Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

20/03/2015

Morning news and current affairs. Including Sports Desk, Yesterday in Parliament, Weather and Thought for the Day.

Release date:

3 hours

Last on

Fri 20 Mar 2015 06:00

Today's running order

0655

Tablet computers have been developed to allow Medecins sans Frontieres aid workers to record Ebola patient details without the risk of spreading infection. Until now, those working in the field in West Africa with Ebola patients would have to shout information, like the patient’s temperature, from behind a fence to another colleague who would record it. Now though, specially developed waterproof android tablets machines mean each worker can record the patient notes themselves. The tablet can then be sterilised, by dropping it into chlorine and used outside of the high risk zones. Ivan Gayton is a Medecins sans Frontieres field worker and technological innovation advisor.

0710

The government is laying out plans to improve transport across the North of England.  A new report – with a number of Labour-run northern councils - lists a long term plan to improve roads and speed up trains.  It sets out a range of costed options from Network Rail for upgrades and new lines.  The government doesn’t commit itself to any of the options, but is putting £12.5 million towards a feasibility study.  Unions have called it a pie in the sky attempt to win votes after years of underfunding. Ed Cox is director of Institute of Public Policy North, a centre left think tank.

0715

Today we'll witness a partial solar eclipse, an event people once thought heralded the end of the world. You’ll have to be in the Faroe Islands or Svalbard to see the full eclipse, but partial eclipses up to 96% will take place within the UK. If you miss this one, it will be 2026 before you can catch the next partial eclipse and 2090 until the next total solar eclipse in the UK. Duncan Kennedy is at Stonehenge and weather reporter Helen Willets will advise on where to watch the eclipse.

0720

A cross-party group of MPs is calling for a statutory ban on the identification of people who are arrested for sexual offences in England and Wales.  The Home Affairs Committee says the names of suspects should not be published by the media until charged -- unless police believe there are "exceptional" circumstances. Keith Vaz is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which has produced the report and Jill Saward was raped in 1986 but waived her right to anonymity to campaign on behalf of other rape victims. The time when she was attacked fell during a period where anonymity was given to those accused of sexual offences as well as complainants (this was introduced in 1976 and repealed in 1988).

0730

Campaigners are highlighting the huge impact on children and families following an event we hear little about – the breakdown of adoption. It's rare – only about one in every thirty children adopted ends up being returned to care –  but when that does happen, the impact upon the child can be dramatic. Now there’s a call for local authorities to ensure they give as much information as possible about the child that is to be adopted – which should happen in principle but in practice doesn’t always. A website adoptiondisruptionuk has just been set up to help such parents, by a woman who adopted a boy at eighteen months but struggled and eventually had to end the adoption after he developed a serious neurological disorder. Every family has a different story to tell. Our reporter Sanchia Berg has spoken to another mother whose adopted daughter is now back in care. Her words are spoken by an actor. Jemma Vanderstock was adopted age 4 and went back into care age 13 after the relationship with her adoptive parents broke down, she's now aged 19 and Jim Clifford has nine adoptive children, and trains others in adoption and therapeutic parenting.

0740

Today we'll witness a partial solar eclipse, an event people once thought heralded the end of the world (see 0710). In 1973, Patrick Moore was on the Monte Umbe, sailing off the coast of Mauritania, to see his first eclipse at sea.

0745

Johann Bach’s Cello Suites are widely considered to be some of the greatest pieces of music ever created, but did he write them? A new documentary, 'Written by Mrs Bach', raises claims that his second wife Anna Magdalena was actually the composer behind them. The theory is put forward by Professor Martin Jarvis, a respected musician from Charles Darwin University in a BBC 4 documentary tonight.  Anna Magdalena’s role in Bach’s work has always been considered as a copyist. However, Jarvis argues that Magdalena’s writing on Bach’s Cello Suites looks speedy and light, as if she composed the music herself. He examines the writing with forensic document examiner Heidi Harralson. Dr Sally Beamish is a British composer and narrator of ‘Written by Mrs Bach’ and Steven Isserlis is a British cellist who dismisses the claim that Anna Magdalena composed Bach’s work.

0750

A multi-million pound government IT system designed to process EU subsidy payments for farmers has been largely abandoned, with farmers being asked to submit paper claim forms instead of using the website.  From Monday the system will be relaunched, with farmers only needing to register online, rather than complete the entire process. Richard Cotham farms 200 acres of malt, barley, oats and other crops in Shropshire and Brian Glick is editor in Chief of Computer Weekly.

0810

The government is laying out plans to improve transport across the North of England (see 0710). Our reporter Rowan Bridge has been talking to commuters in Manchester and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

0820                                                            

It has long been the subject of myth and speculation for fans of Prince, that there is a vault containing hundreds of unpublished tracks by the famously secretive artist. Mobeen Azhar travelled to Minneapolis to try to find out.

0825

Today we'll witness a partial solar eclipse, an event people once thought heralded the end of the world (see 0710). Robert Massey is deputy executive Secretary at the Royal Astronomical Society.

0830

Today we'll witness a partial solar eclipse, an event people once thought heralded the end of the world (see 0710). Robert Massey is deputy executive Secretary at the Royal Astronomical Society and science correspondent Palab Ghosh who is at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

0840

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, says he is hopeful that within a month the jihadist group, Boko Haram, will not hold any territory. His comments come in an exclusive interview with the BBC after a recent military offensive which has seen dozens of towns and villages taken back into government hands. Much of the north east of Nigeria had been controlled by insurgents who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. But President Jonathan who is standing for re-election in eight days’ time said he was confident of victory at the polls. He spoke to our Nigeria Correspondent Will Ross.

0845

How can the NHS reduce its costs without sacrificing frontline care? While politicians discuss the merits of tax increases versus budget cuts, one healthcare organisation in the Netherlands has shown that it may be possible to do things differently. Buurtzorg (which roughly translates as neighbourhood health) has stripped away the middle management. An audit firm reported that 40% fewer hours of care are required by Buurtzorg's patients. The figures suggest that if all of the Netherlands nursing organisations operated this way, the country could make savings of €2bn each year. Translated to the UK, that would be almost £6 billion. Anna Holligan reports from the Netherlands and Mark Thompson is senior lecturer in information systems at Cambridge Judge Business School, and Strategy Director at Methods Group.

0855

Today we'll witness a partial solar eclipse, an event people once thought heralded the end of the world (see 0710). Chris Riley is Professor of Science and Media at the University of Lincoln and is in the Faroe Islands and Gavin Pretor-Pinney is founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

All subject to change.

Puzzle for Today

Today Puzzle Image - CRIMSON

Enjoy a brainteaser from the Today team

So you think you know the Today programme?

Today: Jack de Manio

Try our test and enjoy some wonderful – and sometimes hilarious – moments from the past.

Life Inside ‘Islamic State’: Diaries

Life Inside ‘Islamic State’: Five diaries

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