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Civil engineering in the news - Tuesday 30 December

A pantomime actress has been criticised by police after dialling 999 when heavy traffic which threatened to make her late for a performance of Snow White...

Linda Lusardi, a former glamour model, called emergency services her car got stuck in a traffic jam on the M25 this weekend. She told police that she feared missing the opening curtain of the show in which she is starring as the Wicked Queen and asked for permission to drive down the hard shoulder and undertake the traffic - The Times

Gazprom is to launch a charm offensive in London tomorrow in a desperate attempt to avoid the latest confrontation with Ukraine over gas supplies turning into a wider commercial and political row with the west. Alexander Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Gazprom, will insist the Russian gas group has been doing all it can to avoid cutting off energy to Ukraine on 1 January, something that looked increasingly likely after more talks in Moscow failed to reach agreement - The Guardian.

Bovis Homes has renegotiated its £220M banking facility with six lenders earlier than expected. The British housebuilder has relaxed the covenants on its reduced debt deal but will have to pay a higher interest rate. The new facility lasts until 2011 and reduces over time to £160M. Bovis has been hit hard by the housing market slump. First-half pretax profits fell from £58.4M to £11.7M and 400 jobs have been lost - The Times

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of unwanted recycling is being stockpiled as contractors struggle to sell off used cans, newspapers and cardboard collected from households. Experts estimate that up to 15 per cent of all recycling is now being stored in warehouses and ports, waiting for a buyer. Some of the waste could be stuck there for a year. One in four councils has asked for more storage capacity to cope with the problem, which is likely to have worsened because of the volume of recycling generated over Christmas - The Telegraph

The number of employees claiming that they have been unfairly discriminated against on age grounds will rise as 1,600 people are made redundant every day. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, 600,000 workers face redundancy during 2009, with many others facing pay freezes or outright pay cuts - The Telegraph

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