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Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Friday, 10 August 2012 06:59 UK
Today: Friday 10th August

Australia is about to become the first country to force tobacco companies to sell cigarettes in plain packets. Britain is to provide equipment worth millions of pounds to the Syrian rebels. Egypt's military offensive against Islamist extremists in Sinai continues. Also on today's programme, what do bursts of rock music add to the Olympics?

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. Duane Jackson, CEO of Kashflow, explains how he went from being in prison to running a successful accountancy firm.

Egypt's interior minister has been meeting tribal chiefs in the Sinai Peninsula as the country continues to escalate its military offensive in the region. The BBC's Yolande Knell reports from the North Sinai town of El Arish.


Scientists are warning that a nasty virus affecting cows and sheep called the Schmallenberg virus could spread across the UK this year. Nigel Gibbens, chief veterinary officer of the UK, and Charles Sercombe, a sheep farmer in Leicestershire and the National Farming Union's livestock board chairman, discuss the potential impact of the virus.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The closing ceremony of the London Olympics will be full of great British songs, its music director David Arnold has said, but nearly every event has had used music between events to entertain the crowd. James Fletcher reports on what the fans think about the merit of a song at a sporting occasion.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.


In the Sahel region of Africa a million children are now at risk of malnutrition and the deaths of 200,000 each year are linked to it, despite the long-term presence of aid agencies. Today programme reporter Mike Thomson reports from the Maradi area of Niger to find out what has been going wrong and whether it is time to rethink how the aid industry operates.

The paper review.

In an almost mirror image of what happened in Iraq after 1991, Kurdish nationalists, correspondent Wyre Davis says, in northern Syria are making the most of the turmoil and violence in the rest of the country to strengthen their own identity and position. Reporter Jonathan Marcus investigates the possible opportunity the Syrian conflict is providing for the Kurds, the biggest group in the region not to have a state.

Thought for the day with Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet.

Jane Couch, Britain's first licensed female boxer, and sports editor David Bond discuss the success of Team GB's women competitors yesterday as well as Usain Bolt's historic win in the 200m final.


A UK-wide consultation on government plans to introduce mandatory plain packaging for tobacco is closing. Sarah Woolnough, director of policy and information at Cancer Research UK, and Patrick Basham, of the think tank the Democracy Institute, debate whether individual brands should be removed from cigarette packets.


Ten of the 20,000 Olympic "games-makers" were also volunteers at the previous games in London in 1948. One of them, Dr David Wright, explains what was different 64 years ago.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.


On Sunday, the last day of the Olympics, the prime minister will host a brief summit on the topic of malnutrition with several world leaders. Andrew Mitchell, secretary of state for international development, explains what will be discussed and why the summit is so important.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Robots the size of hand grenades which can be thrown into Afghan compounds to search for bombs or even carry hundreds of kilos of military kit and follow soldiers over any terrain have been on display at an unmanned drone exhibition in Las Vegas. The BBC's Alastair Leithead walks among the military men and defence contractors who were choosing their tools.

After a trial lasting just one day, Gu Kailai, the wife of a former high-flying Chinese politician Bo Xilai, is awaiting sentence for murdering her British business partner Neil Heywood. Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau chief, explains how the trial has affected Chinese politics.

India has received four medals so far in the Olympics Games whereas much smaller South Korea has six times as many. Sports journalist Mihir Bose and Rachel Lee, presenter on Arirang Radio in South Korea, discuss why some countries with large populations do not perform better at Olympic Games.

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