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Page last updated at 06:31 GMT, Saturday, 18 October 2008 07:31 UK
Today: Saturday 18 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.

If unemployment goes up as a result of the current financial and economic condition, immigration will come down, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has said. Political correspondent Ross Hawkins reports on Mr Woolas' comments that "It's been too easy to get into this country in the past and it's going to get harder."

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said he has failed to agree on a new cabinet at power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe. Correspondent Jonah Fisher reports on whether outstanding issues were "capable of solving themselves quite easily".

Today's papers

Speculation in Washington suggests that the former American Secretary of State Colin Powell is going to endorse Barack Obama's claim on the presidency this weekend. North America editor Justin Webb and former Bush speechwriter David Frum discuss the elections as campaigning focuses on the key southern states.

Yesterday in Parliament with Mark D'Arcy.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The storm clouds of the financial system have broken over the "real economy". Bankers' jargon and talk of things like liquidity and derivatives has given way to words like unemployment, inflation and recession. Richard Lambert, director general of business lobby group the CBI, discusses the week that moved the crisis from the banks into the family home.

Today's papers.

Music composed by prisoners is being played at the Royal Festival Hall in London. For over a decade, the charity Music in Prisons has been teaching offenders to compose as part of their rehabilitation. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge met people involved and inspired by one of the most memorable prison performers - the great Johnny Cash.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Roy Jenkins, Baptist minister in Cardiff.

The assisted suicide of Daniel James, a former rugby player who was paralysed from the chest down, has once again drawn attention to whether people who desperately want to die should be given help to kill themselves. Member of Scottish parliament Margo Macdonald, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease and wants the law in the UK changed, says the area of assisted suicide "must be tidied up" in law.

The number of migrants entering the UK must be reduced to bring population growth under control, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has said. Keith Best, chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service, and Labour MP Frank Field discusses whether immigration can or should be controlled in this way.

Disputes in Zimbabwe between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are coming no closer to resolving the power-sharing deal in the country. Alex Vines, of the think tank Chatham House, says the failure of the negotiations shows how ineffective former South African president Thabo Mbeki is.

What is the relationship between forensic medicine and crime writing? Author Ian Rankin and Professor Anthony Busuttil, of the University of Edinburgh, discuss the importance of scientific reality in writing.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Has the credit crunch really hit consumers? The Today Programme visited Watford, to talk to 12 ordinary consumers who pay their mortgages, books holidays, face rising food bills and worry about the cost of living. They explained to John Humphrys how their behaviour might change - and how they see the next few months unfolding.

Today's papers.

As intense fighting continues in the Bajaur region between the Pakistani army and the Taleban, there is widespread discord among Pakistani politicians over how to deal with the insurgency. Tariq Azam Khan, former information minister and now a senator in the Pakistani parliament, discusses what the government can do to deal with the Taleban.

After eight years, shopkeepers in this country are going to be allowed to sell "fruit and veg" in pounds and ounces without the fear of being prosecuted, new government guidelines show. Neil Herron, of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund, says the government still needs to go further.


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