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In the papers today - 9th June 2008

Areva, the French nuclear reactor manufacturer, aims to dominate the next wave of UK nuclear power generation after recieving government assurances that its goal of supplying the technology for all of the nation's new reactors would not breach competition rules...

...Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive of the company which has already won pledges of support from energy companies EDF and Eon, told the Financial Imes the UK was now "the most exciting place in Europe" for nuclear - The Financial Times

Cities in emerging markets such as Asia and eastern Europe are rapidly building influence in global commerce, according to new research. A report on the top 75 worldwide centres of commerce, commissioned by Mastercard, shows a stable legal framework, transparent business regulation and large financial flows contribute to top ranking for London, ahead of New York in second place, with Tokyo third and Singapore fourth - The Financial Times

An earthquake struck south west Greece, leaving two people dead and more than 30 injured, according to the local authorities. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake was of the magnitude 6.5. Its epicentre was 200km west of Athens, but it was felt across most of mainland Greece - The Financial Times

Afghanistan is coming under pressure from western countries to slim down its $50bn national development plan in the run-up to a conference in Paris on Thursday, when international donors are expected to pledge support. For weeks, the government of President Hamid Karzai has been warned that donors have grave dobts about the viability of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy to rebuild the war-shattered country over the next five years - The Financial Times

A £10bn-a-year "hidden subsidy" to the airline industry should be scrapped to bring it into line with hard pressed motorists struggling with higher petrol prices, say critics. Although the aviation industry claims it is being badly hit by the soaring price of oil, it still enjoys a double boost denied to drivers: it pays neither excise, tax nor VAT on fuel, a concession worth £9.92bn at current levels, according to new figures - The Independent

An aftershock has rocked the earthquake zone in Sichuan province, shaking a huge lake formed by the quake nearly one month ago and threatening to engulf more than one million people downstream. The earthquake, on 12 May, formed more than 30 "quake lakes" after landslides blocked rivers, raising fears that flooding could be the region's next biblical and epic disaster - The Independent

The UK will fall behind the rest of the world in developing one of the key technologies in the fight against climate change because of " incoherence and timidity" by the government, according to a leading expert. Stuart Haszeldine of the Scottish Centre for Carbon storage at the University of Edinburgh criticised the government for its "clumsy" handling of a competition intended to foster development of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technique to reduce the carbon emissions of power stations run on fossil fuels - The Guardian

BBC transmissions were interrupted and thousands of people suffered power cuts yesterday after a fire at an electricity substation. London fire brigade was called to the blaze in Sydenham Park, south-east London, at 7.21am - The Guardian

A day ahead of the expected green light for Greater Manchester's congestion charge, a Labour MP yesterday warned that it would undermine the party's support in the area. Transport minister Rosie Winterton is expected to announce government backing for a traffic improvement bid put forward by 10 Greater Manchester councils, including a charging scheme requiring drivers to pay up to £5 to enter the city centre at busy times - The Guardian

Electricite de France, the French power generator, is to complete preparations for a €12.5bn (£10BN) bid for British Energy, the owner of most of the UK's nuclear reactors. EDF is expected to table a formal offer for BE at some time within the next fortnight.However it could still face a bidding war with a few of it European rivals - The Daily Telegraph

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