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World News for Schools:11 January

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Hi there, I'm Ore from World News for Schools, it's Tuesday the 11th of January.

Australia faces its worst floods for decades.

A new planet's been spotted.

And in football -- the FIFA player of the year is announced.

First up -- eastern Australia's struggling with more extreme flooding -- and the deluge has been described as a mini-tidal wave. It's known that eleven people have died in the floods in Queensland but many more are missing. People are being moved out of parts of the city of Brisbane where some suburbs are already underwater. They're being told to go to evacuation centres -- after warnings that flood levels won't stop rising for two days. Office workers are fleeing the main business district and many people have packed up their cars and are leaving town. Around Brisbane, helicopters have been rescuing stranded people from roofs as streets turned into rivers. Ian Macfarlane is a local politician, he's just been evacuated from the city himself:

CLIP: The developing crisis is that the state capital Brisbane, the third largest city in Australia, is facing a flood perhaps without precedent for a hundred years. It's still very bleak here. It's mother nature showing us that no matter what we do, it's in charge.

The BBC spoke to this man from Grantham, one of many small towns devastated:

CLIP: I stood on the roof of that building behind me and watched the cars float down the road, watched the houses float down the road, watched the massive amounts of debris floating down the road. I know my wife and child have been evacuated.

Children and students in the north African country, Tunisia, are being kept at home after their schools and colleges were shut down. The government's's made the decision because there've been violent protests about joblessness and poverty. The demonstrators say the police are being too heavy-handed in trying to stop the protests, in which at least fourteen people have died.

Next -- a space discovery -- scientists at space agency NASA say they've discovered the smallest planet ever found outside our solar system -- and it's quite like Earth. It's rocky and roughly the same size -- but too hot to support life. The planet's called Kepler-10b after the space telescope that spotted it and the astrophysicist, Natalie Batalha, says it's very important:

CLIP: We want to know if we are alone in the galaxy, we want to know if planets that could potentially harbour life are common and we don't know if that's true. We want to find out if planets like earth, that could have liquid water, are abundant in our galaxy. So this is a milestone towards that, it's one link in the chain.

And in football -- the Argentinean player, Lionel Messi, has become the FIRST winner of the new FIFA player of the year award, the Ballon d'Or. That's Golden Ball, in English! #

And today's question is -- what two awards were joined up to make the new FIFA gong?

Yesterday we asked you how many cricket teams there are in the Indian Premier League -- the answer is ...ten.

Finally -- giant pandas will be in Britain again for the first time in seventeen years after an historic agreement with China. The deal will bring two of the big bears, called Tian Tian and Yangguang, to Edinburgh Zoo to be part of a breeding programme. They're seven years old -- and are expected to arrive this year.

OK, that's all from the World News for Schools team. We're back tomorrow.




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