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:

Children protest climate change

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Many people believe that some things are for grown-ups only. However, young people in Germany decided to make their voices heard on the issue of climate change.

In the city of Bonn, hundreds of children went onto the streets to protest about climate change with the organisation Greenpeace. They want their government to do more about climate change.

What is climate change? It is the change that is happening in our usual climate. Climate is the weather pattern that is measured over a longer period of time.

The Earth is gradually getting warmer. This is affecting our weather, which is dangerous for many people, animals and plants. For example, there are more floods in some regions and more droughts in others. Experts say many of these changes have occurred because of humans. Our activities such as heating, driving and manufacturing are letting more dangerous gases escape into our atmosphere.

Some time ago, countries promised to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide gas that was allowed into the atmosphere. However, the goals have not been met. The child protesters want the politicians to stick to the promises they made earlier. © source: dpa news for kids

Woman chef wows the world

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

The best female chef in the world is South African! This was announced at an awards ceremony in Poland last week. Poland is an eastern European country.

Chantel Dartnell attended the Best Chef Awards 2017 in the country's capital, Warsaw. She travelled to Poland to meet some of the major chefs from around the world. She admires many of them very much. She says she did not expect to win the award. However, Dartnell says she is happy about the award and hopes it will put South Africa on the culinary map. Culinary refers to anything connected with food or the kitchen.

The 37-year-old is the head chef at Restaurant Mosaic near Pretoria. She also owns the restaurant. Dartnell trained under top chefs in London and has been running her Restaurant Mosaic for 11 years. She has already won SA's Chef of the Year twice. © source: dpa news for kids

Getting ready for the big freeze

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

Isn't this animal too adorable? It is a red-brown coloured squirrel that lives in Europe. It is autumn there and soon it will be winter. Snow has already started to fall in some areas. That means it will get very, very cold.

Some squirrels hibernate in winter. That means they like to stay out of the cold as much as possible. They sleep a lot in their little nests, which are usually inside trees or in burrows under the ground. In autumn they start getting ready for winter. They make sure their nests are comfortable. They collect as much food as they can and store it away safely so that that they will not have to go far to get food in the winter. It will be in their secret hiding places.

Squirrels are found all over the world. They have long, bushy tails and are usually very active. They love to run, jump and climb trees. Sometimes they can stop for a snack break like this one did. He is enjoying a wild mushroom. Soon he will be off again searching for nuts or seeds to pack away.

Squirrels in South Africa do not have to hibernate, due to the warmer climate, but most of them still hoard food for the winter. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

People are starving in South Sudan

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Many people in the African country of South Sudan have very little food to eat. They are facing starvation.

The United Nations (UN), an organisation that works for human rights, said more than one million people there are going hungry. While many others do have food to eat, the food is not healthy enough for them. It does not have all the nutrients a body needs to survive. Nutrients are substances that humans, animals and plants need in order to grow properly.

One of the main reasons people are hungry in South Sudan is the conflict or fighting in the country. The warfare destroys crops and farmland. The war started in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir fired his deputy. This led to fighting between groups supporting each of the men. The fighting has not stopped since then.

Food is also very expensive and many people cannot afford it. The UN and the government are appealing to other countries for help.

Did you know: South Sudan is the world's youngest country. It received independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011. © source: dpa news for kids

Famous female scientist remembered

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

She is probably one of the most famous scientists ever. Her name is Marie Curie. This year, on 7 November, she would have been 150 years old.

Curie came from Poland, a country in eastern Europe. To become a scientist was not easy for her. Firstly, very few women were allowed to study at that time. Secondly, she was very poor and could not afford much. However, her determination and love of learning led Curie to study at a renowned university in France.

She studied at a university which today is called 'Paris-Sorbonne'. Her subjects were physics and maths and she was very, very good at them. Curie married a scientist and together they spent many hours in the laboratory doing experiments. They discovered two substances that emit powerful rays of energy. Curie named these substances radium and polonium.

Marie Curie received a Nobel Prize in 1903 with her husband and another researcher. The Nobel Prize is the most important prize for scientists. She was the first woman to ever win this prize. She won it for a second time in 1911 – this time all by herself! © source: dpa news for kids - edited

The travelling flame

November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

This is the Olympic Torch or flame. It was lit in a special ceremony in the city of Olympia in Greece last week. Greece is a country in western Europe. It is the country in which the Olympic Games originated.

