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Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Today: Tuesday 9th March

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The Ulster Unionist Party says it will reject the final step of the Northern Ireland power-sharing deal despite an intervention by the former US president, George W Bush. And dog owners may have to take out insurance under government proposals to crack down on dangerous breeds.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is set to vote on the transfer of the powers from Westminster, a day after the Ulster Unionist Party confirmed it would reject it. The former American President, George W Bush, has telephoned David Cameron asking him to use his party's electoral pact with the UUP to persuade them to back the completion of devolution in Northern Ireland. Lord Maginnis, a senior member of the UUP, outlines his party's position on transferring justice powers to Stormont.

Plans to toughen existing laws in England and Wales to protect the public from dangerous dogs are being unveiled today. It comes in the wake of rising public concern that some irresponsible owners may be using dogs to intimidate communities, or that they are being used as weapons by gangs. Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London with responsibility for the Metropolitan Police, examines the case for changing the laws governing dangerous dogs.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

A tiny Japanese insect, Psyllid, is to be released in England in a deliberate effort to control one of the most invasive plant species in Britain, Japanese knotweed. The plant has spread across the country, undermining buildings, destroying flood defences and costing millions of pounds a year to clear up. Dr Dick Shaw, lead researcher on the project, explains the controlled introduction of a new species into the environment.

Three people who fell to their deaths from the 15th floor of a block of flats in Glasgow were members of a Russian family, it has emerged. The family came to the UK three years ago after losing an asylum claim in Canada. The Red Rose flats where they lived are regarded in Glasgow as a pretty grim place to live. Denise Mina, a crime writer who lives in Glasgow, took a walk around the flats.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

A leading organisation representing graduate employers in the UK is calling on the next government to increase tuition fees and to restrict the growth in the proportion of young people who go to university. The Association of Graduate Recruiters says attempts to get more people into higher education have driven down standards and devalued the currency of degrees. Professor Steve Smith, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter, and Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, debate whether the rising number of university graduates is devaluing degrees.

The paper review.

Middlemist's Red camelia was imported from China by an English gardener 200 years ago but there are only two examples of the flower still in existence. For the next few weeks the flower will be in full bloom at the Chiswick House gardens. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge took a stroll through the gardens.

Thought for the day with Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations.

Peter Chapman is beginning a life sentence for murdering 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall after befriending her on the internet, despite being known to police as a convicted sex offender. Home affairs editor Mark Easton outlines the case, and Chris Huhne, home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, comments on how Chapman was able commit the murder.

Plans to toughen existing laws in England and Wales to protect the public from dangerous dogs are being unveiled today. The changes come in the wake of rising public concern that some irresponsible owners may be using dogs to intimidate communities, or are being as weapons by gangs. Peter Tallack, a former Met Police dog handler who now trains police forces around the UK on how to deal with dangerous dogs, and James Beaufoy, secretary of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier club, debate whether stronger legislation will help combat the breeding of dangerous dogs.

Britons who saved the lives of Jews and other persecuted groups during the Holocaust are to be honoured for their actions, in the first recognition by the state to those civilians who undertook extraordinary acts of courage and self sacrifice, in order to help others. The award was announced last year by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on a visit to Auschwitz. Denis Avey, who was captured by the Germans and imprisoned in a camp connected to Auschwitz, describes his imprisonment in a concentration camp.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Leading members of both major parties have agreed that the UK must invest heavily in scientific research if it is to maintain its economic competitive advantage, according to a report by the Royal Society published today. It warns that the UK's current advantage is in danger of being wiped out as other countries ramp up spending in science to boost their economies. Former science minister Lord Sainsbury and former Conservative cabinet minister, Lord Waldegrave, examine the importance of scientific research on the UK's economy.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has said it will reject the devolution of policing and justice on which Northern Ireland's power-sharing government is set to vote on today. The UUP's rejection will deprive Sinn Fein and and the Democratic Unionist Party of the unanimous support they have sought. Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson defends the UUP's position on devolution.

The business news with Adam Shaw.

The murder of 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall by Peter Chapman who she met on the social networking site Facebook has resurrected fears over the safety of children using the internet. Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop), comments on social networking sites' anti-grooming measures.

Parents who want to store their babies' umbilical cord blood are being warned it should be collected only by someone who is properly licensed and trained. The UK watchdog says it is aware of at least 140 cases of unlawful collection of cord blood, including one incident which took place in a hospital car park. Dr Shaun Griffin, director of Communications at the Human Tissue Association, outlines the dangers of preserving umbilical cords without professional assistance.

Ex-England cricket captain Mike Atherton has become the first former sportsman to take the top prize at the Sports Journalism Awards which were held last night. The vocation has traditionally been a preserve of specialists in this country while in the US, great novelists such as John Updike and Hunter S Thompson have turned their hand to sports writing. John Freeman, editor of the literary journal Granta, and Matthew Engel, columnist for the Financial Times and a former editor of Wisden, contrast sports writing in the United States and the UK.



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