Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Monday, 17 January 2011

World News for Schools: Friday 14 January

World News for Schools logo

Hi there, I'm Sonali from the BBC World News for Schools. It's Friday January the 14th.

Coming up...

  • In Brazil's flooding it's now known that 500 people have died.
  • Violent demonstrations in Tunisia.
  • And a new but very old dinosaur!

First up - In Brazil, at least five hundred people have been killed in what's been described as the country's worst natural disaster for a century. A month's worth of rain fell in a day, causing mudslides to crash down on to villages.

Sri Lanka has seen nearly four-hundred thousand people forced from their homes after floods in which thirty people died.

And in Australia, the clean up's just beginning -- after the highest floodwaters since 1974 poured into the city of Brisbane. So what's happened to cause such weather turmoil? Are the events connected? To find out I asked the BBC's special correspondent on the environment, David Shukman:

CLIP "Well Sonali -- this time of year brings a lot of rain to many countries anyway but in addition to that there's a strange weather system called La Nina where great volumes of cool water rise up in the Pacific Ocean, and that affects the way the winds blow. And that triggers great storms like we've seen in Australia, Sri Lanka, and possibly also Brazil and this La Nina effect is likely to last another few months which means you can expect more rain in those countries already flooded."

Thanks David!

Next - there's trouble on the streets in the north African nation of Tunisia. Thousands of people have joined protests about the lack of jobs, corruption in the government and falling living standards. There've been fighting and even gunfire at the demonstrations, and a senior official at the United Nations says the security forces are using too much force to control them.

Now, campaigners say elephants are dying in the Indian state of Assam because of pesticides. They're calling for a no-pesticide zone to be set up around game reserves after two pregnant elephants were found dead. The game wardens say it's because the owners of tea plantations spray toxic chemicals to kill red ants. Instead they want the plantations to go organic.

There's amazing news from the world of dinosaurs. A team in America says they've just discovered what they think is in fact one of the oldest dinosaurs ever, it's 230-million years old. Professor Paul Sereno led the team:

CLIP: "It's very close to the root of dinosaurs and we're looking at a two-legged animal, pint-sized if you will, it was agile, it had grasping hands with very powerful claws and it was in many ways very close to the original meat eater, the first of the Therapod line that would eventually evolve into huge forms like Tyrannosaurs Rex."

Now for the quiz....yesterday we asked you what what penguins use their wings for? And the answer is.. Swimming..and that's why they're sometimes called flippers.

And we wanted to thank Jason from Year 7 at the Seoul Foreign British School for getting in touch to tell us that he - and his teacher - love our new name! And another shout out to Mayumi who mailed us from Tokyo.

Let us know what you think of the new World News for Schools name and website by emailing us, our address is:

OK, that's all from the World News for Schools team. Have a great weekend -- we're back on Monday!


Week-day radio for under 11s.

Inspire your school to twin for 2012.


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific