Today, 28/01/2013 Live

28 Jan 2013 Last updated at 11:51

Monday 28 January

Good morning. Today, at 0810, the government’s plans for the new high-speed rail network in England. At 0750, concerns over human rights as French and Malian troops try to retake Timbuktu. And at 0840, what does your daily cup of coffee say about you? With Evan Davis and James Naughtie.
  • 28 Jan 2013 08:42:39


    Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography at University of Sheffield and Sheila Lawlor, director of the think tank Politeia, comment on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's claim that the announcement about HS2 would heal the north-south divide.

    Interesting comments by Danny Dorling on the lack of rail investment in the north. Take York-Harrogate-Leeds line,part single track, manually worked level crossings and signalling, hopeless service of 4 wheeled railbuses. In any sensible country, this line would be part of an electrified regional system , linked with other towns long deprived of trains- Ripon, Wetherby, Tadcaster. There is a complete lack of vision with our treatment of the existing and potential rail network. Meanwhile, London projects (Crossrail, Overground and Thameslink 2000) scoop all the cash. Tony Robinson, Northallerton, North Yorkshire


    BBC Radio 4 Today
    @dannydorling #HS2 high-speed rail link: "Why's it come so late?" #r4today
  • 28 Jan 2013 08:42:07


    Two China-based journalists, Juan Pablo Cardenal, and Prof Arne Westad, professor of international history at the LSE, discuss the extent of China's global power.
  • 28 Jan 2013 08:41:23


    Today presenter Evan Davis goes on a coffee bar crawl with Harry Wallop, author of "Consumed: How Shopping Fed the Class System", who explains why coffee sales have been surprisingly robust throughout the economic slump. Listen to the report.
    Harry Wallop
    c8.40 I shd be on @BBCr4today chatting #Consumed with @EvanHD as we go on coffee shop crawl. It seems we're both fond of McDonald's coffee

    My ideal coffee shop would refuse to serve anyone using the phrase " can I get...?" George Orwell, nursing his cappucino at a corner table, would nod in approval. David jones, Aberystwyth

    Have just listened to an item on 'class' in which coffee consumption was presented as a proxy for class without irony, and the interviewee was allowed to get away with a mention of social mobility without the presenter pointing out that the is no social mobility in the UK.  The ignorance of the complexity and importance of class displayed was breathtaking, and the statement that since we are all middle-class now, made at a time when the number of street-sleepers in increasing, when public sector workers are on an extended wage freeze, when women are being forced out of the economy and into full-time care work by cuts in welfare provision, was insulting. Wendy, London

  • 28 Jan 2013 08:25:27


    General Sameh Seif el-Yazal, chairman of the Al-Gomhuria think tank on security and political studies, and Dr Maha Azzam, associate fellow in the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, analyse news that three people have been killed and 400 injured at the funerals of those who died in Saturday's violence, in the Egyptian city of Port Said. Listen to the discussion.
  • 28 Jan 2013 08:19:36


    Today marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's acclaimed novel Pride and Prejudice. Professor Janet Todd, president of Lucy Cavendish college and a scholar of early women writers is joined by author PD James, who wrote a sequel to the famous novel.

    "Price and Prejudice is perfect in every way" says author PD James. Listen to the full interview.
  • 28 Jan 2013 07:46:57


    Professor John Tomaney, from the School of Planning at UCL, and leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, discuss how the proposed route for the high-speed train network linking Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds will impact life in the UK. Listen to the discussion.
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    #HS2 "There’s very little evidence that building a high-speed rail line heals the north/south divide," argues Prof John Tomaney
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    #HS2. Sir Richard Leese, chair of Manchester City Council: "[High-speed rail] doesn’t guarantee growth but it gives us a better chance"
    Evan Davis
    Evan Davis @EvanHD tweeted:
    We're going HS2-tastic on @bbcr4Tioday this morning
    Simon Leigh
    Hs2 will just provide a funnel for London to suck the life out of the rest of the UK #r4today @BBCr4today @BBCBreakfast

    Well it seems we are in for a new high speed rail line according to the news this morning. But there was no indication as to just how much this will cost the tax payer? The build alone will have a price tag of billions and add to that the cost of the stations and new roads for access, this will be more billions. Then of course we have the cost of the trains that will run on the tracks provided, even more billions. John, Manchester

  • 28 Jan 2013 07:33:12


    Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, president of the West Africa regional grouping of countries, reflects on news that French and Malian troops are trying to retake the desert city of Timbuktu. Watch a report from the BBC's Mark Doyle.
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    "Without the [French] intervention, the whole transition in #Mali would have collapsed," says Ambassador Kadre Desrie Ouedraogo
  • 28 Jan 2013 07:32:45


    Colin Butcher from Pet Detectives, comments on news that a house cat who was lost on a holiday, travelled nearly 200 miles back down the Florida peninsula to reach its old neighbourhood. Listen to the interview.

    When I left my parents home I took my cat with me and moved three miles away. I carried her in a closed box in the car. She decided to go home, crossed two busy roads and took a week to do this. Kath, Manchester

    It happened to me. In the 1970s we bought a house just outside Mottram in Longdendale.  About a week after we moved in we came home and found a cat in our kitchen, looking tired and hungry.  We gave him a tin of sardines, as we had no cat food, and asked our neighbours if they knew anything about it. They told us he belonged to out predecessors. He had walked home across the Pennines from their new home. We rang them, and they came to pick him up, but he refused even to recognise them, so he remained with us.  When we moved, 5 years later, we left him with our neighbours, as it would clearly have been most unfair to take him away from his home a second time. Jane Perry, London UK
  • 28 Jan 2013 07:22:08


    Mark Bayley, chief executive officer of The Green Deal Finance Company, and Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, debate The Green Deal, a new scheme launched today to provide cheap, long-term loans to householders for spending on improvements to cut home energy use. Listen to the interview.
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    #thegreendeal - "It may be a good deal but we don’t know enough about the detail yet… shop around," says Richard Lloyd, Which? magazine

    Already had Green Deal survey of our very un-energy efficient Edwardian terrace. British Gas survey v thorough cost £99 but almost all improvements suggested were impractical: putting cladding on front of house, which is centre house of a terrace of 3, cladding inside walls of small rooms which would have made them even smaller.  Listeners should beware: measures suggested may not be practical for small houses, particularly those in conservation areas. Hilary Thomson, Twickenham

    Is this not a scheme which will enable unscrupulous landlords to undertake much needed house improvements and then get the tenant or new tenant to pay for those improvements over and above the agreed rent? Graham Knowles

  • 28 Jan 2013 07:21:22


    Dr Julian Allwood, from Cambridge University, explains a report that he authored that says industries must radically cut the amount of materials they use to combat resource shortages and climate change.
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    Coming up: #HS2 rail announcements (0810) Holly the cat's 200 mile journey (0740) 200 years of Pride and Prejudice (0820) #r4today
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