News for Kids

Here you will find a new section with news for kids. Please bookmark this page as we will post new articles on a regular basis and plan to expand this page by adding different news sections with fun world news and travel news which are really worth knowing about. These news have been selected by our team of junior editors and we are sure your children will enjoy to read them as much as we do.

Let's start with the latest fascinating world news:

Reading and Swimming in the Dead Sea

13 July 2017

© dpa

What is this we see? A man reading his newspaper while floating in the water. Another man is covered in mud. What is going on? These two men are in the Dead Sea. This is a saltwater lake that lies between the countries of Jordan and Israel in the Middle East.

The lake's salt content is very high. It is almost ten times higher than the ocean. This makes the water very thick. It is because of this that people can float in the water without sinking.

It also means that there are no almost no fish or plants in the lake. They cannot survive in such a salty environment. Even birds stay away. This is why it is called the Dead Sea. However, some bacteria do live in it.

The water contains a lot of minerals. Many people believe it is good for the body and skin. Some people go there to use the water and mud to help treat their medical conditions. Other people go there just to feel what it is like to float like a cork.  © source: dpa news for kids

Helping more Refugees

12 July 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Getting into a boat and going to Europe - this is often the last hope for many people in war-torn parts of Africa and the Middle East. They are fleeing from their home countries, either because of war, other conflicts or severe food shortages. These people are known as refugees. They hope that they will lead better lives in Europe.

However, the journey across the sea is dangerous because most refugees travel illegally. This means they do not have the correct documents. They have to travel without authorities knowing about them. Many people have died trying to reach Europe.

A lot of refugees try to reach Italy in southern Europe. The country just across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa has been taking in a lot of people. Experts say more than 84 000 refugees arrived in Italy by sea in the first six months of this year. That is a lot of people.

The Italian government is now asking for help. It cannot cope with that many people. Other European countries like Germany and France have offered more help. They say they will allow more refugees into their countries. © source: dpa news for kids

Visitors excited to see Baby Elephant

12 July 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

She's a baby and she weighs as much as an adult person! This cute African elephant is only two-months old but she already weighs 80 kilograms. She was born in May at a zoo in Pittsburgh in the United States of America. The zoo has not yet named the calf. They are waiting for her to grow a little bigger before naming her.

Zoo officials say she is healthy and doing well. She is already drinking water using her trunk. They say she also loves to play in water. Zoo visitors are now allowed to see the calf. There is a big window on the wall of her enclosure so that people can get a good view. The calf's mother, Seeni, is from Botswana. She has been living at the zoo since 2011.

African elephants are the world's largest land animals. The biggest ones weigh about six tons. That's about the same as four cars together. source: dpa news for kids

What will you do on Mandela Day?

12 July 2017

The late Nelson Mandela is often called the father of the South African nation. He fought against the oppressive apartheid government and became South Africa's first democratically elected president.

He was born on the 18the of July 1918 in the small Eastern Cape village of Mvezo. He studied to become a lawyer. He could have led a nice and ordinary life with his family. Instead, Mandela dedicated his life to serving the people of South Africa. He sacrificed his own freedom, his career and time with his family to fight for freedom. He spent 67 years of his life serving others.

In 2009, the United Nations decided to make his birthday the Nelson Mandela International Day. The idea is that on this day, people all over the world should spend 67 minutes doing something that will help others.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has said the theme of this year's Mandela Day is action against poverty. “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead,” Mandela once said. source: dpa news for kids

Read more about Mandela Day here

Telescope finds Earth-like Planets

5 July 2017 - News for Kids

Have you ever looked up into the night sky? Have you looked at the stars and wondered what else is out there? Could there be other planets with life on them? People have wondered about these things for centuries. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States of America is very interested in these questions. So, it sent a special telescope into space to hunt for other planets.

The Kepler telescope was sent into space in 2009. Over four years it gathered information which scientists can read. It discovered lots of planets and 10 that are similar to Earth. Like Earth, they also orbit a star. In our case, that's the sun. To orbit means to go around.

Earth is just the right distance from the sun. The other planets are also the right distance away from their stars. Considering the distance of some of those planets to their respective stars, scientists say that it's possible that liquid water exists on them. If water does indeed exist on those planets, then other life could exist there, too. Scientists keep exploring. Perhaps we will know the answer soon. source: dpa news for kids

This animal is massive!

5 July 2017

© dpa

Shew! What is that massive thing in the ocean? It is so long and so big. It is a blue whale! This picture was taken by a drone. You can see it hovering over the whale's body. A drone is a small aircraft. It is controlled by a remote just like a remote controlled car.

This drone belongs to a student in the north American country of Mexico. Carlos Andres Dominguez Sanchez is studying the animal to find out more about it. 

Did you know that the blue whale is the largest animal on the planet? It can grow as long as two buses and can weigh as much as 30 elephants put together. Even the tongue of a blue whale is very heavy. It can weigh as much as one elephant.

Blue whales are found in most oceans around the world. Due to their size, they live deep within the sea. Although the blue whale is so massive, it feeds mostly on very small fish called a krill. source: dpa news for kids

Women walk this Way

5 July 2017

Many people use trains to travel to and from work every day. During rush hour, train carriages can get crowded.

A lot of women do not feel safe while traveling at these times. This is because some men touch or hurt women on purpose. The crowded space also males it easier for criminals to steal their belongings. When a train is full, it is not easy to know who is touching you or your bags. It is also difficult to escape. Pregnant and older women especially need to be protected from overcrowding.

