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In the papers - Monday, 28 April 2008

Pensioned-off engineers will have to be brought out of retirement if the revival of nuclear power is not to be hit by serious delays, the Government has warned...

...A shortage of professional engineers and skilled trades is threatening plans to build new nuclear power stations around the country to ensure security of electric supply and avoid the risk of blackouts, it is claimed – Daily Telegraph

Steel prices have almost doubled in the past year as steelmakers have passed on big increases in the costs of iron ore and coking coal to consumers. The jump threatened to create fresh problems for manufacturers and stoke inflationary pressures in emerging markets where demand is high, driven by urbanisation in China and infrastructure spending elsewhere in Asia and in the Middle East - Financial Times

Domestic energy bills look certain to rise again later this year. The wholesale price for gas for delivery this winter has surged almost 50pc over the past 12 months, making it inevitable that some of the increase will be passed onto homeowners and businesses, says the consumer group Energywatch - Daily Telegraph

Berlin's historic Tempelhof airport is likely to be closed after a plan to save the complex, which played a celebrated role in the city's 1948 airlift, failed to win support in a referendum. The vote split the German capital politically and revived old divisions between East and West, with leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and the city's Left-wing mayor Klaus Wowereit, taking opposing sides in the debate – Daily Telegraph

An employee of BAA is alleged to have tried to influence consultants advising the Competition Commission on a possible break-up of the airports operator. The lobbying is believed to have occurred after the commission carried out a tender process for consultants to advise it on BAA's plans to build a new runway at Stansted in January – Daily Telegraph

The union representing 1,200 striking workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery have taken out advertisements in seven Scottish newspapers today explaining their reasons for the 48-hour stoppage, which has led to fears of the country grinding to a halt. Unite claim in the adverts that workers had no choice but to strike, and apologised for any inconvenience caused by the two-day walkout which began at 6am yesterday as staff downed tools and left the plant - The Independent

Millions of dollars-worth of Iraq reconstruction contracts were never finished because of excessive delays, or poor performance, federal investigators have said. The audit by Stuart Bowen Jr shows that of the 47,321 reconstruction projects, at least 855 were terminated before completion - The Independent

Thousands of years after the Channel Island of Jersey separated from Normandy, proposals for a new bridge intend to reunite it with the French mainland. A fuel pipeline, fibre-optic cable and wind farm would also be incorporated into the infrastructure - The Times

The first direct rail link between Wrexham and London for more than 40 years is to open today. Wrexham and Shropshire Railways will run five trains daily to Marylebone from the Welsh town without subsidy - The Times

Sir Richard Branson's stranglehold on the rail route from London to Glasgow could be weakened by one of two rival train companies that are understood to be bidding against Virgin Trains for a key contract. The project management contract to oversee the introduction of new train carriages, which has been put out for tender but the Department for Transport (DfT), has attracted the interest of Govia, a joint venture between Keolis and Go-Ahead and Serco Rail - The Times

Britain's imports of liquefied natural gas have slowed almost to a standstill this year, adding to the pressure on domestic prices, which have already risen by at least 15 per cent - The Guradian

Berliners fighting to save the historic Tempelhof airport have failed to win a stay on its closure. The required 25 per cent of Berliners required to vote in a referendum to keep the airport was not attained with only 21.7 per cent of the 2.4m eligible voters participating - The Guardian

Forest fires raging on the Canary Island of La Gomera have destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of 500 people - The Guardian

Oil giants including BP and Shell are expected to announce increased profits this week. BP's profits are expected to soar by more than 40 per cent and Shell's by around 15 per cent as the rocketing price of oil boosts their finances for the past three months - The Guardian

The UK is "nowhere near" having to impose emergency powers to restrict fuel supplies, the Government insisted yesterday, despite a strike forcing the closure of a pipeline that carries half of Britain's North Sea Oil - Financial Times

The number of companies on the critical list is rising sharply, as casualties from the most severe banking crisis in decades mount higher. More than 3,000 companies had county court judgments against them in the first quarter of this year, with many facing winding-up petitions, in a four-fold increase on the first quarter of 2007 and a 10% jump compared with the last quarter of 2007 - Financial Times

US biofuels could in effect be shut out of Europe under plans being discussed in Brussels. The EU is considering stringent social and environmental criteria for imports that the US and some other big biofuel producers would not meet - Financial Times

Most leading oil multinationals fall well short of best practice on revealing financial data and combating corruption, a survey unveiled today by Transparency International, the anti-graft group, claims - Financial Times

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