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Obama oil                  EPISODE 17

                           22ND JUNE 2010

Soccer horns

Asian languages
Feral goats

Roller derby
Focus Questions

                     EPISODE 17

                     22ND JUNE 2010

                     Learning Area
                     Society and

                     Key learning
                     Students will
Learning languages   investigate the
                     benefits of
                     learning another
 Related Research Links
Best of BtN
                        EPISODE 17

                        22ND JUNE 2010

                        Learning Area
                        Society and

                        Key learning
                        Students will
                        choose five
                        stories to create
                        a `Best of BtN’
                        and update the
                        stories with new

Further investigation
 Related Research Links
   BtN: Episode 17 Transcripts

   On this week's Behind the News

       The sound of South Africa leaves frustrated soccer fans
       reaching for the earplugs.

       Why studying Asian languages is becoming less popular.

       And step aside Bond – we meet Australia’s first spy goats.

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

Also on the show today Kirsty gets her skates on and has a go at the
sport of roller derby.

It’s seriously good fun, but first...

Oil Update
Reporter: Sarah Larsen

INTRO: You might remember us telling you about the massive oil
spill which started in April, off the West coast of the US.

Well, if you've watched the news since then you'll know that it's not
over yet by a long shot.

Some of the oil's being captured now but there's still a lot leaking
into the ocean and it's killing wildlife and destroying livelihoods.
And as Sarah reports, it's also threatening the U.S. Government.

You're looking at The United States' worst environmental disaster in
action. More than a kilometre under the sea a pipe is spewing oil into
the Gulf of Mexico. It's here off the coast of Louisiana and from
satellites you can see how far the oil has spread. On the surface the
mess is even clearer.

REPORTER: If you've ever gotten your hands on oil you might have
some idea of why it's a huge problem for wildlife. This stuff doesn't
wash off easily.

Wildlife workers are flat out trying to save as many critters as they
can, like these baby pelicans. They have to be washed in soapy water
to get the oil off and give them a chance of surviving. People are
suffering too. Local tourism and fishing businesses are losing money.

LOUISIANA LOCAL: I just hope that once they clean it up it won't be
years before we're catching oysters again. That's all I ever done that's
all I know.

It all started back in April when a BP oil drilling rig exploded and
killed 11 people. A valve on the well-head failed and high-pressure oil
and gas gushed to the surface. As the rig sank it dragged down the
riser pipe which carried oil to the surface. It twisted across the sea bed
and started to leak.

BP tried sending down robots to turn off the valves in the well head
but that didn't work. So they tried putting a dome over the main leaks
to catch the oil but that didn't work either. Next they put in a kind of
hose to pump some of the oil to the surface. Then they blasted mud
and debris into the well-head to clog it up but that didn't work either.
Next they sent robots down to cut off the damaged riser pipe. They
attached a new pipe to carry more oil to the surface.

They're also drilling two new wells which will meet up with the
original hole. When cement's poured in it should squeeze the hole
shut but that could take months. Meanwhile millions of litres of oil
are leaking into the ocean every day and people are angry. They're
angry with BP and they're angry with the U.S. government.

REPORTER: A lot of Americans reckon the government hasn't done
enough to stop the spill so there's a lot of pressure on the President.

BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: I ultimately take responsibility
for solving this problem. I'm the President and the buck stops with

Of course, Obama didn't cause the oil leak but when there's a disaster
people want to see their leader taking action; even if it's just being
there, talking to people and talking tough with the culprits and in the
past few weeks that's what Obama's been doing.

BARACK OBAMA: We will fight this spill with everything we've got
for as long as it takes.

BP's boss has promised to pay for the clean-up and put billions of
dollars into a fund for people who've been affected. But as the oil
continues to spill, patience is wearing thin and it could be a long time
before life returns to normal on the Gulf of Mexico.

Reporter: Nathan Bazely

INTRO: The World Cup in South Africa is providing the planet with
a unique glimpse into the culture of that beautiful country.

But there are some parts of the culture that aren't going down as
well as others.
A humble horn called a Vuvuzela is causing more controversy at the
tournament than any bad decision from a referee could.

There have even been calls to ban them.

So why are so many people sounding off?

NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTING: Music comes in all different forms.

There's pop, there's dance and there's classical, to name a few.

Then there's this.

It's the Vuvuzela, a traditional South African trumpet which literally
translates as "making noise".

And boy do they!

