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Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Today: Wednesday 8th December

Leaked US cables say Britain feared a harsh response from Libya if the Lockerbie bomber died in jail - we hear from the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. And how do you make people give to the arts - tax breaks or cultural change?

To speed up the loading time for this running order, we have replaced the audio with links. To hear the reports, interviews and discussions, just click on the links.

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Business news with Adam Shaw: Stephen Robertson of the British Retail Association examines the fall of shop price inflation as retailers fight hard for business. Richard Dunbar of Scottish Widows analyses how yesterday's Irish budget may change the way the country's pensions are calculated.

Many of the student protesters have voiced particular concern over the proposed cut of Educational Maintenance Allowance - a payment to low-income 16-19 year olds if they stay in education after their GCSEs. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and Tom Burkard, of the Centre of Policy Studies, discuss the politics of university funding.

Hundreds of cars are still stranded in the snow on roads across central Scotland. Lorna Gordon reports from Harthill Services on the M8.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Following government proposals to cut legal aid in divorce cases, mediation has been thrown into the spotlight. Legal affairs analyst Clive Coleman investigates whether this is the right approach to resolving complicated divorce cases.

Banks are considering introducing a new paper-based payment system to replace cheques when they are phased out in 2018. Sandra Quinn of the Payments Council outlines the alternative to cheque-payment.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The latest Wikileaks release reveals that Libya threatened Britain with "dire repercussions" if the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing died in jail. Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw explains whether we have learned anything new from the latest release.

Paper review.

The Scottish transport minister has been criticised for the response to the severe weather conditions over the past few days. Scottish Labour transport spokesman Charlie Gordon says "serious questions" have been raised over the way the authorities have managed the situation.

Thought for the Day with Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will later today unveil the government's vision for stimulating private funding of the arts. Arts donor John Studzinski and Colin Tweedy, of the Arts and Business non-profit organisation, discuss the relationship between commerce and culture.

Leaked US cables say Britain feared a harsh response from Libya if the Lockerbie bomber died in jail. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond defends his government's decision to release Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

Andy Warhol's diaries have been re-published as a Penguin Classic. Warhol's former assistant and long-standing friend Pat Hackett examines the insight the diaries give into the artist's life.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

There are fears over the impact of shark attacks on the tourism trade in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. Egypt's tourism minister, Zohair Garana, explains the safety situation in the popular holiday destination.

The shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, has come out in favour of a graduate tax, having previously said the idea was unworkable. Political editor Nick Robinson analyses the controversies surrounding the issue.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The organisation UK Uncut has attracted a lot of attention during the weekend's demonstrations against what it says is tax evasion by some large British businesses. Tom Bateman reports on UK Uncut's appeal.

Should there be more emphasis on teaching history in schools? Historian Simon Schama outlines his hopes to make the subject part of the core of English education.

Should the coalition government re-introduce NHS targets? Dr Chand Naagpaul of the British Medical Association explains the current financial pressure on the NHS.

The recent case of the Lib Dem Mike Hancock's parliamentary aide proves that there is nothing quite like a good spy story to stir the tabloid juices. Britain's former ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer and Lord West, former minister for Security and Counter Terrorism, discuss espionage and the modern use of honeytraps.



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