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									BtN: Episode 25 Transcripts                                                15/09/09

On this week's Behind the News:

    Is your shopping centre being taken over by giants?
    The kids being targeted by smoking companies.
    And the girl who won a dream ride to understand the centre of the earth.

Hi I'm Nathan Bazley welcome to Behind the News.

Also on the show today – meet the creatures behind the mermaid legends.

But first let’s bring you up to date with the latest news.


The Wire
Students across the country have helped launch a computer safety programme.

The aim is to warn kids of the dangers on-line - and coincides with national child
protection week.

The program is a virtual ‘whodunnit’ where they have to save a friend from an online
stranger .

STUDENT: We don't know - Well we've got to figure out who's trying to contact us on the
phone cause we don't know who this 'Kel' guy is.

After ten minutes they were hooked.

STUDENT: We got a new one. If you don't understand a question just ask them and
they'll help you out - ooh, we've got a new one... oop, sorry.

And the message is sinking in.

STUDENT: Don’t trust anyone. Don't trust anyone cause you might, you know, don't trust
anyone that you just met on the computer, or things like that.

A new scenario involving cyber bullying may be launched next year.

**********



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Last week we told you about kids wanting to sail solo around the world. This week there
was a dramatic development to the story.

Jessica Watson the 16 year old Aussie we met had an accident just as she was sailing to
Sydney to start her round the world attempt.

She had to return home to Mooloolaba after her yacht collided with a cargo ship.

She said she was below decks, and didn't see the 225 metre ship.

JESSICA: "I go it's all right. I'm ok. But I've just lost half my mast."

Jessica will have her boat repaired but will still try for the record.

Her parents had been criticised for allowing their daughter to undertake the journey.


Poll
Really highlights the dangers of the trip, doesn't it? Although by all reports she handled
the situation pretty well.

To get your thoughts on it all, we'll make that our poll this week.

The question is “Should kids be allowed to sail solo around the world?"

If you want to vote, go to our website.


Poll Results
And we had a very interesting result to last week's vote.

The question was : 'Should junk food ads be banned in kids' TV?'

48 per cent said yes - 52 per cent said no!

Absolutely borderline there - and here are some of your reasons ...

Connor: Food ads are so yum why should we ban them?

Petzza : I think it’s revolting.

Bailey : I think no ads should be on unless they are censored because we are now the
world's fattest country.

Chriso: It doesn't matter what the ads tell the kids, it's all up to the parents.
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Snurgen: I think they should ban it during kids' shows because kids get more influenced
than adults.

Claire: I believe the real contributors to obesity are video games and watching too much
TV. Why ban the ads?

Shannon: There should be ads just at night time when the children are in bed

Sharni: I reckon we should be allowed to watch food ads because it's our choice what we
want to do.

Presenter: And there’s still time to have your say on our website.


Supermarket Giants
Reporter: Catherine Ellis

INTRO: OK it's time for our first feature.

Think about all the food your family eats - does it come from a supermarket? If so, which
one?

If you go around your classroom, you would most likely not hear too many different
answers.

That's because there's a couple of giants out there that some people think are a bit too
hungry!

Here's Catherine to explain.

CATHERINE ELLIS, REPORTER: It's hard to believe that not all that long ago
supermarkets didn't exist!

There were individually owned little grocery stores where customers read out what they
wanted, while assistants fetched each item, measured it out and packaged it up.

It was only about 80 years ago that the first supermarkets were born. Retailers realised
that by selling in bulk, they could cut their prices and customers would come running!

But gradually over the years, as the little guys couldn't compete anymore, they got knocked
out of the market and the big guys continued to grow.

Now the giants don't just own supermarkets.



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They've bought up all sorts of stuff; including petrol stations, liquor stores, hotels and
gaming businesses, insurance, electronics and department stores!

When it comes to liquor stores they own almost half the market!

Same goes for petrol.

As for Hotels and Gaming, Woolworths is the biggest operator in Australia.

Did you know Woolworths own Big W and the Coles people own Target and Kmart, and
together they control more than 60 per cent of the department store market!

Guess who owns Bunnings? The Coles people do!

And now Woolworths wants to buy into the Hardware and Home Improvement markets
too. It's a huge industry worth $36 billion dollars!

They're looking to buy up stores and locations across the country and it's got a lot of people
worried.