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Isn't it just a loud noise?

SPECTATOR: No, it's music depending how you want to hear it.

But visitors don't seem to agree, if the fast sales of earplugs are any

ENGLISH FAN: Well to be honest they ruin the atmosphere, it's just a
drony noise.

And it's a noise that seems just as loud on the pitch, as it is in the
Players have complained that they can't hear the ref, or their

So what is this horn, and why are South African's crazy about it?

Well there are a few arguments about its history.

This group says their church invented it a hundred years ago.

While others say it was invented by hunters to scare their prey.

It's meant to sound like an elephant, which is why some of the games
sound like they're in the middle of a stampede!

But either way, it has been a favourite part of South African sport for
quite a while.

Kids even learn to play them in some schools!

NATHAN: This is one of the vuvuzelas, being used in their thousands
in South Africa right now. To play one, you just do a bit of a raspberry
in this end. Okay, maybe I'll stick to my vuvuzela phone app.

The arguments against them are not just about the repetitive drone,
but the volume.

Vuvuzelas are around 127 decibels loud. That's louder than an alarm
clock, louder than a chainsaw, and only a bit quieter than a gunshot.

They are so loud, doctors are actually worried about fans damaging
their ears.
The other argument is that they drown out all the other ways of
supporting your team.

SOCCER FAN: It would be nice if it was weaker and you could still
sing, the problem is there is no more singing anymore and I find that
very sad.

Chanting and singing is a huge tradition for soccer fans.

Then there are the other types of sporting music.

There can be steel drums and other beats.

And here in Oz at AFL and netball games, we'll often bang things
together for a bit of a beat.

But the vuvuzela is apparently taking it all too far.

They even faced strong calls for a ban, but the soccer bosses have said
no way.

FIFA ORGANISER: It is a world event run by South Africa, so as our
guests please embrace our culture, please embrace the way we

I think I'll do just that, although possibly not as well.

Presenter: Ok, that’s an issue that a lot of people seem to have
strong ideas about, so let’s make that our poll this week.

Online Poll
The question is:

Should the vuvuzela be banned from World Cup matches?

To vote just head to our website –

Presenter: Also on the website you’ll find a funny video of the BtN
team – each having a go on the vuvuzela. I have to confess I was
pretty shocking.

Asian Languages
Reporter: Kirsty Bennett

INTRO: Now when it comes to studying languages at school there
are a stack of options Italian, Spanish, French just to name a few.

But there's one group of languages that doesn't seem too popular in
Aussie schools.

New research has found that students are steering away from
studying Asian languages like Japanese and Korean.

And that's got some people worried Kirsty explains why.

KIRSTY BENNETT, REPORTER: OK these kids aren't turning
Japanese - they're learning Japanese!

KEN, STUDENT: I chose Japanese 'cause I thought it was really
interesting and I really like learning it.
LILIAN, STUDENT: My parents influenced me to do it and yeah
that's like I made a change in my life and now like I've been learning
like Japanese and Chinese then I think they're really interesting.

KIRSTY: But don't be fooled by how easy they make it look! Learning
a language takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the benefits
can be worth it!

Learning a language is about more than just knowing how to order
food. It could help you work in another country and make travel a
whole lot easier!

You could work as a nurse overseas or get into the tourism industry
here in Australia. Even our PM knows Mandarin Chinese, which came
in handy when he was a diplomat. Kevin Rudd reckons speaking an
Asian language is so important that he promised to get more students
studying one.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: I've said before that I want to
make Australia the most Asia literate country in the western world.

KIRSTY: So in 2008, the Australian Government pumped millions of
dollars into a program to get more school kids studying Asian
languages. So you're probably thinking why Asia?

Well Asia is one of Australia's closest neighbours and we do a lot of
business there, trading goods and services. But it's not just about
being better at business!

JAMES, STUDENT: If you can communicate with those people in
their own language then we can all get along better together.

KIRSTY: The government's plan was to double the number of year 12
students who are fluent in an Asian language by 2020. But some say
it's all talk. New research shows that more students are dropping
these courses. Some, like Indonesian, might disappear altogether.
MELBOURNE: If that decline continues in 10 years we'll be down to
zero. It's now a language in jeopardy, in crisis, in our schools. Unless
something dramatic is done it will be gone.

KIRSTY: And sadly for many it's not a big priority with exams on the

KEN: If I have a lot of work in other subjects I might have to quit it
but I don't want to.

