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Page last updated at 07:02 GMT, Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Today: Wednesday 19th December

Downing Street says allegations that a police officer falsely claimed to have witnessed a row between the former chief whip, Andrew Mitchell and other officers are "exceptionally serious". Detailed guidelines are being issued about prosecutions for offensive messages posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And also on the programme, letters from German soldiers to their families, which were stolen by teenagers in Jersey during the Second World War occupation of the island, are finally reaching their intended destination.

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 news that it has been announced that Swiss banking giant UBS has been fined $1.5bn for manipulating the Libor international interest rate.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to pay $1.5bn (£940m) to US, UK and Swiss regulators for attempting to manipulate the Libor inter-bank lending rate. The BBC's business editor Robert Peston explains the scandal.


New guidelines are out today on how people who post offensive messages on social media should be dealt with. Natalie Harvey outlines how she was abused on social media and says that she is in favour of tougher penalties.

Business news with Simon Jack.


The review by Nick Pollard of Newsnight's controversial decision to abandon an investigation into Jimmy Savile is to be published today. Steve Hewlett, presenter of the Media Show on Radio 4, explains that the key issue will be who knew what and when.

In one month's time, general elections will be held in Israel for its parliament, the Knesset. The BBC's middle east correspondent Kevin Connolly reports that all signs indicate that the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to win and to form the next government.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The hospice movement is to flag up concerns that reforms to the NHS are affecting its work. Dr Ros Taylor, chief executive of St Francis Hospice in Hertfordshire, explains why.

The paper review.


This week the Today programme has been providing a handbook on how to handle one of the modern hazards of Christmas - the family newsletter. The writer Lynne Truss reads one of her six cunning responses to these round robin messages.

Thought for the Day with the Reverend Dr Michael Banner, Dean and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Swiss bank UBS has been fined for its role in fixing Libor, the rate at which banks lend to each other and which determines interest rates worldwide. Lord Myners, a former city minister, explains that it is only the second bank to be punished after Barclays.


Allegations that a police officer falsely claimed to have seen Andrew Mitchell calling police "plebs" are "exceptionally serious", Number 10 says, as the former chief whip calls for an inquiry. Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, explains the implications of the allegations and David Davis MP, who is a supporter of Mr Mitchell, explains why there should be an inquiry.


The director of public prosecutions (DPP) has come up with new rules for how twitter and other social media should be policed. The DPP, Keir Starmer says threats of violence, harassment or breaching court orders will be prosecuted robustly, but the police and prosecutors will be more relaxed about other messages which might just be considered grossly offensive.

A man has approached the offices of the archives in the channel island of Jersey saying that he stole letters from German invaders to their families back in Germany. Stuart Nicolle, the senior archivist at the Jersey Archive, explains what the letters show.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Three Afghan translators who worked for the British are suing the government for more help. One of the Afghans bringing the case is Mohammed who joins the programme from Leicester, Rosa Curling from Leigh and Day, the solicitor representing Mohammed and two others, says they should get the same support as Iraqi interpreters, who were given housing and financial support to help them start a new life.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, will today hear an application to overturn the inquest verdict of accidental death on the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The Liverpool lawyer Elkan Abrahamson outlines the details of the application.

The explosion in March 2011 at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, triggered by a giant earthquake and subsequent tsunami, led to the evacuation of at least 150,000 residents from the surrounding area, and a rethink of Japan's reliance on nuclear energy. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports on what has happened to a small group of workers who stayed at the site at the time, battling to save the plant and the lives of their fellow citizens.

A retired head-teacher has hit out at an animal rescue charity after they refused to let him adopt a dog because he was "too old". Don Evans and Philip Heron, operations manager at Battersea Dogs Home, debate whether one can ever be too old to look after a dog.

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