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Up to £450M of taxpayers' money could be paid to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains in compensation for Railtrack's failure to deliver the West Coast Main Line project from London to Glasgow on time.

San Francisco's rapid transit system company, Bay Area Rapid Transit, is to pay more than £700,000 to contractors after an endangered garter snake was found flattened at a construction site. The payment is in compensation for 18 days lost time, during which wildlife officials investigated the incident.

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