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In the papers - Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Fears of an environmental crisis grew last night as gales continued to batter a cargo ship loaded with more than 300 tonnes of oil which sank in the Channel 26 miles south-east of Portland Bill, spilling its load of timber...

...Environmentalists are concerned that coastline and marine life could be harmed if storms breach the hull of the Ice Prince. There were also worries that if its cargo of wood washes up in southern England there could be a repeat of the chaotic scenes a year ago when scavengers descended on the Devon coast after the MSC Napoli shed about 50 containers - The Guardian

Vast swathes of Britain were on flood alert last night as severe wet and windy weather was forecast to continue. The port of Dover was closed yesterday after experiencing winds of 87mph, while 57 flood warnings were in place, mainly in South West and Wales - The Daily Telegraph

Lord Jones, the trade minister, has launched a ground-breaking report that details every major Indian infrastructure contract up for tender. Speaking from Delhi, he said that the Indian government had plans to spend $500bn (£254bn) on infrastructure over the next 10 years and the report, compiled by KPMG, would help British firms to win their share of the work - The Daily Telegraph

It's been a mere six months since Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey tied the knot, but their timing looks poor. The combined housebuilder's shares have taken a pounding and what was a £5bn merged business has been reduced to a £1.7bn company - The Daily Telegraph

No more National Lottery money will be used to pay for the 2012 Olympics, the government pledged yesterday, as it defended the surrender of a further £1.1bn of lottery money to the games. The transfer of cash, backed last night by MPs will take the total Olympics funding from the lottery to about £2bn - Financial Times

Environmental measures are adding about £60 to the average household energy bill this year, the market watchdog said yesterday, as EDF Energy became the second leading supplier to raise prices. Ofgem, which regulates gas and electricity markets, said the combined effect of the European Union's emissions trading scheme, the renewables obligation (RO) for subsidising green electricity such as wind power, and the new carbon emissions reduction target (CERT), the energy efficiency programme that comes into effect in April, would add about 6 per cent to the average bill - Financial Times

Environmentalists gave warning of an impending marine catastrophe after a 6,395 tonne cargo ship sank in the channel yesterday with more than 300 tonnes of oil on board. The Ice Prince disappeared beneath the waves 28 hours after being abandoned by her crew when her engines failed - The Times

British Airways aircraft are to be used to gather data about the hidden impact of air travel on climate change in research that could result in much higher environmental surcharges on tickets than expected. The airline is supporting research by the University of Cambridge into the warming effects of condensation trails, nitrogen dioxide and other aircraft emissions - The Times

Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, and Tessa Jowell, the Olympics Minister, admitted yesterday that £675 million borrowed for the National Lottery for the 2012 Olympic Games might not be repaid if land sales from the Olympic Park fail to raise enough money. The mayor's financial advisor also suggested that the proportion of social housing required on Olympic land developments - set at 50 per cent - might have to fall to secure higher values - The Times

Canals could regain their role as conduits for trade - because of gridlock on the motorways that superseded them, according to a new study. The research for national and local government bodies found "considerable potential for the reintroduction of freight on the canals" - Financial Times

Elaine Nichols spoke for many in Tewkesbury yesterday as she pushed wet sand into pillowcases and rubble sacks before stacking them on top of a plastic sheet covering her front door. She said: "We are a town on tenterhooks. The sight of any water where it shouldn't be is enough to make me and my neighbours have a panic attack" - Independent

Homebuyers on both sides of the atlantic are in their bunkers. Which is grim news for Taylor Wimpey, the UK's largest housebuilder created out of last year's merger of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey. It limped to the finish line in 2007 making profits in line with expectations, according to a trading update yesterday, but it was a struggle - Independent

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