This week's UK news: 31 December 2012
31 December 2012

Queen adopts 21st century technology

It is traditional for the Queen to record a speech which is shown at 3pm at Christmas Day in the UK. She is carrying on a tradition begun by King George V in 1932, when the broadcast went out on the radio.

She usually talks about things which have happened during the year, and wishes everybody a Happy Christmas.

This year the format was slightly different, as the broadcast was recorded and shown in 3D. The Queen apparently said the broadcast, which featured scenes from the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, was "absolutely lovely".


Christmas present starts bomb alert

Seven-year-old Sonny Carter was delighted with the metal detector he got for Christmas, and went out on Boxing Day to see what he could find on nearby fields. The detector led him to a large buried metal object... which looked like a bomb once the family had washed the mud off.

Sonny's father called the police, who sent a bomb disposal squad to his home in King's Lynn, Norfolk. They found it was a practice bomb from World War II, which included wiring but no explosives.


2012 ends with rain and flooding

The Christmas and New Year holiday season in the UK have been dominated by rain, often causing flooding and travel chaos. Parts of South Western England have been cut off, with train services badly affected or stopped by flooded tracks and landslips and many roads closed.

2012 started as a year of drought, but it ended as the wettest year ever. The forecast is for more rain.


Majority of English adults overweight

Two thirds of men and almost two thirds of women in England are now classed as either overweight or severely overweight (obese) according to new research.

Around a quarter of men and a quarter of women are classified as being obese, which is seriously overweight.

When the research was first done in 1993 only 13 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women were classified as obese. The Government is launching a new campaign to encourage people to eat more healthily, but a heart specialist who has researched obesity says the figures are shocking. "The biggest explanation for this trend is the oversupply of cheap sugary food." Dr Aseem Malhotra says there needs to be regulation to discourage people from eating unhealthy foods.



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