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News

Four Israeli engineers were convicted on Monday of causing the deaths of four Australian athletes when a bridge collapsed at the opening of the 1997 Maccabiah - the Jewish Olympics. Along with the games' organisers, the four were accused of negligence and could be in jail for four years. Two were killed in the collapse itself and two died later from poisoning from the polluted Yarkon river.

The Highways Agency has launched a high speed road survey vehicle as part of a motorway maintenance drive. Traffic speed condition surveyors - Tracs - can scan road surface cracks at up to 110km/h with data processed in real time. Twenty laser sensors at the front measure ruts and bumps. The device removes the need to close vehicle lanes for inspection.

New planning guidance has been published by the Environment Agency for flood risk areas in England. Some 1.3M homes are estimated to be built within flood plains. Climate change, housing pressure and rising sea levels make it vital to prevent inappropriate development, Agency chairman Sir John Harman said.

The Association of Consulting Engineers has formed a special London Regional members group to lobby the new Mayor and the London Assembly. First meeting is 26 April.

Regional river basin initiatives must be brokered by lending bodies if international conflict over scarce water resources are to be stemmed, according to a new Government consultation document. Addressing the Water Crisis, published by the Department for International Development, says there is serious danger of hostilities flaring as nations compete for fresh water supplies in the second quarter of this century.

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