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Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 07:59 UK
Today: Wednesday 27 August 2008

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

The Liberal Democrats will put forward their ideas for revitalising the housing market. Treasury spokesman Vince Cable says that the housing market is in a downward spiral that is increasing the number of houses being repossessed.

The electoral system should be reformed so that voters, can have a bit more confidence that it's not being rigged, the Electoral Commission recommends. Its chief executive, Peter Wardle, says there is no evidence of vote-rigging in elections, and the postal voting system is now much more secure.

US President George Bush has urged Russia not to recognise Georgia's two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Correspondent Bridget Kendall reports on the impact of Russia's actions.

DUP leader Peter Robinson has warned of serious consequences if the next meeting of the Stormont Executive, which will decide upon the devolution of policing and justice in Northern Ireland, does not go ahead in mid-September. Correspondent Keith Doyle reports on the decisions that are being made.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A new drug which could help save the sight of thousands of people is to be made available on the NHS in England. The regulator, NICE, has ordered health service managers to start funding the drug, Lucentis, for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration. Andrew Dillon of NICE discusses when the drug is likely to be available.

The government is under mounting pressure to impose a windfall tax on energy companies to help poorer families cope with rising fuel bills. Political correspondent Norman Smith examines the effectiveness of windfall taxes.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Hillary Clinton calls on the Democrats to back her former rival Barack Obama for president, at the party's convention in Denver. James Naughtie reports on Hillary's big moment.

Today's papers

It's 100 years since the birth of Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest cricketer of all time. Correspondent Nick Bryant reports from Bradman's home town of Bowral, New South Wales.

Thought for the day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, the vicar of Putney.

Police in Birmingham are braced for more gang violence after a violent few weeks. Kirk Dawes, director of West Midlands Mediation and Transformation Service, and Beverley Thomas, mother of murder victim Charlene Ellis, discuss what can be done to mediate between gangs.

The UN has released a report which shows that the opium problem in Helmand is getting worse, with two-thirds of Afghanistan's opium coming from Helmand. A bumper harvest, thanks to the weather, means even more opium has been produced this year than last year. Antonio Maria Costa of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime, discusses what can be done.

In her speech to delegates at the Democrat's convention, Hillary Clinton declared it was time for party to unite with a single purpose, and urged her followers to help elect once-bitter rival Barack Obama. From Denver, James Naughtie reports that the feeling is still not shared by everyone.

The actor Sir Ian McKellan has recorded a Shakespearean sonnet which teenagers from Limehouse Youth Centre put to a backing track, and then went on to rap in their own style to the same tune. Eddie Stride, who runs the centre, and Tricky, who is the musician and producer, debate if there is a link between poetry and rap in the eyes of modern rappers?

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

About 1,400 people in England and Wales may have the power to demand your name and address; to stop you drinking in designated public places, or even issue a fixed penalty notice for things like dog fouling or cycling on a public footpath. Correspondent Danny Shaw reports on the Home Office initiative of "Accredited Persons".

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) is a new book by Tom Vanderbilt which talks us through our driving habits. The author and head of Road Policy of the AA, Paul Watters, discuss why we behave so differently behind the wheel of a car.

US and Iraqi negotiators are trying to finalise a security agreement, which will decide what role US troops will have in the country. Correspondent Crispin Thorold reports from an area in Baghdad that has seen some of the worst violence in recent years.

Why are the Russians so concerned by the expansion of NATO? Masha Lipman, of the Moscow centre of the Carnegie Endowment, and David Clark, the chair of the Russia Foundation, discuss the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.



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