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Page last updated at 06:43 GMT, Saturday, 27 December 2008
Today: Saturday 27 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.

A nurse who has been missing for more than a week has been found alive in the boot of her own car. Scotland correspondent Colin Blane explains how police are still trying to piece together the story of Magdeline Makola.

Acute child malnutrition in parts of Zimbabwe has increased by almost two thirds compared with last year, Save the Children says. Dominic Nutt, of Save the Children's Emergency Response team in Zimbabwe, discusses if he thinks the problems in the country are purely man made.

Today's papers.

The first Woolworths stores are to close their doors after the company was taken into administration. Reporter Wendy Urquhart visits a London branch to see if the first 200 shops - of the 807 due to close over the next two weeks - will be missed by the local community.

Tens of thousands of people have gathered at the mausoleum of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to mark the first anniversary of her assassination. Correspondent Barbara Plett meets some of the people who were there on the day she died.

Sports news with Jon Myers.

There has not been a lot of humour surrounding the financial markets - forecasts for the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression are no laughing matter - but newspaper cartoonists have thrived in the current climate. Economics editor Hugh Pym looks back at the year with the help of some of their sketches.

Final political rallies are being held in Bangladesh ahead of the first parliamentary elections in seven years. Correspondent Mark Dummett looks at what the lifting of a two-year state of emergency means for the people of the country.

Today's papers.

Who is the greatest Russian ever to have lived? After a nationwide vote, one of Russia's biggest TV stations is due to announce the winner. Correspondent Richard Galpin reports on the inclusion of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as one of the frontrunners.

Thought for the day with the novelist and columnist Anne Atkins.

In terms of British casualties, 2008 has been the worst since the fall of the Taleban, official figures show. British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles says despite the casualty figures, the year just gone has seen some improvements.

A stark picture of the prospects for the UK economy has been painted by an independent group of economists, yet John Lewis says its sales in the last four shopping days up to Christmas were up 2.5% up on the same period last year. Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, and David Smith, chairman of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee, discusses what other retailers could be under threat.

Could writing to thank people for your Christmas presents make you happier? Etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith discusses a study in the US which claims that writing thank you letters has psychological benefits.

Ed Stourton is to leave Today late next year when Justin Webb joins the programme. He thanks listeners for all their kind support and hopes that he can get back to reporting the news, rather than being on it.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is to edit the Today programme on Tuesday 30 December as a guest editor. One of his guests for the programme Father Reginald Foster, who has translated texts into Latin for various Popes, looks back on his most unusual career at the Vatican.

Sports news with Jon Myers.

Now that 2008 is coming to an end, what will the year be remembered for? Former editor of the Sunday Times Sir Harold Evans, Patience Wheatcroft, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, and historian David Kynaston, discuss the big political and financial stories of the year.

Today's papers.

For the second year in a row British wildlife - including Marsh Fritillary butterflies, puffins and lesser horseshoe bats - has suffered at the hands of the weather, the National Trust reports. Matthew Oates, a nature conservation adviser at the National Trust, discusses the need for a good summer in 2009.

Actors at the Duke of York theatre in West London have paid an emotional tribute to Harold Pinter, who died on Wednesday. They were speaking after a performance of Pinter's black comedy, No Man's Land, first shown in 1974. Sir Michael Gambon, who stars in the play, describes how Pinter had recently been thinking about how he wanted to be remembered.

Israel has reopened crossings into the Gaza Strip to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid, Israeli officials say. Correspondent Paul Wood reports on the 80 trucks expected to cross into the region with supplies such as medicine and food.

Iceland is one of the countries worst hit by the global economic crisis. Its banks have failed and it has had to ask the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan. Georg Holm, of the band Sigur Ros - one of Iceland's most successful exports, reflects on the turbulent times the country has gone through.



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