This week's UK news: 16 October 2009
16 October 2009

Politicians in trouble again

Many British people were very cross earlier this year when they found out what politicians had been charging for living costs. One politician had bought a floating house for his ducks. Other politicians had spent lots of money on furniture, cleaning and gardening.

This week the problem came back. Lots of politicians were asked to pay money back, by the official who has been investigating the problem. The trouble is that lots of the politicians are very angry about this. They say they followed the rules when they claimed the money and it is not fair to now say those rules were wrong.

This could be important because an election will be called in the next year. Voters have been reminded how angry they were with the political parties.

New art exhibition

Tate Modern, in London, is in an old power station building and has an enormous exhibition room. Every few months a new artist takes over the space.

This week a new exhibition opened, called How It Is. There are no pictures or statues. The room is filled with an enormous metal box. It is dark. Visitors can walk in or around it.

Inside the box is very dark. It is very scary. If you are in London, it is worth a visit.

Mobile phones argument

There was a big argument after a senior teacher suggested that it could be useful to let pupils bring their own mobile phones and laptop computers into the classroom. The teacher said children were used to technology and schools could not afford to buy lots of equipment for everyone.

The teacher had used pupil mobile phones in his own school and it had worked well.

But the story got used in lots of newspapers. They turned it into an argument about whether mobile phones should be allowed in class. One leader of a teachers’ union said pupils would just text each other. She was also worried that they would send photos of teachers to internet sites.

Newspapers print rubbish

British newspapers love stories about well-known people. A new film out this week shows how reporters used made-up stories in their papers without checking them at all. In some cases they even made up more details.

Film-maker Chris Atkins said he chose stories which could be easily checked by the reporter. His inventions included the story that pop singer Amy Winehouse’s big hair caught fire, and that Madonna’s ex-husband got a bruised eye juggling knives and forks.

Mr Atkins said the fake stories were often used in other newspapers and magazines after they first appeared. Starsuckers opens at the London Film Festival on October 28.


by Susan Young -


  • This week's UK news: 9 October 2009 
  • This week's UK news: 2 Ocotober 2009
  • This week's UK news: 24 September 2009
  • This week's UK news: 18 September 2009

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