UK Briefs: 27 May 2010

May 28, 2010 Updated: June 4, 2010

UK economic growth revised up a little

THE economy grew slightly faster than initially estimated in the first three months of the year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, revised from a rise of 0.2 per cent in the prelimi- nary estimate of GDP.

Economic output was bol- stered by a strengthening of industrial production and manufacturing.

The trade deficit in real terms rose from £8.3 billion in the previous quarter to £9.5 billion in the first quar- ter of 2010.


Sharp rise in foreign army recruits

THE number of foreign recruits to the British Army has risen dramatically fol- lowing the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2008/09, 1,420 peo- ple from overseas joined the Army, compared to 30 in 2001/02.

Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood obtained the figures through a Freedom of Information request. She said they showed the Army was “being extended beyond its means”.

Those outside the UK wishing to sign up must be a British dual national, a citizen of the Irish Republic, or from a Commonwealth country.

Foreign recruitment increased from 60 to 100 in 2005/06, leapt to 800 the following year, and reached 1,160 in 2007/08. There were 950 foreign recruits last year.


The Times puts up a pay-wall on news website

THE Times and Sunday Times have launched their new paid-for websites, in a move that will be closely tracked by the media industry.

They are the first major consumer papers to erect a “pay-wall” for news content. The sites are free for the first eight weeks for registered users, but afterwards will cost £1 a day or £2 a week to access.

“We will continue to add new features to ensure that the innovation that has been central to The Times for 225 years continues into the future,” James Harding, edi- tor of The Times, said in a statement.