This week's UK news: 11 August 2011
11 August 2011

England gets back to normal after riots

Small parts of major cities in England suffered rioting earlier this week, with people stealing from shops and setting cars and buildings on fire. The first night's rioting started with a protest over the police shooting dead a London man.
But the problems spread to other areas and several other cities the next night. Most of the problems were in small areas of cities well away from where tourists and students usually go. One Malaysian student was injured in London but English people were so horrified that there is a campaign to raise money for him.
People are still arguing about what caused the riots, but most rioters seemed to want to steal from shops and cause trouble. The Prime Minister returned from his holiday early to take charge and since then there has been a massive police presence on the streets and little trouble. There has been a big campaign amongst English people to go to the damaged areas with brooms and help to clear up the mess. People have been horrified by these very unusual events.

World's biggest arts festival begins

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival began at the weekend and will go on for three weeks, taking over the Scottish city. There are 41,869 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues.

The festival has been famous for comedy in the last few years but this year there are greater numbers of more challenging plays and dance.

Also on in Edinburgh this month are the annual arts festival, the book festival, the Mela and the military tattoo. To find out what's on, click here

First woman to command Royal Navy ship

Lt Commander Sarah West is the first woman to command a frontline warship in the Royal Navy. She will also be the first woman to achieve the rank of commander when she is promoted at the end of this year.
She will take command of HMS Portland in April.
She joined the Navy in 1995, five years after a ban on women ended. Women now make up 15-20 per cent of ships' crews.

Pupils should study maths to the age of 18

A review of maths teaching has recommended that all pupils in England should study maths to the age of 18. At present pupils must take the subject to the age of 16.
Pupils would not have to take higher level maths exams but a range of alternative courses to make sure they had a good understanding of the subject.
The review also recommended creating a more practical maths exam to help pupils a better understanding of real-life maths issues such as managing money. Research says that 300,000 children leave school with maths skills which are not good enough for everyday life.

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