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Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010
Thursday 25th February

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The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced losses of £3.6bn. The Director of Public Prosecutions is setting out new guidance on assisted suicide. We revisit a young mother in Congo who has rebuild her life thanks to help of our listeners. And why is the British Library trying to preserve defunct websites?

The Royal Bank of Scotland has just announced its results for 2009. In 2008 the bank lost more than £24bn. That was a UK record. Last year the position had improved however the loss announced in the last few minutes is reaching £3.6bn. Stephen Hester, the CEO of the RBS, comments on the latest figures.

President Obama is holding an innovative meeting today to try to settle the course of health care reform in the United States. With his Democrats no longer enjoying a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, he needs a deal. So he has invited Republicans to join Democrats at a discussion chaired by him, that will be on live television. He says he wants ideas from both parties, but the Republicans smell a trap and are not in a cooperative mood. The BBC's North America Editor, Mark Mardell, explains why.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The only man jailed for the 1998 Omagh bombing, and then released on appeal, has been cleared of all charges after a retrial in Dublin. The Special Criminal Court, sitting without a jury, decided that Colm Murphy from County Louth had no case to answer. The Irish police, the Gardai, were strongly criticised by the judge, who said their evidence was inadmissable. The Democratic Unionist MP for Lagan Valley Jeffrey Donaldson says he fears that the families of the 29 people who died may never see anyone convicted for the crime.

It has emerged that a British destroyer made contact with a warship off the Falklands last month. The MOD says the contact was friendly, an exchange of radio messages and the ships carried on with their business. But the Argentinian government is still pursuing its effort to reignite the issue of the future of the Falklands following its protests about oil drilling off the coast of the Islands. Argentina's foreign minister Jorge Taiana has now formally asked the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon to bring the UK into talks on the question. BBC correspondent Mathew Price at the UN explains the latest initiative from Argentina.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

In 2007 Zawadi Mongane, a young mother from a village near Bukavu, told BBC correspondent Mike Thomson how she had been abducted by the FDLR militia. Over the days that followed all but two out of 50 people taken were slaughtered and Zawadi was made to hang her own baby. The following year, Mike Thomson went back to Congo to see how she was recovering. The report that followed, which revealed that a still very traumatised Zawadi was facing eviction from her home, inspired an almost unprecedented wave of generosity from listeners to this programme. Donations flooded in to help her. In the fourth report in his series from the Congo Mike Thomson has been back to see how Zawadi is now.

The paper review.

The British Library is trying to preserve defunct websites before they disappear. Disused websites from former MPs, old campaigns, and bankrupt businesses are to be kept for historians of the future. Dame Lynn Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, explains the reasons behind the move.

Thought for the day with Dom Antony Sutch, a Benedictine monk.

New guidance will be published today on when a prosecution for assisting a suicide should be brought in England and Wales. The move towards greater clarity was begun by Debbie Purdy, an MS sufferer from West Yorkshire who took her case to the House Lords. She wanted to know whether her husband would be prosecuted if he helped her go abroad to end her life. The Law Lords decided that it was right for the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer to put in writing the factors he considered important in these cases. Mr Starmer comments on the content of the new guidance on assisted suicide law.

A "new economic model" needs to begin immediately and can't wait until next year, according to George Osborne who gave the Mais Lecture at the Cass Business School last night. During the talk he addressed the question that will be at the heart of the election campaign: the state of the public finances and the Conservative response to the scale of the public debt. Mr Osborne outlines his party's plans to reduce the public deficit.

A book by the 90 year-old war war veteran Alistair Urquhart describes his experiences of suffering in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. He was forced to work on the construction of the notorious bridge on the River Kwai, survived the sinking of a notorious prison ship and witnessed the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has taken aim at the new president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy at the European Parliament. BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond has the details.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

What is the long-term plan in Afghanistan? Mark Sedwill, the former British ambassador to the country, now Nato's senior civilian representative there, outlines the alliance's long-term strategy.

Full guidance will be published today on when a prosecution for assisting a suicide should be brought in England and Wales. The former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, is one of the prominent voices warning against a permissive attitude.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

An experienced whale trainer at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida, has been killed by a killer whale during a demonstration for tourists. Andy Gallacher, the BBC correspondent in Florida, describes what seems to have happened.

A report into the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust has concluded that staff provided poor care because managers were pre-occupied with government targets and cost cutting. Nigel Edwards, director of public policy at the NHS Confederation in England, discusses what should happen to NHS managers when they fail in their work.

A film called Fair Play has its premiere in London tonight, telling the story of the sporting boycotts of South Africa organised by the campaigns around the world to try to bring the apartheid regime to an end. We talk to a former South African cricket captain Dr Ali Bacher and Trevor Richards who founded the Halt All Racist Tours movement in New Zealand 40 years ago.



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