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What the papers say

News stand

The Linc consortium has had its request to extend the March 31 deadline for bids to secure the two 'deep Tube' contracts turned down by London Underground. The consortium, which includes Mowlem, was unhappy about the time given to study bid documentation. Eight updates have been issued since the original documents were sent out in December.

Thames Water is considering a bid for Anglian Water. A merged company could be worth £3.7bn.

Hyder has drawn up a list of possible buyers for its Swalec electricity distribution arm, which analysts say could fetch £700M.

Construction has tied with the arms trade as the world's most corrupt businesses, according to a survey from Transparency International, the anti-bribery lobby group.

Conservative candidate for London Mayor, Steve Norris, has said he would cap Tube fares at or below inflation. He has also thrown his weight behind the Crossrail scheme.

London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room concert venues could be demolished under plans approved by the board of the South Bank Centre, the central London arts complex. However, the buildings are included in the last phase of architect Rick Mather's redevelopment plans for the Centre and the bulldozers may not arriveuntil 2005.

The German Government is ready to spend more than £300M to demonstrate the advantages of its rail technology to China, intensifying competition with rival Japanese and French bids for a Beijing to Shanghai high speed link worth more than £9bn.

Chemists at Oxford University have altered a gene from Pseudomonas putida, a common soil bacterium, to make an enzyme that attacks three soil pollutants. It is hopedthe bugs could be used to decontaminate brownfield sites.

Bill Anderson, the original project manager for the Scottish Parliament building, told BBC Radio: 'I don't think (the new parliament building) will befinished by September 2001, which was the target date.' Anderson resigned in December 1998 because he was unhappy with the freedom being given to architect Enric Miralles on the Holyrood scheme. The Parliament's presiding officer Sir David Steel rejected the claim, and another that the cost had risen from £109M to £200M.

Yorkshire's East Riding Council is to abandon its 1994 policy of monitoring coastal erosion for a series of 'defence strategies' designed to protect six villages from the shrinking coastline.

A planning appeal has opened into the Spencer Docks complex in Dublin. If given the go-ahead, the project, which includes 4.6m sq ft of floor space, would be Ireland's largest ever urban development project.

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