24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

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

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

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

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

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

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.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind the News

ABC

Obama Oil BtN looks at what's being done to fix the environmental disaster caused by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The situation has turned into a serious political issue. US President Barack Obama has been criticised for not showing his anger at the oil company BP. (Sarah) Soccer Horns There have been calls to ban vuvuzela trumpets from matches in the soccer World Cup. They are so noisy that many supporters are having to wear earplugs and some players are having trouble hearing the referee's whistle. But World Cup bosses say they won't ban them because they're part of the South African football culture. (Nathan) Asian Languages BtN looks at a new study which suggests that fewer students are choosing to study Asian languages at school. The figures show that Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian are increasingly being dropped by year 12 students. So, why are they less popular, and why is the Australian government so worried about the decline? (Kirsty) Feral Goats Australian wildlife officials have come up with a new way to get rid of feral goats. Feral goats can be a problem because they chomp through native vegetation, which in turn can threaten the survival of some species of endangered birds. As BtN will explain the new method involves strapping tracking devices to special 'spy' goats! (Sarah) Roller Derby Get your skates on! If you've ever fancied roller skating then you might be interested in a sport called roller derby. It's a tough contact sport which has been around for decades, and is now making a big comeback. Some skaters are even pushing for the competition to be rolled out across Australia. (Kirsty)

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

BLOCKADES Israel's attack on a convoy of ships trying to beat the blockade of Gaza is the big story of the week. BTN examines the reasons behind blockades...how do they work and why do countries impose them? [Sarah] SOUTH AFRICA One country that knows a thing or two about economic blockades is South Africa - regarded by the international community as a pariah state during the apartheid era. Now it's about to host he soccer World Cup. BTN profiles the host nation... its recent history and how it's preparing to host this huge event. We also check out the Socceroos and how they've been running football clinics for local kids. [Kirsty] TOURISM ADS Australia has just launched its latest tourism campaign - There's Nothing Like Australia. It will cost 150 million dollars and already the critics are lining up. It seems nearly every country has a tourism campaign at some stage, so what sort of thinking goes into them - and do they work? [Nathan] UV MUSHROOMS Australians don't get enough Vitamin D. Fifty per cent of the population don't have enough Vitamin D for 50 per cent of the year . The solution could lie in the mushroom. Researchers have been giving mushrooms brief blasts of UV light that's boosting their Vitamin D content to around 100% of the daily recommended intake. [Kirsty] YOUNG UMPIRES While there have been many champion Indigenous AFL players, there's only ever been one umpire, and that was back in the '80s. BTN looks at an AFL umpiring school with a difference - the graduates are all young indigenous women! [Sarah]

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

SPYING GAME Australia has just expelled an Israeli diplomat over the forging of Australian passports. The diplomat's been named as an agent of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad. BTN examines the world of international espionage. Every country has its spy agencies...but how do they work? And are these spies the stuff of James Bond or something a little more mundane? {Sarah} RISK TAKERS This month Australia hailed 16-year-old Jessica Watson for her solo around the world sailing voyage. And this week 13-year old Jordan Romero from California became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. But one thing these young adventurers have in common is criticism for them being too young for such risky endeavours. BTN looks at these criticisms...and also the other extreme - psychologists who argue that children are being over-protected from life. [Tash] INTERNET PRIVACY Social networking sites are in the news because of concerns over user privacy. We show how these sites operate, why some are unhappy with them, and what users can do to stay safe on the Web. [Nathan} SPINAL SAFETY Kids are vulnerable to spinal damage because of their physical development and also because of the safety issues they face in a home and school environments. A campaign's underway to educate both kids and their carers about spinal cord injury prevention and management. [Tash] SEA CREATURES An expedition to Antarctica has used an experimental video setup to capture some of the mysterious creatures that live on the sea floor of the Southern Ocean. It's part of a campaign to have this unique fauna protected from the dangers of long-line fishing. [Sarah]

24:42 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

CHINA CONNECTION We hear a lot about the importance of China for Australia. Why is this? BTN explains how countries trade with each other, and why Australia's mineral wealth is so important for both countries. But there are suggestions that China's economic growth could slow...what would this mean for us? [Nathan} MARALINGA VICTIMS The Australian government has decided to pay compensation to veterans connected with the nuclear testing at Maralinga in the 1950s. BTN explains what happened...why people were unaware of the risks, what compensation is...and why the Maralinga victims still aren't happy [Sarah] YO-YO CHAMP We meet 15-year-old schoolboy Vu Ho, who's just been judged Australia's champion Yo-Yo player. BTN looks at the history of the game...as Vu explains his tricks, his practice routine...and his ambition to take part in the world championships in the U.S. [Tash] FOOD LABELLING We are what we eat, but we don't always know what we're eating. Australia does have laws about food labels but some say they don't go far enough. BTN reports on a Federal Government review into food labelling and why it's such a big issue for our diet and health [Sarah}. PET TIGER Imagine having a tiger as pet. That's the scenario at a private zoo on the New South Wales south coast...where the owners regard a young Bengal Tiger as one of the family. For the time being Kinwah eats in their kitchen and plays with the family dog. But it's also a potentially dangerous situation...and the day's approaching when Kinwah will need to get used to a very different lifestyle. [Tash]

