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Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008
Today: Monday 27 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.

Syria has accused US forces of carrying out a raid inside its territory near the border with Iraq. The Syrian foreign ministry said eight civilians were killed in the attack. Jihad Makdissi, of the Syrian Embassy in London, says this is an outrageous crime and an act of aggression. Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen gives his analysis of the long running dispute between Syria and the US.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed emergency loans for Ukraine and Hungary, following the rescue plan for Iceland. Correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse reports on the Ukraine's 16bn loan deal.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas would be celebrating his 94th birthday if he was still alive. His childhood home is to be opened up to the public, restored to how it would have looked on the day of the poet's birth. Wales correspondent Colette Hume reports from the restored house.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

A benefits system for sick and disabled people is coming into force. Claimants who are not terminally ill or severely disabled could have their benefits cut. Ian Smith of Working Links, a company bidding for a contract to implement the system, and Guy Parker, of charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, discuss whether it will help get a million people back to work by 2015.

Today's papers.

Polls taken for the US election have placed Democrat candidate Barack Obama up to nine points ahead of Republican candidate John McCain. Sir Robert Worcester, of the polling organisation Ipsos Mori, says one US poll suggests Barack Obama has a 95.7% chance of winning.

Thought for the day with Rabbi Lionel Blue.

John Prescott is to appear in a documentary about the UK class system. He goes through a series of encounters with a cross-section of society with his wife Pauline. He says that private education is of a better standard than public and that Today has become a programme of depression.

Analysts believe another cut in interest rates is likely, despite the pound falling to a six-year low against the dollar and an all-time low against the euro. Howard Davies, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, discusses what this means for UK exports.

Who should pay for the upkeep of war memorials? This year marks the 90th anniversary of the First World War armistice but many memorials have fallen into a state of disrepair. Correspondent Paul Greer and Russell Thompson, of the British Legion, discuss how the problem should be addressed.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

After an investigation by the Today Programme revealed how nearly fifty women identified as typhoid carriers were locked up for life in a mental asylum, reporter Angus Stickler has found one women who was set free. The grandchildren of Mary Allouis, who contacted the programme after an appeal on-air, discuss the life of their grandmother.

The brainpower of clever teenagers has deteriorated dramatically, despite an increase in the number of pupils achieving top grades in exams, a study has shown. Professor Michael Shayer, who led the research, says the cognitive abilities of today's brightest 14-year-olds are level with those of 12-year-olds in 1976.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

In 1961, when Barack Obama was born, race segregation was still prominent in the US. Correspondent Kevin Connolly has been canvassing opinions among African Americans about how deeply America has had to change to make the Obama story possible.

Will Labour's drive to get people off benefits and into work survive a recession? Lisa Harker, of left-leaning think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Ian Mulheirn, of the Social Market Foundation, discuss whether the new system can overcome rising unemployment levels.



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