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Best of Today

Podcast Best of Today
Podcast Best of Today

Best of Today


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  • Misogyny, racism and bullying found in fire service
    The London Fire Brigade is "institutionally” misogynist and racist, according a report into its culture. The review, conducted by the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for north-west England, Nazir Afzal, concludes that unless the "toxic culture" is tackled other firefighters will take their own lives. The independent review was established by the London Fire Commissioner after a trainee firefighter took his own life in August 2020. Today’s Martha Kearney spoke to Mr Afzal, who told her that he believed the issues he uncovered are common in other fire services. He added he was approached by other fire brigades and organisations as he undertook the review. Martha also spoke to the Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade Andy Roe, who said there was no place for discrimination, harassment and bullying in the brigade.
  • Hunter Davies: My winter walk
    The Today programme has asked some well-known faces to talk about the walks they do and why they’re so important to them as part of a winter walks series. Author Hunter Davies, best known for the only authorised biography of the Beatles, describes his favourite walk along Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight. (Image Credit: Laura Palmer/BBC)
  • Nurses to strike in biggest walkout in the NHS's history
    The Royal College of Nursing has announced strikes on 15 and 20 December in its pay dispute with the government. Nurses will still provide emergency care, but routine services will be hit. It is set to be the biggest walkout by nurses in the NHS's history and will take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Today's Mishal Husain speaks to Pat Cullen, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, and Nick Hulme, CEO of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. Today's Martha Kearney also speaks to Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association. (Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Social Housing Tragedies: “How does this happen?”
    How does this happen? That was the question asked by the coroner investigating the death of 2 year old Awaab Ishak who died from exposure to mould on the walls of his parents’ one bed flat. The government has now stripped the association involved, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), of £1m in expected funding. Housing charity Shelter says there’s “absolutely no excuse” for housing associations to be failing tenants. Today's Nick Robinson spoke to Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate, as well as Steve Macrae whose privately rented flat in Brighton has serious damp and mould. And he put their concerns to Housing Secretary Michael Gove. (Image Credit :Rochdale Coroners office)
  • Home Office Asylum cases delayed
    Delays in the time taken to process asylum claims have been compounded as inexperienced and low-paid staff have been hired to handle applications, several insiders have told BBC Two's Newsnight. Local councils are complaining about the number of asylum seekers - 37,000 - they’re having to house in hotels, and most recent figure for the backlog of people waiting for decisions, from June, came to 122,000. Home Office staff told Newsnight’s UK Editor, Sima Kotecha, that this was slowing down decisions, leading to long, expensive hotel stays for asylum seekers. Today’s Justin Webb spoke to Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, on these delays at the Home Office and what needs to change.

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