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Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009
Today: Friday 6th 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.

A US army major is being held on suspicion of carrying out a mass shooting at America's largest military base. And Gordon Brown will use a speech to try to bolster support for Britain's military mission in Afghanistan, after another week of heavy casualties.


Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have published their results for the third quarter. Chief Economics Correspondent Hugh Pym examines the results.


What is it like for the soldiers on the front line in Afghanistan? Major Richard Streatfeild has been keeping a diary for the Today programme as he leads his troops in the Sangin Valley, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the war. The latest instalment describes how his first patrol was hit by an roadside bomb.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the road in the UK rose by a fifth this the spring compared to the year before. Jo Stagg from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, discusses what has led to the increase.


The US children's television programme Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th anniversary today. On this side of the Atlantic the puppets are best-known for leading to the creation of the Muppet Show, but in the United States and more than 100 other countries around the world they are an important part of early childhood. Correspondent Kevin Connolly reports from the original New York Street set where 4,000 episodes of the programme were produced.

Sports news with Arlo White.


A US army major has opened fire on fellow soldiers killing 12 people and injuring 31, at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. The gunman has been identified as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist at the base. Correspondent Paul Adams discusses the incident.


A group of prominent scientists are presenting a statement of principles before the government. The statement calls reassurances that the government will respect the academic freedom and independence of its scientific advisers. This follows the sacking last week of former government adviser Professor Nutt, after his comments on the relative dangers of drug mis-use. Lord Krebs, former Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency and one of the scientists who signed the statement, discusses the proposals.

The paper review.


A new poll has found that 60% of Australians want a head of state, up 5% from a referendum 10 years ago which indicated 55% wanted to keep the monarchy. The country's Republican prime minister Kevin Rudd has indicated he will not be making any changes to the state's system. Nick Bryant reports from the capital Canberra, on the anniversary of the referendum.

Thought for the day with Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to make a speech laying out why Britain must remain committed to Afghanistan. The speech follows calls from former Labour foreign office minister Kim Howells MP that Britain should withdraw all troops, and the deaths of six British soldiers this week raising further questions on Britain's presence in the country. International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander discusses the government's Afghan policy.


A US army major has shot dead 12 of his fellow soldiers at a military base in Texas. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist at Fort Hood military base, was responsible for the attack in which another 31 people were injured. Correspondent Matthew Price reports from the base.


RBS has made a loss in the last quarter, despite the government pumping billions of pounds into the failing bank. Profitable parts of the bank will have to be sold off under news measures imposed by EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. RBS chief executive Stephen Hester discusses the bank's future.


The prevalence of celebrity literature is causing concern amongst some writers. The screenwriter Lynda La Plante has recently argued that the best-seller lists are now so dominated by memoirs and novels "written" by celebrities that genuine talent is being squeezed out. This follows the release of actress Martine McCutcheon's debut novel, The Mistress. Waterstone's spokesman Jon Howells, and writer Tracy Chevalier, discuss whether celebrity writers deserve more literary merit.

Sports news with Arlo White.


Today has been inviting MPs to discuss the Kelly report, but has been struggling to find any who will accept. So Today has allowed a publicly elected figure to sound off anonymously, something the programme would never normally do. An anonymous MP discusses his view of the Kelly report, and political editor Nick Robinson comments on the feeling in Westminster.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


In the south of Thailand, one person being killed every day in terrorist attacks. The south of the country has become a target for Islamic extremists who have killed 3,800 people in the past five years. The government has deployed tens of thousands of troops to help deal with the attacks, and has now encouraged civilians to take the law into their own hands. Asia Correspondent Alastair Leithead reports from Thailand.


Exam boards could face fines for 'dumbing down' exams. Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry which has called for the fines, discusses the proposals.


French minister Pierre Lellouche earlier this week criticised the Conservative's Europe policy, calling Mr Cameron's pledge to take some powers back from Brussels "pathetic". Mr Lellouche has now said he considers shadow foreign secretary William Hague a "friend" and would work with him. French finance minister Christine Lagarde discusses her colleague's comments.


A selection of unpublished letters sent to the Telegraph is being released. Am I Alone in thinking? is a collection of some of the letters sent the the newspaper that were not appropriate for publication. Deputy head of the Telegraph letters page, Iain Hollingshead, comments on the letters.


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