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Page last updated at 06:54 GMT, Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Today: Wednesday 1st February

Following the decision to strip the former boss of RBS of his knighthood, what happens next? What next for government's NHS reforms? And also on the programme, the scientists who have found a way to read our minds.

Business news: Former trade minister Lord Digby Jones speaks to the Today programme's Simon Jack about the decision to strip Fred Goodwin, former chair of RBS, of his knighthood.

Russia is under intense pressure from Western and Arab countries to stop protecting the Syrian government and allow the UN Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the escalating violence in the country. World Affairs correspondent Richard Galpin reports on Moscow's links with Syria.

Fred Goodwin, the former boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has had his knighthood removed after being widely blamed for decisions that made the bank vulnerable. Labour MP John Mann and Peter Riddell, director of the Institute for Government, debate if he has been unfairly singled out.

A secret Nato report says the Afghan Taliban are still being supported by Pakistan's intelligence services and have been sold weapons by Afghan soldiers who are supposed to be fighting them. Sami Sadat, former adviser to the Minister of the Interior in Afghanistan, reflects on the implications of the memo.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Over the past 20 years, David Shrigley has gone from being a cult cartoonist to having a retrospective of his work at the contemporary and prestigious Hayward Gallery in London. Nicola Stanbridge has been to see the exhibition.

Grants to revive Britain's poorest regions are "wasted" on firms of more than 150 employees, according to a study by academics based at the London School of Economics. The report's author, Professor John van Reenen, outlines the findings.

Sport news with Jonathan Legard.

The world's largest social networking site, Facebook, is set to launch on the stock market launch with an estimated value as high as $100bn. Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones analyses the dominance of the website in the market and Martha Lane Fox, founder of, analyses the pitfalls of a company going public.

The paper review.

Scientists believe the first step has been taken towards hearing imagined speech using a form of electronic telepathy. In the future, they believe, it may be possible to "decode" the thoughts of brain-damaged patients who cannot speak. Bob Knight, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, explains how it works.

Thought for the day with Rev Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge.

President Obama's former special envoy to the Middle East has said that more pressure should be put on Iran to stop it taking the next steps towards making nuclear weapons. In his first UK interview since stepping down, Dennis Ross outlines the challenges facing diplomacy in the region.

Was it the right decision to strip the former chairman of RBS, Fred Goodwin, of his knighthood? Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Fallon MP and former chancellor Alistair Darling discuss the implications for singling out Fred Goodwin, while Sir Jackie Stewart, a friend of the former RBS boss, explains why he thinks it was the wrong move.

A London-based orchestra says polite concert hall etiquette is a relatively recent phenomenon when it comes to appreciating classical music and is taking its performances on a month-long pub crawl. Tom Bateman joined them on the first night.

Sport news with Jonathan Legard.

The government's planned overhaul of the NHS in England has caused a great deal of debate both within the NHS and in parliament. Health correspondent Adam Brimelow and Nick Seddon, deputy director of the think tank Reform, give their analysis of the proposed changes. Baroness Shirley Williams, Professor Steve Field, chairman of the NHS Forum, and Professor Chris Ham, chief executive of the health think tank the Kings Fund, debate the key aspects of the proposed changes.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has been examining how the world of work has changed in the last 60 years. Dr John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD, and Professor Harriet Bradley, sociologist at Bristol University, discuss how working life has changed.


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