Questions for discussion 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 Environment Key learning Students will Learning languages investigate the benefits of learning another language. Related Research Links Best of BtN EPISODE 17 22ND JUNE 2010 Learning Area Society and Environment, English Key learning Students will choose five stories to create a `Best of BtN’ and update the stories with new information. Further investigation Related Research Links BtN: Episode 17 Transcripts 22/06/10 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 me 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. Vuvuzelas 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 indication. 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 stands. Players have complained that they can't hear the ref, or their teammates. 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 celebrate. 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 – abc.net.au/btn. 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. PROFESSOR TIM LINDSEY, ASIAN LAW, UNIVERSITY OF 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 horizon. 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! JUDITH GUZYS-MCAULIFFE, LANGUAGES COORDINATOR, 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? Spanish English Mandarin 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 hunters. 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. NICK MARKOPOULOS, FERAL ANIMAL PROJECT: We can 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 them. 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? Australia China India 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 fumble. 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 level. 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 78th. 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 well. 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. Closer Now before we go... we'll show you some pictures of a new craze in China. 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 China. 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 though. 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!