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

Budget 2010 It's a federal election year for Australia and BTN will cover the year's politics with several stories in the run-up to the poll. This week we look at the 2010 Federal Budget ..examining what a Budget is... how the money is divided up and the political arguments that determine who gets what. [Sarah] Internet Filters It's one of the most contentious Government initiatives - the plan to block Internet content that's deemed dangerous or inappropriate. We look at the arguments for and against the plan... how can kids be protected from bad things on the web, while not stopping adults from accessing content they feel they have a right to see. [Sarah] Donor Dogs We know that thousands of people donate blood to help those who are sick or injured. But it may come as a surprise that humans aren't the only ones doing it. BTN visits the world of blood-donor dogs....the vets who organise them.... and we meet a very happy recipient. [Kirsty] World Cup Australia has announced its initial squad for the soccer World Cup in South Africa. And Australia is also clearing the decks with other sporting bodies for a tilt at hosting the event in 2018 or 2022. So how does a country go about staging the world's biggest supporting event? [Nathan] Mind Tricks Have you ever been fascinated by magic tricks and how our brain is fooled into believing them? Well, neurologists in the United States are finding out exactly what's going on in our minds when we're interacting with magicians. [Tash]

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

Oil Spill Barack Obama is calling it a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster. Millions of litres of oil are flowing into the Gulf of Mexico since a BP oil rig exploded and sank.... The pollution is threatening wildlife and the pristine shores of several American States. BTN looks at off shore oil drilling works... and how this accident happened. Why is an oil spill such a problem and what are the options for controlling it? [Nathan] Greek Debt Over the past few weeks we've seen Greece's financial woes threaten Europe's economic stability. Now a rescue package headed by Germany is underway. In exchange, Greece has to balance its budget with harsh spending cuts. BTN unravels this complex economic episode to see how a country can go broke...and why the Greek people are so angry about it [Sarah] Graphic Novels They used to only feature on newsagency shelves but, comic books have come a long way. Now called Graphic Novels you can find them in bookstores and even libraries. BTN looks at this action-packed medium - and the hopes that they'll get more kids hooked on reading. [Kirsty] Snooker Champ: Australia has a new world sporting champion... 28-y-o Neil Robertson's World Snooker triumph comes after years of struggle - when he first had a crack at the top level in the UK he couldn't even afford a waistcoat. BTN looks at the history of an activity that was once the sign of a misspent youth. [Nathan} Tiwi Music A special musical collaboration on Bathurst Island in the NT is breathing new life into old traditions. A musician from Sydney is helping Tiwi Islanders translate and document ancestral songs to preserve them for future generations. [Sarah}

21:39 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

Asylum Seekers The Federal Government has changed its policy on asylum seekers - imposing a six month freeze on refugee applications for people from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. It's also re-opening two former detention centres on the Australian mainland because Christmas Island is overcrowded. Refugee advocates are criticising the moves but opinion polls appear to show Australians want tougher action against asylum seekers. But where does this leave those fleeing their homes? BTN explains the difference between asylum seekers and refugees and examines why asylum seekers arriving by boat create much more controversy than those arriving by air. School Tests Australian schools are scheduled to conduct their first NAPLAN tests on students' literacy skills next month. But many teachers are unhappy about it and their union has says its members won't co-operate with them. BTN looks at the reasons behind this row - the main one being the Federal Government's MySchool website, which is designed to let parents know how their schools are performing. Those opposed to the website argue that it can lead to unfair comparisons of schools. Special Olympics The Special Olympics are underway in Adelaide - for intellectually disabled athletes. BTN looks at the aims of the games and what they mean to the competitors - in particular one young sailor from South Australia. Burn Treatment Winter means Australians will be firing up their heating appliances ...but it also brings a rise in accidents involving burns. We look at treatments for burns, from fist aid to the latest advances in skin replacement...through the experiences of a nine-year-old girl. Snake Man For nearly a hundred years, the "snake man" has been a weekend entertainment fixture at La Perouse, in Sydney's south. It's a job that's been handed down from father to son in the Cann family. They've demonstrated their skills at taming Australia's deadliest creatures in a makeshift ring on the headland...passing around the hat after each performance. Now the current snake man, John Cann is retiring - at the age of 72. We look at his life and times with the help of some intriguing archival footage. Storm Scandal One of the biggest Australian sports scandals. NRL club the Melbourne Storm has been caught cooking the books on player payments. The punishment's been severe...heavy fines, loss of Premierships and a season wipeout for 2010. BTN looks at the issue of salary caps in football teams. Why have them? How do they work? And how was the Storm able to cheat the system for so long without getting caught?