In China, some train stations have marked special walkways for women to use. The authorities hope that this will make women feel safer. In the southern city of Shenzhen, authorities are trying out women-only carriages during peak travel hours.

However, some people think that this is a waste of money. Others think that it is a form of gender discrimination. What do you think? source: dpa news for kids

What is Global Warming?

28 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Did you know that the Earth's temperature is changing? It is getting warmer. People refer to this phenomenon as global warming. Most scientists say it is happening because of human activities. Human activities such as mining, manufacturing and transport are causing pollution that is changing the Earth's atmosphere.

The atmosphere is a layer of gases that surrounds Earth. The layer contains the right amount of each gas such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. It allows the right amount of sunlight through for us to live well.

However, the atmosphere is now being filled with too much of certain gases such as carbon dioxide. That gas is emitted for example when driving a car. There is no longer a balance of gases. This is weakening the atmosphere's protective power.

The resulting global warming has a lot of negative effects. For example:

  • It melts ice. This causes the oceans to rise. This can lead to increased flooding.
  • It causes extreme temperatures.
  • It causes extreme weather conditions, such as bad storms.

Most scientists therefore say that humans need to find ways to stop global warming before it is too late. source: dpa news for kids

A House of Bits and Pieces

28 June 2017

© dpa

You could spend hours looking around this house. There are lots of strange things to find in its walls. It has been decorated with bits of glass, marbles, stones and a lot more. The man who lives here, and who did all this work, is Steffen Modrach. He lives in the village of Naundorf in Germany, a country in Western Europe.

He has spent more than seven years working on this project. He says it will never be finished as he always finds more to do. Modrach has used about two million different pieces in his artwork. He uses a technique called mosaic. This is where small pieces of stone, glass, tiles or any other objects are set into concrete to create an attractive design.

His house also has towers, secret passages and windows that are all different shapes and sizes. If you go to visit him, Modrach will take you on a tour of his unique home. He will even take you up onto the roof so you can enjoy the view. 

It's fun to walk around the house and imagine you are in a different world. source: dpa news for kids

Eid Mubarak

© dpa

28 June 2017 - News for Kids

There are many different religions in the world. Each religion has different festivals and holy days. In most countries there are people practicing different religions. One of them is Islam. People of Islamic faith are known as Muslims. One of their most important holy days is Eid al-Fitr. This year, Muslims around the world celebrated Eid on Monday.

Eid is celebrated every year after one month of fasting. This month is called Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims eat only twice a day - before sunrise and after sunset. During the day they do not eat or drink anything.

In their holy book, the Quran, it is said that one of the main reasons for fasting is that it teaches compassion. This is because when people do not eat the whole day they begin to understand what it feels like to have no food or water. It becomes easier for them to help the less fortunate.

After fasting for one month, Muslims break their fast by preparing delicious meals and sweet dishes. They celebrate with family and friends. To wish someone a happy Eid, you can say, «Eid Mubarak». source: dpa news for kids

Flowers that come from Fire

22 June 2017

Fire can be very destructive. It can spread very quickly and burn down homes and forests, ruining landscapes. However, did you know that some plants need fire to survive?

Such plants are called pyrophylic (pronounced piro-fill-ic) or fire-loving plants. In South Africa, there are indigenous plants called fynbos. Indigenous means they come from our country. Proteas, our national flowers, are a type of fynbos. Fynbos are pyrophilic plants.

Botanists say that fire helps fynbos grow in two ways. Plants can resprout or their seeds can germinate. The seeds use the heat from the fire and the chemicals from the smoke to do so.

When a seed germinates, it starts to grow into a seedling and then a new plant. Fires also give the fynbos minerals that they need to grow. They can change the environment to allow more sunlight or water to reach the plants too.

However, these plants only need fires every few years. So, too many fires are harmful. source: dpa news for kids

Dangerous Sea Beauties

22 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

These see-through creatures are jellyfish. With brightly coloured lights behind them, they look really beautiful. However, they can also be very dangerous.

Jellyfish look a bit like open umbrellas with long, string-like tentacles. The tentacles are used to catch prey. They sting the prey with poison. They can also sting humans by mistake. This can be very painful and, in some cases, even deadly.

Scientists have noticed that the jellyfish population is increasing worldwide. They are now doing more research to find out if this is because of ocean pollution. Too many jellyfish could destroy other sea life. This would not be good for the environment.

Jellyfish have been found in the Earth's oceans for over 650 million years already! Even though they are called jellyfish, their bodies consist to 95 percent of water. These creatures do not have a brain or a heart. They do not have blood. They do not need air to live.

Jellyfish come in different shapes, colours and sizes. They can be as small as a baby's finger nail or as big as a door frame. They can travel in swarms of 10 000! source: dpa news for kids

A Baby Rhino

14 June 2017 - News for Kids

Baby rhino born in Estonia - dpa© dpa

This is a tiny rhinoceros. It is only two weeks old. The calf was born on June 3 in a zoo in Tallinn, the capital city of the eastern European country of Estonia. 

The zoo managers and people across the country are very excited. This is the first time a rhino calf has been born in an Estonian zoo. The calf's parents are called Kibibi and Kigoma. They are the only two rhinos at the zoo. Their baby has not yet been named.

