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Page last updated at 06:33 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 07:33 UK
Today: Friday 16 October 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.

A major review of English primary education calls for children's formal learning to be delayed until they reach the age of six. And a day after the announcement of a national postal strike, a leaked document has added to tensions in the dispute.


A secret document has added to the tensions surrounding the dispute between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers' Union (CWU). The document suggests that Royal Mail has drawn up plans to no longer recognise the CWU, and wants to use the dispute to "consider programme of reducing relationship with union". General Secretary of the CWU, Billy Hayes, discusses the report.


An independent study by education academics at Cambridge University suggests children should not begin formal schooling until the age of six. The reports argues that children respond better to play-based learning at a young age, and that National Curriculum tests, Sats, should be scrapped. Correspondent Sarah Campbell went to one primary school which contributed to the study.


The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, has defended the investigation into parliamentary expenses. Many MPs have criticised Sir Thomas Legg's inquiry, and would like the Speaker to defy public opinion and find the retrospective rules on their claims unacceptable. Another MP, Conservative David Wilshire, was forced to announce he would stand down over allegations that he paid more than £100,000 of office allowances to his own company. Mr Wilshire claims he did nothing wrong. Mike Warburton, tax director at accountants Grant Thornton, examines Mr Wilshire's case.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


The director general of MI5, Jonathan Evans, has defended the security service from accusations of collusion in torture. He was speaking at Bristol University last night. Security correspondent Gordon Corera, explains the allegations.

Sports news with Arlo White.


Three weeks ago, 600 French gendarmes closed down 'the Jungle' illegal migrants camp in Calais. The closure was met with protests, as 300 refugees were rounded up by French police. The UN agency for refugees says the living conditions for migrants in Calais and elsewhere are now unacceptable. Reporter Andrew Hosken went to Calais to investigate the lives of the migrants after the closure.

The paper review.


The husband of a woman who was brain-damaged as the result of an undiagnosed haemorrhage has won nearly £4.5 million in court. Cristina Malcolm has been left with a "ten minute memory" as a result of her experience, which her husband Sandy argued had come about because of the negligence of a GP. She requires round the clock care. Mr Malcolm discusses his family's ordeal.

Thought for the day with Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity.


Taliban attacks in Pakistan have killed at least 38 people, three of the attacks aimed on security forces. The latest wave of violence has delayed a Pakistani army offensive on Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan. An expert on the Taliban, Ahmed Rashid, examines the current situation in the region.


The biggest review of primary school teaching in England in 40 years says children should not begin formal learning until they reach the age of six. "Children, their world, their education" took three years to compile and concludes that pupils are taught too narrowly, with too much emphasis on the basics of Maths and English. Professor Robin Alexander, the lead author of the report, explains its findings.


The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva will vote on whether to accept the report on the Gaza offensive compiled by the former South African judge, Richard Goldstone. The report concludes that both Israel and Hamas may have been guilty of war crimes. The decision could have a profound effect on the attempts to revive peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The British government is expected to abstain in the vote. Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen comments on the implications for the peace process.


A film of Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road will premier at the London Film Festival tonight. The post-apocalyptic story tells the journey of a father and son through a landscape and society that has been devastated by some unknown catastrophe. The film's director, John Hillcoat, explains the making of the film.

Sports news with Arlo White.


The Scottish National Party is starting its annual conference in Inverness. The SNP, who have been in power for two years, are still ahead of the polls. One of their main campaign is to create an independent Scotland. SNP deputy leader and the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, discusses what the party envisage for the future, and the possibility of a referendum on independence.


Ranchers in America's northern mid-west are facing tough times. The high price of feed and low prices for cattle is making their lives, and the future of the cowboys who manage the cattle, uncertain. Correspondent Kevin Connolly, went to Medora North Dakota, an old frontier town turned tourist attraction to see what the future holds.


A six-year-old boy who set off a massive search and rescue operation in the United States has been found alive. Falcon Heene was feared to be inside a missing helium balloon belonging to his father which ended up floating thousands of feet above Colorado. When the balloon came to earth, Falcon was feared dead, but he was eventually found hiding in a box in his family's garage attic. Correspondent Peter Bowes reports on hunt to find him which dominated network TV news.

Business news with Nick Cosgrove.


There has been a further attack on a police building in Pakistan. It is reported that at least six people have died in the bombing in Peshawar. Saukat Katak from the BBC's Urdu service, was at the scene of the attack.


The volcanoes and mountain ranges at the bottom of the oceans are yet to be explored. Their inaccessibility and the expense involved in reaching them, has left these areas so far untouched. To overcome the obstacles, oceanographers have created the InterRidge project to help plan and co-ordinate international efforts to explore the deep ocean. Science correspondent, Tom Feilden, went aboard the research ship in Falmouth, as scientists prepared to set sail.


A new book by the Wu Ming collective is published this week. Manituana is an epic novel set during the American War of Independence, that focuses on the experiences of the American Indians. Wu Ming is the nom de plume of a collective of Italian writers who eschew the notion of authorship and instead write and edit as a "band". Their first work, Q (under the name Luther Blisset) was an international bestseller. Wu Ming 1, Wu Ming 4, and the British man who translates their work into English, discuss their interest in Native Americans.



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