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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Today: Wednesday 10th February

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Military hospitals face growing pressure as British forces prepare for a major campaign against the Taliban. And the Church of England's General Synod is to consider a motion accusing the BBC of marginalising religious programmes.

Service personnel are to be awarded higher levels of compensation with some payments offered retrospectively, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth is expected to announce. Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, Solace's David Monks examines what the payouts will mean for service personnel.

MPs have voted in favour of a proposal to ensure that election counts begin within four hours of polls closing, after a number of returning officers had announced that they would count the following day in order to cut costs. David Monks from the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace) argues the case for postponing vote counts until the day following the poll.

Public service workers in Greece have begun a one day strike in protest at plans to cut pensions and allowances. Concerns over a default have rippled out to other indebted Eurozone economies, pushing the Euro to an eight-month low against the dollar. Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond reports from Athens on growing anger at the Greek government.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The music of the civil rights movement has been celebrated with a performance at the White House last night. The president spoke of his great debt of gratitude towards the campaign against racial segregation in the US. Duncan Bartlett reports from Washington. on the concert which honoured the music that changed America.

Sports news with Jon Myers.

Northern Ireland's Independent Monitoring Commission has reached the end of its 13-year mandate to decommissioning terrorist weapons. Sir George Quigley, former independent witness to the Commission's deal with the Ulster Defence Association and Lord Alderdice, a former member of the Commission and former speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, consider what the organisation achieved and analyse the remaining paramilitary threat.

The paper review.

Portsmouth Football Club is to appear before the High Court to put forward its case against bankruptcy. Other premiership clubs, including Manchester United and West Ham, have also found themselves in financial difficulty. Lord Alan Sugar, former chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, and David Conn, a sports writer for The Guardian, examine how wealthy football clubs wind up in financial difficulty.

Thought for the day with Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher.

The US food giant Kraft is to close Cadbury's Somerdale plant at Keynsham, near Bristol, with the loss of 400 jobs. Business editor Robert Peston outlines the move and Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable examines how the closure will impact on the UK's manufacturing industry.

British forces are set for a major offensive against the Taliban, the first campaign to involve the Afghan army. Correspondent Ian Pannell outlines the aims of the offensive.

The Church of England's General Synod will today debate a motion accusing BBC programmes of marginalising Christianity. The debate comes after the Church criticised the BBC for failing to adequately broadcast Good Friday celebrations last year. Nigel Holmes, a lay member of the General Synod and a former religion producer at BBC Cumbria and Aaqil Ahmed, head of BBC religion and ethics, debate whether the corporation takes its religious programming seriously enough.

The British Academy has written a letter to the Queen suggesting that she demand a monthly brief from ministers in order to prevent a future economic catastrophe. Peter Hennessey, a spokesman for the Academy and professor at Queen Mary's College, London, explains the thinking behind the proposal.

Sports news with Jon Myers.

A group of business leaders are calling for urgent action to prepare the UK for peak oil, the point at which supply can no longer meet world demands ending cheap oil. John Miles, global leader for energy resources and industry at Arup and one of the report's authors, analyses the prospect of peak oil.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The head of Amnesty International's Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, has been suspended following her claim that the human rights group has too close a relationship with Moazzam Begg the former Guantanamo detainee and spokesman for the group Cageprisoners which campaigns on behalf of those imprisoned in the so-called "war on terror". Ms Sahgal explains her concerns about the group.

Alone in Berlin by German author Hans Fallada is seen as one of the greatest tales of German resistance to the Nazis. Based on a true story it describes how a husband and wife distributed anti-Nazi messages around Berlin. An English translation appeared was received with critical acclaim last year. Berlin correspondent Steve Rosenberg spoke to Hans Fallada's son, Ulrich Ditzen, about the remarkable events on which the book is based.

The UK should aim to hold 10% of the global space market, nearly double the amount it currently dominates, according to a joint government and industry report. The report calls on the government to expand the space budget in creating a £40bn Space industry. Andy Green, chief executive of LogicaCMG and chair of the Space IGT Executive Steering Group, explains the report's recommendations.

The Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has told the BBC that he is extremely concerned about the prospect of another war with Israel. Mr Hariri's comments come at a time of increasingly aggressive rhetoric between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Beirut correspondent Natalia Antelava analyses Mr Hariri's warnings.

The UK's only chair in palaeography, based at Kings College London, is being threatened with closure. The possible move has outraged classicists who say it could be the death of the subject - the study of ancient writing - that has yielded so many of Britain's greatest historic discoveries. Dr Irving Finkel, assistant keeper in the department of the Middle East at the British Museum, and Alan Bowman, professor of Roman History at the University of Oxford, discuss the subject's future.



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