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Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Thursday, 23 August 2012 07:44 UK
Today: Thursday 23rd August

GCSE results will be published this morning, with some teachers concerned that they have been marked too harshly. David Cameron has backed President Obama's warning that western strategy on Syria should be reconsidered if the Assad regime resorts to using chemical weapons. Also on the programme, the man who spends five hours a day tending his lawn.

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 suggestions for boosting the UK housing market by encouraging big institutional investors into the private rental sector.

GCSE students are getting their results this morning. Graham Stuart, the Conservative chairman of the education select committee, explains why the government has its sights on reforming GCSEs.

Is the Bank of England getting too much power? Kate Barker, a former member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, explains why she thinks politicians are delegating too much.

Business news with Simon Jack.


David Hampson, of Cardiff, is the winner of the competition to design a radio marking Today's move to the new Broadcasting House, a charity project with profits going to BBC Children in Need. The radio is now in production and David was brought to London to see the building that inspired his rather beautiful design.

Singing gibbons use the same vocal techniques as professional soprano singers, researchers in Japan have discovered.

Sport news with Rob Nothman.


Encouraging private property developers to provide more homes for rent in England, by putting fewer restrictions on those developers for example, a government-commissioned report says. Housing minister Grant Shapps explains the details of the report and whether the government are likely to implement any of the recommendations.

The paper review.

The winner of the Britain's Best Lawn competition Dr Chisholm Ogg says he spends about five hours a day mowing his lawn in Oxford. He explains why he spends so much time mowing and what he does in all that time.

Thought for the day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Priest-in-charge of St Mary's, Newington.

A law which would make it an offence to pay for sex is being put to the Northern Ireland Assembly in a draft bill. Lord Morrow, a DUP member who is putting forward the bill, and Catherine Stephens, who describes herself as a sex worker and represents the international Union of Sex Workers, debate the bill.


GCSE exams have apparently been tougher this year to counter for the past upward drift, and the target for schools has also been raised. Glenys Stacey, chief executive of qualifications regulator Ofqual shares her thoughts on whether there is a need to reform GCSEs for something more rigorous.

Head of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker is "totally opposed" to Greece being forced out of the currency. Gavin Hewitt reports from Berlin where President Hollande of France is due to talk about the euro crisis with Chancellor Merkel and the Greek prime minister.

Professor Jan Morris, head of eligibility at the international federation for athletes, and Francis Dart, a Paralympic silver medallist in Sydney, debate whether athletes with learning difficulties should be eligible for the Paralympics.

Sport news with Rob Nothman.

After heavy clashes between minority Alawites and majority Sunnis in Lebanon's northern town of Tripoli - a place with the same name as a Libyan city - a tentative ceasefire has been reached. Barbara Plett reports from Tripoli, and Nadim Shehadi, from the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, shares his thoughts on whether the ceasefire will last.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The first International Samuel Beckett Festival is opening in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. Seann Doran, director of the festival, explains why a celebration of Beckett's work as a writer and playwright but as a screenwriter and composer should take place.

Around 80 parents and their children had their genome sequenced for a study. Prof Darren Griffin, professor of genetics at the University of Kent, shares his thoughts on the Icelandic study and the findings to be published in Nature.

Some of Britain's growing overseas aid budget should be spent on advising developing countries how to collect tax, a committee of MPs says. International development correspondent Mark Doyle reports.


Claire Enders, who runs the Enders Analysis media consultancy, discusses the storm created by the pictures of Prince Harry naked published on websites around the world.

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