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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Tuesday 2 December 2008

Britain's rail regulator is putting Network Rail's engineering work over Christmas and new year under the spotlight following the travel chaos caused by overruns last year. . . . .

The Office of Rail Regulation said Network Rail was planning major works at 60 sites over the festive season and said it wanted reassurances there would be no repeat of last year's problems, for which the ORR fined Network Rail £14M - The Guardian

Ambitious targets to cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by at least a fifth in just over a decade were proposed yesterday by the government's climate change committee. The reductions would be achieved by transforming the way electricity is produced and redesigning buildings, appliances and cars - The Guardian

The number of business failures in Britain is likely to rise by 50% next year as firms struggle to keep their heads above water in the midst of the credit crunch. Accountants BDO Stoy Hayward said yesterday that failures would increase to 21,900 by the end of this year and to 32,300 in 2009 - The Guardian

Ministers ignored evidence from their own experts who found scant social or economic justification for bidding for the 2012 Olympics. A 250-page strategy document, signed off in December 2002 by Tony Blair as Prime Minister but selectively distributed, found little support for the claim that the Games would produce significant economic returns or more people playing sport - The Times

Four years after the first stone was laid for a costly and controversial flood barrier to protect Venice, its architects say that they are winning the fight to stop the city sinking. Venice is now flooded more than a hundred times a year, compared with only seven times a century ago. It is a consequence of rising sea levels and the subsidence of the lagoon city’s foundations, aggravated by the extraction of ground water by mainland industrial plants at Marghera and Mestre - The Times

Household electricity bills will rise by a quarter over the next decade to cover the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the government's climate change advisor has warned - Daily Telegraph

The pound suffered its biggest fall since Black Wednesday as stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic plunged on confirmation the US is oficially in recession and in spite of indications of a series of global interest rate cuts - Daily Telegraph

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