This special end of year episode of Behind the News wraps up all of 2019’s big stories from Australia and around the world in politics, weather, sports and culture. Plus there is a super quiz to test your knowledge of the year’s events and some behind the scenes bloopers.
The Behind the News team updates us on the Hong Kong protests and explains what kind of democratic rights the protestors are demanding from the government. A koala hospital in Port Macquarie has raised over $1 million, Tesla unveils its new cybertruck and ancient animal mummies are put on display in Egypt. We also learn more about Venice and why it is flooding. Jack visits an indigenous school garden full of bush tucker, Leela spends some time at the South Australian hospital school and we meet a young Aussie horse rider from Cobargo who has invented the award winning safety 'rein angel'.
NSW and QLD have been dealing with deadly bushfires for more than a week now, and hundreds of schools are closed. Amelia visits some of the affected areas to find out how kids are coping. BTN’s Kids Talk survey has found that some kids are feeling tired a lot of the time, so we take a look at why sleep is important and ways kids can get a better night’s sleep. The UN’s World Television Day celebrates the powerful role television plays in helping us understand global issues and the things that matter to us. We meet an up and coming musician who sat down with one of the country’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters, Paul Kelly.
India's capital, New Delhi, is experiencing dangerous levels of air pollution. We find out why it's happening and what's being done. BTN's Kids Talk Survey found nearly 1 in 5 kids are spending 5 or more hours a day looking at screens. We take a closer look at the results, and ways to manage our screen time. It's the 100th anniversary of the Epic Flight, when two Australian men flew a plane from England to Australia. We meet some students in Adelaide who have been learning more about it. We take a closer look at the career of tennis star Ash Barty and find out her message to Aussie tennis stars of the future. We find out more about the medieval sport of jousting.
BTN takes a closer look at the history of the Melbourne Cup and the horse racing debate going on in Australia. It’s been 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We find out more about that important historical event, the events that led up to it and its impact on the world. Find out why reality TV isn’t always as ‘real’ as it appears. We meet some kids in Tasmania who are learning a language that means a lot to them and their families - it’s called palawa kani. With esports booming around the world, some Aussie schools are starting to see video gaming as a serious sport.
Brexit Irish Border Brexit has been big in the news as the deadline for the UK's plan to leave the EU gets closer. This week we look at one of the biggest issues in the Brexit debate; the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We find out why that's such a big deal by learning more about Ireland's complicated history. East Antarctic Marine Park This week scientists from around the world are in Hobart for a meeting about Antarctica. One of the things they'll be talking about is a plan - led by Australia - to set up a Marine Protected Area that would make more of the Antarctic ocean off-limits to fishing and mining. We find out more about the creatures that live in this icy deep and why some think they're worth protecting. Waste Solutions As you might have heard, Australia has been facing some waste management problems since overseas countries that used to process our recycling said they didn't want to do it anymore. Last week Victoria's government released a report outlining some possible solutions, including turning green waste into energy and giving households six recycling bins. We take a closer look at some of these plans. Letter Writing Class Leela meets a man who's on a mission to bring back letter writing! Richard Simpkin is the founder of World Letter Writing Day and he travels around the country teaching kids the value of picking up a pen and writing to someone they care about. Halloween History It's Halloween on Thursday, when many people around the world like to get dressed up, go trick or treating, and celebrate all things scary! Jack finds out more about the origins of Halloween and where some of its spookiest traditions began.
Syria Turkey Conflict We look at a conflict that's going on at the moment on the border of Turkey and Syria. It started a couple of weeks ago after the US announced it was bringing its soldiers home from the region. But to understand why it's happening you have to understand a bit about Syria's recent history and Turkey's relationship with the Kurdish people. Deep Fakes As part of the ABC's Media Literacy Week, we look at the rise of deep fake videos and why they have some experts worried. Solar Car Challenge Last week teams of students from around the world are racing through the outback as part of the Solar Car Challenge. It's an event that's part race, part science show that was started in the '80s to showcase solar technology. Map Future Recently Geoscience Australia, the federal government's mapping agency, announced that it was phasing out paper maps. It says most people are buying them online now, although not everyone's happy with the move. It got us thinking about the past and the future of maps. Dog History For a long time, dogs have been known as mankind's best friend, but recent studies have also found that our four-legged friends are good for our heath. In fact, scientists have found that people with pet dogs tend to live longer. We look at history of the friendship between humans and dogs and why they might make us healthier. Kids Talk Survey Behind the News is launching its first ever Kids Talk Survey. We want to know what's going on in the lives of school kids around the country, including how they're feeling, the issues they're dealing with, how they feel about politics and how much time they spend on screens.
