World News for Schools:Tue 26 Apr

Hi there, I'm Sonali from the BBC World News for Schools. It's Tuesday the 26th of April.

Coming up:

  • Trouble continues in Syria
  • The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
  • And compulsory chess lessons at school!

But first, America has warned its citizens to leave Syria, in the Middle East, as the country's government intensifies its campaign against protestors. Tanks have been sent into Deraa, the town at the centre of protests. There have been many reports of crackdowns and arrests around Syria over recent days, despite the lifting of an emergency law last week. But it's difficult to know exactly what's happening there as foreign journalists aren't being allowed in. Ausama Monajed, a Syrian political activist in Britain, said the protestors hadn't started the violence.

CLIP: "We can see through videos how army snipers and army personnel in armour are shooting at people, rifles, automatic guns, tanks are deployed in corners and in roads, and we don't know, how that is going to be effective when people are going without even stones in their hands? And they keep shouting 'peaceful, peaceful' as they are being fired upon."

Next to Afghanistan where nearly 500 Taliban prisoners have escaped through a tunnel. The secret getaway was carefully planned with digging equipment and engineers involved, but it comes as bad news to the British, Americans and Afghans who have been fighting the Taliban armies in the country since 2001.

Now 25 years ago today the Chernobyl power plant, in Ukraine, was the scene of the world's worst nuclear accident. An explosion at one of the plant's reactors sent a plume of radiation across Europe. There is still a 30km exclusion zone around the plant. Andriy Gusin worked there - he describes what he saw when he arrived 25 years ago...

CLIP: "We saw the power plant and we could see the destruction to the outside clearly. When we started our shift we didn't yet know what kind of destruction it was, but it was clear it was big."

Wedding fever is hotting up in Britain and all over the world for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. One man from London has already set up camp in front of Westminster Abbey, where the couple will wed, to make sure he's got a prime spot for the big day on Friday. He'll be one of millions of people around the world watching Will and Kate get married.

And finally, what subjects are compulsory at your school? Maths and science perhaps, but for kids in Armenia, in Europe, chess is going to be on that list too! The game is really popular in the country - chess grandmasters are huge stars and important match results make headline news. Children from the age of six will learn the game each week as a separate subject and it's hoped compulsory lessons will help students' thinking skills and intellectual development.

Staying with chess for today's question - we want to know how many pieces are there in a chess set?

And just before we go, a big shout out to students from 9J of St.Andrews International School in Bangkok, Thailand.

That's all from the team. We're back tomorrow.


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