Best of Today

Best of Today

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


Can you sail to the north pole?  

The explorer Pen Hadow was the first person to walk solo across the pack ice from Canada to the North Pole in 2003 and he's about to start a new quest in a very different way - he’ll try to be the first person to sail there in a yacht. Mr Hadow is aiming to highlight the effect climate change is having on the ice caps and get the area protected to stop it being exploited. He says the receding of sea ice means his original route on foot is "no longer possible". (Image: Pen Hadow. Credit: Getty Images)

The gender pay gap: History and legality  

The BBC's director general Tony Hall has responded to a letter from 45 high-profile women presenters and journalists calling on him to "act now" to deal with the gender pay gap. Has the pay disparity been there as long as women have been broadcasting and what are the possibilities for legal redress? Hella Pick, former diplomatic editor of the Guardian and Caroline Underhill, a lawyer specialising in equal pay at Thompson Solicitors discuss the history and legality of the gender pay gap. (Image: BBC women. Credit: BBC)

Britain, Brexit and economic growth  

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its forecast for economic growth in Britain this year. In an update of its assessment of the World Economic Outlook, the IMF now predicts growth in the UK this year of 1.7 per cent, down from their previous forecast of 2 per cent. Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist at the IMF, says their projections are based on an "optimistic assessment" of how the Brexit negotiations will turn out and if both sides fail to collaborate it could mean a further decrease in economic growth for Britain. Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, says businesses are starting to realise they need an "evacuation plan" after Brexit and Gerard Lyons, chief economist strategist at Netwealth Investments, says he is "tired of the constant negative rhetoric" from places such as the IMF. (Image: Union Jack umbrella and parliament. Credit: Getty Images )

Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

The International Monetary Fund's latest verdict on the world and UK economy is out

The man who has photographed every president since Eisenhower  

One of modern history's most successful photographers Harry Benson is releasing a book of his pictures called 'Persons of Interest' at the age of 87. He photographed every US president since Eisenhower and first pointed a camera at Donald Trump 40 years ago. His world famous photos feature The Beatles, Muhammed Ali and the chess wizard Bobby Fischer. Today's special correspondent James Naughtie went to speak to him. (Image: Harry Benson. Credit: PA)

The migrant journey: Crossing the channel  

Only a fraction of the tens of thousands of migrants who have made it to Europe this year actually try to make it across the channel. Today's chief correspondent Matthew Price has been following the migration trail through Italy and France - and now he's entering England. (Image: UK border Credit: PA )

Should farm subsidies have to be earned?  

The Environment Secretary Michael Gove says farm subsidies will have to be earned rather than just handed out in the future. He says the entitlement should depend on what they do for the environment not how much of it they farm. Ross Murray, the head of Country Land and Business Association says the subsidies payments "should be decreased in the long-term" but that "in the meantime" public farmers who provide resource to the market should be supported. Today’s political correspondent Ross Hawkins reports from Suffolk. (Image: Tractor on a farm, credit: Getty Images)

Friday's business with Katie Prescott  

Goldman Sachs' Europe boss is the latest business leader to call for a transitional deal when the UK leaves the EU. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

Britain's attempt to free Rudolf Hess  

Files from the National Archives reveal that the British government supported the release of the Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess as early as 1956. The deputy to Hitler, Hess, was guarded by the so called Four Powers -- the victors of World War II US, France, Britain although the Soviet Union refused to release him. The last British governor of Spandau prison, Tony Le Tissier, talks to the BBC's Sanchia Berg. (Image: Rudolph Hess, credit: Getty Images)

Liam Fox on 'easiest trade deal in human history'  

The International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, will outline what he sees as the opportunities for the global economy from trade after the UK leaves the EU. Dr Fox tells Sarah Montague that the free trade agreement with the World Trade Organisation should be the "easiest in human history" and that "our rules and laws are exactly the same". The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg provides her analysis of the upcoming trade deal talks. (Image: Liam Fox, credit: Getty Images)

Thursday's business with Katie Prescott  

Profits at Mike Ashley's Sports Direct are down sharply but the retailer is looking to draw a line under its problems. Image credit: PA

The migrant journey to northern Europe  

The United Nations has estimated 93,213 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean and arrived in Italy so far this year by boat. Several migrants have had their asylum claim denied over the last three years which has left them in limbo. The first of three reports on the migration crisis in Italy from Matthew Price, Today's chief correspondent. (Image: Asylum seekers on a boat, credit: Getty Images)

The live stage play of the game Minecraft  

Minecraft enthusiasts will get the chance to see a live and virtual stage play about time travel hosted at the Derry Playhouse. Kieran Griffiths, creative director of Derry Playhouse, tells Today: "We hope to produce an educational asset for others to use." Adam Clarke, digital producer and Minecraft expert, says this play will have a "three-layered audience", live streamed with camera crew which will bring a virtual reality experience. (Image: Minecraft, credit: Getty Images)

Wednesday's business with Katie Prescott  

Inflation has defied expectations by falling to 2.6%, so is this the beginning of the end for price rises? Photo credit: PA

Tuesday's business with Rob Young  

Inflation is expected to remain at its highest level in nearly four years. The cost of living has been rising faster than earnings since the Brexit referendum last year; and the headline - Consumer Prices Index - rate has already significantly outstripped the Bank of England's target of two per cent. So what should the Bank do? (Image: a basket of shopping. Credit: Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.)

What will be the cost of the Brexit divorce?  

Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on both sides in the negotiations on the UK's departure from the European Union to "get down to business". The UK's financial settlement is expected to be discussed in the next round of negotiations in Brussels on Tuesday. Former government minister, Owen Paterson, and secretary of state for European affairs in the Czech government, Ales Chmelar, discuss what they expect to come out of these negotiations. (Image: David Davis and Michel Barnier, credit: Getty Images)

Monday's business with Zoe Kleinman  

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has urged caution over any moves to lift the cap on public-sector pay (Image: Chancellor Philip Hammond MP. Credit: BBC)

Sampson: England women 'can win the Euros'  

England Women's head coach Mark Sampson says his side can be successful in the tournament, which starts in the Netherlands on Sunday. Mr Sampson told Radio 4 Today's Jacqui Oatley: "We not saying we're the best team in the world, but we want to be the best team in the world but we're not yet. To get there we've got to start winning some major Championships... We'll do our homework and focus on being at our best possible level to go out and win." (Photo: Mark Sampson, England head coach with Jacqui Oatley)

Attenborough: Time to count the butterflies  

Sir David Attenborough is urging people to help the preserve butterflies by helping out with data collection. He is asking listeners to find a nice sunny patch of grass, sit down for 15 minutes and count how many butterflies they see. Sir David who is a natural history presenter and president of Butterfly Conservation tells Justin Webb that listeners can upload their count to the Butterfly Conservation website, and adds: "It will give us a marvellous picture...the information is absolutely invaluable." (Image: Butterfly on flower; Credit: Getty Images)

Vice-chancellor: Education is 'a competitive market'  

The former Labour education minister Lord Adonis has called for an enquiry into salaries being earned by the vice chancellors of some top universities and believes tuition fees create "an obvious cartel". Bill Rammell is vice chancellor of University of Bedfordshire earns £230k and has asked for his salary to be frozen to avoid further increases. He tells Justin Webb: "It is a demanding job and it is a competitive market." Former Labour higher education minister Lord Adonis doesn't agree. He says "success doesn't justify these salaries". (Image: Students protest; Credit: Getty images)

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