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vital statistics

The total value of the UK's private housing stock is £2.68 trillion, according to new estimates from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. It warned that this figure will rise to £7 trillion unless current trends are bucked.

The number of officers policing the capital has reached an all-time high, the Metropolitan Police commissioner John Stevens announced last week.The official total of policemen on London's streets has hit 28,602, he said, a figure predicted by mayor Ken Livingstone to reach 30,000 within the next calendar year.

California's political leadership has failed to plug a $38 billion hole in the state's finances.The problem means the state government is virtually bankrupt and all politicians' salaries are suspended.

A new report from the Department of Work and Pensions claims that it has achieved a 'lone parent working rate'of above 50 per cent for the first time, thanks to its New Deal for Lone Parents initiative.

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