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Disabled access to U.K.

stores poor
Britain's government says access for disabled people in stores is "shocking". The
government visited and checked over 30,000 shops and restaurants across the
country. They found that many places made it very difficult for disabled people to
shop and eat. There were many examples of how difficult it is for disabled people
to go shopping. Around 20 per cent of stores had no wheelchair ramps and twothirds of store staff had no training to help disabled customers. Over 40% of
restaurants and 30 per cent of stores had no accessible toilet.
Britain's Minister for Disabled People said it was unfair that the disabled had such
problems. He said people with disabilities should be able to enjoy shopping just
like everyone else. He told reporters: "Everyone deserves to be able to
go...shopping." He added that stores and restaurants lose money because they
do not help the disabled, saying: "Businesses are missing a trick by not doing
more to tap into this market." He said: "A fifth of the British population has a
disability and theyhave a spending power of over 200 billion [$310bn]."
Black Friday brings out bargain hunters
A busy shopping day has brought out millions of bargain hunters across the
world. The day is called Black Friday. Stores give discounts of up to 70 per cent
on thousands of things. It is a big shopping day in the USA. Four years ago, it
went to Britain. It is now huge in the UK. On Friday, British police were called to
four supermarkets just after midnight (the sales started at one minute past
midnight). Police were worried that shoppers would get crushed in the crowds.
Officers worked with store staff to make sure that sale-goers could enter and exit
the stores safely.
Shoppers in the UK were happy go shopping, but store employees in the USA
were angry. Many stores started Black Friday a day early, on the US celebration of
Thanksgiving. Store workers and shoppers thought it was wrong to work on
Thanksgiving. This is usually a time for people to spend with family. A 'Boycott
Black Thursday' Facebook page has 114,000 likes. Many big stores did not open.
CNN said there are over 60 petitions on the website Change.org. They want to
change Black Friday. They think family is more important than profits.

Price war over taxi apps


A price war has started across the world among taxi companies. There is more
competition for passengers because of apps to order taxis. Some companies are
cutting fares in half to beat competitor companies. The world's biggest taxibooking app is called Uber. It started in 2009 and operates in over 200 cities
worldwide. Drivers of London's black taxis are unhappy with apps. They say that
drivers of app cabs are too inexperienced. They do not have enough knowledge of
London's streets. London taxi drivers have cut some of their fares from $45 to
$7.50.
The U.K. boss of Uber said the price war would mean higher profits for his
company. He said: "There's a lot of competition over the app makers.You need
to think of things that you can do to stand out from the crowd." A London black
cab driver said business was good despite the app companies. He said: "There
are lots of technologies that are changing things for us." One of New York's
biggest taxi companies wants Uber's license to be suspended. In Singapore, the
government has just announced that it would start regulating taxi app companies.

Unhappy marriages can break the heart

A new study says unhappily married people have a higher risk of getting a broken
heart. A bad marriage is riskier for older women because of the stress of being in
a relationship gone wrong. The study is from Michigan State University. Lead
researcher Dr Hui Lui said the stress of an unhappy marriage has a big impact on
the health of our heart. Dr Lui said older women have more heart problems
because they are more caring. A wife is more likely to care for her sick husband
than the other way round. Also, a wife can get stressed if she is sick and cannot
look after her husband.
Dr Lui's team studied the health of 1,200 married people aged 57 to 85 over five
years. The researchers asked the couples questions about their marriage. They
asked if they spent free time with or apart from their partner. They also asked if
they could trust their spouse, and whether their spouse asks them to do too
many things. The doctors looked at the quality of the marriages and compared
this with the number of heart attacks and strokes people had. People in bad
marriages were more depressed, more obese and had higher blood pressure.

McDonald's says no GM French fries


The U.S.A. has said a new GM potato is OK to eat, but McDonald's will not use it
for French fries or hash browns. A potato company said it changed the DNA of
potatoes to make them better. The new potato has less sugar and fewer things
that can give people cancer. It also said the potatoes are stronger. It said people
would buy the new potato in supermarkets. McDonald's said: "McDonald's USA
does not source GMO potatoes, nor do we have current plans to change our
[sources]." The company did not say what it thought of McDonald's decision.
French fries are one of the most popular foods in the world, especially in fast food
restaurants. The expression 'French Fried Potatoes' was first used in a cookery
book in 1856. In the early 20th century, 'French fried' was used to mean 'deepfried'. People say French fries come from Belgium and not France. Both countries
say they were the first country to cook French fries. Belgians say the word
'French fries' is used because France has an image for good food. Some people
think the term 'French' was used when U.S. soldiers went to Europe during World
War I.
Hip-hop can help mental illness
Doctors at the famous Cambridge University think that hip-hop can help
depressed and mentally ill people. They say with 'hip-hop therapy,' many of the
words to the songs hip-hop can reach out to people with emotional problems. A
team of doctors wrote a report about this in a special medical magazine. The
doctors said a lot of hip-hop music speaks of getting over hardships and big
difficulties in life. In particular, hip-hop talks about being poor, being unpopular,
and about crime and drugs. These are all problems that can lead to depression
and mental illnesses.
The report on hip-hop and mental health says hip-hop artists use their talents to
describe their world and be free. There's often a message of hope in the lyrics.
They describe how they want to be - the cars they want, the people they want to
date. The doctors chose five hip-hop songs for the therapy. One is a classic 1982
tune by Grandmaster Flash. Another is a track called 'Juicy' by The Notorious BIG.
This tells people they can be successful even if others say they cannot. BIG
explains how teachers said he would be nothing, but then he became a superstar.

