This week's UK news: 1 February 2013
1 February 2013

New UK citizenship exam

People who want to take UK citizenship must now read and learn a 180-page booklet about our history, culture and values.
It replaces the old booklet, which Government ministers complained was all about how to find train time tables and use the internet. The new document includes sections on the engineer Kingdom Isambard Brunel, the speeches of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, the first woman prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and Scottish poet Robert Burns.
There are also sections on music (Purcell, Benjamin Britten and the Beatles), art (including gardening), inventors (the MRI scanner and the cash machine) and history.
From March, applicants for UK citizenship will have to score 75 per cent or more in a 24-question exam in order to pass.

Baby blows into the sea

A baby who was blown into the sea in a pushchair was saved by a harbour worker.
Sam Cooper-Stevens, who is six months old, blew into the sea from the harbour in high winds. He landed face down and the waves started pulling him out to sea.
Sam's mother screamed so loudly that dock worker George Reeder went to help, jumped into the sea, and pulled out the baby and pushchair. A passing nurse tried to start Sam breathing again,  although she thought it was too late.
A helicopter ambulance then took the baby to hospital, where he recovered well.
The baby's father thanked everyone for their help, and Mr Reeder's bravery has been praised.

Surprise in the garden for English couple

We like our gardens in the UK, but one couple like theirs more than most of us. When they moved into their house 30 years ago, there was a strange stone ornament in the garden which they filled with soil and plants.
They have now found out that this was a rare Roman coffin, made from marble, for a wealthy woman. It was made around 2,000 years ago and brought to the UK in 1902.
It is now being sold, and is expected to make GBP 100,000 for its owners.

Hairspray for dogs

Lots of people in the UK adore dogs, and one of the big events of the year is Crufts dog show. This is a competition to find the best of each different type of dog, and each one has to behave well and look good.
For the last hundred years, the rules have banned dog owners from doing anything more to their dog than giving it a wash and brushing its fur.
However, many dog breeders have said the rules are not sensible, and tests on four competition dogs showed traces of banned substances. These were hairspray (used for fluffy dogs like poodles) and chalk (used on dogs with white coats).
Now the rules have been changed so that hairspray and chalk can be used for the show, but only in certain ways.

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