BtN stories include: North Korea, Opinion Polls, Sport Doping, Science Kids and Shark Patrol.
WILD WEATHER For many families it hasn't been a good start to 2013. First there were massive bushfires which destroyed homes in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, then floods hit parts of Queensland and New South Wales. If you think that story sounds familiar, you're not wrong. In fact, BTN has started off many years with a story about natural disasters. So why is January such a dangerous month in Australia? Sarah finds out what's behind the wild weather. TASSIE REBUILD Over the holidays, Tasmania was hit by devastating bushfires that destroyed more than one hundred properties with some people being forced to take shelter on beaches and in boats. Now the clean-up and recovery process begins. We asked some BtN viewers to show us whats involved in rebuilding homes and schools affected by the bushfires. SCHOOL ECONOMICS While you were away from school some decisions were made about what you should be studying while youre at school. For the first time economics lessons will be taught to kids in primary school. We take a look at why teachers and politicians think the economy is something you need to know more about. AUSSIE FLAG A few weeks ago people all around the country celebrated Australia day. For most Aussies that means barbeques, trips to the beach, parties and lots of Australian flags. But this Australia day some were asking whether it might be time to change the Australian flag. So why do some people want it to be changed? BALL KIDS If you caught the tennis over the school holidays, you would have been focused on watching the players on the court. But there are some other people on the sidelines who have an important job to do. Tash finds out what it's like to be a ball kid!
GAZA CONFLICT The fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip has been one of the biggest stories in the news all week. We'll take a look at the conflict and why it seems so hard to find a peaceful solution. CLIMATE CHANGE The World Bank has released a report saying it expects the world to warm up by 4 degrees over the next century. So what effect would that temperature rise have on the world as we know it? YOUNG REFUGEE We meet an orphan from Afghanistan who has decided to make Australia his home. So what's it like for a young person trying to make a new life in a foreign country? BOLLYWOOD CULTURE A few weeks ago we told you how the government was trying to encourage kids to learn about Asia. As well as learning a language the government wants you to learn about Asian cultures. We meet some Aussie kids who are getting involved in an Indian tradition that's bigger than you might realise. YEAR IN REVIEW We take a look back at some of the most important stories that made the news this year.
ROYAL COMMISSION Over the next few weeks and months you'll probably be hearing a lot about something called a Royal Commission. The government is starting one to look into the issue of child abuse. Many are hoping that it'll bring about changes that will protect kids. So what is a Royal Commission? HOMELESSNESS The number of homeless people in Australia has risen. A new report says there are now more than a hundred thousand people without a home. We meet some kids trying to make a difference by helping people in need. FLYING DENTISTS In some of Australia's most remote communities, regular access to medical experts can be pretty hard to come by. That's why the royal flying doctors service exists. And it's also the reason why a new program has started putting dentists in the sky as well. ANIMAL RESCUE After a bushfire there are often animals that get injured. Sometimes they wander into people's backyards to find safety. So what should you do if you find an injured animal? SURF LIFESAVERS When you head down to the beach this summer you'll probably notice the surf lifesavers doing their patrols and checking that people are staying safe. It requires good fitness and swimming skills to be a top lifesaver, and in Australia we're lucky that ours are some of the best in the world. The surf life saving World Championships were held recently... so how did our young lifesavers do against kids from other countries?
STORM CLEAN UP We take a look at how New Yorkers are recovering after the devastating storms that hit the city last week. Our story is told by a local kid who's currently off school and living in a home without power. So how can a city recover... and what's life like for kids living through the disaster? CYBER SMART Cyber bullying is something we hear a lot about and that's because it's a huge problem for kids all around the world. There are lots of campaigns out there trying to stop it and last week Facebook launched a new one. Many reckon the power to stop bullying lies with kids... and Sarah found out about a school which is giving them the knowledge they need to do it. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE Last week we told you how the government wants all kids to learn an Asian language. But there are languages much closer to home that some people think are just as important. Australia has hundreds of indigenous languages and some people are worried that if we don't keep teaching them they could eventually die out. We visit one school where learning an aboriginal language is a very important part of the day. FOOD GARDEN When tourists come to Australia they often visit the opera house, the Sydney harbour bridge or the great barrier reef. But when Prince Charles arrived to tour Australia this week he chose to visit a food garden made by primary school kids. So what was so special about this school's food garden project? SPACE JUNK Over and over again, we've been told about the problems associated with litter here on earth. But did you know we also have a junk problem somewhere else? Over 2000ks above your head space junk is creating a big hazard. Cleaning it up though is a lot tougher than you might think.
