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Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 07:27 UK
Today: Thursday 12th August

The United States says it is on course to withdraw its combat troops from Iraq in spite of apparent misgivings at the top of the Iraqi army. And how computers can replace sports reporters without anyone noticing.

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Business news with Adam Shaw: Charlie Parker of Citywire analyses the future of Britain's largest insurer and finance group, Prudential, in the Asian market.

US combat troops are on track to leave Iraq by the end the month. Congressman Adam Smith looks at whether the country can survive without US military support.

There are not enough secure homes for children who have committed offences, according to the education watchdog Ofsted. Ofsted's John Goldup analyses whether young offenders are given the support and education they need.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has paid $308m in compensation to individuals and businesses. Robyn Bresnahan reports on growing worries in the fishing and oil industries that some claims may be fraudulent.

Can computers do a better job than journalists? Dr Kristian Hammond, of the Intelligent Information Laboratory, looks at whether a computer armed with facts and figures from a football match can produce a passable match report.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The number of women dying from breast cancer has fallen faster in this country than anywhere else in Europe, according to a latest research. Professor Valerie Beral of Oxford University and Maggie Alexander of Breakthrough Breast Cancer discuss whether the UK's success is sustainable.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman whose sentencing to death by stoning sparked an international outcry, has apparently confessed to adultery and involvement in a murder on a state-run TV programme. BBC correspondent Jon Leyne reports on the legitimacy of the confession.

The paper review.

The most isolated pub in mainland Scotland, not even accessible by road, is up for sale. Jackie Robertson, owner of the Old Forge in Knoydart, Scotland, explains why she is "stopping pouring pints and starting drinking them".

Thought for the Day with Professor Mona Siddiqui from the University of Glasgow.

Chris Huhne and Baroness Warsi held a joint press conference yesterday to launch a joint attack on Labour. Former Conservative MP Paul Goodman and James Graham, of the Social Liberal Forum, discuss whether this is a new chapter for party politics in the age of coalition.

The United States says it is on course to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by the end of the month. Hugh Sykes reports from Baghdad on apparent misgivings at the top of the Iraqi army. Major General Tim Cross and Dr Faleh Abdul Jabar, of the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies, debate whether Obama is in danger of throwing Iraq to the wolves.

Whatever you think of the sound of disco, it was responsible for carving out a haven for black, gay and feminist society, a new book claims. Nicola Stanbridge speaks to the author, critic and historian Alice Echols about why she thinks disco's cultural significance should not be overlooked.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The UN has launched an appeal for $459m to help victims of Pakistan's flood disaster. Pakistan high commissioner to London, Wajid Hasan and Syed Adil Gillani, of Transparency International in Pakistan, discuss whether people are sceptical about sending aid to Pakistan.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The UK economy faces a "choppy recovery" over the next two years, the governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King has warned. Lord Jones gives his analysis of how British manufacturing has been coping with the speed of recovery.

Over the past couple of years, more and more people log onto the internet to look up information about their next holiday destination rather than buy guide books. Travel writer Jennifer Cox and John Duhigg, of DK travel division, discuss the future of guide books.

The coalition are criticising Labour for a "culture of excess" after it was disclosed that the Department of Communities and Local Government spent £1600 on staff massages. Justin Byrne, of recruitment company Certus Sale, debates whether massages are a cost-effective means of de-stressing staff.

Have our phones, iPods and games consoles become safety blankets for people to avoid ever being alone with their own thoughts? Author Tim Lott and Louise Chunn, of Psychologies Magazine, analyse whether the endless supply of activities and new technologies means the death of boredom.



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