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In the papers - Thursday 18 October 2007

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said this week that construction of 17 of the first 26 new 'Academy' schools have each cost £3M more than expected...

...But added that exam results at these schools were improving faster compared with other secondary schools. Academies have greater independence from local authorities than standard secondary schools since they are backed by sponsors - The Financial Times

Britain risks US-style housing crash as the credit crunch in financial markets takes its toll on a heavily over-valued property market, the IMF warned yesterday – The Guardian

Environmental groups yesterday condemned British plans to claim sovereignty over a vast tract of the seabed off the coast of Antarctica, with Greenpeace and WWF expressing dismay that the Foreign Office was contemplating possible oil, gas and mineral exploration in the region – The Guardian

Nicolas Sarkozy's iron will to face down trade unions and modernise France meets its first test today as a national strike threatens to paralyse public transport, shut down the Paris Opera and disrupt fans travelling to the Rugby World Cup – The Guardian

The indebtedness of BAA, Britain's largest airport owner, came under renewed attack yesterday when easyJet warned that plans to scrap price caps at Stansted would benefit creditors at the expense of passengers – The Guardian

Thousands of workers exposed to asbestos due to their employer's negligence lost the right to claim compensation if they subsequently developed lung problems. The House of Lords made the decision yesterday over a particular problem where scars form on the lungs, known as pleural plaques, since it was considered one of the least serious asbestos related conditions. The decision will save insurers hundreds of millions of pounds over the next few decades - The Financial Times

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