Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories.
In today’s programme...
With John Humphrys and Sarah Montague.
Listen to clips from this morning's programme:
PapersHere's a round-up of this morning's newspaper headlines:
Today's running order
Subject to change
Business with Tanya Becket including news that the latest budget fight in Washington is again threatening to derail the world's largest economy. Plus David Cameron has told Conservative members gathering for their annual conference in Manchester that the coalition's grand plans to revive the housing market will be introduced three months earlier than planned.
Is there any way the Conservatives could win outright at the next general election? The Today programme's Sarah Montague reports on this questions that is being asked here at their conference in Manchester.
Nearly 300 children aged 11 or under were admitted to Accident & Emergency units across the UK last year after drinking too much. Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drink Aware, outline why the figures have sparked concern.
Business with Tanya Beckett including news that the Director General of the British Chambers of commerce has sent a clear message to David Cameron that the government should be starting to deliver on their pledges to get the economy growing.
Asian markets have fallen on fears that the US may be heading for a shutdown of government services. The BBC's North America editor, Mark Mardell reports that the US needs to agree a new spending bill before the financial year ends at midnight on Monday.
David Cameron has brought forward the next stage of the Help to Buy scheme - despite fears it could stoke a housing bubble - especially in London. Ed Cox, director of the Institute for Public Policy Research North, and the economist Kate Barker discuss how the policy looks from the north west of England where prices have been much more subdued.
The paper review.
Speaking on Andrew Marr on Sunday David Cameron described Ed Miliband's policy on corporation tax as "nuts" - before checking himself by saying that he did not want to get into a "huge argument with the mental health lobby". Juliette Burton, a comedy writer and actress who describes herself as a nutcase, examines what is deemed acceptable.
Thought for the Day with Clifford Longley, a religious commentator.
Last month the BBC reported on a horrific attack on a school in Syria when an incendiary bomb was dropped on the playground. One of the doctors who treated children from the school is a British doctor, Saleyha Ahsan, who is now back in her hospital in Salford, outlines what she saw.
The long-term unemployed will have to undertake work placements in return for their benefits, under changes to be unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne. Mr Osborne outlines his proposals.
Author Helen Fielding has revealed that Mark Darcy is dead and Bridget Jones is now a widowed single-mum of two. Lisa Holdsworth, a television script writer, and John Sutherland, a professor of literature at UCL, discuss how widowhood is used as a tool in fiction and TV/film drama.
The long-term unemployed will have to undertake work placements in return for their benefits, under changes to be unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson give his analysis.
The Chief Constable of Durham Mike Barton has argued in a newspaper article that class-A drugs should be decriminalised and prohibition of them revised, in order to smash the income stream of criminal gangs. Tina Williams, founded the Bridge charity in Stockton-on-Tees to help families with a member with drug or alcohol problems, and Ron Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham Constabulary, debate the idea.
Business with Tanya Beckett including news that Barclays will close the accounts of all Somali remittance companies.
Over the next three years Rio de Janeiro will host the World Cup and the Olympic Games. But what affect has all the attention and money had on the city's culture? The BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz went to Rio to check out its art scene.
John Bird editor in chief of the Big Issue says that now only 25% of people who pay for the Big Issue actually take the magazine. Mr Bird explains the problem and Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the University of Kent, discuss the impact for the lack of uptake.