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Page last updated at 07:11 GMT, Friday, 18 March 2011
Today: Friday 18th March

The United Nations has given its backing to military action against Colonel Gaddafi - clearing the way for air strikes and a no fly zone to protect Libyan civilians. Also in today's programme, we ask what it takes to make a Russian laugh.

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 Dominic Laurie: G7 nations have agreed to intervene in the currency markets to help the yen. James Bevan, chief investment officer at CCLA analyses the decision. And our Friday boss is Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors, the brewer of Carling lager. Download the podcast

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital in London is fighting a decision to close its children's heart surgery unit, by applying for judicial review. Dr Joan LaRovere, director of paediatric intensive care at the hospital, argues why it should not be closed.

The UN has given its backing to "all necessary measures", short of an invasion, to protect civilians in Libya. Ibrahim Dabbashi, the Libyan deputy envoy to the UN and one of the officials who have broken with Colonel Gaddafi to support the opposition, discusses whether the balance of power has shifted back in favour of the rebels.

The British search and rescue team is pulling out of Japan as hopes fade of finding survivors. Rachel Harvey reports from what was once a fishing village on the east coast.

Business news with Dominic Laurie.

Research has shown that we are living longer, even though the population is becoming more obese. Professor David Leon of the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wrote the report and discusses the findings.

The head of the UN human rights commission has called on the rulers of Bahrain to rein in their forces. Jamal Fakhro, vice chairman of Bahrain's Shura council - the country's upper house - discusses what is going on in the country.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) , who just broke up a massive international paedophile ring, is to be closed and absorbed into a new national crime agency. Its CEO resigned over the decision. Peter Davies, the new chief executive, explains why the merger is necessary.

David Cameron is on the verge of putting British forces in harms way in a new conflict after the passage of a UN resolution on Libya. Nick Robinson analyses the political consequences for the prime minister.

Paper review.

The latest developments in the neuroscience of mental health are to be presented later in a fully interactive musical extravaganza involving the audience, patients suffering from bi-polar disorder, medical staff and research scientists. Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports.

Thought for The Day with the writer Rhidian Brook.

Emergency workers are battling to cool and restore power to reactors at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant but say progress is slow. Correspondent Roland Buerk in Tokyo reports on whether Japan's nuclear fears have been quietened, and the BBC World Service's Olexiy Solohubenko, who worked at Kiev Radio during the Chernobyl disaster, looks back at that emergency.

UK forces are preparing to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya after the UN backed "all necessary measures", short of an invasion, to protect civilians. Ian Pannell reports on the reaction in Benghazi. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former UK Ambassador to the United Nations, and Colonel Bob Stewart, who spoke to the House of Commons yesterday, discuss what should happen next.

It has been 150 years since the unification of Italy. David Gilmour, author of the Pursuit of Italy and Carlo Ungaro, former Italian diplomat, discuss how unified Italy is today.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

David Cameron has used a speech to criticise top civil servants as enemies of enterprise. Times columnist Philip Collins, a former advisor to Tony Blair, and Sir Richard Mottram, former civil service permanent secretary, debate whether the prime minister is brave or foolish to take on the civil service.

The risk of a terrible nuclear catastrophe in Japan appears to be declining. Cardiff University's Prof Nick Pidgeon discusses whether we overreact when things go wrong at nuclear plants.

Business news with Dominic Laurie

Photos from an artist and an anthropologist's three month stay in Russia are on show at a new art installation exploring Russian humour. Gabriel Gatehouse went along to find out what's so funny.

Fabio Capello doesn't seem to know who he wants to be the permanent captain of the England football team. Times journalist Alyson Rudd discusses whether it matters who wears the captain's armband.

All necessary measures short of an invasion have been given the go-ahead by the UN Security Council to protect civilians in Libya. Oliver Miles, former ambassador to Libya and deputy chair of the Libya British business council and former head of the army Lord Dannatt debate what form UK participation should take.



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