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Page last updated at 07:36 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010
Today: Friday 19th March

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England's student loans and grants system is at "substantial" risk of being hit by delays again this year, a government watchdog has warned. And last minute talks to avert a three-day strike by British Airways cabin crew resume today.

Six social workers have been sacked by Birmingham City Council for failing to prevent the death of seven year-old Khyra Ishaq who died from starvation. Correspondent Phil Mackie outlines the case, and Hilton Dawson, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, reacts to the sackings.

The Bedouin people of Egypt have launched a campaign seeking compensation from the British government for death and injuries caused by unexploded mines left from the World War II battle of El Alamein. Since January one person has died and four seriously injured. Christian Fraser reports from Alamein.

The business news with Nick Cosgrove.

The government is being accused of dragging its feet over the publication of new guidelines for the intelligence agencies on the treatment of terrorist suspects held abroad. Gordon Brown signalled last week that the guidance would be released before a Commons debate on intelligence matters yesterday. Security correspondent Gordon Correra outlines the guidance, and Michael Mates, a senior Conservative MP on the Intelligence and Security Committee, discusses why the government delayed the report.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

England's student loans and grants system is at "substantial" risk of being hit by delays again this year, a damning report has found. The Student Loans Company (SLC) is expected to deal with twice as many applications this year, but there is no proof it can deal with demand, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). Lloyd Dean, a mature student from Somerset, discusses the problems he faced in receiving his loan, and Ralph Seymour Jackson, the SLC's chief executive, explains why the company is struggling to cope with demand.

The paper review.

Bluefin tuna is one of the world's most impressive fish and a staple of sushi boxes, but many conservationists have called for an international trade ban over fears it will become extinct. The ban has been rejected by the Doha conference on endangered species. Correspondent Paul Henley investigates whether the bluefin could become extinct.

Thought for the day with Reverend Joel Edwards, international director of Micah Challenge.

Kai Eide, the Norwegian diplomat sent to Afghanistan by the UN in the midst of a growing crisis between Afghanistan and the international community, is leaving his role. The BBC's Lyce Doucet spoke to Mr Eide in Oslo.

Whitehall is aflutter at the prospect of a hung parliament. Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell has begun work on a manual setting out the rules for keeping the country running while a coalition deal is thrashed out. Mr O'Donnell is set to embark on a fact-finding mission to New Zealand where hung parliaments have been the norm since 1996. Correspondent Ben Wright looks back at previous hung parliaments.

Six social workers have been fired by Birmingham City Council for failing to adequately act in the case of seven year-old Khyra Ishaq, who died from starvation two years ago. More dismissals could come once a serious case review into Khyra's death is published. Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, and Colin Tucker, Birmingham Council's director of children's services, debate the problems facing the city's social services.

Lloyds Banking Group has announced it is expecting to return to profit this year following last year's £6.3bn loss. Business editor Robert Peston explains the reasons behind the predicted turnaround.

New documents and photographs detailing life among the Bloomsbury group of artists are being released by Cambridge University. The new items include a letter to historian Quentin Bell about the final disappearance of his sister-in-law, Virginia Woolf. Virginia Nicholson, Quentin Bell's daughter and author of Among the Bohemians, and Patricia McGuire, chief archivist at Cambridge University, reflect on the historical importance of the papers.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Kai Eide, the Norwegian diplomat sent to Afghanistan by the UN in the midst of a growing crisis between Afghanistan and the international community, is leaving his role. Mr Eide criticised Pakistan for arresting high ranking Taliban leaders involved in talks to open dialogue with the West. Michael Semple, former EU head of missions in Afghanistan, gives his opinion on how Pakistan's arrest of Taliban leaders affected the reconciliation process.

The business news with Nick Cosgrove.

The UK is facing some tough years in public spending terms, and even though the NHS budget has been ring-fenced by the government and opposition, there are rising health costs that will make life difficult even there. But the research group the King's Fund has set out steps to make savings without hurting patients. Health correspondent Adam Brimelow investigates a new way to provide efficient patient care.

The UK Independence Party is holding its last conference before the general election today. The party's leader, Lord Pearson, explains why he believes that the UK cannot afford EU membership.

A torrent of allegations about child abuse have rocked the Catholic church. The Most Reverend Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff, discusses whether the scandals have damaged the church's leadership.



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