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Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 10:32 UK

John and Evan's review

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Today is A-level results day in England and Wales and, as it's announced that the pass rate has risen for the 27th year in a row, the perennial debate about whether the exams are becoming too easy comes around once more. The Education Minister, David Lammy, discussed the expected scramble for university places.

Just how best does government tailor its education and examination system to the needs of students, parents, education providers, employers ands society as a whole?

Lord Baker, who introduced the National Curriculum through the 1988 Education Act, and Dylan William, professor of educational assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London, talked about the difficulties in making reforms.

The final Test match in the Ashes series starts at the Oval this morning while in Berlin, Usain Bolt, who broke the world record in the 100m earlier this week, is running in the 200m at the World Athletics Championships this evening.

But, with Bolt demanding so little of our time, where does that leave the person describing the race? And how can commentators keep the interest of listeners for a five-day sporting event?

Today produced a 'mash-up' to imagine what it might sound like if Test Match Special commentator Henry Blofeld had to describe the 100m sprint.

And as Afghanistan goes to the polls for a presidential election, the BBC's world affairs editor, John Simpson, reported from a polling station outside Kabul on the impact threats of Taliban violence is having on voters.

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