This week's UK news: 21 April 2011
21 April 2011

UK people live much longer

A quarter of under-16s in the UK will live to be at least 100 according to new government figures.

People's expected lifetimes are increasing so fast that a baby born this year can expect to live six weeks longer than one born last year. Baby boys born this year can expect to live to almost 90 years, and a baby girl to 92 years and six months.

Longer lives cause problems for public services such as health and pensions. The Government has plans to raise the age at which people stop work and collect a pension to 68.

London marathon

36,000 runners began the London Marathon on Sunday and set many new records. The men's race winner, Emmanuel Mutai, broke the London record by completing the course in two hours, four minutes and 39 seconds, and Mary Keitany won the women's race. Both runners were from Kenya.

The London marathon has many people running to raise money for charity. Many of these wear silly costumes. David Stone ran the course as Superman in two hours and 42 minutes, and another man who dressed as Fred Flintstone did so in two hours and 46 minutes. Guinness World Records said 28 new records were set. These included the fastest man juggling a football, and the quickest marching band.

Sam Robson ran his first marathon and then kept running another 99 miles until he got home after 25 hours. He did this to raise money for charity. And a couple also got married at mile 20, and then finished the race. 

UK transport problems

One of Britain's motorways was partly closed for around a week after it was badly damaged in a fire.

The elevated section of the M1, which runs north from London, had a scrap yard underneath, where old cars are taken.  A fire broke out at the scrap yard and caused such serious damage to the concrete bridge supporting the road that it had to be repaired with 200 tons of steel.

Police now say the fire was started deliberately. 

UK in holiday mood

The UK does not get many public holidays compared to many other countries. But many people are cheerful because there are about to be two long weekends and the weather is unusually good.

This weekend the UK gets Friday and Monday off for Easter, and the following Friday is another public holiday for the Royal Wedding. These are the first public holidays since January 1 and so people are looking forward to time off work.

The weather is also unusually hot and sunny for this time of year and so people are getting into holiday mood.

Royal wedding update….

There is only a week to go until the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton now and the newspapers are frantic to find stories. This week we've heard that the bride's mother is trying to find an outfit at the last minute, that the wedding dress is going to be made by a little-known designer and that Prince William has been playing football in the park.

Finally, there are stories that the newly-married couple are planning a honeymoon in Jordan. Apparently this is very unusual as it is Royal tradition to spend the first few days in the South of England.


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