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Best of Today


Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme

Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme


London, United Kingdom




Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme




Will Tokyo Olympics 2021 be cancelled?

The countdown to the delayed Tokyo Olympics has begun with only 100 days until the opening ceremony on 23 July. However, as for plans for how the Games might look like are drawn out, various public opinion polls in Japan have revealed that the majority of its citizens are not in favour of the event going ahead. R4 Today's Nick Robinson heard from World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, Lord Coe; chairman of the British Olympic Association Sir Hugh Robertson; and double Olympic Taekwondo...


Vaccine vs the virus

Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said that the world is in a race between vaccinations and another surge of the virus. He tells Today that we should be careful not to "prematurely declare victory" despite good progress on the vaccination programme. We also get the UK view from Professor Jeremy Brown, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute and professor of...


The Today Programme Choir

How choirmaster, Carrie Grant, conducted a choir of 150 people singing remotely.


The side effects of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine

All adults under 30 should be offered the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine due to a potential link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab and extremely rare blood clots. The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there was no proof the Covid vaccine had caused the clots but the link was getting firmer. R4 Today programme's Mishal Husain looked at what the risks and benefits were to taking the coronavirus jab and how it will be used on the over-30s. She...


Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine safety concerns over rare blood clots

As the Moderna vaccine is rolled out for the first time in the UK, the medicines regulator, the MHRA, continues to investigate cases of rare blood clots in people who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab. It has paused its trial on children as scientists wait for further information but added there were no safety concerns with the trial itself. In the UK, 30 people have developed the clots - and seven have died as a result - out of 18 million people who have received the vaccine. R4...


Hunter Biden opens up about drug and alcohol addiction to the Today Programme

Hunter Biden's business dealings and personal life were frequently used by the Trump campaign against his father US President Joe Biden. To mark the publication of his memoir 'Beautiful Things', he spoke to the Today Programme's Mishal Husain about business, politics and the trauma he says led to his battle with drug and alcohol addiction.


Care homes: Is it illegal to discriminate by age?

On 12 April, restrictions in England are due to ease further but John's Campaign, who supports residents and their loved ones, have begun legal action against the government over guidance which bans care home residents aged 65 and over from taking trips outside the home. With nearly all residents administered at least one dose of the vaccine, campaigners said it was "shocked" you can "discriminate people purely on grounds of their age". Today programme’s Mishal Husain discussed the rules and...


Lord Woolley: ‘I feel anger, despair and above all sadness’

The prime minister’s senior adviser on ethnic minorities, Samuel Kasumu, will be stepping down in May. He had previously handed in his resignation in February, before retracting it. His announcement comes after the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities review said the UK was not deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities'. Downing Street has rejected suggestions his departure was linked to the findings. Lord Woolley, Simon Woolley, founder of Operation Black Vote and newly elected...


Covid: How to prevent a future pandemic

The UK government has set up the new UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) which began it's work on Thursday. It brings together Public Health England (PHE), NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC). Dr Jenny Harries, who has stepped down as England’s deputy chief medical officer and been appointed Chief Executive of the UKHSA. She spoke to Today programme's Justin Webb about the mission of the new agency and how it will protect the UK from future pandemics. (Image: Dr Jenny...


Met police chief: People should ‘stop and think before they judge’

A police watchdog found the Metropolitan Police acted "appropriately" at a vigil for Sarah Everard in south London earlier this month after the force came under intense criticism over women being handcuffed and removed from Clapham Common. The independent investigation said there was too little communication between officers at the event but their response, amid Covid restrictions, had been "measured". Following the report, Met police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick told R4 Today programme’s...


No ‘actual evidence of institutional racism’, report says

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities said that while there was anecdotal proof, there was no actual evidence of institutional racism. The report found social class and family structure had a bigger impact on how people's lives turned out. The commission was set up in response to anti-racism protests across the UK last summer following the death of George Floyd in the US. Nick Robinson spoke to Dr Tony Sewell, chairman of the independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities,...


Wednesday's business with Dominic O'Connell

How have the first three months post-Brexit been for UK businesses? Plus, prospects for the first day’s trading in Deliveroo, and other markets news. (Photo: Getty Images)


Tuesday's business with Dominic O'Connell

What UK goods could the US put tariffs on in retaliation for taxes on tech companies? Plus youth unemployment during and after the pandemic, and the markets. (Photo: Getty Images)


Everyone's Invited: Testimonies of abuse in schools

More than seven thousand young people including many school pupils have posted their experiences of sexual assault on the website Everybody's Invited. Martha Kearney spoke to Simon Bailey, National Police Chiefs' Council lead on child protection and chief constable of Norfolk Police. Martha also spoke to Helen Pike, Headteacher at Magdalen College School which was named in three student testimonies on the site.


Mina Smallman: 'I am broken beyond words'

Mina Smallman believes the police "made assumptions" about her daughters and was slow to investigate when Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were reported missing. The two sisters were stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park in Wembley last year. Two officers were suspended amid allegations they took selfies next to their bodies when they should have been securing the scene. The Independent Office for Police Conduct is considering the actions of police when Bibaa and Nicole were...


Friday's business with Rob Young

What might be the effect of a treasury ban on Covid-related business rates appeals? Also, how might the blockage in the Suez Canal affect supply chains? (Photo: Getty Images)


Sir Jeremy Farrar on EU vaccine exports, UK summer holidays and Covax

As European Union leaders hold virtual talks on how to boost coronavirus vaccine supplies, the European Commission will seek to tighten controls on vaccine exports. The UK has warned that any blockade would cause long term damage but officials from both sides said they would seek a win-win deal to increase supplies. Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, the world's biggest funder of medical research, told R4 Today's Martha Kearney what he thought was the best route out of the...


Asylum seeker system to crack down on criminal gangs

People who enter the UK illegally to claim asylum will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive legally, under new immigration plans. But Labour said the plans would do "next to nothing" to stop criminal gangs, while refugee groups called the proposals "unjust" and "unreal". Today programme's Justin Webb hears from shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds, Hassan Akkad, an English teacher who fled Syria, and Priti Patel, home secretary. (Image: Migrants on a boat in the...


How families deal with grief after a public loss

Following the Sarah Everard case, what is it like for families who experience the pain of a loved one's death which is highly publicised? Nina Gross, whose sister Alice Gross was murdered seven years ago when she was 14, spoke to Mishal Husain about how her family has coped with Alice's death. (Image: Alice Gross, Credit: Press Association)


Uber driver pay: What it means for the gig economy

The ride-hailing app giant, Uber, said all drivers would earn at least the National Living Wage, a month after the US firm lost a legal battle in the UK over drivers' status. But Union leaders have suggested Uber has been trying to "cherry pick" from the Supreme Court's ruling, Today programmes Mishal Husain spoke to James Farrar, former Uber driver who brought a case against the company, followed by Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress and Matthew Taylor, author...