24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

25:39 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

ABC

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.

24:29 | News and current affairs
image/svg+xml

Behind The News

ABC

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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