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Page last updated at 06:00 GMT, Monday, 17 September 2012 07:00 UK
Today: Monday 17th September

Tony Blair gives his reaction to the protests that have gripped the Middle East and the wider Muslim world in response to the film deemed insulting to Islam. The government is setting out plans to replace GCSEs in England with a new qualification based on the old 'O' level. Also on the programme, the world's greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, is preparing to trek on foot across Antarctica in the middle of winter, at the age of 68.

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: Two-thirds of businesses surveyed by KPMG said they are losing faith in the coalitions ability to put infrastructure spending plans into action.


Reforms to the GCSE exam in England were set out in the Mail on Sunday yesterday, and the Education Secretary Michael Gove and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will flesh them out today. Sir Mike Tomlinson, former chief inspector of schools, gives his view on the new GCSE.

The British Social Attitudes report into British people's feelings towards society is released today. Home editor Mark Easton has been looking at the findings.

The Business Growth Fund's Stephen Welton tells Simon Jack he wants to promote the message that now is a good time to invest in small companies,

and that more of the fund will be spent over the next decade.

The Royal College of Nursing is launching an advertising campaign today aiming to show nursing to the public as a balance between expertise and compassion, and engage in a discussion about why poor care sometimes arises. The campaign comes against the backdrop of a series of devastating accounts of poor care in recent years, as the BBC's Jane Dreaper reports.


Tristan Gooley, author of the Natural Navigator, has come up with a non-scientific comparison of navigation abilities of different classroom groups. He explains his findings, and Dee Caffari, the first woman to sail non-stop single-handedly round the world in both directions, gives her thoughts on the age-old debate about which sex is better at navigating.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

Over the past week there's been intense fighting in Syria's biggest city Aleppo. The BBC's Paul Wood who travelled there, reports on the situation.

The paper review.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who is the greatest living explorer according to the Guinness Book of Records, is preparing to be the first person to trek on foot across Antarctica in the middle of winter. The BBC's Matthew Price caught up with him during his winter training close to the Arctic Circle, in Sweden.

Thought for the day with John Bell of the Iona Community.


As the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, prepares to endure a grilling from the cross-party work and pensions select committee this afternoon there have been reports that he has been warned by social security advisers that part of his flagship welfare reform is "unworkable and unfair". Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, talks through the reforms.

Tony Blair, former prime minister and currently Middle East "quartet" representative, gives his reaction to the protests that have gripped the Middle East and the wider Muslim world in response to the film deemed insulting to Islam.


One of the most daring commando raids of the Second World War was immortalised in the film The Cockleshell Heroes. But in a new book, Paddy Ashdown, himself a former SBS officer, reveals a story of Whitehall rivalry which almost certainly led to the needless deaths of many of those who took part, as Nick Higham reports.

Sport news with Rob Bonnet.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is expected to set out a complete overhaul of the GCSE in England today. John Bangs, former head of education at the NUT, and Baroness Perry, former chief inspector of schools, debate the reforms.

Violent clashes between protesters and riot police continued on Sunday afternoon in southern China, sparked by a dispute between China and Japan over a series of tiny islands between the two countries. Martin Patience reports.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Is it ever acceptable to use genetic material from a third person to ensure a baby is healthy?

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) starts its public consultation today on whether to allow three-person IVF. Prof Lisa Jardine, chair of the HFEA, explains the pros and cons of the technique.

Work is to begin on constructing Europe's biggest man-made coastal nature reserve in the Thames Estuary. The BBC's science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, reports from the site.

The Royal College of Nursing is launching a campaign to try to improve the reputation of nurses. Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, and Christina Patterson - who wrote a series of articles on nursing for The Independent newspaper, debate the issue.

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