Some people say small operators will be squeezed out.

And that's a worry because the less competition there is the more power the big guys have
to raise prices.

But the big businesses disagree.

They say it allows them to sell stuff cheaper - so shoppers benefit.

There is a government group in charge of all this.

It's called the A-triple-C, which stands for Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission. It's there to make stuff fair for customers and business.

They have to do lots of research before they give permission to companies like Woolworths
to enter a new market, but with Woolworths latest push into the Hardware and Home
Improvement industry - some people say the ACCC is not being tough enough.

And they're calling for it to do more to stop the giants taking over.

There's a lot of debate about whether shoppers have benefited from cheaper prices or not.

But there's no debating the fact that the independently owned and local stores are fast
becoming a thing of the past.




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Presenter: OK, next we’re going to talk about another big debate – smoking. But we’ll
start off with a quiz.



Quiz 1
When was tobacco advertising banned at all Australian sporting events?
  1. 1996
  2. 2001
  3. 2006

Answer: 2006


Smoking Danger
Reporter: Nathan Bazley

INTRO: Yep, really not that long ago!
In Australia now, you'd have to say the dangers of smoking are well known and there are
pretty tight restrictions on how cigarettes are marketed.

But not everywhere in the world is like here. In Indonesia, there are very few rules, and
the rules that are there are pretty much ignored. It's led to many kids taking up the
habit, so we thought we'd have a closer look at the problem.

NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: It's Saturday night and for the young people of Jakarta,
Indonesia, that means party time.

This is a big music festival, but you'll notice signs for something called 'LA Lights'
everywhere.

And I mean everywhere!

That's a brand of cigarettes in Indonesia and tonight they are being pushed on kids as they
enjoy the show.

Free lighters and smokes are handed out all night. The cost of the event itself was even
covered by the brand.

In fact, in this town, it's hard to find a concert or sporting event NOT sponsored by tobacco
companies.

It's all trying to convince the kids of Indonesia that smoking is cool. But far from that
image, Indonesia is now finding itself dying in a cloud of smoke.



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Indonesia is a country just to the north of Australia. But while the two countries are very
close, their rules on smoking are miles apart.

NATHAN: Here we are very strict. People can't smoke inside most public places, cigarette
advertising is banned, it's against the law to buy smokes under 18 and tobacco is taxed
heavily to make smoking expensive. We also have huge education campaigns warning of
the health risks.

But the story in Indonesia couldn't be more different.

There are essentially no restrictions on where and when you can light up.

And anyone can buy and smoke cigarettes, even kids your age!

Very few people here know about the dangers of smoking either.

Most have just never been told about it.

To make matters worse the habit is very affordable because of the low taxes on cigarettes.

In Australia a pack usually costs over ten bucks. In Indonesia they can be less than a dollar.

All of these factors add up to one huge problem.

But while it's easy to point the finger at Indonesia, you might not realise that Australia was
much the same 'til around thirty-five years ago.

In those days cigarette advertising was everywhere and you could smoke pretty much
anywhere.

Since then the government and health groups have worked hard to cut advertising, educate
people and limit where you can light up.

Indonesia is still a long way from that.

Hundreds of billions of cigarettes are sold there each year.

More and more young people are buy ing them and getting hooked, which is a goldmine for
tobacco companies.

But there is a terrible downside to all this cash - and it can be seen in Indonesia's hospitals.

400,000 people will die from smoking related illnesses within a year.

It's a scary number, but one Indonesia seems to be ignoring for now.

And they aren't the only country taking that approach.
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But others, including Australia, are fully aware of the deadly realities of this habit and are
trying to stop people smoking anyway they can.

Because they know it's only a matter of time until the true costs really hit home.



Kid Geologist
Reporter: Sarah Larsen

INTRO: Have you ever wanted to fly in a helicopter or get inside a submarine?

Well some lucky kids have done just that. It's all part of an idea to show kids that their
hobbies can lead to amazing careers in science.

But not enough kids are thinking about those jobs, and as Sarah discovered, there's a lot
more to it than lab coats and test tubes.

SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: How's this for work experience? Emma's in year 9, and
she won a competition giving kids a chance to experience the best of their favourite science
subject so she's being flown around in a chopper, checking out mountains, mines,
coastlines and more! Her guide is Greg Swain: Exploration Geologist.

