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vital statistics

Houses close to landfill sites are worth on average £5,500 less than homes in other areas, a report for the Treasury has concluded. It found that Scottish buildings were worst hit, with homes within 400m losing 41 per cent of their value.

Retail sales in Britain dropped by one per cent in January, according to RBS Financial Markets, a rate of fall twice that predicted by the forecast firm.

The number of wills processed in the UK has suddenly jumped, specialist firm Just Wills has claimed.

The company has seen a 26 per cent rise since November, triggered, it believes, by the looming war and the perceived threat of global terrorism.

Firearms offences have fallen by 30 per cent in the capital, new statistics from Scotland Yard have shown.

The largest drop was in the borough of Southwark, where reported incidents fell from 77 to 32.

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