This week's UK news: 16 January 2015
16 January 2015

Winter weather hits the UK

It is the middle of winter here. After a lot of very mild weather, snow, ice and gales have arrived. Winds of up to 113 miles per hour hit the UK last weekend, causing power cuts and huge waves. Two young men drowned in Brighton after a night out. One of them had stood close to the sea and was carried out by a wave, and the other died trying to help him.

Later in the week there was a small tornado in Wales, and snow in the North and West which closed many schools. 

Weather stories get lots of attention here in the UK because the weather is very changeable, but it is not very extreme.


Flowers blooming early

Though parts of the UK have snow on the ground, lots of plants are flowering early. There should be 30 different wild plants with flowers in January. A survey found that more than 300 kinds of plant are flowering.

Scientists say this does not show that there will be an early spring. They say the flowers are probably out because 2013 was the warmest year on record.


Children learn maths with Lego

Lego is a very popular building brick toy for children in the UK and Europe. Now a school in the UK is using the coloured bricks to teach maths. Schools have used the bricks in classes before, but now Lego has produced special teaching packs of bricks and problems. The Lego company will start selling the teaching packs worldwide this month, but the school in the UK is the first to officially use it.

The teacher says she is only worried about one thing. She thinks the children will go home and tell their parents they have been playing with Lego.


UK actors lead Oscar nominations

Five British actors have been nominated for Oscars this year. Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne have both been nominated for films where they played pioneering scientists. Also nominated are Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones and Keira Knightley.

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