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Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Saturday, 24 December 2011
Today: Saturday 24th December

The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone minor heart surgery after complaining of chest pains. Thousands of Russians are expected to attend a rally to condemn alleged cheating in the recent parliamentary election. And also on the programme, the new Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe. tells us whether rioters should be shot.

It has been a bad year for the police with the resignation of the Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and the phone hacking scandal. Home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw analyses the challenges facing the UK's biggest force, the Metropolitan Police.

Russia's opposition is to stage new nationwide demonstrations which is expected to attract tens of thousands of people to protest alleged rigging in this month's parliamentary elections. Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow.

A week since the death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, there are growing worries about what it will mean for relations between the two Koreas with one issue being a South Korean plan to put Christmas lights on several large along the border which communist North Korea doesn't want. Seoul correspondent Lucy Williamson speaks to South Koreans about the decision not to go ahead with it.

Anyone taking a coastal walk over the next few days is being urged to look out for washed up turtles as number from a rare species are being found on Scottish and Welsh beaches. Dr Peter Richardson, the biodiversity programme manager at the Marine Conservation Society, explains what you should do if you come across one.

Sport news with Jonathan Legard.

The Iraqi vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, has alleged that a series of bombings which killed nearly 70 people in Baghdad on Thursday was organised from within the Iraqi government. Mr Hashemi told BBC Persian television that only government involvement could explain why the bombers were able to plant so many explosives unhindered. And he claimed the prime minister was trying to get rid of his political rivals.

The Duke of Edinburgh is recovering in hospital in Cambridge after having a stent inserted to widen a blocked coronary artery. The BBC's Mike Cartwright reports from Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

The paper review.

Money has become an increasingly divisive issue in football. Former Olympian and sports writer Matthew Syed reflects on how the theory of trickle-down economics is at the heart of a bitter row in the sport.

2012 is gearing up to be a huge year with plenty of uncertainties from the Middle East to North Korea from Russia to South Sudan. And the United States is considering its position within all this uncertainty and whether its global influence may dwindle. Only this year there are two reasons why American influence might be reduced quite considerably due to a slow burning economic crisis and a the upcoming presidential election. The BBC's Jonny Dymond reports.

Thought for The Day with the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

At the time of the riots commentators imagined they would dominate the political agenda for months to come and political careers would be made and broken by policies toward civil unrest, but it has slowly faded from the public consciousness. Social historian, Dr Juliet Gardiner and Reverend George Hargreaves, a pastor in Hackney, examine why this is not the case.

2011 has been a tumultuous year with the Arab Spring uprising, European riots and economic turmoil and as thousands of people are expected to attend a rally in Moscow today to condemn alleged irregularities in Russia's parliamentary election earlier this month. Protester Helena Fadeeva describes why she is taking to the streets of Moscow once again. Sir Andrew Wood, former British ambassador to Moscow, analyses what is really happening politically and socially in Russia. And John Micklethwait, editor of The Economist and Mary Kaldor, professor of global governance at the London School of Economics take a broader geopolitical view of the world in 2012 and the challenges ahead.

Interpol is seeking the founder of the French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) which made the silicone breast implants at the centre of a global health scare. Christian Fraser reports on the latest situation in Paris.

As our host of guest editors prepare to take over the Today programme next week, we take a look ahead to what is in store.

Sport news with Jonathan Legard.

Prince Philip has spent the night in a hospital in Cambridge after having a coronary stent inserted. The BBC's Peter Hunt has the latest.

It has been a difficult year for policing in this country with the Metropolitan Police being criticised for their handling of the summer riots and its head, Sir Paul Stephenson, resigning in the middle of the phone hacking scandal. The new commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe looks at the challenges facing the police as we look ahead to 2012.

A look at the papers

The test match between India and Australia is about to start and for many around the world, all eyes will be on one Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar who is hoping to break a world record by becoming the first player to score 100 centuries in international cricket. Rajini Vaidyanthan reports on the hysteria around the player nicknamed "the little master".

It is a big day in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem with thousands of Christians due to attend Christmas Eve mass in Bethlehem. There are still shepherds in Bethlehem 2000 years on from the nativity but as our West Bank correspondent Jon Donnison reports, Jewish settlement expansion there has made the life of the shepherd increasingly limited.



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