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In the papers today - Thursday 20 December

President George Bush, after years of holding out against proposals to combat climate change, yesterday signed into law an energy bill establishing higher fuel-economy standards for new cars...

...and other conservation measures. Bush described the bill as "a major step toward energy independence and easing global warming" - The Guardian

Home repossessions will rise and straitened lenders may squeeze risky borrowers out of the market, but house prices will be unchanged at the end of 2008, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts today – Financial Times

Japan's leading steelmakers agreed yesterday to a strengthening of cross-shareholdings. The decision further guards them against hostile takeover bids and may strengthen their position in iron-ore price negotiations in face of global consolidation – Financial Times

Alasdair Locke, the executive chairman of Abbot Group, was in line for a £93m pay day yesterday after he agreed to sell the FTSE 250 oil rig operator he founded for £906m to American buyout group First Reserve. The 390p-per-share deal comes two and a half months after Abbot, the biggest oil rig contractor to companies operating in the North Sea first told the market it had received approaches - The Independent

Biffa in effect put itself up for sale yesterday after agreeing to open its books to private equity bidders at the third time of asking,a move that could trigger a bidding war for the waste company. Hg Capital and Montagu Private Equity have twice approached Biffa about a potential takeover in recent months and, afterraising their offer price, the waste management services company has finally agreed to play ball - The Independent

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