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What the papers say

The Guardian

Canals are to be used to move drinking water to the parched south east of England, under new plans from British Waterways. The publicly-owned company plans to use its canals and reservoirs as holding tanks for the scheme, in direct competition with water companies.

Railtrack is planning a £200M redevelopment of Paddington station in West London, including a 194m tall office block sprouting through a new passenger concourse. English Nature is expected to block the plans by opposing demolition of the existing station.

The Independent

The House of Commons has been ordered to pay almost £4M in compensation to US/French joint venture Harmon CFEM Facades. A British judge ruled that the House of Commons Commission had operated an illegal 'buy British' policy when awarding the building's bronze cladding contract to AngloGerman consortium Seele-Alvis.

Volunteers watched with relief this week as the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service rescued the Millennium Stone from the Bristol Channel. The Stone was previously being transported across the channel on replica stone-age boats, but slipped from its harness during the attempt to re-enact the journey to Stonehenge. The Stone sank 16m.

Financial Times

UK group Acorn Power has plans to build the first coal-fired power station in Wales for 30 years.

New Scientist

Road traffic will regularly grind to a halt and train services will increasingly be disrupted as a result of global warning according to Anthony Astbury from the Meteorological Office.

Changes to weather patterns mean heavy snow and rain will close roads, cause landslips and affect the efficiency of conductor rails.

Evening Standard

More than 50,000 drivers have been fined illegally for driving in London's bus lanes, due to a legal loophole in the fine system. Drivers who have been sent £80 penalty notices after being filmed driving or parking in the lanes by busmounted CCTV, are now entitled to a total of £4M compensation from local authorities.

Westminster Council may be on the verge of relaxing its opposition to high rise buildings. The council received three planning applications for buildings up to 50 storeys high last week in order to beat today's deadline which will see all such applications submitted to the Mayor's office.

Westminster has commissioned a survey which concluded that there is demand for such buildings.

The Scotsman

The paperwork which helped set up the controversial Skye bridge toll regime is fundamentally flawed according to a leading law expert.

Professor Robert Black QC of Edinburgh University's law department concluded that a Scottish Office document which purports to give the right to charge and collect tolls has no authority.

Herald Tribune

Washington's metro system is 'falling apart' according to commuters using the 25-year old system. Runaway trains, tunnel fires and faulty escalators have led to the system owner Metro to launch a £80M, five-year refurbishment program.

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