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Civil engineering in the news today - Wednesday 12 November

The government attempted to head off a Labour rebellion against plans for a third runway at Heathrow yesterday, with rebel MPs, including a ministerial aide and a vice chair of the Labour party, attending talks with Gordon Brown in Downing Street...

...A consultation will report in the next few weeks on whether government plans for a new runway - built by 2020 and which would increase the number of flights from 480,000 a year to more than 700,000 - should go ahead - The Guardian

The International Energy Agency is to call today for an energy revolution and a "major decarbonisation" of global fuel sources as the world confronts tighter oil supplies caused by shrinking investment. The energy watchdog is warning for the first time that oil output could pass its peak as power shifts from "super-majors" to national companies controlled by producer states - The Guardian

Indonesia yesterday launched a sophisticated new tsunami warning system designed to give coastal residents enough time to flee or seek shelter from an impending tidal wave. The national system aims to prevent a repeat of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster that killed 168,000 people in Indonesia alone - The Guardian

A massive crack has ripped through four floors of Wembley Stadium. Panicked workers told how the building trembled as it was lashed by storms and a 1.5in wide split appeared. Yesterday a huge section of the £827M stadium - plagued by delays, blunders and soaring costs - was sealed off for safety reasons. Bosses held emergency meetings with engineers for investigations. A source added: "The powers that be have been locked in meetings for hours." - The Mirror

A senior member of Dubai's business and political elite has been caught up in an investigation into financial irregularities in the emirate's property sector. A government financial audit department report identifies Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, former chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank and its real-estate affiliate Deyaar, in connection with allegations of financial wrongdoing at Deyaar - Financial Times

China's trade surplus grew to another record last month as the its exporters continued to show greater than expected resilience in the face of a global slowdown. The politically sensitive trade surplus, which already stood at record levels in September, grew a further 20% last month to $35.2bn after a modest reduction in the growth rate of exports was accompanied by a sharper drop in import growth - Financial Times

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine suffered the worst radioactive leak at a naval base for 23 years when gallons of contaminated water split into a river. The Royal Navy is facing serious questions about why it kept quiet for four days about one of the worst radioactive spillages in recent years - The Daily Telegraph

British jobs will be lost to our continental competitors unless a third runway is built at Heathrow, Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, told rebellious Labour MPs yesterday. Facing a Labour backlash over the Government's support for the new runway, Mr Hoon said that more than 70 per cent of foreign companies moving to Britain located within one hour of Heathrow - The Daily Telegraph

Donald Trump is suing Deutsche Bank and other finance houses for $3 billion (£1.9 billion) after they cut funding for his project to build America's second tallest tower. Mr Trump, the property developer, claims that the banks broke agreements over the 92 storey Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, which is due to be completed next year - The Daily Telegraph

Building a third runway at Heathrow costing up to £13.7bn would require a big jump in airport landing charges and test the precarious financing of BAA's majority owner, Ferrovial, experts have warned. While MPs yesterday debated the pros and cons of the runway, provisionally set to open in 2020, City and industry sources raised questions over the project's cost, timing and reliance on transfer passengers - The Daily Telegraph

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