This week's UK news: 13 February, 2009
13 February 2009

A game of two halves

Football was big news again in the UK this week when Chelsea sacked its manager because the team was only in fourth position in the Premier League.

Managers lose their jobs all the time, but this manager is Luis Felipe Scolari. Among his previous achievements is winning the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, and being offered the head coach job for the England national team.

Scolari, who said to be earning £6.25m a year, was the highest paid football manager in the world. He is the fourth manager to be dismissed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in five and a half years. He lasted five months.

The biggest horse in the world

Visitors who arrive in the UK via the Eurostar train from France will be in for a surprise. For a competition to choose a sculpture to stand close to the new Ebbsfleet railway station has been won by designs for a giant horse.

And this giant horse really is huge. If you stood next to it, you would be the size of a hoof. It will cost £2m, is 50 metres (164ft high), white, and will just stand in a field as if it were a real horse. And it's based on a horse in a famous painting. But that's not the oddest thing about it. The oddest thing is that no-one is complaining about the idea. In fact, everyone seems to love it.

Technical work is now starting on the project, but there is no date yet set for when the horse will be constructed. Artist Mark Wallinger said: "I just want people to go, wow!"

Another row about the recession

Former bankers whose banks had to be rescued by the Government were questioned by a committee in Parliament this week.

Many people were surprised to hear that a man employed to warn the HBOS bank about risk was dismissed by his boss. Why? Because he warned that the bank was taking too many risks.

That would have been bad enough. But the man who fired his risk manager for doing his job went on to a new post. He was helping to run the organisation which makes sure the UK's financial institutions are safe, and don't take unnecessary risks. He had also advised the Prime Minister. He has now resigned.

Milkman in court

Some people still have bottles of milk delivered to the doorstep of their house every morning. But one milkman found himself in trouble this week for his special delivery.

Robert Holding was not just delivering milk and eggs. He was also supplying the drug cannabis to elderly customers who wanted it to help with the pain of aching joints and other medical conditions. Unfortunately his actions were illegal and police arrested him.

He has been given a jail sentence but will not actually to prison unless he breaks the law again.


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