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In the papers today - 1st July 2008

The future of physics lessons in schools is under threat because of a growing lack of people training to teach the subject, a report warned yesterday...

... Research has found that one in four secondary schools in England no longer has specialist physics teachers - Daily Telegraph

Taylor Wimpey yesterday slashed the value of its land and building sites by £660M and confirmed it is seeking an emergency cash injection from its main shareholders in the face of what it described as a "significant downturn" in the UK property market. The country's biggest housebuilder by volume is also renegotiating banking covenants with its main lenders as part of a rescue package designed to shore up its balance sheet in moves likely to be followed by its rivals - The Guardian

The government has stepped up the pace of change in the battle against global warming by announcing a shortlist of four bidders pre-qualifying for its carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project and outlining a proposed new legislative framework for "clean coal". Among the bidders are E.ON, which wants to use CCS for its controversial Kingsnorth coal-fired station in Kent, and BP, which recently scrapped plans to develop a trial project in Scotland because ministers appeared to be moving too slowly to meet its own internal timetable - The Guardian

India's Prime Minister has announced a plan to combat global warming by focussing on renewable energy but stood by a refusal to commit to greenhouse gas emission targets. Manohan Singh laid out a plan to shift India away from fossil fuels and embrace solar energy - The Independent

Plans for a new generation of coal fired power stations hae received clear backing from the government. Campaigners say as many as seven coal fired power stations are planned, which would destroy the government's green credentials - The Independent

Members of Gordon Brown's cabinet are urging him to scrap a planned 2p a litre rise in fuel duty to come into effect in October because of the spiralling price of petrol with oil heading towards $150 a barrel for the first time - The Independent

Iraq opened its main oilfields to exploitation by international companies yesterday in a first step towards reintegrating its massive reserves into a market hitting staggering prices. Hussain al-Shahristani, the Oil minister, said that he was keen to use international finance and expertise to allow Iraq to realise its full oil potential, an important step to boosting reconstruction and ultimately ending the violence – The Times

The head of Sudan's civil aviation authority has been sacked by the country's President after a cargo plane crashed and burst into flames in Khartoum. It was Sudan’s fourth fatal air accident in two months – The Times

A French bid for British Energy may have made it the best performer among Britain's power generators so far this year but Drax Group is running its nuclear rival a decent second. Shares in the owner of the largest coal-fired power station in Western Europe have surged 37% over the past three months, helped by favourable movements in the commodity markets - The Times

BP's grip on its Russian oil joint venture was slipping last night after authorities in Moscow refused work permits to many of the company's foreign executives in a ruling that could see all of them forced out of the country by the end of the month - The Financial Times

New York stocks bounced back weakly yesterday as soaring oil prices boosted energy stocks but the rally was too little, too late to prevent the S&P 500 from registering its worst month since 2002. The relentless rise in oil prices has been the scourge of stock markets this month, undercutting investors confidence with the threat of inflation and turning modest gains in April and May into significant losses in June - The Financial Times

A troubled government programme to purchase long-distance express trains has suffered two new blows after one bidder failed to comply with the tender requirements and the other made a last-minute move to include new partners. The Department of Transport is seeking to buy between 500 and 2,000 new rail carriages under the InterCity Express programme and has asked suppliers to provide three separate designs - for diesel, electric, and combined diesel and electric version. - The Financial Times

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