This week's UK news: 1 August 2016
1 August 2016

Harry Potter returns, famous painting of Queen Elizabeth I bought for the UK, third-time Tour de France winner and plastic bags disapear. 

Every week, we summarise the UK news to help you understand what is happening in Britain, and what people are talking about.

Harry Potter returns (and so does David Bowie's musical)

The world's most famous wizard is back. Now Harry is 37, and sending his son, Albus, to Hogwarts for the first time. What else? His best friend at school is the Scorpius, the son of Draco Malfoy... and a new and dramatic story follows. But it's a secret.

The new story, called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is being performed as two plays in London. The script also went on sale at the weekend, and is the best-selling book in the UK. Harry Potter's creator, JK Rowling, has asked people to keep the secrets in the new story, and people who see the plays are given badges as they leave which say "Keep the secrets".

None of the secrets have been revealed in the UK's newspaper, radio or TV shows but it is possible to find them out on websites. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's tickets sold out months ago but the publication of the script enables the story to reach a much wider audience.

Another show likely to be very popular is Lazarus, the musical written by David Bowie, and which opened in New York before his death this January. The show is coming to London for a few months in November. The show is the sequel to the Bowie film, The Man Who Fell To Earth, about an alien.


Famous picture of Queen Elizabeth I bought for UK

The most famous picture of one of the UK's most famous rulers has now been bought for the UK. The picture shows Elizabeth I in grand clothes after her sailors stopped Spain from invading Britain over 400 years ago. Behind her there are two windows. One shows the British ships preparing for battle, and the other shows the defeated Spanish ships.

The picture is very well known, and there are three versions of it. This one belonged to Sir Francis Drake, who was second-in-command of the Queen's ships during the battle. The picture has belonged to his family since then, but has sometimes been on display in public.

This picture and the way it shows the Queen helped to create the image we have of her, and even now.

The picture cost GBP 10.3million. Ordinary people and schoolchildren raised some of the money; one seven-year-old girl raised money by making and selling 400 cakes iced with the face of Elizabeth I. 


Plastic bags disappear

Six months ago, the law in England changed so that larger shops had to charge customers five pence for plastic carrier bags. Since then the total number of bags used has dropped by almost 90 per cent. The Government thinks that around a million bags will be issued by the big supermarkets this year, compared with over 7bn a year before the law changed.

Over 40 tonnes of plastic has been saved and millions of bags kept from ending up in the ocean and killing wildlife. Millions of pounds have been raised for charity by the five pence bag charge too.


First for British cyclist

Chris Froome has become the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France race three times. Froome is also only the eighth rider overall to win the race three times or more.

He won despite problems such as having to run part of one race when crowds on the road caused a crash, which damaged his bike and stopped his team getting a new one to him quickly. He is now hoping to do well in the Rio Olympics 


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