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In the papers - 29 February 2008

Network Rail was hit with the biggest fine in its history yesterday, just as its chairman was receiving a knighthood at Buckingham Palace...

...As Ian McAllister was being awarded the honour by the Prince of Wales, his company was ordered to pay a £14M penalty for the chaos it inflicted on 300,000 passengers over the New Year after failing to complete three sets of engineering works - Daily Telegraph

Philip Davies, director of marketing at Ofgem, described it as a "thorn in the side" of the big six power supply companies has jumped ship to the private sector after Centrica reportedly offered nearly double his salary – The Times

Network Rail has a month to haul the upgrade of its busiest line back on track after regulators imposed a record £14M and a package of measures to tackle the infrastructure company's lacklustre planning procedures. The Office of Rail Regulation yesterday gave Network Rail until 31 March to agree with passenger and freight operators a new plan for £8.12bn upgrade of the London-Glasgow West Coast Main Line - Financial Times

The energy minister Malcolm Wicks approved three wind farms in England yesterday as the government tries to clear a backlog of clean energy projects. Two are onshore wind farms in north Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, while the third is an offshore project in the Thames estuary - The Guardian

The rail infrastructure company Network Rail was hit with a record £14m fine yesterday over"shambolic" new year engineering overruns which led to travel chaos. However, unions, politicians and passenger groups said the fine was meaningless - The Independent

Householders may be able to swap water companies juat as they change energy suppliers under proposals to be studied by a review of the industry. Domestic water suppliers are dominated by large regional monopolies, in contrast to the energy market, where consumers have a choice of gas and electricity suppliers - Daily Telegraph

Network Rail's directors will receive bonuses likely to be more than £100,000 each despite the £14M fine imposed on the company yesterday for causing severe disruption to Britain's busiest railway line – The Times

Employers who hire illegal immigrants can be fined £10,000 per worker from today in cases involving negligence, compared with the previous figure of £5,000 – The Times

A car was recorded travelling at 159mph down a residential road where the speed limit was 30mph. Eight days later another car was recorded at 155mph along the same road, Fitzjohn's Avenue in Hampstead, North London. The cars were recorded by a warning sign that displays speeds to motorists to slow them down – The Times

Nepal's King Gyanendra has been ordered to pay an electricity bill of £442,000 for the vast Narayanhiti Royal Palace in Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital, and several other royal residences around the country – The Times

Ahmedebad, India - a baby born prematurely fell through a train carriage lavatory onto the tracks and survived two hours before being rescued. The girl's mother was travelling with relatives in India when she went to the bathroom and unexpectedly gave birth. She fell unconscious and the baby fell – The Times

Germany's biggest utility, E.ON, has offered to sell its electricity grid in a deal with the European Commission that would protect the group from a damaging antitrust investigation into Europe's energy markets – The Times

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