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News stand: What the papers say


The government has insisted that its much delayed 'corporate killing' bill will be introduced immediately after the next election at the latest. The announcement follows concerns expressed by trade unions and lawyers after charges against Railtrack over the Hatfield rail crash were dismissed last week.

The CBI is lobbying to ensure state-run bodies are not excluded.

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt is to announce limited protection for directors against ruinous litigation claims.

The amendment to the Companies Bill currently before parliament is intended to remove the barrier to more people becoming non-executive directors.

A study by Exeter University has found that women are often set up to fail and are only recruited to high risk positions or to top jobs when companies are doing badly.

Domestic and industrial gas and electricity prices are set to increase further next year after wholesale energy costs hit new highs last week. The Energy Intensive Users group has warned 'some process industries' may have to stop producing during periods of peak demand when prices are highest. British Gas plans to raise household gas prices by 12.4% and electricity prices by 9.4% later this month.


National Grid Transco is to sell half its gas distribution business for £6bn. The deal has prompted concerns among unions and consumer groups over safety and profiteering as shareholders will receive a £2bn windfall.

British Nuclear Fuels will be allowed to continue to produce a radioactive gas at its Thorp reprocessing plant despite being ordered to stop 27 years ago. The Environment Agency has admitted that by the time a facility to control the Krypton 85 gas is built the plant is likely to have shut.


Scottish Power hopes to solve a problem with UK airport operator BAA's radar system this week that is holding up plans to build a wind farm big enough to power 150,000 homes south of Glasgow. The radar cannot differentiate between wind farm turbines and incoming planes.


Mafia opposition to the Messina Bridge project that will join Sicily to mainland Italy has forced mayor of Villa San Giovanni Rocco Cassone to quit. Cassone was threatened by being sent five bullets in an envelope. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is now under pressure to face down mafia resistance.

The new 7 World Trade Center building in New York is bucking expectations by being sheathed in 50,035m2 of glass.

Engineers have justified the design by arguing that glass curtain walls can protect against some blast by holding panes in place and can limit the amount of flying debris.

The Palace of the Republic in Berlin was deliberately flooded with 300,000 litres of water in an unlikely attempt to save the derelict building from demolition.

The former East German parliament building was taken over by inflatable dinghy enthusiasts to show alternative uses that the structure could be put to.

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