Next year the Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea, a country in South East Asia. It is an Olympic tradition for the torch to be lit in Olympia in Greece and then to travel to the country that hosts the games. This is done in the Olympic Torch Relay.

People called torchbearers are selected to carry the flame. They carry it along a special route. At each stop a new torchbearer takes the flame and moves on to the next place. This continues for a few months until the torch reaches its final destination. Last Wednesday a plane transported the torch to the city of Incheon in South Korea. It travelled in a special glass jar so that it would remain lit.

The first torchbearer in South Korea was the ice skater You Young. She is 13 years old. On 9 February the torch will arrive in the city of Pyeongchang. That is where the Olympic Winter Games will be officially opened. © source: dpa news for kids

Amazing astro dog

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

What is this strange equipment? It looks like a fishbowl attached to a leather bag. It is actually a space suit. However, it was not worn by an astronaut. It was worn by an astro-dog!

Yuri Gagarin from Russia was the first person to go into space. Russia is a huge country that stretches from north eastern Europe to Asia. Before Gagarin, however, a little dog called Laika went up. Researchers sent the animal into space as an experiment. They were afraid to send people into space without knowing what to expect. They wanted to find out what people would have to endure on their journey.

That is why, exactly 60 years ago, Laika was sent into space inside a rocket. The space suit she wore is in the space museum in Moscow, the capital city of Russia. The suit has trouser legs and a large glass dome that went over her head. She was able to breathe air through special pipes.

After Laika, scientists sent other animals into space including monkeys, cats, mice and even turtles. Sadly, not all of the animals returned safely from their journey. Laika died too. Fortunately, animals do not go into space much today. © source: dpa news for kids

World's largest beach clean-up

8 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

The largest beach cleanup in the world is taking place in India, a country in South Asia. It all started two years ago when two men decided to start picking up the rubbish from a beach near their homes. A 33-year-old lawyer, Afroz Shah, did not like seeing the rubbish on the beach. He decided he would not wait for the government, but would start cleaning it himself. Shah and his neighbour, the late Harbansh Mathur, then went out and started picking up the litter.

It has now been over 100 weeks since the initiative started and residents of the Versova neighbourhood in the city of Mumbai have not stopped cleaning their local beach. Thousands of people have been volunteering in the cleanup drive. Many famous people, including politicians and celebrities, are also often spotted at the beach helping pick up rubbish. Shah calls it a «date with the ocean». 

So far, more than seven million kilograms of rubbish have been removed from the beach. Volunteers have also planted about 300 coconut trees in the area.

India is a country in South Asia with over a billion people. That is more than 20 times the population of South Africa. © source: dpa news for kids

Bread rolls for astronauts

2 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Do you like the smell of freshly baked bread? Do you enjoy eating fresh fruit and vegetables?

Astronauts in space have to live without fresh food. They can only eat ready-made food. This could change because a company in the city of Bremen in Germany is currently developing a «space bread roll».

What makes them different from normal bread rolls? These bread rolls do not crumble. This is important because in space, there is no gravity. This means that any crumbs would just float around and not drop down to the floor. Floating crumbs could damage equipment on the space station if they got into it. To prevent this from happening, experts are currently developing a special oven to bake the rolls in.

The company hopes to be able to send it up to the International Space Station (ISS). However, it is very expensive to transport things up into space. So, the astronauts might have to wait a while longer before they can bite into fresh, soft bread rolls. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

Saudi women in sports stadiums

2 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Women who live in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia are treated differently from men. There are many things that they are not allowed to do.

This is because the conservative country is governed by strict Islamic laws. Islam is a religion that originated in Saudi Arabia. People there believe that men and women have to remain separated in public spaces, even in restaurants. Many public buildings have separate entrances for men and women.

Until recently, women were not allowed to vote in municipal elections or drive cars. They were also not allowed to attend sports events. However, the government has started to implement changes. Women will be able to drive from next year and they will also be allowed to attend events at stadiums in three cities.

From early 2018, stadiums in the capital city of Riyadh, in Jeddah and in Dammam will begin preparations to «accommodate families», according to the General Sport Authority. The plans for updates to these buildings for example include new ticket sale windows and electronic gates. © source: dpa news for kids

Climate change is serious

2 November 2017 - News for Kids

An important international organisation has scolded world leaders in its latest environmental report. That is because they are not keeping their promises to help slow down global warming.

