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In the papers today - Monday 30 June

Almost a quarter of Britain's motorways and nearly a third of the A-roads are unsafe, a leading European motoring body claims.

EuroRAP, a non-profit making body in Brussels, says Britain is lagging behind much of Europe in reducing danger for motorists - The Daily Telegraph

Eastern European migrants working on the construction of a £600M NHS hospital have been taking home as little as £8.80 for a 39-hour week, the Guardian has learned, in what has been described by union bosses as one of the worst instances of employee abuse in the building sector since EU enlargement. The group of around 12 men, most of whom are Lithuanian, are construction workers on the government-backed PFI project in Nottinghamshire - The Guardian

Applications to physics teacher training courses have fallen dramatically, according to a report which suggests that the traditional physics specialist is disappearing from some state schools. The number of applications dropped 27% in the last year, and retiring physics teachers now outnumber new recruits by 26%. Half of teachers have only a GCSE or A-level in the subject despite being expected to prepare pupils for university, said Alan Smithers, professor of education at Buckinghamshire University, who led the research - The Guardian

The campaign for a British high-speed rail network has gained further momentum after it emerged that 2.5 million transfer passengers a year fly into Heathrow airport from British destinations. Transfer passengers, who fly into a hub airport in order to connect with a long-haul flight, have become a battleground in the debate over building a third runway at Britain's largest airport. Opponents of the proposals claim that the latest figures prove that many Heathrow slots are used for unnecessary flights that could be replaced by high-speed rail routes - The Guardian

The Government should scrap its controversial ecotown proposals as many of the shortlisted schemes are conventional developments that do not offer sustainable living, campaigners say today. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says ministers should "go back to the drawing board" because there is a "worrying lack of evidence" that the new developments could be developed to the best green standards - The Daily Telegraph

Taylor Wimpey will this week reveal plans to bolster its finances by up to £500M through an emergency share issue - the first company from the battered house building sector to seek fresh capital - The Financial Times

Regional Development Agencies have become a "blancmange" under Labour and must be refocused towards helping business, boosting regeneration and developing skills, shadow business secretary Alan Duncan said who added that a Tory government would implement major reform of RDAs - The Financial Times

UK house prices fell for the ninth consecutive months in June as the effects of the Credit Crunch continued to weigh on the market, according to Hometrack, the housing research firm. Prices have fallen 2.5% in the first six months of the year and 3.2% since September 2006 - The Financial Times

Ministers' controversial diplomas for teenagers were hit by yet another brickbat from one of Britain's leading independent authorities on public policy the Nuffield Foundation, when they were branded by a think-tank as qualifications for refugees from "tougher academic" exams - The Financial Times

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