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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 09:41 UK
Today: Thursday 4 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.

John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin has launched a stinging attack on the Democrats as she debuts at the US Republican convention. Gordon Brown is seeking to reassure business leaders about Britain's economic prospects, amid warnings that the country is on the brink of recession. And a former undercover drugs cop says we should de-criminalise drugs.

Sarah Palin, the vice-presidential candidate for the Republicans, has launched a stinging attack on the Democrats as she debuts at the US Republican convention. North America editor Justin Webb reports from Minnesota.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke has written in the New Statesman that he believes Labour is "destined for disaster" unless it changes course. Former minister Nigel Griffiths discusses Gordon Brown's leadership.

The family of a soldier from Gwynedd say they are disgusted he was refused admission to a hotel, because he is serving in the army. Corporal Tomos Stringer's mother, Gaynor, explains how he was asked for identification but when he showed his military ID card, he was told it was management policy not to accept military personnel.

The final touches are being put to a revolutionary coal-fired power station in Germany. When it opens on Monday, the carbon dioxide produced during the generation process will be extracted, compressed, and buried for up to 1,000 years. Environment analyst Roger Harrabin reports on how Germany is leading the race.

The number of women holding senior posts in politics, the law and the media has fallen compared with last year, a report suggests. Nicola Brewer of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission discusses how opportunities for ambitious women to reach the top of their career are decreasing.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The rules governing what goes into school dinners are being tightened across the UK. Healthy menus are already compulsory in Scottish primaries and are being tested by four councils in Wales. But in England there is concern the guidelines will make the meals more expensive. The chair of the School Food Trust, Prue Leith, discusses the campaign to improve school dinners.

Today's papers.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Angela Tilby, Vicar of St Bene't's.

Jack Cole, a former undercover drugs officer in the United States, is calling for an end to the prohibition of drugs. He will be presenting his views at the International Economic Crime Symposium in Cambridge. Jack Cole and Dr Ian Oliver, author of Drug Affliction and a consultant to the UN on drugs issues, discuss the war on drugs.

Labour is "destined to disaster" and "utter destruction" at the next election if it does not change, former home secretary Charles Clarke has said. He explains his belief that Labour is destined to disaster if they go on as they are.

It is the third day of the Republican convention in where the main event was a speech from Sarah Palin, defending her qualifications for US vice-president. James Naughtie reports from Minneapolis.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Public confidence in the criminal justice system is being damaged by government policies, one of the country's top policemen believes. The chief constable of Kent, Mike Fuller, discusses how criminals are avoiding jail because of a lack of prison places.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee is to hold its monthly meeting. Economics editor Hugh Pym reports on how the looming threat of recession has left the bank under intense scrutiny as it prepares to announce its latest interest rate decision.

Young swimmers hoping for medals at the London Olympics will be subjected to an excessive training regime and constant monitoring, a study has warned. Melanie Lang, of Leeds Metropolitan University, and gold medallist Duncan Goodhew discuss what young swimmers who want to win at the London Olympics could face.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Policy Exchange think-tank says employers should be paid to hire ex-convicts. One of the authors of the report, Ben Ullman, and Lesley Butt, who was released from prison 16 months ago, discuss the lack of job opportunities available for ex-offenders.

Former Downing Street aide Matthew Taylor, and chairman of Compass Neal Lawson, discuss the use of political labels such as Blairite and Brownite.


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