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Page last updated at 05:09 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 06:09 UK
Today: Thursday 28 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.

Bill Clinton has given his backing to Barack Obama. Police have appealed for information about a suspected arson attack at the home of a businessman in Shropshire. And Foreign Secretary David Miliband explains why Europe must stand up to Russia.

The latest house price figures from the Nationwide Building Society have just been released, and they show continued falls. Fionnuala Earley, the chief economist of Nationwide, explains how this is the biggest annual decease since Nationwide began its housing survey in 1991.

Former President Bill Clinton has told delegates at the Democrat convention that Barack Obama is the man for the job. James Naughtie reports from Denver.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Ukraine may be the next flash-point in relations between Russia and the West. Moscow has recognised the independence of South Georgia and Abkhazia and incurred the wrath of the West in doing so. Ukraine's government wants to join Nato and it is not known how the Russians would react if it looked like happening. Ukraine's deputy prime minister Hryhoriy Nemyria discusses the likelihood of a referendum.

A man has been found guilty of turning replica guns into live weapons linked to more than 50 shootings. The case has fuelled a demand for the law on deactivated guns, which can be converted to fire live ammunition, to be tightened. Film-maker and criminologist, Roger Graef, says the government has not taken the threat from replica guns seriously enough.

Sports news with John Myers.

A boy living in Calton, in the east end of Glasgow, can expect to die 28 years earlier than a boy living just a few miles away in Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, a report on health inequality from the World Health Organisation has found. Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley discusses the widening gap in the health of the richest and poorest in society.

Today's papers

Two galleries are appealing for 50m to buy two paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Titian. The Duke of Sutherland is offering the two works to the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery in London for 50m each. Art critic Richard Cork says that in today's inflated market this is quite cheap.

Thought for the day with Elaine Storkey, president of the Tearfund.

The brutal civil war in Sudan ended three years ago and there are still fears it may begin all over again. There is rarely any mention of events in the south of the country, despite more than $1bn from oil revenue being earned there last year. Mike Thomson reports from a health clinic in the remote border village of Tieraliet.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has warned Russia's president not to start a new Cold War, after a visit to Ukraine's capital Kiev. Russia has worried the West by recognising the independence of South Georgia and Abkhazia. Also worrying is how Russia would react if Ukraine were to join Nato, as its government hopes it will. David Miliband tells the Today programme that the current situation marks the end of a period of stability in Europe.

Bill Clinton's speech was one of the most extraordinary yet at the Democratic Party convention, and was followed by speeches from the vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and a surprise appearance from Barack Obama. Nonetheless one of the biggest moments was when Hillary Clinton formally proposed Obama as the party's presidential candidate. North American editor Justin Webb reflects on the night's events.

Sports news with John Myers.

A three year investigation into public health is released this morning from a commission established by the World Health Organisation. It will set out data on inequality in health outcomes, and is expected to argue that needless deaths occur on account of avoidable health inequalities. Sir Michael Marmot, chair of the World Health Organisation, discusses how the health gap in this country has widened.

A man has been convicted of turning replica guns into weapons used in eight murders. The firearms were passed from Grant Wilkinson's workshop in Berkshire to networks of criminals. Home Office minister Tony McNulty explains how the police want the government to act over its promise to ban all deactivated guns.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Savills Estate Agents is due to release interim figures - and bad news is expected. Henry Pryor, a housing expert and former Savills' employee, discusses how around 125 branches of estate agents are closing each week, and what this means for the property market.

US political conventions are a mixture of high seriousness and theatricality. And, as James Naughtie reports from Denver, they attract some observers who are determined, night after night to expose some of their natural comedy.

Files just released at the national archives show how the head of Britain's wartime Special Operations Executive urged Winston Churchill to keep the agency going in peacetime. Professor Michael Foot, SOE historian, and the current Lord Selborne, whose grandfather ran SOE, discuss whether the SOE should have continued operating after the war.


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