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Page last updated at 06:26 GMT, Thursday, 31 March 2011 07:26 UK
Today: Thursday 31st March

Labour leader Ed Miliband will today launch his party's campaign for May's local elections in England. Libya's foreign minister, Mousa Kousa, has flown to Britain after apparently defecting from Colonel Gaddafi's regime. It is thought that up to £30bn more will be needed for the Irish Republic to resolve its banking crisis.

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Business news with Adam Shaw. Patrick Armstrong, from Distinction Asset Management, on the Irish banking crises. And aerospace and defence analyst Sandy Morris on the retirement of Rolls Royce chief exec Sir John Rose.

The Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa has resigned and fled to Britain, saying he is no longer prepared to represent his country's regime. World affairs editor John Simpson reports from Tripoli.

What is happening in the coastal road in the east of Libya? This area has witnessed a fast moving battle line in recent weeks. Correspondent Christian Fraser travelled out from the city of Benghazi in search of the new front line.

An report based in inspections before the New Year's Eve riot has found drugs and alcohol were being regularly smuggled in to Ford Open Prison in West Sussex. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick outlines the key concerns.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is launching his party's campaign for May's local elections in England. Chief political correspondent Norman Smith went to Gravesend in Kent to find out if Mr Miliband's criticisms of the coalition's cuts is winning back voters in the south of England.

The RSPB has revealed the results from this year's Big Garden Birdwatch, revealing that some smaller birds who often suffer through cold winters have increased. RSPB spokesperson Gemma Butlin explains the findings.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

Ireland's central bank is expected to announce that around another £30bn needs to be injected into the capital reserves of the country's stricken banks. As business editor Robert Peston reports, the entire Irish banking sector could now be nationalised. Fintan O'Toole, writer at the Irish Times, analyses if the bailout is sustainable.

The paper review.

Twelve 17th century Spanish paintings in the residence of the Bishop of Durham that were to be sold by the Church of England have been saved, and will be the centre of a new arts and heritage centre in the north-east. Robert McManners of the Bishop Auckland Civic Society explains the importance of the £15m purchase by a wealthy investor.

Thought for the Day with Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Moussa Koussa has resigned his position as Libya's foreign minister and has arrived in the UK. Should Britain accept a man such with a murky history? Oliver Miles, former British ambassador in Tripoli and former foreign secretary Jack Straw analyse Mr Koussa's value to the UK.

The Labour Party is launching its English local election campaign. Its leader Ed Miliband explains his thinking on cuts, deficit reduction, council tax and marriage.

Scientists are meeting in Rome today to decide which country should host the headquarters for the biggest radio telescope ever built. The Square Kilometre Array is astronomy's answer to the Large Hadron Collider, and is a multi-billion euro project that aims to dramatically improve our understanding of the universe. Correspondent Tom Feilden investigates.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

Grandparents are to be given access rights to children of divorcing parents. David Norgrove, who chairs the Family Justice review panel, discusses the move.

Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad has made a speech promising to defeat what he called an outside "plot" against the country. Human rights groups have estimated that more than 60 people have been killed in violent protests in the country in the last few weeks. Correspondent Lina Sinjab reports from the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

In Japan, officials are reassessing the country's handling of natural disasters. Japan correspondent Roland Buerk reports.

The author Monica Ali's new book Untold Story is inspired by the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. Nearly 14 years after her death, Diana retains an iconic status in the imagination of the British public. The author and Jean Seaton, professor of media history at the University of Westminster, debate Diana's legacy.



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