BtN stories include: Super Storm, Asian Century, Homework Debate, Organ Farming and Robot Boy.
URANIUM U-TURN We all know how important energy is... so what if I told you that there's an energy supply that's thousands of times more efficient than coal, that doesn't create carbon pollution and that Australia has massive reserves of. Sound pretty good? Well it's a bit more complicated than that. Sarah finds out why Uranium is a controversial element and why new plans to mine and sell it have stirred up debate. AMERICA VOTES Elections in Australia are big news, but what about elections overseas? Right now Americans are getting ready to go to the polls and the story seems to be on the Australian news most nights. So why should America's election matter to people living here. SCHOOL SWIMMING Summer is just around the corner and most of us love cooling off at the beach or in a swimming pool. But a new report's found a lot more young people are drowning each year because they don't know how to swim. One idea that's being talked about is making swimming lessons compulsory in schools. DEVIL ISLAND Not that long ago Tassie devils were a common sight across Tasmania, but a nasty disease wiped out a big chunk of the population. Now conservationists are trying to bring the species back from the brink by introducing them to a part of the state they've never lived before. STONER GOODBYE If you know anything about motorbike racing, then you've probably at least heard of Casey Stoner. He was so young when he started winning races, that he's inspired a whole generation of young riders to follow in his tracks. As he completes his final race, we'll take a look at what he's achieved, and the legacy he'll leave behind.
SECURITY COUNCIL Australia has been lobbying to get a temporary seat on the UN security council. So why is it so important to be a part of that group? And what does the UN security council do anyway? CYCLING FUTURE Lance Armstrong is considered by many to be a legend in the sport of cycling, so recent accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs have rocked the sport. With so many former cyclists already confirmed as drug cheats some people are saying that the sport has lost all credibility. So how does the sport recover after such damaging publicity? CHILDREN'S RIGHTS Did you know that there's a certain set of human rights that apply to children? Universal Children's Day is this week and it's a chance to celebrate those rights. But it's also a time to think about those kids around the world who are less fortunate. CHOOK SCIENCE An 11 year old schoolboy has won a big science award for an experiment which he came up with in his own backyard. He set out to find out why some chickens produce big eggs and came up with a significant discovery. LEARNING DANCE Experts reckon learning shouldn't just be about reading, writing and arithmetic... and that kids get just as much out of learning arts like music and dance. Sarah found out why more primary schools are dancing their way to academic success.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH There's been a lot of talk recently about the right to freedom of speech. A radio DJ made some hurtful and offensive remarks about the Prime Minister and her family. The DJ has since apologised, but it's sparked a debate about whether freedom of speech should have limits. We'll take a look at the argument. CCTV Some politicians want to put up more CCTV cameras around our cities. More cameras could make it easier for police to catch criminals, and some say cameras could discourage some crimes from happening in the first place So where does the balance lie, between respecting people's privacy and keeping people safe? SCHOOL OF THE AIR Going to school is pretty normal for Aussie kids who live near big cities and towns. But there are some kids who can't get to a school because they live in such remote areas. They can do their schooling from home through something called, the School of the Air. Tash looks at how School of the Air works. DINOSAUR TRACKS We check out some amazing dinosaur footprints that have made their mark on the coastline of Western Australia. These fascinating discoveries can tell us lots about life when dinosaurs roamed our planet. But this great archaeological find could be under threat from new construction. TALENT SEARCH At a time of year when most of the nation's top footballers are winding down, Australia's young AFL hopefuls are just gearing up for their shot at the big time. The annual Draft Combine gives youngsters from all over Australia the chance to impress their favourite clubs. But for the first time, some international athletes have joined them.
REEF WARNING The Great Barrier Reef is known as one of the seven wonders of the natural world and it attracts lots of tourists every year. But last week there was some worrying news about the reef and its future. A report came out saying half of the reef has disappeared in the past 27 years and unless something's done half of what's left could disappear by 2022. So what's putting the reef at risk? BALI BOMBINGS Nearly every kid in Australia would have heard of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, but far fewer would know about a terrorist attack which happened soon after in Bali. As we come up to the 10th anniversary of this horrible event we take a look at what happened. FIRE SEASON It's been three years since the Black Saturday Bushfires. They were the worst the country had ever seen, killing 173 people and leaving thousands homeless. Now fire authorities are warning that this year could be another bad one for bushfires. We find out what fire authorities and ordinary people are doing to stay safe this summer. AUSSIE INVENTIONS Australia has always had a reputation for punching above its weight in sport. But there is another area of Aussie expertise where we have made a big impact around the world - it's inventing things. You might be surprised what amazing inventions first came from an Aussie's mind. GREYHOUND ADOPTION Greyhounds are known for their racing ability, but what happens when they retire from racing or don't make the cut? Well, they're often made available for adoption. We meet a family who recently adopted a greyhound as a pet.
