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Page last updated at 07:08 GMT, Monday, 3 December 2012
Today: Monday 3rd December

MPs say global companies that pay little tax in Britain are "immoral", and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is getting extra funding to investigate their accounts. There is a claim that some hospital wards in England are under so much pressure, patients are being put at risk. Also on the programme, it is twenty years to the day since the first ever text message was sent.

We are no longer providing clips of every part of the programme but you will be able to listen via the BBC iPlayer .

Business news with Simon Jack on reports that the Chancellor will unveil a £154m blitz on tax avoidance and evasion today, using the cash to draft in an army of investigators to target high earners and companies who aggressively avoid or evade tax.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The government is going to do something about companies like Starbucks and Amazon that have massive turnovers in this country and pay virtually no tax on their profits. John Whiting, tax policy director of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, examines whether the Inland Revenue's plan to get more money to hire more inspectors will work.


Hospitals are "full to bursting" in England according to the healthcare information company Dr Foster. Roger Taylor, the report's author and co-founder of Dr Foster, says bed occupancy rates in hospitals now average 85% and warn that that could affect patient safety.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Over the past week, the Today programme has been giving listeners a German view of Germany - Germans talking about their own country. Today's postcard from Germany is from Dimitri Hegemann who took over a power station and turned it into a place called Tresor which has become one of the world's most famous clubs for techno music.


More than 2,000 primary school children were arrested in England and Wales last year. Frances Crook, the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, outlines why so many children are being arrested.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Politicians from all the main parties will get together again today to talk about what should happen with the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson. Shami Chakrabarti, adviser to Leveson on the report and director of the British civil liberties advocacy organisation, Liberty, and Lord Falconer, Labour politician and barrister, former Lord Chancellor, discuss compulsory statutory regulation of the press.

The Paper review.


Zuma-ville is a massive and highly controversial building project in South Africa at President Jacob Zuma's private residence. The BBC's Africa correspondent Andrew Harding discovers that the state is supposed to pay for essential security upgrades - and not a penny more.

Thought for the Day with the Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, priest-in-charge of St Mary's, Newington


A slew of new laws come into force this morning, with mandatory sentences for knife crime, a "two strikes and you have got life" rule for serious violent and sexual offences, as well as new laws on dangerous driving and hate crime. Michael Turner, chair of the Criminal Bar Association, and Kate Whaley, from the charity Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA), discuss whether the new laws will bring crime figures down.


On Monday the Chancellor and Chief Secretary will announce new action on tax evasion and avoidance including extra investment in HMRC of £77m-a-year for each of the next two years, to be focused on extra resources and technology for enforcement on multinationals, the wealthy and offshore evasion. Margaret Hodge, Labour MP and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander give their views on whether the plans will work.


Today marks the 20th anniversary of the first SMS text message. Neil Papworth, the phone engineer who sent the first text, explains what led to texting, and Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times journalist and cultural commentator, outlines how the technology has since changed society.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

England's NHS hospitals are overcrowded for all but four weeks of the year, according to a report released today by the Dr Foster Guide. Andrew Goddard, consultant physician in Derby Hospital, and Dr Daniel Poulter, health minister, discuss whether changes are needed to England's hospitals.

Business news with Simon Jack.


It is almost 25 years since the town of Halabja in northern Iraq suffered the worst chemical weapons attack ever perpetrated against a civilian population. The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson was one of the first international journalists to reach Halabja in 1988 and has been back to meet some of the survivors.

A new study shows that all women are driving more and young men are driving much less. Is this a permanent trend or a temporary blip? Professor Peter Jones, professor of transport and sustainable development at the University College London who did the study, and Sue Baker, a freelance motoring journalist, discuss whether the reduction in male journeys may be because of the internet.

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