This week's UK news: 27 July 2012
27 July 2012

British cyclist wins Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins, a triple Olympic gold medallist, has become the first British winner of the Tour de France since the race began in 1903.

Wiggins first saw the race 19 years ago with his parents. He has dreamed about winning it ever since, but says he did not believe it would happen. The personality of Wiggins has surprised the French audience. He is a Mod. This is someone who likes a particular type of music (think The Who and The Jam) and drives motor scooters. He has also become well-known for his facial hair -- he has "sideburns, " which is hair coming down each cheek.
Wiggins and his team-mates Chris Froome (who came second) and Mark Cavendish (who won several stages, including the final sprint in Paris) are not taking it easy. They are taking part in the Olympic road race this weekend.

The London Olympics finally begin

Seven years ago London won the right to stage the 2012 Olympics. Today the Games will open in a fantastic ceremony staged by film director Danny Boyle. There have been two dress rehearsals this week, with invited audiences, but everyone has been asked to "save the surprise". There has been very little leaked information, except that sheep and clouds are involved. The public does not know who will light the Olympic flame.

The Games have already started, with first-round football matches being staged this week. There was an embarrassing incident when the wrong Korean flag was used.

The excitement has been building this week. The Olympic torch has been travelling through London, carried by well-known people and watched by huge crowds. News bulletins have been reminding us all week that the Games are about to begin.

Farmers protesting about milk prices

UK farmers have been protesting about a planned cut in the price they get for their milk.
Most milk in the UK is sold to dairies, which then sell it on to supermarkets and other shops. The dairies want to cut the price farmers receive for milk to 25p per litre, but it costs farms 29 or 30p a litre to produce it.

Well-known chefs have been urging people to stop buying milk from supermarkets which are paying them less than cost price. Two store chains have said that they will raise the price they pay for milk. The government has said it could change the law on milk prices if a new agreement between farmers and dairies does not work.

Government minister starts a row over tax

People have been talking a lot about a Government minister who said this week that it was wrong to pay people in cash. David Gauke said that people who did this were allowing workmen to avoid paying tax and making others pay more.

His attitude was criticised by other politicians who said he should concentrate on those who were avoiding large amounts of tax. Later, Mr Gauke admitted he had paid workers in cash himself, but said he had not done this to pay less money.


previous entry << >> next entry