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In the papers today - Thursday 14th August 2008

The developer behind the landmark City of London skyscraper known as the Cheesegrater is looking at shelving the building as demand for office space in the financial sector continues to fall...

...In a surprise shift in strategy, British Land will today reveal the Richard Rogers-designed Leadenhall building could be delayed as the company announces its first quarter results - Financial Times

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit rose last month at the fastest rate for almost 16 years as the jobs market came under increasing strain. Total employment would also have fallen for the first time since the beginning of 2007 but for a surge in the number of pensioners taking jobs, according to figures published on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics - Financial Times

London's Olympic officials still have their work cut out to convince Britons that the 2012 Games will be a success, according to a survey published today. Only 15% think the Olympics will be good for the UK's international reputation, according to a survey of 2,006 people questioned by the online market research agency optimum Research - Financial Times

Lengthy shutdowns at two British Energyof its nuclear reactors hit first-quarter profits at British Energy, which is still conducting "advanced discussions" with EDF of France about a takeover bid. British Energy's nuclear power output for the three months to the end of June fell from 13 terawatt hours (TWh) to 9.5 TWh, due to the closure of the Hartlepool and Heysham 1 reactors, shut down last year following the discovery of corroded wiring - Financial Times

The claim by the Conservative-leaning thinktank Policy Exchange that some northern cities are beyond revival did not go down well in Liverpool. The city - currently undergoing one of the biggest regeneration programmes in Europe - saw off competition from the likes of Bristol, Brighton and Hove, and Oxford to become the European Capital of Culture 2008 - The Guardian

British Energy yesterday insisted it had the credentials to play a pivotal role in the development of a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain and said it remained in advanced discussions with a potential bidder. The latest signal of the company's determination to remain central to Britain's nuclear generating capability came as it reported a slump in profits from its existing fleet - The Guardian

A derelict goldmine uner Beinn Chuirn 50 miles north of Glasgow could be revived this month when a diamond tipped drill starts boring into its rocks, heralding a modern gold rush in the Scottish Highlands. An Australian backed mining company believes there are deposits throughout the Grampian mountains - The Guardian

Balfour Beatty, the construction firm building the aquatics centre for the London Olympics, defied the gloom in the building trade yesterday, reporting strong profits on the back of the contracts in Britain, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. The construction company made £95M in the first six months of the year, up 25% on the first half of 2007 - The Guardian

The economy is on the verge of recession, the Bank of England has warned for the first time. In his gravest assessment yet, Mervyn King, the Bank's governor, said the economy would start to shrink by the end of the year, for the first time since the early 1990s - Daily Telegraph

The recovery in housebuilders' share prices over the past 30 days appears to suggest that many of the sector's problems are now behind it. The three most indebted companies - Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey - have seen their shares rally between 40% and 100% over the past four weeks - Daily Telegraph

Invasive animals and plants which have been released or seed themselves into the wild are causing havoc on the UK's rivers and canals, according to British Waterways. Foreign pets such as terrapins, or garden plants such as giant hogweed, are damaging wildlife, and hampering access to banks and towpaths and maintenance of locks, bridges and channels, the agency said. Dealing with problem species costs British Waterways about £1M a year - The Independent

The construction and services group Balfour Beatty posted a 25% rise in underlying first-half profits to £95M yesterday and said it expects order intake and trading to remain strong throughout the year. Its chief executive, Ian Tyler, said: "We are seeing no signs of any slowdown in the public and regulated sectors, which accounts for 80% of our business, or even in the private sector, which is also continuing to invest through the cycle." - The Independent

British Energy posted a 49% fall in first-quarter profits yesterday because of reduced production at five of its eight aging nuclear power stations. Earnings before internet, tax, deductions and amortisation for the three months to June were £129M compared with £253M last year - The Independent

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