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In the papers today - Friday 21 December

Network Rail will face pressure to cut costs further after the industry regulator yesterday said the company had overstated by at least £1.9bn...

...the revenue it would need to operate the network over the five years from 2009 – Financial Times

Potential privatisations worth more than £6bn have stalled or been ruled out by the government because of difficult markets, regulatory concerns or political problems – Financial Times

Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan finalised an agreement yesterday to build a pipeline to transport gas to Russia, tightening Moscow's control over central Asian gas exports – Financial Times

The volume of mergers and acquisitions worldwide suffered a dramatic fall in the second half of the year as credit dried up for private equity deals and many chief executives scrapped plans for bold takeovers – Financial Times

High pump prices and the lure of foreign beaches may give a helping hand to Britain's annual Christmas travel problems as the first of an estimated 25M people start packing their bags today – Guardian

England's most senior education adviser, who had been intimately linked to the city academies programme, has been ousted as head of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. The move, which is officially described as part of restructuring, follows questions over the direction of the trust – Guardian

Clipper Windpower, the Aim-listed, US-based wind turbine manufacturer, yesterday warned that only a handful of its turbines will contribute to this year's earnings – Guardian

Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have signed an agreement to build a natural gas pipeline along the Caspian Sea coast that would strengthen Moscow's monopoly on energy exports from the resource rich region - The Times

Shell and StatoilHydro have scrapped plans to build a green power plant that would capture and store carbon dioxide because the project was found to be uneconomic. The decision to shelve the gas-fired project, which was to be built at Tjeldbergodden in Norway, casts further doubt on the financial viability of power schemes that capture and safely store greenhouse gases - The Times

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