Impeachment Explained Over the holidays you might have heard about a big story involving US President Donald Trump. His political opponents have started a big investigation to see whether or not he should be impeached. We find out what impeachment is and why this is such a big deal. Nobel Prizes This year’s Nobel Prize winners have just been announced. They’re some of the world’s most prestigious awards, given each year to people who’ve made world-changing achievements in different fields. We find out more about what the Nobel Prizes are and their interesting history. Video Game Archive For the first time ever, Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive has added eight video games to its collection of important sounds and images from throughout Australia’s history. We take a look at the games that made the cut and find out more about the history of video games. Yom Kippur We meet some kids who’ve just celebrated the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. They tell us more about their religion and what the holiday means to them. This is part of a series of stories looking at the world’s major religions and their celebrations.
Fire Season It’s been a terrible start to spring for many communities in NSW and Queensland where bushfires have destroyed homes and property. While fires aren’t unusual in Australia, experts say these ones have hit way earlier than usual, in places that aren’t usually affected by fire. We find out more about this terrible start to fire season and how some kids are getting ready for the hot weather to come. Fish Rescue A mass fish rescue is underway right now in the Darling River in NSW. Native species are being caught and relocated to other parts of the river or to fish hatcheries to try to prevent what the State’s environment minister has described as a potential fish “Armageddon”. Many are worried, when summer comes, we’ll see another mass fish die-off caused by blue green algae. We find out more about what’s happening to the health of Australia’s biggest river system. E-cigarette Warning Most young Aussies know about the dangers of smoking, but there are worries that there’s a growing number of young people using e-cigarettes or vaping. While they were originally marketed as being a safer alternative to cigarettes, recently there’ve been a few cases of people getting sick after vaping and even some deaths overseas. We find out more. Peace Games It’s not very often that 11-year-olds are asked to prevent wars and solve big economic, social and environmental crises, but this week that’s exactly what some South Australia kids are being asked to do. They’re taking part in the World Peace Game - a very different sort of board game developed by a US educator who’s on a mission to prove that kids can make great diplomats. Magpie Season It’s that time of year again - when school yards and streets are menaced by swooping magpies! We find out why magpies attack and what you can do to protect yourself.
Hurricane Dorian The Bahamas have been battered by the fiercest hurricane to hit the islands since records began. Hurricane Dorian was category 5 when it made landfall - the strongest category there is. We look at how hurricanes work, how they’re measured and how people are coping with the disaster. Trade Wars You might have heard on the news over the past few months about something called a trade war that’s going on between the US and China. The countries aren’t really 'at war' - but they are having a serious disagreement about tariffs and it’s having an effect on economies around the world - including here in Australia. We find out what tariffs are and how they’re being used as a weapon by the world’s most powerful countries. Human Evolution Scientists are really excited about a new find in Ethiopia. It's a 3.8 million-year-old skull belonging to one of our oldest ancestors and they hope it'll give us a much better understanding of human evolution. Matt find out more about the find and how humans became humans. NASA fossils Scientists from NASA and the ESA have been in Western Australia’s Pilbara region learning how to collect the best rock samples from the surface of Mars! Both space agencies are planning unmanned missions to the red planet which will involve collecting Martian rock samples and looking for signs of ancient Martian life. So that they know what to look for, they’re learning more about ancient Australian rocks which hold clues to the beginnings of life on Earth. Worm Wee We meet some school kids who’ve made a business out of worm wee! While it might not sound too tasty to us, plants love the liquid created by earthworms and so do gardeners. The students from Mercedes College teach us more about worms and how they help the soil to stay healthy.
Amazon Fires For the past three weeks massive fires have been burning in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. The natural disaster has a lot of experts worried because of how important the Amazon is to the world’s environment. We look at the role of the rainforest and why it’s in trouble. World War II Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. We look at the events that led up to the war and present a brief history of one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Music Copyright Recently music star Taylor Swift announced she was planning to re-record her first five albums after the rights to the original recordings were bought by someone she doesn’t like. We look at the issue of music copyright and why artists don’t necessarily own their own songs. Flag Day September 3 is Australia’s Flag Day - which marks the anniversary of the flag’s first flight in Melbourne in 1901. We look at the history of Australia’s flag and the ongoing debate over whether it’s time for a new national symbol. Pandas Olivia goes to Adelaide Zoo to meet Australia’s only two pandas, Wang Wang and Funi. They’ve lived in Australia for 10 years, but like all pandas, they officially belong to China and - while the zoo is hoping to keep them here - their time here could be up next month.
