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News stand What the papers say

Daily Telegraph

Trials of a miniature monitor fitted to train wheels are set to start on the East Coast Main Line. The Microlog monitors are a third the size of a matchbox and can monitor abnormalities in track.

Plans for two 100m tall wind turbines have been controversially planned for Blackmore Vale, Somerset. A local action group is fighting South Somerset District Council and developer Ecotricity to preserve the area, which features in Thomas Hardy's novel 'Tess of the d'Urbevilles'.

London's Swiss Re building has failed to attract any tenants other than its developer's 800 staff, who will occupy 40% of the building from next month. Rates 25% higher than Canary Wharf, and the lowest office occupancy rates in the City for 10 years are to blame.

The Times

The last lengthy planning inquiry is due to kick off next week as the Countryside Agency fights local landowners to reclassify the South Downs as a national park. It is expected to be the last protracted inquiry, as a fast track system has been proposed by ministers.

Network Rail this week launched its largest ever leaf clearing operation as 32 multi-purpose machines were deployed to water-jet away the slippery leaf coating. A further 94 hot-spot teams of manual workers were also treating leaves in problem areas.

The Guardian

Two closures at British Energy's nuclear power stations are expected to have a significant impact on the company's finances. Sizewell B in Suffolk and Heysham 1 in Lancashire are expected to be out of action until the middle of next month.

Yangtze Electric Power, the company operating China's Three Gorges dam, is to launch a £700M public share issue next week. This will be the fourth largest offering in China's financial history.

Paris is to consider repealing the 30 year ban on tall buildings in the city centre as it battles to stem its housing crisis. Around 50,000 new homes have been promised in the mayor's election pledge and the current eight storey limit looks set to be scrapped.

Financial Times

Middle aged, middle class motorists are most likely to be caught speeding, a survey by the RAC Foundation and Autocar magazine found this week. This is due to increased likelihood of being caught by speed cameras, the authors claim.

The area around the new Wembley Stadium is to receive a £1bn boost. Developer Quitain Estates has submitted plans this week for a 17ha development designed by architect Richard Rogers. It will include 3,727 new homes, leisure facilities, offices and a 400 room hotel.

A government mission has been sent to Washington to try and persuade the United States to hire more UK firms in the reconstruction of Iraq. This is expected to coincide with approval by the US Senate of a £52bn spending programme for Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Indepenent

British Army engineers from the Armed Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) have offered to maintain two-thirds of Britain's trains. With 2,500 engineers, the ABRO is in discussions with Angel trains and with HSBC Rail, which leases rolling stock to Connex and Virgin.

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