Each week, Ben Hopkinson looks back at a serious, crazy, and happy news story from the past week.
Wages and total pay (which includes bonuses) have exceeded inflation, despite a rise in the UK unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate has risen to 4.2%, as the number of vacancies has fallen 66,000 to 1.02 million.
Wages have risen, increasing to 8.2%, more than the key measure of inflation – the first time in two years.
However, the growth was outpaced by the price rises, meaning it was essentially a pay cut for workers.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says: “Our ambitious reforms will make work pay and help even more people into work – including by expanding free childcare next year – helping to deliver on our priority to grow the economy”.
A university in Belgium is offering students a Taylor Swift inspired course.
Ghent University presents students with the course “Literature (Taylor’s Version)”, being taught by British professor Elly McCausland, and will be part of the master’s degree in language and literature.
Explored will be Swift’s comparisons to historical literary, as themes merge with the likes of Romeo and Juliet, as well as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are just a couple that crop up.
Ms McCausland says: “What I want to do is show students that although these texts might seem inaccessible, they can be accessible if we look at them from a slightly different angle. So, Shakespeare, in some way, is actually addressing a lot of the same questions as Taylor Swift is today, which seems crazy. But he is”.
A pair of pen pals who have written to each other since 1955 have fulfilled their lifelong wish to meet in person.
Patsy Gregory from Lancashire has been writing to Carol-Ann Krause for 68 years, and travelled almost 4,000 miles to meet her in South Carolina.
They began writing to each other when they were both part of their respective Girl Guides, and have not stopped since.
When they finally met, Mrs Gregory said: “I recognised her immediately and it just felt natural. We’re both the same age [and] got married around the same time. We both had three children and we’ve gone through life, all the trials and tribulations, and shared it”.
The trip was organised by her three children for her 80th birthday and was accompanied by her daughter.