Today, 05/04/2013 Live

5 Apr 2013 Last updated at 08:32

Friday 5 April

Figures released later are expected to show the Swansea measles epidemic is continuing to grow. A report released today downplays the effect of Bulgarian and Romanian immigration on public services. And the government has been accused by some Mps of taking a complacent approach to protecting bees.
  • 5 Apr 2013 08:56:19


    That's all from us this morning - the programme was rounded off in an unusual fashion today with a special birthday wish from one of our guests Jon Williams during the closing discussion...

    The Sugar Girls
    Loved the man who ended the #Today Programme by wishing his son Happy Birthday! @BBCr4today
    Martin Scheuregger
    @BBCr4today @EvanHD Best pre-pips interruption in a long time - indeed let's have more happy birthdays on Today!
    Karl McCartney
    So pleased the comedian just now on @BBCRadio4 @BBCr4today just manages to squeeze in birthday wishes to his son for tomorrow. Laughter? vg!

    Our programme editors this morning were Andrew Bryson and Dave McMullan. Thanks for all your comments and feedback, we're back tomorrow from 0700. Coming up next on BBC Radio 4, Sir Sydney Kentridge is Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs. Good morning.

  • 5 Apr 2013 08:54:11


    The author Ian Banks, diagnosed with cancer, used his usual brand of comedy when he asked his girlfriend to become his widow. Jon Williams, a comedian who talks about his son's autism in his stand-up routine, and Professor John Sutherland, emeritus professor of modern English literature, examine when dark humour is in bad taste.

    "I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps)."
    - Iain Banks, writing on his official website

  • 5 Apr 2013 08:30:19


    MPS on the environmental audit committee have accused the government of taking an extraordinarily complacent approach to protecting bees and other pollinating insects.

    The presenter of BBC Radio 4's The World At One, Martha Kearney, is a keen beekeeper herself, and is listening out for this one:

    Martha Kearney
    There's about to be a discussion on @BBCR4Today about #bees and pesticides #beekeeping

    Martha regularly updaets her 'bee blog' - which you can read here:

  • 5 Apr 2013 08:25:21


    Figures due to be released later are expected to show the Swansea measles epidemic is continuing to grow, after more cases were reported over Easter. The BBC's Wales correspondent Hywel Griffith reports, and Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at Bristol University, and Dr Paul Cosford, director of health protection for Public Health England, debate the epidemic.

    Peter English
    Good to hear my colleagues Paul Cosford & Adam Finn talking sense on mmr. #r4today
  • 5 Apr 2013 08:22:11


    There is exactly one year to go before Afghans are asked to go to the polls to elect a new president - in 2014, the same year that NATO combat troops will finish their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Last weekend, President Karzai visited Qatar to pave the way for eventual peace talks with the Taliban. Masoom Stanakzai, Secretary General of the Afghan High Peace Council, has told the BBC that he believes the Taliban leadership does want a peace process. Our defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt's been speaking to him.

  • 5 Apr 2013 08:04:10


    Leeds General Infirmary have just announced that they will re-open their children's heart surgery unit next week. Only last week the unit was closed because there were concerns about its safety. Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, and Anne Keatley-Clarke, the Chief Executive of The Children's Heart Federation, discuss the issue.

    . @GregMulholland1 :"Need investigation & proper accountability" on stopping children's heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary @BBCr4today
    David K Smith
    Chief exec of Childrens Heart Federation alleges parents of children at Leeds Heart Unit 'unhappy and frightened' with poor care. #r4today
    Greg Mulholland MP
    We have now had official statement that children's heart surgery will resume in #Leeds next week. #reopenLeeds At last, good news.

    Some of you have been getting in touch about the discussion:

    Kate Garner
    @BBCr4today Doesn't Greg Mulholland realise he sounds obsessed with Bruce Keogh and not that he cares about the health of children?
    Peter Thurlow
    Greg Mulholland on Today disingenuous on Leeds' cardiac record. Deliberately misinterpreting data. 'Not proven' doesn't mean 'proven not'.
  • 5 Apr 2013 08:02:51


    Our editor on the Today programme loves our weather presenter Thomasz Schafernaker's name - and so do many of you.
    He's been tweeting live from his desk at the BBC Weather centre this morning:
    Tomasz Schafernaker
    Morning all! Brining ur radio4 @BBCr4today forecasts this morning. We've a nice w'kend coming! Here's my desk today:)

    For more details of the forecast in your area, visit the BBC Weather site and enter your postcode:

    @LuckyJuturna Brrrrr! Apparently it's going to be a much better day than we've been used to - from @BBCr4today - yay ;/
  • 5 Apr 2013 07:49:26


    The Banking Standards Commission calls for three former HBOS bosses to be barred from City jobs after a "colossal failure" of management. Andrew Tyrie MP, and Andrew Lilico, an economist with a consultancy called Europe Economics, provide analysis.

  • 5 Apr 2013 07:48:45


    Thought for the Day with The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

    David K Smith
    When 'Thought for the Day' actually has something to say it can be superb. Lord Sachs outstanding on Warsaw Ghetto. #r4today
    Karen Burke
    Powerful Thought For The Day by Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs. "Antisemitism is an assault on humanity." #r4today
  • 5 Apr 2013 07:45:15


    Scientists in Japan have found a way to read someone's brain while they're dreaming by monitoring their brain activity with an MRI scanner. Dr Sue Wilson, a senior research fellow in brain sciences at Imperial College London, explains the innovation.

    Paul Slatter
    Dr Sue Wilson talking @BBCr4today about her work imaging people's dreams by mapping the effect images have on their brains. Fascinating
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