Review of 2013: what happened in the news in February


Overflowing bottle banks

February saw more anti-social behaviour news. Spit or pee in the good borough of Waltham Forest and you'll be fined £80 - if caught. Many Waltham Forest residents, it was claimed, strongly supported the new anti-social move, as did many AOL Money readers.

Local councillor Clyde Loakes declared the fines sent "an unequivocal message to those people who spit or treat our streets like a toilet"
> February also saw plans from near neighbour Camden Council to uproot more than 750 poor families from London to cheaper locations such as Bradford and Leicester. Camden has some of the highest rents in the UK.

Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward did not back the move however. Scooping people out of the capital from friends, families and schools is "absolutely a form of cleansing," she said. "We need people in London from a variety of different backgrounds and this will have a cleansing effect on many of those people in low-paid work."

Saville Inquiry

Mid-Feb saw the MOD offer £50,000 to the families of those shot dead and injured by Parachute Regiment soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry on 30 January 1972. That meant a total pay-out of around £1.3m in total.

By comparison it cost £195m to compile the Saville report into the killings, when 13 civil-rights protesters and bystanders - all unarmed - were shot dead by the British army.

The middle of February also saw Iceland boss Malcolm Walker admit he doesn't eat own-brand value food because it's rubbish and tasteless. Well not quite. What he actually admitted was that some own-brand value food "won't contain much meat".

Even the bosses of UK supermarket chains were admitting that much of the food sold to the British public is junk.

Czech Republic Europe Horse Meat

The food worry widened when the world's biggest food company, Nestlé, pulled beef pasta meals from some European store shelves due to new horse meat DNA concern. Previously Nestlé had claimed its products were clear of horse meat worries.

The horse meat news though was a fillip to supermarket player Morrisons, which claimed Morrisons owned their own abattoirs and was in full control of its meat supply chain. To date, Morrisons has always maintained no horse meat DNA has been found in its products.

Later in the month, Government minister David Willetts urged the over 60s to take out student loans to return to university to re-train. But with many student fees costing £25,000 plus for three years, how many older people would think this a sensible move?


But Saga welcomed the move. "In a recent Saga survey of 8,400 over 50s, a third said they had gone on a course to learn new skills in the last five years and more than a third said they wanted to learn new skills to help them in the workplace."

We ended February with a US story: Out-of-work 18-year-old Jhaqueil Reagan couldn't afford the bus ticket for his interview at an Indianapolis fast-food chain. So he trudged 10 miles in the snow to meet his potential McJob employer.

City Bus in a Blizzard

En route for his interview, Reagan asked directions from Cajun restaurant owner, Art Bouvier, busy shovelling snow. Bouvier advised him to take the bus. But Reagan kept on walking. Later that morning, Bouvier saw him again by the side of the road and offered him a lift.

"I said, well how come you're not on the bus?" He said, 'I can't afford the bus until I get a job," HLN reported. Bouvier learnt from Reagan that he'd had to support his siblings after his mother had died two years earlier, forcing him to leave school to scrabble for what work he could find.

Bouvier was so impressed he offered Reagan a job at his own restaurant.