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Page last updated at 05:57 GMT, Thursday, 30 June 2011 06:57 UK
Today: Thursday 30th June

Hundreds of thousands of teachers and civil servants are going on strike over changes to their pensions. Downing Street has dismissed as "unrealistic" proposals for a 5% increase in the EU budget. Also on today's programme, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are off to North America for what has been described as an historic trip.

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Business news with Adam Shaw: There has been a serious setback for London's stock exchange after it announced it had to scrap plans to merge with the Toronto stock exchange. Assistant editor at Reuters, Chris Hughes, examines how big of a blow it really is. Larry Magid, technology analyst at CNET in California, talks about why the social networking site Myspace has been sold for a fraction of the price it was purchased for six years ago. Chief executive of the British Property Federation, Liz Peace, and Stuart Fraser, chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee in the City of London, debate how to tackle the shortage of affordable housing in Britain. Download the podcast

The UN says the worst drought in 60 years has hit the Horn of Africa, causing severe malnutrition among people across the region. Mike Sunderland of Save the Children gives his assessment of the situation.

Services including job centres and courts will be hit and many schools closed as hundreds of thousands of public sector workers go on strike over pensions. North England correspondent Ed Thomas reports from a picket line in Newcastle. And chief political correspondent Norman Smith reports on the unease in some parts of the union movement.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

Women's groups in France say they have seen a huge increase in the number of women coming forward to claim sexual harassment in the wake of the arrest of former IMF leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Christian Fraser reports on why the trial appears to have lifted the lid on discussion of sexual harassment and abuse in France.

Lloyds bank, in which taxpayers have roughly a 40% stake, has announced a further 15,000 job losses. Business editor Robert Peston gives us the latest.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Unions that are taking industrial action in the next 24 hours did not manage to get most of their members to vote. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, explains his belief that these are not strong enough grounds for industrial action.

Paper review.

An estimated 200,000 people are detained in the secretive network of North Korea's prisons - tortured, abused and forced to work in conditions that approach slavery. Kim Hye Sook spent 27 years in one camp after being interned with her family when just 13-years-old. She married while detained and had two children, who all died before she finally escaped to South Korea in 2008. She told her story to Mike Thomson. This item is an extended version of the broadcast package and contains descriptions which some people may find disturbing.

Thought for the day with the Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James Piccadilly.

A new legal ruling means that police in England and Wales will have just four days to make a charge against someone, even if they are on bail. Michael Zander QC, eminent legal scholar and emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, considers the impact of the changes.

One-in-eight of Britain's six million public sector workers are expected to strike over changes to their pensions, while talks between the government and unions continue. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, outlines the unions' case. And Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude explains the government's position.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Canada and the west coast of the US this week, taking their newly-minted, modern royal brand across the Atlantic. Amanda Foreman, US-based author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, and Richard Fitzwilliam, former editor of International Who's Who and royal commentator in the UK, debate what reception the couple will get, and how it could benefit Britain.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

A third of schools in England will be affected by union strikes over pensions, with another third having to close completely. John Tolbutt, headmaster at Gabalfa Primary School in Cardiff, a member of the NASUWT union which is not striking today, explains the "difficult day" ahead for teachers.

The European Commission says it wants a 5% increase in funds for its budget between 2014 to 2020, and is proposing a Europe-wide tax on financial transactions to pay for it. Viviane Reding, vice president of the commission, responds to the UK's rejection of the plans.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

How does the public feel about the upcoming union strikes and what are the political risks? Peter Kellner, president of the polling organisation YouGov, and political editor Nick Robinson, debate how important public opinion is in driving the actions of both government and unions.



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