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Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 07:51 UK
Today: Monday 1 September 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.

Almost two million people have fled New Orleans and other coastal towns as Hurricane Gustav approaches Louisiana. A leaked draft letter from the Home Office letter warns that the economic downtown will lead to a rise in crime. And Conservative leader David Cameron has met Georgian leaders on a visit to the country.

The families of servicemen killed when their Nimrod spy plane exploded in Afghanistan two years ago are going to sue the government. One of the 14 men killed was Sergeant Ben Knight. His father, Graham Knight, says that Nimrods shouldn't be in the air.

A leaked draft letter from the Home Office warns that the economic downtown will lead to a rise in crime. Professor Richard Garside from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at Kings College London discusses the effects the economic climate may have on crime and other policy areas.

The US Republican convention's opening day is scaled down as nearly two million people flee Hurricane Gustav. Butch Kinerney from the Federal Emergency Management Agency describes the largest evacuation in state history. James Naughtie reports from Minneapolis.

Today's papers.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A national curriculum for children under five comes into force in nurseries and schools across the UK. It is called the Early Years Foundation Stage, and includes dozens of targets by which children are assessed from whether they can count and write their name to whether they can dress by themselves. Kim Simpson, from the Studio Montessori Nursery Centre, discusses how to assess children's progress.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

European leaders are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels in the wake of the crisis in Georgia. Europe editor Mark Mardell reports on the tensions among the 27 leaders on how to deal with Russia.

The Chancellor's comments on the state of the economy made headlines over the weekend. And Alastair Darling's unguarded remarks may have been the last thing Gordon Brown needed. Matthew d'Ancona, editor of the Spectator, and political editor Nick Robinson assess how much worse the situation can get for the prime minister.

Today's papers.

A new play has opened at the Globe theatre in London. It's called Liberty and it's entirely in iambic pentameter. The author, Glyn Maxwell, discusses the adaptation of Anatole France's 1912 novel Les Dieux ont Soif.

Thought for the day with Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge.

Hurricane Gustav is expected to reach New Orleans shortly. Two million people have been evacuated from the Louisiana coast and there is a curfew in place in the city. Washington correspondent Kevin Connolly reports from the centre of New Orleans.

EU leaders will try to agree a common position on Russia and Georgia, in the light of Russia's recognition of the two breakaway Georgian regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and its refusal to withdraw troops from the country. Conservative leader David Cameron has met Georgian leaders, and discusses what should be done about Russia.

Blue Peter celebrates its 50th anniversary in October. To celebrate the occasion, its editor for 26 years Biddy Baxter has compiled a book of the best letters written to her over the years. Biddy and Sarah Green, one of the former presenters, discuss how important the letters were to the programme.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

In the wake of the Chancellor's assessment on global economic conditions being the worst for 60 years, a draft letter from the Home Office suggests the economic problems could lead to a rise in crime, as well as other pressures such as "increased public hostility to migrants". Home Office minister Tony McNulty discusses the issue.

With advertising revenues and circulation figures falling at regional newspapers across the country, can local newspapers survive the pressures of the economic downturn? Roy Greenslade, of City University, and Peter Barron, from the Northern Echo, discuss why regional dailies and weeklies are suffering most.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Republicans open their convention to nominate presidential candidate John McCain with no pomp and little politics, shelving the usual celebration out of deference to the approaching threat of Hurricane Gustav. James Naughtie asks a Republican lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, who was general counsel to George Bush's first presidential campaign, what Mr McCain would use this week to do.

Alistair Darling has been pilloried for his downbeat assessment of the economy. The Conservatives say he has let the cat out of the bag; the Chancellor says he just wanted to be straightforward with the public. David Runciman, who has written a book on political hypocrisy, and Peter Oborne, of the Daily Mail, discuss whether politicians are better off not being honest.


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