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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 08:32 UK
Today: Thursday 16 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.

Share prices in Asia have plummeted overnight following the worst day on Wall Street in more than 20 years. How should the government fill the tax hole left by a recession? And the annual NHS health check reveals shortfalls in infection control and GP access.

Share prices in Asia have plummeted overnight following a bad day on Wall Street where shares suffered their worst one day fall in more than 20 years. Fund manager Mark Konyn of RCM Asia Pacific and business editor Robert Peston discuss the falls.

The annual NHS health check has revealed areas where services appear to be getting worse despite 10 years of unprecedented spending. Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, has recently completed the biggest assessment of the NHS in England that there has ever been and explains what the results show.

John McCain and Barack Obama have clashed in the third and final US Presidential debate. Justin Webb reports on a debate in which John McCain needed to land a knock-out blow.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

A recession means that tax revenues will inevitably fall. But should the government fill the gap by raising taxes or borrowing more? Carl Emerson, deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, gives his analysis of the government's predicament and MPs John Redwood and Jim Cousins debate the political ramifications.

Today's papers.

An RAF pilot is to be buried in Berlin, more than 60 years after he was shot down and lost in action. Flight Engineer Sergeant John Bremner was part of a crew of eight which set out on a bombing mission to the German capital. But it ended in disaster when their Halifax bomber was shot down. Steve Rosenberg reports on the story.

Thought for the day with Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley.

The annual health check for the NHS has found that just 31% of NHS Trusts could guarantee that patients would be able to see a GP within 48 hours - and that one in four NHS Trusts are failing to meet core standards of hygiene. Health Secretary Alan Johnson responds to the report's findings.

Stock markets around the world have seen dramatic falls despite global action to save the banking system. Former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International Antonio Borges discusses whether anything can be done to restore confidence to the markets.

A group of hedge fund managers have written to the Bank of England warning that unless assets in the collapsed bank Lehmans Brothers are unfrozen it could be disastrous for the UK economy. But are they in a position to give advice in the current economic climate? Ian Morley, chairman of Corazon Capital and Terry Smith, chief executive of Tullet Prebon, debate the future of hedge funds.

Can you see Her Majesty at a computer, checking her Facebook profile and sending emails? As the Queen visits Google, the author of The Queen and I, Sue Townsend, imagines Royalty in the digital age.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

As global markets tumble, EU leaders are meeting for the second day of their summit in Brussels. Jonny Dymond reports on whether they will continue to back Gordon Brown's agreement on global financial institutions.

The UN is marking World Food Day by warning of the danger faced by nearly one billion malnourished people in the developing world. South Asia correspondent Chris Morris reports from India where an estimated eight million children are in immediate danger of starvation.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Scientists in Canada have taken a big step forwards in the search for dark matter - the enigmatic "stuff" that makes up 23% of the universe. Professor Ofer Lahav of University College, London discusses one of the biggest mysteries of modern science.

The new Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has garnered more media coverage in his first few weeks in the job than his predecessor could ever have wished for. Daily Mail sketch writer Quentin Letts and Times columnist Alice Miles try to figure out just what it is about Lord Mandelson that inspires such fascination.

It is a myth that we're a chronically sleep-deprived nation, according to Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University. Writing in the New Scientist, he says that most people need less than eight hours of sleep a day and that compared to 100 years ago, we are fortunate.



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