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Page last updated at 06:18 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 07:18 UK
Today: Friday 26 June 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.

Pop star Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles, aged 50. Paramedics were called to the singer's Beverly Hills home at about midday on Thursday after he stopped breathing. And the government is set to abandon the use of national literacy and numeracy strategies in England's primary schools.


Pop star Michael Jackson has died. Journalist Jonathan Margolis, who spent months working with Michael Jackson, explains what made the singer so special.


At least six people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in Iraq, just days before US troops are due to leave Iraqi cities. Correspondent Jim Muir reports on whether the country will be ready for combat operations to end by September 2010.


The BBC has published details of the £360,000 of expenses claimed by its board members over the past five years. David Elstein, a former CEO of television channel Five, discusses some of the more surprising claims made by the corporation's executives.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


Discussions took place in the UK about a possible chemical attack on Tokyo - a year before the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, wartime files released by the National Archives have revealed. Mark Dunton, contemporary records specialist at the archives, explains what the files contain.


Pop star Michael Jackson has died. Despite selling millions of records, he became one of the world's strangest superstars. Correspondent Rajesh Mirchandani reflects on the life of the superstar. Unauthorised biographer Chris Andersen describes the sort of person he had uncovered during his research.

Today's papers.


A journalist with dual British and Greek nationality has been arrested in Iran as he was leaving the country. Iason Athanasiadis is a freelancer working for the Washington Times. John Solomon, executive editor of the paper, explains what the journalist was doing before his arrest.

Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet.


The government is set to abandon one of its most significant education policies in primary schools in England. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and Labour MP Barry Sheerman discuss why, from 2011, schools will no longer have to implement national strategies in literacy and numeracy.


The English public are being asked to suggest how £4m raised from the sale of assets seized from criminals should be spent. Home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford discusses the The Home Office's new Community Cashback scheme.


Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles at the age of 50. Friend Uri Gellar and Mark Ellen, editor of Word Magazine, react to the death of the pop star.


The expenses of some top BBC executives have been published. BBC director general Mark Thompson explains why he made some of the claims - including £2,236.90 to fly him and his family back from a holiday in Sicily to deal with the fall-out following calls made to actor Andrew Sachs by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


Conservative leader David Cameron has been branded "Mr 10%" by the Labour Party over planned spending cuts. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been told to "apologise" by the Conservatives for "misleading" the Commons over proposed capital expenditure. Andrew Haldenby, of the think tank Reform, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, discuss the future of public spending.


A Jewish school showed racial discrimination in refusing admission to a boy who had a Jewish father but whose mother had converted to Judaism, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Rabbi Zvi Solomons, from the Reading Orthodox Hebrew congregation, and John Halford, a solicitor who represented the boy, discusses if an admission policy based on religious and not racial criteria is lawful.


The White House has accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of seeking to blame the US for unrest following Iran's disputed election. Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reports on an expected condemnation of those opposing the election result to come at Friday prayers from Iranian leaders.


The death of singer Michael Jackson has been marked all around the world. Correspondent Colin Patterson reports on how crowds at Glastonbury are reacting. Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini discusses how the star will be remembered.


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