World News for Schools: Fri 8 Apr

Hi there, I'm Ricki from the BBC World News for Schools. It's Friday the eight of April.

Coming up

  • Another earthquake in Japan..
  • And the brain implant that offers amazing new mind control.

First up -- aid agencies in the African country of Ivory Coast say some parts of it are turning into a humanitarian disaster zone. There's still no end in sight to the fighting that's tearing the country in two. Ordinary families have been driven out of their homes by the violence -- but it turns out religious buildings and the people that run them have been doing an important job looking after desperate civilians. Thousands of people of all religions are living in churches -- the priest at St Paul's Cathedral in the capital says -- they've nowhere else to go:

CLIP: There are practically eighteen hundred people here -- among them woman and children who live locally. But we've had no running water for a week now. And we have babies here, as well as people who've been shot and pregnant women. No one with weapons is allowed in, and religion doesn't count here. We welcome everyone as brothers and sisters.

Now-- Japan has suffered yet another earth tremor -- the most powerful since last month's devastating quake and tsunami. But it didn't do anything like the same amount of damage. Two people were killed by the latest tremor and a-hundred injured. The rescue teams that helped with the tsunami crisis have been talking about their specially trained life saving dogs. Andy was out in Japan in March -- he says the dogs are vital:

CLIP: What they can do is cover large areas and they will actually tell us they will actually indicate if there is live people under these collapsed structures. We pick dogs who like to play -- the idea is they they are obsessed with the toy, just wanting the reward of that toy.

Now -- there's been a massive breakthrough in mind control research. Scientists have discovered that a brain implant can allow people to control a cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about certain noises. We got our science geek Jason to explain:

CLIP: Well this is an absolutely incredible piece of research. We've seen brainwaves used before -- and there's even toys out there that can pick up brain waves outside your skull. But this is one step further. This is actually an implant in your brain. And what they've used it for is patients thinking about sounds, and that is turned into moving a cursor on a screen. Now this sounds like science fiction. But it's not mind-reading, this is just sort of translating some kinds of thoughts into another kind of signal. For the moment it's going to be of great use for disabled people -- but we can imagine a future in which we might have lots of gadgets that read our thoughts.

There's a new warning on the melting Arctic -- scientists say that ice there is disappearing so fast, there could be virtually none left during the summertime within the next decade. Wildlife experts fear it could mean big problems for polar bears and seals.

And now for today's question: where do penguins live -- the north pole or the south pole? Yesterday we asked you for the exact date of the Royal Wedding 30 years ago. The answer is -- Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married on the 29th of July, 1981.

Finally -- there's been a big success in the fight against animal smuggling. Police in Thailand seized nearly two thousand huge monitor lizards which were being exported to be eaten. The lizards are threatened with extinction -- but luckily the ones being smuggled were found alive and are now being looked after!

That's all for now -- we're back tomorrow.




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