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Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Friday, 7 December 2012
Today: Friday 7th December

Should we thank Starbucks for offering to pay some tax? The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will visit Belfast today, amid violent protests over the flying of the Union flag. And also on the programme, President Obama's drug tsar on how the white house is changing its approach to illegal narcotics.

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 Justin Rowlatt on news that Apple and Samsung's billion dollar battle over technology has returned to the courts.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

UN talks aimed at finding ways to tackle climate change enter their final day today. The BBC's Roger Harrabin gives analysis from the Gulf state of Doha.


Starbucks has said it will pay some corporation tax in the UK. Hamish Pringle, branding and marketing consultant and author of Brand Spirit, examines if the move will save the company from weeks of what is widely regarded as bad PR.

Business news with Justin Rowlatt.

It is one year since the first mass street protests in Moscow against Vladimir Putin; they were sparked by anger at alleged vote rigging in the parliamentary election. The BBC's correspondent Steve Rosenberg has been assessing the mood in Russia and today he examines whether Muscovites still believe they have the power to force change.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Belfast today, amid loyalist protests at a decision by the city's council to stop flying the Union flag on every day of the year. The BBC's Andy Martin assesses the volatility of the mood within loyalism from Belfast and Ruth Dudley Edwards, the biographer of the loyalist community, and Newton Emerson, a columnist with the Irish Times, discuss what is going on.

The paper review.


Personal statements are meant to give university applicants the chance not to be solely judged on their A level results - but new research shows that privately-educated pupils still have the advantage. Dr Steve Jones, a senior lecturer at the School of Education at the University of Manchester, explains why independent school students are given more help in crafting them than their counterparts at state school.

Thought for the Day with Lord Harries of Pentregarth.


Two American states, Washington and Colorado, have decided to relax their drug laws, effectively meaning that possession of small amounts of marijuana will be decriminalised. The BBC's correspondent in Mexico City, Will Grant, examines the move from the point of view of Mexico, where a new president has just been elected, and Richard Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy in Washington, gives his thought about the potential consequences.


Coffee chain Starbucks has agreed to pay more UK corporation tax, after a public outcry over how little it pays. John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham, and Prem Sikka, professor of accountancy at Essex University, discuss the pressures of public indignation at legal tax avoidance and the way that the tax system operates.

The author Dame Beryl Bainbridge twice won the Whitbread Award for best novel and the Times named her one of the top 50 post Second World War writers. The BBC's Colin Paterson looks into why today the focus switches to her lesser known talent - as a painter.

Authorities in the Philippines say that the death toll in the typhoon that hit the country this week has risen to 420, with about the same number still missing.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Pressure on the Assad regime in Syria is growing with warnings about the use of chemical weapons coming from the UN Secretary General, as well as from the United States. The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen explains that the pressure has not translated into diplomatic progress from Damascus.

In the presidential election just gone by, the Republicans share of the vote of the fastest growing part of the electorate dropped; only 29% of Hispanics voted for Mitt Romney, down from a historic high of 44% back in the days of George W Bush. North America correspondent Jonny Dymond asks what went wrong and what should the Republicans do to change their fortunes from Pennsylvania.

Business news with Justin Rowlatt.

The cricketer and England Captain Alastair Cook has now got 23 Test centuries under his belt, aged only 27. Matthew Engel, former editor of Wisden and cricket writer for the Financial Times, analyses whether this puts him on course to be one of the greatest batsmen.

In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that he would not be going ahead with the idea of region pay. Ed Holmes, senior research fellow at the Policy Exchange, the right of centre think tank, and Frances O'Grady, new general secretary of the TUC, discuss George Osborne saying that he accepts the findings of the Independent Pay Review Bodies that there is already enough flexibility in the systems that is in place at the moment in the NHS, prison and civil service.

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