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In the papers today - Tuesday 24th July

The government has been accused of failing to act on its own advice to overhaul UK flood defences and drainage systems which first highlighted deep-seated problems three years ago.
As large tracts of central and southern England remained under water, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power or drinking water, the environment minister, Hilary Benn, announced an independent review into what is being billed as the worst episode of flooding in modern British history - The GuardianTrain passengers face sharp rises in fares to pay for a multi-billion-pound package of improvements to the rail network. The government plans to slash its subsidies to train operators by two-thirds - The Daily TelegraphMinisters this week unveiled plans to build three million new homes by 2020 and defied widespread warnings by insisting that some would have to be built on flood plains. Yvette Cooper, the Housing Minister, told the Commons that there would have to be a significant increase in house building over the next decade to keep up with demand - The Daily TelegraphChina's attempts to project a new 'green' image suffered a serious blow this week when it was revealed that an attempt to estimate the environmental cost of its runaway economic growth had been put on hold indefinitely. In a briefing to local newspapers, the scientist given the task of calculating China's 'green GDP' said the project had been effectively killed off by political opposition - The Daily TelegraphTony Pidgley, managing director of Berkeley Homes, welcomed the attempt to tackle local authority planning delays, which he regards as 'the big hold-up' in the process. Mr Pidgley said the house-builder owned 10 large sites ready for development that had been caught up in the planning machinery for three to four years - The Financial Times David Chipperfield, one of Britain's finest and most internationally renowned architects, who has yet to build a substantial structure in the capital, may at last be realising an important building on a prominent Thames-side site in the City. The 140,000 sq ft Seal House proposal is being submitted for planning by Irvine Sellar's Sellar Property Group, the developers responsible for the controversial 66-storey Shard of Glass on the other side of the river, which is due to become the UK's tallest building - The Financial TimesOlympics minister Tessa Jowell this week lambasted 'armchair critics' of the London 2012 games and defending the unusual Whitehall oversight of the event. The government has come under sustained fire after the games budget almost tripled this spring to £9.3bn, compared with the £3.3bn cost to the taxpayer estimated at the time of London's successful 2005 bid - The Financial TimesAn adventurer attempting to fly across the Atlantic in a home-made aircraft was killed this week, after crash into a block of flats only five minutes after take-off and falling in flames into a crowded playground. All 19 children at the nursery school escaped without injury, even though burning fuel was sprayed across the local neighbourhood - The TimesDrivers will fined £120 for straying into cycle lanes under plans to pass a vehicle turning right, will result in a fixed penalty. Even minor infringements, such as moving briefly into a cycle lane to pass a vehicle turning right, will result in a fixed penalty - The TimesTown halls and developers have been asked to bid for cash for five new eco-towns when all infrastructure and houses will be zero-carbon. The small stand-alone settlements, each containing 5,000 to 20,000 homes will be expected to have good transport links with existing towns or cities - The Times

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