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In the papers today - Monday 28 January

Chinese trade with Europe will be revolutionised by the rebirth of the old overland silk route - this time via rail...

...An alliance of rail operators from the Pacific to the Baltic have just completed a trial run moving cargo from the EU to China in just 15 days. The 9,000 km route crosses China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany and trains will have to be adapted to tackle different track gauges. A regular service will be launched in 2009 - Daily Telegraph

Tyhe oil group Shell is expected to post profits of almost £13.6bn later this week, the highest earning ever by a British company - The Guardian

The British economy risks following the US into a slowdown unless interest rates are cut sharply in the next few months, one of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee members warns today - The Guardian

A US spy satellite thought to be the size of a bus has lost power and could hit the Earth in late february or early March, government officials said. The satellite could contain hazardous materials and it is not known where it might come down - The Guardian

The European Commission will this week impose one of its heavies ever fines. It is punishing the German energy group E.ON for breaching an official seal during raids on its offices. These were part of an investigation into a suspected cartel in May 2006 - The Guardian

The British economy is about to enter its weakest period of growth since the Exchange Rate Mechanism crisis 15 years ago and could slip into recession, according to consultancy Deloitte. The housing market may not get the soft landing it had three years ago - The Independent

Tony Blair has suffered a setback in his role as Middle East peace envoy after Israel blocked progress on a Palestinian water treatment plant championed by Blair was halted because Israel refused to allow construction materials into Gaza - Daily Telegraph

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have slammed the Civil Aviation Authority's "over generous" recommendations regarding land charges at Heathrow and Gatwick airports - Daily Telegraph

The government's nuclear energy policy is fundamentally flawed because it relies on the "fiction" that a new generation of reactors can be built without state support, according to a key government adviser. Dieter Helm, Professor of Energy Policy at New College, Oxford, who has helped to shape energy policy for the past decade, is about to publish a paper in which he will lambast the government's new push on nuclear power - The Times

Business leaders have expressed their relief following the Scottish government's decision, just before Christmas, to choose a bridge as the fastest and cheapest option for a new Forth road crossing. John Swinney, finance secretary told the Scottish parliament that concerns over the future viability of the existing suspension bridge near Edinburgh meant that the government had to act now - Financial Times

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