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Page last updated at 06:06 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 07:06 UK
Today: Friday 7 August 2009

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 part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland is to announce its results for the first half of 2009. And Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs awaits his formal release after being granted freedom from prison on compassionate grounds.


Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which is 70%-owned by taxpayers, has reported a pre-tax profit of £15m for the first six months of the year. Business presenter Nick Cosgrove gives an initial reaction to the results.


Thousands of postal workers are staging the first of what is expected to be a series of strikes amid a worsening dispute over jobs and modernisation. Dave Ward, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, and Paul Tollhurst, operations director at Royal Mail, discuss the strikes involving more than 25,000 workers.


Money set aside to help provide respite to carers in England has been lost into the general budget of primary care trusts, reports allege. Imelda Redmond, chief executive of Carers UK, discusses why the funding has not been ringfenced.


New Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said he is determined to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan to an absolute minimum. Correspondent Adam Mynott reports on Mr Rasmussen's criteria for success in the region.


Attacks on seagulls are rising by 10%, the RSPCA says. Correspondent Mark Hutchings reports from Cardiff on local council plans to send leaflets to homes and businesses with advice on how to deal with them.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced its results for the first half of 2009. RBS chief executive Stephen Hester discusses the results and explains an insurance scheme that will use taxpayer funds to underwrite the bank's assets.

Today's papers.


Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs is preparing for his formal release from prison after being granted freedom on compassionate grounds. His son, Michael Biggs, explains his delight at the decision by Justice Secretary Jack Straw on his father's parole, which he had refused last month.

Thought for the day with Reverend Roy Jenkins, a Baptist Minister.


Choosing Labour parliamentary candidates should no longer be the preserve of party members, Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said. Chris McLaughlin, editor of the weekly magazine Tribune, and Neal Lawson, chairman of Compass, a Labour campaign group, consider whether current mainstream party systems are "dying".


The Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a profit of £15m for the first half of 2009. Gillian Tett, of the Financial Times, and Peter McNamara, former head of personal banking at Lloyds TSB, discuss the implication of this week's banking results.


New Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is in Afghanistan assessing operations in the area. He discusses his criteria for success in the conflict, and outlines his belief that more troops are needed in order to secure peace in the region.


The fourth Test between England and Australia could be the series decider and debate has raged over team selection and the fitness of Andrew Flintoff. Columnist Dominic Lawson and Paul Winslow, a member of the Barmy Army, discuss another debate that has raged - the conduct of England's supporters towards the Australians.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


It is 70 years since the outbreak of World War II. Colonel Tim Collins and Alex Danchev, professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, discuss how the tone of works about war has changed over the years.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


Sri Lankans are to begin voting in the first elections since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, two months ago. Reporter Andrew Hosken asks why the government has been reluctant to allow foreign journalists into the country to report on the polls. Sri Lankan High Commissioner Justice Nihal Jayasinghe reflects on allegations that journalists have not been allowed to move freely.


Who'd be a Scot? Scottish bank manager Sir Fred Goodwin is a pariah, the football team are ranked 24th in the world and now news that haggis was an English dish first has been released. Times columnist Magnus Linklater and former footballer Pat Nevin discuss the perils and pitfalls of being a Scot.


The Great Train Robbery occurred 46 years ago. Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of Napo - the probation officers union, and Peter Rayner, former chief operating officer of British Rail, discuss the release of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.


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