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World News for Schools: 7 January

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Hi there, I'm Sonali from the BBC World News for Children. It's Friday the 7th of January.

First up. The German authorities have closed nearly five-thousand farms because they're worried that a toxic chemical has reached the food chain in Britain and the Netherlands. Officials say a mix-up meant that industrial waste was mistakenly added to animal feed, which has contaminated some eggs. Although the chemical called dioxin is poisonous, European health officials say they believe that the risk to human health is very low.

China is considering a new law that would force children to visit their older parents.This would mean that elderly people could go to court to make sure they were being properly cared for by their kids. Taking care of parents is part of traditional Chinese culture but because of the way people work and travel, family life there has been changing.

Next up. The head of world football, Sepp Blatter, has said he expects the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be held in January. This would mean a clash with the football season in Europe. The World Cup is usually held in June, and in its successful bid to host the tournament, Qatar promised to build air-conditioned stadiums. But Mr Blatter said footballers must be protected from the heat.

England captain Andrew Strauss celebrates his side's victory
England captain Andrew Strauss celebrates after the 3-1 series win

Cricket, and it took the English bowlers less than an hour on the last day, to win the Ashes Test, sending their fans totally wild. It's the first time in 24 years that they've won the ashes series in Australia. The BBC's Jonathan Agnew watched as Chris Tremlett took the final wicket in Sydney:

CLIP "In comes Tremlett, Beer waits for him, he's there and he bowls and he's played into his wicket, it's all over (cheers). He's bowled by Tremlett and England have won their first series in Australia for twenty-four years."

And yesterday we asked you who won the last Ashes series. The answer is...England on their home territory.

Next. The police in South Africa are battling to stop thieves who've been breaking into hundreds of traffic lights! The criminals have been stealing sim cards from the high tech lights, and then using them to make mobile phone calls. All the sim cards have now been blocked, but the cost of repairing the lights is likely to be over a million dollars.

And last up. Scientists studying leaf-cutting ants have found that as the insects get older and their teeth wear out, they are allowed to retire from that work! When the older ants' teeth, which are called mandibles, become a bit blunt they can't cut through the leaves anymore. So they switch to just doing the leaf-carrying. One of the researchers, Professor Robert Schofield explained the process.

CLIP "The wear of their mandibles was so great that the average cutter would spend twice as much energy and twice as much time cutting leaves as that cutter would have when it was brand new and had perfectly sharp mandibles, so the ants with the most worn mandibles, carried instead of cut."

That's all from us - we're back on Monday with all the best stories…and wait for it…a brand new name. We'll still be bringing you all the news from around the world, but from now on we'll be calling ourselves World News for Schools! And if you want to let us know what you think of the new name you can e-mail us at!


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