This week's UK news: 13 November 2009
13 November 2009

Mother of dead soldier attacks Prime Minister

The biggest news story this week was caused by a letter the Prime Minister sent to the mother of a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Gordon Brown, the prime minister, wrote a personal letter to Jacquie Janes to say he was sorry about the death of her son. But Mrs Janes was made even more upset by the hand written letter. She said it was full of spelling mistakes and got the name of her son wrong.

She complained to a newspaper called the Sun. Later the Prime Minister called to apologise for the letter. Mrs Janes was very angry with him about the way her son had died. She taped the phone call and also gave it to the newspaper.

The story has made many people feel sorry for the Prime Minister. He is blind in one eye and it is thought that his sight problems caused the bad handwriting and mistakes in the letter. 

£90m lottery win

Two tickets shared the £90m jackpot of the EuroMillions lottery draw this week.

One ticket belonged to seven people who worked together in the same company in Liverpool. The other was bought by Les Scadding in Wales.

Mr Scadding forgot his usual numbers when he bought the lottery ticket, so he got the machine to choose for him. He is a lorry driver who has not had a job for a year, and owed £68 to his bank. Now he is planning to buy an expensive car.

Real men don’t buy underwear

We learned that British men only buy underwear for 17 years of their lives.

A shop asked men and found that until they are about 19, their mothers buy their underwear. The men then choose and buy their own until they are about 36.

After the age of 36, their wives or girlfriends usually do it for them.

Quiet fireworks become popular

British families celebrate Bonfire Night in November with fireworks and outdoor fires. They are remembering Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up Parliament 400 years ago.

Many people go to professionally-organised firework displays. But lots of families still buy a box of fireworks and have a party in the garden.

One supermarket says it is selling twice as many quiet fireworks as last year. It thinks people do not want to upset their pets and neighbours with loud banging noises.


by Susan Young -


  • This week's UK news: 6 November 2009
  • This week's UK news: 30 October 2009
  • This week's UK news: 23 October 2009 
  • This week's UK news: 16 Ocotober 2009  

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