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Civils in the news today - Friday 27 March

Danish MPs have approved construction of a bridge linking Demark and Germany across the Fehmarn Strait in the Baltic Sea…

…A 19km road and rail link will connect Roedbyhaven and Puttgarden in Germany. It is scheduled to open in 2018 - The Times

Ministers were last night considering fresh incentives designed to spur investment in renewable energy amid evidence that the credit crunch is threatening government energy targets. The Energy Minister hit back at claims that the Government was failing to deliver on an ambitious plan to foster a green energy revolution by building thousands of onshore and offshore wind turbines. Mike O’Brien told a meeting of renewable-energy chiefs that he was determined that Britain would meet its goal of generating as much as 35% of all UK electricity from wind, wave and solar power by 2020, up from less than 5% at present - The Times

The owner of Canary Wharf blamed plunging property values yesterday  for a £1.8bn loss that could leave the company unable to repay its loans before the end of the year. Songbird Estates said the fall in values, which reflected a deteriorating situation across the commercial property sector, had prompted the board to appoint advisers to renegotiate an £880m loan to be repaid in 2010 - The Guardian

Department for Transport civil servants repeatedly met aviation chiefs in advance of the decision to back a third runway at Heathrow, even though they told environmental groups that there was a blanket ban on meetings with any external bodies. The disclosure comes in documents the civil service was directed to release to Greenpeace by the information commissioner after nearly nine months of stonewalling by civil servants - The Guardian

More than 500,000 students have been told their science GCSE qualification has been “dumbed down” because of “significant causes for concern” about the quality of the exams last year. The regulator, Ofqual, has ordered a review after an investigation found a “lack of challenge” in papers, standards differing wildly across three main exam boards, and too many multiple-choice questions - The Guardian

The Tories last night promised to overhaul Network Rail if they win next year’s general election. Responding to the report that transport minister Lord Adonis had lambasted the operator’s “serious failure to take account of passenger interests,” shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers declared Network Rail was not “properly accountable to anyone” and had persistently failed to focus on the needs of its customers - The Financial Times

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