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In the papers - Thursday 21 February 2008

After years of delays, the first high-speed trains linking Madrid and Barcelona arrived at their destinations yesterday...

...Renfe, the national train company, said the AVE trains left each city at 6am and made the 390 mile journey in 2 hours 38 minutes, as scheduled - The Independent

British Gas, the country's biggest energy supplier, is expected to announce a 500 per cent rise in profits today, fuelling outrage among consumer groups which claim the public is being ripped off by the industry. Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, will tell the Stock Exchange that the BG retail arm, which receives up to five times as many complaints as its rivals, made a profit of almost £600m in 2007 - The Independent

Thousands of homes in rural areas will be blighted by aircraft noise under the biggest reorganisation of flight paths, which is intended to cope with the rapid growth in air travel and will be announced today – The Times

Britain is experiencing "Brain Drain" as the number of highly skilled immigrants outweighs those leaving the country, an international study showed yesterday – The Times

Slicing through the countryside at speeds of up to 300km/h, a new Spanish bullet train whisked passengers from Madrid to Barcelona in just over 2.5 hours yesterday, challenging the supremacy of flight on one of the world's busiest air routes – The Times

Britain's housing market is a "house of cards" that is set to implode after years of reckless mortgage lending, chronic oversupply of new flats and widespread fraud, a leading analyst said yesterday – The Times

EuroTunnel has signalled an end to its credit difficulties with a £1.3bn cash call that would enable it to pay off junior creditors early – The Times

A powerful earthquake in Indonesia killed three people and injured 25 yesterday, but did not trigger a tsunami. The 7.6-magnitude quake rocked the island of Simeulue, just after 8pm local time (8am GMT), the US Geological Survey earthquake hazards programme said – The Guardian

Anglo American has shelved plans for the early sale of its Tarmac business in the face of the global credit crunch, undermining a key part of the restructuring strategy of new chief executive Cynthia Carroll – The Guardian

Groupe Eurotunnel shareholders should avoid some of the deep dilution of their stakes that looked all but certain after last year's restructuring, following the launch of a complex plan to raise funds through new equity issues. The plan, announced yesterday, will see the operator of the Channel Tunnel between England and France seek to raise €800M (£603M) immediately through the issue of subordinated deferred equity securities - Financial Times

Thousands of countryside homes could be blighted by aircraft noise under plans announced today for the biggest reorganisation of flight paths in decades. National Air Traffic Services (Nats) plans to divert planes away from densely populated urban areas and over a large swathe of southern and eastern England - Daily Telegraph

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