SUPER TRAWLER The second biggest fishing trawler in the world arrived in Australia last week. But with it... came a sea of controversy. The Government has tried to stop the super trawler from dropping its huge nets in Australian waters. But the company behind it says it's doing nothing wrong and has followed all the rules. So why has it become such a controversial issue? COTTON WOOL KIDS No one wants to get hurt... but some reckon the cuts and bruises that kids get from playing outside are actually a really important part of growing up. Right now there are big studies going on to see whether kids' health is suffering because their parents aren't letting them do dangerous stuff. We look at one school that's trying to introduce some risk-taking into the playground. PLASTIC OCEANS 3.5 million pieces of new plastic end up in the world's oceans every day. So how do they get there and what damage are they doing to marine animals? We check out a big scientific study where researchers, with the help of some school kids, are tracking the movement of plastic in the Ocean. WOMBAT WEEDS Last week we brought you the story of some kids who were combing the bush trying to get rid of weeds which can be dangerous for native animals. This story is proof of that. We see how some wombats are suffering because of their battle with a particular type of weed. SHOW BUSINESS We meet the families that travel around Australia putting on shows and carnivals. It can be a full-time commitment and because of that most of the kids attend a special school which goes on tour with them.
SCHOOL STANDARDS The government has announced some changes to the education system which it hopes will make Aussie schools amongst the best in the world. At the moment we�re not doing too badly, but our performance has started to slip when compared with schools in other countries. So what are these changes that are designed to send our schools back to the top? INTERNET PRIVACY What you look at on the internet will be stored for up to 2 years under new plans announced by the government. The plan has been criticised by some who say this kind of surveillance would invade on people�s privacy. Others say the change will help to fight crime. We take a look at the debate. ANTI VENOM If someone is bitten by a poisonous spider like the funnel web, often they need a dose of anti-venom to save their life. But there�s only so much anti venom to go around... and stocks are running low. We take a look at how anti venom works, and how it�s made. AGRICULTURE SCHOOL Last week we brought you a story about the mining boom and kids hoping to cash in on it. Lots of adults are following similar career paths and that's left other industries struggling to find workers. One of them is the agricultural industry. We spend the day with kids at an agricultural school to see why they�re so passionate about getting jobs in the field. BUSHCARE KIDS Everyone has heard of cleanup Australia day... where people comb their local area looking for rubbish of every kind. But did you know that last weekend a different team was combing the bush looking for something completely different. It�s all about the search for weeds. Nathan went along.
CIGARETTE CHANGES We take a look at new laws that are being debated in Tasmania, aimed at gradually phasing out cigarettes. The plan is to ban people from buying cigarettes for life if they are born after the year 2000. So, is it a good idea or is it unfair? BOOM AND GLOOM Australia has been in a mining boom for as long as most of you have been alive. The stuff we pull out of the ground has been worth a lot and mining companies have been racing to pull out as much as possible. It's not the first boom Australia's had... and booms never last forever. When a major mining project was put on hold recently it got some asking if the mining boom will soon turn to bust. 3D PRINTING We look at the technology of 3D printing. It�s becoming more and more common and some schools and businesses have started using 3D printers. It could potentially change the way we make things... from toys to artificial limbs. So how does it work? MURDER BALL Wheelchair rugby is one of the toughest sports around... so it�s no surprise that some people still call it by its old name, murder ball. It�s likely to be one of the most exciting events of the London Paralympic games. Nathan was invited along to a training session to learn more about the game. SEAL SHOW We get a behind-the-scenes look at Taronga Zoo�s seal show. We reveal some of the tricks the trainers use to make the seals perform. But there�s also a serious message with this fun show.
