This week's UK news: 12 November 2010
12 November 2010

The Queen joins Facebook

The Royal Family has finally joined up to the social networking site Facebook, though not in the same way as most other people.

The Queen is not issuing status updates about what she had for breakfast, or the mess made by one of the dogs. Instead, The British Monarchy is more of an information site about what the royal family are doing.

Lots of people who think Britain should not have a Queen posted comments on the first day, but these were all deleted. The site now has thousands of fans.

In another royal story, many newspapers are now convinced that Prince William is about to announce his engagement. This is because his girlfriend's parents were photographed shooting at Balmoral, the Queen's castle in Scotland.

Prince William has been going out with Kate Middleton, 28, since they met at university.

Rooney explodes

It was Bonfire Night in the UK this week. Every November we celebrate the anniversary of a plot more than 400 years ago to blow up the King and Parliament with bonfires and fireworks.

Some towns and villages spend most of the year preparing for Bonfire Night. One town, Edenbridge in Kent, likes to make huge models of famous people, and fill them with fireworks for a big explosion.

This year they made a model of footballer Wayne Rooney. It was 49 feet high (about 15 metres) and packed with fireworks to make sure he went off with a big bang. Rooney was chosen because of recent bad publicity. Charles Laver, who organises the Edenbridge Bonfire, said: "I hate football so I am quite happy to burn a footballer."

Egyptian secrets revealed

A huge new exhibition has opened at the British Museum in London. The Book of the Dead looks at ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife.

Visitors can see real books of the dead, drawn and written thousands of years ago for rich Egyptians who wanted to know what would happen to them after death. One of the Books of the Dead has never been completely put on show before. It is 122 feet (37 metres) long. The show is on at the British Museum until March.

Unemployed people must work for welfare

The new Government says it wants to show that it is tough on people who are refusing to take jobs. It said this week that people on welfare could be asked to work full-time for four-week periods. They would be asked to do jobs which helped society, such as clearing litter.

People who refused would lose their benefits for three months.

The Government says it wants to make sure everybody can get into the habits of working. It says its new policy will be to make sure that it is always better for people to work than claim welfare benefits.


by Susan Young


  • This week's UK news: 5 November 2010
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