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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010
Today: Saturday 20th March

British Airways cabin crew have begun three days of strike action that will cause severe disruption to flights. And the Vatican is due to publish a letter from the Pope to Irish Catholics, asking forgiveness for paedophilic abuse by priests.

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British Airways cabin crew have begun three days of strike action in a dispute over the company's decision to impose cuts in staffing levels and working conditions. Talks to avert the action collapsed yesterday afternoon. Employment correspondent Martin Shankelman explains how passengers will be affected.

Pope Benedict has written a letter of apology to Roman Catholics in Ireland for the decades of child abuse inflicted by priests on children. Victims are calling for the response to include an acknowledgement of the part played by bishops in covering up the scandal. Religious affairs correspondent Robert Piggott outlines how the Vatican has dealt with the abuse revelations.

The paper review.

A former US general, John Sheehan, has blamed the presence of gay soldiers in the Dutch army for the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. The town was under the protection of Dutch peacekeepers when Bosnian Serb forces killed 8000 Muslim men and boys. Dutch officials have rejected the claims. Sybrand Buma MP, chief whip of the Dutch Christian Democrats, reacts to general Sheehan's comments.

One of the great intellectual movements of recent decades has been the theory that financial markets are efficient, where the price of a share is the best reflection of the value of a company. But a new book, The Myth of the Rational Market, documents the rise and fall of the efficient market theory. The book's author Justin Fox, and Professor Patrick Minford from Cardiff Business School, debate whether the efficient market theory can be applied today.

Sports news with Chris Dennis.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has sent a message to mark the Iranian New Year this weekend, saying he hopes the coming year will enable Iranians to express freely their own aspirations. He pressed the case for tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme during a trip to China earlier this week. Mr Miliband explains whether his comments are a mark of support for the opposition in Iran.

The paper review.

We all have a fascination with how other people look and dress, but photographer Yvan Rodic makes a career of not just looking, but stopping the coolest people and photographing them. He describes himself as a face hunter. Today presenter Evan Davis and Mr Rodic took a stroll around London to see what faces caught the photographer's eye.

Thought for the day with Vishvapani, a member of the Western Buddhist Order.

The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has urged Eurozone governments to provide direct loans to Greece to end speculation over the future of the heavily indebted country. Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond outlines the Commission's recommendations.

The Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond will today explain how a hung parliament at Westminster would benefit Scottish independence. Mr Salmond will be speaking at the party's spring conference. The party's deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon, describes her hopes for a hung parliament.

David Cameron will today pledge to introduce a new tax on banks if his party came to power in the general election. The pledge comes as Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to endorse a global tax on banks in his budget next week. Business editor Robert Peston considers the effect of imposing a tax on banks.

Pope Benedict is to release his letter of apology to Irish Catholics following a spate of revelations of the abuse of children by clerics over a number decades. The contents of the letters will be read out at mass across Ireland this weekend. Irish novelist Colm Toibin expresses his thoughts on the scandal, and Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop in Down and Connor, comments on whether the church can move on from the crisis.

What is community spirit? The question has often vexed politicians as they search for solutions to society's problems, and has led to a renewed interest in charitable societies in the US. From John F Kennedy and Clint Eastwood to Fred Flintstone and Homer Simpson, the charitable network has many proud members. Correspondent Kevin Connolly visited the Elks lodge in Frank Sinatra's home town of Hoboken, New Jersey, to find out what brings American men together.

Sports news with Chris Dennis.

Thousands of BA cabin crews have begun a three day strike in a dispute over the company's decision to imposes cuts in staffing levels and working conditions. Claims by Unite that the company is waging war on the union have been rejected by the airline company. Unite's national officer of aviation Steve Turner, discusses what the union hopes to achieve from the strikes.

The paper review.

Demands are growing for legal drug mephedrone , also known as K-Cat and Meow Meow, to be banned after police believe it contributed to the deaths of two teenagers. Schools are now able to confiscate the drug from pupils despite it not being banned under the law. One of those adding his voice to calls for the drug to be banned is Stephen Welch, the father of a 19 year-old boy who started taking the drug in January and can now barely go a day without having a hit. Mr Welch describes his fears for his son's future.

Charity Unicef is warning that children in war-ravaged Somalia will die after it raising less than a fifth of the money needed to run its operations there last year. Correspondent Mike Thomson, who recently reported from Somalia for the Today programme, spoke to the organisation's deputy representative for the country, Hannan Suleiman, about the extent of the crisis.

The Pope is to release his letter of apology to Irish Catholics for decades of child abuse by clerics. The contents of the letters will be read out at mass across Ireland this weekend. John Cornwell, religious historian and author, and Cristina Odone, former editor of The Catholic Herald discuss whether the Pope's intervention can draw a line under the scandal.



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