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.
SHOCK TACTICS The use of Taser guns is in the spotlight once again. A student died at the weekend when police fired an electric stun gun at him. It's got people talking about whether Taser guns should be used at all. (Sarah) FAIR GAME? Politicians come in for some pretty ruthless abuse at times. This week the PM was teased on TV about the way she looks. In any other job this might be seen as bullying behaviour. So why are politicians seen as fair game for these kinds of hurtful attacks? LA NINA In the past few years Australians have seen the damage that too much water can do. Last year Queensland was hit by the worst floods many had ever seen, and this year floods came again to parts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. That might seem kind of strange in a country that's known for being dry. Sarah went to find out where all this wet weather's come from and whether it's here to stay. HORSEBACK THERAPY Horses have provided mateship and transport to people for thousands of years. Now they're helping in some other ways too. Find out how horses are making a remarkable difference to the lives of some kids with disabilities. SPORT SCIENCE Sport science is a massive industry in Australia. But it's not just professional teams who are using science to give them an edge. We meet a school footy team as they go through altitude training ahead of the new season.
WHO IS KONY? Joseph Kony is the world's most wanted war criminal. But until recently not many people had heard of him. A social media campaign is trying to change that by making him famous and bringing his crimes to the attention of the world. They hope that public pressure will encourage governments to try harder to catch him. But will it work? BEATING BULLIES Bullying is a really serious issue that affects lots of kids. We look at the different types of bullying and what's being done to tackle the problem. SAVING ORANGUTANS We catch up with a 15 year old whose fight to save the orangutans of Borneo has taken him on a remarkable journey. He's hung out with a Prime Minister and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause. Now he and his little brother have written a book about it. ROOKIE REPORTER Imagine getting a front seat at the Olympic games to watch all the action. Well, that dream is about to come true for one Aussie kid. But this 14 year old isn't only there to watch the games... he's going to be working as a reporter! SWIM STAR Famous swimmers like Ian Thorpe have been at the Australian Swimming Championships trying to secure a place in the Aussie Olympic team. But alongside those huge names are some pretty impressive kids hoping to make a big splash in the sport.
FLOOD EVACUATION Large parts of Australia have been hit by floods. At times like these we hear a lot about evacuations. We're going to take a look at all the planning that goes into evacuating a whole town of people. MEDIA POLICE The media can be very good at exposing people who are behaving badly. But what happens when the people doing the wrong thing are the journalists themselves? Who reports on the reporters? We examine the findings of a recent media inquiry which looked into how the media polices itself. COTTON COWS? A recent survey found that three-quarters of kids thought that cotton came from animals. And a quarter thought yoghurt came from plants. We visit a school which is going back to basics to teach kids about the origins of some of the stuff we take for granted. CLASS CLOWNS You might think you're a bit of a class clown... joking around when the teacher has their back turned. But have you ever thought about turning it into a job? We meet some kids who are learning the ropes on the comedy circuit. GIRLS CRICKET The cricket season is finishing up... and it's been a fairly decent summer for Australia. But while the sport is popular over here... there are many countries that don't even play it. We take a look at a program which is teaching cricket to Indonesian kids.
DENTAL CHECK UP A new report has found that too many Aussies have bad teeth, especially people in poor areas. It says about a third of us don't go to the dentist because of the cost. So what can be done about the problem? SUPER TUESDAY If you watch the news this week you'll probably see stories about a big vote which could affect who becomes the next President of America. But you won't see Barack Obama taking part... so what's this vote all about? DRONE DILEMMA For years we've seen unmanned flying machines in science fiction movies. But now increasingly we're actually seeing them in the sky. It's not just the military that are using drones to watch people from above... now the media's getting involved too. PARALYMPICS TECHNOLOGY Aussie athletes are making sure they've got the best technology ahead of the London Paralympics. But not everyone thinks the cutting-edge technology available to Paralympians is fair. BEAT BOX Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion where someone can make a variety of musical sounds using only their mouth. We meet one of Australia's best beatboxers as he tries to pass on his skills to younger kids.
TONGUE TIED Have you ever seen a politician refuse to give a straight-forward answer in an interview? It can be really frustrating to watch. So why don't they just say exactly what they're thinking? Well it's not just the politicians who should take the blame for this... the media plays a big part too. SCHOOL FUNDING We all know that schools and reports go hand in hand. Last week the government got its own school report looking at how it funds education in Australia. The marks weren't that good. It said heaps more needs to be spent on schools and there needs to be a better way of deciding who gets what. So how are schools funded? BAT MAN We meet a blind man who uses bat-like sonar skills to be able to 'see'. By making clicking sounds he's able to build up a picture of what's in front of him. He's become so good at it that he's holding a series of workshops with blind Australian students to improve their skills. MOVIE SOUNDS We're rolling out the red carpet and getting ready for Oscars night. But we're not doing a story about the actors... or the directors... or the wonderful camera-work. We're going to take a close look at how sound-effects are made for movies. ARCHERY KIDS For many years bows and arrows were the weapons of choice for a King's army. They were used a lot in hunting too. And the weapon was made legendary by the stories of Robin Hood. But today archery is more commonly seen as a popular sport... although the bow and arrow have changed quite a bit.
