This week's UK news: 20 August 2010
20 August 2010

Universities full

A Level results came out this week with the new top A* grade. This is supposed to make it easier for universities to choose the best students.

More than 8 per cent of students taking A levels got the new grade. There were many more students applying to British universities than available places.

This has happened for three reasons. The Government has stopped its policy of university expansion and is causing problems for those which take too many students. Increasing numbers of young people want to go to university. And economic problems mean there are fewer jobs for young people leaving school.

Now disappointed students are being advised to try for an apprenticeship (learning in the workplace) or to reapply next year and work to make their resumes better.

There has been a big rise in the number of under-21s applying to study from home with the Open University. This has traditionally been used much more by older students.

Texts save climbers

Two British climbers were saved from Mont Blanc in Italy after texting a friend back in the UK for help.

Finn McCann and Tom Greenwood got into trouble when Greenwood dislocated his shoulder. They were 3,500m up the mountain. They were stuck on a narrow ledge in a storm.

The emergency numbers they had put in their phones did not work, and the batteries were failing. They rang a friend in the UK who contacted the emergency services in Italy and got help for them.

Tony Blair causes controversy

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was in the news after announcing that he will give the proceeds of his autobiography to a charity which helps former members of the armed forces.

The book, called A Journey, comes out next month and is likely to make several million pounds for The British Legion. The charity's boss said he was delighted with the "very generous" donation which will help pay for a new centre for injured servicemen and women.

But other people are less happy, because it was Mr Blair who took the UK into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Middle-aged men find new thrill

Older men looking for excitement have traditionally bought themselves a fast motorbike or a sports car.

But now there is a new craze: expensive bicycles. There are record sales of bikes to men aged 35-45. Sales of all bikes have risen, but expensive bike sales have doubled at one retailer in the past two years.


by Susan Young


  • This week's UK news: 13 August 2010
  • This week's UK news: 6 August 2010
  • This week's UK news: 31 July 2010
  • This week's UK news: 23 July 2010

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