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In the papers - Monday, 7 April 2008

A Multibillion-dollar property colossus of the Gulf is stalking some of Britain's largest quoted real estate developers...

...Aldar, Abu Dhabi's biggest property company, is understood to be running the rule over the big three FTSE 100 property developers: Hammerson, Land Securities, and British Land. City analysts and property sources said that Hammerson was the most likely fit for Aldar, whose chief executive is looking for exposure in the more mature property markets of the UK and France - The Times

E.ON, the power generator, has today submitted a planning application to build a £700m wind farm off the east Yorkshire coast, despite opposition from the Ministry of Defence. If the Humber Gateway project is given the go-ahead it will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in British waters, capable of generating 300 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 195,000 homes, according to the company - The Guardian

The way in which the £73bn clean-up of Britain's nuclear sites is funded is unsustainable and in urgent need of reform, the government is warned today. More tax payers' money is also likely to be required to finance the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), according to the cross-party business and enterprise committee of MPs - The Guardian

British Airways pilots have attacked failings by the airline's senior management that led to the "unhappy shambles" of the opening of the showpiece Terminal 5 at Heathrow two weeks ago. In a letter to the Financial Times, published today, Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, says the T5 problems were "symptomatic of British Airways loss of focus on delivering a sound operation" – The Financial Times

Ministers yesterday pledged to review how the £73bn liability for cleaning up the UK's nuclear waste stockpile will be funded, after MPs warned the existing arrangements were "unsustainable" and in need of urgent change. The annual burden of about £1.5bn on the taxpayer for dealing waste will "almost certainly have to increase significantly in the coming years, over and above current plans", the business select committee stated in its report – The Financial Times

Germany's RWE and France's EDF have entered discussions about a possible bid for British Energy, the UK's leading nuclear generator. The talks are at an early stage but show that the struggle for control of British Energy is gathering pace. Eon, another big German energy, Iberdola of Spain have not approached Centrica but are said to be following the situation closely – The Financial Times

More than 100 companies from the south-east have won lucrative contracts with Olympic planners as part of the preparations for the 2012 games. In a sign that some companies from across the region are beginning to capitalise on the economic boost, the Olympic Development Authority said 108 businesses, not including companies in London, have supplied it so far – The Financial Times

The energy giant E.ON has unveiled plans to build one of the biggest wind farms in Britain saying it wants a swift resolution to an objection from the Ministry of Defence. The company says the Humber Gateway development, five miles off the coast of east Yorkshire, would generate enough electricity to power nearly 200,000 homes - The Independent

The world's first deep-water device to generate electricity from the tides on a commercial scale is due to start operating within weeks. A sea-going crane barge has lowered the 1,000-tonne double turbine into place and an operation to fix it to the seabed with 120-metre (40ft) pins begins today - The Times

America's crumbling housing market is suffering a further battering as thieves rip apart homes in search of copper wiring and pipes. Greed for the red metal, which has experienced a five fold increase in the past three years, is damaging further the lowest tranche of America's real estate market as the US struggles to re-emerge from the worst housing recession for two decades - The Times

BHP Billtion and Rio Tinto are to deliver a cripping blow to Asian steel firms this week by demanding a 200 per cent increase in cooking coal prices that their customers will have no choice but to accept. Sources at Nippon Steel said it was "basically inevitable" that new contracts for cooking coal delivery would be set at $300 a ton - The Times

Labour MPs will today mount a fresh attack on Gordon Brown's decision to scrap the 10p income tax band, accusing him of an "unreasonable" move to squeeze more money from the lowest-earning workers. A report from the Treasury Select Committee marks an escalation of the Labour revolt over the measures, which took effect yesterday - The Daily Telegraph

Almost £2 billion more was spent on quangos last year - despite pledges by ministers to cut their funding. New Cabinet office figures show a fall in the total spent of quangos. But when the strategic Rail Authority, which was amalgamated into the Department of Transport, is excluded from the calculation, the figures show that spending on the other 826 rose by £1.7 billion in 2006-2007 - The Daily Telegraph

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