Towns sporting rows of identical houses and predictable shops have become the norm across Britain, but their days are numbered...
Thousands of people will be left standing at bus stops each day from April because all the seats will be taken by retired people travelling free, according to bus companies. From 1 April those aged 60 or over will be entitled to free travel after 9.30am on all buses in England - The Times
Lampreys, an eel-like fish, have been found in the River Thames at Hammersmith, according to the Environment Agency. Experts said that the fish, which have also returned to the Tamar in Cornwall, provide evidence of better water quality - The Times
Employers have made nearly £3bn in lump sum payments to fill pension deficits in the past year, with 54 per cent reporting the extra contributions have hurt profits and competitiveness, according to the CBI employers' organisation - Financial Times
The latest stand-off between Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy group, and Ukraine over £650M in unpaid natural gas bills is partly a result of the global liquidity crisis. Ukrgaz-energo, a trading company that controls the supply of gas to industry in Ukraine, blamed difficulties in borrowing from shaky world markets for its inability to pay for imported supplies - Financial Times
Azerbaijan plans to use its soaring oil revenues to buy stakes in German and other European companies, the country's president has said. He said he wanted to ensure the £1bn oil fund will be, "invested safely and generate a high yield." - Financial Times
German companies in South Africa at the weekend launched an important training initiative to tackle the country's skills shortages in advance of the 2010 football World Cup. The scheme will provide service and engineering training to 50,000 unskilled young people working World Cup-related jobs, and is the largest such initiative linked to an international sporting event, organisers said - Financial Times