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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Today: Tuesday 9 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 US government is expected to take non-voting shares in General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in a $15bn bail-out of US car firms. North America editor Justin Webb considers White House concerns that the conditions on the carmakers are not strict enough.

Rioters in Greece have clashed with police for a third day, in protests which erupted after a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by police on Saturday. Correspondent Sarah Rainsford and Dr Othon Anastasakis, director of South East European studies at St Anthony's College, Oxford, discuss what the riots reveal.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

What impact will the government's clampdown on the sale of cigarettes have on small shopkeepers? Reporter Bob Walker speaks to Jinderpaur Sangha, owner of a newsagent in Beeston, near Nottingham.

Britain's first vacuum-powered refuse collection system is to be switched on. The system, in a housing development next to Wembley Stadium in west London, does away with house-to-house rubbish collections. Correspondent Nick Higham reports on how household waste is sucked away to a central collection point along underground tubes.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Five US guards have been accused of the manslaughter of more than a dozen civilians in Iraq. They maintain their innocence. The guards, from the security firm Blackwater, were contracted to defend US diplomats. Professor Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute in London, says that if guards fight independently, under the Geneva Convention they could be viewed as mercenaries.

Today's papers.

Cricketer Shane Warne has already been the scourge of English batsmen. Now the story of his life has become the subject of a musical. Correspondent Nick Bryant visits the production described as a "leg-spun yarn about falling backwards into the Australian Dream and emerging a champion".

Thought for the day with the Right ReverendJames Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

Conservative leader David Cameron is to deliver a speech advocating fiscal responsibility and better public spending. He says the government's plan for 20bn "tax giveaway" is "profoundly wrong" and a "massive mistake". He also calls for a general election to give the electorate a "real choice" between Labour policy of "borrowing now and taxes later" or a Conservative plan to control public spending.

Tobacco displays in shops are to be banned, the government is expected to announce. Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Chris Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, discuss if this is latest step towards making smoking tobacco illegal.

Oliver Postgate, the creator of children's programmes The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog - and Bagpuss, has died at the age of 83. Michael Carrington, the controller of Cbeebies, and Sandra Kerr, the voice of Madeleine and the mice in Bagpuss, remember a creative mind.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Ireland has been left as the only country still to ratify the European Lisbon treaty after Czech courts resolved to pass the legislation. Europe Editor Mark Mardell, Dick Roche, Ireland's Minister for Europe, and Declan Ganley, chairman of the organisation responsible for running the original "no" campaign Libertas, discuss if this means a second vote on the treaty will take place.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Bankers who have lost their jobs as a result of the credit crunch are wanted to form a rock band. Nicola Stanbridge reports on whether the tables have turned so much that being a rock star is a less risky profession than working in the City.

It would have been poet John Milton's 400th birthday. Some believe his contribution to our cultural and political heritage is being overlooked. Boyd Tonkin, literary editor of the Independent, and Gordon Campbell, professor of Renaissance Studies at Leicester University, discuss the lasting legacy of Milton.

Bagpuss creator Oliver Postgate has died aged 83, his family has confirmed. Mr Postgate, who lived in Kent, created some of the best-loved children's TV series including Ivor the Engine, the Clangers and Noggin the Nog.

How much difference has the UN Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide made? Juergen Zimmerer, director of the Centre for the Study of Genocide and Mass Violence at the University of Sheffield, and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC discuss the 60th anniversary of the passing of the convention.



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