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Page last updated at 05:25 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 06:25 UK
Today: Tuesday 2 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.

The government will set out its plans to help the housing market - for those in England, they include a mortgage rescue scheme to help those at risk of losing their home and some help for first-time buyers. Economics editor Hugh Pym reports.

Hurricane Gustav is moving inland from the Gulf coast of the United States. The storm has been downgraded to a Category 1, and missed New Orleans. Kevin Connolly reports from the city, where the flood defences withstood the pressure.

Evan Davis reports from inside Liverpool prison, with the governor Alan Brown and Michael Spurr, the operational head of the Prison Service.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Natural History Museum has a new acquisition - a 65 metre long, eight-storey high cocoon that's cost 80m. It is a new building that completes the museum's Darwin Centre. Described as the most significant development at the museum since it moved to South Kensington in 1881, our science correspondent Tom Feilden has been for a sneak preview.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Flood waters in the northern Indian state of Bihar have not receded, and aid agencies say the situation seems to be getting worse, with three million people now displaced. Indian authorities say they have rushed doctors and medical equipment to the area to ward off outbreaks of disease among the hundreds of thousands affected. Sanjoy Majumder reports and Peter Ophoff, head of delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in India, outlines what agencies are doing to help.

Today's papers.

A short way from Liverpool prison is a young offenders prison at Hindley. Governor Ray Hill is faced with the challenge of looking after the young offenders in his care. Evan Davis reports from the prison.

Thought for the day with the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

The housing market is in the doldrums: the Bank of England figures for new mortgage approvals in July last year were 114,000; and only 33,000 this year. The government is due to outlines new measures to help the housing market. Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, and Dr Peter King, from the Centre for Housing Research at De Montfort University, explains what the new measures will mean for hard-pressed families.

Prisons in England and Wales are home to over 83,000 people; each one costing 25,000 a year to house. HMP Liverpool is one - and it is regularly locked down, which is prison-speak for full. It receives overflows of inmates from Birmingham, which in turn is receiving the overflows from London. Justice Secretary Jack Straw discusses prison life from HMP Liverpool and how overcrowding can be addressed.

The anti-fur group PETA is attempting to convince the Ministry of Defence to replace the traditional bearskin worn by guardsmen. The MOD has said it would be happy not to use real bearskin, provided a suitable alternative can be found. Group Captain Susan Gray is responsible for developing and procuring caps - and she explains the Army's position.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The first day of the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St Paul was a victim of Hurricane Gustav. President Bush pulled out; the presidential nominee, John McCain, was in Louisiana. But as Jim Naughtie reports from the convention hall in St Paul, there was a sense of anticipation about the forthcoming convention.

A new book claims the Soviet Union built a nuclear bomb five years earlier than they would otherwise have done because of the actions of Melita Norwood, Britain's Granny spy. She was exposed as a spy in 1999 and died in 2005. The author of the book, David Burke, explains how she was able to access secret information.

The Treasury will make an announcement on the subject of stamp duty later on. Political editor Nick Robinson examines whether the news will be about a stamp duty "holiday" - or a deferral on payment.

Does prison reform and rehabilitate? Bobby Cummings, chief executive of Unlock, which deals with reformed offenders, Erwin James, Guardian columnist who has served 20 years of a life sentence - and Jill Sayward, who speaks for victims, discuss the problem with Jack Straw, the justice secretary.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


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