This week's UK news: 13 December 2013
13 December 2013

First same sex marriages planned

Same-sex weddings will be legal in England and Wales from March 29 next year -- and the first couples have already booked a ceremony.

John Coffey and Bernardo Marti will be the first to marry under the new law. They will do so at one minute past midnight on 29 March, somewhere in London. They are getting married in a double ceremony. The other couple are a man and a woman who are friends of John and Bernardo's.

"This is a true symbol of equality," said John.

Couples have also booked weddings in Brighton and other parts of London.

It has been legal for gay couples to have civil partnership ceremonies since 2005 but this was not quite the same as a wedding.

Soldier has pioneering robot arm

A British soldier who lost an arm after a serious injury has got an amazing new arm. Andrew Garthwaite has had a new arm fitted, and he can move it by thinking about what he wants it to do.

He is the first person in the UK to have had this operation and has spent two years learning how to use his new arm. The surgery has moved some of the nerves which used to control his arm movements to his chest. Signals to these nerves control his new arm.

Come to the UK and see stars

If you want to look at stars, the UK is now the place to be. An area in the far North of England has just become Europe's biggest "dark sky park".

Residents and businesses in the area have spent two years monitoring outdoor lighting and reducing it. Now there is almost 580 square miles of dark sky park in Northumberland.

The UK also has a dark sky island. Coll, off Scotland, is only the second dark sky island in the world.

UK's favourite play

More than 7,000 people have voted for their favourite play. The one which came top was The History Boys, which Alan Bennett wrote about a group of students who were studying for exams to get them into Oxford or Cambridge Universities.

The second favourite was a comedy called Noises Off. After that was the Shakespeare play Hamlet. This is one of four Shakespeare plays in the top ten. The other Shakespeare plays are Twelfth Night, Macbeth and King Lear.

In total, 1,400 plays were named in the survey. This surprised the organisers.


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