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Page last updated at 06:31 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008
Today: Monday 1 December 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 is to give people who default on their mortgages at least six months before repossessing their homes. And the Conservatives say police who questioned the frontbencher, Damian Green, accused him of "grooming" a civil servant at the centre of a leak investigation.

Tens of thousands of criminals sentenced to community service will be forced to wear brightly coloured orange bibs that identify them as offenders. The Ministry of Justice plan is an attempt to convince the public that community service is not a soft option. Harry Fletcher, from the National Association of Probation Officers, discusses the plan.

The first annual report for the Cancer Reform Strategy is to be published, a year after it was created. The CRS was created by the government to build on what it called the progress made since the publication of the NHS Cancer Plan in 2000 and hoped it would set a clear direction for cancer services for the next five years. Prof Mike Richards, the National Clinical Director for Cancer, and Prof Karol Sikora, medical director of Cancer Partners UK, discuss what the first year has achieved.

The Speaker of the Commons, Michael Martin, will address the question of the police raid on Damian Green's office when the new session of Parliament opens on Wednesday. He will be facing protests from backbenchers angry at the ease with which police got access to the Tory frontbencher's office. Former minister Denis MacShane says he is concerned that MPs must be able to do their jobs.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls will learn the results of the investigation into Haringey Council which was ordered after the death of Baby P. The report is soon expected to be made public. But a new row is brewing over the proposal for a central database for all children in England called Contact Point. Sue Berelowitz, deputy children's commissioner for England, examines what the database means for social workers.

Today's papers.

Rome has lost some of its lustre this winter because of the extreme levels of bird muck being dropped on it. It is being generated by the arrival of 5m starlings. Duncan Kennedy reports on how the authorities are fighting back with special squads of bird scarers.

The Today programme Advent calendar is up and running. Behind every little window is a small audio treat from the last 12 months. Memorable moments and some that our presenters and newsreaders might prefer to forget, starting with Evan's confusion over musical veg.

Thought for the day with Canon Dr Alan Billings.

British lawyer Mark Abell spent two days and nights barricaded in his room at the Oberoi Trident Hotel in Mumbai, before being rescued by Indian security forces. His room was located very near to those where hostages were being held. While he was there he spoke to the Today programme - and then a day later, when he'd been freed. He has returned to London and talks about his ordeal.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has guaranteed not to repossess the properties of customers who fall behind on payments for at least six months. Business Editor Robert Peston discusses how RBS in the first to follow government guidelines created to help struggling homeowners.

Michael Martin will face direct questions from MPs about the police raid on Conservative MP Damian Green's office. Political editor Nick Robinson discusses what may happen when the new session of Parliament is opened by the Queen on Wednesday and Justice Secretary Jack Straw gives his views.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The political fallout from the recent terrorist attacks continues in India, with the chief minister of the Indian state of Maharashtra reportedly offering his resignation. But for ordinary people in Mumbai they are starting to return to normal life, as our correspondent Chris Morris reports.

It's estimated there are still around 5,000 British travellers stranded in Thailand. Correspondent Jonathan Head reports from Bangkok on how Anti-government protestors occupying the international airport in Bangkok for nearly a week, have allowed some empty planes to leave.

A man has been shot dead by police in Guildford in Surrey. The Independent Police Complaints Commission say the shooting happened after police responded to reports of an armed man. Jack Izzard reports.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

How do you stop young people getting involved in knife crime? A community group in London has decided to enlist the help of a 19th Century explorer, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the man who found the great missionary Dr Livingstone when he went missing in Africa. Correspondent Angus Crawford reports.

Do you like the idea of being offered a glass of mulled wine when you are having your Christmas hair cut? Norwich council has written to the city's hair salons warning them that serving alcohol could land them with a 20,000 fine and a six month gaol sentence. Steve Morphew, the leader of the Council, explains that the letter should not have gone out in the way it did.

Latest reports suggest that 10 potential bidders have expressed interest in substantial parts of Woolworths' operations including Dragon's Den favourite Theo Pathitis. Mary Portas, retail expert and presenter of Mary Queen of Shops, discusses what is likely to happen to Woolworths.

Many have labelled the attacks in Mumbai the Indian 9/11. Writers Kanishk Tharoor and Amir Taheri discuss whether the attacks were aimed at India or the West.



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