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Presented by James Naughtie and Evan Davis.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have published their results for the third quarter of the financial year. Chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym examines the results.

What is it like for the soldiers on the front line in Afghanistan? Major Richard Streatfeild has been keeping a diary for the Today programme as he leads his troops in the Sangin Valley, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the war. The latest instalment describes how his first patrol was hit by an roadside bomb.

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the road in the UK rose by a fifth this spring, compared to the year before. Jo Stagg, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, discusses what has led to the increase.

The US children's television programme Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th anniversary today. On this side of the Atlantic the puppets are best known as forerunners of The Muppet Show, but in the United States and more than 100 other countries around the world they are an even more important part of early childhood. Correspondent Kevin Connolly reports from the original New York Street set, where 4,000 episodes of the programme were produced.

A US army major has opened fire on fellow soldiers, killing 12 people and injuring 31, at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. The gunman has been identified as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist at the base. Correspondent Paul Adams discusses the incident.

A group of prominent scientists are presenting a statement of principles before the government. The statement calls for reassurances that the government will respect the academic freedom and independence of its scientific advisers. This follows the sacking last week of former government adviser Professor David Nutt, after his comments on the relative dangers of drug misuse. Lord Krebs, former vhairman of the UK Food Standards Agency and one of the scientists who signed the statement, discusses the proposals.

A new poll has found that 60 per cent of Australians want a head of state, up five per cent from a referendum 10 years ago which indicated 55 per cent wanted to keep the monarchy. The country's Republican prime minister Kevin Rudd has indicated he will not be making any changes to the state's system. Nick Bryant reports from the capital Canberra, on the anniversary of the referendum.

Thought for the Day with Rev Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London.

Prime minister Gordon Brown is to make a speech laying out why Britain must remain committed to Afghanistan. The speech follows calls from former Labour foreign office minister Kim Howells MP that Britain should withdraw all troops and the deaths of six British soldiers this week, raising further questions on Britain's presence in the country. International development secretary Douglas Alexander discusses the government's Afghan policy.

A US army major has shot dead 12 of his fellow soldiers at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist at Fort Hood, was responsible for the attack in which another 31 people were injured. Correspondent Matthew Price reports from the base.

RBS has made a loss in the last quarter, despite the government pumping billions of pounds into the failing bank. Profitable parts of the bank will have to be sold off under news measures imposed by EU competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes. RBS chief executive Stephen Hester discusses the bank's future.

The prevalence of celebrity literature is causing concern among some writers. The screenwriter Lynda La Plante has recently argued that the bestseller lists are now so dominated by memoirs and novels 'written' by celebrities that genuine talent is being squeezed out. This follows the release of actress Martine McCutcheon's debut novel, The Mistress. Waterstone's spokesman Jon Howells and writer Tracy Chevalier discuss whether or not celebrity writers deserve more literary merit.

Today has been inviting MPs to discuss the Kelly Report, but has been struggling to find any who will accept the offer. So Today has allowed a publicly-elected figure to sound off anonymously, something the programme would never normally do. An anonymous MP discusses his view of the Kelly Report, and political editor Nick Robinson comments on the feeling in Westminster.

In the south of Thailand, one person is being killed every day in terrorist attacks. The south of the country has become a target for Islamic extremists, who have killed 3,800 people in the past five years. The government has deployed tens of thousands of troops to help deal with the attacks, and has now encouraged civilians to take the law into their own hands. Asia Correspondent Alastair Leithead reports from Thailand.

Exam boards could face fines for 'dumbing down' exams. Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, which has called for the fines, discusses t

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3 hours

Last on

Fri 6 Nov 2009 06:00

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