This week's UK news: 8 November 2013
8 November 2013

UK is a great place to live

The UK has come ahead of Germany, the United States and Japan as the best place in the world to live and work, according to an international survey.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development has measured how people feel in 34 countries, including factors such as income, education, housing and security. People in the UK are more satisfied with their lives than five years ago, though the economic downturn has caused problems.

The UK ranks above the OECD country average on many of these measures. It is in a group with Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Nordic countries, the highest-rated in the Better Life index.

...and we are surprisingly cultured

Lots of people think that the UK is not very interested in culture, but a survey in the European Union shows that this is wrong.

People in the UK are more enthusiastic about opera than Italians, and go to art galleries more than the French. We are also more likely to read, more interested in history and more likely to go to the ballet or theatre than the average EU citizen.

Almost 40 per cent of us have been to see a play in the last year, compared with the European average of 28 per cent. Around 65 per cent of us went to a historical monument (compared with 54 per cent in France and 41 per cent in Italy), and 80 per cent of us read a book in the last year compared with the average of 68 per cent.

Prince asks for help with homework

A very long and complicated court case has just begun in London, into whether newspaper employees illegally listened to people's mobile phone messages, and then covered this up.

The trial will go on for six months and is very complicated. But some interesting stories are coming out of it. One is that when Prince Harry was at Sandhurst, the military college, he rang his private secretary to ask for help with an essay. The Prince had to write about an incident at an embassy in London, and wanted more information. "I have got most of the stuff but if you have got any extra information or websites that you know please, please email it to me or text me," he said.

Talking toilets surprise train passengers

Some UK train services have installed talking toilets.

Passengers travelling between London, Scotland, Northern England and the Midlands will hear the messages when they use the toilets. The idea is to stop people putting things in the toilets which might block them up, but the messages are silly and designed to make people laugh as well.

The message says: "Please don't flush nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, junk mail, your ex's sweater, hopes, dreams, or goldfish down this toilet."


previous entry << >> next entry