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Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Today: Tuesday 6th December

Nearly all the eurozone countries, including France and Germany, have been warned that their credit status could be downgraded. A committee of MPs has called for stricter checks on the financial health of England's care homes amid fears more could collapse. And also on today's programme, we speak to Sir Andrew Motion as Ted Hughes is honoured with a stone in Poets' Corner.

Business news with Simon Jack, on news that almost the entire eurozone, including AAA-rated countries, Germany and France, have been put on "credit watch" by the credit rating agency Standard and Poors.

The Today programme has been following three young unemployed people over the next couple of months as they look for jobs. A few weeks ago we heard from Lauren Hill a 19 year old mother from Streatham South London, the Today programme's Zubeida Malik who is following the group went back to meet Lauren as she comes to the end of a training course.

Newspapers, weather reports and ski websites have been showing grim images of snow-free slopes, threatening the traditional start of the ski season this December. And although snow is arriving in some parts of Britain, Vicky Norman from the Ski Club of Great Britain describes the challenges facing resorts in the Alps.

The Labour Party is launching the first root-and-branch review of policing for nearly 50 years which will be led by former Met Commissioner Lord Stevens. Blair Gibbs of the think tank Policy Exchange examines whether this is really needed.

Ireland's annual budget is being announced over two days and the level of spending cuts is expected to be harsh as further austerity measures are put into place. Andy Martin reports from Dublin on what it means for retailers and consumers.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The government is not doing enough to avoid a repeat of the Southern Cross care homes crisis, according to the Commons public accounts committee. Martin Green of the English Community Care Association explains his thoughts about legislation or regulation.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

The leaders of France and Germany say the EU needs a new treaty to deal with the eurozone debt crisis and want to impose greater checks on budgets and impose sanctions if they run up deficits. Conservative MP Douglas Carswell and Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes debate what amendments to EU treaties might mean for Britain.

A review of the papers.

Corporate and individual giving to the arts has plummeted according to the first UK Arts Index which shows that, between 2007 and 2010, corporate giving has plummeted by 17% and philanthropy is down by 13%. Arts editor Will Gompertz has the details.

In the United States, the contest is heating up among Republicans who want to challenge President Obama for the White House. In the run up to the first voting tests in the form of the Iowa caucuses in January, North America editor Mark Mardell reports on a campaign which has already been fraught with sex scandals and verbal slip-ups.

Thought for The Day with Mona Siddiqui.

By law, anyone convicted of murder in England and Wales must receive a life sentence but the Homicide Review Group says that there should be a more flexible system allowing for judicial discretion in sentencing. Chair of the review group, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC and Peter Neyroud, former chief constable and former member of the Sentencing Guidelines Council discuss how far judges should be able to set sentences for murder convictions.

The credit ratings agency, Standard and Poor's (S&P) is reviewing the credit standing of 15 eurozone countries including Germany, France whose leaders have agreed proposals for tougher budgetary controls. Business editor Robert Peston explains the significance of S&P's review while Ngaire Woods, professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University and Terry Smith CEO of Tullett Prebon and Fundsmith discuss what the proposals by France and Germany for EU Treaty amendments for tighter fiscal sanctions might mean.

The first root-and-branch review of policing for nearly 50 years is being launched by the Labour Party which will look at accusations that the police force lacks vision and purpose. Former Met Commissioner Lord Stevens will chair the Independent Commission on The Future of Policing and he explains what they want to achieve.

New research from academics at the University of Oxford suggests that being told a painting is fake changes our brain's response to a work of art. Martin Kemp, emeritus professor of the History of Art at Oxford University describes why this is the case.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

The Irish government is announcing its budget over two days including the cutting of numerous benefits and a rise in fuel prices. Deputy finance minister Brian Hayes outlines how the Fine Gael-led government hopes these tough austerity measures will go some way to getting Ireland out of its financial black hole.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The poet Ted Hughes will today be honoured with a memorial stone in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey in a service which will include readings by the poet Seamus Heaney and actress Juliet Stevenson. Arts correspondent Rebecca Jones speaks to the Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Rev Dr John Hall, and the former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion ahead of the ceremony.

The government is not doing enough to prevent a repeat of the Southern Cross care homes crash, according to the Common Public Accounts Committee. The Care Services minister Paul Burstow gives his response.

The future of the Olympic Village after the 2012 Games are over is about to be announced. Former table tennis Olympian Matthew Syed and Olympic historian Philip Barker reflect on what life is like inside the Olympic Village and the track record of these villages in the past.



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