Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories.
Today's running order
With Justin Webb and Evan Davis.
HighlightsListen to clips from this morning's programme:
PapersHere's a round-up of this morning's newspaper headlines:
Today's running orderSubject to change
Business news with Simon Jack.
- The Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined $100m (£61m) by US regulators, while Lloyds Banking Group has also been fined £28m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Hugo Dixon, editor-at-large for Reuters, examines.
- Luke Johnson, the former chairman of Pizza Express, discusses the increasing importance for businesses to have an IT strategy.
According to a group of academics, educational outcome can be explained by the differences in children rather than the differences in their teaching or school. Prof Robert Plomin, a professor at King’s College London's Institute of Psychiatry, joins presenter Evan Davis.
The United States and Britain are suspending what they call "non-lethal assistance" to rebel groups in Northern Syria. George Jabbour Netto, who speaks for the Syrian National Council, discusses.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released information showing that the median income for retired households in the UK has grown by 5.1% between 2007/8 and 2011/12. The BBC’s home editor Mark Easton reports.
Business news with Simon Jack. European finance ministers have been meeting in Brussels. Philippe Bodereau, managing director at Pimco’s London office, analyses the results.
Following the announcement on yesterday’s show that The History Boys has been voted as the UK’s favourite play in a survey by the English Touring Theatre company, its writer Alan Bennett talks to presenter Justin Webb about why he believes the play is so popular.
The Sentencing Council has published new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences, with the focus now reflecting the offender's behaviour and motivation to a greater degree. The chairman of the Sentencing Council, Lord Justice Treacy, discusses the changes.
The paper review.
The National Cathedral in Washington is holding a memorial service for the victims of gun violence, just before the anniversary of the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut. The BBC’s North America editor, Mark Mardell, reports.
Thought for the Day, with the Reverend Dr Michael Banner; dean and fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
The first inspections of hundreds of GP surgeries in England have uncovered basic failings in cleanliness and the handling of medicines and records. Prof Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the BMA General Practitioners Committee (GPC), discuss.
As reported on the Today programme, on 11 December, Universities UK has issued guidance on whether it is right for religious speakers to segregate male and female students. Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, speaks to Justin Webb.
RBS has been fined $100m (£61m) by US regulators for violating US sanctions against Iran, Sudan, Myanmar and Cuba between 2005 and 2009. The BBC’s business editor, Robert Peston, reports.
Next week, the government is expected to announce its ambition to eventually move most big radio stations off the FM dial and make them digital only. The BBC’s media and arts correspondent, David Sillito, discovers more.
Australia's High Court has overturned legislation allowing gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Some 27 couples who married since the law came into effect will now have their unions declared invalid, including Stephen Dawson – an MP in the parliament of West Australia – who speaks to presenter Evan Davis.
The Sentencing Council has published new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences, with the focus now reflecting the offender's behaviour and motivation to a greater degree. Vera Baird QC, police and crime commissioner for Northumbria, and Joy Merriam, solicitor advocate at McCormacks Law, reflect.
Ukrainian protest leaders have said they would not hold talks with President Viktor Yanukovych until their demands, including that he resign, are met. The BBC’s Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg reports; plus Lesya Orobets, a Ukrainian opposition MP, discusses.
Business news with Simon Jack. The Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined $100m (£61m) by US regulators, while Lloyds Banking Group has also been fined £28m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, analyses.
The Institute of Philosophy will launch the Human Mind Project on 12 December, creating an international effort to define the major intellectual challenges in understanding the nature and significance of the human mind. Prof Colin Blakemore, from the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, and Prof Marina Warner, from the University of Essex, discuss.