LONDON : The British government has blocked US singer Kelly Clarkson from taking a ring once owned by author Jane Austen out of the country, a minister said on Thursday. Clarkson, who shot to fame as the winner of the “American Idol” TV talent contest in 2002, bought the gold and turquoise ring for more than £150,000 ($227,000, 172,000 euros) at an auction last year. But junior culture minister Ed Vaizey has barred temporarily the export of the ring in a bid to keep it in Britain.