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Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 07:28 UK
Today: Tuesday 6 October 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.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused a major Afghanistan troop reinforcement against the military's advice, the former head of the Army has said. And prison governors are urging ministers to scrap prison sentences of less than a year to ease overcrowding.


Shadow chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to raise the state pension age from 65 to 66 from 2016 if the Tories win the next election to help tackle the UK's public debt. Stephanie Flanders, BBC economics editor, and Roz Altman, a pensions expert and a governor of the London School of Economics, discuss the new policy.


The UK's leading aid agencies are launching a relief effort to provide help to the victims of the Sumatra earthquake, and to the tens of thousands of people affected by flooding in the Philippines and Vietnam. Asia correspondent Alistair Leithhead, reports on the latest crisis in the region.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


A survey commissioned by the Department of Health in England, has found that seven out-of-ten care home residents are facing mistakes in the way their medications are delivered. Professor Nick Barber of London University, which conducted the research, explains the findings.


Scientists at Southampton University have discovered a way to communicate the thoughts of one person to another across the internet, without the use of a key-board or even voiced instructions. It is hoped the technique, "brain computer interfacing", could one day allow individuals to communicate and control machines by the power of thought alone. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on the new development.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The political debate over Britain's economic deficit reached a peak yesterday, after specific suggestions on restraining public spending were made by the two main parties. Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, discusses the opposing policies on spending.

Today's papers.


The Spaghetti Western Orchestra showcases Ennio Morricone's classic scores, written for Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western films. The unique orchestra features five talented multi-instrumentalists who play approximately 100 'instruments' between them. These range from conventional instruments to an array of everyday objects including nail clippers, an asthma inhaler, cornflakes packets and Tasmanian lottery balls. Three members of the band, Denis Blais, Patrick Cronin and Graeme Leak, perform some of their sound effects.

Thought for the day with the director of the NGO Forward Thinking, Oliver McTernan.


Prison governors are urging ministers to scrap prison sentences of less than a year, to ease overcrowding. The Prison Governors Association (PGA) is to debate the idea at its annual conference. Home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw, and the President of the PGA, Paul Tidball, discuss the possible reforms.


The Conservative leader briefly addressed his party conference yesterday, ahead of his speech on Thursday. He told the party that this was not a week of celebration, but a time to look the British people in the eyes. David Cameron outlines his aim to reform the state pension, his views on the Lisbon Treaty and how he views the prospect of being the country's next prime minister


Political Editor Nick Robinson analyses Mr Cameron's proposals to increase the pension age and reduce the government's deficit.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Business editor Robert Peston on news rules introduced by the Financial Service Authority which will mean banks will have to hold more of their assets in cash.


Why is classic comedy absent from so many of our British theatres? Michael Billington, the Guardian's theatre critic, says we are in a new era of puritanism when "comedy is suspect and its bedmate farce is frowned on". He discusses his case with Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theatre.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The new Supreme Court heard its first case yesterday. The case was an appeal by five terrorism suspects who say the government overreached its powers by freezing their assets without a conviction. Former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, who was involved in the creation of the Supreme Court, discusses its first day of operation.


The Conservatives are starting the second day of their conference. George Parker, political commentator at the Financial Times, and Matthew D'Ancona of the Sunday Telegraph, discuss whether David Cameron's "change" agenda firing up rank-and-file Conservatives.



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