Today - 17/04/2009

Logo for Today - 17/04/2009

Presented by Sarah Montague and Edward Stourton. Home Office minister Vernon Coaker discusses which public authorities - if any - should be able to use surveillance powers in the future. John Humphrys talks to entrepreneur and minister in Nelson Mandela's government Jay Naidoo, and spokesperson for the ruling ANC party Jessie Duarte, about the current condition of South Africa. Reporter Sanchia Berg visits the London Traffic Control Centre to discover how is traffic managed in our congested cities. North America Editor Justin Webb reports on the release of memos detailing techniques the CIA was able to use under the previous administration. Philippe Sands QC discusses the memos and the possibility of prosecution. Conductor Stephen Rhys and Professor Graham Welch explain the benefits of being in a choir. Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet. Damian Green, the MP arrested in an inquiry into Home Office leaks, says police told him he faced life in jail if convicted. Former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer discusses if, as Mr Green alleged, the entire affair was 'absurd'. South Africans go to the polls on 22 April in the fourth national and provincial elections since the end of apartheid in 1994. John Humphrys, who reports from the country for the first time in 15 years, examines how the country has changed. Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable says an informant tells him that problems with building societies are widespread. Archaeologist Professor Jim Crow and classicist Professor Paul Cartledge discuss the possibility of finding the tomb of Cleopatra. The US sea captain Richard Phillips, held hostage by Somali pirates for five days, arrived in the Kenyan port of Mombasa. Writer Jay Bahadur remembers his meetings with some of the pirates. Shadow International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell discusses what can be done to halt piracy in the region. Journalist Conor McNicholas and advisor Mark Mulligan discuss the Swedish-based file-sharing website The Pirate Bay. Pallab Ghosh reports on the search for a real life equivalent to the character Q from the James Bond films. Latin America experts Michael Shifter and Otto Reich discuss President Obama's approach to the region.