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In the papers - Thursday, 17 January 2008

Huge building projects, including the Olympic Games and Crossrail could be put at risk by a forecast £8 billion shortfall in budgets caused by unchecked construction inflation, a leading engineering body has said...

...The building of a new generation of nuclear power stations and upgrades to to Britain's rail infastructure will also cost considerably more than expected if inflation in the industry continues to outstrip the measure used by the Treasury - The Times

Morotists arwe using cars more and more despite record fuel prices, higher vehicle taxes, and entreaties by the Government for greater use of public transport. Traffic has risen sharply in the past decade in almost every part of england except Inner London, despite the Government's pledge for a greener transport system, figures today reveal - The Times

Britain enjoyed a brief respite from its downpours yesterday, but more were forecast at the end of the week in the latest episode of flooding linked to La Nina, a climate phenomenon engulfing much of the globe. Although the Envionment Agency still had 73 flood warnings in place last night, water levels in rivers accross Kent, sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of White had started to recede - The Times

A £9bn windfall profit for electricity companies over the next five years should be clawed back by the government to help people struggling with high fuel bills, the energy regulator has proposed – Financial Times

Alex Salmond gave a doughty defence of his role in the Scottish government's handling of a controversial plan by Donald Trump to build a £1bn golfing resort near Aberdeen. Salmond insisted he had never tried to influence the planning process – Financial Times

Lack of government coordination and a shortage of skills are likely to add £8bn a year to the costs of construction and civil engineering projects by 2015, according to the Institutino of Civil Engineers – Financial Times

Energy watchdog Ofgem has dismissed suggestions that the UK's six largest energy companies colluded to increase gas and electricity bills. The regulator also demanded that those alleging price-fixing should produce the evidence - Daily Telegraph

The waters of the Yangtze have fallen to their lowest levels since 1866, disrupting drinking supplies, stranding ships and posing a threat to some of the world's most endangered species. Asia's longest river is losing volume as a result of a prolonged dry spell, the state media warned yesterday, predicting hefty economic losses and a possible plague of rats on nearby farmland - The Guardian

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