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In the papers today - 3rd June 2008

Executives, current and former, at Severn Trent Water have been hastily distancing themselves from accusations of dishonesty, as sentencing on convictions for deliberate falsifications of leak statistics was adjourned until next month...

...In precedent-setting proceedings at London's Old Bailey, a criminal court judge heard detailed accusations of "sophisticated dishonesty" at the company and "deliberate decisions" taken by senior staff to mislead the regulator - The Independent

Thousands of wind turbines in the US are sitting idle or failing to meet their full generating capacity because of a shortage of power lines able to transmit their electricity to the rest of the grid. The issue of transmission capacity will be high up the agenda as 10,000 wind power industry executives descend this week on Houston, Texas, where the shortage of power lines is hampering the state's alternative energy plans - The Independent

BAA moved a step closer to concluding its long-delayed refinancing after the troubled airports operator said a consortium of nine banks agreed to supply it with a £7.65bn backstop facility. A source close to the situation called the deal a "major step forward" for the £10bn refinancing that Ferrovial, BAA's Spanish owner, and its partners have been working on since they bought the company in 2006 - The Independent

Seven children were killed and 18 injured when a train hit a packed school bus on a level crossing in the French Alps in the village of Mesinges. Investigators said that automatic signals and two barriers at the crossing appeared to have been working normally - The Times

Drinking tap water treated with chlorine can double the risk of serious heart and brain abnormalities in unborn babies, especially if it runs off farm land treated with pesticides, say scientists. The findings, from a University of Birmingham team, are published today in the journal Environmental Health - The Times

A "lost generation" of mathematicians has cost the economy £9bn while GCSE maths has become a "pick and mix" test rather than the key staging post according to a report by think tank Reform. The decline in standards threatens the future of the economy, say the authors, and is having a devastating impact on the City, with some firms recruiting most of their maths graduates from overseas - The Times

British buildings equipped with solar panels, mini wind turbines and other renewable energy sources could generate as much electricity a year as five nuclear power stations, a government-backed industry report has shown. A large-scale switch to micro renewable energy units could save 30m tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent of nearly 5% of all the emissions produced in generating UK electricity, the study found – The Guardian

Service levels at Heathrow, Europe's busiest and most congested airport, were a "national embarrassment", Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of Iata, said yesterday. The International Air Transport Association gave the "worst regulator award" to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the economic regulator for the three London airports. Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are all owned by BAA, a subsidiary of Ferrovial of Spain - The Financial Times

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