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.
OLYMPIC PREPARATIONS On your marks... get set... GO! The race to be ready for the Olympic Games in London is reaching the finishing line. So far there have been a few hurdles along the way. We take a look at security issues and how a city plans to cope with a whole load of visitors. Higgs Boson While you were on your school holidays there was an announcement about a really important scientific discovery. Scientists found something called the Higgs boson particle. It's being described as the biggest scientific discovery of the 21st century. So what is it... and why is it such a big deal? Teen Vaccine Next year all 13 year old boys in Australia will be expected to take a new vaccine. It's usually only given to girls to reduce the risk of them getting cervical cancer. So what is this vaccine and why are boys getting it? hip hop dance We visit a hip hop dance competition known as Battlegrounds. Find out more about the history of break dancing and how kids in Australia are getting involved. Kelpie Muster If you think of a typical Aussie working dog... chances are you picture a Kelpie. They're known for their energy, intelligence and ability to work in tough conditions. But have you ever wondered where the breed came from, or why they're called Kelpies?
OLD NEWS One of Australia's biggest media organisations has announced that it's making major changes to its newspaper business. Some say it could be the beginning of the end of newspapers as we know them. So what's causing this shake-up and how's it going to affect the way we get news? RHINO TRADE Lots of rhinos are killed so their horns can be cut off and sold illegally. It might surprise you to hear that some African conservationists are now campaigning to make rhino horn trading legal. Some even want to cut the horns off all the wild rhinos they can find. So how could this actually be good for the animal? SLIMMING SOFT DRINKS Soft drinks can be a big cause of obesity. The mayor of New York thinks it's such a big problem that he's trying to ban the sale of super-sized soft drinks. But should people get to make the choice for themselves? And how bad can a bit of soft drink actually be? MODERN MAPS Helping you to find your way in the world is a competitive business. Recently Apple announced that it's going to take on Google Maps and create its own version of street view by sending cameras driving, walking and flying around the world. Technology like that is changing the way we think about maps. It got us wondering how map making has changed over the years. WEIRD WATER We're always being told to save water. One science group is trying to teach kids to stop wasting water by showing them how amazing water can be. They've made the liquid the star of its own stage show!
SYRIA CRISIS We take a look at the growing crisis in Syria. The situation there has been described as a civil war... and lots of people have been killed. So how did this conflict begin? ONLINE OLYMPIANS Some Aussie swimmers got into trouble recently for posting some inappropriate pictures on Facebook. We visit a special course which is teaching athletes the benefits and dangers of using social media during the 2012 Olympics. DINGO DECISION The most famous court story in Australia's history has finally come to an end. In 1980 a mother was wrongly convicted of killing her baby. The child had actually been killed by a dingo, but the courts refused to believe it at the time. We look at how the mistake happened and whether it could happen again. BUSH TUCKER The popularity of cooking shows like MasterChef have got lots of people thinking about new recipes and ingredients. But some school kids are going a step further. They've become specialist ingredient suppliers to one of Sydney's high profile restaurants. OPERA KIDS You might think that opera is an activity aimed only at the old and wealthy. But a program in schools is trying to change that perception. We visit a group of kids putting on their own opera with a modern twist.
PEOPLE SMUGGLERS An ABC investigation into people smuggling in Indonesia found that some of the big criminals behind it are living here in Australia. So what exactly is people smuggling? And why is it so serious? EXTRADITION TREATY Julian Assange, the Aussie founder of the website WikiLeaks, is facing extradition to Sweden to answer criminal charges. We take a look at the rules of extradition and find out which countries are part of this special treaty. WINTER WARMTH As Australia gears up for the carbon tax lots of people will be thinking about how to cut back on their energy bills. At this time of year one of the big expenses is heating your house. We look at some practical things you can do around your home to keep the heat in. TRANSIT OF VENUS Many of you will have seen the transit of Venus across the Sun recently. While it's a great astronomical event, it's also an event with great historical significance for Australia. We explain why the transit of Venus played a significant role in bringing Captain James Cook to Australia. POO CREW A sewage treatment plant is inviting kids to take a tour of their facility to see what happens after we flush. It might sound disgusting... but there's actually a lot of cool stuff we can learn about how it all works.
