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Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010
Today: Saturday 27th March

British Airways cabin crew have begun a four day strike with the airline expecting minimal disruption to air passengers. And Gordon Brown is to reveal five pledges at the heart of Labour's general election campaign.

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Over 40 sailors are missing after a South Korean navy ship sank near the disputed border with North Korea. The patrol vessel, which was carrying 104 people aboard, went down after an unexplained explosion tore through its hull. Korea correspondent John Sudworth describes the search for the missing sailors.

Gordon Brown will today unveil Labour's five main policy pledges on which the party will fight the forthcoming election campaign. Political correspondent Robin Brandt previews Labour's campaign.

The paper review.

Major arts institutions have launched their fight to be spared the sweep of funding cuts to hit many areas of public life. Arts editor Will Gompertz examines whether the arts made a convincing case for funding.

The US and Russia have agreed a new nuclear arms reduction deal after months of negotiations. The treaty limits both sides to 1550 warheads, around 30% less than currently allowed. Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey comments on whether diplomatic relations between the US and Russia are improving.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

After a rocky start to his presidency, Barack Obama has succeeded in passing through his controversial health reform bill. Richard Wolfe, the British former Newsweek writer and author of Codename Renegade: The Making of Barrack Obama, examines whether the passing of the Democrats' healthcare legislation and the nuclear deal with Russia, were signs of a rebirth of the Obama presidency.

British Airways cabin crew have begun a four-day strike in the second round of action in a bitter dispute over jobs and cost cutting. Gavin Lee reports from Heathrow.

The paper review.

What percentage of the world's water is contained in a cow? This is one of the many questions asked in an Oxbridge interview and a new book, Do You Think You're Clever? attempts to set out the best answers. John Farndon, the book's author, outlines some of the more bizarre Oxbridge interview questions.

Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet.

Former prime minister Iyad Allawi has won Iraq's parliamentary elections, narrowly beating the current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. Speaking angrily on national television Mr Maliki vowed to challenge the count. Correspondent Andrew North outlines the results. Sahar Issa, an Iraqi journalist, and Dr Zuhair Al-Nahar, spokesman of the Al Dawa party in the UK, examine whether disputes over the election's credibility will threaten the new government's political stability.

Gordon Brown is today unveiling the five main policy pledges on which Labour will fight the forthcoming election campaign. They include promises on the economy, public services, and immigration. The pledges are to be launched by teams of Cabinet ministers across the country. Douglas Alexander, Labour's general election coordinator, outlines the party's policies.

Thousands of soldiers are taking part in Burma's annual Armed Forces Day parade in the capital Nay Pyi Taw, in the last parade before elections later this year. Military ruler General Than Shwe is expected to address the crowds, outlining Burma's moves towards democracy. Correspondent Alastair Leithead reports from Burma.

A compilation of music performed by two of Africa's best known musicians Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure is being hailed as a masterpiece. The album Ali And Toumani represents Mr Toure's last ever recordings before his death from cancer. Reporter Mark Coles spoke to the record's producer Nick Gold and musician Toumani Diabate about the making of the album.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Reverend Ian Paisley earlier this week announced he was standing down from politics after 40 years. Presenter John Humphrys visited Mr Paisley at his home in East Belfast, and spoke to him about his controversial career.

The paper review.

The Roman Catholic church has strongly defended Pope Benedict against allegations that he failed to take action against a priest in the United States accused of sexually abusing children. Professor Robert Gahl from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and a member of Opus Dei, gives his opinion of how the Church has dealt with abuse allegations.

As the election approaches voters are being bombarded with images of the parties' leaders as the family man, a far cry from the time when politics was a profession dominated by men who were only occasionally had a role in parenting. Authors Michael Chabon and Blake Morrison examine whether the idea of a leader who is a family man will appeal to voters.

There was outcry this week by Greenwich residents after planning permission was granted to the Olympic horse riding events to be built in Greenwich Park. Local residents are worried that one of the country's most historic parks will be blighted irreversibly by the event. Mark Camley, chief executive of Royal Parks, and Simon Jenkins, columnist for The Times, consider the importance of parks. consider the importance of parks.



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