This week's UK news: 16 December 2011
16 December 2011

Christmas show sparks argument

In the UK we have special Christmas shows at the theatre, called pantomimes. These are not easy to explain, but are usually based on traditional stories for children with some songs, bright costumes and awful jokes.
But the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in Wolverhampton has sparked a big argument. Dwarves are very small adult people, and this show would have needed seven of them. Instead, the producers hired children to play the parts, which is much cheaper. The voices are already recorded by adults.
One man told reporters: "How can you have Snow White without dwarves? It is ridiculous."
The show's producer Jonathan Kiley said: "Money is not limitless and dwarfs are expensive."

Papers of leading scientist go online

Sir Isaac Newton, who first described gravity 300 years ago, is one of the UK's best known scientists. Now his handwritten papers are being put online by Cambridge University.
Documents online so far include Newton's own copy of his most famous book with his own notes and calculations. The book is too delicate to put on show in the ordinary way.
The project will eventually put the work of other scientists online, including Darwin and Ernest Rutherford.

Boat of flowers to sail through London

A boat covered in flowers will lead a river procession next summer to celebrate the Queen's 60 years as head of the UK.
Organisers are promising that it will be the grandest river "pageant" -- a formal procession -- for more than 300 years. It will include 1,000 boats and up to 40,000 people on the River Thames. More than a million spectators are expected.
The boat will be decorated with flowers from the Queen's gardens in a red gold and purple colour scheme. The design will be influenced by the fantastically-decorated boats used by kings and queens almost 500 years ago.
The river celebration will take part on June 3, as part of a special long holiday weekend.

David Cameron says no to Europe

There has been lots of debate about the Prime Minister's decision to opt out of a new European treaty intended to save the Euro.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, leads a party which is split on its attitude to Europe. He is governing as part of a coalition government, and the other party is very keen on Europe, so the situation is very difficult and attracting lots of political debate.
The problems came over proposed new regulations which would have affected the financial businesses based in the City of London.

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