Tag: money

Man tells everyone on Facebook that he’s going to rob a shop.

A man from Norfolk, England told his facebook friends that he was planning to rob a supermarket. His facebook status said the name of the supermarket, Tesco, and had a photo of a knife. The 31 year old robbed £410 from Tesco on the 13th February. A member of the public warned the police about his facebook status. He was found by the police a short time later. He was spending the money in a nearby pub. The man will be sentenced on the 8th April. He might go to prison. Vocabulary: to rob (v), knife (n), nearby (adj), to be sentences (phrasal verb), prison (n). Discussion question: if the man is found guilty, what do you think his punishment should be? (prison, a fine etc). Photo and story: The...

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How much would you pay for a University education?

University students in England currently pay £9,000 a year tuition fees; this money pays for the students’ education and doesn’t cover living costs such as rent, food or books.  When these other costs are considered, the average English student leaves University with £44,000 of debt. The left-wing Labour party  has just announced that if it wins the General Election in May, the £9,000 tuition fee will be reduced to £6,000 per year. University fees is an important subject in British politics. The last General Election in 2010 was won by the right-wing Conservative party. One of the first things they did was increase university fees to £9,000 per year. Before 2010, university fees were £3,250 per year. University students in England start to repay their student debt when they find a job after they graduate. If they do not find a job that pays  more than  £16,910 per year, they do not have to repay their loan. Interestingly, university fees are different in different parts of the UK. Scottish students who study at a Scottish university do not have to pay tuition fees at all. In Wales university fees are £3,810 per year and in Northern Ireland they are £3,805. English students currently pay three times more than students in other parts of the UK. Photo Credit: Newsroom Vocabulary: tuition (n), fees (n), living costs (n), rent (n), debt...

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HSBC bank apologises for helping rich people avoid tax

HSBC has today paid for advertising in many British newspapers to apologise for its banking practices in Switzerland. The bank has written a letter saying that it is very sorry for helping rich customers avoid paying tax in 2005-2007. HSBC is the biggest bank in the UK. Secret documents were released this week that showed HSBC helped move money from the UK to Switzerland so that customers didn’t need to pay British taxes. These documents have started investigations in many countries. So far, £135million of unpaid tax has been recovered and Lord Green, who was the boss of HSBC at the time of the scandal, has resigned from his current job at TheCityUK. TheCityUK is a lobby group that promotes the interest of financial businesses and banks. This group advises and influences the British government. The letter from HSBC says that these practices have been “completely overhauled”. Vocabulary: tax (n), unpaid (adj), scandal (n), to resign (n), a lobby group (n), to overhaul (v). (photo and story from: BBC) Share...

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Greek election results: good or bad news for Europe?

Vocabulary: general election (n), coalition (n), right/left-wing (adj), debt (n), to write off (v), compromise (v+n). The general election held in Greece yesterday was won by Syriza. Syriza is an acronym which stands for “Radical Coalition of the Left”. The party was formed in 2004. Photo: BBC Syriza won the election and have joined the right-wing party Greek Independents to form a coalition government. This new coalition has a comfortable majority to rule the parliament. The Greek economy is in a very bad condition; there is high unemployment, a lot of poverty and billions of euros of debt. To see exactly how much debt, look here: http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/greece Syriza has said that it would like to write off half of this debt. This means that half of the debt will disappear and Greece will only need to pay half of the money it owes. Other countries in the Eurozone are worried about Syriza, the suggestion of writing off debt and the effect that it will have on the single currency. Syriza has said it would like to continue using the Euro, but not with the same austerity rules. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said that Greece must follow these rules. If a compromise cannot be found, Greece may leave the Euro. However, at the moment, no one is saying that they would like this to happen. A country has never left...

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Abraham Lincoln’s hair sold for $25,000

Vocabulary: auction (v+n), bidder (n), to shoot dead (v), surgeon (n), memorabilia (n). Some of Abraham Lincoln’s hair was sold at an auction this weekend. The winning bidder paid $25,000 for it. Lincoln was the President of the United States when he was shot dead in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. The hair that was auctioned was removed from Lincoln’s head after he was shot by a surgeon called Joseph Barnes. The hair, and many other pieces of Lincoln memorabilia, belonged to a private collection in Texas. Other items in the collection were also sold. They included letters written by Lincoln and Booth. It is not known who bought Lincoln’s hair or why. Photo and story...

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