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In the papers today - Thursday May 1

The future of the world's largest offshore wind farm and a symbol of Britain's renewable energy future was thrown into doubt last night after it emerged that Shell was backing out of the project and indicated it would prefer to invest in more lucrative oil schemes...

...Shell said the decision to sell its 33% stake in the £2bn London Array off the coast of Kent was part of an "ongoing review of projects and investment choices" and was not part of any major rethink about renewables versus other oil and gas projects - The Guardian

Building firms have been rigging public sector contracts at secret gatherings dubbed the Calorie Club "because everybody gets fat", according to reports yesterday. The gatherings took place across the south-east of England, where rival builders got together yo agree how much each would tender to carry out public sector work, according to the trade magazine Contract Journal - The Guardian

Rome's new mayor has announced his intention to tear down a museum designed by US architect Richard Meier that critics decried as a modernist eyesore when it was unveiled in 2006. "Meier's building is to be scrapped," said Mayor Gianni Alemanno at a news conference, as he outlined his plans for the city - The Guardian

Plans for a massive expansion of offshore wind power generation were in disarray last night after Shell pulled out of the UK's flagship project. The London array was to be the world's largest offshore windfarm, with 341 turbines in the Thames Estuary capable of generating 1,00 MW of power - enough to power a quarter of London's homes. Shell had an equal share in the project with Eon and Denmark's Dong Energy - Financial Times

The SkyTeam global airline alliance, led by Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines of the US, is seeking financial compensation from BAA for the months-long delay in the airlines' planned transfer to Heathrow's Terminal 4 - Financial Times

The European Commission has told governments to end "hidden" state aid to railway companies by the end of next year. Benoit Le Bret, chief of staff to transport commissioner Jacques Barrot, said on presenting new state aid guidelines.: "We know there is state aid that is being hidden. There are government loan guarantees and aid hidden in national budgets. This is really the final whistle. These activities must cease by January 1 2010" - Financial Times

The skies over Mumbai are set to face a congestion crisis early next decade with the Indian financial capital's existing international airport likely to be overloaded with passengers even after a £1.1bn expansion is completed, according to the city's top airport executive - Financial Times

Hopes of a bidding war for British Energy were dealt a blow yesterday after it emerged that Vattenfall, Suez and Eon were not planning to bid for the UK nuclear group - Financial Times

Globaltrans, Russia's largest private train operator, said yesterday it would raise £226M when it floats on the London Stock Exchange next week - Financial Times

Siemens, Europe's largest engineering group, said yesterday it had felt the first effects of the financial crisis on its business in Germany as it became the highest-profile group to warn of an impending slowdown on the continent - Financial Times

Britain's big banks stand to lose as much as a fifth of their profits as the commercial property market implodes, the Bank of England has warned. The Bank sounded the alarm on a £5bn plus wave of real estate defaults which could engulf the financial sector. It used today's Financial Stability Report to warn that, despite falls of more than 15% in commercial property prices, banks have continued to pile into the sector and could now fact significant loses - Daily Telegraph

Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists claimed yesterday. Researchers studying long term changes in sea temperatures said that they expect a "lull" for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Average global temperature rises of 0.3C predicted by the UN's I tergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may not happen said a paper published in Nature - Daily Telegraph

Archaeologists studying a mass grave on a construction site in Gloucester, believe that the 90-plus skeletons are the remains of victims of the Antonine plague - an outbreak of smallpox that swept across the Roman empire between 165AD and 189AD. The site, which was discovered in London Road, Gloucester, in 2005, was excavated before retirement homes were built on it - The Times

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