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In the papers today - Thursday 7th June

The debate over how to meet Britain's future energy needs has heightened confusion about nuclear power - reducing support for new reactors, research published yesterday suggests.
The next generation of first-time buyers will face house prices equivalent to ten times their average incomes, putting home ownership out of reach for the majority of young people, a new government agency says today. The average home in England currently costs seven times annual earnings, but that is set to rise to ten times by 2026 even if the Government succeeds in its aim of sharply increasing the rate of homebuilding, the analysis reveals - The Times Hurricanes in the Atlantic are increasing because of natural weather patterns rather than global warming, a study has concluded. Growing numbers of hurricanes battering the United States and the Caribbean have made their presence felt in the past decade and are forecast to worsen - The Times Controversial plans for a motorway that will pass close to one of Ireland's most revered archaeological sites threatens to scupper attempts by Bertie Ahern to form a coalition government. The Green Party is being wooed by Mr Ahern's Fianna Fáil, which fell five seats short of securing an outright majority in last month's election - The Times Network Rail may be getting to grips with the problem of leaves on the line, but is struggling to cope with the weather. Weather-related delays attributable to Network Rail rose by 500,000 minutes, the equivalent of almost a year, in the 12 months to the end of March, the Office of Rail Regulation said yesterday - The Guardian Northumbrian Water said yesterday that it was capping price rises for its 4.3 million customers over the next two years, cutting about £22m from bills and making them the lowest in the country by 2010. The company will peg increases to the retail price index - below the level agreed with the industry regulator, Ofwat - The GuardianAt 35 per cent, support for building new atomic power stations to replace those being phased out continues to outweigh opposition (29 per cent), but has fallen from 41 per cent in 2004 - The Financial Times A contractor was electrocuted at BP's Texas City refinery, continuing a troubling string of incidents at the UK company's largest refinery that began with an explosion in 2005 that killed 15 and injured 500. The contractor, Richard Liening, 44, was working to refurbish a unit at the refinery after the explosion exposed weaknesses in the site's safety - The Financial Times Water company Severn Trent has failed to hit its leakage targets for the second year in a row and could face another penalty from regulator Ofwat. Severn is already anticipating a fine for customer service and data reporting problems following investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and the industry watchdog - The Daily Telegraph Eurotunnel boss Jacques Gounon plans to raise about Eu1bn (£680m) of fresh capital at the earliest opportunity to repay part of a convertible bond to lift the shareholders' stake in the restructuring company from an initial 13pc to around 40pc. The restructuring, which Eurotunnel hopes will go through at the end of this month, will slash the Channel Tunnel operator's debts from £6.2bn to £2.84bn, with senior creditors repaid in full - The Daily Telegraph

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