This week's UK news: 3 February 2012
3 February 2012

Olympic opening ceremony announced

Six months before the London 2012 Olympics begin, a few details of the opening ceremony have been announced.
The four-hour show, costing GBP 27m, is being organised by Danny Boyle, the director of hit film Slumdog Millionaire. The ceremony is called Isles of Wonder and was inspired by a speech in the Shakespeare play, The Tempest.
The event will begin when a specially made bell, the biggest ever made in Europe, is rung. There will be music by dance group Underworld, a torch lighting ceremony, and a tribute to the UK's National Health Service.
There will be up to 12,000 performers and 25,000 costumes. One of the organisers said it was like staging 165 professional musicals at the same time.

Bankers in trouble

There has been a huge argument among politicians and newspapers about senior staff at the country's biggest bank.
The Royal Bank of Scotland is mostly owned by the UK since it almost collapsed during the financial crisis in 2008.
There was a lot of anger that Stephen Hester, the bank's current boss, was due to get a bonus of almost GBP 1 million on top of his regular pay of GBP 1.2 million. This week, Mr Hester decided to refuse the bonus.
Just days later, the man who had been in charge of the bank when it almost collapsed also found himself in trouble. Sir Fred Goodwin has already had to cut his annual pension payments from the bank to GBP 342,500 each year after public anger about the payments.
This week Sir Fred had his title removed. He was given the title "Sir" by the Queen for his work in banking. He is now just Mr Fred Goodwin again.

Prime Minister parks car

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, was in the news this week for helping his children's nanny.
Gita Lama, who looks after the Prime Minister's three children, was having trouble parking her car in Downing Street as Mr Cameron returned from his morning run. He offered to help and parked her car in the space.
But one of the watching photographers said the Prime Minister had bumped another car whilst doing it. This was denied by a Government official.

Farm building as good as cathedral

A 500-year-old barn has been bought by an organisation which protects and displays important buildings.
Harmondsworth Barn, near Heathrow Airport, was built in 1426 by Winchester College to store grain. It has been described as a "cathedral". Its new owners, English Heritage, say it is as important as the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
The barn is as big as a large church, and was used until the 1970s. It is the best preserved and largest surviving medieval timber barn in England. It will be open twice a month during the summer.

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