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


'We can't ask prisons to act as if they were hospitals'  

New figures to be published next week are set to show a record number of prisoners killed themselves in jails in England and Wales last year. Yesterday an inquest jury concluded Dean Saunders, an inmate who killed himself, was ‘let down by a number of failings’ by the prison and by mental health services. Juliet Lyon, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody discusses what needs to be done with Charlotte Haworth-Hird the Solicitor representing the family of Dean Saunders.

What comes next for President Donald Trump?  

End the carnage, put America first, make America great again. Those were the words of President Donald Trump but can he put them into action? BBC correspondent Jim Naughtie reports from Washington DC.

Martin McGuinness retires from politics  

Martin McGuinness, the former IRA commander who went on to serve as deputy first minister in Stormont, is retiring from politics because of illness. Former Sinn Fein publicity director Danny Morrison and DUP MP for North Antrim Ian Paisley Junior discuss the impact of Mr McGuinness on the peace process. (Image: Martin McGuinness. Credit: PA)

The inauguration of Donald Trump  

Donald Trump is set to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The Today programme's special correspondent James Naughtie reports and we speak to former UK ambassador to the US Sir Nigel Sheinwald and adviser to Donald Trump Anthony Scaramucci. (Image: Donald and Melania Trump. Credit: Getty Images)

Michaela DePrince: From a Sierra Leone orphanage to the London stage  

Tonight will be the last night that ballerina Michaela DePrince will be dancing on the London stage. Born amidst Sierra Leone’s violent civil war in the mid-nineties, Michaela lived in an orphanage before being adopted and taken to the US where she started to dance. The BBC’s Siobhann Tighe has been speaking to her. (Image: Michaela DePrince. Credit: Getty Images)

Friday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

How did Theresa May go down at Davos and what are the business elite expecting from a Trump presidency? Dominic O'Connell is there (Image: U.S. President-elect Trump. Credit: Reuters)

'You lose the argument if you mention the war'  

The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has accused the EU of considering Nazi-style “punishment beatings” over Britain's decision to leave the EU. He isn't the first politician to use events around World War Two to illustrate a political point. The social historian and author Juliet Gardiner and guardian columnist Sir Simon Jenkins discuss whether it's dangerous to draw parallels with history. (Image: woman with finger pressed to lips credit; Getty images)

Is Turkey's President Erdogan a democrat or a dictator?  

Is Turkey's President Erdogan a democrat or a dictator? Jeran Bayash was a correspondent at IMC TV, which was recently shut down by the government, he says there is a war being waged on the free press. Veysi Kaynak is one of Turkey's three Deputy Prime Ministers, he denies the claims and says the country is in a state of emergency following a number of terrorist attacks. Matthew also explores the refugee crisis and the effect it has had on the country. Turkey has taken in at least 2.7 million Syrian refugees and is the country with the most child refugees in the world. (Image: Turkey refugee camp, credit: TBC)

Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

This year the World Economic Forum in Davos has been dominated by themes of inequality and free trade. Dominic O'Connell is there

Could therapy replace medicine for psychosis?  

A new study from King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has shown for the first time that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) strengthens specific connections in the brains of people with psychosis, and that these stronger connections are associated with long-term reduction in symptoms and recovery eight years later. Laura Moulding says CBT was successful in treating her psychotic symptoms and Dr Liam Mason, a lead author of the study, explains how it works.

Davis: 'We should be talking about the positive outcomes'  

Secretary of State for exiting the European Union David Davis explains what the Prime Ministers speech means for Brexit negotiations and why both sides would want a good deal. (picture: Wish list credit: bbc)

Colic: Is acupunture the answer?  

A small study published by the British Medical Journal Press suggests acupuncture can stop colicky babies crying. Professor David Colquhoun, pharmacologist at University College London, and Dr Mike Cummings, one of the associate editors of Acupuncture in Medicine and medical director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society discuss Acupuncture and how it can be compared to more conventional medicines. (Image: Child with Acupuncture needles in stomach. Credit: Getty images)

What makes a good political speech?  

There is a lot of expectation surrounding the speeches of our leaders. How can they make sure they get it right? Ian Birrell, contributing editor of the Mail on Sundays, says Theresa May should get inspiration from Obama who has proved himself to be a great orator. Patricia Lane, an expert in intercultural communications suggests May needs to "make things as simple as possible but not simpler." and says she should avoid making cultural references which will fall flat on an international stage. (Image: Podium on a stage, credit: Getty Images)

Tuesday's business with Katie Prescott  

Theresa May is expected to say she favours a clean break from the EU, dismissing a "half-in, half-out" Brexit deal with Brussels. How will financial markets take the news? (Image: Prime Minister Theresa May. Credit: European Photopress Agency)

Meet the Author: Tim Pears  

In this week's Meet The Author, Jim Naughtie talks to the novelist Tim Pears about his latest novel The Horseman, set in the West Country in the years just before the First World War. (Image: Tim Pears, credit: BBC)

Gove: Window into Donald Trump's soul?  

Donald Trump has expressed hope and confidence in Brexit in an interview with Michael Gove in the Times, a day ahead of the Prime Minister's much anticipated speech on Brexit. Michael Gove says president-elect Donald Trump wants to get a trade deal agreed with the UK as soon as possible. The Conservative MP believes once he becomes President, Mr Trump will see Theresa May straight away. Mr Gove said while he doesn't have a "window into Donald Trump's soul" he knows he feels invested in Britain's future. (Image: Michael Gove, credit: AP)

Amartya Sen on UK economic inequality  

Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen discusses Oxfam findings which suggest the world's eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world. Find out what he makes of wage caps, Bernie Sanders and Brexit. (Image: Amartya Sen, credit: Getty Images)

Monday's business with Katie Prescott  

The pound hit its lowest level against the dollar since October's flash crash (Image : British 10 and 20 pound bank notes and 1 and 2 pound coins Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Can the NHS manage their highest ever overcrowding?  

There's a new system in place this winter for how hospitals report the level of pressure they are under Mishal talks to our chief correspondent, Matthew Price who has spent the last twelve hours in Southampton General Hospital which has reported the highest level of alert - Opel 4. (Image: Hospital staff blurr, credit: PA)

Is the Trump dossier fake?  

The leaked alleged 'dirty dossier', describing salacious sex acts carried out by Donald Trump in the presidential suit of a Moscow hotel, has led to a political storm. It is so outrageous it has been described by some as something out of a spy novel. Frederick Forsyth, a spy author who worked for MI6 for 20 years, thinks the dossier is unbelievable, arguing Trump would have to be a "congenital idiot". Christopher Andrew is an official historian of MI5, he thinks the dossier could be real and says that there is evidence that Russia are behind it. (Image: Spy man in silhouette, credit: Getty Images)

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