This week's UK news: 29 May 2009
29 May 2009

Man U not happy

Britain became even more football-obsessed than usual for the European Cup final between Manchester United and the Spanish team Barcelona.

Man U were the defending champions, and have also won twice before. The team had hoped to add the European Cup to the other three major trophies they have won this year, creating a new record. They have already won the Fifa Club World Cup, the Carling Cup and their 18th England league title.

But on Wednesday they lost 2-0.

Here comes the summer

There are more than 200 open-air music festivals in Britain each year. Despite our summer weather - which often includes heavy rain - numbers are increasing.

Glastonbury is the best-known of them all, partly because it has been going for a long time, partly because it has been very muddy there in the past, and partly because of its unusual choice of bands.

It has just announced this year's biggest acts include Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Blur. Last year's biggest act was the American rapper Jay-Z, so the older performers are a bit of a surprise.

If you are interested in going, tickets went on sale months ago. But it is usually televised on the BBC.

Dinosaur news

You probably know how dinosaurs such as the diplodocus and apatosaurus looked. But British experts say we've got it all wrong.

A new study led by Mike Taylor of Portsmouth University says the prehistoric beasts were unlikely to walk with their necks stretched out in front of them. Instead, they think the dinosaurs held their heads high as modern animals do.

This would mean the dinosaurs would have behaved very differently to the ways scientists have believed. They would have been able to see enemies easily, and could have eaten food which was out of reach for other dinosaurs.

Problems with poets

Poets and Oxford University have attracted the headlines in a very odd way this week. There was an election for a new professor of poetry, won by the first woman, Ruth Padel.

But less than two weeks later she resigned and apologised. She admitted she had emailed two journalists to tell them about the past of one of her rivals for the job, but said this had not been done to win the contest. And she denied sending information to more than a hundred academics who were to vote in the election.

As a result, the rival had then withdrawn from the election for the professorship. Now Ms Padel has resigned, a new Professor of Poetry will now be elected.

Politics in the spotlight

The crisis in British politics is now three weeks old and showing no signs of ending.

Members of Parliament have been in big trouble since details of the financial claims they made were revealed. Many politicians appear to have claimed as much money as they could each year. They often bought luxuries for their homes and some even claimed for payments on houses they had already paid for.

Voters are very angry, especially since many are losing their jobs in the recession. Now some MPs have been forced to resign. Politicians are also discussing how Parliament could be reformed.


by Susan Young -


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