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In the papers today - 4th July 2006

The Conservative Party has attacked Network Rail after it asked for an extra £7.9bn of funds for the period from 2009 to 2014.
The cash is on top of the £20.7bn it would need anyway.Shadow transport secretary Chris Grayling said the firm should concentrate on cutting costs and delivering better value for money before demanding more investment The TimesEarly monsoon rains have claimed at least 215 lives across India and caused flooding in the northeastern state of Assam that has displaced about 600,000 peopleThe TimesEnergy from animal excrement is growing in popularity across the USA. There are now more than 100 anaerobic digesters - machines that create an oxygen free atmosphere in which bacteria digest manure and release gas - operating in the States with another 80 on the drawing board. The system of producing gas from manure has become profitable due to the rise energy prices.New York TimesA sweeping reform of the planning system is expected as part of Gordon Brown's new drive to streamline Britain's cumbersome regulations. The Chancellor's wants to speed up the time planners take in granting permission to companies to develop land, especially in the case of major infrastructure projects like Heathrow's Terminal 5.Financial TimesMPs have warned that a £1bn programme to improve primary healthcare premisis may not represent value for money.The Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) projects use a public private partnership model to build new accommodation for family doctors and other staff. However this accommodation is eight times more expensive than the facilities that it has replaced.MPs expressed concern over the rates of return being made by the investors in relation to the risk taken on by the public sectorFinancial TimesRelated links:Today's top stories

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