This week's news: 9 April 2010
j0314269
9 April 2010


Finally, the election is called

The UK does not have fixed election dates, but a government can run for up to five years. Unless the Government is forced to call an election because it begins to lose votes in Parliament, it is up to the Prime Minister to decide when the election will be.

The vote will be on May 6. The politicians started campaigning officially on Tuesday when the announcement was made. However, the campaign has actually been going on for months.

The major argument between the main parties is over the state of the economy, and what cuts will need to be made. One big difference in this election is that the wives of both main party leaders are playing a major role. This does not usually happen in British politics.

More time with mum and dad

Most British mothers work outside the home and there is a lot of debate about this. New research has found that parents are spending three times more time with their children than 25 years ago.

Fathers are spending ten times more time with their children than their own fathers did with them. They now spend around half an hour with their children each day, compared to eight minutes in 1975. Mothers used to spend between eight and 21 minutes a day on child care in 1975. In 2000 this had risen to between 51 and 86 minutes.

The researcher thinks parents want to spend more time taking their children to museums to help their education.

The most unusual horse in the race

Racehorses usually belong to very rich people. But one of the horses taking part in the biggest British race of the year, the Grand National, is rather unusual.

Dream Alliance was created and trained because of a group of 22 ordinary people who have paid £10 a month each. The group was started by the manager of a men’s club, Jan Vokes, after hearing two customers talking about a racehorse they had owned.

They bought a female horse and arranged for her to become pregnant. Dream Alliance was born in 2001 and brought up on some rented land. At the age of four, the horse was sent to a well-known trainer, and has already won one big race.

Many people bet on The Grand National because it is a huge race with many fences. Lots of horses don’t even finish. There will be lots of bets on Dream Alliance because of its unusual story.

Children hiding behind the furniture again

Britain’s favourite family television show is back with a new actor. Dr Who, which started 45 years ago, is about a time-travelling alien who travels in a blue police telephone box with a friend and saves Earth and other planets.

The show was brought back a few years ago after a long break and has become very popular. People really loved the last actor who played the Doctor, who was called David Tennant.

But Tennant decided it was time to leave and the new actor, Matt Smith, 27, is the youngest-ever Doctor. He starred in his first episode during the Easter holiday weekend and seems to have pleased the show’s fans.

 

by Susan Young
susan@englishuk.com

 

  • This week's UK news: 1 April 2010
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