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In the papers - Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Britain's defences against river floods are 'chaotic', with local authorities, water companies and the government still unprepared to handle flooding on the scale that devastated large areas of the north and the Midlands last summer, according to a committee of MPs...

...A six month investigation by the environment, food and rural affairs committee found a "total lack of awareness" about the vulnerability of large parts of Britain to flooding following heavy rainfall, with no organisation having national or local responsibility - The Guardian

The introduction of Home Information Packs has been postponed again. The packs, which have been dogged by delays and controversy over the past 18 months, have now been hot by the slowdown in the property market – Daily Telegraph

Slowing consumer spending, the botched move to Terminal 5 and the early Easter combined to hit British Airways' passenger traffic last month, sending the shares down almost 4%. They slipped 9.75 to 239p as BA said economy-class traffic fell by 8.8pc in April, against the same time last year, worse than analysts expected – Daily Telegraph

Green belt land equal to 1,100 football pitches is being concreted over every year under Labour, research published today suggests. The equivilant of a small city has been built on protected rural land since 1997m a report by the Campagin for the Protection of Rural England claims - Daily Telegraph

The board of France's EDF, which runs the country's nuclear power industry, is expected to meet today to finalise a possible takeover offer for British Energy ahead of Friday's deadline. According to several sources, there is unlikely "at this stage" to be a role for Centrica, the UK power company which is keen to be part of a bid consortium to BE – Daily Telegraph

A British pilot on a round-the-world flight faces being deported from the US after he landed near George Bush's ranch in Texas, where he had wanted to thank the President for his earlier rescue by the US Coast Guard - Independent

Campaigners fear that Llanbedr airstrip, which lies between Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia, could be turned into a commercial airport. It closed in 2004, and was used by the RAF during the Second World War, but has not seen heavy traffic since then. The Welsh government has sold the land to Kemble Air Services on a 125-year lease, who are expected to use the runway for pleasure flights and flying lessons - Independent

Senior Centrica executives are holding last-minute talks with European power giants amid mounting concern that it could be left out of bids for British Energy, the company that runs the UK's nuclear industry - Independent

Jarvis, the rail contractor chaired by the former London mayoral candidate Steven Norris, admitted yesterday that it could be sold as part of a review of the business. Once valued at more than £1bn, Jarvis could fetch about £100M. Rival contractors Balfour Beatty and First Engineering are seen as possible bidders - Independent

The gloom enveloping house- builders thickened yesterday as Bovis joined the list of developers to warn of slumping sales. Bovis has sold an average of just two homes a day in the past eight weeks, a period that would normally see peak spring selling. That figure is down 70% on the same period last year, an even sharper fall than rivals have suffered - Financial Times

Passengers are deserting British Airways in the wake of the Terminal 5 fiasco, the airline admitted yesterday. BA said passenger numbers fell 7% last month after it bungled the launch of its new base at Heathrow airport - The Guardian

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