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vital statistics

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lThe Congestion Charge - introduced in London on Monday - will cut congestion in the capital by 10-15 per cent and raise about £130 million each year for public transport, according to the Greater London Authority.

lThe number of people in employment has reached an all-time high following a jump in January of 253,000, the sharpest rate of increase in three years, according to the minister for work, Nick Brown.

lThe proportion of house sales to first time buyers has leapt to 44 per cent, representing the highest proportion since September 2001, new research by the National Association of Estate Agents has shown.

lIndian engineering student Mahaveer Jain has earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records by memorising verbatim all 80,000 words in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

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