09:05  Deadlock over Brexit 'plan B' 

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May  wraps up five days of debate before a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

Photo: AFP / PRU

British Prime Minister Theresa May is continuing her last-minute scramble to shape Britain's exit from the European Union.  The British parliament is expected to debate and vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit 'plan B' on January  29th. We discuss what to make of it all with her former staffer Chris Wilkins.

Chris Wilkins was Director of Strategy and Chief Speechwriter to Prime Minister Theresa May between August 2016 to Autumn 2017, during this time, he wrote the Prime Minister's major policy speeches on Brexit, and had a front row seat in discussions about the Brexit negotiating strategy.

09:20 Tracking carbon in cities. If you can't measure it how can you regulate it ?  

Rush hour traffic in Auckland City

Photo: Kerry Kissane

Knowing exactly the amount of fossil fuel  emissions that comes from urban areas is essential to track the progress carbon mitigation plans. That's why researchers from GNS Science have been  investigating the best  ways to measure these emissions in cities like Indianapolis, Paris, Boston, Melbourne, Washington DC and Auckland. Dr Jocelyn Turnbull from GNS Science explains how getting consistent and accurate readings will help individual cities work out how well they're fighting climate change.

09.30 Turning up the heat on tomatoes

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Photo: Supplied

A team of international scientists is working on giving tomatoes the spice of a chili-pepper. The objective? To make it easier to mass produce large quantities of capsaicinoids - the molecules that give peppers their spiciness, and which, in addition to pepping up many a dish, have antibiotic properties, and are used in painkillers and pepper spray.  In a recent paper published in Trends in Plant Science, researchers say by studying the DNA of the chilli pepper they could turn up the heat in tomatoes. Plant biologist at the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil Gus Zsögön explains to Kathryn Ryan.

09:45 Australia correspondent

Australia correspondent Karen Middleton

10:05  A Diamond in the Dust

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Photo: Kimberley Fine Diamonds

Frauke Bolton-Boshammer was a young mother of three when she and her husband Friedrich moved from Germany to the remote Australian outback town in far north Western Australia.  Frauke and Friedrich worked hard to carve out a new life farming, but it was an uphill battle in such a harsh environment, and three years later Friedrich took his own life, leaving Frauke and now four children alone in the outback. Instead of moving back to Germany, she began a business selling rare pink diamonds. Three decades later, Kimberley Fine Diamonds has a client list including Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

10:35 Book review - best of 2018

Ralph McAllister shares his picks for the best books of 2018: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton,   
The Ladder in the Sky by John Boyne and The Spy and the Traitor by Ben McIntyre.

10:45 The Reading

11:05 Joni Mitchell: Reckless Daughter

Joni Mitchell Don Juan's Reckless Daughter

Photo: Joni Mitchell

Graeme Downes​ has been listening to Don Juan's Reckless Daughter a 1977 double album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

Graeme Downes is a musicologist and senior lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of Otago.

11:20 Tips for saving and making do

How to save, how to make do, Kaitaia farmer, Lyn Webster shares thrifty ideas about living sustainably with less.

Lyn Webster on the farm

Lyn Webster on the farm Photo: composite

11:45 A year ahead in the Arts

Eva Rothschild Kosmos

Eva Rothschild Kosmos Photo: Andrew Curtis

Arts commentator Courtney Johnston previews the year to come, in major shows and major directorship changes around the country. Wastescape - Auckland Arts Festival - presented by Te Tuhi, Blood Earth Water at Auckland Arts Festival - presented by Te Uru; John Scott Works, Auckland Arts Festival - presented by Objectspace; Eva Rothschild: Kosmos at City Gallery Wellington and Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys at Auckland Art Gallery.