24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

8/02/2011  |  ABC

CYCLONE A massive cyclone is about to hit the north Queensland coast. People are already being evacuated from their homes as devastation is predicted. But what exactly are cyclones? And how do they happen? EGYPT Egypt is known as the place of the pyramids and the Great Sphinx. But while we know a lot about the country's past... its future is less clear. Egypt is going through a political revolution which has seen thousands of people protesting in the streets. What does it mean for the region? NEWS 24 The previous stories have demonstrated how quickly a news story can break, and how important it can be to have the latest information. We look behind the scenes at the ABC's 24 hour news channel. We speak to presenters and producers and find out what it's like to work on the channel that never sleeps. CINEMA The Oscars are just a few weeks away and it's the hot topic on many people's lips. But have you ever wondered how films are actually beamed into our cinemas, once they're made? Tash snuck behind the scenes of a cinema to find out how it all works. SPRINT STARS We meet two young sprint stars who have more in common than just their love for running. Both athletes lost a leg recently and have started learning to run with the aid of a prosthetic replacement. Already they're winning medals. This is an inspirational story about winning against the odds.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

16/11/2010  |  ABC

AIRCRAFT GROUNDED Bits of aircraft dropping off in mid-air is always concerning and has resulted in the grounding of the new Qantas A380 super-jumbo. Amid the finger-pointing over who's to blame Kirsty looks at what it takes to keep these complex machines in the air. BANK BUSINESS People are really angry at the banks after one decided to charge more for their loans. Many have said that banks are too greedy and already make big enough profits. Nathan looks at the business of banks to find out what they're really all about. FREE RANGE PIGS The Australian pork industry is about to vote on whether to get rid the cages where pregnant pigs are kept until they give birth. 95% of farmers still use the cages and there's a push to get more 'free range' pigs on farms. Tash finds out what makes a product 'free range' and how to tell if we're buying the real deal. HIGH DEFINITION TV As the switch to full digital in 2013 approaches people are turfing out the old telly and discovering a raft of new channels. There's loads of new jargon with terms like SD, HD and full-HD being tossed around. So this week Tash looks at what's on offer and what it is that makes HDTV different from the rest. PODCLASS School kids in Italy have taken on a new subject called podclass. Their ex-DJ teacher has injected some new technology and turned some of the kids' least-favourite lessons into fun. Tash tunes in to find out what it is that makes podclass such a hit.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

2/11/2010  |  ABC

TSUNAMI We've been reminded again of the devastating force of a tsunami. The Indonesian island of Sumatra was hit after a massive earthquake triggered a 3-metre wave that has killed over 100 people and hundreds more are still missing. Tash explains how tsunamis are caused and what systems are in place to warn people they're coming. MADE IN CHINA Workers are in hospital after being exposed to a toxic chemical while gluing computer stickers on laptops. This week Kirsty looks at how China's booming economy is affecting its people and the environment? VIDEO RENTAL For ages the local video shop has been offering up a good night's entertainment. But with the internet now becoming a convenient and fast place to pick a flick, where does that leave the good old DVD shop? With no need to go out and never any late fees, Nathan looks at the reasons why the DVD might be doomed. SEA CUCUMBER Animal, vegetable or mineral? These bizarre-looking creatures are like the vacuum cleaners of the sea. They're also considered a delicacy and are the new stars of the Vietnamese aquaculture industry. Tash introduces us to some kids and their families who are farming the beastie with no brain! ROBOT SOLDIERS Some kids are developing what could be the next generation of battlefield robots. Working with a university they are inventing new ways to suss out threats or bombs in a war zone. Kirsty met up with the brains behind these remote controlled soldiers.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

26/10/2010  |  ABC

DETENTION CENTRES The government's announced that two new detention centres will open in Australia. Community opinions are polarised so this week Tash looks at the way asylum seekers have been accommodated in the past and how those with kids will soon be housed. AFGHANISTAN DEBATE Australia joined the war effort in Afghanistan nine years ago and only now have pollies got around to debating the pros and cons of it all. Should soldiers to stay right where they are until the mission is finished? Nathan takes a look at the arguments both sides used to make their point. BROADBAND If you can't tell a Megabit from a Megabyte then this story is for you. We crack the broadband code and explain that all 'high-speed' connections are not created equal! Kirsty logs on to the current offerings and compares them with what the National Broadband Network promises to deliver. HAY FEVER SEASON Thanks to a change in season lots of kids are suffering from hay fever. Tash did some investigating to find out how this annoying allergy affects people and more importantly, what can be done to help ease the symptoms. WOLVES From fairy tales to feature films wolves get a pretty bad rap. And they're not too popular with ranchers in some parts of the US either! Kirsty looks at the efforts to rebuild the wolf population in the state of Idaho and why local farmers are so angry about the plan.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

