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Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009
Today: Thursday 29th October

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels to negotiate deals on climate change and discuss the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. And members of the House of Lords are facing cuts to their expenses.


The second phase of nationwide postal strikes is now underway. Talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) failed to reach agreement. Mark Higson, managing director of Royal Mail letters, discusses the newest round of strikes.


Conservative policy towards the EU has always been to take a cautious stance and move away from full integration with member states. With opinion polls showing that David Cameron could be the next prime minister, will the Tories' policy towards the EU have to change? Political editor Nick Robinson considers the question.


Metropolitan Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has said he will not be making armed police foot patrols "routine". It emerged last week that such patrols had been introduced in London to help deal with gun crime, but without the mayor, deputy mayor, Metropolitan Police Authority nor the Met Commissioner being consulted over the policy. Sir Paul Stephenson will face tough questions at a Metropolitan Police Authority meeting today over the way the policy was introduced. Kit Malthouse, Deputy London Mayor with responsibility for the Met Police, discusses the policy.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Lahore for the next stage of her important three day trip to Pakistan. Yesterday, more than 90 people died in a bomb attack in the north-west city of Peshawar. Pakistan's security situation has worsened since its army began a military offensive against Taliban insurgents in south Waziristan, the region bordering Afghanistan. Correspondent Andrew Hosken reports from Lahore on US policy towards Pakistan.

Sports news with Jon Myers.


An independent review into the 2006 Nimrod crash in Afghanistan which killed 14 service personnel, has accused the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of sacrificing safety to cut costs. The highly critical report by Charles Haddon-Cave QC said crash occurred because of a "systemic breach" of the military covenant. The report also criticises the defence contractor BAE Systems for carrying out an inadequate safety review of the aircraft. An apology from the Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth has not satisfied the families who are pursuing their negligence claim against the MoD. The families' lawyer, John Cooper, discusses their reaction to the report.

The paper review.


The Coen brothers are among America's most prolific and inventive film directors, and are releasing a new film in November. A Serious Man will join the brothers' long list of successes, which include the Oscar winners Fargo and No country for Old Men, to Raising Arizona, Barton Fink and Blood Simple. The new film tells the story of the unbearable pressures on a Jewish academic in the mid-west in the sixties. Evan Davis spoke to Joel and Ethan Coen about their new movie, and whether the film was true to their own Jewish upbringing in the American Midwest.

This is an extended version of the broadcast interview.

Thought for the day with the writer Rhidian Brook.


The Chair of the Advisory Council on Drug Misuse, Professor David Nutt, is to give a speech arguing that the relative harms caused by legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are greater than those of a number of illegal drugs, including cannabis, LSD and ecstasy. Professor Nutt's arguments have caused political controversy in the past. Home Editor Mark Easton examines the conflicting views around drug use, and Prof Nutt discusses the evidence behind his claims.


European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss a wide ranging agenda, from climate change to the economy. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and shadow foreign secretary William Hague discuss the EU summit's agenda.

Sports news with Jon Myers.


A 10-year-old Nigerian girl who attempted suicide after being detained for a second time in an immigration removal centre has been released with her mother on the orders of Home Secretary Alan Johnson. The conditional temporary release of Adeoti Ogunsola and her mother Clementina means they can now challenge their intended removal from the UK in the Immigration Appeals Tribunal. The family's lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, comments on the case.


Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan is releasing his autobiography, Time to Declare. Described as the most successful of all England cricket captains, in his five years leading the side, he won 26 tests. Mr Vaughan discusses his career.


The story of John Lennon's early life is the subject of a new film, Nowhere Boy. The feature-length film is a first for its director, the Turner Prize-nominated artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Sarah Montague went to talk to Ms Taylor-Wood about whether the film is an accurate portrayal of Lennon's early life.

This is an extended version of the broadcast interview.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


EU leaders meeting in Brussels will discuss the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The Czech Republic is the only country in the EU not to have ratified the Treaty. Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond reports from the Czech capital Prague, and examines why its leader, President Vaclav Klaus, is reluctant to secure the deal.


A poll published in BBC History magazine found that many of us take a very literal view of what counts as history. The majority of respondents thought the cut-off between current affairs and history occurred no more than 10 years ago. A third think anything in the past - even a second ago - is history. Classicist Peter Jones, and historian and writer Tristram Hunt discuss what defines history.



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