GREG: I always liked exploring around the rocks and looking around the caves. I always
had a keen sense of adventure.

Greg's part of a program designed to show kids just how diverse and exciting jobs in
science can be.

GREG: I found geology answered some of the questions I had about how the world is.

REPORTER: You see, while some kids love maths and science, others don't! There aren't
enough kids studying it and that's a real problem because there are thousands of very cool
jobs out there in need of young scientific minds.

The South Australian Government set out to show kids there's more to it than numbers
and lab coats. It recruited everyone from video game designers to Antarctic explorers to
give kids a day of ultimate work experience in their favourite scientific fields.

EMMA: Well first I heard of it in the school bulletin and I thought it sounded interesting
and you only live once so I though why not and because it had something to do with
geology I was interested in it and I wanted to find out more and learn more.

GREG: Geology is basically studying how the earth works - how the earth formed.


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Under our feet there's a lot more going on that you might think.

GREG: At the moment we're standing on a thin layer of crust, like an orange peel on the
outside of an orange so we've got a really thin layer which is solid and everything else is
liquid.

REPORTER: You might wonder what a helicopter has to do with geology - well sometimes
the best way to see what going on under the ground is from the sky.

Geos take to the sky with special equipment that can measure variations in things like
gravity and magnetism. What they're looking for are valuable deposits of stuff gold and
copper.

REPORTER: It’s all a bit like a detective story. They look at clues like the shape of the hills,
patterns in the rock and even stones on the ground to figure out what precious minerals
might be nearby.

This is the sort of stuff that got Emma hooked on Geology

EMMA: It's not just rocks and everything - although that's the main part of it - it's just how
everything is and the world.

Getting her hands dirty has made Emma even more interested in science. And she reckons
if more kids realised what was out there, they'd be more willing to give it a go.

Presenter: Pretty good perk of the job – and just another reason to get into the sciences!
Still on a geological theme, time for another quiz.



Quiz 2
Which one of these metals is the most valuable?

   1. Gold
   2. Platinum
   3. Silver

The answer is – Platinum.

At the moment Platinum costs around one third more than gold and about 80 times more
than silver. Better get myself a shovel.


Dugongs
Reporter: Catherine Ellis


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INTRO: We've all seen the movie or heard about mermaids. Now of course they don't
exist - but where on earth did the idea come from?

It's believed to have originated from tales of a mysterious sea creature called the
Dugong!

But despite the stories, this giant sea mammal is now in trouble.

Catherine discovered a group of people that once hunted them - is now helping to save
them!

CATHERINE ELLIS, REPORTER: What grows up to 500 kilograms and grazes on grass?

A 'sea cow'!

Although officially these guys are called 'Dugongs'.

They munch on tonnes of seaweed - because unlike seals and dolphins which hunt for fish -
these guys are herbivorous!

They're found in shallow, calm waters off northern Australia - from Shark Bay in Western
Australia around to the border of Queensland and New South Wales.

There's believed to be about 80-thousand of them within Oz with about 12-thousand in the
Great Barrier Reef.

And how big do you reckon Dugongs can grow in length? They can grow up to three metres
which is almost two of me!

The Dugongs spend their entire lives at sea, but they do come to the surface to take large
gulps of air.

And some people reckon the female Dugongs can look a bit human-like when they do that
and that's believed to be what led lonely fisherman many years ago to tell tales of
mermaids - and they became the stories you still see in mov ies

But now the Dugong is showing signs of becoming extinct.

They're hunted by sharks, crocs and killer whales, but their biggest threat is humans.

The dugongs get trapped in fishing and shark nets, they're hit and killed by boats and their
seagrass meadows are decreasing because of pollution from industry and agriculture.

Dugongs have played an important part in the traditions and culture of Indigenous
Australians, who've hunted them for centuries.


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But now a group is chasing them for a very different reason.

Just north of Broome in WA, these Aboriginal rangers are tagging dugongs and turtles with
satellite tracking devices and are watching their movements on the internet.

They're worried about numbers and want to find out more about the population here.

They also want to learn more about what the mammals get up to in the wild to see exactly
what impact humans are having on them.

Some Indigenous leaders are calling for a total ban on hunting dugongs.

They say it wasn't so bad in the past because spears limited the amount people could catch,
but with speed boats and new gadgets dugongs can be caught in bigger numbers.

