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]
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}
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?
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.
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.
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.
Earthquakes Two earthquakes in two months... it's a scary start to 2010 for the countries of Haiti and Chile. The latest event was a huge 8.8 magnitude quake that struck Chile, destroying some areas and causing tsunamis that devastated many more. However this disaster is not looking like it will kill anywhere near as many people as the Haiti quake a month ago, despite being far more powerful. Nathan looks into what factors made the difference between the two earthquakes. Floods If you live in some of the northern parts of Australia right now, you might be feeling a little wet underfoot. You might even be flooded in! Huge rainfalls have created flooding and havoc across parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland. So where has all this rain come from? And will it solve some of the problems with drought through the Murray Darling Basin? Kirsty cracks out the weather charts to find out. Plastic Fantastic The invention of plastic products like bags, bottles and containers has been super convenient, because they're waterproof, strong and reusable. But it's also created big problems for the environment. However.. there is a way to "build a bridge and get over it". Confused? Catherine explains what can happen if you do the right thing and recycle. ACDC They are the rock band making a huge splash touring the country right now, packing out stadiums and bringing fans from every generation in to party. But for the guys that recorded the track 'it's a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll,' it certainly seems like they've stayed on top for just as long! Kirsty went out to meet some young fans, to find out what it is about these aging rockers that's drawing 'em in. Closing the Gap Later this month, 'National Close the Gap Day' will be held - a day designed to bring attention to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It's an issue that has touched a lot of people, and Catherine went out to meet some that have come up with a very unique way of raising money to help. It involves little characters called the schaffas!
Insulation Inquiry How can something as harmless as house insulation kill people? Well that's the question being asked right now after some insulation installers were electrocuted while putting it into people's roofs. They were up there as part of a government program - so now one minister is taking some heat for the problems. Kirsty looks into what went wrong and who's responsible. India Sport India is a sports mad country and they certainly have a lot of big events coming up. The Commonwealth Games, the Indian Premier League and the Hockey World Cup are all scheduled to take place there over the next year. But some terrorist groups have threatened to attack these events, so now some athletes taking part are fearing for their safety. Catherine discovers who made the threats and whether they might stop some events altogether. MASH 2010 You might have seen MASH, the TV show about a mobile army hospital set during a war 50-years ago. Well in this story you'll get to see the real MASH - an American Army hospital working near the frontline in Afghanistan right now. Many of the people working there were still in school when the war started - but these days they face helicopter evacuations, fire fights and surgical operations in tents. Nathan shows what work they're doing behind the scenes to try to help the injured survive. Pole Dancing With the winter Olympics winding up, attention will now be turning to the summer games coming up in London in 2012. But there is one fairly different kind of sport that would love to get a run at an Olympics soon. Pole dancing groups are becoming increasing popular, and the world champs of it reckon they should be up there vying for gold. Some young kids love it here in Oz, so Catherine went to meet them to see what's involved. Rock Orchestra Orchestra has a reputation among many young people as a pretty slow, dreary kind of music... but that doesn't always have to be the case! Orchestras are mixing it with superstar rock and indie groups to spice things up a bit and appeal to a whole different audience. Kirsty took a look at the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, who've teamed up with The Panics for their next performance!
Hospital Checkup When you get sick, the last thing you're thinking about is how much you'll have to pay for treatment. But depending on which hospital you go to, you could either pay nothing, or heaps! So what's the difference? Tash takes a look at the difference between public and private hospitals, and why some pollies are thinking about changing how they're set up. Food Bowl Making sure we have enough food to feed everyone in the country is a pretty important thing; right up there with making sure we have enough water! But because we've got less and less water in some big food producing areas, it's leading to less tucker too! It's got people thinking about where's the best place to grow all the food we'll need in the future. Nathan looks at two of the candidates, and finds out why one has recently been nipped in the bud. Gold Rush Have you ever read about the gold rush of the past and wished you could strike it rich? Well now might be your chance! Previously closed gold mines are opening up again, but before you grab a pick-axe and start digging, Sarah discovered that it's new technology that's responsible for opening up these old mines. Wild Dogs We all love our pet dogs, but they aren't so lovable when they escape into the wild. Once there, experts say they breed with dingos and can end up killing livestock. Tash looks at the new tricks scientists are using to try to stop them. Unicycling You've seen it in circuses, you've seen it in street performances, but have you seen it as an extreme sport?! Sarah gets on one wheel to see why this amazing new sport is taking off.
