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Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Today: Tuesday 14th December

MPs have told the government that its spending plans will push the NHS in England to the limit. The veteran diplomat and one of the lynch pins of US policy in Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has died. And Netherlands becomes the first European country to roll back on a ban on smoking in public places.

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: Why inflation targets are failing with economist Colin Ellis. And Dr Jill Hopkinson of the Church of England examines why they are setting up Church shops.

The financial pressures on the NHS in England will "test the service to the limit", according to the Commons Health Select Committee. Economist John Appleby examines if the NHS's budget is fit for purpose.

President Obama's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, has died after heart surgery in Washington. Correspondent Alan Little describes his contribution to two decades of US diplomacy.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faces two votes of no confidence today. Europe editor Gavin Hewitt reports on the future of the controversial businessman and politician.

Sports news with Russell Fuller.

The intellectual guru Nassim Taleb has published a collection of philosophical aphorisms. He explores his favourite theme of the limitations of human knowledge.

Paper review.

What was achieved at the climate change summit in Cancun? Environment correspondent Richard Black outlines the deal reached in Cancun. Michael Jacobs of LSE and Julian Oram of the World Development Movement analyse the outcome of the summit.

Thought for the Day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.

Silvio Berlusconi faces confidence votes in both houses of the Italian parliament that he claims he should win to avoid the country sliding into economic uncertainty. Author Bill Emmott and columnist Beppe Severgnini discuss Berlusconi's contribution to Italian politics.

MPs have told the government that its spending plans will push the NHS in England to the limit. Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow and Conservative MP Stephen Dorrell analyse if cuts to the budget are sustainable.

The Swedish authorities say they are almost certain that a suicide bomber who attacked the capital Stockholm was Taimour al-Abdaly, who had spent several years living in Britain. Former anti-terror police chief, Andy Hayman, examines the difficulties of dealing with a case like this.

Sports news with Russell Fuller.

The veteran diplomat and one of the lynch pins of US policy in Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has died. Former US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Britain's former ambassador in Kabul, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, examine Holbrooke's impact on US foreign policy.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

An Israeli human rights group is claiming that Israeli police are breaking their own law by detaining Palestinian children. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports on the conflict between Palestinian children and Jewish settlers in the East Jerusalem. Some people might find parts of his report distressing.

With its increased economic power and political influence, China is playing a more and more critical role in the world. Richard Youngs of the Fride think tank and Dr Steve Tsang, research fellow in Modern Chinese, discuss the country's role in the future world order.

The founder of the Wikileaks website, Julian Assange, returns to court today to ask for bail as he fights attempts to extradite him to Sweden for alleged sex offences. Australian reporter Mike Duffy talked to Mr Assange's mother about her son's case.

The West Midlands has the highest obesity rates in Western Europe. Dr John Middleton of Sandwell Primary Care Trust discusses why this is the case.



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