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World News for Schools: 21 December

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Hi there, I'm Leah from the World News for Children - and as we creep closer to the end of 2010, we're taking a look back at the big events that changed countries and transformed lives. One of these was the Pakistan floods. More than 14 million people were affected when heavy monsoon rains reeked havoc across the country. Bursting river banks, carrying away whole villages, and cutting thousands of families off from dry land. This mother and her children were saved by the fact that she could swim…

CLIP: "When the water came into the house we went out with the children. People helped us to carry them. But then the water was up to our necks and we managed to swim out."

The United Nations said they were the worst floods in living memory. Months later, progress is being made in Pakistan, but hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless and many schools are in need of repair. Save the Children's Khurram Massood says it's all had a big impact on the kids there......

CLIP: "As well as losing their homes and schools, it has a psychological effect on children. We've seen a lot of cases where children have become afraid of the dark, or have become shy - or in some cases they have become very aggressive. So, a lot of children have been hurt emotionally as well"

Alongside massive tragedies like the Pakistan floods, 2010's also seen some fantastic stories of survival against the odds - none greater than that of the Chilean miners. When the San Jose mine collapsed back in August, 33 men were trapped inside - there was no way out. Back up top, their work mates tried to search for signs of life by dropping a microphone down a tiny a hole. Time and time again it was sent down - but nothing. Until one day the microphone came back with something attached to it - it was a note...

CLIP: "We are well - all 33 of us are in the shelter."

So they were alive! From that moment on the world was gripped by the story of the Chilean miners. A massive rescue operation was launched, families set up camp at the mouth of the mine, children were taught in temporary classrooms, clowns were even brought in to keep spirits up, as day by day drillers inched closer and closer...

CLIP: Noise of drill.

It wasn't easy, conditions in the mine were tough and rescue workers could only drill a little at a time, or they risked the mine crashing down. But then - a breakthrough…

CLIP: Drill breakthrough effects.

The drill had reached the men. But there was a long way to go. Rescuers still had to pull 33 grown men out from the bowels of the earth. A narrow capsule was built and lowered down into the hole. The first of the miners to climb in was Florencio Avalos. As he began is ascent to freedom, those back up top held their breath….

CLIP: Sound of capsule coming up.

Then at ten minutes past midnight, after 69 days of being trapped nearly half a mile under ground, history was made.....

CLIP: "And here he comes out. Hugged by his family. Tears in people's eyes here. A moment that some people thought they would never, ever see!"

One by one the men emerged out of the mine and fell in to the arms of their families. It was mission accomplished. The miners, joined by the President of Chile, and the rescue workers, sang the national anthem.........

CLIP: Singing noise.

What an incredible moment! Ok, that's all we've got time for. We're back tomorrow with the third of our special bulletins on the stories that have made 2010.




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