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In the papers - Monday, 10 March 2008

London Mayor Ken Livingstone is in talks with the government over ambitious plans to extend his London transport empire by absorbing one of the Capital's most lucrative rail franchises...

...Livingstone is confident of securing the inner-city portion of the Southern franchise as part of his Overground rail network after talks with No. 10 and the Department of Transport – The Guardian

Alistair Darling will increase petrol duty and impose swinging penalties in high-emission cars this week in what ministers will call "the green Budget". He will give tax incentives to companies that opt for greener vehicles fleets. And in a further move to show his green credentials Mr Darling will announce that Britain's first five-year carbon budget, setting out the way independent experts believe that the country should meet the target of reducing emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, will be published next year along side the main budget – The Times

Easyjet's chief executive has written to BAA, the airports operator, and the CAA, the industry's regulator, demanding to know the extent of BAA's indebtness, amid fears that its finances are dangerously stretched. The CAA will tomorrow fix BAA's returns on investment at Gatwick and Heathrow and is set to impose a tough settlement on BAA – The Times

British companies are set to make hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue from the Kremlin's ambitious plans for a £250 billion roadbuilding programme – The Times

The number of homes being built fell by 10 per cent in the last year and is likely to fall further in the coming years, property research firm, Hometrack has said – The Guardian

A powerful new government climate change committee will meet today for the first time to decide how ministers will meet their commitment to cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, and whether the target needs to be strengthened in the face of worsening forecasts on climate change – The Guardian

The weapons of the stone age Norfolk men who hunted mammoths on what is now the bed fo the North Sea, and fragments of the beasts they slaughtered, have turned up in the Netherlands, spotted by an amateur archaeologists in a load of gravel – The Guardian

The government will today anger environmentalists by signalling its support for a controversial new generation of coal-fired power stations and warning that Britain needs to burn more fossil fuels to prevent power cuts. John Hutton, the secretary of state for business, will say that "clean coal" has a crucial role to play in filling Britain's energy gap for the future - The Independent

People across the country were preparing themselves last night for the worst weather in decades, warning that icy gales could approach the ferocity of the infamous 1987 storm. After the sunniest February on record, a meteorological event on a par with the most violent of the last century was predicted for today with heavy rain, lightning, gale force winds, flooding and hailstones forecast - The Independent

Airport officials and Government staff conspired to "fix" the case for a new runway at Heathrow, a newspaper claims yesterday. Staff at the British Airports Authority allegedly told the Department for Transport how to stack the evidence in favour of a third landing strip - The Daily Telegraph

A massive European robot space freighter, designed to dock automatically with the international space station, blasted off yesterday on its maiden voyage. The £1billion, 33.5ft long Jules Verne will deliver 7.5 tonnes of supplies -The Daily Telegraph

Cash strapped Ferrovial, owner of British Airports operator BAA, is expected to complete the sale today of World Duty Free, the terminal based chain of shops, for £550m. Ferrovial bought the airports, which include London Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick two years ago, but had to borrow heavily to finance the deal - The Daily Telegraph

Emergency plans were being drawn up last night in anticipation of flooding across the country today. The potentially devastating threat posed by a storm gathering off Britain led to an emergency meeting of Government officials - The Daily Telegraph

Alistair Darling will this week announce plans to use legal powers to stop energy companies making an alleged £400M in excess profits from some of Britain's poorest consumers - Financial Times

A fresh assault on Britain's 'increasingly uncompetitive' tax system was launched today by a CBI task force, which called for corporation tax to be slashed to 18% over the next eight years - Financial Times

German train drivers' union GDL called off a rail strike planned for today, saying it had come to an agreement with rail operator Deutsche Bahn - Financial Times

BAA, operator of the UK's biggest airports, will today announce that it has sold Worldf Duty Free, the chain of 58 duty-free stores, to Italy's Autogrill in a £545M deal - Financial Times

Carbon emissions trading could become the world's leading derivatives product as businesses in Asia and the US move to lower greenhouse gas emissions and competition intensifies between exchanges, according to a senior market regulator - Financial Times

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