This week's UK news: 22 May 2009
22 May 2009

Another bad week for politics

Politicians had another terrible week. The British public is very angry with Members of Parliament, because a newspaper has found out that they claimed public money for strange things.

One man claimed more than £1000 for building an island for his ducks. Others have wrongly claimed payments for their houses.

This week the Speaker, who is in charge of Parliament, was forced to give up his job. This has not happened for more than 300 years. Some MPs have also been told to resign. But still the trouble is not going away.

Record-breaking mountain climb

A 65-year-old man has become the oldest Briton to climb Mount Everest.

It was the third time Sir Ranulph Fiennes had tried to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain.

He had a heart attack just 350 metres from the top the first time he tried, and had to turn back. Last year he had to stop climbing the mountain because he was exhausted. He was determined to conquer Everest, to raise money for charity.

Sir Ranulph is known for his unusual achievements. In 2003 he ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. He is the first man to cross the North and South Poles and climb the world's highest peak

Record-breaking pregnancy

A British woman of 66 is about to become one of the world's oldest mothers.

Elizabeth Adeney's first baby is due in July, a month before her 67th birthday. She is delighted but doctors are worried about the health risks for her and the baby.

There has been a lot of discussion about the story. Many people are horrified that she has chosen to become a mother so late in life, after seeing doctors abroad. Fertility treatment is banned to women older than 40 in the UK.

A very English festival

This was the week of the Chelsea Flower Show. This is an annual event held in central London where top gardeners create and display gardens. Flowers are tricked into flowering early, and gardens are judged in a competition.

Two things were much talked about this year. One was a garden with flowers made from children's clay, by a television presenter. The other was the removal of a small jokey figure - called a gnome - from one of the gardens. Gnomes, which look like small ugly fairy creatures, are banned from Chelsea even though they appear in many British gardens.


by Susan Young -


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