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In the papers today - Wednesday 15 November

High-speed trains will compete with airlines between London and dozens of cities on the Continent from next year, when three missing links in Europe's 186mph rail network will be filled. Eurostar is joining forces with high-speed rail operators in six European countries to offer through tickets and fast connections - The Times
Philip Bowman, the chief executive of ScottishPower, upbraided the Government on its energy policy yesterday as the utility reported a 77 per cent surge in pre-tax profits. Mr Bowman blamed a lack of clarity over the Government's plans to tackle problems with the carbon trading system for reluctance by companies to invest in new sources of power - The TimesThe mayor of London yesterday unveiled plans to charge the highest polluting vehicles £25 a day to drive in central London and the enlarged congestion charge zone to the west of the capital. In what is being seen by environmentalists as a significant advance, Ken Livingstone said the new charge would come into effect, subject to consultation, in 2009 or 2010, though he wants officials to speed up the timetable - The GuardianEasyJet underlined the aggressive ambition of the low-cost airline industry yesterday by placing a $2bn (£1.1bn) order with Airbus. The Luton-based airline delivered some rare good news for the European plane manufacturer yesterday by requesting 52 of the 134-seat A319, bringing the total number of planes on order to 10 - The GuardianCouncil chiefs have defended installing a 5.5m (18ft) long cycle path which does not appear to lead anywhere, laid along a pavement close to the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool. Peter Millea, a councillor, said it was part of an 80m cycle route. 'The pavement is very wide and it seemed logical to run the cycle lane over the pavement so that cyclists can proceed safely,' he said. 'The alternative would have been to dig the pavement up.' - The TimesThe Government is to set five-yearly targets for reducing Britain's carbon dioxide emissions in an attempt to head off the mounting pressure for a law to enforce year-on-year cuts. Under a climate change Bill to be announced in the Queen's Speech today, ministers will promise to monitor annually progress towards the five-year milestones, in order to deliver a 60 per cent reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 - The Independent

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