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News stand: What the papers say


UK Trade & Investment, the government agency that advises British firms on Iraqi opportunities, has played down concerns that British firms are dropping out of the race for Iraq reconstruction subcontracts. Two US government-backed conferences being held in Jordan and Kuwait this month have attracted limited interest from the UK.

Ministers are this week expected to ignore industry objections and propose cuts in carbon emissions almost double those agreed at Kyoto. Britain could have to cut emissions by 20% by 2012. Industry leaders argue that the larger cuts will increase costs and reduce competitiveness against countries with lower targets.


Government climate experts are proposing to counteract the threat of global warming by siting a massive shield made up of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of metallic 'scatterers' in the upper atmosphere. On land giant saline reservoirs would be built to offset the rise in sea levels, whilst large plantations of algae would be grown in the oceans to absorb greenhouse gases.


Network Rail chief executive John Armitt this week defended the safety record of Britain's railways. He told the transport select committee that rather than blaming individuals it would be better working to understand the causes of accidents in order to prevent them.


Residents of King's Cross are to fight the plans of Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) to extend working hours. Plans to allow 24 hour working are to be the subject of a public inquiry later this month.


Contractor Jarvis is expected to win the contract to upgrade track at Potters Bar, scene of the 2002 rail crash. Network Rail will confirm the winner of the five year £350M contract in the next few weeks.


Camwoman, self-styled, PVC-clad heroine to Britain's motorists has launched an anti-speed camera campaign. She aims to force the dastardly Department for Transport to cut the number of cameras and implement alternative road safety measures.


A judge has ruled that wind farms can ruin the peace of the countryside and bring down house prices by a fifth. District Judge Michael Buckley said that the value of a remote house in Marton, in the Lake District, fell significantly because of the construction of a wind farm of seven turbines 500m away. Until now the wind energy industry has insisted that wind-farm developments do not damage house prices.


Disused train carriages may be put into a national strategic reserve for mass evacuation in the event of a terrorist attack.


Alistair Darling last week said that Glasgow could have a new runway by 2020 if there was sufficient demand. Last month's air transport white paper effectively cleared the way for Edinburgh airport to have a second runway and so become Scotland's main air hub.

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