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21 June 2017

Fire kills 79 people

We have all been shocked by a terrible fire in a tower block in London.

Grenfell Tower is an apartment block for ordinary people in one of the richest areas of the city. One night last week, it caught fire. In most tower blocks like this, people are told that it is safest for them to stay in their flats until the firefighters put out the flames.

But something went badly wrong at Grenfell and the fire spread very fast. People think that new panels fitted to the outside of the block in building work last year might have caught fire.

40 fire engines were called to the block, and the firefighters did their best to rescue everyone, but they could not get to some of the highest floors and at least 79 people have died. Lots of people were saved by their neighbours who were up late and saw the fire.

Lots of questions are being asked about what happened at the flats, especially because the people who lived there had warned many times that the building work was a fire risk. People have donated lots of money, food and clothes for the families who lived there, but there has been lots of criticism of the authorities.

Highest-ever number of UK visitors in April

Coming to the UK is very good value at the moment, and people from all over the world are deciding to visit. In April, 3.7 million international visitors came, which is 19 per cent higher than the same month a year before. They also spent 20 per cent more than in April 2016 – £2 billion.

A lot of the extra visitors came from America and Canada, but there was also a big rise in the number of people coming from EU countries.

Heatwave hits UK

You know how everyone thinks it always rains in the UK? Not this week. It has been hotter than in Istanbul, Thailand, Los Angeles and many European cities. In London there were temperatures of 32.4 °C on Tuesday, but in the North of England there were big thunderstorms that night.

It is the longest period of very hot weather since 1995, and the highest temperatures since 1976.

For the first time ever, men attending the races at Ascot were allowed to take their jackets off, and the government have given health warnings telling people to try to stay in the shade in the middle of the day.

Monty Python plans go on show in London

Have you ever seen any of the Monty Python shows or films? They started as a comedy series called Monty Python's Flying Circus, which was very silly and very British. Later, the same people made several films, and Spamalot a stage show.

The shows were written by the comedians who performed in them. Now 50 notebooks belonging to one of the Pythons, Michael Palin, have been given by him to the British Library in London. That means people will be able to see early drafts and ideas of some of the jokes and characters from next year.


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