The birth of this rhino is very significant because there are few rhinos left in the world. Animal experts are trying to increase the rhino population. About 100 years ago, there were about 500 000 rhinos in the wild. Now there are only about 29 000 left. Most of them live in Africa, and some in Asia.

However, no country in the world is home to more rhinos than South Africa. Lots of them live in the Kruger National Park. Adult rhinos weigh up to 3 500 kilograms. That is about as heavy as a small truck.  © source: dpa news for kids

Finding new Energy

14 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Have you ever heard of Kazakhstan? It is a country in Central Asia. For the next three months its capital city, Astana, will host an exhibition. It is called the «Expo 2017». The theme of the exhibition is «Future Energy». This means, for example, electricity generated by solar power or by wind turbines.

Solar power is power that comes from the sun. Wind turbines, like the ones in the picture, create energy when the wind makes them turn.

Why are these types of energy important? They are important because they are renewable.At the moment we mostly use non-renewable sources of energy for electricity and heat. Examples of non-renewable energy sources are coal, oil or gas. Once these sources of energy are used up, they will be gone forever.

However, we can use as much sunlight and wind as we like and they will never be used up. Non-renewable energy sources can also be bad for our environment. They pollute the air, water and soil.

People go to the Expo to learn about these new energy technologies. Organisers are expecting 5 million visitors!  © source: dpa news for kids

Blind Man takes a Drive

14 June 2017 - News for Kids

Google self-driving car© dpa

Can you imagine a city where cars have no drivers? Where even blind people or children could ride around in a car by themselves? Well, this fantasy has become much closer to becoming reality thanks to engineers at Google.

You may know Google as a search engine on the internet. It is also a company that invents things. One of its latest inventions is a driverless car. The technology has been tested since 2009.

The robot car uses a computer system to drive around. It is programmed to stick to the speed limit and it keeps a safe distance from other cars. The car has no steering wheel or pedals! Steve Mahan, who is almost blind, went for a ride in a Google car. It was the first time he had ever been in a car by himself.

There are still security issues to be resolved, but engineers are confident that it will one day be possible to use the driverless cars everywhere. Google says the cars are safer, will empower people and change the way they move around. For example, parents could read to their children on their way to school.

How would one of these cars change your life? © source: dpa news for kids

Cars in a Skyscraper

13 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

What do you think about a block of flats for cars to live in? In Singapore this 15-storey building is a home for luxury cars.

Singapore is a small city state in southeast Asia. It does not have very much land left to build on. For this reason, there are a lot of tall buildings there. The owner of this car dealership needed space to store his cars. So, he came up with a clever idea.

Each car in the building has its own room. The front walls are made of glass so that people can see the cars from the street. When very rich people want to buy one, they go inside the building to have a look. First they watch a movie about the different cars. There are Porsches, Ferraris, Mercedes cars, BMWs and lots more. There are 60 cars on display on each floor.

When the buyers choose which a model they would like, the salesman presses a button. The real car is then brought down to the ground floor. It takes only two minutes! So, how do the cars get all they way up to the 15th floor? Well, there is special lift machine that moves the cars up and down. © source: dpa news for kids

Cycling for Rhinos

7 June 2017

© dpa

What would you do if you saw a bicycle pulling a rhino down the street? You would probably want to tell your friends. That is exactly what Matt Meyer wants people to do. He wants them to talk about rhinos.

Rhinos are being poached for their horns. Poachers illegally kill the rhinos to sell their horns. There are now very few rhinos left in the wild. They could become extinct soon. Once rhinos become extinct, there will be none left in the wild.

This is why Meyer is cycling with a life-sized rhino statue. He has called the statue Lunar. It travels on a trailer behind his bicycle. At the moment, Meyer and Lunar are traveling along the west coast of the United States of America. They are visiting communities along the way. Meyer wants to raise awareness and money so that organisations can improve the fight against poaching.

Why did he take the rhino with him? «We wanted to have a symbol that would make the animal more tangible to people thousands of kilometers away from where the rhinos live,» he said. This means he wants people to get an idea of what a real rhino looks like. © source: dpa news for kids

A Granny's Dream comes true

7 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Sometimes you come across people who make you look at life differently. They make you believe that anything is possible. They can inspire you to try new things. Gogo Zodwa is one of these people.

After she retired from her job at an old-age home, she decided to join a gym. Even though she is a small lady, she can pack a punch. «Boxing is my favourite - I can just punch and punch for hours! Then at night, if my husband rolls over, I punch him by mistake!» she told the Facebook community page I Have a Name.

Gogo Zodwa, who lives in Johannesburg's Cosmo City won the Community Dedicated Senior Citizen Award last year. She is involved in a lot of projects such as knitting and gardening. She likes to help others.

Now, her kindness to others has been rewarded. When people saw her story on Facebook, they read that her biggest dream was to go to the ocean. Many of them donated money and Gogo Zodwa went to Durban. She flew in a plane and stayed in a hotel. She played in the seawater. She was very happy. © source: dpa news for kids

Sunglasses snap Movies

7 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

A social media app called Snapchat now also sells sunglasses. However, these are not ordinary sunglasses. No, these ones can take videos. They are called Spectacles. They have tiny cameras on each side of their frame. When you put on the glasses, you can film what you see.

You can then upload your short films to Snapchat. Each film segment will be about 10 seconds long. You cannot buy the glasses in shops. You have to buy them on the internet. In some countries in Europe and in the United States of America you can buy them from special vending machines.

