This week's UK news: 15 March 2013
15 March 2013

Long winter causes chaos in UK

By this time of year the weather is usually becoming warmer and more Spring-like. Not this year. This week freezing temperatures and snow caused chaos in the South of England.

On Monday night major roads were blocked after blizzards which caused traffic jams of up to 30 miles. Many motorists ended up sleeping in their cars on the main road from London to Brighton, and there were 771 road accidents in the county of Sussex alone. Train and bus services were affected, and hundreds of schools were shut.

Although the snow has now melted again, more is forecast for next week. Bookmakers are taking lots of bets on snow at Easter.

Man loses job after fighting a shark

Paul Marshallsea was in the news around the world when he grabbed a shark by the tail just off an Australian beach when it was swimming towards children.

But when he got back to Wales he found he had lost his job, as a result of his actions. Mr Marshallsea had been in Australia because he was off work on sick leave. His bosses said that though he had been unfit for work, he had been fit enough to travel to Australia, and to grab the shark.

Mr Marshallsea said that if he had not tried to help he would still have a job. "I never thought that wrestling with a shark would cost me my job," he said.

What are UK people buying?

The government looks at the cost of living with a "shopping basket" of 700 goods which people buy. The list changes each year according to people's buying habits, so it is a good way of seeing what is popular.

This year, champagne bought in bars and clubs was removed from the list, replaced with white rum which is popular with younger people. EBooks are now on the list, as are children's electronic toys and personal video recorders. Lettuces have been replaced by pre-prepared salads in bags.

Baby delays train

People who travel to and from work on the train are used to being told that their service is delayed. But passengers on a train from London to Maidstone were a bit surprised to be asked if there were any medical staff on the train, as a baby was being born.

Sonia Banks, 22, had just been sent home from hospital. Medical staff had told her that she would not be having her baby soon and should rest at home. She was going home on the train with the baby's father and his mother when she realised that the baby was coming. Just 15 minutes after the driver asked passengers if anyone could give medical help, baby Phoebe was born in the carriage.

Passengers clapped and cheered when the driver announced that the baby had been born, and the train ended up with a delay of just 37 minutes. The train's conductor said: "We had everyone we needed right there on the train. We were only missing a vicar to baptise the baby."


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