Global warming means the Earth's temperature is rising. Most scientists say it is happening because of pollution caused by human activities such as mining, manufacturing and transport. The pollution changes 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.

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. Now, the balance of gases in the atmosphere has been tilted. This has a lot of negative effects. It leads to ice melting on the poles, which causes the oceans to rise and can lead to increased flooding. It also causes extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

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

Club for tall people

1 November 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Did you know that there are some people who are taller than door frames? These people can probably see a lot more than other people, but it is not always comfortable to be so tall.

In the German city of Cologne, some tall people have started a club. They like to get together and talk about the issues that affect them as tall people. They also want to let other people know about the problems they experience.

For example, finding clothes or fitting into places. «The search for clothes and matching shoes is problematic,» says Oliver Heim. He is over two metres tall. The usual pants in the shops are too short and his feet hang over an average-sized bed. If he goes through a door, he has to bend down. He struggles to fit into a car.

A lot of very tall people also suffer from back problems because they often have to bend down to talk to other people or to do household chores. Forming a support group with people who have similar problems as yourself can really be helpful. It helps to feel that you are not alone and allows to search for solutions together. © source: dpa news for kids

World children's day

1 November 2017 - News for Kids

A special day has been set aside in November just for children. The day is called World Children's Day. It happens on November 20.

UNICEF, an international aid organisation caring for children, says the day has been set aside for children to help other children. «This is a day for children, by children, all over the world to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfil their potential,» UNICEF says. «It’s going to be a day when kids ‘take over’ roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to shine a light on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation.»

World Children's Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated each year. On this day, another important international organisation, the United Nations, adopted programmes to protect the rights of children.

Every year, the day is set aside to aside to raise awareness among children about important matters and to encourage people to help improve children's welfare. © source: dpa news for kids

Read our children info about UNICEF here.

Spooky holidays

31 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

It's the time for «creepy» holidays in some parts of the world now. Halloween, for example, is celebrated on October 31st. It has its roots in an Irish holiday. However, these days it is more for children to have some fun dressing up and collecting sweets.

People dress up in scary costumes to look like ghosts, skeletons or monsters. Some like to tell scary stories or frighten other people. Some people also make lanterns out of big, orange pumpkins.

On 2 November, people in Mexico celebrate the Day of the Dead. Mexico is a country just south of the United States of America. The Day of the Dead is an ancient tradition that honours people's ancestors. A great parade is usually held in the capital, Mexico City. It takes place a few days before the important holiday.

People also dress up. Most people like to wear «La Catrina» costumes. La Catrina is a famous skeleton lady. Some of the costumes at Halloween and the Day of the Dead parade can be quite scary! © source: dpa news for kids - edited

Sports in the snow

31 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

South Africa is celebrating the return of warmer weather, green leaves and pretty flowers. However, in other parts of the world, such as Europe or North America, people are getting ready for winter. The first snow has already fallen in the Alps, Europe's biggest mountain range.

People who live in these areas are used to living with the snow for long periods of time. Many of them take advantage of it. They learn how to ski. Even little children can do it.

People who do so wear heavy boots and stand on two long panels to glide down the snow-covered mountains. These long wooden planks are called skis. They also wear protective clothes such as helmets, gloves and goggles.

On 28 October, the World Cup season began for professional skiers. These are people whose job it is to ski in different competitions. It may sound wonderful, but there is a lot of training involved. Skiing can also be dangerous. It is a very fast sport and snow is very slippery.

Some people in snowy countries prefer to just build snowmen and throw snowballs at each other. © source: dpa news for kids

A shrinking shrew

25 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

This little animal looks like a mouse. It is an animal called a shrew. It is so small that it can fit into a child's hand. It is so light that it weighs approximately the same as four small sweets. In winter, the shrew becomes even smaller and lighter.

In Germany, a country in western Europe, researchers captured some of these shrews. They measured them and fitted them with tiny computer chips. They then released them back into the wild. The computer chips allowed the scientists to follow the shrews and gather information.

They found out that the skull, organs, bones and the brain of the shrew shrink in the winter. When something shrinks, it gets smaller.

In spring, the shrews grow bigger again. The researchers think this happens because it is colder in winter and the shrew is less likely to eat. Food is more difficult for them to find in winter. They think that shrinking helps the shrew to save energy.

