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04/11/2009

Duration:
3 hours
First broadcast:
Wednesday 04 November 2009

Presented by Evan Davis and John Humphrys.

The chairman of the Commons intelligence and security committee, Kim Howells, has called for the phased withdrawal of British troops from Helmand province. The former junior Foreign Office minister said the billions of pounds that would be saved should be redirected to defending the UK from terrorist attacks by Al-Qaida. Mr Howells discusses his proposals.

Conservative leader David Cameron is to unveil the party's new policy on Europe, after announcing the party would not hold a referendum on the EU treaty if they won the next general election. The Tories previously said that if the Lisbon Treaty were ever to be ratified by all countries, the party 'would not let matters rest there'. Eurosceptic Tory MP Mark Pritchard comments on his party's Europe policy.

The Kelly Report into the system of Parliamentary expenses is being released. Political correspondent Ross Hawkins looks back on the MPs' expenses scandal.

It is the first anniversary of Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential elections. But in the intervening year, the Democrats have lost gubernatorial seats in both Virginia and New Jersey to the Republicans. The Republican Party chairman, Michael Steele, says the results are a rejection of President Obama's reckless spending, and what he calls 'the far-left policies that are hurting our nation'. North America editor Mark Mardell examines President Obama's popularity a year after his election.

The much-discussed package of reforms to the expenses and allowances system in the House of Commons is to be put before MPs. The Kelly Report will propose radical changes which many MPs are reluctant to adopt. Conservative leader David Cameron will also give a speech on his party's Europe policy. Political editor Nick Robinson comments on what promises to be an eventful day in Westminster.

The military leader of the Republic of Guinea, Captain Moussa Dadis Camarra, has refused to step down ahead of presidential elections due for next January. Government troops violently crushed an opposition rally in the centre of the capital, Conakry, killing more than 150 people. International development correspondent Mark Doyle reports from Conakry on internal dissent in Guinea.

Thought for the Day with the Right Rev Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark.

Five British soldiers have been killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan. Correspondent Ian Pannell reports on the latest developments.

A nationwide march commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 siege of the US embassy in Tehran will be turned into an anti-government rally. Opposition protests are banned in Iran, but protestors are hoping to use the official demonstration as an opportunity to protest against President Ahmedinejad. The head of Tehran's anti-riot police has threatened opposition protesters with a full-scale assault if they return to the streets. Iranian opposition journalist Masih Alinejad assess the violent clashes.

Five British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan after a policeman they were training opened fire on them. Defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt reports on the latest in the incident.

The Conservatives will outline their policy on Europe after announcing they would not hold a referendum on the EU Treaty if coming to power in the next general election. Speaking to The Sun in 2007, David Cameron promised a 'cast iron guarantee' that a Conservative government would allow the British public to have their say, and shadow foreign secretary William Hague recently vowed to 'not let matters rest there' if a treaty was ratified before they came to power. The Sun's associate editor Trevor Kavanagh and former Conservative cabinet minister Michael Portillo examine Tory European policy.

Five British soldiers have been shot dead by a policeman in Afghanistan. The UN's former deputy special representative in the country, Peter Galbraith, discusses its police training.

Sir Christopher Kelly's report into the system of parliamentary expenses will outline a number of strict and unpopular measures. Today has tried to speak to MPs about the reforms, but many are reluctant to comment on the record. Richard Caborn MP, who is standing down at the next general election, gives his views on MPs' reaction to the report.

Former American vice president Al Gore, noted for his strong stance on climate change, has written a book arguing that the public is willing to make changes in their behaviours to reduce the impact of climate change. Mr Gore spoke to Today presenter James Naughtie about his optimism that the growing movement against climate change would spur the world's leaders to act. He explained that while individuals changing light bulbs and fitting insulation played a part, 'more important is changing the laws and policies'. But with sustained pressure, he says, there is cause to be hopeful that progress can be made at the Copenhagen summit. This is an extended version of the broadcast intervie

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