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Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Today: Wednesday 23rd March

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to cut income tax for millions of people when he announces his budget later today. Also on the programme, officials in Tokyo say unsafe levels of radioactivity have been found in the city's tap water.

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Business news with Adam Shaw: Francesca Lagerberg, head of tax at Accountants Grant Thornton, outlines what she thinks of George Osborne's Budget plan. Mike Grunza, executive Site Leader at GE Aviation, examines how his business may be affected by the cuts. Max King reflects on the markets. And, Kevin Dunning, Portugal analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, discusses Portugal's austerity measures.

What kind of Pakistan did its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah want? Today, Pakistan is celebrating its national day and thousands of people have been visiting Jinnah's tomb to lay wreaths. Our reporter Zubeida Malik has been finding out more about Jinnah and his legacy.

Colonel Gaddafi's forces are said to be continuing to attack the Libyan coastal city of Misrata. Although air-strikes have rescued civilians and rebels from defeat, they are struggling to use it to make any gains. A doctor in the city describes the latest situation on the ground, something which the BBC is unable to verify independently.

Chancellor George Osborne's Budget is expected to include a £250 million package designed to help 10,000 first-time buyers to purchase a newly-built flat or house. Richard Capie, deputy CEO of the Chartered Institute of Housing, explains why he hopes for a "triple boost" for the building sector. 0717
More than 9,000 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the earthquake and tsunami which struck north-eastern Japan. The BBC's Damian Grammaticas describes the search for bodies in the town of Ofunato.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

How do you make Formula 1 racing more fun? Bernie Ecclestone says there is growing support for using sprinkler systems to wet F1 tracks in order to make races more entertaining. Times columnist and former table tennis champion, Matthew Syed, examines what other sports could be enhanced to make them more fun.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Authorities in Tokyo say unsafe levels of radioactive iodine have been found in the capital's tap water. The advice is that babies should not drink the water but that levels are still low enough for adults to drink it. The BBC's Chris Hogg and Takashi Matsunaga of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs review the current situation regarding contaminated food and water.

Review of the papers.

Chancellor George Osborne has promised that today's Budget plan will focus on growth. However, our chief political correspondent Norman Smith, has been finding out that with tax rises and cuts beginning to bite, it may not be an easy message to sell, especially to the Conservative Party itself.

Thought for The Day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.

There was a fourth night of airstrikes on Libya last night. The Americans are suggesting the level of military activity should come down soon. But what happens then? Sir Michael Graydon, former chief of Britain's Air Staff and Lord Dannatt, former chief of the General Staff, discuss options for the longer-term campaign.

Much of today's Budget appears to have been leaked in advance, so is there still room for a surprise? Three of our editors: Stephanie Flanders (economics) Robert Peston (business) and Nick Robinson (politics) discuss what the chancellor is expected to say, and what the expected measures may mean for the UK.

Levels of radioactive iodine in Tokyo's tap water are so high that the city's authorities have said babies under a year old must not be given it to drink. They advice that levels are still within safe limits for older children and adults. Miho, a mother of two young children in Tokyo, expresses her concerns.

Cartoonists have been deriding the institution of marriage for hundreds of years. So with royal wedding mania in the air, the Cartoon Museum in London thought it was an opportune time to bring out its best exhibits on the subject. You can see some of the cartoons on our website. Our reporter, Nicola Stanbridge, toured the exhibition with the Guardian cartoonist, Steve Bell.

0830 Sports news with Garry Richardson.

How do you guarantee that a new film or book will be a huge success and is there any sense in returning to past classics? That is what the author Frank Cottrell Boyce is about to do with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - he's about to write a sequel to the original book. Mr Cottrell Boyce discusses sequels and his new work with our arts editor Will Gompertz.

The president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, said he would step down by January next year, but Yemeni opposition want him to leave immediately. If and when the president steps down, where does that leave US policy? Barbara Bodine, former US ambassador to the Republic of Yemen, analyses how far America can intervene in the country's future.

Politicians should admit that the current financial crisis means that health care should be rationed. That is the motion to be discussed at the British Medical Association's consultants' conference today. Its proposer, Dr Stephen Austin, and former health secretary Stephen Dorrell, debate the issue.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Less than a year ago George Osborne was pretty much an unknown quantity. What will people be saying tomorrow after his Budget? Tim Montgomerie, the editor of the blog ConservativeHome.com and Mehdi Hassan, political editor of the New Statesman, discuss the chancellor's strengths and weaknesses.



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