mast yesterday as a mark of respect after the death of Saudi Arabia's King. The decision prompted a furious reaction from some because of the Kingdom's poor human rights record. The conservative leader in Scotland (which didn't lower its flags) - Ruth Davidson - tweeted that it was a "steaming pile of nonsense". Graham Bartram is Chief Vexillologist at the Flag Institute (national flag charity) and author of the book British Flags & Emblems

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  • Jean Vanier

    Sat, 24 Jan 15

    Duration:
    6 mins

    Available:
    3 days remaining

    Ahead of his speech at the House of Lords alongside the head of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in England I met Canadian philosopher Jean Vanier at Lambeth Palace. Best known perhaps for starting L'Arche the international federation of communities for people with developmental disabilities he told me about the importance of dialogue and understanding in overcoming our differences in society. Sarah started by asking him why left the Navy he'd joined when he was 13 to the first Arche community.

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  • Friday's business with Simon Jack

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Available:
    2 days remaining

    Friday's business includes an examination of what the European Central Bank's style of QE will look like.

    Download 6MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg boosts book popularity

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    5 mins

    Available:
    2 days remaining

    The book that seems to be getting everyone talking this year is 'The End of Power' by Moises Naim, a former Venezuelan government minister. His book received an unexpected and stratospheric boost a few weeks ago when the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg chose it to launch his online book club.

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  • King Abdullah: Former ambassador to Saudi Arabia on King's legacy

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    4 mins

    Available:
    2 days remaining

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at the age of 90, ending the reign of the world's oldest monarch and leaving one of the most influential countries in the Middle East facing a period of fresh political uncertainty Sir William Patey, former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told Today: "There are a number of challenges coming at the Kingdom ...but they have a history of managing crises". "Resilience is the norm, I'm not saying something couldn't go wrong, but I think continuity is more likely".

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  • Thursday's business with Simon Jack

    Thu, 22 Jan 15

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Available:
    1 day remaining

    Featuring an interview with QE sceptic and former Bundesbank chief Axel Weber, who shares his thoughts on new eurozone strategy.

    Download 6MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Quantitative Easing: What will it mean for the eurozone?

    Thu, 22 Jan 15

    Duration:
    4 mins

    Available:
    1 day remaining

    The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to announce it will inject up to €1 trillion into the eurozone economy. The ECB could purchase government bonds worth up to €50bn (£38bn) per month until the end of 2016. Creating new money to buy government debt, or quantitative easing (QE), should reduce the cost of borrowing. Chief Market Strategist for the UK and Europe at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Stephanie Flanders, explains how this could help how investors view the strength of the economy in Europe.

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  • Why introduce plain packaging for cigarettes?

    Thu, 22 Jan 15

    Duration:
    5 mins

    Available:
    1 day remaining

    The government has said it will press ahead with the introduction of unbranded cigarette packaging in England, asking MPs to vote on legislation before May's election.

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