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In the papers - Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Britain was assessing the damage caused by the 80mph winds that whipped across much of the much of southern England and Wales yesterday, with forecasters predicting more gales to come...

...Insurers say the cost of the storm - the worst this winter in England - could run into hundreds of millions of pounds after homes and businesses were flooded, trees and power lines brought down and road, rail and air travel disrupted as storm and hurricane-force winds moved in from the Atlantic - The Independent

A Labour MP has demanded a public inquiry into the "very,very close co-operation" between the Government and the company planning to build Britain's first coal-fired power station for more than 20 years. Environmental groups reacted furiously when John Hutton, the business secretary, signaled his likely support for a new generation of plants burning fossil fuels, starting with a power station at Kings north, north Kent - The Independent

Qatar, Kuwait and Oman are expected to sign up soon to a World Bank programme aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions by finding commercial uses for natural gas that is still burned, or flared, as a by-product of oil production - The Financial Times

The number of regeneration developments in the West Midlands has outpaced most other regional centres in the country, in spite of signs that commercial property could be oversupplied in cities such as Birmingham in the next few years - The Financial Times

Two Polish migrant workers were in a serious condition in hospital last night after a building collapsed on them in central Belfast yesterday. Four other construction workers were injured on the accident on the site of a new centre for Belfast's legal profession - The Guardian

A Scientific analysis of the severe floods in central England last July has found that they were exceptional event that cannot be linked to climate change. The scale of last year's flooding had prompted experts to suggest they were due to climate change and a harbinger of similar summer-time flooding to come - The Guardian

The government has been criticised for its "confusing" climate change policy after ministers signaled support for a new coal-fired power station as a committee was launched to ensure that by 2050 the UK reduces carbon emissions by 60 per cent. Business secretary John Hutton said power generation from fossil fuels would continue to play a key role despite the planned expansion of nuclear and renewable power - The Guardian

Bovis Homes delivered the most gloomy assessment yet about the state of the housing market yesterday as it urged the Bank of England to cut interest rates after suffering a 20 per cent fall in sales so far this year. Malcolm Harris, chief executive of Bovis, said it was only a matter of time before the company had to start cutting jobs if conditions did not improve, adding that mortgage lenders should also do their bit to make it easier for homeowners to borrow money - The Guardian

Further evidence of a slowing housing market has emerged in a significant survey, published today, showing a near record of surveyors reporting falling house prices and the highest stocks of unsold properties for 10 years - The Guardian

The marathon world record-holder, Etheopian Haile Gebreselassie, said yesterday he was unlikely to compete at the Beijing Olympics because China's air pollution would damage his health - The Times

Britain's road network is growing 15 times faster than the rail network, according to official figures which undermine the government's claim that it is helping people to switch from cars to trains - The Times

Yesterday German finance minister Peer Steinbruck unveiled a scale model of Germania, Adolf Hitler's supersized city. Centrepiece of the display was the domed great hall, planned by Albert Speer, Hitler's master architect, to accommodate a crowd of 150,000 - The Times

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