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Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Today: Tuesday 13th March

One of the main opponents of the Health and Social Care Bill has written to the government offering to work with it on the controversial bill. David Cameron begins a three-day visit to the US where he'll discuss the prospects of letting Afghan forces take charge of the fight against the Taliban next summer. And also on the programme, do scientists spend too much time looking at issues that will grab the media's attention?

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 a study which shows the level of women sitting on company boards is rising.

David Cameron will meet President Obama in Washington later today where they will discuss the possibility of ending US and British combat operations in Afghanistan next year, rather than in 2014. Political editor Nick Robinson has the details. Read more.

Business news with Simon Jack.


All-metal hip replacements fail more quickly than other models, a large-scale study has found. Ashley Blom, professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Bristol, reflects on the difficulties of regulating the quality of metal replacements.


A ceasefire has been reached between the Gaza militants and Israel to halt all military activities, unofficial reports suggest. Mustafa Barghouti, former Palestinian presidential candidate and independent member of the Palestinian parliament, and Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, head of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Foreign Press Branch, discuss relations between the two sides.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


A number of religious orders have begun searching their archives for evidence of child abuse, a group representing surviving victims of abuse at the hands of Catholic clerics has been told. Jon McCourt, of the Northern Ireland Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia), explains why they are seeking co-operation with the forthcoming abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland.

Paper review.

Physicists at Cern are preparing to power-up the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) again, ready for a final push to confirm the discovery of the Higgs Boson - the final piece of the jigsaw known as the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Science correspondent Tom Feilden has been finding out that there is much more to the LHC than just the hunt for the Higgs Boson and that physicists are beginning to question the wisdom of putting so much emphasis on the "god particle".

Thought for the day with Canon Angela Tilby of Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford.


The government has announced that the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, is to be an unpaid adviser, supporting its agenda to open up policy making to the public. Reporter Sanchia Berg examine the effectiveness of government plans to publish much more information than its predecessors while Hans Rosling, founder of the Gapminder Foundation, analyses if releasing too much data can be counter-productive.


A diet high in red meat increases the risk of dying from heart disease and cancer, research from Harvard University suggests. Reporter Tom Feilden explains the findings. Ursula Arens, a senior nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, discusses how dangerous eating a steak a day really is.

David Cameron is travelling to the US to meet with President Obama. Political editor Nick Robinson considers what will be "the next phase of the transition" in Afghanistan - in other words the gradual withdrawal of troops over the next two years. Read more.


One of the main opponents of the Health and Social Care Bill has written to the prime minister with the offer of making the health bill work even though they still oppose the legislation. Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Dr Clare Gerada explains why she wants to maintain regular discussions with the government about the proposals.


The first verdict of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected, with the conclusion of the trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga. Professor David Scheffer, who served as the first US ambassador-at-large for war crime issues, looks at how effective the court actually is.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


David Cameron is arriving in Washington for talks with Barack Obama on a trip where foreign affairs as well as economics are on the agenda. North America editor Mark Mardell reports on what the US has been doing to recover the economy. Read Mark's blog.

David Blanchflower, professor of economics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, outlines why he believes George Osborne has got it wrong in his plan for economic recovery. And Sir Howard Davies, former head of the Financial Services Authority, explains why he thinks the leaders of the two countries are not so far apart in policy terms.

Could the 21st century be the last century of youth? Professor Sarah Harper, director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, argues that we are living longer and fertility is dropping across the globe.

Business news with Simon Jack.


Could the emphasis on discovering the Higgs Boson "God particle" by physicists be counter-productive? Physicists Jon Butterworth, of University College London, and Paddy Regan, of the University of Surrey, discuss whether scientists spend too much time looking at issues that will grab the media's attention.

The planets Venus and Jupiter are to be at their most visible in the sky. Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society, explains why.

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