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In the papers today - 21st May 2008

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has complained to Network Rail about its poor performance in an attempt to stop the company from awarding its directors large bonuses...

...In a sharply worded letter obtained by the Times, the regulator lists the targets that Network Rail has missed and its breaches of the licence agreement and safety rules - The Times

Millions of households are paying far more for their gas and electricity than they should because of a lack of competition between energy providers, a watchdog said yesterday. Allan Asher, the chief executive of Energywatch, told a parliamentary select committee that competition in the energy market is a "myth", with the six major suppliers operating a "comfortable oligopoly" - The Daily Telegraph

Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, became an unlikely environmental campaigner yesterday, signing a petition against an 8,000-home "eco-town" proposed for Hanley Grange, Cambs - The Daily Telegraph

Scientists have warned that carbon nanotubes could pose a cancer risk similiar to that of asbestos, saying the government should restrict the use of the materials to protect human health. Carbon nanotubes were developed in 1991 and have proved extremely useful, conferring great strength while being very light - The Guardian

British Land, the commercial property group, turned a huge profit into a £1.61bn loss last year after making large writedowns on the value of its portfolio. The portfolio, which includes City developments such as the Broadgate centre and retail parks such as Meadowhall in Sheffield, fell in value by 10% over the last 12 months - The Guardian

Gordon Brown yesterday signalled the end of a six year battle to give 1.4 million temporary and agency workers equal rights with Britain's full-time permanent workforce. Brown's spokesman said a compromise struck yesterday between the CBI and the TUC reflected "the right balance between fairness and flexibility" - The Guardian

Energy providers have begun a fierce lobbying campaign against new plans by the European Commission plans to clamp down on industrial pollution, saying they could cause the premature closure of a quarter of Britain's electricity generating capacity and leave the country struggling to keep the lights on - The Independent

Chinese engineers are working round the clock to try to stop thousands of people from being flooded out by water in a dam that was created by landslides during the earthquake, The Times has learnt. The swelling lake that has risen to 70m would threaten, if it burst, the five million residents of Mianyang county, home to the second-biggest city in southwestern Sichuan province. It is expected that the water will be released to avert a collapse - The Times

David Ross, half of one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurial stories, will oversee the running of the 2012 Olympics on behalf of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. The deputy chairman of The Carphone Warehouse, who is worth £873M after setting up the mobile phone retailer with his schoolfriend, Charles Dunstone, was appointed to the board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) yesterday as Mr Johnson's nominee - The Times

Iran's nuclear programme may start a "cascade of proliferation" that could end with countries across the Middle East building nuclear weapons, a study said yesterday. Thirteen nations have embarked on nuclear energy projects in the Middle East since Iran decided to defy the United Nations by enriching Uranium - The Daily Telegraph

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