They also say some Indigenous Australians are catching them to sell their meat illegally.

Currently dugongs are on the Aussie endangered species list, but these guys in WA, and
other researchers around Oz, hope by learning more about the mysterious creatures, they'll
be able protect them from extinction.

Presenter: I’m not sure how good those sailors’ eyes must have been to mistake them for
people.

Anyway, we know mermaids aren’t real, so for our last quiz today, we’ll bust some other
myths.


Quiz 3
Which of these birds really lived?

   1. Griffin
   2. Dodo
   3. Phoenix

Answer: Dodo

It was a flightless bird standing about a metre tall, but it's been extinct for about 300 years.
The phoenix and griffin came from ancient Greek stories, but you probably know them
from Harry Potter

History lesson over - time to check out some sport with Sarah.



The Score
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Jockeys have gone on strike over new rules to limit how many times they can whip their
horses. The rules mean a horse can only be struck 18 times during a race but the jockeys
are angry because they reckon whips aren't cruel and they need to use them to control the
horses.

*************
Bernard Tomic has become the first Aussie to win the US Open's Boys Junior title in 25
years. The 16-year old knocked off American Chase Buchanan. It's Tomic's second grand
slam win- last year he became the youngest player to win a Junior T itle at the Australian
Open.
*************
But it wasn't such a good US Open for Serena Williams. She was foot-faulted and went
berserk - verbally abusing and threatening a lineswoman. Williams was handed a point
penalty which meant Belgian Kim Clijsters took the match but the controversy didn't finish
there. Williams was fined 10 thousand US dollars and many want her suspended from the
game.

Presenter: Do you reckon she should be suspended? And what about using whips in
horse racing? Tell us what you think in the guest book.


Refugee Tennis
Reporter: Nathan Bazley

INTRO: Now let's look at a very positive tennis story. Imagine moving to a completely
different country - a different language, different customs and different schools. How
would you make friends?

Well there are a few programs out there designed to help, and one we're going to look at
today uses racquets to help kids hit their way into a new life.


NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: Around Australia, thousands of kids get involved in
tennis lessons each week, but this group is a little different to most.

Each Sunday they come here to have a hit, under the expert tutelage of Virgil and his
apprentice Aruf.

JUSTINE: I enjoy tennis because I get to do more running and because I like to be
challenged and the high shots are pretty cool as well.

But the kids here are learning much more than a great overhead smash.

They're learning to make friends of all different cultures and have a whole lot of fun!



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The story of how this multicultural tennis academy came to be starts with Aruf around four
years ago when he was 14, as he took a stroll down the beach and happened upon some
tennis courts.

ARUF AHMADI: There's some people that were playing tennis, and I just look at them for
half an hour and decided I like it.

But it wasn't quite that easy. Aruf is from Afghanistan, a country you would have heard a
lot about in the news.

Soldiers from Australia, American and many other countries are there right now fighting a
war against the Taliban, who used to control the place.

In the past they used to hurt and even kill the ethnic group Aruf belongs to, so his family
escaped to Australia.

But he'd never even seen a game of tennis, let alone know its rules.

VIRGIL GONCALVES: One day, he'd actually broken a few strings, and his mum - when he
took the racquet home, his mum saw that the strings were broken and she actually threw
the racquet away because she thought it was irrepairable.

ARUF AHMADI: And then next day, again, I said, "Where's my tennis racquet?," and she's
like, "What's that? Tennis racquet?" There is the thing which you call tennis racquet, you
play tennis with it. And then I explained a description, and she's like, "Ah, I think I just
throw it in the bin."

It wasn't the best start, but already Aruf is showing amazing talent. He's now the best
junior player the club has and he and his coach Virgil, have decided to pass on their
knowledge to more kids from other countries.

Maketh and Achok are from Sudan and are pretty competitive.

MAKETH: But I'm better in serving - I'm better than all of them.

ACHOK: You're not, actually.

MAKETH: No, I am.

ACHOK: No you're not.

They, just like most of the kids here, love the program because if helps them find friends
here in their new home, making it a smash hit, both on and off the court, though these guys
might not even make it back out to play.


Closer
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I get the feeling that argument might go on for a while! There's more of those two on our
website.

That's it for today, catch you next time!




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