KIRSTY: Some teachers say interest is dropping across all languages -
not just Asian ones. But if they are choosing a language, it seems a
European language, like French, is the preferred option!

FRANKSTON HIGH SCHOOL: I think it's often because parents
encourage them to choose a language that they can help with and
most parents have studied French in their past

ASHLEY, STUDENT: I think 'cause people, like, want to travel to,
like, Paris and stuff, they think they might do French 'cause they
might get the opportunity to do that more than Indonesia.

KIRSTY: People are connecting around the globe at a rate like never
before, so whether it's technology, travel or trade it sounds like a
second language could come in handy!

Presenter: And on the subject of language, let’s have a quiz.

Quiz 1

Which language is spoken by the most people?



Answer: Mandarin

Mandarin is the main language of China, but there are many others
like Cantonese.

Spy Goats
Reporter: Nathan Bazley

INTRO: Australia has just recruited a new batch of top spies but
what's unusual about these undercover agents is that they're goats!

It might sound a bit unreal, but the spy goats are on a special
mission to track down feral goats before handing them over to

They even carry the type of spy gadgets that would make James
Bond proud.

Sarah looks at their first mission on an Island in South Australia
where goat is turning against goat.

Things might look peaceful here on Kangaroo Island but don't be
deceived. This is an island under siege; munched, trampled,
terrorised by goats! Ok, so goats aren't that scary. In fact some locals
enjoy watching them wander about the island. But for some native
species they're a nightmare.
REPORTER: And if you've ever known a goat you might be able to
guess why. These guys eat just about anything!

On Kangaroo Island, their favourite meal is a native plant called
Drooping Sheoak. That's bad news for these glossy black Cockatoos.
They're endangered and the goats' favourite meal is the only thing
they eat.

PIP MASTERS, FERAL ANIMAL PROJECT: If we don't do anything
about the goats, you know what, it's just one more thing that the
glossies have to deal with, which is less food, basically. Hunters help
to keep the population down by shooting feral goats but they can be
hard to find. But now the hunters have a secret weapon and it comes
from a goat farm near Adelaide. These might look like ordinary
nannies and billies but they're soon to become spy goats! Their
mission; to travel to Kangaroo Island and go deep into feral goat
territory, making friends with the local goats and letting the hunters
know exactly where they are. The spy goats' secret weapon is a special
radio collar that hunters can track.

basically adapt our radio tracker to that particular frequency that
individual goat is emitting and we can locate that goat from several
kilometres away and track it and pinpoint that animal and then
obviously find the feral goats that are with it.
Ratting out your own kind might seem pretty sneaky. But these goats
are doing an important job and the guys back in mission control
respect them for it.

NICK MARKOPOULOS: Anyone that sort of works with the program
generally gets a goat named after them so we've had a few Brentons
and Rorys and Marcos and we've got some goats that we name after
family and friends as well.

So far they've managed to get rid of about 1000 feral goats. Now they
reckon there's only about 100 left on the island. But not all locals are
happy to see the end of the feral goats.
JIM CHAPMAN, FARMER: It's been part of my life growing up. We
ate them and, you know, people with their hunting stories and their
camping stories - out with the goats and creeping up on them and
catching them in small mobs and just viewing them and enjoying

But environmentalists say the island's much better off without feral
goats. Vegetation is growing back and native animals are thriving. All
thanks to the undercover work of a few special agents!

Presenter: Definitely not as smooth as James Bond. Let’s have a
quiz now.

Quiz 2

Let’s have a quiz now.

Which country produces the most goat meat?




Answer: China

Presenter: And did you know that goat meat is eaten more than any
other meat in the world.
Also the first country to start breeding goats specifically for their meat
was South Africa.

And that's where we're going next for a round-up of the action in the
soccer World Cup in the score.

The Score

The Socceroos took to the pitch on Saturday night facing Ghana
without star striker Tim Cahill.

But it didn't take the Aussies long to get one up - Brett Holman
charged in on a Mark Bresciano free kick, capitalising on a keeper

But disaster struck soon after though when Harry Kewell was red-
carded for a handball on the goal line - a decision which has been
heavily criticised since.

The penalty sent Ghana to the spot where they converted to draw

The Socceroos were forced to defend with only ten men on the field
which they did solidly.

They even created a few chances but in the end could put one away
leaving both teams stranded on a draw.

