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What the papers say

News stand

Teenage girls are to be given assertiveness training at school as part of a new Government youth strategy to help them resist pressure to go into 'female' jobs such as hairdressing. Ministers are concerned that too many young women, who on average outperform boys at exams, are joining the beauty and care industries instead of engineering and other skilled work.

Five BICC directors have shared £2.5M in bonuses and termination payments following last year's sale of the company's loss making cable businesses. A BICC spokesman said the bonuses reflected that the business was 'very difficult to sell'. The sale has failed to stop the recent slide in BICC's share price.

Britain's largest wind turbine was completed last week in Orkney, just a day before work would have affected the mating season of red-throated diver birds nesting nearby. The £2M, 70m high generator has blades larger than a jumbo jet's wing.

Virgin Rail has revealed plans to use aircraft technology to slash journey times if it is successful in its bid for the FirstGroup's Great Western franchise. The company claims gas turbine propulsion could reduce the 95 minute journey from London to Bristol to an hour.

Updated proposals for the £14bn rail tunnel beneath the Irish Sea, linking Dublin and Holyhead, will be submitted to the Irish government after Easter. The proposals by the British based firm Symonds will be part of an application for part-funding towards the project.

Structural engineers in Dublin are concerned that two adjoining listed buildings in the city are in danger of collapse. The buildings, in Smithfield, have already suffered partial collapse during refurbishment work. Work is continuing to save the facades.

Scotland's M9 may soon be extended as part of a £15M road improvement scheme, easing one of the country's most notorious traffic black spots. If plans are agreed, the project would extend the Edinburgh-Stirling motorway to the Forth Road Bridge-Edinburgh road, cutting congestion along the A8000.

Railtrack has indicated it wants to raise rail freight charges by 25%, threatening the Government's plans to reduce the number of lorries on the UK's roads. The revelation follows complaints from freight operators who claim that Government policy is already hampering road haulage.

Halcrow Fox has been appointed by the Government to examine potential sites for a new airport runway in the South East. Industry sources say the favoured option is likely to be at Gatwick or Stansted, but warn the decision is likely to prove unpopular.

Tony Blair's constituency is the worst of all those represented by cabinet ministers for recycling rubbish, accordingto Friends of the Earth. Sedgefield Council is nearly the worst in Britain, recycling only 1.4% of rubbish - six times below the national average.

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