This week's news: 23 April 2010
23 April 2010

British election gets interesting

England has three main parties. But usually only the Conservatives or the Labour party have any chance of forming a government.

But this election things have started to look very different. For the first time, the leaders of the three main parties have taken part in debates on television.

The surprising result of the first of these was that the leader of the third main party, the Liberal Democrats, did so well. In fact, Nick Clegg did so well that it is now very hard to predict who will win the election. It is beginning to look as though two parties may have to share government after May 6.

The television debates seem to have helped Mr Clegg because his party gets much less attention from the media than the other two. He was able to put over his message personally for the first time.

Airports open again

British airspace was closed for several days because of a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Flying was banned for several days because ash from the volcano can damage jet engines. The problem was made worse because the volcano erupted at the end of a British school holiday when many families and teachers had planned to return home.

Many schools opened at the start of term with a shortage of teachers. Now the airports and ferry ports are dealing with the backlog of passengers. Many have taken long and difficult train and bus journeys to get back across Europe.

Many people were also stranded in the UK at the end of their holidays or courses.

Phones for cooks

One of the UK’s best-known television cooks launched an iPhone app this week. Nigella Lawson is famous for her television programmes and using lots of butter in her recipes.

Her app was the best-seller in the iTunes chart the day after it launched. It joins the app from another well-known British chef, Jamie Oliver. Gordon Ramsay, a Michelin-starred chef famous for his swearing on TV is also going to launch a recipe app in the summer.

New argument about baby care

There is always lots of debate in the UK about the best way to bring up children. This is partly because most mothers of young children now go out to work.

A new book out this week says it is not good to leave babies to cry. Penelope Leach, who has written books on childcare for many years, says crying for too long can damage babies’ brains.

This is news because other childcare advisers have taught parents how to let their babies cry so that they will sleep all night long. The argument is likely to continue.


by Susan Young


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