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10 November 2017

Why are people wearing poppies?

If you're in the UK, you will have seen people wearing a red paper flower – a poppy -  including on all the TV news programmes.

This is because it is Remembrance Sunday this weekend. This began after the First World War, marking the end of the fighting at 11am on 11 November 1918. On Remembrance Sunday, there are formal ceremonies to lay poppies at war memorials all over the UK.

Since the end of World War I, money has been raised for injured ex-soldiers every year by making and selling poppies for people to wear for Remembrance Day. Poppies were chosen because they flowered on the battlefields in Europe after fighting ended. There were so many that they turned the fields red, and made them look like blood.

Now the poppies are sold to raise money for former members of the UK armed forces who need it. As well as Remembrance Sunday, there is a national two-minute silence at 11am on 11 November.

New human ancestor found

Dorset in the South of England is a great place to find fossils. Now the teeth of a new creature have been found, and scientists say it is the earliest human ancestor known.

The animal would have looked like a rat or mouse, and came out at night.

It lived 145 million years ago and is the earliest in a line which led to humans, as well as whales and tiny rodents.

It has been named after the man who runs a pub nearby, Charlie Newman. Mr Newman is keen on studying fossils, helped to find the teeth, and has a fossil museum in his pub, the Square and Compass at Worth Matravers.

The teeth were found by a student at Portsmouth University, and identified by Dr Steve Sweetman, who says his "jaw dropped" when he saw them.

Supermarket tries to protect Harry Styles from fruit

Harry Styles, the former lead singer of One Direction, is currently doing solo shows. One of his songs is called Kiwi – so his fans have started throwing kiwi fruit (which are small, green and hairy) at the stage.

He slipped on the smashed fruit when he was on stage in London last week, and film made by the fans has been shared online. He also joked in a radio interview that he was happy that he had not been "hit straight on with a kiwi yet."

As a result of this, the Asda supermarket in Manchester decided to ban the sales of kiwi fruit to people under 25 to help protect Mr Styles. They said: 'We know our customers love Harry Styles and it's our duty to protect [him] from any bad kiwis."

It didn't work. Fans threw kiwis at the Manchester stage anyway.

World's oldest cars out for a drive

One of the oldest races in the world happens the first Sunday in every November. It is the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which has now been happening for 120 years. It celebrates a change in the law – until then, all cars had to have a man with a red flag walking in front of them.

Over 400 veteran cars take part in the run, and they are not allowed to have been built after 1905. This means that there are some amazing old cars doing the 60 miles from Hyde Park in London to the seafront in Brighton, and lots of traffic jams.

Lots of the old cars are very noisy and most do not have roofs, which means the drivers and passengers can be cold, shaken and wet when they arrive in Brighton. The braking and acceleration of the cars are also not like it is today, so all drivers on the road have to be very careful. 

This year, the oldest car was an 1893 Peugeot. Cars started arriving in Brighton at 10am and were still arriving at 4:30.


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