However, the glasses are very expensive. And some people are worried. They say that the cameras could harm privacy. Who would want to be filmed secretly? This is why a flashing light comes on when the camera is recording something. It is a warning to everyone that somebody is filming. © source: dpa news for kids

The World's first Robot Cop Car

5 June 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

A Singapore startup has built the world's first robot cop car that patrols with its very own drone to chase criminals. The drone only weighs about 80 kilograms and can navigate autonomously.

The 3D technology in the drone helps monitor and guide the activities of the robot cop car from both land and air using a control centre. The car’s hi-tech driving system relies on sensors to measure distance and the robocar is able to self-charge whenever its battery runs flat.

Ling Ting Ming, digital chief at Otsaw, the company behind the car, says their product is designed to counter the trend that younger people are more and more reluctant to take up jobs as security guards.The company is hoping police and private security teams will be able to make use of the drone and squad car combination. This shall help to expand on their crime prevention efforts. Cameras in the car are also able to capture and access a wide pool of data, such as faces and license plates to track intruders into Singapore's housing and apartment complexes.

The robocar cops can be rented for a steep 10,000 Singapore dollars (7,200 US dollars/5,600 British pounds/6,500 euros/90,000 rands) a month. © source (edited): dpa - international

The hottest Pepper in the World

5 June 2017

© dpa

Welsh garden shop owner Mike Smith may have created the world's spiciest pepper. He's submitted an entry to the Guinness Book of Records.

The pepper, which he named ‘The Dragon's Breath’ is strong enough to kill some people according to Mike Smith. The pepper is ranking extremely high with 2.5 million Scoville heat units. For comparison, an average jalapeño runs up to 8,000 units on the Scoville scale! This means that the Dragon’s Breath pepper is hot enough to cause anaphylactic shock and makes it difficult to breath or inhale once eaten.

Smith who lives in North Wales, developed the pepper together with a university as part of research into alternative means of anaesthesia. A patient can rub the oil of the pepper onto their skin to numb it. Smith said that he had tried the pepper, dabbing some on his tongue, but had to spit it out after 10 seconds. "It burned and burned," he said of the pepper. For safety reasons the pepper must be specially stored. © source (edited): dpa-international

World's largest Clean-Up

5 June 2017 - News for Kids

© UNEP

Thousands of people across six continents are joining massive clean-ups of beaches and parks. Over 30 iconic landmarks are lighting up in green in a powerful demonstration of humanity’s love for nature on World Environment Day, 5 June.

In Tijuana, the border city between the USA and Mexico, volunteers from both sides of the US-Mexico border are teaming up to clean the city beach. 

In Mumbai, in India, the people will celebrate the world’s largest clean-up on Versova beach. Over the past 18 months the people have removed more than 5.5 million kilograms of trash and thus helped transform the beach from a forsaken dumpsite into a postcard destination. The Indians also pledged to plant 500 palm trees on the beach on World Environment Day.

Volunteers wearing rubber gloves will also flock to the beaches of East Africa - from Kenya, which has recently announced a plastic bag-ban, to Tanzania and Mozambique. But also further 150 big clean-up actions will take place across Canada, and more in Spain, the Baltic Sea, Lebanon, the Greek Islands, Egypt, Australia, the United States, Norway, and even the Arctic. © source: UNEP - edited

Our Oceans, our Future!

5 June 2017 - News for Kids

World Oceans Day is celebrated by schools around the world on 8 June. Are you taking part in any event?

Remember, the oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. The oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, they absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and also regulate climate. 

This year’s theme for the Day is “Our oceans, our future” and is connected to the Ocean Conference taking place from 5 to 9 June at United Nations headquarters in New York. Many international organisations and people in over 100 countries around the world will get create events and share info on how to best prevent plastic ocean pollution.

 “I love to celebrate World Oceans Day each year because it’s an opportunity for people around the world to think about how we can come together in support of healthy oceans,” said Jack Johnson, musician, surfer and environmental activist. “I’m especially excited to see how young people are getting involved and taking action throughout the year to engage their local communities in reducing plastic ocean pollution and promoting solutions.”

For #worldoceansday, how are you keeping plastic out of our oceans? Tell us at keepoceans.blue  - the sea turtles thank you! © source: UN / WorldOceansDay.org - edited

Read more about the world's oceans here.

Walking in the Sky

31 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Would you feel safe walking on a bridge made of glass? Here you see some persons and a dog who were brave enough to try. They visited a special viewing platform called The Skywalk.

The Skywalk can be visited in Thuringia, in Germany, a country in western Europe. Tourists can go there to see the pretty views. The Skywalk sticks out over the side of the Sonnenstein mountain. This makes it look as if it were floating. In fact though, clever engineers have made sure it is safely attached to the mountain.

The Skywalk is 14 metres long. That is a little longer than a bus. It is made from 13 tons of glass and steel. That is about as heavy as two elephants. The municipality hopes that The Skywalk will encourage more tourists to come to the area.

Similar skywalks can be found in other parts of the world too. Walking on them could make you feel uneasy. Some people may even find it scary. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

Floods in Sri Lanka

31 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Parts of the south Asian island nation of Sri Lanka are flooded. The country has experienced very heavy rains since last week.

Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed. This has left up to half a million people homeless. Many of them have lost most of their belongings. Many office buildings and schools have been damaged too.

Some people have even lost their loved ones. That's because many people drowned in the floods. Others were swept away by the floods. Their families and rescue teams are still busy searching for them. Rescue workers say some areas are very hard to reach because roads have been washed away, as you can see in the photo.

'Some of the areas are not accessible by road and we are airlifting boats and crew members,' Air Force spokesman Gihan Seneviratne said. Airlifting in this case means to bring in help with helicopters or planes.

More than 10 000 people are helping in the search. They are also taking care of those who have lost their homes by providing food, clothes and medical assistance. These are the worst floods in the country since 2003. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

When Dams turn to Deserts

31 May 2017

© dpa

It is a shocking sight to see a dam that looks like a desert. More sand than water in sight! This is what the Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town in South Africa currently looks like.

Instead of a large area covered in water, it is looks like a huge sandy beach. Dams are very important. They are built to catch and store water. When it rains a lot, rivers fill up. Some of the rivers flow into dams. When dams are full, there is enough water for us to use.

The Western Cape province in South Africa has not been getting enough rain. A lot of the dams there are nearly empty. The province was declared a disaster area. This is because experts say the province's reserves of drinking water now amount to less than 100 days of supply. Water is our most precious resource. Plants, animals and people cannot live without it.

It is quite easy to open a tap and water comes out. Do you ever think about where this water comes from? What would happen if nothing came out? We all need to think before we use water. We should use as little as possible. We should never waste it. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

Read our South Africa Facts for Kids here.

A Flower Show

31 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Look at all the beautiful colours. So many flowers in different shapes and sizes. These were on display at the Chelsea Flower Shower in London, the capital city of the United Kingdom.

The show happens every year. Flower experts arrange beautiful gardens and displays for the public to view. Some flowers are also arranged into shapes. The most popular ones are those looking like animals. All types of flowers are on display, from roses to daisies.

Organisers and participants take more than a year to prepare the flowers and plan the event. After the show, the gardens are taken down in just five days.

Many famous people visit the flower show, including the northern European country's royal family and politicians. The very first show took place just over 100 years ago in 1913. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

Meet the Afghan Surfing Champion

29 May 2017

© dpa

He grew up in a country with no coastline, but this year Afridun Amu became the first Afghan to compete in the world's top surfing competition. Afridun Amu now lives in Germany and hopes his dedication to the sport will inspire others and help change perceptions of Afghanistan.

The Afghan team at the World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France is small. In fact, it had just one member: 29-year-old Afridun Amu. And he was also the first Afghan to compete in the surfing championships. "I'm not actually that good," he says. "I'm just good for an Afghan, and there isn't much competition there." It's the taking part that counts, he says.

Amu's parents were among the many thousands of people who fled Afghanistan during the civil war in 1992. The family started a new life in Germany. Amu was very young when he arrived in Germany. Like many others, Amud now has dual nationality. Today, Amu works at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law in Heidelberg, where he focuses on Afghanistan, and at a design institute in Potsdam, near Berlin. Amu first tried surfing at the age of 19, on a trip to France after he'd finished high school, and it quickly became part of his already very busy life.

He wants to take surfing to Afghanistan. The Wave Riders Association of Afghanistan, of which Amu is president, is hoping to set up a youth team in the country at some point. Although there is no ocean in Afghanistan, there are enough waves there, Amu adds, and not that far from the capital city of Kabul! Great river waves. © source: dpa.com

Chile starts building the world's largest Telescope 

28 May 2017 - News for Kids

© ESO

The European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the world's largest optical telescope. The telescope is built in Chile, a country in South America. The European Southern Observatory started building of the telescope at the end of May and works in co-operation with 16 countries, among them many European countries such as Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands. Construction will take many years and the telescope should be operating only by 2024. 

The telescope has a main mirror that will measure some 39 meters (127ft.) across. Thus it will be about five times larger than the biggest telescopes that are currently in use. The main mirror that is made of 800 mirror sections, will be protected by a 80m (262ft.) high dome, you can see this in the image above.

The telescope will be located on a 3,000 meter-high mountain in the Chilean Atacama desert. The dry atmosphere in the Atacama desert will provide the best conditions to observe space because of the clear and cloudless sky in this region.

Scientists hope to find many more smaller planets, capture better images of the bigger planets and hopefully also will then be able to analyse the planets' atmospheres. This will be a major move in understanding if life is present on other planets. © source: dpa.com

Read more about Chile here.

Table Tennis is all the rage in China

23 May 2017

Soccer, rugby and cricket are the most popular sports in South Africa. In China, table tennis tops the list! In this east Asian country, table tennis players can be professional sportspeople. The good table tennis players are famous in China. They are heroes to children.

Millions of people play table tennis in China. One of them is eight-year-old Jinshuo. He has been training twice a week for a year. He has a coach who shows him how to hit the small, light ball with the wooden bat. He has to hit it across a special table that has a net in the middle.

Jinshuo plays for fun: 'I like the sport, because you have to react very quickly'. Children who want to become professionals, however, have to go to special schools. They sleep there and attend many training sessions every day. © source: dpa international

Read more about China here.

Championing girls' education

23 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

This 19-year-old woman has an important message for girls around the world. Her name is Malala Yousafzai and she says all girls must get a good education.

'Once we educate girls, we change the whole community and the whole society,' said Yousafzai.

