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In the papers today - Thursday 7 February

The Government yesterday paved the way for Crossrail to be extended from Maidenhead to Reading...

...Tom Harris, the rail minister, told MPs that the Government is to protect land from development to make it possible to extend the £16bn east-west scheme – Daily Telegraph

Taxpayers have been forced to pick up a £1.7bn bill to cover sums lent to collapsed London Underground maintenance company Metronet by some of the world's biggest banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland – Daily Telegraph

The performance of listed property companies has failed to match the property they invest in or to do as well as commercial property funds over the past 17 years, says research by the Association of Real Estate Funds and Investment Property Databank – Daily Telegraph

A Northern Roach-style disaster would cause "chaos" if it happened in the Eurozone, the European Commissioner for Internal Markets admitted last night - Daily Telegraph

European steelmakers warned yesterday they were gearing up to fight BHP Billiton's attempts to take over rival Rio Tinto, as Rio's board rejected a revised $147bn (£74.9bn) all-share offer from the world's biggest mining company. Eurofer, the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries, said it had prepared a preliminary file detailing its concerns for the European Commission's competition department, and held an exploratory meeting with a commission team to look at issues raised by the tie up - Financial Times

Ken Livingstone is close to beefing up his already substantial powers over London planning in a move that critics say will put too much power in the hands of one man and lead to potential conflicts of interest. Council leaders and heritage groups are making last-ditch attempt to change the details of the new Greater London Authority Act, which will allow the major to crush planning decisions by local authorities - Financial Times

The amount of money being withdrawn from commercial property funds increased almost twelvefold during the last three months of 2007, as investors rushed for the exit in a panic-stricken response to sharp falls in asset prices. Figures released yesterday by the Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF) reveal that £1.65bn was redeemed from members' funds in the final quarter of last year; up from total redemptions of just £139m in the three months to the end of September 2007 - The Independent

Europe is threatened by an energy crisis within the next generation because rules designed to protect the environment are hindering major power projects, it was claimed yesterday. Europe needs to spend 2,000bn euros (£1,500bn) on upgrading power networks in the next 25 years, but leading energy firms have cancelled investment because of growing regulatory uncertainty - The Guardian

A couple of miles from the spot where her son was brutally murdered 15 years ago, Doreen Lawrence will today witness the opening of a £10M architecture centre in his honour. The three-storey building designed by the award-winning architect David Adjaye, aims to offer thousands of young people form deprived backgrounds the chance to break into architecture, urban design and building - The Guardian

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