This week's UK news: 21 August 2009
21 August 2009

Whose health service is best?

The British health service has become part of a big argument in the United States.

President Obama wants to reform the US healthcare system. But there is a lot of opposition. Many people are using the British system to support the argument, on both sides.

Many of the claims being made in America are wrong. And some British people are complaining that what they say has been wrongly reported in the US.

The British system, called the National Health Service, is funded out of taxes. It is free for residents to use, including doctors’ appointments and hospital care. Now people here are arguing about the NHS and also commenting on US websites.

Education in the news

Schools in England and Wales are still on holiday but education is always in the news in August.

This is because the main exam results are released now. A Levels came out yesterday, and GCSE (the school-leaving exam) will be known next week.

There are usually big arguments in the news about the results. A-Level passes have been increasing steadily. Many people say this is because of students’ hard work. Others say the exams have become easier to pass.

Swine flu numbers down again

Only one person in ten who thought they had swine flu last week were correct. Tests showed the most people with symptoms were ill with a different disease, doctors found.

Swine flu infections have dropped during the school summer holidays. Just 11,000 people in the UK were diagnosed with the illness last week.

In most cases swine flu has been a mild illness. Some people say it is so mild that the Government should not be using its stockpile of Tamiflu.

Harry Potter research

A scientist in Scotland has been given £100,000 to try to develop an “invisibility cloak”.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt of the University of St Andrews wants to create a material which would wrap light waves around it. This would make anything inside it disappear.

Harry Potter has a cloak which makes him invisible. The Professor thinks he will make progress during the project.


Susan Young - susan


  • This week's UK news: 14 August 2009
  • This week's UK news: 7 August 2009
  • This week's UK news: 24 July 2009
  • This week's UK news: 17 July 2009


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