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Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Today: Tuesday 18 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.

Inflation figures are expected to show the first fall for more than a year. The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, who is visiting Damascus, has said Syria can be a force for stability in the Middle East. And can a new film do for Australian tourism what Crocodile Dundee did in the 1980s?

Barclays bank has been criticised for raising money from the Middle East, rather than turning to the UK government for funds. But now its directors are up for re-election - and they say they will not be taking a bonus this year. Business editor Robert Peston explains.

Pirates who seized a giant Saudi-owned oil tanker are heading towards a port in Somalia. The Foreign Office has confirmed that two of those on board are British. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said last night he was stunned by how far from the coast the ship had been captured. Security correspondent Frank Gardner explains how the Somali pirates are living well on the proceeds of piracy.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is in Syria, where he will meet President Bashar al-Assad. This is the latest stage in a series of contacts designed to improve relations, and perhaps loosen Syria's links with Iran. Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen assesses the foreign secretary's chances.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Our biggest independent producer of honey says there will be no domestic honey in shops by Christmas. It is because bee colonies are being wiped out by a combination of parasitic mites, fungus and wet summer weather. But it is not only honey that is being affected. Rural Affairs correspondent Jeremy Cooke discovers that the shortage of bees means the pollination of crops is under threat too.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

There was a time when the three biggest American carmakers - Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - towered over the industrial landscape. Now their chief executives are pleading for help. They are desperate for an agreement between Congress and the president for a multi-billion dollar loan to keep them in business. Without it, they fear that the spectre of bankruptcy will become a reality. Greg Wood, North America business correspondent, reports from Detroit.

Today's papers.

Sydney will host the world premiere of a film the country is hoping will revive its tourism industry. It wants to replicate what became known as the "Crocodile Dundee effect", which saw huge numbers of visitors head down under. The film Australia is an epic romance from the director Baz Luhrmann - the creative genius behind the films Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom. Tourism Australia has launched a multi-million dollar global advertising campaign which it hopes will cash in on the film's success. From Sydney, Nick Bryant reports.

Thought for the day with the Right Reverend Tom Butler.

The government wants to make it a criminal offence to pay women for sex if they are being controlled for another person's gain. So it is fine to pay for sex if all the money goes to and stays with the woman. But if any of it goes to a pimp or drug dealer or if the woman has been trafficked to the UK that would be illegal. Fiona McTaggart, the MP for Slough was responsible for prostitution policy at the Home Office until 2006 and Dr Helen Self, author of Prostitution, Women and Misuse of Law, discuss whether such a system could work.

The foreign secretary is in Damascus, trying to improve relations with Syria. In the United States, the president-elect, Barack Obama, is promising a push for peace when he takes office in January. Across Europe there are efforts to breathe life into a "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians which has been dormant. The Israeli President, Shimon Peres, discusses how to revitalise the peace process.

Pirates who seized a giant Saudi-owned oil tanker are holding the crew - including two Britons - hostage on board. Commander Jane Campbell, from the US Navy 5th Fleet, explains what has happened.

It's Mickey Mouse's birthday - and the cartoon character has turned 80. The first time Mickey Mouse hit our screens was in Steam Boat Willie - the first completely synchronised sound cartoon, shown in 1928. Brian Sibley, the author of the Disney Studio Story and Mickey Mouse: His Life and Times, explains the enduring appeal of Walt Disney's most famous creation.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

In a speech to the Association of Chief Police Officers, the vice president president of Colombia, Francisco Santos Calderon, says that anyone who takes cocaine in the UK is responsible for the harm caused by landmines to the Colombian people and responsible for breathtaking damage to the rainforest.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A new service has been launched this week to help a very specific group of people who have an addiction or other health problems - doctors and dentists. The idea of specialised help was proposed by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, some years ago but gained momentum after inquiries into the serial killer GP, Harold Shipman, and other doctors who have mistreated patients. Health correspondent Jane Dreaper has had a preview of the service.

A bill has been introduced in the US Senate to legislate for a particular purpose - it's going to make it illegal to sell tickets for Barack Obama's inauguration in January. Tickets for places on the Mall in Washington are free - and there is a massive scramble to get hold of them, with a million people expected. Carole Florman speaks for the joint congressional committee on the inauguration and she explains what the move means.

The latest inflation figures are expected to show the first fall in prices in over a year. Bronwyn Curtis, head of Global Research at HSBC, evaluates whether inflation is still too high.

The epic film, Australia, is prompting an epic push by the tourism industry to attract visitors down under. Christopher Brown, head of the Tourism and Transport Forum, says Australia did not capitalise on the popularity of the Sydney Olympic games. Bernard Donoghue, head of public affairs at Visit Britain, and Tony Reeves, author of the Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations, discuss movie tourism.



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