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25/11/2009

Duration:
3 hours
First broadcast:
Wednesday 25 November 2009

Presented by John Humphrys and Sarah Montague.

The government is to respond to the Calman Commission into Scottish devolution, which recommended a fundamental change in how public money is allocated. The response comes a few days before Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, publishes his party's white paper outlying plans for a referendum. Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy discusses the proposals.

The second instalment of a review into the way protests are policed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is to be published today. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, requested the review following criticisms of tactics used in the G20 demonstrations last year. Criminologist and film maker Roger Graef outlines the changes.

The convicted murderer Jane Andrews has been recaptured after absconding from East Sutton Park open prison. The BBC's Helen Fawkes reports on the latest developments.

Researchers have discovered that the Mandrill monkey uses smell to find mates with genes that are different from their own. The method guarantees healthy and strong offspring and maintains genetic diversity. Dr Jo Setchell from the anthropology department at Durham University which carried out the research, discusses the findings.

More heavy rain has threatened bridges and homes in Cumbria. The collapse of bridges due to the force of the flood water has cut off communities and caused transport havoc in the region. Locals are calling for temporary Bailey bridges to be built by the army. Correspondent Colin Blane reports on the latest in the flooding. Peter Lloyd, managing director of Mabey Bridge, which makes the modern version of the Bailey bridge, considers whether temporary bridges can be built.

People would prefer to pay more tax than see important public services cut, according to a new poll by Ipsos Mori. Ben Page, the research group's chief executive, analyses the results.

The system of registering village greens is being used by 'not in my backyard' villagers wanting to register land to avoid it being built on. Environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee reports from the village of Penn in Buckinghamshire.

Thought for the Day with Canon Dr Alan Billings, an Anglican priest.

The government is launching a 10-year strategy to deal with violence against women and girls. It will target young women and teenagers to prevent them getting into cycles of violence from a young age, after research suggested that a high number of teenage girls are drawn into abusive relationships. Christine Barter, senior research fellow for the School of Policy Studies at Bristol University, which carried out the research, examines the government's policies.

The Bank of England has revealed for the first time that it lent Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HBOS 61.6 billion pounds in emergency funding during the banking crisis last year. The huge sum is four times the value of the National Grid, and was kept hidden from the public. Treasury minister Lord Myners discusses the secret loan and chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym comments on the implications for the financial system.

The party political broadcast has been a part of Britain's election culture for 75 years. The British Film Institute (BFI) has made a film honouring the anniversary which will be screened tonight at the BFI Southbank. The film, Who Voted For This?, produced by the former BBC and ITV political correspondent David Walter, uses rarely-seen footage from the BFI National Archive, including a Churchill screen test, classics from the 1930s through to the present day, and interviews with Michael Heseltine, Charles Kennedy and Neil Kinnock. David Walter and Sir Chris Powell, former Labour advertising adviser, reflect on the history of the party political broadcast and whether or not they are effective at winning votes.

Early next week, on St Andrew's Day, Scottish first minister Alex Salmond will unveil a white paper for a Referendum Bill on Independence. He hopes it will be the first step towards an independent Scotland. In the first of two reports, Today presenter James Naughtie examines how the recession has coloured the debate about Scottish secession from the UK.

New figures for the economy are to be published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), later today. The figures will reveal whether or not the UK is still in a recession. Economics editor Stephanie Flanders analyses the figures, and Jonathan Tepper, partner at independent researcher Variant Perception, discusses the strength of the pound and the chances of a currency crisis.

The National Memorial Arboretum has launched an eight-million-pound appeal to help pay for improvements. The site, near Lichfield in Staffordshire, was recently transformed with 160 large memorials and thousands of smaller memorials honouring service personnel and civilians killed in war, but the buildings are too small to cope with the huge influx in the number of visitors. Correspon

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