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Page last updated at 07:14 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009
Today: Friday 6 March 2009

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

The information watchdog has shut down a company which it says sold workers' confidential data, including union activities, to building firms. And Prime Minister Gordon Brown is due to outline his plans for an international agreement on bankers' pay and bonuses.

The information watchdog has shut down a company which it says sold workers' confidential data, including union activities, to building firms. The deputy information commissioner David Smith discusses what action will be taken.

The fee-paying Manchester Grammar school has announced it intends to abandon GCSEs in all subjects in favour of the IGCSE - or international GCSE. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge visits one independent school in south-west London which is already moving towards adopting the international qualification.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Courts in London and south-east England are now so overcrowded that the system is near breaking point, the National Audit Office says. John Howson, deputy chairman of the Magistrates' Association, discusses if the problem could be alleviated by giving magistrates' courts more power.

Peter Hadfield, a 17-year-old student, has won the first ever National Young Scientist of the Year award. He discusses his invention - a hand-held particle detector called Lucid - which will be sent into space and used for research in 2010.

Sports news with Nick Cosgrove.

Former Labour MP Lord Ashley has asked for more compensation for people born with deformities due to the drug thalidomide around 50 years ago. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on the secondary disorders associated with long term disability that many are experiencing.

The potential for a serious attack in Northern Ireland is higher now than at any time in the past seven years, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland says. Sir Hugh Orde discusses why members of an army special forces unit are being deployed to help gather intelligence on dissident Republicans.

Today's papers.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence in Kazakhstan that people were riding horses long before the Bronze Age - in around 3500 BC. One of the researchers Dr Alan Outram, of Exeter University, discusses if horses were domesticated rather earlier than once thought.

Thought for the day with LordHarriesofPentregarth, the Gresham Professor of Divinity.

A top private boys' school in Manchester is dropping GCSEs because it believes the courses are not challenging enough. John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, and John Welsh, head of Bexley Grammar School in south-east London discuss if GCSE's are "misconceived".

The Pakistan-Afghan border has been described as a "nerve centre for extremists" the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says. Security correspondent Gordon Corera and security correspondent Frank Gardner report on the situation in the country. Foreign Secretary David Miliband says it is "a grave situation that is getting worse" and is putting British lives at risk.

The explorer Pen Hadow has now embarked on his journey to the Arctic. He discusses his progress with the writer and explorer Benedict Allen. They consider the question that exploration is no longer dangerous.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Construction companies have been found to have bought confidential workers' data from an illegal database by the information watchdog. Steve Acheson, who is convinced he is on the list, discusses his problems in getting work. Alan Ritchie, general secretary of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (Ucatt), says his organisation has been raising this issue for years.

Six eastern European central banks have taken the step of issuing a joint statement deploring "misleading" reporting of their countries' economic plight. Europe Editor Mark Mardell tries to unravel the allegations. Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, and Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, discuss if irresponsible reporting could "negatively affect" European economies.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the current year will be the most difficult the country has faced this century because of the global economic crisis. Liu Weimin, spokesman at the Chinese embassy in London, discusses how China intends to continue its modernisation.

In the early 1970s, The Sunday Times decided to investigate the issue of thalidomide. Within months, the firm responsible for the drug had reconsidered its offer of compensation to victims, and a deal worth 32.5m was finalised. Andrew Neil, former editor of the Sunday Times and presenter of the Daily Politics, and journalist Nick Davies, discuss the current quality of investigative journalism in the UK.



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