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The French could be running more of Britain’s transport network after state transport group Keolis/Eurostar was named one of three shortlisted bidders for the reprivatisation of the East Coast franchise.

Rising costs and subsidy cuts have combined to put the firm's fleet on a rough road

Wheels are turning slower at FirstGroup

Fewer in the North can afford its fares right now, and that's costing the buses giant as the area provides two-thirds of its revenues. Lucy Tobin looks at the prospects of the company getting back on the right route

FirstGroup plans overhaul of its bus services

FirstGroup put more of its bus services on the block today after admitting fuel costs, lower demand and reduced subsidies were hurting the division.

Leading article: If only Apple could be more like Puma

Any hope that the 21st-century, high-tech corporate giants might be more ethically aware than their older, dirtier cousins has been sadly scotched.

Global operators battle to win £2bn rail franchises

The operator of Hong Kong's metro system, the French state rail group SNCF, and the UK companies FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach are among 13 transport operators that have been shortlisted by the Government to run the £2bn Great Western, Thameslink and Essex Thameside train franchises.

Global operators are battling to win £2bn franchises to run trains in London

Our reformed approach will give more flexibility to operators on how they configure services

First Group prepares rail franchise bids

The Government has fired the starting gun on its £2bn train-franchising programme, asking operators to bid to run the Thameslink, Great Western and Essex Thameside routes for up to 15 years.

Theresa Villiers 'dashed Bombardier train deal hopes'

A government minister was today accused of dashing hopes of saving thousands of jobs after refusing to change a controversial decision to award a lucrative train-building contract to a German firm.

Rail revenues at FirstGroup surge

Soaring oil prices are prompting people to ditch their cars and to holiday in the UK, FirstGroup, which runs the FirstGreat Western and ScotRail train services said yesterday.

Market Report: Heritage Oil rises after takeover talk returns

Market gossips returned to an old tale last night, as vague speculation that Heritage Oil could be about to receive an approach helped it spurt up the leaderboard of the mid-tier index. Not for the first time, the reheated chatter turned towards China for possible aggressors, picking out the state-owned Cnooc once again as a prospective bidder.

Market Report: Commodities sell-off leaves Fresnillo weaker

In a session the miners will be eager to forget, Fresnillo was left at the foot of the top-tier index after commodity prices headed south in another major sell-off.

Investment Column: US move distracts from Pru's Asian gains

Bovis Homes; Firstgroup

US school buses hit profits at FirstGroup

Robust trading on UK buses and trains failed to boost FirstGroup yesterday after the transport giant revealed more pressure at its US school bus arm.

Crossrail signal speed is essential in the search for a new chief executive

The search for the next chief executive of the £15bn Heathrow-to-Essex Crossrail megaproject has moved one step closer with the appointment of City headhunter Odgers Berndtson.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
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Britain's 24-hour culture

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Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

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Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
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Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

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Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

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60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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