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Page last updated at 07:17 GMT, Monday, 19 March 2012
Today: Monday 19th March

Major roads and motorways in England could be run by private companies under a scheme being considered by ministers. It's emerged thousands of people are still missing in Libya exactly a year after Nato began its air campaign which helped bring down Colonel Gaddafi. And also on the programme, the woman who wants to have her hand cut off and replaced with a bionic one.

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 government plans to take on the Royal Mail's pension assets and liabilities.


A new study shows the UK appears to be leading the world in the commercial use of the internet. Author of the report Paul Zwillenberg, of the Boston Consulting Group, explains why this is the case.

Major roads and motorways in England could be run by private companies under plans being considered by the government. Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), reflects on what this would mean.

The number of pupils being expelled from school have fallen by almost a third in England over the last ten years - but are we being given the true picture? The Children's Commissioner for England says growing number of schools are illegally excluding students in a way that doesn't show up in the figures. The BBC's Andrew Bomford reports. Read more here.

Business news with Simon Jack.

A study by English Heritage has revealed for the first time the true extent of crime affecting England's historic buildings and sites, including vandalism and theft. Mike Harlow, governance and legal director at English Heritage, outlines the results.


There are still two days to go before this year's budget but we are already getting an unusually generous number of leaks and hints about what will be in it with papers predicting that the top rate of tax will be cut to 45p and the Chancellor himself warning that he will come down hard on rich homeowners who avoid paying stamp duty. Political editor Nick Robinson has been looking at what other plans George Osborne might have for reforming the tax system.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


It is five months since Colonel Gaddafi was killed and the war in Libya formally came to to an end but the BBC has learnt that there could be as many as 8,000 people still missing from both sides of the conflict The BBC's Wyre Davies reports.


The Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce in his Budget this week that the government will take responsibility for all Royal Mail pensions, removing one of the biggest obstacles to privatisation of the company. Richard Hooper, who published a government report on the future of British Postal Services in 2010, analyses the reasons behind the proposed move.

Paper review.

The BBC has lost its rights to terrestrial racing, including the Grand National, the Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby which means that from 2013 Channel 4 will show The Grand National, one of the "crown jewels" in sporting events. Sports editor David Bond has the details.

Thought for the day with Canon Dr Alan Billings, an Anglican Priest.


A British woman is considering having her hand cut off and replaced with a bionic one. Nicola Wilding, who lost the use of a hand in a car crash, explains why she is considering having an elective amputation.


Motorways and other major roads in England could be run by private companies under plans being considered by the government.

Edmund King, president of the AA, outlines his concerns over the proposals. While Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk and former chief of staff to George Osborne, gives his thoughts and political editor Nick Robinson examines the politics behind the idea.

Documents seen by the BBC reveal that British Chiefs of Staff secretly approved plans to arm Vichy France during World War II despite the fact that Britain was fighting supposedly neutral Vichy in Madagascar at the time and that the right wing French regime was collaborating voluntarily with Hitler's Germany. Mike Thomson reports on how papers, to be aired this evening by Radio 4's Document programme, show that neither Winston Churchill, nor Charles De Gaulle, were told about this highly controversial decision.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.


An official report has found that some schools in England are excluding pupils illegally

without going through the formal process. Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England, outlines the main findings of the School Exclusions Inquiry.


How close is Israel to launching an attack of some sort against Iran?

Many people believe it is and find the prospect terrifying because of the consequences that would flow from it. Others say Israel has no choice because If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the very existence of Israel is threatened. Dan Meridor, Israeli deputy Prime minister and Minister for Intelligence and Atomic Energy, is in London for talks about Israel's approach to what's happening in the Middle East.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The chancellor is coming under more pressure to alter his plans to scrap child benefit for households in which one partner earns more than £42,000 a year when he delivers his budget this week. Chief political correspondent Ben Wright reports on how more backbench Tories have come out against the policy while some Labour figures say it's time to think about tearing up the entire system of universal benefits.


The government's consultation on legalising gay marriage is dividing opinion among religious leaders

with some Jewish leaders coming out in favour of it while others accuse the government of leading an assault on gay marriage. The debate is also pitting Sikhs against Quakers. Lord Singh, head of the Network of Sikh Organisations, and Rachel Muers, Quaker theologian and senior lecturer in Christian studies at the University of Leeds, discuss the controversial debate.

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