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Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009
Today: Monday 2nd November

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 battle between the government and its drugs advisers is intensifying. There has been serious flooding in parts of Scotland. And we speak to the nation's first storytelling laureate.


Torrential rain and strong winds has caused scores of rescues and travel misery across the UK. Scotland has been worst hit by the downpours, with several severe flood warnings in force after rivers burst and threatened their banks and flooded houses. Peter Murray is assistant chief fire officer with Grampian Fire and Rescue.


Hospital intensive care wards are under "a lot of pressure" as a result of the swine flu pandemic, the UK government's most senior medical adviser has said. Dr Bruce Taylor is an intensive care specialist in Portsmouth and is honorary secretary of the Intensive Care Society.


The schools adjudicator in England is expected to call for tougher measures to punish parents who lie to get their children into good schools. The report will also consider one of the mechanisms now used for determining admissions to popular schools in a quarter of English local authorities - the lottery. The first education authority to use a lottery, two years ago, was Brighton and Hove. Councillor Vanessa Brown overseas the system on the city council.


Professor David Nutt has said he doubts any "true" scientist could work for the home secretary, Alan Johnson. Colin Blakemore is professor of neuroscience at Oxford University and a former head of the British Medical Research Council. He says there are reasons why the government might want to ignore or act against scientific advice on matters such as drugs.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the M1. And the event is being marked by a musical. Steve Chittenden reports from the Watford Gap service station where the musical will premiere.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Last week 105 people were killed in a bomb attack in Peshawar; this morning there has been another bombing, in the city of Rawalpindi. At least 20 people have died. Correspondent Aleem Maqbool has the latest.

The paper review.


The American singer-songwriter Steve Earle has been interviewed several times over the years on this programme about his political views. They include the war on terror & death row. But more recently his appearance on the cult American television series the Wire has taken him back to the issue of drugs which has dogged most of his life and the life of close friend the musician Townes Van Zandt. Our reporter Nicola Stanbridge met him as he starts in UK tour.

Thought for the day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser.


The former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, has called for a national inquiry into the police through a Royal Commission. Sir Ian discusses how a root and branch examination would improve the service and how the force can be made more democratically accountable.


The Home Secretary Alan Johnson is coming under pressure to make a Commons statement following his sacking of the chair of the Advisory Council on the misuse of drugs Professor David Nutt. But what is the correct relationship between scientific advisors and policy makers? Former home secretary Charles Clarke, home affairs editor Mark Easton and political editor Nick Robinson analyse the issue.


What does the pull out of Dr Abdullah Abdullah from the Afghan presidential run off mean for the future of the conflict in the country? Correspondent Ian Pannell in Kabul and former British ambassador in Washington Sir Christopher Meyer discuss the future of democracy in Afghanistan.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


How do you make a schools admissions policy fair? Dr Sheila Lawlor of the think tank Politeia and Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacture and Commerce discuss whether parents should be punished for attempting to bend the rules to get their children into their preferred schools.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Britain is to have its first laureate for storytelling. The new post is being filled by Taffy Thomas, who discusses his repertoire of 300 stories culled from oral sources as a professional story teller for the past 30 years.


Hundreds of extra police are being recruited to stop young people getting involved in extremism as part of the Government's Prevent initiative, to which the Home Office has dedicated £140m this year. Asian Network reporter Catrin Nye has had exclusive access to a Prevent project that sees young people at the forefront of efforts to combat terrorism.


There is an 18-year gap in life expectancy between the better and worse-off areas of the city of Sheffield. Professor Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield has just compiled a report into inequalities in the city and he discusses his warning that the recession could make the inequalities much worse.


Family Britain, the second book about post-war Britain by Austerity Britain author David Kynaston, is being published. Sanchia Berg delves into the BBC archive to get a flavour of life in the 1950s and Mr Kynaston gives some insights into his latest work.



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