Today, 14/03/2013 Live

14 Mar 2013 Last updated at 12:27

Thursday 14 March

We look at what the election of Pope Francis means for the church and for Argentina. The government has banned gagging clauses for staff leaving the NHS. And what impact will Britain's growing ageing population have on the country?
  • 14 Mar 2013 08:55:25


    Pope Francis will today celebrate the first mass of his reign, before starting to face the challenges which he was elected to take on.

    Cristina Odone, and Italian journalist, and Bernard Lynch, a Catholic priest, discuss the reaction to the news from members of the Catholic Church.

  • 14 Mar 2013 08:48:53


    New figures out today show that a third of motorists have damaged their vehicles by driving over potholes in the past two years. Nick Garnett, BBC Radio Five Live's North of England correspondent, reports.

    Helen Gordon
    @BBCr4today never mind damaging cars, ever hit a pothole on a bike? Messy!
    One of Evan's colleague from Dragons' Den has even offered to help with the problem:
    Duncan Bannatyne
    I will fix all potholes in UK for 6 billion saving the country 4. Half up front & half on completion. Deal?
  • 14 Mar 2013 08:44:37


    Anyone who leaves rubbish where they shouldn't, whether it's a lorry-load of tyres in a field or an old mattress in a lane should expect to be more severely punished in future. That's the advice of the sentencing council in new sentencing guidelines for England and Wales which it has put out for consultation. We're joined by a member of the council, the magistrate Katherine Rainsford.

  • 14 Mar 2013 08:38:45


    Two children of a British woman, who was born and raised in Eritrea, are among the latest people to have their lives torn apart by kidnappers. Kidnap gangs in parts of Egypt and East Sudan are increasingly preying upon the thousands of Eritrean refugees who flee their impoverished and repressive country each year. Our correspondent Mike Thomson reports from Khartoum.
  • 14 Mar 2013 08:27:30


    A report says that conflicts of interest are rife in the new organisations that will commission NHS services in England. The British Medical Journal has found that more than one in three of the GPs who will buy patient care have links with private firms. Michael Dixon, who oversees the commissioning process as chairman of the NHS Alliance and president of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), explains his view of the findings of the report.

    Charles West
    Dr Michael Dixon of NHS Clinical Commissioners says new #S75regs still problematic. CCGs will put legal duties above patient care. 1/3
  • 14 Mar 2013 08:30:45


    Melvyn Bragg has just popped into the studio to tell Sarah and Evan about what's coming up in this morning's In Our Time:
    BBC Radio 4
    Chekhov, the man who wrote on the absurdity and tragedy of human existence – Melvyn Bragg’s #inourtime tomorrow 9am
  • 14 Mar 2013 08:21:24


    A new book published today has collected together published and unpublished accounts from servants who worked behind the scenes of twentieth century Britain. Lucy Lethbridge, author of Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth-century Britain, explains what she discovered while collating the material.

    The Spectator have written a review of the book:

  • 14 Mar 2013 08:06:41


    Pope Francis will today celebrate the first mass of his reign, before starting to face the challenges which he was elected to take on.

    BBC News presenter Ed Stourton reports for the Today programme from Rome. His producer, Dave McMullen, tweeted this photo of him broadcasting live:

    After we hear from Ed, Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, will examine the challenges that the job presents.
    Barack Obama
    Obama on Pope Francis: "I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security, and dignity for our fellow human beings."

    Please, move on from the Pope! You are not a religious programme, certainly not a Roman Catholic programme. A man has been appointed to a job. Nothing new is being added, just endless repetitious platitudes. Enough!
  • 14 Mar 2013 07:55:41


    This morning's newsreader is Corrie Corfield - who has been sharing her thoughts about this live page on Twitter. Corrie's tweets regularly crop up here, although she's now considering being more outspoken to see whether they'll still appear!...
    Corrie Corfield
    I like this relatively new @bbcr4today "Live Page" that includes tweets etc. May tweet something 'controversial' to see if they include it.

    Remember you can have your say on this morning's programme by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.

    James Lee
    Is anyone else a little disappointed that @BBCr4today did not get #Pope Francis to do Thought for the Day today?
    Northern Lights PR
    Anyone else think @BBCr4today increased #women commentators? Not just girlie things but IT science etc Congrats to team, feels fresher

    Just before the 0800 news we squeezed a trailer for a new programme on BBC Radio 4. Noise: A Human History is presented by David Hendy and the 30-part series will be broadcast at 13:45 every weekday beginning this Monday.

    David Hendy
    Forest songs, cave chants: the @BBCRadio4 website for 'Noise: a Human History' is up - and include some tasty clips…
  • 14 Mar 2013 07:52:58


    The government says it is banning - with immediate effect - any gagging clauses in severance agreements with NHS staff in England. The Conservative MP Stephen Barclay explains why he has been campaigning on ways to protect whistle-blowers.

    The news comes after Gary Walker broke his non-disclosure agreement to speak to the Today programme about his concerns about the way the NHS is run:

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