Malala Yousafzai is from the Asian country of Pakistan. In 2012, Taliban gunmen opened fire on her school bus. The Taliban are a group of very radical Muslims operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They don't like girls going to school. They believe girls should only stay at home, learn how to cook and get married at a young age. The Taliban shot Yousafzai because she refused to follow their rules. She was shot in the head, but she underwent surgery and survived.

After she was shot, Yousafzai and her family sought safety in the United Kingdom. She has since become very famous and gives talks on the importance of education.

'I encourage all young girls, you need to stand up and believe in yourselves. If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now.' © source: dpa international

Giant Hands in Venice

23 May 2017 - News for Kids

Hands sculpture in Venice Italy - by dpa© dpa

What is coming out of the water in this photo? There are two huge arms and hands that seem to be holding up an old house. What a strange sight! The giant hands have been designed by an artist named Lorenzo Quinn. He is using his art to tell people that they should take care of the environment.

The hands are part of a sculpture. They are in the city of Venice in Italy, a country in southern Europe. Venice is a very interesting city. It is built on 118 islands in the Venetian Lagoon. This is an area of water separated from the sea by sand or rocks.

For example, in Venice, houses are slowly being submerged because the water around them is rising. One of the reasons for this is pollution. It leads to higher temperatures around the globe and has huge quantities of ice melt, for example in the Arctic region. This extra water is then flowing into the sea. As the sea water level rises, it could flood low-lying areas.

Quinn says people need to think about what they can do to stop pollution. 'The hand holds so much power – the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy,’ said Quinn. © source: dpa international

Read more about Italy here

Stay safe when crossing the road!

19 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Tourists who are crossing the Orchard Road boulevard in Singapore now do not have to look up to see the traffic lights. Light strips have been installed on the pavement at a pedestrian crossing as part of a trial to make the city safer.

These LED strips act as a traffic light for smartphone zombies who are glued to their phones while walking on the street. The strip flashes in green, like the green man on a normal pedestrian crossing, when it is safe to cross. When the strip turns red, it is not safe to cross. 

The trial will allow the traffic authorities to study whether the lights are successful of getting pedestrians to focus more closely on traffic signals.

Similar projects have been launched in the German city of Augsburg, as well as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. © edited source: dpa international

Appeal for Aid

17 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

A lot of money is needed to help people from South Sudan who have fled to other countries. Almost two million people from the country in eastern Africa have sought safety and help in nearby countries. They leave their homes because of violence and food shortages in their country. These people are known as refugees.

An important international organisation, the United Nations, says it does not have enough money to feed all the refugees. It has asked other countries to help. 'Humanitarian agencies are struggling to provide food, water, nutrition support, shelter and health services to refugees,' it said.

There is fighting in South Sudan between different political groups. This has badly disrupted farming because many people fled their homeland and their fields to seek refuge from the violence. © dpa news for kids - edited

Island of Discovery

10 May 2017

© dpa

This is a really good picture of an island. It is not just any island though. This is Helgoland, which is off the coast of Germany. It is an island of discovery! On this island, scientists study the North Sea. This is what the part of the Atlantic Ocean is called that lies to the north of Germany.

The scientists work at the Biological Institute of Helgoland. They have collected a lot of information about the ocean from here for 125 years. Samples of water are taken and examined in the laboratory every day. However, the scientists who work there do not only work in laboratories. They often go out to sea on research ships. They also dive deep down into the water. Then they spend time looking around there. What a cool job!

They do this to find out more about marine life. That is the plants and animals that live under the sea. The scientists also want to learn more about how humans are affecting marine life. © dpa news for kids - edited

The Science of Traffic Lights

9 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Experts at traffic control centres must take tough decisions. They have to think of the safety of everybody on our roads and must decide whether cars can smoothly sail through the city in a line of green lights or have to stop at frequent red lights, giving pedestrians the right of way. However, the longer the cars, trucks and buses stop at traffic lights, the more they pollute our air. 

In Erfurt/Germany, scientists currently experiment with new sensors on traffic lights that help avoid traffic jams and pollution. Intelligent traffic lights are set with specific timers to vary the length of the green phase in cities. The green light has to be on long enough for visually impaired and blind people or elderly pedestrians to cross the road before the light changes again to red. 

Also traffic lights now turn quickly from green to red when a tram or a public bus approaches, thanks to sensors at the traffic lights. Others sensors are introduced, meanwhile, to measure how many cars and trucks travel into the city to regulate traffic at crossroads. 

And the shorter the time, cars, trucks or buses have to wait at traffic lights, the less traffic will pollute our environment. Isn't this a clever idea?© edited source: dpa international

Street Art in Cuba

5 May 2017

Cuban streetart murals of kids© dpa

Cuban artist Maisel Lopez paints huge pictures of children on walls in Cuba's capital city Havanna. He came up with this idea of painting these 'murals' in 2015. Lopez painted already over 30 murals on the city's street walls and he calls these huge paintings in grey colour tones 'the Colossuses'.

Before he begins to paint, he always asks for permission from public institutions or the owners of the walls he is going to use. It usually takes about a week for him to finish a mural.

