This week's UK news: 22 October 2010
22 October 2010

Is this the perfect job?

A company which makes good chocolate is looking for a new employee.

Green and Black's wants a taste assistant to help develop new chocolate flavours, test new products and travel around the world to find the best ingredients. Lots of chocolate-lovers might do this job for free, but it pays GBP 35,000 a year.

The company needs to find somebody with a very good sense of taste and smell. Applicants will have to take a blind test, in which they identify the flavours of specially-created bars of chocolate.

Ex-Prime Minister may win bad award

People read a lot in Britain and we have several different book prizes. But there is one prize nobody wants to win.

It is called the Bad Sex award and goes to the book which includes the most awful description of personal relationships.

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, published his autobiography last month. Lots of people were horrified that it included a description of a night of passion he spent with his wife Cherie. "I was an animal following my instinct," he wrote, at the end of an embarrassing section of his book.

Now there are suggestions that Mr Blair's book will be included in the shortlist for the Bad Sex prize, even though it is only supposed to be for novels.

Toilet problem stops popular festival

Music festivals are very popular in Britain in the summer. People like to camp out for a few days and enjoy hearing their favourite bands in the open air.

The best-known and longest-running festival of all is Glastonbury, which takes place on a farm in Southern England in early summer. Sometimes it rains a lot, and everyone gets covered in mud. Sometimes the weather is good. The 2011 festival has already sold out, even though it has not been announced which bands will play.

It has just been announced that there will be no Glastonbury in 2012. The festival takes a year off quite often, to let the land and the organisers recover. But the reason 2012 has been chosen is a strange one. The Olympics are being held in London, and most of the available portable toilets in the UK will be sent there. "I can see it getting very expensive," said festival founder Michael Eavis.

Football in the headlines

It has been a busy week for people who write about football. There has been a long battle over ownership of Liverpool Football Club, which involved courts in London and Texas, USA. Finally the club was sold to new American owners, whose other clubs include the Boston Red Sox.

And there has been the story of Wayne Rooney, Manchester United's star player. There have been stories that Rooney did not want to sign a new contract to stay with the club. This was confirmed this week by Sir Alex Ferguson, Man United's manager. Sir Alex said he was shocked and disappointed that Rooney did not want to stay, but said "the door is still open" if the player changes his mind. There is talk that Rooney might be interested in moving to Manchester City.

British government announces huge spending cuts

Most European governments have been making large spending cuts as a result of the world financial crisis of the last two years. Now it is Britain's turn.

A new Government was elected six months ago, and said it would make sure it cut the country's debt. It has spent the last few months working out how to do this, and warning that it would be painful for most people.

The Chancellor announced that GBP 81bn would be cut over the next four years, leading to around 500,000 job losses for people employed by the State. The Queen's income will be frozen, too, and she has promised to cut her spending in two years.

Some areas have been protected. These include education, health, and overseas development.


by Susan Young


  • This week's UK news: 15 October 2010
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  • This week's UK news: 1 October 2010
  • This week's UK news: 24 September 2010

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