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What the papers say

News stand

United Utilities is to cut 620 jobs, 400 from its water business and the rest from its electricity operation. The 10% reduction in staff numbers is designed to save £400M over the next five years. United is also considering the sale of its supply business, worth another £400M.

Great North Eastern Railway has revealed plans to build three park and ride railway stations as part of its £1.3bn bid to extend its franchise to operate the East Coast Main Line. The stations would be at Musselburgh, east of Edinburgh; in south Yorkshire adjoining the M18 near Doncaster; and near the M25 north of London. Peterborough, Wakefield, London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley stations will also be redeveloped.

The Private Finance Initiative is to be extended to building 'cottage' hospitals offering 'intermediate care' for elderly patients who do not need acute hospital beds.

Thames Water has agreed to invest £122M to improve drinking water in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. The investment will take place over the next three years and will benefit 1M people.

Ohio State has selected Hardcore Composites to manufacture components for 100 composite bridges throughout the state in a deal worth £4.4M. The firm will construct a special manufacturing facility to build the bridge decks. It eventually expects to increase production seven-fold and reduce costs to that of reinforced concrete.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott signalled his intention to change the rules on housing density by praising terraced housing and describing modern detached development as 'a wasteful use of land'. The current 20 home per hectare average could be pushed up to 50 in suburban areas. The target for urban areas could be 435 homes per hectare.

The BBC has admitted that a report by motoring show Top Gear on Oxford's transport strategy did not live up to the corporation's standards of fairness, accuracy and due impartiality. Oxford County Council had complained that the programme had incorrectly suggested that public transport and traffic control plans in the city were on the verge of collapse.

A 170km natural gas pipeline is to be built between Belfast and Dublin. The scheme, which is being promoted by a joint venture between Transco and US energy group KeySpan, is an extension of the interconnector pipeline between Belfast and Moffat in Scotland.

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