19/10/2010  |  ABC

BASIN PLAN It grows 40-percent of all the food we produce in this country and sustains 30,000 wetlands. But the Murray Darling basin is under severe stress. Both sides agree there is a problem and Nathan looks at the plan to get the farming and environment balance right. CHILE RESCUE Chile's 33 trapped miners will enjoy life above ground after spending 10-weeks stuck in the San Jose mine. Some will become stars with book deals and spots on popular TV shows, so Kirsty explores how the miners were pulled to safety and how their lives will change. NEWSPAPERS Last week we tuned into the world of radio and now we open up the pages of the newspaper business. Papers are a big segment of the mass media but with mobile communications invading our lives Tash finds out if print is facing extinction. FRED'S VAN Imagine not having a clean bed and lots of food to come home to. Each day around 1 in every 200 Aussies faces that situation. But thanks to charity organisations and volunteers, homeless and disadvantaged people are being given a helping hand. Tash meets some kids working in Fred's Van who are making a difference. RODEO KIDS Jumping on the back of a bucking bull or a wild horse is not something a lot of kids would call fun! But for some people rodeos aren't only an adrenalin rush, they're a serious career. The sport is rounding up more interested kids and as Kirsty reports it can even help them sort out a few personal problems.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

7/09/2010  |  ABC

PAKISTAN AID Why do people donate money to some disasters over others? The Pakistan floods have been described by the UN as the worst natural disaster of recent times. So far, the aid effort hasn't reflected that. BtN examines the reasons why. SLEEPING VOLCANOES A volcano in Indonesia has erupted for the first time in four hundred years. Thousands of people and animals have evacuated the island, after volcanic ash and black smoke shot hundreds of metres into the air. We examine how volcanoes erupt and look back at history's most famous volcano Mt Vesuvius, which destroyed the city of Pompeii. MATCH FIXING Cricket has been hit by a betting scandal with the Pakistani team facing claims of match fixing. It's alleged that some players were paid to deliberately mess up in a game. It's related to something called micro betting. What is it, and how can cricket recover from this latest scandal? PRIZE COWS You only have to read Jack and the Beanstalk to realise that cows can earn you a tidy profit - even if it is in magic beans! We investigate the big business behind prize cows and get some tips from the kids who travel the country showing their livestock. REAL WRESTLING When you think of wrestling, you probably imagine WWE. That's the glitzy entertainment side of wrestling which features a whole heap of weird and wonderful characters. While that's fun, wrestling can also be a serious sport. We find out what it takes to be a real wrestler.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

31/08/2010  |  ABC

POLITICAL POWER Which politicians hold the most power in Australia? You might be surprised to hear that it's not just the Prime Minister and cabinet. After the recent election, the Greens have been placed in a powerful position in the Senate. And in the House of Representatives a massive amount of power will rest in the hands of a few Independent MP's. How will this affect the way the country is run? MINERS TRAPPED BtN explores the mining collapse in Chile. 33 people are trapped underground. Rescuers say it will take around four months to free them. We look at the rescue operation and examine why mining can be a dangerous job. SCIENTISTS IN SCHOOLS We look at a new school initiative which allows kids to adopt their very own working scientist. It's hoped the scheme will encourage more kids to get interested in science. BIG GIG It's probably the biggest gig of the year and many of you will be involved. Thousands of children from schools right across Australia will be singing the same song at the same time. It's all supposed to raise awareness about the value of music education in schools. ABORIGINAL ART Aboriginal art is a huge part of Australian culture. Paintings and crafts often hang in souvenir shops or art galleries around the country. But over the past few years fake Aboriginal art and craft from overseas has been popping up in stores. As Kirsty explains, this wave of cheap imports has got the local industry fighting for its future.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

24/08/2010  |  ABC

NEW GOVERNMENT With the election finally done and dusted the next PM is in for a very busy time. Sarah profiles the PM and checks their 'to do' list, starting with how they form a new Government. Next on the list is what has to be done to get their promises and new policies underway. BIKE HELMETS In Australia it's compulsory to wear a helmet when riding a bike. But now there's a call for the law to be scrapped and it's made a heap of people angry! Tash gets on her bike to find out how helmets can prevent head injuries and compares our bike-riding rules to other countries. OZONE LAYER 25-years ago scientists were predicting a catastrophe for the entire planet. A study was released showing that the ozone layer had a hole in it! But if it's such a problem why haven't you heard anything about the ozone layer lately? Nathan reports it's looking like this is one environmental problem we may have actually managed to turn around! BUILDING CAREER In the old days when you thought of builders and construction workers you probably thought of men in overalls. But building isn't just for boys. Sarah finds out about a girls-only construction class that's part of a program encouraging kids to build careers in construction. YOUTH OLYMPICS The world's first Youth Olympics are underway in Singapore. A group of Australia's best athletes are taking part and some have already made it onto the medal tally board. Tash looks into the event that brings together young people from 205 countries.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

