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Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Thursday, 1 December 2011
Today: Thursday 1st December

Is a decision by world banks to step in and provide cut-price dollar funding to eurozone banks a credible solution to the debt crisis? The Environment Agency says a drought that has affected parts of England since June could last until next summer. Also on today's programme, Ian McEwan on the secret of creative writing.

Business news with Simon Jack on news that central banks around the world are to support the global financial system by making it cheaper to borrow dollars.

It is World Aids Day and, while huge strides have been made in treatments developed for HIV and Aids, there is still much work to be done. Dr Macky Natha, consultant in sexual health and HIV at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust in London, talks about the challenges that remain.

Two-and-a-half years after the shocking problems at Stafford Hospital were revealed, the public inquiry into the failings at the trust is coming to an end. Jane Hughes reports on how the inquiry will be used to reform NHS hospital standards.

Business news with Simon Jack.

A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that the government has no proper strategy to deal with poverty, particularly among young adults. Julia Unwin, chief executive of the foundation, explains her concerns.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne is to publish the government's revised carbon plan, despite George Osborne saying in his Autumn Statement that he was worried about the "combined impact" on business of British and EU green policies. Mr Huhne explains the government's green strategy.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are to discuss whether to take further action against Iran after Britain's embassy in Tehran was overrun by protesters. After closing the Iranian embassy in London, Foreign Secretary William Hague talks about what diplomatic and financial measures may be taken next.

A review of the papers.

Did the grim predictions for the future contained in the Autumn Statement amount to a watershed moment in British politics, when politicians and the electorate began to accept how painful the recovery would be? Ben Page, of pollsters Ipsos Mori, examines where the public stands on the issue. And Jim Tomlinson, professor of history at Dundee University, and John Kay, economist and writer with the Financial Times, discuss what politicians can offer an electorate used to rising prosperity.

Thought for The Day with Akhandadhi Das.

The government is warning that the drought which has hit parts of the UK this year could continue until next summer if the country suffers a dry winter. Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, explains how water companies and the public should plan now for a potential drought next year.

Share prices have surged following news that world central banks were to take a co-ordinated approach in dealing with the eurozone crisis by making cheaper to borrow dollars. Sir Howard Davies, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and the BBC's business editor Robert Peston analyse the importance of the move.

The creative writing course at the University of East Anglia founded 40 years ago has an impressive list of alumni, including Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Anne Enright. Ian McEwan and Christie Watson, a recent graduate and Costa Prize nominee, discuss whether it is possible to teach people to be great writers.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

A building company - Berkeley Group - has been named the most admired company in the UK by Management Today. Economics editor Robert Peston analyses what the top 20 companies on the list, which includes Paddy Power and McDonalds, says about British industry. And chairman of Berkeley Group, Tony Pidgely, explains why he thinks they came out at the top.

Actress Meryl Streep's portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in the new film The Iron Lady is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated cinematic performance of the year. Arts correspondent Will Gompertz speaks to the actress about taking on the role. Trevor Kavanagh, assistant editor at the Sun, gives his thoughts on the film.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The revelations about the shocking levels of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust led to a public inquiry which finishes its hearings today, two-and-a-half years on. Patients First chairman Dr Kim Holt talks about the need for staff to be able to express concerns about their workplace.

Now that the Gaddafi regime in Libya has been toppled, those people forced into exile during the dictatorship can return home. Tarik Kafala, middle east editor for the BBC's News website, is one such man and reflects on his return to his home town of Tripoli after nearly 34 years in exile.

A new study from the University of Glasgow highlights potential health concerns over the caffeine content of drinks served in high-street coffee shops. Professor Alan Crozier led the research and describes the findings.



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