Prime Minister Interview Scott Morrison visits the BTN studio for a one-on-one interview. We ask him a selection of questions sent in by our YouTube subscribers and Ask a Reporter audience, covering a range of topics, from the government’s environmental policy to the PM’s favourite superhero. Concussion Treatment Steve Smith has confirmed he won’t be playing in the third Ashes Test in the UK after getting a concussion in the second match in the series. We look at what a concussion is and why experts say Smith’s decision sends the right message to other sports people and to kids. Nuclear Tests Thursday is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, which was set up 10 years ago by the United Nations to raise awareness about the effects of testing nuclear weapons. We look at the history of nuclear testing and the effect it’s had on people around the world, including here in Australia. Buying Territories The eyes of the world were on a Danish island in the Arctic this week after US President Donald Trump suggested that he’d be interested in buying Greenland. Denmark and Greenlanders themselves were quick to tell the president the territory is not for sale. But it’s not the first time the US has tried to buy the island. In fact, the US has a long history of buying other countries’ territories. Toilet Renovations If you think of the most exciting or pleasant room in your school, chances are it won’t be the toilets! But we find out about a project that’s aiming to change that. Its organisers are giving toilets make-overs so kids have a pleasant place to pee!
Pacific Islands Forum Last week Australia's prime minister joined leaders from around the Pacific in Tuvalu for the Pacific Islands Forum. A big focus of the meeting this year was climate change and its affect on Pacific Island countries. We find out more about why our island neighbours are particularly worried about rising seas and natural disasters. Recycling Solution Like many Aussie schools, students at Immanuel College in Adelaide have been working hard to recycle as much as possible. In fact, they're trying to eventually get rid of rubbish bins all together. But some have been worried their efforts are being wasted after seeing stories about Australia's recycling crisis. They investigate the problem and find out from the prime minister about some possible solutions. Book Week 2019 Next week kids around Australia will be dressing up and celebrating their favourite stories for Book Week. We celebrate by going on a trip to the library to find out about the history of these big book depositories and how they're adapting to stay relevant in the digital future. Spinifex Gum Choir We meet some young members of a unique Aussie choir which has started a project that aims to give young Indigenous Australians a powerful voice. Hyenas Liv goes to the zoo to meet some Hyenas and finds out how keepers are trying to improve the image of these very interesting animals.
Gun Control Debate The gun debate is big news again in the US after two deadly shootings in early August. The US has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world and the right to bear arms is guaranteed in its constitution. Some say that's contributing to gun violence and that the US should bring in tighter controls on guns. We look at the debate in the US and the history of gun control here in Australia. Supermarket Collectable Controversy Supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths recently started new collectable campaigns and many kids around Australia are searching for the ultimate Ooshie or Little Shop toy. But not everyone is a fan of the promotions. We meet some young people who say the toys are giving kids the wrong message about plastic pollution. Science Lessons This week is Science Week and the theme is Destination Moon, to coincide with last month's 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. It got us thinking about all the other scientific breakthroughs that've been made since 1969 and the things kids were taught at school back then that are no longer true. We look at some of the big science lessons we've learned since 1969 and how they've changed the world. Braille Books A school for kids who are blind or vision impaired in Adelaide was frustrated with the lack of braille books for students, so it's started making its own! Volunteers help to emboss the books and add tactile pictures. We meet some of the students who are enjoying the books and find out more about braille. Koala Carer We meet a young Aussie who spends her spare time caring for her favourite animal - koalas! Libby is worried that the iconic native animals are at risk of disappearing and she didn't want to wait until she was older to do something about it.
