This week's UK news: 12 March 2010
12 March 2010

Band challenges music downloads

Pink Floyd was one of the best-known British bands of the 1960s and 1970s. The band – famous for albums like Dark Side Of The Moon – liked to produce “concept albums”.

This was an album of music which was supposed to be listened to all the way through and in the right order. The albums had themes and the music developed from beginning to end. Most artists do not do this. They are happy for their songs to be heard alone or in any order.

Pink Floyd has not been happy that its record company, EMI, has allowed people to download single tracks from its albums. It has now gone to court over this.

The judge agreed that Pink Floyd’s contract does ban EMI from selling individual songs without its permission. Now other bands could be looking at their own contracts.

Prime Minister banned from talking about football

Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, is mad about sport. He loves football, and has supported a minor Scottish team called Raith Rovers since his childhood.

So it seemed a really good idea when the Prime Minister’s office asked if he could appear on the public broadcaster’s football programme. He wanted to talk about England’s bid to have the 2018 World Cup played in this country. It would probably have helped his public image.

The programme was delighted. But then the BBC decided that it had to ban Mr Brown from the programme. A general election has to be held by the summer, and there are strict rules about how politicians can appear on TV close to elections.

Go faster – but not yet

Plans to create a super-fast rail link between London and the North of England has just been announced. But building work will not start until 2017.

The £30 billion plan would create a Y shaped line from London to Manchester and Leeds, where it would join existing services. Trains would run at 250 miles per hour.

There is controversy about the route chosen, particularly because it does not include London’s Heathrow Airport.

David Beckham joins Manchester United campaign. Or does he?

David Beckham attracted lots of attention this week when he played for AC Milan against his old team, Manchester United.

The reason was that at the end of the game he picked up a green and gold football scarf and put it round his neck. The green and gold scarves are being used by Manchester United fans campaigning for the club to be sold to a new group called the Red Knights.

Many fans are unhappy with the way they say the club is being managed by its current owners, the American Glaser family. The green and gold are the colours of the football club which later became Manchester United.

Politicians in court

Three elected Members of Parliament and a member of the House of Lords have appeared in court on charges that they claimed expenses which were not real. This was a huge scandal last year.

The MPs said they should be tried in Parliament rather than in a criminal court. The judge did not allow this.

The case will now be tried later in the year. The four men could be sent to prison for up to seven years if they are found guilty.

by Susan Young


  • This week's UK news: 5 March 2010
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  • This week's UK news: 19 February 2010
  • This week's UK news: 5 February 2010

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