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Page last updated at 08:02 GMT, Thursday, 24 November 2011
Today: Thursday 24th November

Whitehall civil servants are to take over some of the duties of immigration officials, who join next week's public sector strike. As protesters continue to occupy the streets of Egypt, the ruling military council is due to give details of how they plan to conduct next week's parliamentary elections. And also on today's programme, could the X Factor have found the next Aretha Franklin?

Business news with Simon Jack on fears that the debt crisis is starting to threaten Europe's largest economy, Germany.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out in Morocco at the beginning of the year to call on the king to cede some of his power. As Morocco prepares to go to the polls under a new constitution which will allow the electorate rather than the monarchy elect the prime minister, Aidan Lewis reports on why many of those who took to the streets previously will not be turning out to vote.

At least 30 people have been killed in the latest Egyptian protests since last weekend and hundreds injured and there has been mounting pressure on Egypt to end what the UN human rights chief has called the excessive force used by security forces against demonstrators. Wyre Davis speaks to a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria.

With public sector strikes planned for next week, travelling may prove difficult as civil servants step into services such as passport control. Deputy political editor, James Landale reports on what is rumbling in the background of Whitehall.

Business news with Simon Jack.

According to new research, Shakespeare's depiction of the physical effects of emotional distress was so realistic and insightful, and modern doctors would do well to read him. Dr Kenneth Heaton, author of the research, describes what made Shakespeare unique among his peers in making the connection between the physical and emotional.

With elections due to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, only the second in four decades, can the population hope for change in a country where up to four million may have died in the civil war? Julian Keane of the BBC World Service reports from from Kinshasa.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

Arcadia, the retail giant behind brands such as Topshop, BHS, Burtons and Miss Selfridge, has seen its pre-tax profits fall by a third in the year to the end of August. Arcadia's owner, Sir Philip Green, explains what happens next for them and Professor Jeremy Baker, retail analyst at the ESCP Business School, analyses this downward trend on the high street.

A review of the papers.

Leaked documents reveal senior England rugby union players, led by captain Lewis Moody, disputed the money the squad was to be paid at the recent world cup, leading to a senior rugby figure to say that "some players were more focused on money" than rugby. Jim White, sports columnist at the Daily Telegraph and Stephen Jones, rugby correspondent at the Sunday Times, discuss the current crisis in the England rugby camp.

Visitor numbers to Egypt have dropped by 60% following the Arab Spring revolution and with 10% of Egypt's income coming from tourism, it does not bode well for the future of the country. Kevin Connolly reports on whether the revolution is the only problem facing Egypt.

Thought for The Day with Akhandadhi Das.

There has been a 99% cut in the number of affordable homes in England funded by the the Homes and Communities Agency during the last few months as a result of the cuts announced in the government's spending review in 2010. Campbell Robb of the housing charity Shelter responds to the figures.

The government is making plans to use non-striking civil servants to cover duties at border posts during next week's public sector strike. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, outlines what the strikes hope to achieve.

X Factor has been criticised in the past for not doing much to inject creativity into the UK music industry. Last year's runner-up, Rebecca Ferguson and the Daily Telegraph's chief pop and rock music critic, Neil McCormick, discuss whether TV talent shows can produce real talent.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the lowest paid workers have suffered some of the biggest falls in their annual earnings. Postal worker Greg Charles describes how he has seen his pay fall as overtime has become more difficult to find. And Patrick Minford, professor of applied Economics at Cardiff Business School and Duncan Weldon, economist at the TUC, debate why wages are falling.

South African MPs have approved a controversial media bill despite widespread criticism that it stifles freedom of speech. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu has warned this could be used to outlaw whistle-blowing and investigative journalism. Professor Kobus Van Rooyen, chairman of South Africa's Broadcasting Complaints Commission, gives his take on the situation.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Bill Turnbull was one of the pioneers of abstract art in Britain, a friend of Rothko and at the time his works provoked, in some, scorn and anger. A film about his life has premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the BBC's David Sillito went to meet him.

As George Osborne prepares to make his Autumn statement, there's a growing clamour for more measures to improve growth, with ministers unveiling a host of new policies including the indemnity scheme to back 95%, a deregulation of employment law and more on youth jobs. Chief political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue reports on how some Tory backbenches are worried that it does not add up to a coherent strategy.

Nick Clegg will today order an investigation into claims that aspiring black and ethnic minority businesspeople find it harder than white entrepreneurs to obtain bank loans and are then charged higher rates if they succeed. Asian businessman Virraj Jatania reflects on his experience.

When public sector workers strike next week, and schools may be disrupted, it has been suggested that people who are working should be encouraged to take their children to work, an idea supported by David Cameron. Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who made the suggestion at prime minister's questions, and Tim Dowling of The Guardian debate if it is a good idea.



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