Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

World News for Schools:13 January

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Hi there, I'm Leah from the BBC World News for Schools. It's Thursday the 13th of January.

  • There've been devastating floods and landslides in Brazil.
  • In Australia the waters recede.
  • And why scientists are worried about how they study penguins.

First up -- we've been hearing about the terrible floods that have swamped huge parts of Australia. But another part of the world's also been affected -- Brazil. More than three hundred people have died after a month's rain fell in ONE DAY -- sending torrents of mud and rock down hillsides onto villages. BBC reporter Anthony Weller has the latest:

CLIP: "Devastating mudslides have ripped through the town laying waste to human lives and properties. Many people died here and for those who survived their houses have been left uninhabitable. Although the storm has now passed on the saturated terrain remains unstable and still poses immediate threat to the communities built on these steep hillsides."

And now -- back to Australia -- and the floodwaters that poured into the city of Brisbane. Thirty thousand homes and businesses are underwater, a hundred-thousand are without power. Sixty people are still missing and fifteen people died. But water levels HAVE started going down and the clean up's begun. Prime Minister Julia Gillard says Australians are up to the challenge:

CLIP: "Floodwaters can wash things away but what they can't possibly take away is the spirit of Australia and Queensland that's just on display."

Next -- President Obama's attended a special service to remember the six people who died in Saturday's shooting in Arizona. He paid special tribute to the nine-year-old girl, Cristina, who was among those killed when a gunman opened fire at a supermarket.

Scientists are worried that they way they're studying penguins might harm them -- here's Ore to tell us more:

CLIP: "Scientists have been following king penguins in the Antarctic for decades by putting bands around their flippers to identify them. But the problem is now a study has found that the birds with bands die younger, take longer to find food as well and give birth to about half as many baby chicks. Now tracking penguin activities is important because it's used as a guide to what's happening with climate change, but the researchers who did this study want to stop using bands because they say it's unethical."

And for today's question, we want to know what penguins use their wings for? Yesterday we asked you -- how fast does the average sneeze travel -- and the answer is -- ninety miles an hour!!

OK who's doing their revision at the moment? Well here's the good news -- if you do all your work in unusual and funny fonts then it's much easier to learn and remember your stuff! Jonah Lehrer is the brain science journalist who discovered it. He says comic and ugly fonts might make your work more difficult to read -- but they make it easier to remember.

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


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