The Learn English Network News Roundup

Our first story this week involves crime and a megaphone.  According to a story in the Guardian during a demonstration against TfL plans to exempt black cabs from the congestion charge but enforce it for Uber and minicab driver, a union boss was charged with assault for using a megaphone near two police officers. The case went to court, where the Icah Peart QC, who was defending, said it was “violence to the English language” to say that using a megaphone was an application of force. The judge eventually ordered the jury to find the defendant “not guilty”. 

Staying on a legal theme, the BBC reports that cameras will be allowed in crown court to televise the most serious high-profile criminal cases in the UK for the first time. However, the whole case will not be televised, only the  judge will be filmed as they deliver their sentencing remarks. No-one else involved in the trial – victims, witnesses, jurors, lawyers or the convicted defendant – will be filmed.

It reminds me of the saying, “Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

A story on the BBC reports that children under the age of 12 in Scotland will be banned from heading the ball when playing football. The ban, which comes after a report found that former football players were at greater risk of dying from dementia than those who did not play the sport, could be introduced within weeks. 

If you follow the never ending saga that is called Brexit, you have probably noticed that Boris Johnson recently called on the British public to “bung a bob for a Big Ben bong” on the night Britain leaves the EU. Big Ben in London is the famous bell in the clock tower, but the clock is currently undergoing renovation works, so the chime is largely out of action.  Following the prime minister’s off the cuff remark, a campaign to raise £500,000 has been started, that would pay for a temporary striking mechanism and temporary floor of the belfry to be installed in order for the famous bell to ring out the hour that the UK leaves the European Union.

So far more than £160,000 has been raised, but it could all be for naught, as according to The Times the House, has indicated they will not accept the money due to ethical problems caused by the public funding a political event.

And finally, in our “Back to Basics” session this week we discussed breakfast, and the ubiquitous “Full English Breakfast” was mentioned in a story in the Sun:  according to research carried out by Ginger research company, the full English is being shunned by about one in five young Brits: around 17 percent of under-30’s in the UK said they had never tried a fry-up, some describing it as “a heart attack on a plate”.

Depending on where you live in the UK, a full English breakfast can consist of sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans, fried mushrooms, toast, fried tomato, and / or black pudding, but the survey, conducted by Ginger Research, found the majority of millennials saying they’d rather have smoked salmon or smashed avocado on toast. 

Interestingly, one in four respondents said black pudding was the main reason for avoiding a full English. Just do what I do, simply say, “No black pudding or baked beans, please.”