GREEK DEBT Rioting in Greece has put the country's debt problems back into the spotlight. Europe has promised more bail-out money, but in return many Greek people will have their wages cut or could lose their jobs entirely. We look at how and why countries borrow money, and find out what happens when they can't pay it back. SPEECH WRITING This week we saw speculation that Julia Gillard's team were writing her acceptance speech as PM... even while Kevin Rudd was still in the top job. It got us thinking about the role of speechwriters in politics. How much of what politicians say is actually written by them? And how can speechwriters have so much influence when we don't even know who they are? CROC CULL The government is considering overturning the ban on crocodile hunting. Some indigenous land owners in the Northern Territory say safari hunting could bring economic benefits to the bush. But animal rights supporters aren't happy. A BUG'S LIFE If you've ever seen a locust or a snail at work in the garden you'll know the damage that insects can do to plants. But did you know that insects actually help many plants to grow? That's the lesson Australian scientists are teaching to Cambodian farmers and their kids to help the country grow the food it needs. BASEBALL KID For many people their first experience of baseball... is playing tee ball as a kid. And that's exactly how Daniel McGrath started out. But now the Aussie teen is on the verge of becoming a huge star. He's just been signed up by the Boston Red Sox, one of the world's most successful baseball teams.
SUMMER FLOOD We bring you all the latest on the floods that have devastated parts of Qld and NSW. We answer all those questions you've wanted to know about floods... from how they start, to how we can defend against them. LEADERSHIP LEAKS When does a rumour become a news story? For a long time the news has been reporting that Kevin Rudd could challenge Julia Gillard to be Prime Minister. But these rumours are often denied almost as soon as they're printed. So is there any truth in all this speculation? FACEBOOK FLOAT One of the world's most popular websites has decided to float on the stock exchange. We explain what that means... and examine the differences between public and private companies. FIRST AID Cadets St John's Ambulance service can be found at most major events, and they're often on hand for big disasters like the recent floods. But did you know that you can get involved at a young age? We go along to meet a group of cadets and learn what it takes to be part of the team. KITE BOARDING If you go the beach there's a good chance you might see people kite boarding. It's shot up in popularity in recent years so we thought we'd find out how it's done.
MINING TAX There's been a lot of talk in the news about the government's planned mining tax. We dig deep to find out what it's really all about. And we look at the arguments for and against the plan. ASBESTOS DANGER There could be something dangerous lurking close to where you are sitting... and you might not even know about it. Asbestos is a deadly material that's been used in many buildings. It's safe, but it becomes potentially deadly when it's moved. Now safety campaigners are blaming TV renovation shows for encouraging people to take on DIY tasks that could put them in danger. PASSWORD POWER When you leave your house in the morning, do you leave your front door wide open? Of course you don't! But while we're pretty good with security at home... we're not so good when it comes to online security. A new study has found that the most common security password is... password! CHRISTMAS TURKEYS Eating a roast turkey is a Christmas day tradition for many people. But have you ever wondered why that tradition began? And how do turkey farmers make money at other times in the year when people are less likely to buy turkeys? SURF LIFESAVERS More than 44,000 Aussies volunteer to be surf lifesavers. A lot of them are kids who give up their free time to try to keep our beaches as safe as possible. We go along to a training course to find out what you need to be able to do to take part.
URANIUM U-TURN India is banned from buying Australian Uranium. Now the PM, Julia Gillard, wants to change that and sell it to India. We look at why that's a pretty controversial decision, both within her party and in the public. FOREIGN FRIENDS As President Obama visits Australia, we look at our close relationship with America. But is it a friendship for the future? Some people think Australia should instead be getting closer with countries like China. PRAWN FISHING Aussies eat loads of prawns, particularly around Christmas time. But our passion for prawns means we could be taking too many from the sea. We spend a night onboard with the fishermen behind this tasty catch, to see the truly sustainable system they've developed. BUSH STORIES Indigenous Australians have been telling their stories for tens of thousands of years, but until now not many people got to hear them. We take a look at a project where young Indigenous people have been given camera phones to tell their own stories - to the whole world. WHEELCHAIR ATHLETE We profile one of the world's best junior wheelchair racers. Nathan Arkley is hoping to represent Australia at the 2012 London Paralympics. It's the inspirational story of a boy paralysed from the waist down at only 8-years-old.
