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Behind The News: 27/04/2010
27/04/2010
ABC  |  April 27, 2010

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?

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?

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Fire Season It’s been a terrible start to spring for many communities in NSW and Queensland where bushfires have destroyed homes and property. While fires aren’t unusual in Australia, experts say these ones have hit way earlier than usual, in places that aren’t usually affected by fire. We find out more about this terrible start to fire season and how some kids are getting ready for the hot weather to come. Fish Rescue A mass fish rescue is underway right now in the Darling River in NSW. Native species are being caught and relocated to other parts of the river or to fish hatcheries to try to prevent what the State’s environment minister has described as a potential fish “Armageddon”. Many are worried, when summer comes, we’ll see another mass fish die-off caused by blue green algae. We find out more about what’s happening to the health of Australia’s biggest river system. E-cigarette Warning Most young Aussies know about the dangers of smoking, but there are worries that there’s a growing number of young people using e-cigarettes or vaping. While they were originally marketed as being a safer alternative to cigarettes, recently there’ve been a few cases of people getting sick after vaping and even some deaths overseas. We find out more. Peace Games It’s not very often that 11-year-olds are asked to prevent wars and solve big economic, social and environmental crises, but this week that’s exactly what some South Australia kids are being asked to do. They’re taking part in the World Peace Game - a very different sort of board game developed by a US educator who’s on a mission to prove that kids can make great diplomats. Magpie Season It’s that time of year again - when school yards and streets are menaced by swooping magpies! We find out why magpies attack and what you can do to protect yourself.

24:30 | News and current affairs
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Behind the News

ABC ME

Hurricane Dorian The Bahamas have been battered by the fiercest hurricane to hit the islands since records began. Hurricane Dorian was category 5 when it made landfall - the strongest category there is. We look at how hurricanes work, how they’re measured and how people are coping with the disaster. Trade Wars You might have heard on the news over the past few months about something called a trade war that’s going on between the US and China. The countries aren’t really 'at war' - but they are having a serious disagreement about tariffs and it’s having an effect on economies around the world - including here in Australia. We find out what tariffs are and how they’re being used as a weapon by the world’s most powerful countries. Human Evolution Scientists are really excited about a new find in Ethiopia. It's a 3.8 million-year-old skull belonging to one of our oldest ancestors and they hope it'll give us a much better understanding of human evolution. Matt find out more about the find and how humans became humans. NASA fossils Scientists from NASA and the ESA have been in Western Australia’s Pilbara region learning how to collect the best rock samples from the surface of Mars! Both space agencies are planning unmanned missions to the red planet which will involve collecting Martian rock samples and looking for signs of ancient Martian life. So that they know what to look for, they’re learning more about ancient Australian rocks which hold clues to the beginnings of life on Earth. Worm Wee We meet some school kids who’ve made a business out of worm wee! While it might not sound too tasty to us, plants love the liquid created by earthworms and so do gardeners. The students from Mercedes College teach us more about worms and how they help the soil to stay healthy.

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