This week's UK news: 30 November 2012
30 November 2012

Olympic buildings back in the news....

The Olympic Park in London has now been handed over to the organisation which will convert it for everyday use. The aquatic centre, where American swimmer Michael Phelps went into Olympic history with 18 gold medals, is the first venue to be transformed. Almost 15,000 extra seats were added to the architect's design in two ugly extensions. These are being removed to reveal a beautiful building. Once the park reopens, the pool will be open to ordinary swimmers as well as elite competitions.

Bus tours of the park have already begun, and the area around the Copper Box arena will reopen first, next summer. No decision has yet been made on how the Olympic stadium will be used. During the next 20 years five housing estates and four schools will be created in the park, to be known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

.....and Olympic athletes are back in the news too

For the past 68 years the BBC, the UK's public service broadcaster, has run an annual competition called Sports Personality Of The Year. A shortlist of names is announced and the public vote for the winner.

Last year the competition got lots of bad publicity because there was not a single woman on the shortlist. This year the list is extraordinary. Out of the 12 sportsmen and women, just one was not in the Olympics or Paralympics - that's golfer Rory McIlroy.

Favourite to win is cyclist Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour de France and an Olympic medal within a couple of weeks. Just behind him is long-distance runner Mo Farah. Other names on the list are heptathlete Jessica Ennis, boxer Nicola Adams, sailor Ben Ainslie, tennis player Andy Murray, rower Katherine Grainger, and cyclist Sir Chris Hoy. The Paralympians on the list are swimmer Ellie Simmonds, wheelchair racer David Weir, and cyclist Sarah Storey.

The winner will be announced on TV during the Christmas holiday.

Torrential rain returns to the UK

It was one of the wettest springs on record in the UK. And after a miserable summer and a warm autumn, the rain returned in a big way this week. A month's rainfall came in just days in some areas, and by Tuesday there were 500 official flood warnings, affecting more than 100,000 people. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from their homes in the Welsh city of St Asaph.

It has now stopped raining again. Mostly.

Judgement on UK journalists

A judge has been leading an enquiry into the way newspaper journalists work after it was found that a newspaper listened to the voicemails of a murdered 13-year-old girl.

The Leveson enqury took evidence in public for months, and included evidence from ordinary people as well as celebrities about the way in which newspaper journalists and stories had badly affected their lives.

The judge's report was published this week, and recommended a new regulator which could fine newspapers up to GBP 1m if they breached a new code of conduct. The judge wants the regulator to be created in law. This idea has caused a big row. Many journalists and politicians think getting the law involved is a bad idea and could damage a free press. 

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