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In the papers today - 2 March

Britain will be divided into a patchwork of road-pricing zones where drivers will be charged varying rates, under a government plan to make them pay by the mile without tracking them on every road.
Ministers believe that a zonal system would protect drivers' privacy and deter them from rat-running in residential areas to avoid high charges on main roads. All roads in each zone would be charged at the same rate, regardless of how congested they were. A driver using empty side streets to visit a shop or take a child to school would pay the same price per mile as those queueing on the high street. Stephen Ladyman, the Roads Minister, gave details of how the system would work in an attempt to address concerns raised by the 1.8 million drivers who signed a petition against road pricing - The TimesThe Government watered down a damning report on how spending on the Millennium Dome spiralled out of control, amid attempts to dampen fears of a similar overspend on the Olympic Games. Lord James of Blackheath, a corporate troubleshooter, told the House of Lords yesterday that a catalogue of errors led to the loss of tens of millions of pounds at the Dome. The Tory peer said during a debate on the economic and social benefits of the Olympics that his report on the Dome was published by the Government last month but four key sections and recommendations were either 'watered down or eliminated - The TimesTornados have ripped across the Southern and Midwestern United States killing at least 11 people, including five pupils who became trapped when they took shelter in a high school that collapsed after being hit by the storm. Crews dug through piles of rubble beneath portable lights at Enterprise High School in Alabama well into Thursday night, looking for other victims - The TimesA new road fuel made from wood chips and straw will be launched in Europe later this year from a pilot plant developed by Shell and Choren Industries, the German biofuel company. The synthetic diesel, made using a novel biomass-to-liquids (BTL) process, will shift the biodiesel industry into a higher gear by using waste plant material instead of valuable food crops - The Times 'The UK has got the coal industry it deserves,' the chief executive of UK Coal declared yesterday as he blamed a lack of government involvement in energy policy for coal's demise. UK Coal this week got rid of two more mines, Maltby to a sale and Rossington to redevelopment. It warned that a third mine, Thorsby, has only months to secure new investment through a new contract deal that will guarantee its survival - The TimesThe Treasury is likely to relent on demanding a 60% contingency budget worth £2bn on the construction of London's Olympic Park, insiders believe. The contingency element remains the final sticking point on the budget, with the Treasury likely to concede to London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell's lesser demand of 20% for cost overruns - The Financial TimesBritain must catch up with countries such as Finland and France in solving its nuclear waste problem if it is to succeed in building a new generation of nuclear plants, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday. IEA chief executive Claude Mandil said: 'Nuclear will not be developed if there is not a credible, satisfactory answer to nuclear waste.' - The Financial TimesWarwickshire has become the latest county cricket club to announce a revamp, unveiling plans to update its Edgbaston ground as part of £21M development. Other venues pursuing upgrades include the Southampton Rose bowl, Glamorgan's Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge - The Financial Times

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