This week's UK news: 8 July 2011
8 July 2011

News is the in news this week

The biggest news story of the week is about news itself. Britain's biggest-selling paper, The News Of The World, is being closed after this weekend. Five years ago one of its journalists and a private investigator were sent to prison after being found guilty of illegally listening to mobile phone voicemail of members of the Royal Family. News International, which owned the paper, said this was an isolated incident.

Since then there have been many stories that "phone hacking" was more widespread but a police investigation did not find anything. Some well-known people who thought the paper had listened to their phone messages started legal action, and forced the police to hand over evidence.

This week it was revealed that the newspaper listened to the voicemails of a missing schoolgirl who was later found murdered, and the families of people killed in terrorist bombings and of soldiers in Afghanistan. Big companies began to remove their advertising from the News of the World.

The story is even more complicated because the man who edited the News of the World when it is known phones were hacked worked for the Prime Minister until January. There are also many questions over why the first police enquiry did not discover the truth. It has become a row about politics and the police as well as journalism.

You can buy anything from a machine

Vending machines are common in the UK for buying small, cheap items like chocolate bars, fizzy drinks and toiletries. Something more unusual appeared in a London shopping centre this week. It is a machine selling gold bars.

Prices in the Gold to Go machine are updated every ten minutes. You can spend anything from GBP40 for a 1g coin, up to around GBP10,250 for a 250g gold bar.

The machine's owners say it is made of reinforced steel and has the best security, so no guards are necessary.

The end of Harry Potter

Fans from all over the world came to London this week for the premiere of the final film about the boy wizard. Many had been camped out for four days beside the enormous red carpet in Trafalgar Square, and many were dressed as characters from the story.

Members of the cast spent three hours signing autographs for fans. The books' author, JK Rowling, thanked the fans. She said. "Thank you for queueing up for the books for all those years."

The red carpet taking the celebrities from Trafalgar Square to the cinema in Leicester Square is believed to be the longest in the world. It was three-quarters of a mile (1.2km) long.

The film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, is released on July 15.


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