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28/09/2009

Presented by James Naughtie and Evan Davis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has led her CDU party to victory in the German elections. Ms Merkel will now terminate the left of centre coalition her party currently forms with the Social Democrats (SPD), and form a new coalition with the Liberal Free Democrats (FDP). Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond reports from Germany.

Trade unions once played a huge role in policy bargaining and vote-trading at Labour party conferences, but now the conference is designed more to send messages out rather than to decide what they should be. Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary of Unite, the biggest union, discusses the role unions now play at Labour conferences.

Film director Roman Polanski has been taken into custody in Switzerland and faces extradition to the US for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. The Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw explains the case.

A scheme to improve accessibility to libraries starts. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, those who own a reader's card will be able to use any library. Tony Durcan, former President of the Society of Chief Librarians, and Michael Rosen, former children's laureate, discuss the initiative.

Many MPs in the Labour party are frustrated at the government for recent election defeats, and the tide of opinion polls which show the public is swaying against them. James Naughtie reports from the conference, on what the hopes are for the conference, amongst Labour MPs.

The annual self-publishing fair took place this weekend. It brings together the growing number of small and weird magazines, fanzines and periodicals which struggle to be distributed. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge went to take a look at the dizzying array of these rather unusual publications.

Thought for the day with The Reverend Dr David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College, Durham.

Iran has tested a long-range missile, following tests it carried out with short-range missiles. Dr Martin Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and now director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, discusses what the nuclear tests mean for international relations with Iran, and Ali Asgha Soltinieh, the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, explains Iran's nuclear policy.

Lagging behind the Conservatives in the polls, facing up to spending cuts and soaring debt - the Labour party has a mountain to climb if they are to win a fourth term in power. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson discusses whether Labour still have the energy for the electoral battle ahead after 12 years in power.

Angela Merkel has strengthened her position as German chancellor following federal elections. Gavin Hewitt reports on the result, which sees a new centre right coalition take power.

The Children's Minister has ordered a review of the case of two police officers told they had broken the law by caring for each other's children. Ofsted said the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving 'a reward'. Leanne Shepherd, one of the police officers involved, discusses the case.

The winner of Britain's leading literary prize, the Man Booker, is set to be announced. Arts Correspondent Rebecca Jones speaks to Hilary Mantel, author of shortlisted book Wolf Hall.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is expected to set a date for talks with her prospective new coalition partners. Mrs Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats won around 34 per cent of the popular vote in the country's general election, leaving her free to end four years of coalition with the Social Democrats. The German Ambassador to London, Georg Boomgarden, discusses what the new coalition will mean for Germany.

The film director Roman Polanski has been arrested and detained in Switzerland, at the request of prosecutors in Los Angeles, who want him to be extradited. He fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced for having sex with a 13 year-old girl. Jeff Berg, Roman Polanski's agent, discusses the reaction to Mr Polanski's arrest.

What can Labour hope to achieve at their conference in Brighton? Political commentators Michael White, of the Guardian, and Trevor Kavanagh, of The Sun, debate the battle lines of conference politics.

Release date:

3 hours

Last on

Mon 28 Sep 2009 06:00

Life Inside ‘Islamic State’: Diaries

Life Inside ‘Islamic State’: Diaries

An activist based in Raqqa, Syria describes the horror of everyday life in the city.