This week's UK news: 25 February 2011
25 February 2011

First 2012 Olympics venue opens

The velodrome where cycling events will take place during the London Olympics opened this week. It has opened on time, and within its budget.

The velodrome has taken 23 months to build and has been nicknamed The Pringle because it looks rather like a potato crisp. It cost GBP 94m and has been designed to be the fastest track in the world.

Team GB won eight gold medals for cycling in the 2008 Olympics and champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy says the velodrome "feels fast". He advised on the design, asking for toilets close to the track for the cyclists and lots of natural light.

Postmen blamed for litter

Letters and parcels are delivered six days a week to British homes by postmen and women working for the public mail service, the Royal Mail. They use red rubber bands to keep piles of mail together in their delivery bags. The red bands are supposed to break down into the soil more quickly than ordinary brown ones, and are also easier to see if they are dropped.

But new research shows that the Royal Mail gets through more than two million of the rubber bands each day. It has bought four billion of the bands during the last five years – enough to stretch eight times around the world.

The charity Keep Britain Tidy wants postal workers to cut down on their use of rubber bands, which can cause wild animals to choke. But the Royal Mail says most of the bands are reused in its sorting offices and that staff are regularly reminded to pick up any that they drop.

You are what you eat

Menus in the UK will have to explain how fattening every dish is from September.

The change is part of a Government campaign to help people make more healthy choices about food. There is a big problem in the UK with people being overweight, and many people get meals from cafes, restaurants and takeaways. The idea is to tell people how fattening their meals are, and encourage them to choose something better.

Salt content will also be listed on menus for the first time.

Royal Wedding Update

Invitations for the Royal Wedding have been sent out this week and there has been a lot of interest in who is going – and who isn't.

There are 1,900 places at the wedding ceremony itself. Then 600 guests are invited to a "wedding breakfast" (at lunchtime) at Buckingham Palace, and just 300 will go on to an official dinner hosted by the Prince of Wales.

It is strongly rumoured that David and Victoria Beckham are on the guest list. The couple are among the best-known British celebrities even though they currently live in America. David Beckham became famous as a footballer and his wife started as a member of pop group The Spice Girls.  Since they got married, the pair have become super-famous and appear regularly in gossip magazines. They are now known for their fashion sense and the royal bride, Catherine Middleton, is apparently interested in the dresses which Victoria designs.

Not on the wedding list is a former Royal bride, Sarah Ferguson. She married Prince Andrew in the 1980s and the couple had two children before divorcing.


by Susan Young (


  • This week's news: 18 February 2011
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