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Page last updated at 06:08 GMT, Thursday, 1 November 2012
Today: Thursday 1st November

Conservative rebels have inflicted a bruising defeat on David Cameron over Europe and ministers say they will take notice of the vote. The Metropolitan Police has received donations and sponsorship worth more than £22m over the past five years from dozens of different companies and organisations. And also on the programme, what would President Romney do for the world?

Business news with Simon Jack on news that Comet, the electrical retailer, is expected to go into adminsitration, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The government has been defeated in Parliament over its negotiating position on the EU budget by 13 votes. Sir Tony Baldry, a minister in John Major's government at the time of the rifts over the Maastricht treaty, and Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes and one of the rebels last night, examine whether the rebellion is a blow to David Cameron's authority.

European Union laws on the safety of artificial hips and other medical implants must be tightened urgently according to MPs on the Science and Technology Committee. Andrew Miller, chair of Science and Technology Committee, and Bozena Michalowska from the law firm Leigh Day and Co, discuss how and why changes need to be made.

Business news with Simion Jack.

Today programme presenter James Naughtie has arrived in the US for the start of our US election coverage. He will be there till after the vote next week, giving us a flavour of what he finds; he gives his thoughts on what the election promises.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The Greek government have revised their forecast for the economy and the new figures show that GDP will shrink by 4.5%, not 4% as previously announced. The BBC's correspondent in Athens Mark Lowen describes the mood in the city and Constantine Michalos, president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce explains his view that the austerity measures are not working.

The paper review.

On the eve of the US presidential election and in the month that BBC Radio celebrates its 90th birthday; the BBC is launching a new online archive of more than 900 of Alistair Cooke's Letters from America, originally broadcast between 1946 and 2004. Presenter Alvin Hall, and his daughter, Rev Susan Cooke, reflect on the broadcaster's life.

Thought for the Day with Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College at Durham University.


The Metropolitan Police has received donations and sponsorship worth more than £22 million over the past five years from dozens of different companies and organisations. Dr Tim Brain, former chief constable of Gloucestershire Police, and Jenny Jones, Green Party member and deputy chair of the Police and Crime Committee at the London Assembly, discuss the moral implications of disclosing the figures and the donations themselves.


Rebel Tory MPs have joined with Labour and other parties to pass an amendment calling for real-terms cuts in spending between 2014 and 2020. Chancellor George Osborne talks about the government's defeat.


It is All Saints' Day today, or All Hallows. The Rev Richard Coles, who written a book called the Lives of the Improbable Saints, outlines the roles of some of the less famous saints.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


What would President Romney do that would have an impact on us and what would he change in US policy towards China, the Middle East and the rest of the world? Today presenter James Naughtie has the crossed the Atlantic to find out.

The government has been defeated in Parliament over its negotiating position on the EU budget by 13 votes. Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary, outlines why Labour is calling for a real-terms cut in the EU budget.

The actor Simon Callow has recorded what is claimed to be the first ever audiobook bedtime story for dogs. Teddy and Stanley's Tall Tale has been sponsored by a pet insurance firm but they say it was written especially to help calm canine nerves on Bonfire Night.

Business news with Simon Jack.

For people living in northern Nigeria there seems to be no end in sight to the cycle of violence prompted by the Islamist insurgent group known as Boko Haram. The BBC's Will Ross explains that the military response to the violence is also causing a great deal of suffering, from northern Nigeria.

Stonewall will award its Bigot of the Year Award this evening and Barclays and Coutts banks have threatened to withdraw sponsorship unless the campaign group drops the award. Mark Borkowski, a media consultant, explains his view that this is a publicity mechanic that no longer fits and Jonathan Gabay, a branding journalist argues that Barclays and Coutts are in the wrong.

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