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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Today: Tuesday 8th 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.

The Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth has arrived in Afghanistan. And MPs have condemned the UK Border Agency for paying large bonuses to staff while it was under-performing.


The UK Border Agency (Ukba) has been heavily criticised for paying staff more than £300,000 in bonuses despite under-performing. Immigration minister, Phil Woolas, discusses the report's findings.


Protestors have clashed with security forces in Iran, in the biggest protest since June against the current government. Students who had gathered to mark the long brutality of the Shahs regime were attacked with tear gas and live ammunition. Correspondent Mike Thomson spoke to students who were at the protests.


Bankers have warned that there will be an exodus from the City of London if the chancellor goes ahead with a planned tax on bonuses. Peter Hahn, a former banker currently at the Cass Business School, discusses the threat.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Lord Mandelson, a man with many titles because he has so many jobs, has clocked up another today. He's been awarded the Foot-In-Mouth award by the Plain English Campaign. The Campaign's Steve Jenner explains.

The sports news with Garry Richardson.


The government's Prevent programme has suffered from a "lack of clarity" according to the minister responsible for it. Communities Secretary John Denham is set to re-affirm the programme's importance and to set out measures to further improve its effectiveness. Prevent, which aims to stop young people becoming terrorists, has been criticised for encouraging Muslims to spy on each other. Ratna Lachman, director of the West Yorkshire think tank JUST, and Mr Denham discuss Prevent's approach.

The paper review.


The American public are angered at the guilty verdict passed on Amanda Knox for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy. Newspapers and broadcasters have been discussing the best strategies for a successful appeal for Ms Knox, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison in an Italian court last week. Correspondent Kevin Connolly reports from Washington on the reaction to the case.

Thought for the day with novelist and columnist, Anne Atkins.


The aviation industry can grow by as much as 60 percent by 2050 and still meet carbon emissions targets, according to a Committee on Climate Change report (CCC). The targets will be maintained by 90% cuts in home, industry and car emissions. Chair of the committee, Lord Turner, and chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgway, discuss the aviation industry's carbon targets.


Yesterday saw another grim milestone in Afghanistan: the 100th British soldier to be killed there this year. General Sir Richard Dannatt was head of the army until August this year. He has since become an adviser to the Conservatives and has granted the Today programme his first public interview since retiring.


Gordon Brown has criticised the high salaries paid to the top executives in the public sector, announcing that any salary of more than £150,000 will have to be approved by the chancellor. He accused bosses of "losing touch with the reality of people's lives" because of the excessive salaries they are paid. Tony Travers, local government expert at the London School of Economics, and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, debate whether high salaries are justified.

The sports news with Garry Richardson.


The Malaysian government and the palm oil industry have been accused of laying waste to the last remaining rainforests of Borneo. A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence of the latest jungle clearance which has seen vast tracts of land being bulldozed to make way for plantations. Indigenous tribes say they are being driven from their lands. Correspondent Angus Stickler reports from Borneo.


Thirty-seven people have been killed by five car bombs in Baghdad. Correspondent Natalia Antelava reports from Baghdad.


The Copenhagen summit on climate change has opened with the UN's chief negotiator urging governments to set ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In the second of his series of reports, science correspondent Tom Feilden looks at how climate change will affect the UK.

Business news with Adam Shaw.


Government deficits can only be cut with a reduction to public sector wages, according to a report from the free-market think tank Reform. The report accuses David Cameron and Gordon Brown of being dishonest in their commitments to avoid affecting frontline workers. Andrew Haldenby, director of Reform, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, discuss the future of public sector workers.


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