This week's UK news: 19 December 2014
19 December 2014

Buying Christmas presents online causes problems

In the last two or three years, British shops and websites have started new ways of making us start our Christmas shopping earlier. One is an American tradition called Black Friday. This happens in November and includes big discounts for one day only.

Black Friday in the UK this year was very successful. Sales were 50 per cent higher than expected. This is causing problems now as the companies which deliver parcels have got far more work to do than they expected. One company even stopped picking up packages for a few days to sort things out.


Christmas tradition in English pubs

The special religious songs we sing at Christmas are called carols in English. Most of us know the main carols even if we don't go to church, as we learn to sing them at school.

But some carols are not sung in church at all. In the Peak District of England, close to Sheffield, there is a tradition of singing. The carols sung in the pubs here are very old and used to be sung in churches. However, for one reason or another these carols are not sung in churches any more but have survived in the pubs. Each pub has its own way of singing them too.


Prince George gets in the newspapers for Christmas

The Royal Family has released some photographs of the baby Prince George in time for Christmas. The pictures have got lots of people talking because the Prince, who is in line to be King one day, is dressed in a very old-fashioned way.

He is wearing a knitted top with guardsmen on it, old-fashioned shorts, knee length socks and shoes with a buckle fastening. They are the sort of clothes a baby might have worn in the 1950s.

The Royal Family tends to dress children in very old-fashioned ways as photographs will be seen for decades to come. Also this style of dressing has become quite fashionable for babies. Lots of people wanted to buy the top for their children but it had already sold out.


Where do burglars look?

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have been finding out about how thieves work. They got people to go into a house and steal things, and do the same thing on a computer programme.

Half of the people doing the experiment were burglars, people who had stolen from houses in the past.

The researchers found that all of the burglars went into the house through the back door and went upstairs. They did not go in the bathroom and spent more time downstairs than non-burglars. The research team said the experiment showed it might be a good idea to hide valuable things in the bathroom.


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