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Page last updated at 07:17 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008
Today: Thursday 4 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 Bank of England is widely expected to make another aggressive cut in interest rates. And the Housing Minister Margaret Beckett has estimated that around 9,000 people will benefit from the government's plan to help homeowners postpone mortgage payments.

The leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman has refused to say whether she has confidence in the Speaker of the House, Michael Martin. Labour backbencher Stephen Pound, a friend of the Speaker, discusses why Ms Harman would not give her opinion, despite being asked five times on Newsnight.

The eight biggest banks in Britain are supporting a scheme to help people who get into trouble paying their mortgages, Gordon Brown says. Stephen Noakes, marketing director at Cheltenham & Gloucester - which forms part of Lloyds TSB - discusses how he thinks the government's plans will help homeowners.

Europe's environment ministers are to meet in Brussels to try to defuse a crisis which threatens to sink the entire global agreement on climate change. Environment analyst Roger Harrabin reports on the threat from Italy, Poland and other East European nations to veto the climate package because, they say, it would cost too much.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Gordon Brown has said the promise to end child poverty by 2020 will be made legally binding. Lisa Harker, of the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Chris Grayling, shadow work and pensions secretary, discuss figures suggesting that interim targets will be missed by big margins.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Bank of England is expected to cut interest rates to their lowest level for more than half a century. Sir Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics, and David B Smith, chairman of the "shadow" Monetary Policy Committee, discuss if cutting rates further is a wise move.

Today's papers.

Country Life magazine is calling for a major cull of wild deer. It claims there are more deer now than at any time in the past 1,000 years. The magazine's deputy editor, Rupert Uloth, explains why he thinks they should be culled by 30%.

Thought for the day with Professor Mona Siddiqui, of the University of Glasgow.

The speaker Michael Martin has said the police are to blame for the way they carried out the search of Damian Green's offices at Westminster. Jon Silverman, professor of media and criminal justice at the University of Bedfordshire, and Lord Mackenzie, a Labour peer and former president of the Police Superintendents' Association, discuss if Mr Martin will keep his job.

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett has estimated that around 9,000 people will benefit from the government's plan to help homeowners postpone mortgage payments. She discusses the plan to underwrite mortgage interest payments of people facing repossession.

The winner of a competition to get young people to tell the Christmas story in under 30 seconds has been announced. The Churches Advertising Network (CAN) offered a 500 prize. Chas Bayfield, of the CAN, and winner of the competition Frankie Hipwell-Larkin, discuss how the nativity story can be retold to appeal to a younger audiences.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The European Court of Human Rights is ruling on a case which could have far-reaching consequences for the national DNA database held by police. Danny Shaw reports on the case and Tony Lake, the former chairman of the national DNA database, discusses the case of two British men from Sheffield who want their DNA profiles removed.

Should professional footballers have their salary capped? The Football League has confirmed a proposed salary cap for players will be discussed with Coca-Cola Championship clubs after the Derby County chairman, Adam Pearson, warned the game is "close to meltdown at all levels". Neil Doncaster, chief executive of Norwich City FC, and Peter Ridsdale, chairman of Cardiff City FC, discuss if a limit on pay is a good idea.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Most of Australia's navy have begun taking a two-month Christmas stand-down . It is hoped that the break will make naval life more family friendly, and help to bring in the 2,000 recruits needed for the service to achieve its target strength of 15,000 sailors. Warren Snowdon, Australia's minister for defence, says the fleet-wide initiative is aimed at providing rest and respite but operations will be maintained.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to make a statement to the Commons on the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green. Charles Kennedy, former Liberal Democrat leader, and Labour MP David Winnick, who wants to haul the police officers responsible to the bar of the House, consider whether the row shows any signs of subsiding.



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