The chief executive of High Speed 2, Alison Munro, has dismissed the claim that the rail project will cost £80 billion - more than double the official estimate - as "absurd".
She told ITV News that she "doesn't recognise" the figure allegedly quoted in a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, and that she is confident the cost will not overrun.
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The so-called Islamic State released a statement alleging they had shot down a US warplane over Iraq.
The tree, which suffered previous wind damage in 2011, was made famous through the classic 1994 jailbreak film starring Morgan Freeman.
The British Muslim convert insisted he is not "currently" a fighter in Syria.