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Page last updated at 06:49 GMT, Friday, 24 February 2012
Today: Friday 24th February

An international conference will today call for Syria to agree an immediate ceasefire to allow humanitarian supplies to reach civilians. How to have a tax on mansions without calling it a mansion tax. And the Labour MP, Eric Joyce, has been charged with three counts of common assault after an incident at a bar in the House of Commons.

We are no longer providing clips of every part of the programme but you will be able to listen via the BBC iPlayer .

Business news with Lesley Curwen.


Foreign Ministers and representatives from some 70 countries and organisations are to gather in the Tunisian capital for the inaugural meeting of the "Friends of Syria". Correspondent Jim Muir reports on the state of the conflict from Beirut. Richard Murphy, who was US ambassador to Syria during the 1970s, gives his assessment of the situation.

One month ahead of the Budget, discussions are taking place about whether to introduce new property taxes. Local government expert Professor Tony Travers looks at how new taxes might work.

The business news with Lesley Curwen.

Hundreds of Free Schools Groups set up by parents, teachers and local communities across the country, are submitting applications to the Department for Education to set up new local schools that would open from September 2013. Rachel Wolf, founder and director of the New Schools Network, examines the implications.

Today is the anniversary of the death of John Keats. It is 191 years since the English romantic poet died in Rome of tuberculosis. But a hundred years ago the house on the Spanish Steps where he died was turned into a literary shrine and museum commemorating him. Rome Correspondent David Willey joined a small group of literary pilgrims commemorating Keats and his fellow poet Shelley, who are buried side-by-side in the Protestant cemetery in Rome.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

Lloyds Banking Group

made a loss of £3.5bn for the year to 31 December after setting aside £3.2bn to cover payment protection insurance claims. Business editor Robert Peston analyses the results.

Paper review.

Australia's famous dingo baby case

is being re-opened yet again to try and put to rest the case of the baby that vanished in the outback in 1980. ABC news presenter Tony Eastley explains.

Thought for the day with the Bishop Tom Butler.


"Made in America" is a phrase that has come easily to President Obama's lips in recent weeks, as he pushes for growth in the US manufacturing sector. North America editor Mark Mardell reports on whether the rhetoric fits with the reality of US industry.


Employment Minister Chris Grayling has defended the government's work experience scheme, which he says is coming under attack on the internet by an organisation that is "a front for the Socialist Workers' Party".


The clamour for tax cuts to stimulate the economy has gathered steam this week, a full month ahead of the Budget. But could extra taxes on high-value property be used to pay for them? Politicial editor Nick Robinson, Conservative MP Mark Reckless and Stephen Greenhalgh, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, debate what could be done.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Exams boards are being ordered to tighten up GCSEs in four subjects, amid fears that it was becoming easier for pupils to pass. Exams regulator Ofqual announced that it is making changes to GCSEs in English literature, maths, history and geography to ensure that students study the whole curriculum. Glenys Stacey, Chief Executive of Ofqual, explains her intentions.


Can the euro survive in anything like its present form? A conference of bankers and economists organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs, were told "no" yesterday, by Thomas Mayer, the chief economist of one of Europe's biggest banks, Deutsche Bank. He explains his analysis of the Eurozone economy.


From Monday, a new design of bus, echoing the classic open-platform Routemaster, starts operating on the streets of London. Today presenter Evan Davis went for a ride on one, with the vehicle's designer, Thomas Heatherwick.

Business news with Lesley Curwen.

The world's oldest surviving clipper ship, The City of Adelaide, is about to make its last voyage - not under its own sails, but in a huge steel cradle on a modern ship. It is being taken from its present home in Scotland to its new home in South Australia. Huw Williams reports from the quayside at the Maritime Museum in Ayrshire.


Nearly three quarters of children taken into care are separated from their siblings, according a Children's Care Monitor report for Ofsted. The report has also highlighted concerns about children being moved to new placements with little warning, and with the education and employment prospects for those leaving care. However 88% of those questioned thought their current care overall was good or very good. Roger Morgan, Ofsted Children's Rights Director and author of the Children's Care Monitor annual report, explains the findings.



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