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Page last updated at 07:06 GMT, Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Today: Tuesday 7th February

The Home Office is considering further legal action after a judge ruled that radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada should be freed from prison. Russia is to hold talks with President Assad of Syria, after vetoing a UN Security Council resolution aimed at ending the violence. And, can some yoga poses really lead to death?

Business news with Simon Jack on the merger between mining giant Xstrata and trading house Glencore.

Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has called for a tax on bankers' bonuses, is to lead a House of Commons vote on the issue. Peter Hahn, of the Cass Business School, and John Cridland, of the CBI, discuss the current state of executive pay and the difference between performance-related bonuses, profit sharing and incentive payments.

Radical cleric Abu Qatada is to be released on bail weeks after the European Court of Human Rights blocked his deportation to Jordan. The BBC's home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani reports.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Last summer, the leader of the French far right, Jean-Marie Le Pen, stood aside, handing the leadership of his party to his youngest daughter Marine. Less controversial and more personable, she is winning support on all sides in France. From Abbeville in northern France, Christian Fraser reports on increasing concerns among liberal French liberals that the Front National could yet again reach the second round of the presidential election.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Government legal officers have decided not to take legal action against footballer Joey Barton, who said last week that he would "be a martyr" over contempt and publish his views on John Terry's alleged racism. The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, explains his views on the issue of contempt of court in the age of social networks. as well as the government'sdecision to release the radical Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada.

A look at the papers.

Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago today. Sanchia Berg went on a tour of Highgate Cemetery in London, where the author's relatives are buried, guided by the actor Simon Callow as well as Dickens' great-great-grandson Mark.

Thought for the day with Lord Singh, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisation.

Friends and relatives of people suffering in Syria and who are fighting the regime have been protesting outside the Syrian Embassy in London. Today reporter Nicola Stanbridge heard from some of them. And the BBC's middle east editor Jeremy Bowen explains why, from President Assad's point of view, things are "looking pretty good" at the moment.

In the next few days, radical cleric Abu Qatada will be freed from jail after the European Court of Human Rights blocked his deportation to Jordan. The BBC's Gordon Corera has the latest. David Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, and Hazel Blears, the former counter-terrorism and security minister, debate if the right decision was made.

As poets and nature-lovers the world over could tell you: Birdsong is good for the soul. Whether it's a blackbird trilling good morning, or a skylark singing from over a country field. So it may be surprising to hear there is actually no empirical evidence to support the assertion that birdsong lifts the spirits. But, as Tom Feilden reports, that could be about to change.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

A group of academics and authors has written to the Telegraph to criticise the "schoolification" of early childhood, suggesting instead there should be more focus on imagination, play and physical development. One of the signatories, Sue Palmer, who wrote Toxic Childhood, explains her concerns about the emphasis on teaching children to write before the age of five.

One of the richest men in Switzerland, Ivan Glasenberg, is about to become even richer with the merger of Glencore with a mining company called Xstrata in a deal is worth £57bn. The BBC's business editor Robert Peston has more details on the creation of GlencoreXtrata Incorporated.

Around 6,000 prisoners in England and Wales are serving what are known as indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP), a system which the government is about to abolish. The BBC's June Kelly reports on the Lords debate due this evening where there will be questions about serving IPP prisoners who are now said to be caught in a legal limbo.

Business news with Simon Jack. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has concluded that extended warranties on items such as washing machines are not a good deal. Dan Moore, project director at the OFT, says that although there have been improvements, consumers are not getting good value for money when buying extended warranties.

The New York Times' science writer William J Broad's latest book, which examines the science behind claims for the benefits of yoga, has caused quite a stir among yoga practitioners, with claims of some very serious negative effects. Pierre Bibby, chief executive of the British Wheel of Yoga, and William Broad discuss the benefits and dangers of yoga.

Rehearsals start in the next couple of weeks on Swindon: The Opera. The cast will be made up of amateurs from the local area, after auditions took place at the weekend. Librettist Matt Fox explains there is a "huge amount" of culture going on in Swindon and they want to show that to the public.

It is 200 years to the day since Charles Dickens was born, and to mark the occasion, actor Simon Callow reads an extract from The Pickwick Papers.


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