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What the papers say

Financial Times

Troubled French conglomerate Vivendi Universal should return its 40.8% stake in Vivendi Environment, which includes the Vinci construction businesses, to its shareholders, said the environmental services group chief executive, Henri Proglio.

He said this would be preferable to selling the stake to outside investors.

America is working on new legislation to restrict the scope of asbestos related litigation, in a bid to stem the tide of related bankruptcies. Research has shown that many claims are lodged by people who were unaffected by exposure to asbestos.

Weekend closures of the West Coast Main Line could hit the annual conference of business lobby group the CBI to be held in Manchester next month.

Talks aimed at turning round the Labour party's finances could be hit by the row between the unions and Chancellor Gordon Brown over the Private Finance Initiative. The unions have agreed to bail out Labour, but are unhappy about the continued use of private finance to upgrade public buildings.

The Times

Wimpey is reported to be in talks to take over Laing's housebuilding operation.

NASA scientists report that the hole which appears in the ozone layer every year is smaller than usual this year.

The reduction in size is a result of unusual weather conditions, which have split the hole in two.

Irish Independent

Eleven international airport developers are expected to express interest in developing a second passenger terminal for Dublin airport.

The Independent

The government is expected to overhaul electricity trading rules to encourage nuclear power and renewable energy sources.

The change is expected to be recommended in an Energy White Paper that will follow the on-going energy review.

The Observer

Water company Severn Trent is expected to cut its dividend because it is being forced to make price cuts under pressure from the water regulator.

The European Commission is poised to investigate complaints that government aid for ailing nuclear power generator British Energy amounts to an illegal state subsidy.

The Business

Brian Staples is reported to be under pressure to quit his job as chief executive of Amey, whose share price has fallen by 82% this year.

The government had to ditch plans to set pay levels for directors of railway operator Network Rail because of concerns that this would force it to count the company's borrowings as public expenditure.

The Sunday Telegraph

Congestion charging in London will raise £300M less than originally thought, according to figures produced for Transport for London. This is because traffic levels in the capital are lower than first thought.

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