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Civils in the papers today - Monday 16 March 2009

Environmental scientists will join a day of protest this week in an attempt to persuade the Government to drop plans for new power stations and a third runway at Heathrow…

…The protest comes after politicians were urged to cut carbon emissions or face “irreversible shifts in climate” by 2,500 scientists at a summit last week in Copenhagen - The Daily Telegraph

Administrators are trying to unravel the mystery of an £11M ruby claimed as an asset by a Shrohpshire construction company that collapsed last week with the loss of more than 400 jobs. The ruby, cited as the Gem of Tanzania, was listed in Wrekin Construction’s 2007 accounts, raising questions over the reasons for its ownership by a mid-sized building firm - The Guardian

Political leaders, specialists and activists will today attend a vast gathering in Istanbul officially aimed at averting an impending world water shortage but denounced by critics as a front for multinational companies seeking profits and promoting privatisation. An estimated 20,000 delegates are expected at the world water forum, takng place on the banks of the Golden Horn and appropriately within sight of the Bosphorus, one of the world’s most famous waterways - The Guardian

Boris Johnson is considering making motorists pay different rates to enter Central London depending on the time of the day, The Times has learnt. The Mayor of London is preparing to abolish the fixed daily congestion charge and replace it with an “intelligent” congestion system, pioneered in Stockholm. One option would mean motorists paying more to enter the central zone during peak periods and less at other times, rather than the current £8 charge between 7am and 6pm. Fairer options of payment, such as direct debit or an electronic chip that picks up a car’s entry into the zone, are also under consideration. In Stockholm, a similar system has reduced traffic into the city by 25 per cent, twice as much as achieved in London, and reduced carbon emissions by 15 per cent, yet motorists pay an average of only £2 a day – The Times

Spain’s long-running love affair with cutting-edge architecture has come to a dramatic end as high-profile projects from the world’s greatest architects fall foul of recession and a countrywide building bust. Last week builders walked away from one of the country’s most glamorous architect-driven developments, the Richard Rogers transformation of Barcelona’s Las Arenas bullring - The Guardian

One in every 56 businesses is expected to collapse this year as the recession intensifies, a leading accounting firm has warned. BDO Stoy Hayward says the rate of business failures will increase by 59% by the end of this year to 36,000 companies, up from 22,600, or one in 87, in 2008 - Financial Times

Passenger traffic at UK airports is forecast to fall for two years in succession for the first time since the second world war. In a report published today, the Civil Aviation Authority said the number of passengers handled last year fell by 1.9% to 235m, the first annual drop since 1991 and only the fourth since 1945 - Financial Times

Construction of western Europe’s tallest building will begin in London today amid the gloomiest market for commercial building in decades, thanks to backing from a group of Qatari banks. Designed by Renzo Piano, the Shard of Glass will tower 1,016ft above London Bridge station and stand nearly three times as high as St Paul’s Cathedral - Financial Times


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