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Page last updated at 06:35 GMT, Wednesday, 3 August 2011 07:35 UK
Today: Wednesday 3rd August

MPs say defence cuts could leave the armed forces unable to deliver what they are asked to do. NHS chiefs in England have been urged to abandon a multi-billion pound computer project described as "unworkable". Also on today's programme, the story of the thousands of Irish soldiers punished for choosing to fight fascism.

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Business news with Dominic Laurie, on Washington's debt deal, the UK's growth forecast and changes to copyright law. Download the podcast

A damning verdict has been delivered by a committee of MPs on the NHS's attempt in England to computerise patients' records. Richard Bacon, a member of he Public Accounts Committee, explains its concerns.

India's print industry has more than doubled in size in the past six years. Rajini Vaidyanathan reports from Chennai on why rising circulation and readership of newspapers in India are predicted to continue.

Syrian dissidents in the US have held talks with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging the Obama administration to call on the Syrian president to step down immediately. Syrian-American academic Marah Bukai, who took part in the talks, describes their discussion.

Birds across Britain appear to be catching avian pox, which has been affecting sparrows and wood pigeons and is now causing ill-health in other species. Becki Lawson of the Zoological Society of London explains why the spread could be a serious concern.

Business news with Dominic Laurie.

Resigning from a job is something many people consider, but very few actually do. David Morrison previews his BBC Four programme, My Resignation, which talks to people, famous and not so famous, who have resigned.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

Memories of the Tahrir Square protests will be re-ignited in Egypt today as its former president, Hosni Mubarak, faces trial in Cairo, along with his two sons and others from his regime. The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson reflects on the change occurring in the Arab world. And Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, political science professor in Cairo, describes the important moment for Egypt.

Paper review.

Northern Rock, the bank that went into temporary public ownership in 2008 and has been split into two businesses, has just announced its half year results showing underlying losses of £78.8 million in the six months to June. Business editor Robert Peston examines the figures and explains why they are not necessarily a disaster for taxpayers.

The Republic of Ireland was neutral in World War II, but 5,000 of its Irish soldiers deserted their regiments to fight with Britain and the other allies, and were court-martialled after the war. Robert Widders, author of Spitting on a Soldiers Grave, explains what he calls the "unconstitutional" and "vindictive" response of the Irish government.

Thought for the day with Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations.

The amount that the Italian and Spanish governments have to pay to borrow on the financial markets has jumped to levels near those reached by Greece, Ireland and Portugal when they needed bailing out. Former Italian prime minister Lamberto Dini examines the region's rising debt.

An influential committee of MPs has rejected the prime minister's assurance that Britain retains a full spectrum of defence capability, and is warning that cuts to the armed forces risk failing the country's military. James Arbuthnot, chair of the Defence Select Committee explains the need to improve defence funding to meet the UK's commitments. And Nick Harvey, minister of state for the armed forces, reflects on the importance of strategic security.

A film about the body double of Saddam Hussein's son Uday opens in cinemas later this month, adapted from the book by the real man, Latif Yahia, who lived for years with Saddam Hussein's family in Iraq. Mr Yahia was in London for the British premiere this week and spoke to Nicola Stanbridge.

Sports news with Jonathan Legard.

The electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which produces iPhones, is planning to significantly increase its use of robots in its Chinese factories. Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at Sheffield University, and David Rowan, editor of Wired magazine, discuss the impact on staff.

Two million employment records of British railway workers between 1833 and 1963 are being put online today. Tony Robinson, actor, historian and presenter of Time Team, explains why the news is more exciting than it seems.

Business news with Dominic Laurie.

Sir Ian McKellen is joining a long list of top actors who have played a mafia don as he takes on the role of Godfather Don Antonio in Eduardo De Filippo's The Syndicate, opening at Chichester Festival Theatre. David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, reflects on the attraction of playing an Italian crime boss.

The former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has arrived in Cairo to stand trial over charges of corruption and ordering the killings of hundreds of demonstrators. Jon Leyne reports from outside the court house.

Does the future of foreign policy lie in soft, as opposed to, hard power, or conventional military might? Professor Malcolm Chalmers, research director at the Royal United Service Institute, and Professor Paul Cornish of Chatham House debate how useful the "power of ideas" would be for British defence.



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