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Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Today: Tuesday 7th December

The government is proposing major reforms to sentencing. Scientists say that taking aspirin every day can reduce the risk of dying from cancer. And the evidence that a North Sea oil rig narrowly avoided the same fate as the rig which caused the Gulf of Mexico spill.

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Business news with Adam Shaw: Professor Markus Kerber explains his reasons for challenging the Irish and Greek bailouts in the German courts. And Adam went to the British Library to map out business contributions to the development of the English language.

Thousands of people have been stranded in the central belt of Scotland. Jamie McKeever reports on the latest situation in the area. And Alex Barelle describes how he has been stuck in his car since yesterday.

The Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is publishing a discussion document today which looks at how to cut the number of short prison sentences. Former Home Secretary Michael Howard debates the effectiveness of prison sentencing.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Government austerity measures risk undermining David Cameron's plans for the Big Society, according to a recent report. Correspondent Norman Smith examines the possible effect of cuts on charitable and community groups.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

This programme has found evidence that a North Sea oil rig narrowly avoided the same fate as the rig which caused the Gulf of Mexico spill. Reporter Tom Feilden explains how the accident raises important questions about Transocean's operating procedures.

Paper review.

People who break the law should no longer be branded "offenders" as it is insulting and hinders their rehabilitation, according to a prisons reform campaigner. Frances Crook, of Howard League for Penal Reform, and Conservative MP David Davis discuss the use of penal language.

Thought for the Day with Bishop Tom Butler.

Scientists claim new evidence shows conclusively that taking aspirin every day reduces the risk of dying from cancer. Professor of clinical neurology Peter Rothwell and Dr Clare Gerada, of the Royal College of General Practitioners, examine the findings.

The government is proposing changes in sentencing which would result in fewer people going to prison. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke defends his proposals.

Scotland is seeing some of the worst snow and ice in the early winter. Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson describes the situation.

The most valuable printed book in the world, Audubon's Birds of America, goes on sale today. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge is at Sotheby's where the auction is taking place.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Scientists are claiming that a small daily dose of aspirin can cut the risk of dying from a range of common forms of cancer. Clinical oncologist with Macmillan Cancer Support, Jane Maher, explains the benefits of taking aspirin.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A report published today will look into the way the police handled the case of Maria Stubbings, a woman murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her brother Manuel Fernandez describes the events leading to the murder and the police involvement in the case.

A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, for questioning over an alleged sexual assault in Sweden. Barrister Ben Cooper explains the implications of the extradition process.

The Nobel Prize Committee have just announced that 19 countries including China have declined invitations to attend Friday's ceremony honouring the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Martin Patience reports on China's continuing opposition to the event.

Details of the nationwide cultural festival which will run alongside the 2012 Olympic Games will be revealed today. Arts editor Will Gompertz outlines the importance of the grand finale of the Cultural Olympiad.

The Commission on Big Society is being launched today. Its chairman Lord Rennard explains the commission's aim to bring together high-profile thinkers on politics and civil society.



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