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News What the papers say

THE INDEPENDENT

The government this week announced a £66M aid package to support a new generation of 'biomass' power stations that produce electricity by burning fast growing crops such as straw, willow and elephant grass.

Virgin Rail has been forced to scrap plans to introduce its £1bn fleet of Pendolino tilting trains on London to Manchester services in time for the Commonwealth Games, due to delays to the West Coast Main Line upgrade.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Plans for a new, high capacity airport in the South East are unworkable because of the cost, airport operator BAA said this week.

Sir Peter Parker, who was chairman of British Rail from 1976 to 1983, has died aged 77.

Foot and mouth compensation payments have sent agricultural land and property prices soaring by 22% in the last year, a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors survey said this week.

THE GUARDIAN

An indoor athletics centre will be built at Pickets Lock in north London as part of the government's £40M cash injection into British athletics.

The money has been made available as compensation for its decision in October not to build a stadium there to host the World Athletics Championships.

THE TIMES

The government is to introduce new speed restrictions in poor neighbourhoods, after research showed that children living in them were five times more likely to be hit by a car than those living in affluent areas.

One of Britain's smallest utility companies, Youlgrave Waterworks, looks likely to close as its insurance company Cornhill is refusing to cover its liabilities following the 11 September attacks. Other insurance firms are refusing to insure the utility that supplies up to 500 homes in the Peak District.

THE IRISH TIMES

Computer chip giant Intel has announced that it will restart construction on its Fab 24 plant in Leixslip in County Kildare, a move that will create 1,000 jobs.

Construction of the £1.4bn plant has been postponed twice due to a downturn in the technology sector.

FINANCIAL TIMES

The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into whether the partprivatisation of London Underground breaches European Union rules on state aid and competition.

Channel Tunnel freight is still facing disruption due to invasions of asylum seekers into freight terminals in Calais. English Welsh and Scottish Railway said it ran 89 services through the tunnel last week, 55 fewer than it was promised and 34 fewer than it needed.

Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway, is talking to possible partners about becoming involved in running trains in Britain. The move would be part of a drive to evolve the company into a pan-European transport provider.

EVENING STANDARD

Tube chiefs were called to arms this week after a tortoise escaped on to the busy Piccadilly and District lines. Acton's Emergency Response Unit joined the search, spanning between Ealing Common and Acton town, with tortoise owner Val Corgan - however the hapless tortoise, called Tommy, has yet to reappear.

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