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In the papers - Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Britain's shaky commercial property sector was given a twin boost yesterday when the biggest quoted land developer gave an upbeat assessment of its future trading prospects and Middle East investors promised £2bn to fund construction of the Shard of Glass, one of London's landmark new developments

.... Land Securities swept aside growing pessimism over plunging values in the real estate sector and turmoil in the financial markets, saying it was making good profits out of recent building sales, planned to take advantage of the downturn to snap up distressed assets, and would proceed with a three-way demerger of its holdings - The Guardian

Britain's worst performing rail franchise is to double the compensation passengers receive for late and cancelled trains, as it seeks to head off a planned fares strike by commuters on Monday. The move Great Western, part of FirstGroup, the UK's biggest train operator, comes after a year when passengers have faced serious overcrowding on some of the operator's routes because of botched plans to relocate rolling stock - Financial Times

A search for new homes for more than 65,000 birds began yesterday as part of a study into building a Severn barrage. John Hutton, the Business Secretary, announced a feasibility study into the barrage to establish whether the benefits would outweigh the costs - The Times

The Baltic states and Poland are struggling to settle the political, commercial, and environmental problems involved in their joint plan for a £5.2bn nuclear power station, aimed at easing expected regional energy shortages and reducing dependence on Russian energy. The 3,200-megawatt plant would be built at the site of an ageing Soviet-era nuclear power station at Ignalina, Lithuania, which is due to close in 2009 in line with European Union requirements - Financial Times

Inflation could rise significantly above target this year, Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King warned last night. Rising oil, gas and food prices could push inflation above 3% – Daily Telegraph

Chief executives of big companies and public sector organisations are coping with their stressful positions by drinking the equivalent of almost three bottles of wine a week, new research shows. Men holding the highest positions drink an average of almost 23 units a week - more than 11 medium (175ml) glasses of wine - The Independent

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