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Page last updated at 07:53 GMT, Saturday, 13 November 2010
Today: Saturday 13th November

Security has been stepped up in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw amid reports the detained opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi will be freed today. And the Government is considering taking control of the way funding for every school in England is allocated which will reduce the involvement of local authorities.

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Reports today say that Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi could soon be released after years of house arrest. A BBC correspondent, who we are not naming, describes the situation in the country's main city, Rangoon.

Ministers have decided to introduce a national funding formula for schools and will publish details in the forthcoming education White Paper. The decision means local councils have less power to set priorities for schools funding and many are likely to oppose the changes. Education correspondent Gillian Hargreaves analyses the proposals.

Paper review.

A High Court judge has warned against over-reliance on testing hair for evidence of alcohol consumption. The test frequently used in family courts is relied upon when local authorities are seeking to take children into care as evidence of regular alcohol abuse. Graham Sievers, spokesman for Tricho-Tech, analyses why hair alcohol tests are not entirely reliable measurements.

The government's recent defence review has come under attack in the House of Lords. Peers lined up to condemn the proposals, arguing they were being made on a cost-cutting basis. Parliamentary correspondent Mark D'arcy reports on the debate.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The government is warning of dire consequences in Sudan, wracked by a 21-year civil war, if the internationally-agreed referendum planned for January is not properly conducted. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell examines why the vote is vital if a humanitarian disaster is going to be avoided.

Paper review.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described attacks by communist insurgents known as Naxalites in some parts of his country as the biggest internal security threat facing the nation. The Naxalites first began operating in 1967 and have gone on to infiltrate around a third of the country. BBC's Mike Thomson has been talking to a Naxalite couple who admit to taking part in the killing of dozens of policemen.

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

"If you don't need it, the NHS won't pay for it" is a new slogan adopted by the cash-strapped Surrey NHS Trust. Chairman David Clayton-Smith explains his belief that the slogan will improve the outlook for the organisation.

A momentous political event is expected to emerge in Burma today possibly within three or four hours of the release of the hugely popular opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. Aung's lawyer, Jared Genser, explains why it is expected to be a profound moment for Burma.

Senior Liberal Democrats were looking at the option of dropping their opposition to university tuition fees months before the general election, long before they negotiated the coalition deal in which a change of policy became part of the price, according to new book by the Conservative MP Rob Wilson. The BBC's Adam Fleming reports on what the book reveals about the coalition.

The weather conditions for the current season, known as a Mast Autumn, are ideal for professional cooks who go out to find natural ingredients from the countryside. Reporter Nicola Stanbridge goes on a hunt for culinary goodies with chef Rene Redzepi, whose restaurant Noma in Copenhagen has been voted the best in the world.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

A thumbnail sketch of the history of science typically begins with the ancient Greeks and Romans before leaping the best part of a thousand years to Kepler, Galileo and the birth of the Renaissance. But this "western" model overlooks the importance of science and scholarship in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages. Science correspondent Tom Feilden examines how the modern Gulf states are looking to recreate this lost heritage.

For the past century state schools have been paid for in England through local authorities. According to a story in the Financial Times this morning, that is going to change, as schools will receive funds directly and decide how to spend them. Kathy James, head of policy for the National Association of Head Teachers explains what impact this change will have on schools' spending.

The paper review.

Political opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may soon be freed after spending 15 years confined to her home while most of the world has been calling for her release. Author Justin Wintle, who has written Perfect Hostage, a book about Aung, explains how Aung is perhaps a more potent symbol in captivity than she would be as a free woman.

This week's student demonstrations in London against changes to university funding has been compared with the poll tax protests of 20 years ago. Social historian Juliet Gardiner and Lizzie Woods, who led a delegation of school pupils on poll tax demonstrations discuss the history of social protest.

As Pontin's goes into administration, the Today Programme considers whether there is a future for the British holiday camp. But in an age of cheap flights and foreign holidays is there a future for such a famous British brand? Performer Keith Harris with his duck Orville explains how he has been performing at Pontins for 40 years.

How can you tell if someone is in the habit of drinking too much alcohol? Hair tests have been typically used as in family courts to determine whether a parent should be allowed to care for their child. But now a high court judge has cast doubt on the reliability of the test. Atholl Johnston, professor of clinical pharmacology at Barts, explains the reason for the hair testing.



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