This week's UK news: 4 February 2011
4 February 2011

Football clubs break spending records

More than GBP 135m was spent in one day on football players this week. This money was spent in the last day of the month when transfers are allowed under UK football rules. In all, around GBP 210m was spent, far more than ever before.

Fernando Torres, the Liverpool and Spain striker, was sold to Chelsea for GBP 50m. This was the highest ever transfer fee in the Premier League, and makes Torres the world's third most expensive player.

Liverpool sold Torres but bought Andy Carroll from Newcastle United for GBP 35m. This makes him the most expensive English footballer in history. Liverpool also bought Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for GBP 23m, and Chelsea spent about the same on David Luiz from Portuguese club Benfica.

Football experts say the Premier League clubs have spent money on top players because there is such a narrow gap between the bottom 12 this season.

Who turned out the lights?

An island 80 miles south of the UK has been named the first "dark sky island" in the world. This means Sark is perfect for viewing the night sky and the stars.

Sark, which is the smallest of the four Channel Islands, is quite unusual. Cars are banned, and the only motor vehicles allowed are tractors which pull supplies from the harbour, and also tow the island's fire engines and ambulances. There are no streetlights, and residents use head torches at night.

The astronomer who led Sark's application for Dark Sky status visited every outside light on the island to recommend ways in which light going into the sky could be reduced. Islanders now hope for increased tourism from people who want to see the stars.

There is one other Dark Sky area in the UK, which is Galloway forest park in Scotland.

Man falls 1,000 feet from mountain

Adam Potter likes climbing mountains. Last weekend he and his friends walked up a snowy mountain in Scotland. They were just about to get out their ice axes when Adam slipped.

He slid down a rocky slope. Luckily for him this was covered in snow. Then he bounced over three 100ft cliffs. Amazingly, not only did Adam survive, but he was able to stand up and look at his map.

At this point a Royal Navy helicopter arrived. But the rescuers on board ignored Adam to begin with, because they believed there was no way that he could have survived such a fall. They were looking for a body, but instead saw a man standing up. Only after they had flown to the mountain top and saw Adam's belongings scattered down the cliffs did they believe that he was the man they were looking for.

Adam was taken to hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. He wants to get better quickly because he is planning a major climb in two months: to Everest.

This week's Royal Wedding story

Two major television companies are hoping to broadcast the Royal Wedding in 3D. This would be the first major British non-sporting event to be shown in this way.

3D cameras are much larger than ordinary ones, so the BBC and BSkyB are talking to Royal officials about how the filming might be done without affecting the wedding or the guests in Westminster Abbey.

Viewers who wanted to get the 3D effect would need 3D televisions and glasses.


by Susan Young


  • This week's UK news: 28 January 2011
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