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07/11/2009

Presented by James Naughtie and Justin Webb.

Doubts have been raised over the implementation of reforms of MPs' expenses. Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, the head of the new independent body charged with rewriting the allowances regime, is reported to have said he might not implement all of the recommendations set out by the Kelly Report. Political correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan comments on the reported claims.

G20 finance ministers are disagreeing over climate change and stimulus spending at a meeting in St Andrews. It is the last time the ministers will meet ahead of next month's climate summit in Copenhagen. Business correspondent Joe Lynam examines the breakdown in the talks.

Senior military figures have criticised the government's Afghan policy. Correspondent Mark D'Arcy reports from a sometimes passionate defence debate in the House of Lords.

Out-of-court punishments are intended only for minor crimes, but an investigation for this week's Panorama reveals that half of all criminal cases in England and Wales, including violent assaults, were dealt with by police and did not make it to court. Reporter Shelley Joffre discusses the findings.

For the countries of southern Asia the Second World War is seen very differently to the triumph it is seen by Europe. For millions who fought from the subcontinent, the conflict provided a new outlet for the struggle against colonialism. Journalist Mihir Bose reflects on the subcontinent's role in the war.

A vigil has taken place for the 12 civilians and one soldier who were killed at an Ford Hood army base in Texas by army major Nidal Malik Hasan. The shock at the killings has reverberated around America, and led to questions about the loyalty and trustworthiness of Muslim Americans, particularly those serving in the military. Many Muslims are worried that those questions will morph into racism and discrimination. Reporter Gavin Lee reports from Fort Hood on the aftermath of the shootings.

The death this week of Royal Logistic Corps Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, who had made safe 64 bombs during five months in Afghanistan, has highlighted the work of the army's bomb disposal operators. Former bomb disposal operator Major Chris Hunter discusses the pressures they face and the mental qualities needed to survive.

Thought for the Day with Canon David Winter.

Earlier this week, the Bank of England decided to print a further 25 billion pounds as part of its quantitative easing strategy. The latest move takes the total amount of money printed over the course of the recession to 200 billion pounds. Stephen Bell, chief economist at hedge fund GLC, and Wilem Buiter, Professor of European Political Economy at the London School of Economics, discuss the affects of further quantitative easing on the economy.

Home secretary Alan Johnson earlier this week described Labour's handling of immigration as 'maladroit'. Mr Johnson's comments have been seen as a change of heart from the government. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge went to Barking to speak to constituents and to Margaret Hodge MP, who has long campaigned for her party to do more about the issues around immigration. Immigration minister Phil Woolas discusses the government's policy.

Barristers are warning that miscarriages of justice will result from government proposals to cut public spending on legal aid. The chairman of the Bar Council, Desmond Browne QC, said the cuts will drive away experienced barristers and lead to poorer standards of advocacy in criminal trials in England and Wales. Mr Brown discusses the implications of reducing the legal aid budget.

As the row continues in the UK over where MPs should live to fulfil their parliamentary duties, plans are emerging in Japan to house new MPs in a dormitory. The plans have come under criticism with members of the Japanese parliament accusing their colleagues of building themselves luxurious new accommodation. Correspondent Roland Buerk reports on Japan's accommodation row.

Britain's presence in Afghanistan has been seriously questioned this week following the deaths of seven army personnel, and calls from former junior Foreign Office minister Kim Howells MP to withdraw all troops from the country. Prime minister Gordon Brown yesterday defended Britain's continued presence, saying that troops there are 'our first line of defence' against terrorist attacks on British streets. Shadow security minister Baroness Pauline Neville Jones and the chairman of the Royal United Services Institute, Sir Paul Lever, debate the government's Afghan policy and whether the fight against Islamic extremism should be concentrated at home or abroad.

Sir Ian Kennedy, head of the new independent body charged with rewriting MPs' allowances regime, is reported to have concerns about legal challenges to some of the Kelly reforms. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker comments on the implications of not implementing the changes.

Sir Edward Elgar's The Fringes of the Fleet is being prof

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