Burkhalter's British/American Update

June 22, 2012

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Wimbledon 2012: Fun Facts About Wimbledon

John Coon
Yahoo! Sports

May 23, 2012

Wimbledon holds distinction as the oldest grand slam tennis tournament and is a highlight of the pro tennis season. It is filled with history and tradition unrivaled by any other tournament in the sport. For two weeks in late June and early July, Wimbledon captures the attention of tennis fans worldwide as they tune in to see what players will add to the rich legacy of the tournament.

A ton of elements go into making Wimbledon the premier sporting event it is today.

Here are 10 things you should know about Wimbledon:

1. Centre Court

The main court used for Wimbledon is called Centre Court. It seats 15,000 spectators and is used exclusively for Wimbledon tennis matches -- although it will also host tennis matches during the 2012 London Olympics. A retractable roof was added to Centre Court in 2009 to allow for play to continue during rain. Other renovations included adding six rows of seating to the upper tier, installing wider seats ad adding new video scoreboards. Total cost of renovations was £100 million.

U.K. Economy Shows Resilience

Ilona Billington
The Wall Street Journal

June 21, 2012

U.K. consumers returned to the high street in May buoyed by better weather and discounting in department stores, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday.

Separate data from the Confederation of British Industry continued the more upbeat tone, suggesting the sector ended the second quarter on a less pessimistic note.

The volume of retail sales rose 1.4% on a monthly basis and by 2.4% annually in May. That was a sharp rebound from drops of 2.4% and 1.1% in April, and stronger than economists' forecasts for gains of 0.8% from April and 1.7% from a year earlier.

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Eurozone crisis may force UK to seek new export markets, warns Cameron

Patrick Wintour
The Guardian

June 18, 2012

Britain may have to seek fresh export markets outside the EU as the euro crisis is now facing such entrenched political obstacles that it could be impossible to resolve, David Cameron warned on Monday at the first day of the G20 world leaders' summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Eurozone leaders faced intense pressure from G20 countries outside the eurozone – including the US, Australia and Indonesia – to sort out their problems after nearly two years of crisis.

To read more click here.

Unemployment falls but public sector jobs hit nine-year low

Phillip Inman
The Guardian

June 20, 2012

Public sector employment dropped to its lowest level in nine years in April as the government pushed ahead with its plans to reduce the size of the public pay bill.

The number of public sector jobs fell by 39,000 between February and April to 5.9 million, the lowest total since March 2003, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Ministers said the drop reflected a deliberate policy shift to promote private sector employment, which increased by 205,000, the second-strongest three-month figure in 13 years. The strong rise, led by a surge in manufacturing jobs in the West Midlands, meant the jobless total dropped 51,000 to 2.61 million and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%.

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Making Sense of the Eurozone: An Online Guide

Global Atlanta
June 20, 2012

It's hard to turn on the television without seeing news of Greece and the eurozone crisis, but what it actually means can be more difficult to piece together. 

Georgia State University's Department of Economics, with funding from the U.S. State Department, has put together a guide to the European Monetary Union - the eurozone - to help the uninitiated understand what's at stake."The guide can be useful to businesspeople, policy makers, students, and all others who need a concise and clear explanation of the eurozone and its current problems," Neven Valev, a professor at Georgia State and creator of the guide, told GlobalAtlanta.

To read more click here.

Coca-Cola enjoys sweet taste of sustainability success 

June 14, 2012

Coca-Cola in the UK has reported that it has cut its carbon emissions by almost a fifth since 2007, revealing that a raft of sustainability initiatives last year led to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and water use.

The company yesterday released its corporate responsibility and sustainability report for 2011-12, confirming that emissions from manufacturing, distribution and cooling fell 14 per cent year-on-year, while overall emissions have fallen 19.5 per cent since 2007 to 415,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The bulk of last year's savings were delivered as the result of a £50m green technology investment programme at facilities in Wakefield, East Kilbride and Sidcup, and the rollout of new automated energy management systems to more than 37,500 drinks cooling units, which according to the company help cut energy use by 35 per cent

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U.K. Solar Industry Sidesteps Tariff Cut to Build Biggest Plants

Marc Roca
June 18, 2012

Solar-energy companies are applying to build the U.K.’s biggest projects, sidestepping a cut in state subsidies aimed at limiting new power plants by relying on a decade-old incentive program and tumbling panel prices.

The market for utility-scale projects, stymied since the U.K. lowered feed-in tariffs paid to generators in August, may as a result see as much as 600 megawatts of plants built through April, the Solar Trade Association said. That’s about four times the level of such installations now operating in the country.

“It’s kind of ironic,” Jeremy Leggett, chairman of the London-based installer Solar Century Holdings Ltd., said in an interview in the city. “The government tried to avowedly kill large ground-mounted solar last year and now it’s back.”

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Write for us about … being a graduate in a country outside the UK

The Guardian
June 18, 2012

Have you graduated from country other than the UK in the past few years, or are about to do so this year? Whether you're a Spanish student who fears becoming one of the 50% of young people out of work, a student from India or China who's more optimistic about their chances of a steady career in a growing economy, a Chilean whose future might have been shaped by involvement in mass protest, or a graduate from anywhere else in the world, we want to hear from you.

To read more click here.

Fees discount helps students study abroad

The Guardian

David Willetts, the man responsible for raising tuition fees to £9,000 a year, is usually considered a villain in the student world. So it's a surprise to hear that he has announced a substantial fees discount to encourage us to study abroad for part of our degree.

Those who spend two or more terms at an overseas university will pay no more than 15% of the year's fees at their UK institution, which is good news for students who want a taste of international life without the commitment of spending their whole degree abroad.

Across Europe, students have been getting to know each other this way for years: 3.7 million students (pdf) each year take part in an Erasmus exchange, a mind-opening year of foreign study and fiestas.

To read more click here.