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Page last updated at 06:34 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 07:34 UK
Today: Friday 10th September

The government is planning to reduce the annual welfare bill by a further £4bn. A "payment-by-results" project to cut re-offending is being officially launched. And Britain takes on the French at their own game in the Petanque World Cup.

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Business news with Adam Shaw: Economist Dr Leo Drollas marks the 50th anniversary of Opec. Friday boss Steve Ridgway discusses piloting Virgin Atlantic through the crises to hit the aviation industry.

Previews start next week for the stage version of Sebastian Faulks' novel about the World War One, Birdsong. Sanchia Berg spoke to Sebastian Faulks and playwright Rachel Wagstaff about the project.

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to reduce the annual welfare bill by a further £4bn. Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell explains his criticisms of the decision.

A new scheme is being launched that will reward private companies for successfully preventing offenders on probation from committing further crimes. Home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw reports from Peterborough prison, where the scheme is being piloted.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

The latest observations from a European telescope based in Chile have found out that one of the fundamental laws of physics, the Alpha Constant, may not be constant. Science correspondent Tom Feilden spoke to professor of astrophysics, John Webb, about the research.

Most academies created in England by the last government achieved greater rates of academic improvement than the schools they replaced, according to the National Audit Office. Education advisor Sir Cyril Taylor examines the success of academy schools.

The sports news with Gary Richardson.

A US church pastor has backed away from an announcement that he has dropped plans to burn copies of the Koran in the 9/11 anniversary. North America correspondent Mark Mardell reports on the worldwide concern caused by the incident. Imam Muhammad Musri, head of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, explains his involvement in the case.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is to announce that he will stand for re-election in 2012. Political correspondent Norman Smith outlines how this decision will be received by the Conservative party.

The paper review.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that the German economy is still very fragile. Europe editor Gavin Hewitt analyses the importance of Germany's dependence on exports and the latest announcement of spending cuts.

Thought for the Day with the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

A pioneering scheme aimed at cutting re-offending is being launched today. Former Home Secretary Lord Howard debates whether he believes the project, which pays charities by results, is likely to work.

Chancellor George Osborne has announced he is planning to reduce the annual welfare bill by a further £4bn. Conservative MP Michael Fallon and Labour MP John McDonnell discuss the Chancellor's aim to target those who make a "lifestyle choice to just sit on out-of-work benefits".

Britain is to take on the French at their own game in the Petanque World Cup. BBC correspondent Tom Heap looks at how the typical French game has now gone global.

The sports news with Gary Richardson.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly has admitted using private detectives to investigate the source of press allegations against him. Former Conservative Leader of Huntingdon Council Derek Holley gives his reaction to the case.

Next month will mark the sixteenth anniversary of the first Loyalist ceasefires, in which the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force followed the IRA into a period of relative inactivity. Northern Ireland correspondent Andy Martin reports on the identity crisis faced by former loyalist paramilitaries.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A new exhibition opens at the National Army Museum exploring the turbulent history and long-lasting legacies of three important but overlooked Afghan conflicts: the First, Second and Third Afghan Wars. Curator of the exhibition Tristan Langlois and Colonel Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, discuss the conflicts.

The three Pakistan cricketers at the centre of the betting controversy are to return home later today. Mike Sergeant reports on the developing inquiry into the scandal.

Green party members are gathering in Birmingham for their first annual conference since their leader was elected to Parliament. Caroline Lucas outlines the plans for the future of the party.

A new biography of Harold Macmillan reveals that despite his emollient and polished performances, the former Prime Minister was often a bundle of nerves before Prime Minister's Questions and major speeches. Biographer DR Thorpe and former Foreign Secretary Lord Hurd discuss the myth created around the former Prime Minister.



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