Today: Thursday 24th January

  • Published

The IMF's chief economist who is urging the Chancellor to take stock on whether austerity is working. Inspectors have uncovered further large backlogs of immigration applications at the UK Border Agency - with some cases dating back ten years. And also on the programme the US military is lifting its ban on women serving in combat roles.

This is the running order for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, as broadcast on Thursdayy 24 January.

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Graham McKay, chairman of SABMiller, says emerging markets are a key target for his company

0615 Business news with Simon Jack in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum where one of the most influential economists there has suggested the UK's economic plan is due for a rethink.

0626 Sports news with Garry Richardson.

0709 The US military is to end the ban on women serving in frontline combat roles. Washington correspondent Ben Wright explains that the decision will be announced by the Defence Secretary Leon Panetta today.

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Col Christie: Kit and equipment are attractive to locals

0711 A British soldier has been confined to barracks in Kenya for more than seven months, after an incident in which a civilian was shot and killed. The BBC's East Africa correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse explains that the Kenyan and the UK governments disagree over who should have jurisdiction in the case.

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Majid Jafar: We need a "proper long-term strategic energy policy"

0716 Business news with Simon Jack. The chief executive of the Middle East's oldest private oil and gas company says that shale gas is "a game changer". But Crescent Petroleum's Majid Jafar told Today programme business presenter Simon Jack that the growth of unconventional energy sources highlights the need for a "proper long-term strategic energy policy" rather than one which is "just reactive or politically expedient".

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RIBA's Maxwell Hutchinson: Low rise living cites in just doesn't work

0719 High-rise social housing should be demolished and replaced with low rise terraced accommodation, says a report by the think tank Policy Exchange. Alex Morton, from Policy Exchange and the report's co-author, and Maxwell Hutchinson, architect and former president of RIBA, examine whether terraced streets can exceed the housing densities of most existing high-rise housing developments.

0724 Senator John Kerry will have his Senate confirmation hearing to become the next Secretary of State later today. Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect magazine, outlines what hat will Kerry's appointment bring to Obama's foreign policy in the next four years.

0726 Sports news with Garry Richardson.

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Finland's EU Minister: We need Britain in Europe

0734 David Cameron has promised to offer an in-out referendum on whether the UK should stay in the European Union, if the Conservatives win the next general election. Alexander Stubb, Finland's Minister for European Affairs, explains the knock on affect that the announcement will have on Europe.

0739 The paper review.

0742 Scientists have announced plans to resume controversial research on creating a mutated, highly contagious form of the H5N1 bird flu virus. Dr John Mccauley, director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, explains that the level of risk of this virus cannot be looked unless this research is completed.

0747 Thought for the Day with the Right Reverend Graham James, bishop of Norwich.

0750 US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift the military's ban on women serving in combat, a senior Pentagon official has said. Judith Webb, the first woman to command an all-male field force squadron in the British Army, explains whether the British military will follow where the Americans have led.

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John Vine: People pay a substantial fee

0810 A report has revealed a significant backlog in the UK Border Agency's dealing with marriage and civil partnership immigration applications. John Vine, chief inspector for Borders and Immigration, and Mark Harper, Minister of State for Immigration, analyse findings from the Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration that reveal there were 14,000 requests from applicants to re-consider decisions and 2,100 cases where people were awaiting an initial decision, some of them dating back a decade.

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IMF's Olivier Blanchard: There should be reassessment

0822 Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the IMF, says that the British Government should use the March budget to reassess its austerity programme. Mr Blanchard explains that the budget would be "a good time to take stock and see whether some adjustments should be made", and economics editor Stephanie Flanders gives analysis.

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Pat Nevin: "[Hazard] did not attempt to kick the ball boy"

0826 Sports news with Garry Richardson. The former Chelsea player Pat Nevin has said that the ball boy involved in an altercation with Chelsea's Eden Hazard "should not have been doing what he was doing".

0829 The Public Health Minister Anna Soubry is reported to have said that you can tell if a person is poor by their body shape. The shadow public health minister Diane Abbott explains her view on the claim.

0838 Business news with Simon Jack.

0841 MPs are calling for the government to launch an immediate investigation into blacklisting, following allegations that thousands of construction workers have been prevented from getting jobs on major public projects. David (who does not want to use full name), a welder from Rotherham, explains that he ended up being blacklisted by a company he had never even worked for.

0846 As David Cameron heads to the Davos Economic Forum, some business leaders warn his EU referendum proposal will hurt investment, but others back the prime minister's move. Baroness Williams, former Labour MP, examines the impact that Cameron's referendum pledge will have on party politics.

0851 Should the centenary of the First World War be marked as the celebration of a glorious victory over Germany or a sombre marking of the meaningless loss of life? Professor Sir Hew Strachan, professor of military historian at All Soul's College, Oxford, and Magnus Brechtken, deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, debate the issue.