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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Wednesday 24th February

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MPs have accused News International of "collective amnesia" over the extent of phone-hacking. The chancellor has said he felt "the forces of hell" unleashed against him by Gordon Brown's aides when he predicted the recession. And what music should the London Olympics have as its theme?

Council tax bills in England are set to rise by the lowest amount in their history in the coming year according to two surveys. Ian Carruthers, head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and Julia Goldsworthy, who speaks for the Liberal Democrats on communities and local government, give their analysis of the figures.

The prime minister is expected to make a formal apology in the Commons to the thousands of people sent abroad as child migrants in the first half of the last century. Under a policy which lasted until the 1960s, children from orphanages and poor homes were sent to remote farm schools, many of them in Australia. Reporter Sanchia Berg spoke to Bill Malone, who had been at one of the worst schools - Bindoon in western Australia - and who has returned to London to hear Gordon Brown's apology. Sanchia took him back to his English school, St George's School in Enfield, which Bill had left at the age of nine.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Councillors in Bristol are in the process of making a major decision about a biofuels power station. Supporters say it will provide an important source of new energy, producing enough power to light up 25,000 homes. But green groups are concerned that such "environmentally friendly" plants will actually result in more rainforest being cut down to make space for palm oil production. BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin explains why biofuels, such as palm and jatropha oil, are blamed for displacing food crops and pushing up the price of food.

Who would want to lead Greece at the moment? The government is caught between unions, who are leading a 24-hour general strike to protest against its austerity plan, and the bond markets, which fund the seemingly unsustainable lifestyle to which Greece has become accustomed. Gary Jenkinsm, a credit strategist at Evolution Securities, examines the external pressures on the Greek economy.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

In recent years there seems to have been a steady stream of teenage boys stabbed and shot on city streets, the victims of gang crime. But what about the girls involved? Later today a new report will be published looking at the impact of gangs on young women and their families. It is a sorry tale of girls being drawn into violent crime, exploited, even sexually abused. BBC reporter Angus Stickler has been talking to teenage girls involved in gang crime in London and Glasgow. You may find parts of his report disturbing.

The government has launched a plan aimed at raising awareness of aquatic plants that can harm natural flora. Floating pennywort, water primrose and water fern are commonly used as an enhancement to garden ponds. But if they are disposed of in the wrong way, they can quite literally choke the life out of rivers, streams and ponds in the wild. BBC environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee reports from the river Wandle in Morden in south London.

The paper review.

Thought for the day with Rev Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London.

News International, Rupert Murdoch's media empire, is accused by the cross-part Commons Culture Committee of obfuscation, "collective amnesia" and of trying to conceal the truth about the extent of illegal phone hacking by its newspapers. In response, the group says that the committee has damaged the select committee system. The chairman, Conservative MP John Whittingdale, reacts to News International's criticism that his committee has "violated public trust".

Most new jobs in this country over the last decade have gone to foreign workers. But what does this actually mean? Th Today programme has been involved in a small television-style life swap experiment in the old market town of Wisbech, not far from Peterborough, where a dozen unemployed people were put into jobs currently taken by foreign migrants for a couple of days to see how they got on. Economist Philippe Legrain and Frank Field MP debate the impact of immigrant workers on UK society.

The chancellor, Alistair Darling, has been frank in comments he has made about the "forces of hell" being unleashed against him by briefers operating on behalf of Downing Street, after he predicted in 2008 that we were facing the worst recession for 60 years. The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, analyses Mr Darling's latest comments.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

An investigation by this programme has found that girls have become involved in gang violence: both by helping to perpetrate it and also as its victims. Crime and policing minister David Hanson explains government proposals to stop young women from joining gangs.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The Congolese army claims that within the next three months it will have defeated one of Congo's most notorious militia groups. Could this finally signal an end to much of the terrible violence that has long plagued eastern Congo? Our Correspondent Mike Thomson has the third in his series of reports from the country.

How much would you pay for a Dalek? A couple of them have rolled up at Bonham's auction rooms in London for a sale of Doctor Who memorabilia today. Stephanie Connell, Bonham's expert in entertainment memorabilia, assesses the value of these unusual items.

The Nigerian media are reporting the return of the country's ill President Umaru Yar'Adua. President Yar'Adua has been severely ill and out of the country for three months for medical treatment. Caroline Duffield, the BBC's correspondent in Abuja, reports on public scepticism about their leader's health.

There is to be an theme song for the London 2012 Olympics. Mark Pemberton, director of the Association of British Orchestras, and the writer Sarfraz Manzoor debate what kind of song the event should have.



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