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Page last updated at 06:49 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008
Today: Friday 12 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.

US politicians have rejected a $14bn rescue package for the country's main car makers. European Union leaders are thought to be close to a deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. And should British zoos be banned from keeping elephants?

0709
A $14bn emergency bailout for US carmakers has collapsed in the Senate after the United Auto Workers refused to give in to Republican demands for swift wage cuts. Correspondent Andy Gallacher explains if it is as bad as it looks.

0712
EU leaders are hoping to finalise a deal on climate change. Its aim is to cut greenhouse gases by a fifth by 2020 but some critics say too many concessions have been made for it to be successful. Environment Correspondent Roger Harrabin reports from a UN conference in Poland on what this climate change deal hopes to achieve.

0713
Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

0715
Two solicitors who made millions of pounds from miners' compensation claims have been struck off for professional misconduct. The Times reporter Andrew Norfolk, who has been chasing this story for many months, and Lord Lofthouse, a former miner who became an MP, discusses who is to blame.

0722
The billionaire brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay have begun shutting down their businesses on the tiny island of Sark in the Channel Islands. They pushed for reforms which led to the former feudal system holding its first ever full elections yesterday. But they don't like the result because islanders have voted overwhelmingly to retain the traditions of the island. Paul Armorgie, who is one of those newly elected to Parliament, discusses how it will affect those who live there.

0727
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0732
Credit card companies have agreed to offer some breathing space to consumers struggling with repayments. The new set of "fair principles" should see the card providers back off from raising interest rates when customers fall into arrears on payments. Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, explains how credit card companies should help consumers and the consumer affairs minister Gareth Thomas discusses how the government is to give more help to struggling customers.

0737
Archaeologists have found the oldest surviving brain in Britain. It dates back to the Iron Age. Dr Richard Hall, of the York Archaeological Trust, explains what it tells us.

0740
Today's papers.

0743
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has warned the cabinet of a possible mass influx of refugees from Zimbabwe. Some in the Foreign Office say it is alarmist talk to justify tougher border controls. Political Editor Nick Robinson explains how the row has developed.

0747
Thought for the day with Sir Jonathan Sacks.

0750
Nine schoolboys have been jailed for the rape, kidnap and false imprisonment of a 14-year-old girl. The judge lifted the anonymity order and seven members of the gang, led by O'Neil Denton, who were aged between 14 and 17 were named. This disturbing crime happened when the young girl told Denton's girlfriend he wasn't "right for her". The girl was then accosted, kidnapped - and dragged round three tower blocks in East London, raped, and beaten up by the gang. She told her story to Today's reporter Zubeida Malik.

0810
A second German politician has broken with diplomatic convention and criticised the UK government's response to the economic downturn. Foreign Secretary David Milliband discusses the government's response.

0820
In light of recent claims that postmen and women are being "bullied" into walking faster, we look into a study by Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire that has examined how fast people walk in different places in the world.

0830
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0840
The authorities in Glasgow have begun a series of face-to-face meetings with street gangs to urge them to put down their weapons. They offered to help them gain qualifications and find jobs but warned them that if they didn't stop fighting they would be pursued and punished. The strategy is based on one which dramatically reduced murder rates among young adults and teenagers in the US city of Boston in the 1990s.

0844
Mary Margaret O'Hara is a Canadian singer-songwriter who released an album 20 years ago that often crops up on lists celebrating the best albums of all time. She has released very little since then but has retained an elusive iconic status among musicians and fans. Nicola Stanbridge met the fast talking Canadian as she performed at the Barbican in London.

0850
Earlier this week, nine schoolboys aged between 14 and 17 were jailed for various charges of rape, kidnap and false imprisonment of a 14-year-old girl. In an unusual move the judge lifted the anonymity order and seven members of the gang were named. The prosecutor argued it was in the 'public interest' and aimed at deterring others from similar crimes.

0855
Are we about to see elephants disappearing from Britain's zoos? New research shows that elephants in zoos have a very short life. Dr Rob Atkinson, of the RSPCA, and Miranda Stevenson, from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, discuss whether animals should be kept in captivity.

0857
HBOS has said that bad debts and losses on assets had risen to 8bn in the first 11 months this year, while Bad debts on corporate loans jumped to 3.3bn from 1.7bn. Vauxhall will need help this weekend and Woolworths staff are still facing 7,000 job losses. Business Editor Robert Peston reports on "another black Friday".




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