Energy is the physical strength needed to do active things. Food gives animals energy. So, if they eat less food they will have less energy and that is why they need to save it.  © source: dpa news for kids

A 105-year-old letter is very valuable

25 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

This letter is more than 100 years old! It has been kept very safely all these years.

It is the last known letter written on a very famous ship called the Titanic. It was written on 13 April 1912 by American businessman Oscar Holverson. He wrote the letter to his mother a day before the ship sank.

The Titanic was on its very first voyage from England to the United States of America when it hit an iceberg. It sank in the Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,500 people died, including Holverson. His letter was recently sold to a British lawyer at an auction for more than R2 million.

In the letter, Holverson tells his mother that the «boat is giant in size» and that it looks like a luxurious hotel. He also wrote that the richest person in the world at the time, John Jacob Astor, was on the ship too.

Holverson died when the ship sank, but his wife Mary survived. When his body was recovered from the ocean, the letter was found inside a pocket book. Although it was wet, his family managed to preserve it.  © source: dpa news for kids

Fewer elephants are killed by poachers

25 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

There is good news for elephants! The population of these huge animals in eastern and southern Africa is either stable or even slightly increasing. That is according to information released by Cites, an international organisation that monitors animals.

In the past, dozens of elephants were killed every day for their ivory. Their tusks are made of ivory, a precious material whose sale is officially banned.

Experts say elephant populations in east Africa decreased by about 50 per cent between 2008 and 2011. However, the number of elephants killed by poachers has since decreased, not least because of increased security «While Tanzania remains a stronghold for elephant populations, elephant numbers recorded in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda are also stable or on the rise,» said Cites.

«In southern Africa, Botswana still maintains the largest elephant population of any country in Africa.» However, Cites warns that the number of elephants killed in Central Africa still remains very high.

African elephants are the world's largest land animals. The biggest weigh about six tons. That is about the weight of three cars. © source: dpa news for kids

Roads built from pastic

25 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Plastic is a huge problem for our planet. It is very difficult to get rid of and a lot of it ends up in nature or in the ocean in particular. There, it is a threat to our animals and plants.

Now a company from the Netherlands, a small country in western Europe, says it will use plastic found in the ocean to build roads. VolkerWessels will turn the plastic into «building blocks» for the roads. They will be like puzzle pieces that fit into each other.

Not only will this be good for the environment, it will be good for the people who look after roads. If a part of the road is damaged, it will be easy to remove it and replace it with another piece. The company says that nearly any type of plastic can be used to make the road pieces.

Scientists working on the project say they are in the final stages of testing the materials for safety. They say the first road built will be a bicycle path somewhere in the Netherlands. It could be ready by the end of this year! © source: dpa news for kids

Child marriage in Africa

25 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Did you know that many children get married before they turn 18? This happens mostly in some African and Asian countries.

Experts are meeting in Dakar, Senegal, this week to find ways to end child marriage. Senegal is a country in west Africa. At the meeting, UNICEF, an international aid organisation caring for children, released a report on the issue.

The report says the practice of marrying off young girls is so entrenched in west and central Africa that it might take up to 100 years to end child marriage there. UNICEF says child marriage is unacceptable and must be stopped. «We cannot continue to let so many of our girls miss out on their health, education and childhood,» said Fatoumata Ndiaye from UNICEF.

It says that four in 10 girls in west and Central Africa are married before the age of 18. Many are even married before they turn 15.

Six of the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world are on the African continent. These countries are Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. © source: dpa news for kids

Could this man become Europe's youngest leader? 

19 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

This man is 31 years old and he most probably will be the next chancellor of Austria, a mountainous and prosperous country in western Europe. Thirty-one may seem rather old to you, but it is a very young to be in charge of a whole country.

The man's name is Sebastian Kurz. In an election on Sunday, his conservative party got the most votes. That is why he could become the country's new leader.

The chancellor in Austria is the head of the government. Most politicians around the world are older than 40 or above 50. Kurz, however, is already used to being the youngest official at important political meetings. He already became Austria's foreign minister in 2013. At the time, that made him Europe's youngest foreign minister. The European Union is an organisation to which 28 European countries belong.

In his spare time, Kurz likes to climb mountains and ride his mountain bike. © source: dpa news for kids

The Festival of Lights

19 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Did you see any fireworks in the sky last weekend? They were lit because of the Hindu festival Diwali. It happened last week. Hindus light fireworks before and during the festival.