FOREIGN EMBASSIES WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is wanted by police to face criminal charges in Sweden. But for quite a while now he's been hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. While he's in there he can't be captured by British police. So what are embassies and why do they seem to have these special powers? DRIVING SCHOOL We check out a program that's teaching children as young as 12 how to drive. It's aimed at teaching good driving habits to people from a very early age. The organisers hope it will make our roads safer in the future. FORENSIC SCIENCE Every day on the news we see new crimes that need solving. Sometimes it just takes great detective work, but often police turn to science to help them catch criminals. BtN takes a look at some of the ways that forensic science is used to solve crimes. PARALYMPICS After the excitement of the Olympics a few weeks ago, a lot of people started counting down to the next games in Rio in 2016. But there's more Olympics action coming up in only a few days time! It's the Paralympics - the pinnacle of athletics for the world's physically and intellectually disabled. We take a look at the history of the Paralympics and focus on the really physical sport of wheelchair rugby. GORILLA RETIREMENT When humans get older it's common for us to retire from our jobs and spend some quality time relaxing. Well, it's no different for Gorillas. Taronga Zoo's oldest gorilla, a male silverback, is close to retirement. Now the zoo staff are looking for a suitable replacement to lead the zoo's gorilla family.
ASYLUM PLAN The way we treat asylum seekers that arrive here by boat has always been a controversial issue. But now after the release of a new report both the Government and the Opposition are finally agreeing on which path to take. So what is this solution that has finally managed to make the PM and Tony Abbott see eye to eye? PHILIPPINES FLOOD The last couple of weeks has been pretty tough for people living in the Philippines. There's been flooding and heavy rain. Some people have died and thousands have been left without homes. We hear about natural disasters like this all the time but what is it really like for kids living in the middle of it? OUTBACK CLEAN-UP How would you feel if your family decided to spend the school holidays picking up rubbish in the middle of the outback? Ripped off? Well, maybe not. Sarah finds out about some kids who've been helping to clean up one of Australia's most famous roads and it's a lot more fun than it sounds. DONOR DOGS It's pretty common for people to give blood to help others who are sick or injured. But what about animals? Well, dogs and cats can also donate blood to save the lives of their mates. Tash checks it out. RADIO PLAYS Radio dramas aren't something you hear about too much these days, but radio plays do still exist. Sarah finds out about the history of radio plays and meets some kids who've just starred in a major radio production.
BtN stories include: Medal Misery, Mars Mission, Milk Wars, E-Waste and Fashion Kids.
SPORT DOPING When a 16 year old Chinese girl won a gold medal for swimming in the Olympics it should have been a time for mass celebration. But very quickly people started to raise questions about whether such an impressive performance would have been possible without cheating. It seems unfair, especially as there's no proof against the girl. But once again the debate about performance enhancing drugs has hit the headlines. MEDIA INTRUSION A few weeks ago a 13 year old girl was killed in a quad bike accident. It was a horrible moment for her family that was made worse by the media coverage that followed. Helicopters flew overhead recording vision and reporters drove onto the property to get photos. Is it fair for them to be going to that length to get the story? Or do the family have the right to grieve in private? KOREAN GAMERS Imagine a world where playing computer games is a national sport. That's what it's like in South Korea. The best gamers have become rich and famous and are treated like pop stars. But to get to this level of gaming takes a lot of time, effort and sacrifice. I AM ELEVEN What's it like being eleven? One Melbourne filmmaker reckons it's about the best age that you can be. She's made a film that's all about being eleven. She's talked to kids all around the world and Sarah found out what some of them had to say. RACE WALKING One event you might see at the Olympics is race walking. Walking might sound like a really easy sport but there's a lot more to race walking than you might think. We meet an up-and-coming race walker and he takes us through the rules of the sport.
Gun Control There's been a mass shooting in America which has killed lots of people. Now there's a lot of talk about whether the U.S. needs to tighten its gun laws. We take a look at that debate and we also examine Australia's rules on gun control. Olympic TV The Olympics is one of the greatest shows on earth... but not everyone's allowed to show it. We take a look at the multi-million dollar TV rights deal for the Olympics. The rules of this contract are so strict that the Olympics are pretty much off limits for most TV programs, including BtN. Globesity Obesity has been a problem in the western world for a long time. But now developing countries, which once struggled even to feed their populations, have started to develop big problems with obesity. Nathan looks at how obesity has spread around the world and examines the health issues that have come with it. Cashless Society Can you imagine living in a world without money? It sounds a bit far fetched... but we're just talking about getting rid of actual hard cash, the notes and coins that we use every day. So many transactions are done online or at the swipe of a card and new technologies are going to make this even more common. Some people think this may mean the end for notes and coins. Kids and Cows For kids in the country handling cattle is a way of life. It's also a kind of sport and there are competitions around the country were young cattle handlers show off their skills. Sarah had a look at a cattle show that's just for kids.
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