'Children are the basis of a nation's development, of its future as a country. That's why I make them into giants and turn them into 'Colossuses,' Lopez says. © edited source: dpa international

Rhinos now live in Rwanda 

3 May 2017 - News for Kids

Rhino in Rwanda© dpa

Good news! People in Rwanda will be able to see rhinos again. That is because 10 black rhinos have been flown from South Africa to the East African country. About 40 years ago, there were still more than 50 black rhinos in parts of Rwanda. For the past 10 years, there have not been rhinos in Rwanda anymore as the rhinos were killed by people for the rhino horns. 

The poachers are hunters killing rhinos illegally for their horns. These horns are then sold for a lot of money to people in Asia. Some people in Asia believe that rhino horns can be used to make medicine. Other people keep the horns in their homes as ornaments. 

There are some estimated 25 000 rhinos left in Africa. Most of them live in South Africa. But they are under threat: last year alone poachers killed about 1000 rhinos in South Africa! The rhinos in Rwanda now live safely in the Akagera National Park where they will be protected and guarded so that their population can grow over the coming years. © dpa news for kids

Too little food for children in Somalia 

3 May 2017

© dpa

The health of about 1.4 million children in Somalia is at risk because they do not have enough food to eat. Somalia is a country located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa.

The international aid organisation caring for children UNICEF says these kids are malnourished. They suffer because they have too little food or food without sufficient nutrients. Nutrients are the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy.

UNICEF says malnourished children can easily get sick and may die more quickly than other children. That is because their bodies are not healthy. One of the biggest causes of malnourishment in the country is a severe drought.

A drought happens when there is little or no rain over a longer period. During a drought farmers are not able to grow enough crops for people to eat. UNICEF says it is providing food and water to some communities. However, it needs more money to help everybody. © dpa news for kids

Sitting in spring silence 

3 May 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Would you be able to sit completely still for a few hours? Most children find it difficult to sit quietly for even a few minutes. However, in the western European country of Spain, there is a custom in which young girls between the ages of 7 and 11 practise sitting still for hours!

Every year in early May there is a traditional celebration called Las Mayas. When the girls are chosen to be the Mayas, they dress up in beautiful clothes and sit on pretty, decorated altars in the street. People who walk past look at them and admire them.

The Mayas, however, may not smile or wave. They have to sit still and look serious. That must be a very tough job!

Las Mayas celebrates the season of spring. Spring in Europe lasts about from March to June. In the southern hemisphere, spring season is from September to November. © dpa news for kids

World Penguin Day

25 April 2017

Today is World Penguin Day! Penguins are flightless birds, that mainly live south of the equator. Only the Galapagos penguins live north of the equator. The largest species of penguins are the emperor penguins which grow 1.1 metre (3ft7in.) tall.

Most penguins are found in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and the Antarctica. The birds mostly live in large colonies and the groups range from some 100 penguin pairs to huge groups with several hundred thousand pairs!

Penguins pairs stay together often for their lifetime and they raise usually two chicks together per breeding season except for the emperor penguins who only lay one egg.

Pandas travel to the Netherlands

20 April 2017 - News for Kids

Panda - image by ShutterstockPanda

Phew! This was a long journey for the giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya. They traveled by plane from the country of China in Asia to the Netherlands in Europe. Panda bears live in forests in China. Officials say there are now fewer than 1900 left in the country. In other countries, pandas are only found in zoos.

China has given the two black and white bears to the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, a city in the Netherlands. The zoo has a special section where animals from Asia and other places live. This is to ensure people in the Netherlands also get to see animals from elsewhere. It would be great if the pandas will have many babies, which would increase the world's panda population. That is important because there are not many pandas left.

Pandas are omnivores. That means they eat all kinds of food. However, they mostly eat bamboo plants. Pandas can grow up to 1.5 metres (about 5ft.) tall, or a bit smaller than an adult person. One panda can weigh as much as 15 big bags of potatoes© dpa news for kids

Coins for Charity

20 April 2017

© dpa

People who threw coins into Rome's Trevi Fountain last year have all contributed to supporting the poor in the city. Rome is the capital city of Italy, a country in southern Europe.

People who visit Rome throw money into the fountain every day. They believe this will bring them good luck and happiness and some hope they might return to this beautiful city.

The water in the fountain is drained once a week. The money is swept out and collected. It is then donated to a charity. Just more than 1.5 million euro (which is 1.5 million US dollar or 1.2 million British pound or ZAR20 million) was collected from the fountain last year. The money was donated to a Catholic aid organisation called Caritas. The money will be used to buy groceries for poor families and to cook meals and provide shelter for migrants. A migrant is a person who moves from one place to another to find work or better living conditions. Besides money, bracelets, sunglasses and even false teeth were found in the fountain© dpa news for kids

The Easter Egg Tree

20 April 2017

© dpa

This tree looks a bit unusual. Instead of leaves, it has thousands of colourful eggs. This is the Easter egg tree in a German town called Saalfeld. Germany is a country in western Europe.

This tree has about 10 000 colourful eggs on its branches. The idea for the tree came from a couple in the town. For about 50 years, they have been painting eggs and have been hanging them on their apple tree.

Every year people would go to the couple's house to see the tree. They have now stopped hanging more eggs on the tree because there is no space left for new eggs. This year, people in the town decided to decorate their own tree on a pedestrian walkway. People painted eggs and started hanging them on the tree weeks before Easter. Easter egg trees are a fun tradition in some places in Germany and other parts of the world© dpa news for kids

Astronauts return from Space

12 April 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Home at last! This is what most people who have been on the road for a long time think when they finally get home. However, three astronauts must have thought, 'Finally, back on Earth!'

