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Page last updated at 07:12 GMT, Monday, 10 December 2012
Today: Monday 10th December

The government is being urged by a committee of MPs to consider decriminalising the use of drugs. Tens of thousands of cancer patients are to have their genetic code fully mapped, in the hope it will lead to new treatments. And also on the programme, Terry Waite talks about going back to meet his Hezbollah kidnappers in Beirut.

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 live from Beijing.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The government is being urged to "closely consider" a system of drugs decriminalisation pioneered in Portugal. Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Committee, and Alex Stevens, professor in Criminal Justice at the University of Kent, discuss the law.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced this weekend he plans to resign. Vicky Pryce, economist, and Bill Emmott, former editor of The Economist who has just made a documentary called Girlfriend in a Coma, examine why Italy is in its current mess.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


The government is announcing a project in the NHS that will sequence the genomes - the genetic codes - of 100,000 people. Professor Sir John Bell, professor of medical sciences at Oxford University, adviser on genetics to the government and chair of its human genomics strategy group, explains why doctors are saying this will transform the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

The paper review.


The astronomer Sir Patrick Moore has died, aged 89, at his home in West Sussex. Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, and Heather Couper, an astronomer, reflect on the BBC television host's life and career.

Thought for the Day with Clifford Longley, Religious Commentator.


Terry Waite, the former Church of England envoy, has returned to Lebanon to meet Hezbollah, the group that kidnapped him in 1987 and held him in Beirut for five years. Mr Waite describes what it was that made him want to go back.


In a major report, the Home Affairs Committee says it is "impressed" by Portugal's approach to drug use and calls on ministers to monitor the effects of cannabis legalisation in other parts of the world. Niamh Eastwood, executive director of Release - the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, Jeremy Browne, Home Office Minister, and Mark Spooner, active drug addict for the last 27 years and who now works alongside treatment services in Birmingham, analyse the UK government's approach to drug use.


There has been a long history of pranks and trickery against unsuspecting members of the public by radio and TV programmes - most of it harmless. Hugh Tomlinson QC, a barrister at Matric chambers in London, and Dom Joly, the comedian and columnist in The Independent, discuss where the line should be drawn.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

According to the EU's Economics Commissioner, the worst of the Eurozone crisis is behind us. Chris Morris reports from Lisbon on whether the austerity package in Portugal is working.


The government has been trying to improve the care of people with serious illnesses such as cancer and heart problems by setting up so-called clinical networks. Sir Roger Boyle, former national director for heart disease and stroke, explains that the budgets for those networks have now been cut.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The Today programme has invited Germans to offer a view of their own country through their own particular set of eyes. Bastian Sick, who gives lectures about the German language, explains his view that Germany is trying to understand itself and its language, particularly because the influence of English is so strong.

A cross-party group of MPs is trying to find ways of increasing the number of school students who study history. Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP for Kingswood who chairs the group, and Trevor Fisher author and former history teacher, discuss their reasons for calling for change.

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