Most of England’s television and newspapers, and a lot of its people, are obsessed with the World Cup.
The problem is the England team. We hope they will do well but worry that they will fail, which they often do. So far England has played one World Cup match, against the USA. The England team scored a goal very quickly. Minutes later it horrified the nation by then letting in an American goal, which looked like it should have been easy to stop.
The country is now waiting for the next match, against Algeria. There are a lot of very worried football fans here.
One of the very odd things about the UK is the “honours system”. This is where people are rewarded for public service or sometimes just for being good at their jobs.
The rewards vary. Everyone gets a medal presented by the Queen. Most people get the right to put letters after their name. Member of the British Empire (MBE) is the lowest of these and Order of the British Empire (OBE) is most common. Sometimes people get the right to call themselves Dame or Sir.
The people getting honours are mostly chosen by the Government, though they are awarded by the Queen. The Honours List comes out twice a year, at New Year and in June on the Queen’s official birthday. This year actress Catherine Zeta Jones was the best-known person to get an honour.
Northern Ireland is a peaceful place now. But for years there were bombings and shootings sparked by struggles between people who were happy with having a UK government, and people who were not.
For many years the British army was deployed in Northern Ireland. One of the worst incidents there was “Bloody Sunday”. This happened in 1972 when British soldiers fired on people taking part in a civil rights march, killing 14.
Now a report has been published, after an enquiry which took 12 years and cost £200m. It says that the marchers were not armed and the shootings were unjustified. This has pleased the families of the people who died.
Scientists have found that most people think their hands are shorter and fatter than they really are.
The research at University College London hid people’s hands and asked them to show where they thought their fingers were. This information was used to find out how the brain saw the hand.
The scientists think this research could explain why some people think they are fat when they are too thin, and risk their health by eating too little.
by Susan Youngsusan@englishuk.com