This week's UK news: 6 March 2009
6 March 2009

Get paid to eat

There are some great restaurant offers around at the moment. But few are better than at the Oriental Aroma in Wiltshire, where on Sundays more than 500 people are lining up to eat lunch.

The customers love the Chinese and Thai food. But they also love the cost: on Sunday lunchtime you can eat all you like for free. This weekend owner James Huynh is promising a donation for charity for every customer who eats free.

"A lot of people think I'm crazy," he says.

Why schoolfriends are good for you

Popular children earn higher salaries as adults, according to new British research.

Scientists at Essex University found that each extra friend someone has at school raises their salary by 2 per cent forty years later. They said this was because the most popular children had better social skills. These were helpful when they started work.

They also found more intelligent children were likely to be more popular, and so more successful.

However, the scientists said the length of education and overall intelligence had more impact on later earnings than being able to make friends.

Do teenagers cost more than cars?

The lifestyle of some British teenagers is now costing their families £9,000 a year.

It seems that they are spending more than £1,000 a year on mobile phones, MP3 players and downloads, £300 on trainers and £240 on getting their hair cut. Then there are the costs of clothes and nights out.

The teenage lifestyle seems to be starting younger. Some seven-year-old children have mobile phones and want to buy ringtones and games for them.

Money, Money, Money

The global financial crisis has been big news again. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown flew to the US this week to address Congress, and talked about the importance of countries working together.

And back in the UK, interest rates were lowered to 0.5 per cent. The Bank of England announced it was also trying something new to get money moving again.

Few people properly understand what is happening, but £150 billion of new money will be transferred into the economy. No extra banknotes are being printed. It is all happening electronically.


by Susan Young -


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