The three men had been very far from home. They spent 173 days aboard the International Space Station, known as ISS. That is about six months. They carried out research and many experiments there to get more information about space. Their names are Shane Kimbrough from the United States of America and Andrey Borissenko and Sergey Ryzhikov from Russia. The men landed back on Earth in the country of Kazakhstan in Central Asia on Monday.

The ISS space laboratory has been orbiting Earth since 1998. The ISS is about the size of a soccer field. It has two bathrooms, a gym and several other rooms for the astronauts to live and work in. Sixteen countries, including the USA, Russia, Japan and Canada worked together to build the station© dpa news for kids

Rare diamond sold for millions

12 April 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

A very rare pink diamond was found at a secret location in Africa in 1999. This diamond weighed 11.92 grams, which is about the same weight as two marbles. The diamond called 'Pink Star' now was sold for over 72 million US dollars (or 67 million euros or 970 million South African rand) to a buyer in Honking/China.

Diamonds are valuable gemstones because they were formed billions of years ago deep under the ground. They were pushed up towards the earth's surface over time and are now mined. South Africa is well known for its diamond mines. The world's largest diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, was found here in 1905. It weighed about 620 grams. That is just a bit bigger than a block of margarine.

After they are taken out of the ground, diamonds are cut into shapes, polished and sold. Diamonds are one of the hardest natural substances on earth and are not only used in beautiful jewelery, but they are also used to make cutting tools and drills© dpa news for kids

The Dog Teacher

5 April 2017

© dpa

This tiger cub and the big black dog are good friends. The cub and his two siblings play with the dog Blakely regularly. The tiger cubs were born in a zoo in Cincinnati in the United States of America in February. However, their mother did not care for the cubs after they were born. So the zookeepers fed them every day. Still, the zookeepers say they cannot teach the tiger cubs everything an animal needs to know. This is what Blakely does.

He plays with the cubs, wrestles with them and chases them. He teaches them things only animals know. For example, with him, they learn the difference between a bite when playing around and a real bite that will injure or kill an animal. Blakely knows his tasks well. He has helped teach many animal babies over the years© dpa news for kids

The World's Newest Continent?

30 March 2017

© dpa

How many continents are there in the world? Right now there are seven. But there may soon be another one. That is because scientists recently discovered what they believe is another continent. Say hello to Zealandia!

It turns out that New Zealand isn't made up of just a few islands on the Pacific Ocean. Scientists say the country is part of an entire continent, most of which is under sea. They say if it wasn't for the sea, they would have long discovered Zealandia.

Many many years ago, Zealandia broke away from its neighbour, Australia and sank.

Scientists now want it to be recognised as a new continent because it fits all the criteria. For example, it has continental rocks such as granite, like other continentsIf this happened, Zealandia would be the eigth and smallest of the world's continents. © dpa news for kids

Ancient Statue discovered in Egypt

30 March 2017

Egyptian statue discovered in Cairo © dpa news for kids© dpa

A fascinating discovery has been made in the northern African country of Egypt. Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany have found a huge statue in the country's capital, Cairo. 'We found the bust, lower part of the head, the crown, right ear and a fragment of the right eye,' says government Minister, Khaled al-Anani.

The statue is about eight metres long. Officials believe it is a statue of one of Egypt's leaders. His name is King Psammetich I. He ruled Egypt from 664 to 610 BC. They say he was a powerful ruler who led the country to win many wars.

Archaeologists says such discoveries are very rare. They will now put the statue back together again. It will then be kept in a statue museum to be opened in Egypt next year.  © dpa news for kids

World Happiness Report

21 March 2017

Smiling African Kids © dpa news for kids© dpa

Every year researchers ask 1,000 people in each of the 155 countries of the survey how happy they are when they think of their lives as a whole. This year, the result is that Norway, in northern Europe, is the world's happiest country.

Countries in the top ten are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden. 

The report says people in the happiest countries are happy because there is more care, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, good income and good governance than in other other countries. By the way, the United States of America is only 14th on the list.

People in African countries, however, see themselves as not so happy. The highest ranking countries in Africa are Algeria at number 53, Morocco at 84 and Nigeria at 95 and South Africa at 101 out of the 155 countries. Three African countries are right at the bottom of the list. Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic are the least happy countries in the world. © dpa news for kids

Read here more about Africa on our Africa Facts for Kids

Dubai: Taxis that fly

9 March 2017

© dpa news for kids

Can you imagine flying from your house to school? Not having to deal with taxis or traffic? In the near future, this may be one of the ways people travel around Dubai.

Dubai is a small but very modern state in the Middle East. This city is hoping to introduce drone taxis in July. A drone is a type of small aircraft that flies without a pilot. Yes! These drones won't have a driver. A passenger will just need to give his or her destination and the drone will fly straight there.

Dubai says passengers should not be afraid of using them. In case something goes wrong in the air, drone experts can control them remotely from the ground.

It all sounds like straight out of a science fiction novel, doesn't it? But Dubai's government is serious about it. However, it is still somewhat unclear whether the drone taxis will work reliably and by when they will be rolled out for use by the public.

Dubai, which often experiences traffic jams, hopes the taxi drones will help reduce traffic on the roads. If this works, Dubai will be the first country in the world to use taxi drones as a form of public transport. © dpa news for kids

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