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News stand: What the papers say


The incoming president of Chechnya, Alu Alkhanov, has vowed to improve reconstruction in the Russian republic following his election last week.

Jarvis faces further delays to its £87M PFI project to build six fire stations on Tyneside.

The contractor's biggest university accommodation contract at Lancaster University may also be completed late.

Record rail freight volumes threaten to overwhelm the US network next month. Train operators have had to ration access to the network since demand rose following a stronger than expected economic recovery.

The Association of American Railroads is to meet with operators and government regulators in Kansas City next week.


Anti wind farm campaigners are claiming lightening strikes on wind farm turbines could cause forest fires. Wind farm opponents cite a National Lightning Safety Institute report on problems experienced in the US and Europe. They also say Met Office data shows the west coast of Scotland has the highest incidence of lightening strikes in the UK.

Europe could experience its first major earthquake since the 1755 quake in Portugal which killed 60,000 people. Research says powerful earthquakes are likely to occur in the region every 1,000 to 2,000 years. Dr Marc-Andre Gutscher of the European Institute of the Sea in Plouzane, France says the subduction process which caused the last quake is still continuing off southern Iberia.


A new £36M ferry has been dubbed the 'concorde' of the seas. The 'Bateau Ó Grande Vitesse' trimaran will reach a top speed of 120km/h and carry 1,200 people. It is to run on a cross channel service in competition with the Channel Tunnel. The main design innovation lies in two stabilising floats attached to winglets at the rear of the hull.

A new coach that converts into a train could help save Britain's little used branch lines. Developed by Silvertip Design with Lancaster and Northumbria Universities, the 'Blade Runner' has retractable steel wheels between its rubber tyres, allowing it to transfer from road to rail. The coach uses half the fuel used by conventional coaches while on rail. The vehicle could collect passengers in villages before joining the rail line to the city.

Caravan and trailer drivers could be confined to the inside lane after a month-long trial cut road jams this summer.

The trial on the M5 near Bristol finished at the end of August.

If successful, the scheme could be reintroduced for bank holidays and school breaks.


Governments could tell people to eat less meat as world ground water levels plummet. Countries with little water could conserve domestic supplies by either growing more water-efficient crops or importing food from water rich countries. An International Water Management Institute report last week said in 20 years time 24% more water will be needed to grow the world's food.

The government is to start charging foreign countries to store their nuclear waste on UK soil. The change of policy follows news that 10,000m 3offoreign nuclear waste has been sealed in concrete and buried in 10km of trenches at Drigg in Cumbria. Government spending is to rise from £1.3bn to £2bn over the next 40 years to deal with up to 20,000m 3offuture waste in the UK.

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