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Page last updated at 05:49 GMT, Thursday, 30 August 2012 06:49 UK
Today: Thursday 30th August

At a dazzling opening ceremony last night, the Queen officially opened the London Paralympic Games, which is destined to be the biggest in the event's history. More than 2,000 foreign students face uncertainty over their position in the UK after their university lost its right to sponsor their visa applications. Also on the programme, after decades of privacy, are the love lives of French politicians suddenly fair game?

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: Barclays Bank has announced it is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for the deal it struck with Middle East investors in 2008.


It's easy to cut public spending. You get rid of lots of staff. That's the theory anyway. But according to a report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee, it's not that easy. Conservative MP Richard Bacon gives his views.

Sports editor David Bond reflects on last night's Paralympic opening ceremony, where the theme was enlightenment; and where books, science, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all played a part.


Republican presidential candidate nominee Mitt Romney speaks tonight at the final day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

There is one sign that investors are already worrying about Spain leaving the euro, as banks there are seeing money leave in large quantities. Pedro Schwartz, economics professor at San Pablo University in Madrid, gives his assessment on the risk of a Spanish exit.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

Researchers at Imperial College London have discovered that flu can be passed on to someone else before showing any symptoms. Dr Kim Roberts, who was involved in the research, has more details on the findings, and Professor John Oxford, a virology expert from Queen Mary College, explains the public health implications.

The paper review.


This week a book will be published telling the tale of the rivalry between the French president Francois Hollande's ex-wife, Segolene Royal, and his mistress and current partner. Benedict Paviot, London correspondent for France 24, and Pierre Haski, who co-founded the news website Rue 89, debate whether this indicates a clear departure from the days when this kind of private affair would not have got out into the open in France.

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

The Serious Fraud Office has begun an investigation into the payments made by Barclays to Middle Eastern investors at the height of the financial crisis. Hugo Dixon, editor of Reuters Breakingviews, and Sara George, criminal barrister at Stephenson Harwood discuss the implications the investigation could have on Barclays.


As the 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of Coalition and ISAF forces in Afghanistan approaches, and Taliban attacks increase, what options are left for the West and what has been achieved since operations began in 2002? Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, former British ambassador to Afghanistan, and Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in the country, discuss Afghanistan's future.

Anna Marie Roos, an historian of early modern English chemistry and medicine, and Melanie Reid, a writer for the Times, discuss last night's Paralympic opening ceremony.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.


Thousands of foreign students could be deported from the UK following a decision by the government to strip the London Metropolitan University of its right to teach them. Damian Green, the Minister of State for Immigration, explains why the government has made such a decision.


The Islamist onslaught in Mali has led to big problems for the nation's world famous Festival in the Desert, held annually by Tuareg nomads just outside the town of Timbuktu. As Mike Thomson reports , the event cannot be held in Mali anymore and a new location has yet to be found.

Business news with Simon Jack.

There has been a big drop in the production of heroin but one effect of this seems to be more people dying from methadone, the synthetic drug that is used to wean addicts off the drug. Roger Howard, chief executive of the UK Drug Policy Commission, explains what needs to be done.


A poll for this month's Prospect magazine suggests that the Liberal Democrats have lost almost 4 million voters since 2010 and if they do not recover their poll ratings they could end up with only ten seats. Peter Kellner, president of YouGov, has more details on the decline of the party in the polls and Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat peer, gives his view on how he believes the party can recover.

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