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Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Today: Tuesday 16th February

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The Taliban's most senior military commander has reportedly been captured in Pakistan. And the head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority says MPs should give up the profits they make from second homes funded by the taxpayer.

Banking giant Barclays has announced full-year profits of £11.6bn, an increase of 92% on 2009's figure. Business presenter Adam Shaw explains the record-breaking results.

NATO countries have reported mixed progress on the third day of Operation Moshtarak in southern Afghanistan. ABC news correspondent Miguel Marquez who is travelling with the US Marine Corps in Helmand, describes the offensive so far.

Criminal gangs have been cashing in on the Haiti earthquake by seeking funds for bogus charities, a BBC investigation has uncovered. Fraudsters have sent out millions of spam emails claiming either to represent genuine charities or to be from charities which do not exist. Special correspondent Razia Iqbal tracked down one criminal gang based in Spain.

Almost 60% of company directors have been refused bank loans, contradicting banks' claims that they are continuing to meet demand for business lending, according to the Institute of Directors (IoD). The IoD's director-general Miles Templeman explains the implications of the revelation.

New scientific discoveries on the aging of cells could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Professor Thomas Kirkwood, director of the Institute of Aging and Health at Newcastle University considers what the discovery could mean for the treatment of diseases.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Eleven people suspected of involvement in the murder of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh all had European passports. Mr al-Mabhouh, who played an important role in smuggling Iranian funded arms to Gaza, was murdered in his Dubai hotel room last month. Middle East correspondent Jeremy Bowen examines who might be behind the killing.

Credit card interest rates are at their highest level for 12 years despite the Bank of England's historically low base rate, according to research from the finance website moneyfacts.com. Darren Cook of moneyfacts.com explains why the rates are so high.

The paper review.

Fifty-over cricket is losing out to its faster and more aggressive competitor, Twenty20, and is suffering from low match attendances and diving TV ratings. Nick Bryant reports from Sydney.

Thought for the day with The Right Reverend Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark.

The Taliban's second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has been captured in a secret US-Pakistani raid in Karachi. Rahimullah Yusufzai, journalist for Pakistani newspaper, The News, and Professor Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, consider the importance of the arrest in combating the Taliban.

Banking giant Barclays has announced full-year profits of £11.6bn, an increase of 92% since 2009. The bank, which did not take any direct state help during the financial crisis, has taken on large amounts of risk in investment banking. Business editor Robert Peston and Liberal Democrats' treasury spokesman Vince Cable examine Barclays' profits.

A major announcement on a strategy to win over Taliban insurgents is expected during the coming weeks, backed by hundreds of millions of pounds from Western donors. Martin Patience reports from eastern Afghanistan on the re-integration of former Taliban fighters into Afghan society.

The broadcaster and filmmaker Ray Gosling has disclosed that he suffocated a former lover who was dying from an Aids-related illness. Mr Gosling admitted to the mercy killing while making a documentary for the BBC. Mr Gosling explains why he made the revelations.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

A pay freeze could threaten the UK's fragile recovery by reducing consumer demand, Trade Union Congress (TUC) leaders have warned. The union claims that reports of falling pay in private firms and soaring public sector earnings have been greatly exaggerated. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, examines the effects of a pay freeze.

The biggest diamond heist in history occurred on Valentine's Day seven years ago. Thieves broke into a secure vault in Antwerp, the world's diamond capital, without tripping a single alarm or injuring any guards. Greg Campbell, co-author of Flawless, a new book about the robbery, and Dick Kirby, a retired detective sergeant in the Flying Squad, reflect on the idea of a "perfect crime".

The business news with Adam Shaw.

Operation Moshtarak is beginning its fourth day as Afghan-Nato troops push Taliban fighters from strongholds in Helmand province. Peter Galbraith, former United Nation's representative to Afghanistan, gives his opinion of the operation.

With the crisis in Greece putting the Euro in jeopardy, all eyes are on Germany - as the European economic powerhouse and architect of monetary union - to come out strongly to prop up the Greek economy. But the German government seems reluctant to bail-out its profligate neighbour. Simon Winder, author of Germania, and Thomas Kielinger, London correspondent for Die Welt, discuss how Germany sees its own role in Europe.



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