DIAMOND JUBILEE It's been 60 years since Queen Elizabeth the second became Queen. Lots of celebrations are planned around the world to mark the Diamond Jubilee. BtN looks back at how she became a Queen and how she's adapted to a changing world. SUPER TELESCOPE Australia will play a major role in a massive science project that could help unlock some of the secrets of the Universe. It will host part of the biggest radio telescope ever built, known as the Square Kilometre Array. The project will try to discover more about how the Universe started and could help in the search for alien life. MUSIC MONEY Spotify has just been launched in Australia which lets people listen songs for free. It's legal... but some artists are worried that it's going to make it even harder to make money in the music industry. So how do musicians make money? QUOLL You can't find the Eastern Quoll on mainland Australia anymore, but they can still be found in Tassie. However lately they seem to be disappearing without a trace. So we joined some detective researchers as they try to track down the Eastern Quoll. SOCCER SCHOOL A new teaching program, borrowed from the English Premier League, is using soccer to get kids interested in other subjects at school. So how can a kick around with some mates help you learn about maths, English or science? Sarah finds out.
PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE A politician who's under investigation, recently gave a speech in parliament where he accused people of deliberately trying to frame him. It's a big allegation which has been denied. So why can't they sue him for what he said? It all comes down to something called parliamentary privilege. VACCINATIONS Vaccines have helped wipe out some diseases and saved millions of lives, but still some people refuse to get them. Medical experts are warning that fear and misinformation around vaccinations means people are putting themselves and others at risk. FRUIT FLY There is nothing worse than going to take a bite of a piece of fruit and realising it has bugs in it. But while that might be pretty gross for you, for the industry it can be a really destructive problem. We take a look at the fight against the fruit fly. APP KID If you or your parents have a smartphone or similar device... you probably know all about apps. They've become such a craze that some app designers are making lots of money from their creations. And that's got people of all ages trying their hand at it. KORFBALL We take a look at the little known sport of Korfball. It's a bit like a mix between netball and basketball. Tash catches up with a young Aussie player who's hoping to make the national team in time for the World Championships.
BtN stories include: Greece Future, Gene Patent, Head Injuries, Paradise Lost? and Recycling.
DEFENCE DOLLARS One of the big cuts in the Federal budget was in Defence spending. It costs many billions of dollars each year to keep our armed forces. So what do we get for that money... and why do we need an army at all? SKINNY MODELS Vogue magazine announced recently that it's going to stop using skinny underage models. Just over a year ago the magazine was heavily criticised for dressing a 10 year old girl in high heels and make-up for a photo shoot. We examine the influence that fashion magazines can have on what we consider to be beautiful. POVERTY LINE Last week there would have been some pretty hungry people throughout Australia. Not because of some new fad diet, but because they were taking a week to experience what life is like for someone living below the poverty line. The challenge is to feed yourself on a budget of $2 a day. So, how did they do? CIRCUS ANIMALS Animals have a long history of performing tricks in circus shows. But not everyone's happy about that. Some states in Australia have banned circuses that use animals because they think it's cruel... whereas other states think it's fine. In this story a circus owner and an animal rights campaigner debate the issue. (Nathan) SHARK SCIENCE For years people have tried to find ways of keeping sharks and swimmers apart. They've built nets around swimming beaches and have even hunted some man-eating sharks. But wouldn't it be great if we could keep sharks away without hurting the sharks or the environment? Well, maybe there is... We check out a science lab where researchers are trying to come up with the ultimate shark repellent.
BUDGET SURPLUS Next week the Federal Government brings down its annual Budget... which sets out where the government intends to collect and spend all its money... But this Budget is expected to be a bit different from the last few for one reason - there'll be a surplus. What does this mean and why does the Government reckon it's so important. DISABILITY SCHEME Thousands of people have taken part in rallies calling for a national disability insurance scheme. The Prime Minister says the scheme will get underway next year. We talk to young people with disabilities to see the challenges they face every day. RICHEST AUSSIES When you see a person in a high-profile job... it's pretty natural to wonder... 'i wonder how much they get paid'...We know Hollywood celebs get millions per movie... but are they the highest paid people around? BTN looks at the richest people in Australia to see how they made their fortunes. GAMES TRICKS The world of computer video games is a place lots of kids and adults can't get enough of. But why are they loved so much? BTN investigates out some of the tricks that keep gamers coming back for more. KOALAS Australia has lots of threatened species. But can you name an animal that's both threatened and not threatened? That might sound like a trick question but it's not. Last week the government declared Koalas both vulnerable and not vulnerable... depending on where they live.
