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World News for Schools: 17 December

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Hi there, I'm Ricky from the BBC World News for Children. It's Friday the 17th of December.

Coming up:

  • Poisoning is putting vultures in danger.
  • A winter World Cup?
  • And the multi-million dollar Christmas tree!

First up, poisoning is putting vultures are at risk of dying out in one of Africa's most important wildlife parks. Conservationists say at least three different species of the bird have declined by more than 60% in Kenya's Masai Mara. So how's it happening, here's the BBC's Vanessa Gill .....

CLIP: "The poisoning is deliberate, although it's actually aimed at lions and jackals, rather than vultures. When one of these big carnivores kills a cow or a goat, a farmer will sometimes pour the pesticide onto the body of their lost livestock - hoping to kill the offending predator. But, one poisoned carcass can kill up to one-hundred-and-fifty vultures, when they swoop in to pick at the remains."

Next up, the tables are turning for Australia in the third Ashes Test. After being outplayed for eight straight days of cricket , the Aussies have upped their game. The hosts finished the day's session on 115 for 3 in their second innings leading England by 196 runs.

And in footy - the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League takes place later. Arsenal face a tough draw - they could face Barcelona or Real Madrid. German sides Bayer Munich and Schalke are also in the mix. But even though the Spanish sides are favourites, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says any of the teams could present a challenge...

CLIP: "There are advantages and disadvantages, on both side. The Germans have a good break in the winter, they are always fresh in spring. The Spanish teams are a bit more maybe favourites than the German teams at the moment, but that can change."

And staying with footy, it looks like the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be staged in the winter, rather than the usual summertime tournament. FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he backs the idea because the weather will be better for the players at that time of year.....

CLIP: "I support defiantly, definitely - I personally support - to play in winter here. To play when the climate is appropriate. I'm thinking about the footballers, not only the fans, but the footballers."

Next up the oldest person on Facebook has been swamped with friend requests. Lillian Lowe, who's 103, and from England, only has a few dozen Facebook friends, mostly family - but since the media started reporting that she was the oldest person on the Social Networking site, she's received 999 friendship requests from around the world.

Finally - we couldn't leave you without telling you about the world's most expensive christmas tree. A hotel in the United Arab Emirates has a tree decorated with 11 million dollars worth of jewellery. Diamond necklaces... and gold earrings. What wrong with some baubles and a bit of tinsel eh!

OK, just before we go we have the answer to yesterday's question. We asked you which queen can be found on the Canadian penny coin! And the answer is....Queen Elizabeth II!

That's all from the World News for Children team. We're back next week with our final bulletins of the year - and all week we'll be taking a look back at the biggest stories of 2010. Join us then. Bye for now!




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