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Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2011
Today: Thursday 13th January

President Obama has called on US citizens to avoid assigning blame, as he paid tribute to the victims of the Arizona shootings. The compulsory retirement age will be phased out from April. Also in the programme, can making written information almost illegible make it more memorable?

To speed up the loading time for this running order, we have replaced the audio with links. To hear the reports, interviews and discussions, just click on the links.

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Business news with Adam Shaw.

The biggest provider of abortions in Britain is taking legal action to allow women to complete an abortion at home, using a course of pills. Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, responds to the news that some outraged members of government will oppose the move.

The fact that the Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was a target in Saturday's Arizona shootings has led to accusations from the left that the political rhetoric used by the right was in some way responsible, a charge Sarah Palin has called a "blood libel". North America editor Mark Mardell reports on the atmosphere at a memorial service in Tucson where President Obama spoke about the tragedy.

From April, the government will start to phase out the compulsory retirement age of 65. Dr Ros Altman, director general of Saga, examines the benefits of letting people work longer if they want to.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

A reports has warned that pressure to recycle more and more waste is leading to a focus on quantity not quality. Jonathan Davies, a waste management expert from the Institution of Civil Engineers, that commissioned the report, explains how an increasing amount of paper, glass and plastics are ending up in landfill.

The storm waters in the Australian city of Brisbane have peaked at a metre lower than expected. The BBC's Nick Bryant reports on what appears to be good news for the city's residents.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

The government has announced plans to cut back the help it gives in establishing child maintenance payments for divorcing couples, arguing that leaving it to parents will produce a better outcome for children. Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller discusses whether reducing the running cost of the existing £460m system is really the right move.

The paper review.

The roots and continuing evolution of the English language, most lately the language of sport, is the subject of a major exhibition and series of events at the British Library. Sports correspondent Tim Franks investigated how things have changed.

Thought for the Day with the writer Rhidian Brook.

The base rate of interest has remained at 0.5% since March 2009, and today it is expected to be announced that the figure will not rise for the next month, despite a rise in inflation to well above the 2% target. Former MPC members Professor Charles Goodhart and Willem Buiter debate whether the Bank of England should increase interest rates.

From April, employers will no longer be able to force you to retire at the age of 65. Employment relations minister Ed Davey examines the consequences of the shift in working life.

Did you ever have an imaginary friend, and would you ever admit to having one now? Dr Karen Majors of the Community Psychology Service in Barking and Dagenham and has been looking into this issue, and discusses with children's author Lauren Child, just how important imaginary friends can be.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Manchester City Council has announced plans to cut 17% of its workforce. Colin Talbot, professor of public policy at Manchester Business School, assesses whether this is a surprise.

With peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians suspended, do the current crop of Israeli and Palestinian leaders have what it takes to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions? Middle East correspondent Wyre Davies reports on how they compare to the famously controversial "strongman" of Israeli politics, Ariel Sharon.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

President Barack Obama has attended the memorial service for victims of the Arizona shootings, and has delivered what many Americans are saying was a powerful address. David Frum, the former speechwriter for President Bush, and Stanley Blumenthal, who advised President Clinton, consider the political impact of the speech.

New scientific research reveals that students learn better when learning is made harder, specifically when using a font that is more challenging to read. Neuroscience blogger Jonah Lehrer discusses his own gut feeling that we remember ugly fonts much more easily.

A stupendous collision in the Asteroid Belt 470 million years ago, whose debris bombarded the Earth with meteorites of all sizes, may have been responsible for the single greatest increase in biological diversity since the origin of complex life, according to new research. Dr Ted Nield, author of a new book on the Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event, explains why humankind should be thankful for meteorites.



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