Leadership Lowdown It might have felt way too short for the kids of Australia, but for pollies it's been a long, hard summer holiday; with a new leader, new policies and a whole lot of arguing in between. So why are they all hot and bothered? Because this is an election year, of course! Nathan wraps up all the summer action from Canberra and introduces a new face you'll be seeing a lot of throughout the year. NASA Funding 40 years ago man first landed on the moon and everyone back home started dreaming of a space future. But these days it seems to have drifted into the background. NASA's space shuttle fleet are due to be retired this year, and President Obama wants to scrap plans to go back to the moon. Sarah looks at the history of the space shuttle program and why NASA's no longer aiming for the moon. Rock Eisteddfod It's the show that had kids around Australia doing 'spirit fingers' all year long, but this year will be the first in three decades that students won't be able to take part in the Rock Eisteddfod. It's been canned, and Tash discovers why. Biodiversity Year It's one of those terms you probably hear thrown around in environment class every now and again, but what does 'biodiversity' actually mean? Well this year is the year of biodiversity, so Sarah decided to take a look a new museum exhibit to find out what it is, and why it gets a whole year to devoted to raising awareness for it. Cane Toad Snags Sausages are a staple food for heaps of us over summer, but what about throwing one on the barbie made of cane toads? Luckily you don't have to, because these strange culinary inventions aren't for humans, they for native animals! Tash gets a taste of this new conservation program.
Cane Toads Cane toads are big, poisonous and ugly and they're marching across Australia. They're a growing environmental problem and for a long time scientists have been searching for a way to stop them or at least reduce their numbers. Now they might have found an answer and it's a tiny Aussie! One of our Darwin reporters, Gina, will introduce you. Story explains about kids who go out at night searching for cane toads as part of toad buster group. Discusses how meat ants attack baby cane toads. Indigenous Games How many games can you play at school? Soon you might find out about a whole lot more! A program has been researching the games that Indigenous kids used to play and found lots of exciting new ones that have been forgotten over the years. Now they're being introduced to schools so Kirsty went a long to see what they were like! Story explains about Australian Sports Commission Indigenous Games project. Talks with kids playing games. AFI Kid When Australia's top movie awards are handed out later this year an 11 year old kid will be walking the red carpet with all the stars. How did he get a great gig like that? Catherine meets him to find out. Interview with 11 yo Tom Russell who is nominated of ran AFI awards. Talks about acting in movies. 2009 Remembered What an amazing year of news! From the serious stories to Catherine being attacked by penguins - we've covered it all. Plus we've talked to kids all over the country! The team has a look back at the year that was.
Code Red Some schools have been closed and families were warned to leave their homes because of a catastrophic fire warning. What is going on? After Black Saturday earlier this year, the rules for bushfires have changed and it could mean big changes for schools in heatwaves. Kirsty explains why. Story explains new fire warning system and school closures. Sports Funding Aussies love sport and its athletes do really well in international comps. But a new report says the government should rethink how much its spends on chasing Olympic gold. How can that be? Catherine investigates why. Story explains Crawford Reports and reactions to it Forgotten Australians Can you imagine what it would be like if you were bullied or treated badly and didn't have someone to turn to for help? 30 years ago that's what life was like for some kids. They're called the Forgotten Australians and the Prime Minister has now said he was sorry for the way they had been treated. It was an enormously emotional moment which made adults break down and cry. Why did it happen? Kirsty finds out. Story explains background to Forgotten Australians. Rhino Rap Another animal facing the danger of extinction is the rhino. However one 12 year old Aussie schoolkid is doing his bit to save them and becoming a rap star in the process! Catherine has his amazing story. Story explains extinction problem for rhinos. Catherine meets kid who has become a YouTube star with a rap song about them. Imaginary Friends When you grew up did you have an imaginary friend? Did your parents give you a hard time? Maybe they were wrong! Research has found some surprising results about invisible friends! Story looks at a play by school kids about imaginary friends. Research shows many kids have imaginary friends and they might help kids learn socialisation and communication skills.