SLIPPER SLIPUP Ever since the last federal election... life for the government has been pretty tough. The main reason is that after such a close vote... Labor had to rely on others just to form government....But being so close means that any little change could throw things back into chaos. We look at the events of last week, the role of the Speaker, and what it all means for the Gillard government. TWEETS FOR SALE Even if you don't have an account you've probably heard of Twitter. It lets you post short messages which can read by anyone who wants to follow you and it's become particularly popular with celebrities and their fans.. But can you trust what you read on twitter? Last week some Aussie celebs were caught using twitter to make a bit of money... is that so unusual? BURMA Not too many years ago Burma had a government that the rest of the world wasn't too happy about. The ruling junta were brutal in crushing any opposition. But now they seem to be turning a new leaf...So much so... that the international community have given them a second chance... and have just opened up to trade with them again. We see how Burma is ringing in the changes. PYGMY POSSUMS Australia's home to a lot of rare species... and in recent years scientists have been working on keeping them around for future generations. Usually that means breeding them in places like zoos. But in Victoria's alpine mountains scientists have tried a new way of boosting the population of some tiny endangered possums, and it's been a great success. DETECTOR DOGS If you've been to an airport in Australia, you'd know we've got some pretty strict rules with what we can and can't bring into the country. One way customs can check we're doing the right thing is by using detector dogs. This year marks 20 years since they started protecting our borders.
AFGHANISTAN The Prime Minister has just announced an earlier phased withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. BTN looks at how the war began and why Australia has been fighting there. We show the difficulty of fighting an insurgency rather than a regular army - and how it's been historically difficult for foreign countries to win wars in Afghanistan. BOB BROWN Greens leader Bob Brown has retired from politics after 30-odd years as a parliamentarian. He's never been a Premier or Prime Minister, so why was his retirement such big news in the media? We look at his influence on Australian politics and what lies ahead for the Party he helped form. LABORATORY MEAT There's constant debate about the merits of eating or not eating animals. But what if meat could be created artificially? BTN reports on the latest scientific steps to produce test tube burgers. WARTIME HEROES BTN looks at some unlikely heroes of Australia's wartime conflicts. Starting with Simpson's donkey we see how animals have played a supporting role for Australians fighting on foreign shores. BOARDING SCHOOL For most kids a school holiday means time away from the classroom. But thousands have the schoolyard as their backyard. We ask boarders about their home away from home - is it as magical as Hogwarts?
NUCLEAR THREATS World leaders including Australia's Prime Minister are currently attending a nuclear summit in Seoul. The major issue is nuclear security - the summit wants to find ways to make vulnerable nuclear weapons more secure. We look at the rise of nuclear weapons and how people have feared them since the first nuclear attacks of WW2. There have been unusual campaigns on nuclear safety - including the "duck and cover" message of the 1950s. ELECTION WIPEOUT The landslide LNP win in the Queensland State Election is the biggest by a political party in post war history. We're used to Australian elections being reasonably close and some very close - like the last Federal One. It usually means the Party in Opposition has enough politicians in parliament to scrutinise the Government's policies and maybe convince it to make changes. But what does the Queensland result mean for the its state parliament if there isn't a viable opposition? 3D WAVES Everyone loves watching big waves - and surfing films have lots of fans. But now there's a new way of bringing these monster waves to the screen - through 3-D technology. We examine how the technology works and what it means for the intrepid camera operators. PHASMID FIND It's Jurassic Park on a very small scale. The stick insects called phasmids were thought to be extinct - but they've startled the scientific world by making a surprise re-appearance on Lord Howe Island. We find out how the animals were rediscovered and what's now being done for their long-term survival. SIGNING CLASS Could signing for the deaf become a second language for Australians? We now have a higher awareness of signing - with TV News stories about floods showing people signing information from emergency services. We see how signing is being taught in schools - and how non-deaf kids are learning it so they can talk to their hearing-impaired mates.
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