17/08/2010  |  ABC

DISASTER RECOVERY We often hear about disasters like floods, earthquakes and fires on the news. But when the news stops reporting the story, it doesn't mean the disaster is over. It can take years to rebuild a country and sometimes disease and lack of nutrition can be an issue long after the initial catastrophic event. Tash looks at the long-term impact of disaster and how countries recover. CLIMATE VS WEATHER Over the past few years we've heard a lot about climate change. Lots of scientists say the earth's heating up and it could affect the world we live in. Over the past few weeks there's been some pretty extreme weather events - floods in Pakistan and a heatwave in Russia. So does it have anything to do with global warming? Well, not necessarily. Sarah talks to the weather experts to learn the difference between weather and climate. BLOOD DIAMONDS A couple of weeks ago supermodel Naomi Campbell appeared in a United Nations court... but it wasn't for crimes against fashion. It's actually a very serious trial where the former president of Liberia is accused of war crimes. So how is a supermodel involved? Well it's about a gift she was given more than ten years ago... something now known as a blood diamond... Nathan explains why a sparkling diamond may sometimes hide a dark secret. CHEESE SCHOOL When you think of chemistry lessons, you probably imagine test tubes and Bunsen burners - but not cheese. In Queensland, cheese-making has become an important classroom activity. Teenagers are being taught how to make and appreciate cheese in the hope it will help them to understand chemistry. [Sarah] BASKETBALL STAR We meet a teenager who's tipped to be the next big thing in women's basketball. Liz Cambage only started playing when she was 9, but very quickly she became a star, and has even played for Australia. She's more than 2 metres tall and possibly still growing, so it's no wonder experts are tipping big things for her career. She tells us what it takes to become a top player and reveals how school bullies made her more determined to succeed.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

10/08/2010  |  ABC

POLITICAL ADVERTISING Around election time voters are bombarded with advertisements and posters for political parties. We look at who pays for the this campaigning and find out that not all parties have the same budget. We also explore how effective adverts can be and examine why parties target particular areas and sections of the community. PLANE TALKING Australians could soon be able to use their mobile phones on aeroplanes. Phones are currently banned because of their potential to interfere with navigational equipment, but new technology means that's no longer the case. We examine how the technology has changed and what the implications could be for air travel. PET DISPLAYS It's common to see cats and dogs displayed in pet shop windows. We meet a school girl who's trying to get the practice banned. Is it cruel and does it encourage impulse buying, rather than responsible pet ownership? Or is it simply the most effective way of finding homes for puppies and kittens? FRESH JUICE Sometimes juice can be labelled fresh, even if parts of it have been heated up and stored for up to a year. A few months ago, there was a lot of talk about it in the media, with many people calling for a change to the way juice is labelled. So where is that fight now? And how can we tell the difference between the different types of juice on supermarket shelves? SCHOOL SPORT Imagine a sports match played in front of a packed stadium of 95,000 spectators, with an extra 200,000 outside watching on a big screen. It's not the World Cup or the AFL Grand Final... this is school sport American style. American college football is big business and draws huge crowds. And one Aussie teenager is experiencing it for the first time after taking a punt on a career in American football.

34:07 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

3/08/2010  |  ABC

LOOSE LIPS When is it acceptable for governments to keep secrets? This week there's been a lot of talk about the website, Wikileaks after it revealed some top secret information about the war in Afghanistan. It's made some people very angry, but others think the public have a right to know what's going on. POLLIE SPEAK BtN examines some of the key words and phrases that you'll hear time and time again during the election campaign. From Work Choices and the Education revolution to Back to Surplus - what do they actually mean and why are the politicians so keen to keep repeating them? PRECIOUS METAL We look at an increasingly important metal, Lithium. It's a significant ingredient in enabling batteries to store and expel power. Some experts think that Lithium could one day become as valuable as oil and gold. It's big news for the South American country Bolivia which has the world's biggest lithium reserves. RISK TAKERS Have you ever done something that's given you a real adrenaline rush? Scientists have been on a mission to find out why young people, and particularly young boys, are big risk-takers. And why would such behaviour evolve, when it's potentially harmful - even lethal? BACKYARD BEES We report on the growing movement to bring beekeeping into our backyards. Keeping bees in the city can be an environmentally friendly way of making honey. And it's not as hard as you might think. But there are rules, so watch BtN to make sure you don't get stung.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

27/07/2010  |  ABC

PREFERENTIAL VOTING Deal or no deal? The election campaign is underway and there's talk of preference deals. Parties are giving their preferences to other parties. What does it all mean? Sarah explains why it happens and how our preferential voting system works. FROMELLES FALLEN Known as one of the darkest days in Australian military history, the Battle of Fromelles saw 2,000 Australians die, with another 3,500 wounded or taken prisoner. Nathan looks at what happened in this WW I battle, how DNA technology has helped identify Australian soldiers and the memorial ceremony to honour the fallen. OILY CRITTERS The worst oil spill in US history has killed birds, turtles, dolphins and more. Countless other animals are sick or injured and the rescue effort is underway. Sarah looks at the often fatal effects of oil on feathers, fur and guts, and what has to be done to save the wildlife. YOUNG CHEFS Move over election debate and make way for the finale! Masterchef has been a TV ratings record-breaker and it seems more young people are looking at careers in cooking. But it's more than just souffle and satay sauce, so what's being a chef really like? Tash puts on her apron to find out about the 'business' of running a commercial kitchen. GO-GO MUSIC Music has always been inspired by places and shaped by the circumstances of the people creating it. Go-Go is the unique sound of Washington DC and has become aligned with violence and crime. But is it really the sound of hope for the community? Tash looks at the people, the predicament and the pulse of the American capital.

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