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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009
Today: Thursday 12th 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.

America's ambassador in Kabul has advised President Obama not to send more troops to Afghanistan. And all nurses in England are to be required to obtain degrees.


Rail passengers in south-east England face another day of disruption because of an absence of train drivers. The union, Aslef, has stressed the drivers are not on strike but are refusing to work overtime. Mick Whelan, district organiser for Aslef discusses the dispute.


The House of Lords has voted in favour of government plans for secret inquests, allowing proceedings into controversial deaths to be held in private. Inquests which involve sensitive information such as intercept intelligence to be held before a judge, not a jury. Daniel Machover, solicitor for the family of the only inquest to have been held in private, examines the implications on justice.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The US ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, has advised President Obama against sending more combat troops to Afghanistan, according to a leaked private letter. Correspondent Martin Patience analyses the comments.


The Department of Health is publishing a review into the use of anti-psychotic drugs on dementia sufferers in England. Critics have warned that the powerful drugs - commonly known as "chemical coshes" - are being prescribed inappropriately for people with dementia in order to keep them quiet. Jeremy Wright MP, chairman of the All Party Group on Dementia, and Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association, discuss the use of the drugs.

Sports news with Arlo White.


Concerns are growing that escalating violence in Bosnia could lead to a new civil war. Ethnic tensions and corruption have remained unresolved since the civil war ended 15 years ago. Correspondent Edward Stourton reports from Bosnia.

The paper review.


The use of shorthand has long been an important journalistic tool, but the growing use of recording devices is threatening the skill. Kim Fletcher, chairman of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, comments on the future of shorthand, and Today presenter John Humphrys tests his shorthand skills.

Thought for the day with the writer Rhidian Brook.


The House of Lords has passed a law allowing the use of secret inquests for deaths involving the disclosure of delicate information. Tory MPs who had been against the measure abstained from voting, allowing the law to pass. The law has been strongly criticised and was previously blocked by the Lords. Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve and Liberal Democrat Baroness Miller who opposed the measure, discuss its implications.


All new nurses in England will need to have a degree from 2013. The minimum level for pre-registration courses will be raised from diploma to degree level, making nurses better equipped to improve the quality of patient care. Chief nursing officer Christine Beasley, and Gail Adams, head of nursing at trade union Unison, discuss the implications of increasing the educational level of nurses.


A year after hurricanes devastated Haiti, de-forestation has greatly reduced the country's ability to protect itself from further natural disasters. 98% of the country's forests have been chopped down for charcoal and firewood, leaving little to slow raging flood waters that create deadly mud slides. Correspondent Mike Thomson who reported from the country in the aftermath of the hurricanes, returned to see how its inhabitants are surviving.


Are horses intelligent? Today sports presenter Garry Richardson posed the question to champion jockey Richard Dunwoody yesterday. Equine behaviourist Emma Massingale describes horses' intellect.

Sports news with Arlo White.


Ethnic tensions have remained unresolved in Bosnia since the civil war ended more than a decade ago. The international community has failed to find a solution to governance in the country and the continued lack of dialogue between Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat factions. Lord Ashdown, former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, examines the current political crisis.


A 93-page booklet advising police officers how to cycle has been published by Association of Chief Police Officers. The Police Cycle Training Doctrine comes in two volumes and offers advice on how not to fall off and how to avoid obstacles such as kerbs and rocks. Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Dave Holladay, a member of the National Cycling Organisation, discuss the tips.


Next month's Copenhagen environmental summit will hear a good deal about ways in which the world must and should combat carbon emissions in order to save the planet. But others say that the fundamental premise - that global warming is caused to a significant extent by carbon emissions and that we can do something about it -- is wrong. Professor Ian Plimer from Adelaide University in Australia is among the sceptics.


The results of a two-year study into office gossip are being published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. The study analysed the gossip between teachers at a primary school. Dr Tim Hallett of the University of Indiana which conducted the research, reveals its findings.



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