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vital statistics

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Extra water supplies equivalent to 20 million baths a day will be required to service the projected extra 4.4 million households created between 1991 and 2016, says the Council for the Protection of Rural England. Eighty new quarries will also be needed.

Watchmaker smh expects to sell 1 million a year of its new product - the world's first wristwatch telephone. Retailing at about £200, it is called Swatch Talk.

The Prison Service is seeking a cut in the cost of keeping prisoners of more than 5 per cent over two years. The number of prisoners is expected to rise 5.3 per cent to 69,000 over the next 12 months, while the service's budget will rise 3.4 per cent.

British Airports Authority is to spend £500 million on development around airports, and other transport-related schemes, over the next five years. Work will be carried out by its property arm baa Lynton.

Average hotel room rates in London exceeded £100 for the first time last year, says a report from bdo Hospitality Consulting. The rate for the country as a whole was £63.

The 109,000-ton Grand Princess, the world's largest cruise liner, has set out on her maiden voyage. The liner is 201ft high, 159ft wide and 951ft long. She can accommodate 2600 passengers and 1100 crew.

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