Also: More fallout from supercasino decision and Shankhill enjoys a property boom

Row over Olympics Budget intensifies

The Observer reported on Sunday that a major political battle is under way over how to fund a large increase in the budget for the Olympic Games. The decision is likely to be made by Chancellor Gordon Brown, the paper said, who has so far been resistant to the idea of VAT exemption for the games and has also turned aside growing pressure to provide more Treasury funding to meet rising costs.

Olympics herald greater powers for the police

The Saturday Telegraph reported that a leaked memo has revealed that the Olympics will be used as a way to introduce a number of ‘Big Brother’ style crime fighting techniques. Drawn up by officials at the home office the document revealed that police will be given the power to use a much wider DNA database and to scan postal packages.

BA declines to fly Olympic flag

The paper said that officials preparing for the Olympics have had to invite non-domestic airlines to compete to be the official carrier for the games after British Airways showed no interest.

Threat of legal fight by Dome recedes

The prospect of a legal challenge to Manchester’s proposed supercasino status appears unlikely to proceed, The Guardian reported on Saturday. Officials from US billionaire Phillip Anschutz’s company AEG Europe, told a meeting at Greenwich council that the Millennium Dome arena would be open in the summer, possibly ahead of schedule. But sources conceded that scope for a challenge is limited, the paper said.

Supercasino city may abandon its bid-winning site

The paper also said that Manchester is already full to bursting with places for people to gamble and that the new super casino it is set to get may be built on a different site to the one that won the city the bid. The news infuriated Blackpool where it was widely felt that the town was a more worthy winner of the casino.

Storms in Florida kill 19 and leave state in ruins

The Independent reported on Saturday that a string of violent thunderstorms and a tornado in central Florida have razed thousands of houses and trailer homes to the ground. At least 19 people died in the storms, according to the newspaper.

Property boom helps Shankill Road to forget the Troubles

Shankhill Road in Belfast - an area once synonymous with the Troubles - has become an unlikely property hotspot, according to Saturday’s Independent. The newspaper reported that terraced houses on the road have more than doubled in value from £70,000 last year to £150,000.

Bid for Sainsbury’s ‘may hit food prices’

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the supermarket chain could be bought by a group of secretive private equity firms. CVC, KKR and Blackstone were forced to admit by city regulators that they were considering a bid.

Work underway on Brighton’s beachfront tower

The weekend FT reported that work has started on a £250m, 40-storey tower at the eastern end of Brighton’s beachfront. The Wilkinson Eyre-designed development will provide 853 apartments and 30,000sq ft of commercial space. Initial work centres on supports for a platform above the waves and the scheme is part of a bid to realise the potential of the city’s marina.