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In the papers today - Wednesday 24 October

Fears for the future of the private finance initiative will be expressed today by the CBI employers' organisation, as it calls on Gordon Brown's government to be clear about its intentions – Financial Times

The former summer palace of the King of Albania is being turned into a timeshare villa as his impoverished nation takes its first steps into the world of second home investments. The palace at Durres, not far from the capital Tirana, was built for King Zog in the 1930s Art Deco style, but trashed 10 years ago – The Independent

The end of A-levels was signalled by the Government yesterday as it announced plans to offer three new diplomas in secondary schools from 2011. In a drastic policy shift, Schools Secretary Ed Balls said that diplomas in science, humanities and languages would be offered from 2011 – The Independent

BP agreed last night to pay £151.5M to settle charges that it had manipulated the propane gas market in the US. The news came after the company posted results predicted to be 'dreadful' by chief executive Tony Hayward – The Independent

Efforts to build a new generation of nuclear power plants are threatened by staff shortages and Whitehall disputes over investment in renewables and how to deal with nuclear waste, according to leaked documents from the government department overseeing the operation – Financial Times

Some of the world's biggest oil multinationals – including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron – are facing a fresh threat to their profits after Nigeria became the latest oil-rich country to say it was renegotiating their contracts – Financial Times

The European Commission said it has opened an inquiry into whether German federal state aid given by Berlin and Brandenburg to Deutsche Bahn for public service contracts between 2002 and 2012 breached EU rules – Financial Times

Senior Indian government ministers are showing fresh enthusiasm for building an oil and gas pipeline to Iran, in a move likely to add further tensions to US-India relations – Financial Times

Environmental activists are planning to disrupt hundreds of flights by blocking key areas in Heathrow's giant new terminal when it opens in the spring. Supporters of anti-aviation group Plane Stupid have infiltrated passenger trials taking place over the next three months at Terminal 5 – The Times

Train drivers from two rail companies will stage a series of 24-hour strikes in separate disputes about pensions. Aslef, the train drivers' union, said that 370 members at Silverlink will walk out on Friday. About 200 drivers from Midland Mainline will go on strike tomorrow – The Times

The Government is so short of nuclear inspectors that the programme of new reactors being planned may have to be put on hold, leaked papers show. The business secretary, John Hutton, yesterday warned Gordon Brown that the government has only five inspectors working on the design assessment of the three types of reactors being considered for Britain - The Guardian

Eurostar yesterday reported record passenger numbers over the past three months, boosted by fans travelling to the rugby World Cup - The Guardian

The train operator, which will switch its London terminal from Waterloo to St Pancra’s next month, said it carried 2.23M passengers in the third quarter, up 3.6% on the same period last year - The Guardian

Ministers are planning a U-turn on "impractical" targets to combat global warming leaked papers reveal. Business secretary John Hutton has warned the Prime Minister that boosting Britain’s renewable power to nine per cent of energy operation – well below the European Union target – will cost £4bn - Daily Telegraph

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