This week, Joe started us off with some news from Our Local Area (well spotted, Joe!). Here is what he told us: "There is a huge new water theme park belonging to Migros (a Swiss supermarket chain). It is opening in Spring 2009 in a place called Neydens (which is just over the border in France). They have just started building it." Rekik wondered how big it was going to be. Joe explained that there would be 8 slides (this makes it twice as big as Aquaparc, which has 4).
Staying close to home, Justin's interest in football became even more apparent with this week's news. He wanted to share an article in the Matin Bleu newspaper which told all about 'Europass' the ball that will be used in the upcoming FIFA football tournament. It is made from latex, cotton and leather (materials!), is easy for keepers to catch (will that mean fewer goals?) and goes faster than other balls.
"When is the football going to happen?" asked Danah. Justin has promised to ask his dad.....
.....Now we know that the first game of the Euro 2008 is on the 7th of June and the final in on the 29th.
Azri said that it happened in Myanmar and, when Patricia asked, he explained that the big wind was called a cyclone. Michelle added, "It's like a tornado." Umar said that his mum found out that 1,000 people were dead and that 3,000 were missing. Which is strange bearing in mind what Matthew W had said earlier....."Maybe there were two cyclones," suggested Joe and Rekik. But no, although that's a good idea, that's not it. Then Max suggested that maybe some of the people who were missing had since been found dead. Per added that perhaps some people who had been injured had died later. It is often the case that if there has been some kind of disaster, the first news reports show lower numbers of casualties than later ones. I fact, I just checked an online news site and notice that, at the time of writing this (18.42, May 6th) the latest headline (posted 50 minutes earlier) read "Aid Flows to Myanmar as Death Toll Rises to 22,500." Let's keep an eye on those figures.
Dangi's story took place in southern India. He told us that three people died when an elephant went on the rampage (no, it didn't run up a ramp; but what good thinking! 'Going on the rampage' really means being out of control.....) Police said that a man who had drunk too much alcohol had teased the elephant before it went 'berserk'. Dangi went on to say that hundreds of people ran away in fear as the elephant caused lots of damage. It even destroyed part of a temple.
Animal rescuers rushed to the scene and calmed the elephant down by injecting it with a tranquilizer, which made it sleepy. Hundreds of tame elephants take part in festivals in southern India and they sometimes cause accidents. There have been about 49 people killed by elephants since August 2006.....
Staying in India, Vaishnavi shared with us the story of India's successful launch of 10 satellites from a single rocket.
Two of the satellites came from India; the rest were from other countries. Swati told us she heard the same story on the news.
Danah went to town this week with her news presentation. She had made an informative poster telling us all about the history of Bird Flu.
She ended with an important message about hand-washing; telling us that we should wash our hands often and always before eating. When I was checking about the current bird flu situation online, I found out that in Bali, Indonesia, the WHO has spent the past few days pretending that Bird Flu has really broken out.
They wanted to see what might happen in a real Bird Flu emergency.
Naoya shared with us the happy news that it was Children's Day yesterday in Japan. (Every day is children's day isn't it? asked Rekik.) Parents raise carp-shaped streamers in the air.
It is because carp are really successful fish; they are able to swim right up to where rivers start. Japanese parents hope that their children will make a success of their lives, like carp do. I like your story," said Sofia. "It's like a children's story."
Some sad news now, from Giulia. She told us that Ling-Ling, Japan's oldest Giant Panda has just died. Chris wondered how he died. He died aged 22 years (which is about the same as 70 human years) of heart failure (which really means of old age).
Ling Ling was born in a zoo in China and was given to Japan as a symbol of friendship. Dangi's brother's favourite animal is a panda!
Tanmay's news was all about a giant squid, the size of a double-decker bus with an eye as big as a football. It had been caught by fishermen in the Antarctic Ocean last year and scientists from New Zealand then froze it. Right now it is being defrosted so that it can be properly studied.
People say that this squid was the biggest one ever caught. Joe, though, was surprised; he felt he had heard that even bigger ones had been caught before.
Per, Matthew D and Isabella all had their eye taken by news of a Chilean volcano which has suddenly started to blow out ash.
Per explained that it is going to erupt and expects that lava might even come out. Matthew D added that a lot of people had gone to the airport to get away from the danger. Isabella gave us some figures. More than 4,500 people have had to move. Patricia explained that people had to move away from erupting volcanoes because they might otherwise be turned to stone (she has been fortunate enough to visit Pompeii which was destroyed when Vesuvius erupted). In fact the danger from the Chilean volcano is that people cannot breathe properly. The water has also been polluted which means it is not safe to drink.
With Fiona now to the United States of America, where, she tells us, Americans buy 29 billion plastic bottles of water.
She went on to tell us that out of every 6 bottles, only one gets recycled. "It's bad news," she said. She continued, "To make that many plastic water bottles, they need to use 17 million barrels of oil (we're not sure quite how big a barrel is, but it seems like a lot!) And plastic lasts for hundreds of years. She concluded, "It's best to use a bottle more than once. Or better still, don't buy your water from a shop!" Joe was surprised to hear about all those plastic bottles. "In my country," he said, "I think
ore bottles are being made from glass."
Let's end with the 'aahhh' factor. Michelle told us of a puppy whose mother is sick. The owner of the puppy put the puppy with her cat - and the cat fed the puppy with milk and the kittens played like he was their brother.
We thought that cats and dogs are usually enemies - but Sofia put us right. "My grandma has a cat and a dog who are friends," she said. Patricia expressed the feelings of all of us when she said, "I think that story is very cute." Aahhh indeed!
Oh and P.S. Seeing as no-one chose to share my favourite story of the moment, what better excuse is there for me to share it with you here?
So, without further ado, here is your chance to meet Comet the talented goldfish