Vital environmental and technical surveys needed to justify the case for a rail link from Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Scottish borders have been suspended following complaints from angry land owners that the survey teams were trespassing. Surveyors had been told to get on with the job by former transport minister Sarah Boyack, but nobody had bothered to consult local residents.
What is claimed to be the world's largest sculpture and largest single span fabric structure has been installed in the foyer of the Tate Modern gallery, London. A shaped, tubular PVC skin has been stretched between two giant steel rings tied back to the gallery's end walls. A third ring, weighing 10t, has been inserted mid-way along the tube, and is suspended several metres above the floor. Designed by artist Anish Kapoor and engineered by Arup, the sculpture is 147m long.
The Greek government has proposed a sharp increase in public investment to finance projects for the fastapproaching 2004 Olympics.
Sea defences erected to transform 80ha of East Anglian saltmarsh into farmland have been dismantled. It has been decided to allow the salt marsh to provide a natural buffer between waves and new defences further inland. They will also provide a habitat for wading birds. The UK's remaining areas of salt marsh are being reduced at a rate of 2% a year.
Plans to build one of Europe's biggest offshore wind farms in Solway Firth have been seriously set-back after local councillors voted to oppose the scheme. The Scottish Executive, which has final say on the project, is under pressure to hold a public inquiry following a backlash from residents and environmental groups.
Astronomers have identified a new small planet, and named it Quaoar.
It is on the fringes of our solar system, 6.4bn km from the sun and orbits only once every 288 years.
The government's plans for bypassing Stonehenge have been thrown into turmoil after the National Trust called for a much longer, more expensive tunnel, removing the A303 entirely from sight of the stones. Instead of a 2.8km, £100M cut-and-cover tunnel, it wants a 4.4km bored tunnel costing £350M.
More private sector employees have been seconded to key foreign diplomatic posts by the Labour government than in the previous 20 years. Critics of the system, in which seconded diplomats remain on their companies' payrolls, claim there is extensive scope for confusion of UK national interests with those of the private commercial sector.
Public spending watchdog the National Audit Office is locked in a wrangle with the government over how to define Network Rail. The government insists the rail infrastructure company is in the private sector with decisions on running the company made by its private sector directors. But the NAO classifies Network Rail as public sector because its debts are underwritten by the Treasury.