Hinduism is a major religion, like Christianity, Buddhism or Islam. It originally comes from India. Hindus around the world will celebrate Diwali on Thursday. Diwali is known as the festival of lights and is the year's most important festival for Hindus.

On Diwali, Hindus wear new clothes and exchange sweet dishes and gifts with family and friends. At night, they light lamps around their homes and set off celebratory fireworks. The lighting of lamps is meant to remind people that light always conquers darkness. Light stands for the good in people. Darkness stands for the bad or evil qualities in people.

On that special day, Hindus thank their gods for all the good things in their life, like their health and peace of mind. © source: dpa news for kids

Limited space in space?

19 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Did you know that litter is not just a problem on Earth? It is also a problem far above the Earth, in space. This litter is called space junk or debris. It is made up of leftover bits of rockets, satellites or other things that have been left floating there.

Some parts are tiny, others are quite large. However, they travel very quickly in space. They can cause a lot of damage if they collide with man-made satellites or other spacecraft.

Man-made satellites are «machines» that orbit the Earth, meaning they fly around Earth in regular circles. They gather and send information or signals to special stations on Earth. They are used in things like cellphones, weather prediction, navigation and even television programmes. So, if there is a collision in space, these things could be badly affected.

Scientists are therefore working on ways to clean up space junk. They are also inventing devices that will assist satellites to avoid creating space junk in the first place. © source: dpa news for kids

Toothbrush for a turtle

19 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

What is this turtle doing with a toothbrush? Does she brush her teeth? No, animal rescuers are using the toothbrush to clean her. She was a victim of hurricane Irma that hit the state of Florida in the United States of America not too long ago.

In fact, she has been named Irma after the storm.She and other turtles live off the coast of Florida in the sea. Some of them were brought to land when the hurricane struck the area.

A hurricane is a severe storm that spins across the sea. When it touches land, it can be very destructive. Many homes were destroyed and towns were flooded. Big waves also crashed onto the land, bringing sea life with them. Some of the turtles were found swimming in flooded homes, others lay on the street. Some of the animals were injured.

Baby Irma was found on the road. She was brought to a turtle hospital. She will be treated and nursed here until she can be released back into the wild. In the meantime, the hospital staff are taking care of her. They use soft toothbrushes to clean her. © source: dpa for kids

Farewell for Thailand's late king

19 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Thailand is preparing for a major shutdown next week. The country is getting ready for the grand cremation ceremony for its late king Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The southeast Asian country's king died last year and will be cremated next Thursday. Cremating a body means burning it. After the cremation, families can keep the body's ashes in an urn or they can scatter them in a place that is of special importance to them. In many cultures, this is a family's way of dealing with the death of a loved one.

In Thailand, many major businesses, stores and night clubs will be closed during the cremation ceremony. Even banks and post offices will be closed. Although Thailand attracts millions of holiday-makers, officials say many tourist attractions will also be closed. The government has also asked people not to take part in any festivities for the whole month of October.

Adulyadej died in October last year, aged 88. At the time, people in the country wore black clothes for 30 days to show respect for the late king. © source: dpa for kids

Pretty but poisonous

19 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

What a beautiful mushroom! It has a red hat with white dots on top of its white stalk. It looks a lot like a cheerful umbrella.

However, this mushroom is extremely poisonous. It is from Germany in western Europe. It is called a fly fungus. This is because people used it to keep flies away. They cut it into pieces and poured milk over it to attract flies. When the flies sat on the dish, however, they died.

These mushrooms can be found in forests. Luckily their bright colour warns humans to keep away from them. In fact, nature often uses bright colours to warn us away from certain plants and animals. It even has a special name: aposematism. The «warning sign» is also used to protect these creatures from their predators. Sometimes, even those that are not poisonous have bright colours just to confuse anyone who may want to harm them!

If you see an animal or plant with bright colouring, it is best to stay away until you can be sure it is safe to go near it. © source: dpa for kids

Happy Diwali 

17 October 2017 - News for Kids

Diwali lights and decoration - by Ashish Kanitkar/wikicommons

Diwali or Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated this year on 19 October. Diwali is an official holiday in many countries among them India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore or Mauritius.

