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Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Today: Wednesday 2nd December

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

President Obama has ordered 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan but warned that the US would begin to withdraw its military by 2011. And Iranian state radio has reported that five British yachtsmen being held by the Revolutionary Guard have been released.


President Obama has announced he will send a further 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, but that soldiers will begin to be withdraw in 18 months. Correspondent Rajesh Mirchandani reports from southern California.


Five British yachtsmen detained by Iran's revolutionary guard have been released, according to reports on local state radio. Tehran correspondent Jon Leyne outlines the latest developments.


30,000 US troops will be sent to Afghanistan over the next six months. Evening Standard defence correspondent Robert Fox examines reaction to the new strategy in Kabul.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is hosting a debate on genetically modified (GM) crops. More than 13 million farms around the world use the controversial food technology. Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association, and Dr Colin Merritt, sustainability communications manager at Monsanto UK Ltd, debate the future of GM.

The sports news with Garry Richardson.


President Barack Obama has delivered his long-awaited speech on the future of US Afghan policy. He announced a troop increase of 30,000, stressing the need for a better civilian strategy and made clear that corruption in Afghanistan would no longer be tolerated. North America editor Mark Mardell reports from the speech, and the US ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman, discusses the new strategy.

The paper review.

Thought for the day with Professor Mona Siddiqui.


The government will publish its White Paper on police reform today as forces in England and Wales are told to make annual savings of £0.5bn over the next five years. It is expected to announce that officers should patrol the streets alone rather than in pairs, to make them more accessible to the public, and new help for victims of anti-social behaviour. Home Secretary Alan Johnson discusses the reforms.


President Obama has announced that he will send another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, taking the total number of US troops in the country to more than 100,000. The president warned that America's commitment was not open-ended and that the military would start withdrawing in 2011 and urged other Nato countries to do more. Britain confirmed this week that it would send another 500 troops, taking its total deployment to 10,000. Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, discusses the military's reaction to President Obama's exit strategy and political editor Nick Robinson comments on the UK's Afghan policy.


The legendary South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela is in London for a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra to mark his 70th birthday. Hugh Masekela was a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid and for many South Africans he embodies their country's spirit. My Masekela discusses his music and politics.

The sports news with Garry Richardson.


The government is today publishing its Police White Paper, widely seen as a response to calls to cut red tape. Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) will deliver a speech calling for a fresh approach to the way the police deal with unsolved murders, taking in his experiences of dealing with similar cases in Northern Ireland. Sir Hugh discusses his proposals.


Key climate change talks begin in Copenhagen next week, seen as a successor to the Kyoto treaty. Professor Graciela Chichilnisky of Columbia University and architect of the carbon market created under the Kyoto protocol, outlines her hopes for Copenhagen.


Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative peer and shadow minister for community cohesion was pelted with eggs on a visit to Luton earlier this week. Lady Warsi was confronted by a group of men accusing her not being a proper Muslim and of supporting the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan. Sayful Islam, spokesman for Islam4UK and one of the protestors explains the group's demonstration.

Business news with Adam Shaw


The Foreign Office has confirmed that five British sailors detained after their yacht strayed into Iranian waters have been released. Beverly Porter, mother of one of the sailors, Luke Porter, gives her reaction to the news.


A toll bridge is to go on sale in Oxfordshire tomorrow. Protected by a quirky Act of Parliament passed in the time of George III, the bridge is exempt from taxes and currently levies a toll of 5 pence for cars to cross it. Locals want the successful bidder to scrap the toll. Correspondent Bob Walker spoke to motorists at the bridge crossing.


Will President Obama's Afghan policy be successful? Dr Stefan Halper, senior fellow at the Cambridge Centre of International Studies, and former adviser to four presidents, examines the strategy.


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