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Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Thursday, 8 March 2012
Today: Thursday 8th March

New research suggests that thousands of people with Alzheimer's could benefit from drugs even when their condition has reached an advanced stage. Syria's deputy oil minister has defected and announced he is joining the uprising against President Assad. Also on the programme, we look at South Korea to find out how much school class sizes matter.

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 Simon Jack, on the latest deadline for Greece as the country's private creditors must announce by 8pm tonight whether they will accept a massive haircut on their holdings aimed at cutting the country's debt burden.


A new study says that people with Alzheimer's disease could benefit from taking two drugs that many sufferers are being denied at the moment. Professor Robert Howard of Kings College London, lead author of the study which was published in the New England Medical Journal, outlines the main findings.

Labour MP Margaret Beckett explains her concerns over the remit of the National Security Council.

Business news with Simon Jack.


An unusual viral video is taking social media by storm which depicts the story behind Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and his brutal practice of forcing young children into war. Africa correspondent Andrew Harding reports on the documentary which has been produced for the Invisible Children charity.

Jeremy Bamber was locked up for life for murdering his parents, sister and two nephews 27 years ago, but his lawyer believes he has uncovered new evidence suggesting he is innocent. The Criminal Cases Review Commission will announce in the next few weeks whether it is referring the case back to the Court of Appeal. Home Affairs correspondent Danny Shaw reports.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


The government is due to publish a "command paper" on reforming the railway system, in response to an independent review which said costs could be cut by 30%. Transport expert Christian Wolmar and Sir Roy McNulty, who led the latest review, discuss how these savings could be made.

Paper review.


A "wanted" poster issued by Oliver Cromwell offering a reward for Charles II's capture is to be auctioned by Mullock's auction house in Shropshire. Richard Westwood-Brookes, historical documents experts at Mullock's auctions, describes how they came across the poster.

Thought for the day with Reverend Roy Jenkins, Baptist Minister in Cardiff.


Former US presidential candidate John McCain has told the Today programme that if the US does not act to stop a massacre taking place in Syria, it will have "abrogated its responsibilities". He explains the case for military intervention to James Naughtie.


New research suggests that thousands of patients in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease could benefit from two key drugs they are not currently prescribed. Angela Clayton-Turner, whose husband suffers from Alzheimer's, describes his experiences, while Dr Clare Gerada of the Royal College of General Practitioners reflects on the issues facing doctors treating patients with the disease.

For the first time ever New York played host to the Secret Policeman's Ball last weekend, which was first staged by Amnesty back in 1979. New York correspondent Matt Wells was at the event.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


Initial assessments of an explosion which killed six British soldiers in southern Afghanistan suggest it was a "very large Taliban bomb". Former foreign secretary David Miliband and Professor Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, reflect on the military situation in Afghanistan.

Business news with Simon Jack.


It has been traditionally thought that fewer pupils in a classroom means a better education but according to the OECD, it makes no difference at all whether there are 20 or 30 children in a class and larger class sizes might even be better. Lucy Williamson reports from Seoul in South Korea where larger classes have had some success.

The Cold War may be over but have we become too complacent about Russian spies? That's the question posed in a new book by Edward Lucas. Security correspondent Gordon Corera goes in search of the truth.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Royal Tour, in which the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit towns and cities across the nation, starts in Leicester today. Dr Kate Williams, historian and royal biographer, and Robert Hardman, author of Our Queen and royal correspondent for the Daily Mail, discuss whether it is important for a head of state to show themselves to the public.

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