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Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008
Today: Thursday 20 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.

How will a fall in consumer spending affect the high street? The mayor of London Boris Johnson on new housing plans for the capital. And was John Sergeant right to quit Strictly Come Dancing?

A cross party group of MPs in the Public Accounts Committee has been extremely critical of a government scheme to compensate victims of crime. Committee chairman Edward Leigh describes the bureaucracy and poor management that led to a backlog of 84,000 cases last year.

The government is announcing a major crackdown on bad drivers. Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick discusses the crimes being targeted.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Four million people are on waiting lists for social housing, a number that is expected to rise by another million over the next two years. But the houses those people need are not being built in the numbers needed to satisfy demand. Now the homeless charity Shelter is concerned that the collapse in the housing market could see an end to new social housing. Zubeida Malik reports from the site of one development which has ground to a halt.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Community groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo have written to the United Nations pleading for European troops to be sent to stop atrocities. They say they have witnessed scenes never seen in their history and that UN peacekeepers are powerless to help. World Affairs correspondent Mark Doyle reports from the Kibati refugee camp near the eastern city of Goma and Lord Malloch Brown, the minister responsible for Africa, explains what the UK government can do to improve the situation.

Today's papers.

Sparrows were once common in our towns and cities, but in the last 20 years they have suffered a catastrophic decline across Europe. Now a team of researchers say it may have been caused by in increase in decking and paved front gardens. Environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee reports from a garden in Cambridgeshire.

Thought for the day with Dr Elaine Storkey, president of Tear Fund.

The housing market may have ground to a halt - and has slowed particularly sharply in the South East - but there are still 750,000 people in London on waiting lists for social housing. Mayor of London Boris Johnson explains his new housing plans for the capital.

As the recession starts to bite, how is a fall in consumer spending effecting high street retailers? Figures are due to be released which are expected to show that shoppers are spending less, despite Christmas being barely a month away. Sanchia Berg reports from the high street in Bromley, Kent and Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, and Sir Philip Green, who owns BHS and the Arcadia Group, discuss how the economic downturn is affecting UK retail.

Was John Sergeant bullied into leaving the dance floor or was he right to quit Strictly Come Dancing? Jim Moir, former head of light entertainment at the BBC, and Kevin O'Sullivan, television critic of the Daily Mirror, debate the implications of the dancing debacle.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

The international space station began construction 10 years ago. It has been permanently occupied for the past eight years by joint Russian and US crews, but the station remains incomplete and costs are spiralling out of control. Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh describes the history of the $100bn mission. Dr Chris Riley argues the station is a 'monument of what we can do' while Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, dismisses the project as a waste of money.

Business update with Adam Shaw

Yugo - the cheapest car from the former Yugoslavia, sold to more than 70 countries - is reaching the end of the road. Its factory never recovered after it was bombed by Nato in the 1990s and now Fiat has taken over. Helen Fawkes watches as the last Yugo prepares to roll off the production line.

Shareholders in the Royal Bank of Scotland will decide whether to accept a 20bn bail-out from the government, in return for a 60% stake in the bank. Also it is the last day at work for the chief executive of RBS, Sir Fred Goodwin. Colin Blane meets Peter McMahon, business editor of The Scotsman, at the bank's global head office on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

A plaque is to be unveiled at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to pay tribute to British diplomats who helped rescue Jews from the Nazis regime. Among the men honoured are Captain Frank Foley and the British Consul-General in Frankfurt, Robert Smallbones. Author Michael Smith tells their story and reporter Caroline Cheetham talks to one man whose family were helped by Frank Foley.



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