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Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 09:01 UK
Today: Tuesday 9 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.

Note: This running order reports that there had been 116 escapes from medium and low secure psychiatric hospitals, or while under the escort of hospital staff last year. However, Calderstones NHS Trust has subsequently said it had misinterpreted the BBC's request for information and revised its response from 23 escapees to one person. This takes the total to 94.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A 23-year-old student is facing the death penalty in Afghanistan seven months after he was found guilty of blasphemy for downloading an article about the role of women in Islam. The case has illustrated the pressures on the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. The international community wants him to be pardoned. Conservative mullahs want him to be executed. Correspondent Alistair Leithead reports from Kabul.

Did the CIA scupper the liquid bomb trial by the arrest of Rashid Rauf in Pakistan, despite being asked not to do so by British intelligence? Although three men were convicted of conspiring to murder, it was not the verdict the police and prosecution wanted. The charges they had brought alleged a terrorist plot to blow up aeroplanes. Professor Michael Clarke, the director of the Royal United Services Institute, discusses what was seen as potentially the biggest terrorism bust in recent years.

The Migration Advisory Committee will publish a labour shortage list for skilled workers from outside Europe. The government will use the list to determine which skilled workers can come to Britain to work in areas of the economy officially defined as shortage areas. Mandy Thorn of the National Care Association, and Professor David Metcalf, the chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee, discuss how it will make it easier for businesses to recruit people from outside Europe.

Today's papers.

The boss of the UK's biggest building society predicted that house prices could fall by as much as a quarter before the market recovers. Now a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reveals an alarming picture in London. Business editor Robert Peston says estate agents are selling an average of just one property a week.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

An investigation by this programme has revealed that there are many medium and low security mental health hospitals with security problems. Correspondent Nicola Stanbridge discovers that at least 116 patients escaped from them or while they were being escorted by hospital staff last year.

Today's papers.


Andy Murray has failed in his bid to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win one of the four major singles titles. The 21 year old was outclassed by Roger Federer in the final of the US Open title overnight in New York, losing in four sets. Times sports columnist Simon Barnes says Murray can now be seen as a real contender for Wimbledon next year.

Thought for the day with The Right Reverend Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark.

The Chancellor will confront his critics when he faces a barrage of questions from union leaders demanding a windfall taxes on energy firms. PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka and Malcolm Webb, the chief executive of the Oil & Gas UK, debate the idea of a windfall tax.

A judge has highlighted concerns about security procedures at a psychiatric hospital after a child killer escaped and raped a teenager. Secure hospitals, like prisons, house many patients who have committed serious and violent crimes. The case highlights failures in a system which is backed up by an investigation carried out by reporter Nicola Stanbridge. The Today programme found that at least 116 patients escaped from medium and low secure psychiatric hospitals, or while under the escort of hospital staff last year. Louis Appleby, the national director for mental health, says officials are reviewing the appropriate placement of restricted patients at the unit.

According to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, estate agents in London are selling on average one house a month. The boss of Nationwide predicts one in five homeowners will be in negative equity next year and that house prices could fall by as much as 25% from their peak. Chairman of Chatham House, DeAnne Julius, discusses whether the government could be stepping in.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Scientists at the CERN research centre in Switzerland are preparing to switch on the LHC, the 5bn particle colliding machine and start learning a lot of things about the universe that we don't know now. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on the discoveries to emerge from switching on the machine. Professor Stephen Hawking tells the Today programme about his hopes for the experiment.

Albert Camus, the existentialist philosopher and goalkeeper, said that everything he knew about life, he owed to football. In that spirit, a football academy has been set up in France to give young goalkeepers from around the world moral guidance as well as football coaching. Former footballer Pat Nevin and Musa Okwonga, author of A Cultured Left Foot: The Eleven Elements of Footballing Greatness, discuss how in an age where footballers have become associated with greed and bad behaviour, the game can offer young people a moral philosophy.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The French president Nicolas Sarkozy says the deal he has reached with the Russians over Georgia is "fruitful". What the Russians have promised is that they will allow some EU monitors into South Ossetia and they will pull their forces out of Georgia in a month. Russian MP Sergey Markov discusses the steps to resolve the crisis in Georgia.



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