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Japan's Maglev train last week beat its own world rail speed record, clocking 581km/h. Trials of the experimental superconducting maglev train, which uses repelling magnetic forces to float above the track, have been underway since April 1997.

Network Rail is demanding compensation from contractor Subterra for damage caused to its track by flooding in Islington, north London.

Subterra was carrying out ground investigation work for Thames Water when contractors hit a 900mm cast iron water main. The resulting flood caused a sewer under the North London Line to collapse. Thames Water said it and not Subterra was liable.

By 2011 between 1,950 and 2,100 people will be dying each year from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos, the Health & Safety Executive warned this week.

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