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Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Today: Tuesday 4 November 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.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced a trading statement, giving details of its attempt to raise 20bn in new capital. It has also admitted over 6bn of credit crunch write-downs. Business presenter Adam Shaw discusses the report.

As the United States enters election day, final preparations have been made by the two presidential candidates. James Naughtie reports on what is expected to be the biggest turnout in a US election in history.

The policy of denying treatment to NHS patients who paid for drugs with their own money will change, the Department of Health is expected to announce. Health correspondent Jane Dreaper speaks to Susan Kiernan, the widow of a man who had pancreatic cancer and was denied life-prolonging drugs by the NHS.

The Glenrothes by-election was initially talked about as another crucial test for Gordon Brown's leadership. The SNP was expected to repeat its Glasgow East triumph and sweep aside Labour's 10,000 majority. Political correspondent Norman Smith reports on how the financial crisis and the "Brown bounce" seems to have given Labour a glimmer of hope.

Marks and Spencer has announced a fall in pre-tax profit of 34% for the first 9 months of 2008. Adam Shaw speaks to Sir Stuart Rose, who says that 2009 will be a tough year for the store.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The Prime Minister has been trying to persuade the Gulf States to use some of their oil-wealth to help the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Business secretary Lord Mandelson, who is accompanying Gordon Brown on his trip to the Middle East, discusses how the extra investment can help the IMF.

Today's papers.

Novelist Margaret Atwood is to release her latest book, described as an "intellectual history of debt". She discusses Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, which was written before the credit crunch.

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

Amnesty International has condemned the stoning of a 13-year-old girl in southern Somalia. The human rights organisation claims the teenager was stoned to death after her father informed the authorities that she had been gang-raped. She was reportedly accused of adultery and the stoning, in front of a crowd of around 1,000, was her punishment. Reporter Jon Manel and Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International, discuss the influence of militant Islamist group Al Shabab, which has control of some areas in Somalia.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will attempt to raise 20bn in extra capital. It has also admitted over 6bn of credit crunch write-downs. The new chief executive Stephen Hester signalled it could make a loss this year.

Boxer Joe Frazier has given his account of Thriller in Manila for the first time. He faced Muhammad Ali in what is seen as one of the greatest fights of all time. It has now been documented in a new film. Mr Frazier and director John Dower discuss a side to Muhammad Ali that is often overlooked.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The United States goes to the polls - after two years of campaigning, the country will decide who is to become the 44th president. James Naughtie discusses the election race with Matthew Crenson, of John Hopkins university.

Labour backbenchers, supported by all the biggest unions, will put forward a series of amendments to the Employment Bill, giving the government authority to expel union members. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lester and Tony Lloyd, chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, discuss whether trade unions could become highly vulnerable to infiltration from the BNP and the far right.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Japanese scientists say they have managed to clone mice from the bodies of other mice which have been frozen for 16 years. Prof Malcolm Alison, expert on stem cell biology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, discusses how the technology could be used.

There have been 17 US missile strikes into Pakistani territory since August. Such moves are highly unpopular with Pakistan, America's key ally in the region in fighting terrorism, but the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, says this is legitimate self-defence and hinted last week the policy is likely to continue. But how effective are these strikes in taking out al-Qaeda's core leadership? Security Correspondent Frank Gardner investigates.

Many people have e-mailed the Today programme over the course of the US presidential election to ask why we call Barack Obama black. He has a black father and white mother - so should we be referring to him as mixed race? Or even bi-racial - which is the term they use in the US? Bonnie Greer, playwright and critic, and writer Diran Adebayo discuss the term.



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