Hindus all over the world celebrate the victory of the good over the evil or the light over darkness with this festival. They place lanterns and candles in the windows and door and visit  the temples to pray to the goddess of wealth and fortune, Lakshmi, and light candles. Families come together during the five-day festival and gifts are often exchanged with family members and close friends. In many cities the festival is celebrated with big fireworks. 

Before the festival many people renovate and clean their houses, decorate their homes with rangoli patterns made with coloured sand and new clothing such as sari dresses are bought to be worn during the festival. This is one of the happiest festivals on the Hindu calendar and children enjoy the sweets and gifts they receive.

The Diwali Festival is celebrated every year in late October or early November as the days change depending on the darkest night of the month as the celebrations start when it is new moon.

Wildfires sweep through Portugal and Spain

16 October 2017 - News for Kids

Months of drought have restarted wildfires in Portugal and north-western Spain. Rescue workers in these southern European countries try to reach areas impacted by the blazes. 

In Portugal, the central districts were worst hit by the fires. Over 65 separate blaze areas had been identified. Authorities called on residents to fight the flames themselves. Fire fighters could not reach all affected areas as countless roads were no longer passable. In June, at least 63 people died when wildfires broke out across central Portugal, in the deadliest forest fire for the country since records began.

In Spain, local authorities believed that the fires were started by arsonists. Arsonists are people who set fire intentionally to destroy and cause damage to property. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rushed to Galicia on Monday to examine the situation. In Galicia, people were already evacuated in 20 villages that are threatened by the fires.

Warm winds from the south had fanned the fires, but the people in the region hope for more rain in the coming days. © source: dpa- international - edited

Terror Attack in Somalia

16 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

A suicide bomb attack rocked Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu and more than 270 people have been confirmed dead. Somalia is located in eastern Africa and is often hit by militants and rebel groups fighting the country’s government and military. In recent years, the African country also has been hit hard by various disasters: droughts, flooding and warfare. Almost three million people, most of them are children, are without proper housing and need food aid. 

In the recent terror attack, a truck filled with explosives detonated at a busy intersection. It was the deadliest single attack in the country’s history. The government believes the attack was carried out by al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

As the explosion occurred at a major intersection normally packed with cars, buses and taxis, many people were in the area during the day. In this area are hotels, stores, restaurants and government buildings. Security forces had tried to stop the speeding truck but were unsuccessful. 

A 22,000-strong African Union force supports the Somali military in its fight against the terrorists. © source: dpa- international - edited

Catalonia votes for independence

14 October 2017 - News for Kids

Catalonia flags - image by Riderfoot/shutterstock.com© dpa

The southern European country of Spain currently experiences a political crisis. The people in Catalonia, a Spanish province, voted for independence in a recent referendum. The referendum in Catalonia asked the people if the province should split from Spain or remain in the union. In a referendum people are asked one question they have to answer either with yes or with no. 

The vote took place on 1 October although the referendum had been prohibited by Spain’s government and the Spanish constitution does not allow for a separation of the provinces. The government sent in police to disrupt voting on the day of the referendum.

The vast majority of all the people who voted, were for Catalonia’s independence, however, not all Catalans went to vote. More than half of Catalonia’s inhabitants stayed home or did not go to vote. Now, the government wants the provincial leaders to reconsider the decision to break Catalonia off from Spain.

Catalonia is Spain’s most wealthy province. The province also has a separate language and culture and the provincial Catalan government had many fights with the central Spanish government throughout the country’s history. © source: dpa- international - edited

Read our Spain Facts for Kids here.

Rabada breaks records 

11 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Kagiso Rabada has cricket fans all over the world in awe. At the age of 22, he has already made his mark. This weekend he became the world's leading test bowler for 2017. This is because he has taken 54 wickets altogether this year. Rangana Herath from Sri Lanka comes in second, with 49 wickets.

Taking a wicket means to get a batsman out. The most common ways of doing so are by hitting the wickets (the wooden stumps behind the batsman) or by catching the ball. In this weekend's test against Bangladesh, Rabada took 10 wickets. This brought his career total to 100. It also made him the youngest bowler to claim 100 wickets for South Africa.

South Africa were playing Bangladesh in a three-test series. A test is a cricket match that lasts five days! However, the second test was over in three days because all the batsmen were out! Since South Africa have won two of the tests, they have won the series.

Rabada has played in 22 tests for South Africa. This is the third time he has taken 10 wickets in a match. That is very good for a bowler. © source: dpa for kids

Delicious dinner 200 million years ago! 