Lower speed limit for New York City


Drivers in New York now have to drive more slowly. There is a new speed limit of

25 mph (40 kph). The old limit was 30 mph (about 48 kph). The new law is for 90
per cent of the city's streets. The Department of Transportation hopes people will
drive more carefully and reduce traffic accidents and deaths. The city's mayor
said he wanted to improve traffic safety and end pedestrian deaths. He said that
many people in New York agreed that people must drive more safely and slower
to protect children and seniors. Other people say the limit will make drivers angry
and increase accidents.
Most countries limit the maximum speed for cars, trucks, buses, etc. They can
also limit the minimum speed. The first speed limit was the 10 mph (16 kph) limit
introduced in the UK in 1861. The world's highest speed limit is 140 kph (87 mph)
in Poland and Bulgaria. Some of the world's roads have no speed limit. The most
famous ones are the Autobahns in Germany. In 2006, the average speed on part
of the Autobahn was 142 kph (88 mph). The World Health Organisation said 1.24
million people die each year in traffic accidents. This number could fall if people
drove more slowly.

Europe needs to support technology more


The CEO of Google Larry Page has told European leaders they need to be more
like Silicon Valley. He said Europe does not support technology companies
enough. Many of the world's largest tech companies have their headquarters in
Silicon Valley. Mr Page said Silicon Valley is a great place for technology
companies because it is easy to do business there. He told Britain's 'Financial
Times' newspaper that it was easy to invest in science in Silicon Valley, and to
make money by starting new technology companies. He said Europe's politicians
needed to start investing in big ideas.
Mr Page said he had $62 billion to invest in new ideas. He wants to use the
money to help societies in Europe. He said he was thinking about how to use the
moneyto have a more positive impact on the world. Page is not the first business
leader to tell Europe it is too slow to invest in technology. Experts say European
schools should teach technology more. He said in Silicon Valley kids have better
tech skills. Many top teachers think there should be a much bigger focus on
technology in schools. Some think elementary schools should have coding classes
for children.
Galapagos tortoises out of danger
Giant Galapagos tortoises were a symbol for endangered animals. In the 1960s,
there were just 15 of them. They were dying out. Wild goats were eating their
food and damaging their habitat, so conservationists took action to help them.
Now, the tortoises are doing well. There are over 1,000 of them living and
breeding in the wild. It is a conservation success story. Conservationist James
Gibb said that about half of the tortoises that were released have survived. Mr
Gibbs added: "That's actually pretty amazing." He added that the tortoises could
now survive without human help.
Giant tortoises used to live all over the world. People hunted them so they almost
became extinct. There were over 250,000 in the 16th century and just a few
thousand in the 1970s. Giant tortoises can weigh up to 250 kg and can live for
over 100 years. One tortoise lived in captivity for more than 170 years. Wikipedia
says: "Tortoises also live very uncomplicated lives, and can nap up to 16 hours a
day." The conservation story in the Galapagos Islands will continue. Next year, a
small island that lost all of its tortoises a few years ago will get 200 more.
More gum disease today than 2,000 years ago
A study shows that people have more gum disease today than they did 2,000

years ago. The study, from London's King's College, is now in the 'British Dental
Journal'. Researchers looked at the teeth of 303 people who lived 2,200-2,400
years ago. They were from skulls found at an old burial site in England. The
researchers said only 5 per cent of the skulls had gum disease. Up to 30 per cent
of people today have gum disease. Professor Francis Hughes was surprised
because people did not have toothbrushes or toothpaste back then. They also did
not visit dentists, like we do today.
Smoking is the main reason why people have gum disease today. The study
shows that our oral health has become worse over the past 2,000 years. Gum
disease could start going down if more people stop smoking. A researcher said:
"As smoking declineswe should see a decline in the [numbers of people with]
the disease." Gum disease is because bacteria build up in your mouth. The
bacteria attack your gums and can make your teeth fall out. People can lower the
risk of gum disease by regular brushing, using mouthwash and not smoking.