Garma Festival 2019 Last weekend thousands of Aussies headed to North East Arnhem Land for the Garma festival. It's an annual celebration of Yolngu and other Indigenous cultures and an important forum for talking about the issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As usual, there were plenty of young Australians at Garma and we asked some of them to show us around and tell us why the festival is important to them. Constitutional Recognition At this year's Garma Festival there was a lot of talk about constitutional recognition. For a long time, many Indigenous and non-Indigenous Aussies have been calling for some changes to the constitution and now the prime minister has promised it'll soon be taken to a vote. We find out more about what constitutional recognition means and how it could be achieved. Sports Supplements Warning Last week some experts warned athletes about the risk of sports supplements after swimmer Shayna Jack tested positive to a banned substance. She says she doesn't know how a banned drug got into her system, but she suggested it might have been a contaminated batch of supplement. We look at why sports people take supplements, how they're different to banned drugs and why they can be risky. Fatbergs This week Olivia takes a closer look at what we flush down the loo! While that might seem obvious (and unpleasant) the organisation in charge of South Australia's sewerage system says a lot of people aren't getting the message. It says things like "flushable" wipes (which aren't actually flushable!) are creating big, gross blockages known as "fatbergs" in sewerage pipes. It's even released a jingle to remind people of what should and shouldn't go down the toilet. Radiated Tortoises We go to the zoo to meet some very cute tortoises which had a lucky escape from poachers. Their species is targeted by animal traffickers who sell them for their shells, their meat or as pets. We find out more about animal trafficking and what's being done to stop it.
UK Prime Minister Last week people all around the world were talking about the UK's new PM. His name is Boris Johnson and while he's been in politics for a long time he's known as an unconventional leader with a big personality and an unusual hairdo! We find out more about who Boris Johnson is and why his leadership could have a big impact on the UK and other countries. FaceApp and Privacy You might have seen a lot of pictures passed around recently of your friends or celebrities looking much older than they are. They come from a popular app called FaceApp which lets users change their appearance. But it's caused controversy because of terms and conditions which allow FaceApp to store and sell your photos. We find out more about data collection, why companies do it and how you can protect your privacy online. Uluru Tourists One of Australia's most famous natural wonders has been busier than usual lately. Heaps of tourists have been travelling to Uluru, with many hoping to climb the famous rock before a ban comes in in October. Some locals say it's led to an increase in rubbish and illegal camping in the area. We look at what's been happening and why the climbing ban has been put in place. MS Readathon This month primary school kids across Australia will be sticking their noses in as many books as possible for the MS Readathon. They'll be raising money to help people who live with a condition called multiple sclerosis or MS. We meet some kids who'll be doing the readathon and find out why it means a lot to them. Girls Rock We meet some kids who've spent part of their school holidays learning how to be rock stars! They took part in a program called Girls Rock which is designed to show kids that music is for everyone.
BTN Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11! July 21 marked 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history by walking on the moon. To celebrate, BTN will present a special episode, hosted from the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope. We'll look at the events leading up to the moon landing, the Apollo 11 mission and Australia's role in it and what the future of space exploration might hold. Space Race We look at the scientific developments and the world events that created the space race between the US and the USSR and the space milestones that paved the way for Apollo 11. Apollo 11 We find out more about the journey of Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they did what no human had ever done before. Moon Landing Memories Some kids interview their grandparents and great-grandparents and ask them what they remember of the moon landing and how they felt about it at the time. History of the Dish We find out more about the important role Australia played in the Apollo 11 mission, and how the CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope ended up providing pictures of the historic moment to the world. We also talk to an expert about what the telescope has done since Apollo 11 and what its role will be in the future. Space Future We look at the future of space exploration and meet some high school kids who are learning what it might be like to work on a mission to Mars.
Hong Kong Protests People in Hong Kong have continued to protest a proposed new law which would mean people accused of crimes in China could be sent there to face a trial. We investigate why the protests are happening and find out more about the history of Hong Kong. Recycling Recently local government from around Australia got together for a big meeting and one of the main topics of conversation was recycling. It's been causing some big problems in Australia since a bunch of overseas countries said they no longer wanted to deal with our waste. Aussie Future The CSIRO has released a report looking into the future of Australia. It spoke to a bunch of experts about what the country might look like in 2060 and they put forward a couple of very different scenarios, depending on what we and our governments do now. Seed School We meet some school kids who are working with scientists to save Australia's endangered plants! Students at Woodlupine Primary School in Perth have been carefully growing three species that are in danger of extinction then harvesting their seeds. Cricket Bat Kid We meet a young Aussie who wants to share his love of cricket with as many people as possible! Ten-year-old Riley spends his spare time refurbishing old cricket gear and giving it to kids who need it.
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