Before the start proper, a quick word from our sports correspondent, who tells us that, as per his faultless prediction, Nadal 'thrashed' Federer in the French Open. Now I am not a betting man. Nor even a betting woman. But if I were, I would surely now place a bob or two on Federer to win Wimbledon (it's on the green surface, you see).
Anyway, let us begin in Iraq this week and hear Danah's news. It actually happened in Romania, where, she tells us, "There was this Iraqi girl in high-school and she has won a competition of computers."
She ended by telling us that despite the war, Iraq loves life.
Moving on eastwards (Who remembers the mnemonic which we invented to help us remember directions? Something about nice Evie sipping water was it? Or was it the cautionary one about never eating squashy worms?) towards the Indian subcontinent, let's hear from Maya who wants us to go with her to Kerala in India, where communists.....
are leading the country and there is violence as the people are trying to stop them from leading the country. Danah has an important question. "What's a communist?" she asks. "I don't know," is the prompt response from Maya. But, she has promised that she will try find out; important, as a quick check round the class found that no one really quite understands.
Staying in India, but heading northwards now, where Tanmay tells us that in Assam "...lots of elephants had been coming and annoying people and taking a bath in their water and removing wet clothes off the drying place and stepping on it - and even killing people - so they put hot chillies.....
on the outside of the fence so when the elephants came they would smell the chillies and it would keep them away - and their plan worked!" (Let's clear up a little misconception at this point; to an American boy, chili is a tasty dish made con carne or with meat and red kidney beans.
This is not what they used!)
Onwards and eastwards and Michelle tells us that many dinosaur bones have been found in Mongolia in a place called the Gobi desert.
Scientists from many countries study them in Mongolia.
Let's head south(ish) towards Australia now, where Per has some family news. "In my family," he says, "my uncle found a huge long fish on a beach and he was in the newspaper and on the TV." Which could be one of those odd coincidences that I like so much, because, would you believe it, Matthew Duke's story, "is sort of like Per's but my granddad he went fishing and he caught a fish (THIS big).....
and he went in the news and he has a picture." What, I wonder, is it about Australians and fishing this week?
OK. Zip across the Pacific Ocean and head for the US of A where, shock horror, Macdo (as we call it hereabouts) has been having a bit of bother with their tomatoes. Over to you Joe.
"The tomatoes have a sickness," he begins. He continues sotto voce, "If a cow poops in a stream then the water gets polluted. If the farmers use the water to water the tomatoes, they will get this sickness (salmonella). If someone eats the tomato, they will have stomach problems and diarrhoea and if you don't treat it with medicine it could be deadly; you could even die. So McDonald's have had to remove tomatoes from the menu!"
"I don't go to McDonald's because my dad is a bit worried about the same thing," Evie tells us.
Matthew W next. In Europe. "UK scientists," he begins proudly, "have made a missile which they are going to send off to the moon. And the scientists have put some instruments inside which will help them find out some information about the moon."
"Oooh!" That's our space correspondent. "In the US they are debating about sending a spaceship up to drop a satellite for the same reason."
Still in the UK. A woolly story now. From Fiona. "Prince Charles, the next king of England, he has some sheep but the sheep get killed by foxes. Instead he put other animals in the field that look like sheep but they have long necks (alpacas).....
(these are three from Walnut Creek)
and they kick the foxes." We also read that they spit out something quite revolting - no, don't ask! Cute and fluffy they may be, but I would advise keeping one's distance!
Our final story in this batch is the sad tale of the stranded dolphins, as told by Evie. "In London (read England) on many beaches, some dolphins have been swimming too close to the tide and they got onto the sand and they can't get back to the sea - and so they die.
Lots of English people are trying to help but they are too heavy."
We had lots of suggestions as to how to help, ranging from nets and trucks and hooks, to using a stretcher. But the fact is that when a dolphin is out of the water, the weight of its own body is too great for the organs inside, and it kind of suffocates.
I said in this batch because (yawn).....
ALL of the pending stories have a similar sporting theme. It cannot have escaped your attention (much as you might like it to!) that there is a bit of football being played in our midst at the moment. Flags dangle out of every window on my route in to work! Of every hue (but seemingly mostly Portuguese as it happens!)
But do you know what? I am afraid you will have to wait until tomorrow's exciting episode because right now (all that yawning!) I really do have to call it a day. Goodnight all!