This week's UK news: 27 April 2012
27 April 2012

Marathon runner dies -- then raises over GBP 700,000

The London Marathon was held on Sunday, and sadly one runner died less than a mile from the finish. Claire Squires was a hairdresser and just 30 years old. Ten runners have died during the London Marathon.
After her death was announced, a strange thing happened. Claire was using her marathon run to ask friends and family to give money to a charity called The Samaritans. This gives phone support to people who are depressed, worried or thinking about killing themselves.
At the time of her death, she had raised around GBP400. Five days later, the total was over GBP 700,000 and still rising as strangers remembered her by donating money.

Classics professor and journalist go into battle

Lots of people are enjoying a series about the Romans which is currently being shown on the UK's public service TV network.
Its presenter is Professor Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge University. But there has been a big argument, after a journalist wrote a review of the programme and was very rude about Professor Beard's appearance. There was lots of argument on Twitter and then Professor Beard wrote her own piece about the journalist, A.A. Gill.
She said not even her newest students would give her an essay so "ill-argued and off the point" and suggested the problem might be that he did not go to university. She also said that throughout history there had been "men like Gill who are frightened of smart women who speak their minds".

Lack of rain -- now too much rain.

Much of the UK is officially a "drought" area. This means that there has not been enough rainfall in the last two years and we are being asked to be careful about using water, and banned from using hosepipes to water the garden.
Drought orders were announced earlier this month. Now we have just had a week of such bad rain that there have been warnings of floods and even mini-tornadoes in some places.
But the rain won't stop the drought. An official said: "It's going to take more than a week or two of rain to undo the effects of nearly two years of below-average rainfall."

Media tycoon has to give evidence to official enquiry

For more than 40 years, Rupert Murdoch has owned newspapers in the UK which people think has given him a lot of influence over politicians.
This week he had to answer questions at an official enquiry into the media. This enquiry was started because it was found that journalists on a newspaper owned by Mr Murdoch had got stories by listening to people's voicemails. These included those of a missing girl who had been murdered.
Mr Murdoch's son also gave evidence, and created big problems for a Government minister. This was to do with a Murdoch company's attempt to take control of a satellite TV station. Emails suggested that the Minister had tried to help with the takeover, when he was meant to consider the evidence and then decide what should happen. The minister says he behaved properly and wants to give his side of the story.

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