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Civils in the papers today - Wednesday 1 April 2009

Tube passengers will have to endure cramped conditions at some of London’s busiest stations after the discovery of a £400m funding hole forced the postponement of vital upgrade work yesterday… .

The London Underground funding gap, which already stood at an estimated £5bn, has widened further after a new shortfall of £400m was revealed and forced a last minute revision to the capital’s transport budget - The Guardian


French bosses were given a fresh reminder of the dangers facing them during the economic downturn yesterday as angry factory workers in Grenoble barricaded their offices and took four managers hostage. Protesting against job losses and meagre redundancy payouts, local employees of the US firm Caterpillar decided to take matters into their own hands and locked their superiors inside the plant’s management headquarters - The Guardian

Britain has lodged an application for thousands of square miles of the seabed around the Atlantic outcrop of Rockall - embarking on what could be a diplomatic collision course with Iceland and the Faroes. The submission for the potentially oil rich territory was delivered yesterday to the UN commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) in New York - The Guardian
The team in charge of London’s attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase recycling and biodiversity is to be cut in half in a shakeup that calls into question the commitment to the environment of the mayor, Boris Johnson. Leaked documents seen by the Guardian show that the Greater London Authority plans to reduce the total number of 40 staff working on environmental issues in the capital to 20 - The Guardian

Paris celebrated the 120th birthday of its “Iron Lady” yesterday treating the Eiffel Tower to a facelift a century after it was supposed to have been dismantled. A team of 25 steeplejack painters from the poorer fringes of Europe clambered to the top and started brushing on 60 tonnes of semi-gloss, the 17th coat it has received since its opening on March 31, 1889 - The Times


The prospect of competing high-speed train services running through the Channel tunnel was raised on Tuesday when it was revealed talks had taken place with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn and Air France. London & Continental Railways, which owns the £5.8bn High Speed One rail line between London and the Channel tunnel, said discussions would remain informal until it was able to set up a formal procedure to allow new operators to use the route - The Financial Times

Jarvis has axed 450 jobs and warned on profits citing a cutback in business with Network Rail and a downturn in the freight container market. The rail maintenance group said business had declined further in the three months to March 31 and operating profits for the year were now expected to miss previous forecasts. Debt and operating costs would also be lower than expected, it added - The Financial Times

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