News events – December 2013

Hello Hugo

Whenever a big news event occurs, I will write about it here.  This means that when, one day in the future, you get to read this blog you will be able to see what was going on in the world at the time when I was writing to you, even if you do not get to read this blog for many years from now.  I have, in the past, written about the death of Mrs Thatcher, the birth of the heir to the British throne and Tokyo being awarded the 2020 Olympic Games.  These will all be news events that will be remembered long into the future internationally so I hope that, by referring to them as they occur, you will be able to place in time when I was writing to you.

Late yesterday, it transpired that Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95.  You can read the BBC News report about it here.  You will, no doubt, come to read and learn about him in the future.  He was released from prison in 1990;  it was around that time that, as a child, I started to take an interest in national and international news events so his release from prison was, along with the resignation of Mrs Thatcher in the same year, one of my earlier memories of news matters.

Of far less significance was that I was indirectly caught up myself in the news in the UK yesterday.  Although it was somewhat eclipsed by Mr Mandela’s death last night, there was a serious storm in the UK yesterday which resulted in flood surges on the east coast and the closure of the Thames Barrier in London.  I remember going to see the Thames Barrier on a school trip to London back in the mid-1980s, when only a little older than you are now, and have always wanted to see it in action as it is only raised comparatively rarely for flood defence purposes. Yesterday was not to be the day, however, as I had to take an afternoon train to the north of England and, as such, got caught up in the bad weather myself.  A journey that should have taken 2 hours took almost 6 hours owing to trees falling on the overhead power lines.  The storm surges that occurred yesterday were reported to be worse than the devastating one back in the 1950s.   You can read about it all here (BBC), here (Daily Mail) and here (Reuters).

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