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Page last updated at 06:43 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 07:43 UK
Today: Thursday 9 October 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.

Local councils, who have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in Icelandic banks, are facing significant financial losses. Tony Travers, from the London School of Economics, discusses whether the government will be underwriting this risk as well.

Falling stock markets mean different things to different people. For those who have never bought a share in their lives the big thing is what it does to their pensions. Scotland correspondent Huw Williams visits the conference of the National Association of Pension Funds and tries to find out how worried they are.

Family doctors in England are working less, but paid more after the introduction of a new contract "failed to live up to expectations", MPs said. Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the BMA GP Committee, says that GPs' income has actually fallen.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Some of the country's graveyards are falling apart, according to English Heritage. Roger Bowdler, head of territory designation at English Heritage, says a national treasure is being neglected.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Unlike the rest of the world, China's economy is in pretty good shape. Its banks are very conservative and Chinese people are some of the most diligent savers in the world. But how will the world's fastest growing major economy perform if the rest of the world stops buying Made in China? Correspondent Quentin Sommerville investigates whether China can escape the economic misery being felt by the rest of the world.

Today's papers.

Before the winner of the country's leading literary prize, the Man Booker, is announced, each nominated author will speak to the Today programme. In the second of six interviews, arts correspondent Rebecca Jones talks to Philip Hensher, author of The Northern Clemency.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London.

The mayor of London Boris Johnson claims that the rate of violent crime, in particular knife crime, is falling. This follows the resignation of Sir Ian Blair, former head of the Met. The Conservative mayor came under a lot of criticism for his role in Sir Ian's departure. Mr Johnson discusses the "decision to turn the switch off" the Met chief's tenure.

The City has had a day to digest the UK government's plans for the banks, and the FTSE 100 fell over 5% despite a bounce after the plan for a 0.5% cut in interest rates was announced. Jim O'Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, and Neil Mackinnon, chief currency strategist at ECU Group, discuss whether this is an omen for the wider economy.

Local authority leaders are seeking an urgent meeting with the Chancellor after it emerged at least 20 councils have cash in troubled Icelandic banks. Nick Chard, a cabinet member of Kent County Council - which had £50m invested with Iceland-based banks - and John Ransford, of the Local Government Association (LGA), discuss how much has been lost.

The 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature is to be announced. There is speculation about it being an "anti-US" prize, after the lead Nobel judge said that American literature was insular - and that Europe was the centre of the literary world. Novelist and poet AS Byatt and Sam Leith, literary editor of the Telegraph, discuss why the last US winner of the Nobel Prize was in 1993.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Bank of England is not doing its job of providing lender of last resort facilities to struggling banks, several economists say in a letter to the Financial Times. Economist and signatory to the letter Tim Congdon and Liam Halligan, chief economist at Prosperity Capital Management, discuss whether the Bank of England has bowed to political pressure by cutting rates by 0.5%.

Pubs in Ireland are closing. Over 1,500 have shut since 2001, the Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners' Federation of Ireland say. Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson reports from Athy in County Kildare, and finds out whether the best craic could still be found.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Clash concert of 1982, at Shea Stadium in New York, is often referred to as one of the greatest rock gigs ever seen. The band wasn't even top of the bill, they were supporting The Who. Tapes of the concert have been rediscovered when Joe Strummer moved house a few years ago and now are being re-released. Clash guitarist Mick Jones discusses what made the band and that gig so special.

Despite the popular perception of the baby boomer generation as a big spending wild bunch, they are actually fairly conservative as they plan ahead to retirement, the Economic and Social Research Council says. Author and philosopher AC Grayling and journalist Kerry Gill, Scottish political editor of the Express, discuss whether it is gardening and films or bungee-jumping and backpacking that gets the boomers' pulse racing.



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