COURTROOM CAMERAS Most weeks there�s a big court story in the news. Recently we were able to watch as Michael Jackson�s doctor was found guilty of helping to cause his death. But if it was in Australia, we wouldn�t have been able to see it. That�s because here, there are rules which stop TV cameras filming inside courts. But some people think that should change. We take a look at the arguments. REEF THREAT The Great Barrier Reef is the world�s largest coral reef. It�s home to thousands of different types of sea creatures. And it�s important to Australia�s economy too because it creates lots of money through tourism. It all sounds good... but some people are worried that new development around Queensland could be a threat to the future of the reef. DIABETES DAY How much do you know about diabetes? It�s World Diabetes Day which aims to raise awareness about the condition. BtN takes a look at what it�s like to live with diabetes, and explains the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. MAWSON CENTENARY It�s approaching 100 years since Sir Douglas Mawson led the first Australasian expedition to Antarctica. His aim was to map and explore the coastal area of Antarctica closest to Australia. We take a look at how his work is continued today. TEACHER NOTE: The Australian Antarctic Division is holding a national competition relating to this story. Students are invited to write 100 words about what Antarctica will look like in another 100 years. The BtN website will link to the competition details after Tuesday�s program. DARWIN DROVERS Imagine if your school lessons involved riding a horse through 60 kilometres of outback terrain, chasing cattle and sleeping under the stars. Sound pretty cool? Well that's what some kids in the Northern Territory have been doing. They've been learning how work in the cattle industry, and they're keeping alive a proud Aussie tradition.
QANTAS BRAND When Qantas decided to stop flying its planes recently, it made lots of people angry. Some said they wouldn't fly Qantas anymore, and others said the Qantas brand had been damaged. So why would Qantas bosses do something that was going to make lots of people angry? And is the company's brand damaged beyond repair? INTEREST RATES The reserve bank has cut interest rates for the first time in a year. But what are interest rates? And why does everyone think they're so important? WORLD POPULATION The world's population has just reached 7 billion. Experts reckon it's going to continue to grow at a fast rate. Some people are worried about how this rapid growth will affect the world as we know it. MIGRAINE VS HEADACHE A migraine is a common reason for workplace sickness in Australia. But how do you know if you've got a migraine or just a headache? What's the difference? And what causes them? CRICKET WICKET With the cricket season back in full swing, we take a look at one of the most important jobs in the sport. The grounds keeper can affect the outcome of the game depending on how they prepare the playing surface. We go along to see what their job involves.
BANK BUSINESS The Occupy Wall St protests have spread around the globe, even to Australia. Occupy Melbourne has been going for more than a week now. One of the things they're protesting about is the greed of the big banks. But have you ever stopped to think how banks even make money? SHARK ATTACKS There have been a few fatal shark attacks recently in Western Australia. It's had many people calling for action and some saying the sharks responsible should be hunted and killed. But is it the right response? MALARIA VACCINE You might've been bitten by a mozzie before and ended up with an annoying itch, which eventually goes away. But in some countries mosquitoes can carry a disease called 'Malaria', that can be deadly. Now scientists think they've made a breakthrough with a new vaccine. GPS RIVAL In lots of people's cars, old maps have been replaced by high-tech GPS devices. You get them in some phones too. They use satellite technology to pin-point exactly where you are. But did you know that all the GPS satellites are controlled by America? Now lots of other countries have teamed up to launch their own set of satellites to rival GPS. SHEEPDOG TRIALS BtN takes a look at the competitive world of sheepdog trials. How do the trials work, and what does it take to be good at rounding up sheep? We visit one big event which is run mainly by kids.
NEW MIGRANTS We've been hearing a lot from politicians about the best way to deal with asylum seekers. But amongst all the arguing about policy, it's easy to forget that we're actually talking about real people. BtN follows a family of new arrivals as they try to settle in Australia. KIDS' RIGHTS You've probably heard the phrase "human rights" before. It means that everyone has the right to a basic level of treatment. But did you know that there's also a set of Children's Rights? So what are they? RUGBY TV RIGHTS If you're a Rugby Union fan, you'll know that the World Cup final is this Saturday. But if you've been tuning in to BTN you might have noticed that we haven't said much about it. That might seem pretty strange, after all, the World Cup is big news. But as Sarah found out, with every big sporting event comes a big set of rules about who can use the pictures. SOLAR CARS An amazing car race across Australia is just winding up. What made it so amazing was that none of the cars ran on petrol. Instead, they were all powered by the sun! So if people are able to make cars to travel great distances that don't need petrol, why don't we see them on our roads? CLASSROOM DRAMA It's no secret that some school subjects are more popular than others. One school is trying to take advantage of a class's enthusiasm for drama... and apply it to other lessons. How are they doing it?
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