Australia now needs to hope for an unlikely scenario where Ghana
either beats Germany in the group's final round, or thrash Serbia if
Germany win.

But for many Socceroos fans hope is better than none at all.

There's better news for soccer fans across the Tasman after New
Zealand pulled off one of the big shocks of the World Cup so far
holding defending champions Italy to a 1 all draw.

The Kiwi's grabbed their first through Shane Smeltz before the
Italians managed to draw level through a dubious penalty in the box.

To give you an idea of how big an upset that is, Italy are the 5th
ranked team in the world while New Zealand are sitting way back in

The draw leaves New Zealand equal with Italy in their group giving
them an unexpected chance of progressing through to the next round.

Roller Derby
Reporter: Kirsty Bennett

INTRO: Now to another sport. You may not have heard of it, but
Roller Derby has been around for 60 years and there are signs it's
about to make a comeback.

Keen skaters from around the country have just had the sport's first
national comp. in Australia.

The Great Southern Slam attracted more than five hundred skaters
from all over the country and New Zealand.

So what's this sport all about?
Kirsty threw on some skates to find out why fans say this sport is in
a league of its own.

KIRSTY BENNETT, REPORTER: You could be mistaken for thinking
they were going into battle. Well you're not that far off!

Welcome to the world of roller derby!

"KIT CAT CRUNCH", SKATER: It's pretty, it's probably, the fastest
growing female sport in the world actually and in Australia this event
just shows how big it's getting.

KIRSTY: The sport started in the 1930s and became really popular in
the US in the 40s and 50s. But a few decades later it died out. In
2001, the sport made a comeback in Texas and eventually made its
way to Australia. There are now 20 leagues for women across the
country and some new ones popping up for guys.

It may look like chaos to us but those in the know say there are some
rules! The idea is to score points by getting one of your team to lap
people on the other team. That person is called the jammer! It's a
contact sport so that means that pretty much anything goes.

"ROLLBAR", REFEREE: Basically the idea is you want to get your
body in front of them to block them rather than swinging your fists or
anything like that.

KIRSTY: If the ref. reckons you're too rough, you get some time-out
on the sidelines.

So what does it take to be a great roller derby skater? Well I'm about
to find out!

After some time and a helping hand I was fully decked out. The
moment had come to see if I could roll with the best of them!
KIRSTY: My first roller skating experience! How do I turn?

ADRIAN: Lean forward, lean forward.

KIRSTY: OK maybe not. To get into a roller derby team you need to
be good on skates and have a stack of courage.

"KIT CAT CRUNCH": Within our own team, we've had broken ankles,
broken wrists it is a bit dangerous but we're all here to have fun as

ZOE, SPECTATOR: I like it because the girls that go out there they
show how tough and rough that girls can be.

KIRSTY: There's also a strict fitness schedule to stick to!

"MELVIN STAR", SKATER: You need to be really fit to be able to do
this. We train three times a week for a couple of hours at a time and
on top of that some people do outdoor skating as well. So yeah it's
pretty brutal, tough sport so you definitely need to be fit for sure.

KIRSTY: But while they take the sport seriously, they don't take
themselves too seriously! They each act as quirky characters in battle
and there're a few fun nicknames. But when it's game on, it's down to
business and that means crunch time.

Tumbles don't just stay on the track either. When you're this close to
the action, players can sometimes fall into the crowd!

HANNAH, SPECTATOR: We were sitting in the crowd and someone
came and they put their hands out and they came into us.

KIRSTY: You need to be 18 and over to get into a team but there are
already some young guns with the sport in their sights.
KIRSTY: Any chance that you'd get out there?
ZOE: Yeah, I love roller skating.
KIRSTY: What position would you like to play?
ZOE: Jammer!

KIRSTY: So with enthusiasm like that, it sounds like roller derby is
here to stay!

Presenter: Looks like Kirsty has literally fallen head over heels for
that sport.


Now before we go... we'll show you some pictures of a new craze in

This guy might look like a turtle but underneath his shell, there's
actually a whole lot of fur!

He's just one of six coloured pooches on display at this pet spa in

It's all part of a new fad for China's rich dog lovers.

They're getting their pets coloured and trimmed to make them look
like different animals or even characters like Spiderman.

Although it's been criticised by some as being unkind to the dogs.
Well, they certainly look funny - not sure it'll catch on over here

That's it for today. We take a break for the school holidays now, so
we'll see you again next term!

Have a good one!

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