United Nations When kids are in trouble around the world they're often helped by the United Nations. it feeds the starving, runs schools, sets up hospitals and looks after people escaping wars. So what exactly is the UN and why does it go around helping everyone? Kirsty looks for answers.. Story explains how UN was set up and why. How it operates and its different agencies. Endangered Koalas Where are all the koalas going? Scientists say their numbers are in a massive decline and the species could be extinct in decades. Nathan looks at why. Story explains how researchers arrived at their findings and what they say is causing the problem. Indigenous Language Can you imagine going to school and having to learn your lessons in a different language? Tough work? For some Indigenous Aussie kids that's what they have to do for some of their day and it's causing quite a bit of controversy. Kirsty explains what's been going on Story explains decision in Northern Territory to make students learn in English for four hours a day. Discusses concerns in Indigenous communities. Remote Art In remote mining towns life can be a bit tough for kids. They don't have as many options as city kids so it can get a bit dull! In one town however that's changing with a project that's getting kids to make some pretty amazing movies. Sarah has more. Story explains project in Newman WA that gives kids a chance to make movies. Talks about problems kids face in a remote community. California Classroom On the TV each night we see life in schools in the United States. Often it seems much more glamorous and exciting than the way we live in Oz. Catherine has been to a school in California to find out if it's really like the movies. Story tours school in Santa Monica in California. Interviews with kids.
BtN stories include: Super Storm, Asian Century, Homework Debate, Organ Farming and Robot Boy.
BtN stories include: Super Storm, Asian Century, Homework Debate, Organ Farming and Robot Boy.
Copenhagen Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Copenhagen. Why are pollies always talking about Copenhagen? Is it because they love ice cream? No. It is actually a place where a vital meeting is going to be held about the future of the planet. Sarah has been finding out why Copenhagen could be crucial for climate change. TV Ban Is TV making you dumb? Some people say it is and they want to ban kids from watching before they turn two. They also want TV time limited for older kids! Kirsty has been looking at why there's a push for a ban and what kids think about it. iPod Inattention Could listening to your favorite song get you arrested? Probably not - but it's not as crazy as you think! In at least one state police are getting tough on pedestrians listening to music players. However it's not because of bad music, it's to avoid bad accidents. Nathan explains. Wombats When you think about famous Aussie animals the main ones that come to mind are kangaroos and koalas - wombats tend to be forgotten. In fact there's a big debate about what to do with them. Some farmers want them culled, some conservationists say they're endangered. Nathan decided to find out why. Cadet Camp You might think army cadets is all about marching around a parade ground there's a lot more to it than that. In the school holidays heaps of cadets had a great time together at cadet camp. What's that all about? Sarah went a long to find out.
As Australia and China have just agreed on a free trade deal we ask exactly what they are and how they benefit us; as the weather gets hotter and more Australian kids hit the water, there's been a warning issued about the dangers of a quick dip; the world's oldest and largest environmental organisation has released a list of endangered plants and animals around the world; launching a satellite is a big deal - it costs many millions of dollars and years of hard work. But now some primary schools are launching satellites of their own and finally; we meet a young writer who dreams of having her short farmyard stories published for kids all over the world to enjoy.
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