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In the papers today - 7 August

The Football Association has denied that it has waived financial penalties of £40M payable by Wembley Stadium contractor Multiplex in a bid to get the stadium completed faster The Guardian
The future of the Venice flood barrier is looking uncertain after a report into its financing revealed a £2bn shortfall in cash. A review by the new government states that the project is one of a number of infrastructure schemes with significant budget shortfalls The GuardianFrom beyond the grave, Isambard Kingdom Brunel has delivered an upturned finger to the politically correct mandarins of modern academia. Last month, Pandora reported that Brunel University had unveiled a statue in honour of the eminent Victorian engineer which did not show him smoking his trademark cigar. While the university insists it was for practical reasons, Brunel fans reckoned the cheroot had been omitted on grounds of political correctness. Whatever the explanation, the decision may have proved a costly one. Spookily, just several weeks after its unveiling, I'm told that the life-size bronze has developed a nasty 'death crack' in its stone plinth. 'The university have put a hoarding around it for now and are seeing how serious the damage is, 'I'm told. 'Perhaps they should have left Isambard to puff away in peace after all' The IndependentLondon & Continental Railways, the company behind the Channel Tunnel rail link, is planning a new high-speed line between London and Scotland. Rob Holden, L&CR's chief executive, said that it is drawing up a blueprint for a 200mph line that would carry passengers between the capital and Glasgow in less than 3 hours The TimesUtrecht - At least 18 people were injured, three critically, when an old wooden bridge collapsed at the end of the Musical Boat Parade, which had drawn thousands of people to watch musical acts perform on floating stages on the city's canals The TimesThousands of people living in coastal areas are being warned that mass evacuations may be required next month because of flooding. The highest tides in 20 years are predicted during September and October, the Environment Agency is holding roadshows to alert people in the most vulnerable, low-lying areas of East Anglia. Householders are being urged to register with the agency to receive direct flood warnings, and a new Precautionary Evacuation Notice (PEN) system, involving electronic signs as well as siren warnings, is now in place The Daily TelegraphWith his maverick political legacy secure, Junichiro Koizumi is poised for one last act of extravagant showmanship before stepping down as Japan's Prime Minister next month: a promise to return daylight to Tokyo's most important landmark.For more than 40 years the elegant Nihombashi Bridge has cowered in chilly darkness beneath the capital's busiest motorway 0 a nice-lane steel and concrete monstrosity built just before the 1964 Olympic games as a symbol of Japan's emerging modernity The TimesRelated links:Today's top stories

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