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Page last updated at 06:36 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 07:36 UK
Today: Thursday 19th August

A-level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland get their results today, with the competition for university places more intense than ever. And what happened when Evan Davis took a spin in a Spitfire?

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Business news with Steve Evans: Chief executive of Poundland Jim McCarthy talks about the company's big expansion plans.

The Spitfire has managed to maintain its iconic status, seventy years after it made its name in the Battle of Britain. Evan Davis visited Duxford airfield to find out how the fighter planes are being restored to their former glory.

The last US combat brigade based in Iraq has left the country, more than seven years after the invasion. Hugh Sykes reports on how Iraqis perceive the withdrawal.

The charity Catholic Care has lost its campaign to restrict its adoption services to heterosexual couples. Charity Commission's Andrew Hind discusses the court order which has forced the charity to re-think their policies.

Thousands of students are getting their A-level results today in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. BBC education correspondent Gillian Hargreaves analyses why politicians have not done more to reform the exams, considering the constant questioning of their viability.

Business news with Steve Evans.

A new collection on Victorian workhouses has been launched by the National Archives. Paul Carter, of the archives, discusses what it tells us about the nineteenth century welfare system.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.

A report by Ofcom has revealed that almost half of our waking hours are spent watching TV or using communications gadgets. Ofcom's Peter Phillips discusses the company's findings and Steven Rose, neuroscientist at the Open University, analyses whether so much entertainment is harmful.

The paper review.

The funeral of the former Scottish trade union activist, Jimmy Reid, will be held today. BBC reporter Nicola Stanbridge visited him in 2007 to talk about his early memories of strikes and shipbuilding.

The thought for the day with the Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian.

The United Nations has declared today World Humanitarian Day. International peace worker Malcolm Harper and Dr Randolph Kent, who served with the UN in several countries, analyse the effectiveness of the UN.

Students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be getting their A-level results today. President of the Electrical Contractors Association Diane Johnson, Aaron Porter, of the National Union of Students and entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe debate whether there is too much emphasis on academic achievement.

Can the modern generation imagine what it was life to fly a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain. Evan Davis takes to the skies in a restored Spitfire to find out.

There is a real shortage of kidney donors in the UK, with 7000 people waiting for a transplant. Professor Andrew Bradley explains new research in the Lancet which suggests that kidneys currently considered unsuitable for donation could in fact be good enough to use.

Two weeks ahead of schedule, the last US combat brigade based in Iraq started leaving the country last night. One US soldier was particularly vocal in his reaction to the withdrawal.

The sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The BBC has learned that the doctor who carried out the first post mortem into the death of Ian Tomlinson should not have been on the Home Office Register of accredited forensic pathologists at the time. Reporter Simon Cox explains why Dr Freddy Patel should not have carried out the post mortem. Professor of pathology Sebastian Lucas describes the system of forensic pathologist accreditation.

Has Asterix the Gaul defected to the US? French journalist Benedicte Paviot looks at what the French think about McDonald's using one of their cultural icons in a burger advert.

A-level students are receiving their results across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Higher education minister David Willetts discusses whether the qualification tells universities enough about the students' level of achievement.

Business news with Steve Evans.

Dead seals have been found washed up on Scotland's east coast with a mysterious smooth-edged, corkscrew cut, starting at the head and spiralling around the body. Callan Duck of the Sea Mammal Research Unit analyses what might be causing the deaths.

Bob Harris is marking 40 years to the day since he started broadcasting on BBC Radio One. Justin Webb talks to him about the highlights of his long career.



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