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In the papers today - Thursday 21 March

Aplan for businesses to provide the extra cash to kickstart the long-delayed £10bn Crossrail project across London is expected to be announced today by Sir Michael Lyons, the former chairman of the Audit Commission, who has undertaken a wide-ranging and radical review of local government finance.
Lyons is expected to propose when he reports his conclusions today that Ken Livingstone should be given powers to levy a supplementary business rate of between 1.5p and 3p to finance Crossrail - The Guardian US authorities on Tuesday reversed their opposition to plans by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group to launch a domestic US carrier in a move that could soothe lingering European opposition to a new transatlantic aviation treaty. The UK entrepreneur's long-running efforts to launch San Francisco-based Virgin America had been caught in the political crossfire of efforts to reach a EU-US agreement - The Financial TimesRussian president Vladimir Putin said today would be a national day of mourning following th edeaths of at least 173 people over four days in a mine blast in Siberia, a fire in a retiremant and an aircraft crash - The Financial Times People living along a stretch of coastline were advised to evacuate their homes yesterday because of the threat of flooding. The Environment Agency issued the warning to owners of caravans and bungalows between the two sea defences on the Norfolk coast between Snettisham and Hunstanton - The Daily Telegraph

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