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

Population Debate Populate or Perish has long been a catchcry for Australia.... . but the latest projections show Australia will have a population of 35 million by 2050. It's due to the Generation x baby boom - as well as immigration. Will that be too many people? BTN examines both sides of the immigration debate. Those in favour of a bigger Australia say it's an economic imperative. Others argue that our resources are already stretched - and the rate of growth should be slowed. We look at how and why the immigration boom started after WW2 - and how new arrivals have made their mark in modern Australia. Reef Ship The Chinese coal carrier Shen Neng One has just been refloated after running aground on the Great Barrier Reef. It was stuck there for 10 days, leaking oil. and damaging the coral as it dragged over the reef for one kilmometre. So how could this happen, and how hard will it be to fix the mess? How can we protect the environment while still allowing ships to deliver and pick up cargo? We look at the principal of how shipping lanes are supposed to keep boats moving in a safe and orderly fashion, like cars on roads. Iceland Volcano The Volcanic eruption in Iceland is now causing chaos across Europe. The spread of ash poses serious problems for aircraft so flights have been grounded - stranding thousands of passengers. BTN reports on this issue and how an eruption under ice can cause other threats...such as major flooding from the melting ice. High Clouds We look at an unusual way scientists are investigating climate change. They're studying the temperatures of noctilucent clouds... which are found 100 kilometres above the earth and are the world's highest clouds. From a small Antarctic hut, scientists point a powerful laser beam called a Lidar into the night sky...to measure the heat in clouds that are too high for balloons and too low for satellites. Gudgeon Project The River Murray's Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon was thought to be extinct - until a small colony was re-discovered in South Australia. BTN looks at an ambitious project to breed-up their numbers, and how a group of kids has been able to help. We were there when these small fry were released back into the river - to hopefully start a Gudgeon comeback.

21:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

Pollies Polling State elections will be held in South Australia and Tasmania this weekend and opinion polls are forecasting various results. But will they be accurate? So with a federal election likely later this year we take a close look at the opinion poll process. Can they really tell us how popular a pollie is and why should polls be believed? Costly Calls Mobile phones are a great communication tool for kids and adults alike. But it's easy for kids to chalk up huge bills by using enhanced SMS services like ringtones and horoscopes. They can cost up to $10 a pop. Now we're about to be given the choice of barring these services. We use some examples to show why it always pays to read the fine print. Paralympic Heroes The Paralympic Winter Games are underway in Vancouver. Australia has already won two medals...but our hopes are high with skier Toby Kane, who's aiming to improve on his Bronze from the 2006 Games in Torino. Unfair Hair We've all noticed how celebrities can change their hairstyles overnight.....short one day, flowing tresses the next. It's all done with hair extensions, which can cost thousands of dollars. We look at this growth industry ...it all starts with people living in India who give up their hair as a religious offering and get very little share of this million dollar business. MiniBats One of Australia's most unusual but rarely seen animals is under threat. Mini bats far outnumber their fruit-eating relatives, but they're so small that they're hardy noticed. Urban expansion is destroying their habitats and now a major survey's underway in Melbourne to chart their numbers and find out how we can protect a valuable part of our eco-system.

21:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

Private Pics You're having a fun time with your mates, you're mucking around, and they manage to snap a pretty embarrassing photo of you on their phone. Passing it round the school might seem like a laugh at the time, but is it really the right thing to do? It's a similar situation to the one being faced by Lara Bingle right now, after embarrassing pics of her ended up in magazines. Is it just fun, is it bullying, or is it something worse? Tash looks at how a picture can tell a thousand negative words. Anzac Kids On the 25th of April, Australia remembers the sacrifice of service men and women by taking part in marches throughout the country. Lots of kids take part, especially those kids who's grandparents served, with many wearing their medals or walking along beside them. But this year in Queensland, kids might find themselves being told to get to the back of the line. The organisers of the marches have said that kids marching with the diggers takes the attention away from them, but kids say it's them showing their support. Tash looks at the tricky situation. Hearing School Many kids learn other languages at school, but what about learning sign language? That's just one of the amazing parts of a school in South Australia, where kids with different hearing difficulties use special technologies to get the full schooling experience. That even means taking part in a choir! Catherine looks at how this amazing school is set up. China Tigers It's the Chinese year of the tiger right now, but unfortunately the plight of those animal in the huge Asian country isn't looking so good. Conservationists say that one species of tiger, the South China tiger, is all but extinct. But that doesn't mean they are just going to give up! A special program is spending up big and taking the some of the few endangered tigers left on an overseas holiday to help! How? Nathan looks at a breeding program with a difference. Racing Safety It seems like every other day we hear the story of a young person killed on our roads because of dangerous or risky driving. Speed is one of the biggest problems that young drivers can get into, but there are some young guys out there who know exactly where that kind of driving should happen - on a race track! Nathan went out to meet two young guys who are racing various categories during the Adelaide 500, and found out why they say the best place to hit the accelerator is on the track.

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