Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
The Big Garden Birdwatch returns
The world's largest garden wildlife survey returns today and runs until Sunday. The Big Garden Birdwatch involves people birdwatching in their garden and counting the number of different species they see for one hour. The BBC's Climate Editor Justin Rowlatt reported from Sherwood Forest where he spoke to Becky Speight, Chief Executive of the RSPB. Also featuring Simon Jack.
(Image Credit: Press Association)
Care home restrictions to be eased in England
Covid restrictions on adult social care will be eased in England from Monday, the government has announced. There will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed at care homes, self-isolation periods will be cut and care homes will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days, not 28. Today’s Nick Robinson speaks to Suzy MacPherson, a listener who hasn’t been able to see her mum who’s in a care home since before Christmas. Also on the programme was Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, which represents independent care providers in York and North Yorkshire.
(Image Credit: Press Association)
Interview: Liz Truss
The official inquiry into gatherings at Downing Street and in Whitehall during lockdown is believed to be complete. It's understood the senior civil servant, Sue Gray, has evidence including photographs and Whatsapp messages, and is keen for the report to be published in full. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister spoke about the Metropolitan Police’s decision to investigate whether any coronavirus restrictions were breached, whilst he was in the commons making a statement on the growing crisis in Ukraine.
Advisors from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France are meeting in Paris on Wednesday as tensions continue to rise over fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has reacted angrily to warnings from Washington of personal sanctions on Mr Putin, saying the US and NATO had flooded Ukraine with weapons and western advisors.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is due to visit Ukraine next week. She speaks to Today’s Martha Kearney.
Is Russia headed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine?
Western allies have warned that Russia will be hit with an "unprecedented package of sanctions" if it invades Ukraine. Speaking last night after a virtual meeting between President Biden and European leaders including Boris Johnson, NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said any further aggression by Moscow would have "severe costs". 8,500 US troops have been put on a heightened state of alert for a possible deployment to eastern Europe to boost NATO's presence.
Today’s Mishal Husain gets the latest from BBC correspondents Steve Rosenberg and Gabriel Gatehouse, and speaks to Sir Alex Younger, former Head of the UK’s secret intelligence service MI6.
PM orders inquiry into former minister’s Islamophobia allegations
Boris Johnson has ordered the Cabinet Office to investigate a claim by a Conservative MP that she was sacked as a minister, in part, because she's a Muslim. A Downing Street spokesperson said the Prime Minister took Nusrat Ghani's allegation very seriously.
This comes at the beginning of what could prove to be a pivotal week for the Prime Minister, as the government awaits the publication of a report into a series of gatherings at Number 10 during lockdown.
Today’s Justin Webb hears the analysis of the BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
Today’s Mishal Husain speaks to the Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim appointed to a cabinet position in the UK, before questioning the Education Minister, Nadhim Zahawi.
Jacky Wright’s Today Programme
Jacky Wright is the Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft US. For her Today guest edit, she asked whether young people are being taught the skills they need for the workplaces and jobs of the future.
She grew up in Tottenham, North London, and went back for the programme, asking A level students at a school there what they thought would make them employable.
She also used the programme to explore what everyday life was like for the generation of multiracial children born during World War Two.
Jacky spoke about the importance of role models with one of her own: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and the first elected female head of state in Africa.
And there was also time for her to talk about her love of CSI with the show’s creator Anthony Zuiker.