11 October 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

What did you have for supper on October 9 three years ago? It is probably safe to say that you do not remember. Science, however, can tell us all sorts of things that happened in the past. There are many scientists who like to study the past.

Archeologists are scientists who study human history. They dig up sites where people and artefacts have been buried. By studying what they find, they can learn about the way people lived many years ago.

A paleontologist is a scientist who studies fossils. Fossils are parts of animals or plants that have been buried and preserved in rock. Some paleontologists in the United Kingdom, a country in Europe, examined the fossils of a baby fish dinosaur. They found out what it had eaten 200 million years ago: a feast of squid.

Squid are sea animals that have eight arms. Between the ribs of the ichthyosaur (pronounced ik theo sore), the scientists found bits of the arms of the squid. If the dinosaur were still alive, he would probably not remember this meal. © source: dpa for kids

Superheroes wash windows 

11 October 2017 - News for Kids

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The patients at a children's hospital in the city of São Paulo, in the South American country of Brazil, had special visitors on Monday. However, these guests did not enter through the door. No, they used the windows - because that is what superheroes do.

Instead of the usual window washers, the children found Superman, Batman and The Flash waving and smiling at them from outside their ward. Their ward is high up in the building.

The management of Sabara Children's Hospital organises this treat every year. It is part of the country's Children's Day celebrations. In Brazil this is a day where children usually get presents and have fun with their friends.

For those who are very sick in hosptial, however, it can be a sad day. But having superheroes greeting them in the morning really helps to cheer the patients up. They were excited to see the superheroes «climb» up and down the building. © source: dpa for kids

South African boy is the World Abacus Champion

11 October 2017 - News for Kids

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His fingers move with lightning speed up and down, moving beads here and there. However, Yahya Ballim is not playing a game, he is doing very complicated sums.

Earlier this month he was crowned World Abacus Champion at a big competition held in Thailand in southeast Asia. An abacus is an ancient counting tool. Beads on rods are used to solve complex addition, subtraction, division and multiplication problems.

Ballim, who is 10 years old and in Grade 4, obtained the most correct answers to the problems in his category. He was competing against 400 other children. He did so in less than six minutes!

In a radio interview with South African television SABC, Ballim said: «I was really happy, excited and thrilled [to have won]. It is really easy if you practice and keep trying.» Ballim has been attending abacus classes with a tutor. Children from as young as three are taught how to use the beads and rods to work out maths problems. © source: dpa for kids

These boys are not at school 

11 October 2017 - News for Kids

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These young boys look like they are performing a dance or a play. However, they are performing a prayer ritual in India.

These boys, and many others in this south Asian country, do not go to school as most children do. They also do not study the usual subjects. They go to an ashram. This is a place for religious study and practice. Here they learn Hindu scriptures called the Vedas. Boys begin living at an ashram from as young as eight. They begin classes every day at 5am and must be in bed by 9.30pm. The children are also taught yoga, meditation and sport. They eat vegetarian food and wear special clothing.

At traditional ashrams, they do not learn from books. The Vedas are taught to them orally by their teachers, who are known as gurus. The boys must remember the scriptures without writing anything down. When they get older, they will become gurus and pass on the knowledge to the next generation.

This is how the Vedas have been taught in India for many centuries. When some of the boys graduate, they do not continue living at the ashram. They teach people, who are not studying at ashrams, how to incorporate yoga and meditation into their lives. © source: dpa for kids

Smoking banned on some Thai beaches

11 October 2017 - News for Kids

Some people like to go to Thailand on holiday. The beaches in the southease Asian country attract millions of tourists each year. However, authorities have been finding thousands of cigarette butts on some beaches. They are tired of this. Most people do not use the bins, instead they throw the cigarette butts on the beach.

To stop this from happening, officials have decided to ban smoking on many popular beaches. «Cigarette butts accounted for 30 per cent of the waste found,» said Jatuporn Buruspat, director general at the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. «This does not mean people cannot smoke at all. There will be designated areas for smoking on each beach away from the sea.»

Buruspat said anyone caught smoking in areas where it is no longer allowed could face a heavy fine or even go to jail for a year. © source: dpa for kids

The Arch turns 86

9 October 2017 - News for Kids

One of South Africa's most famous men turned 86 on Saturday. Former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of Cape Town celebrated his birthday on October 7. Tutu was an anti-apartheid activist and even won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution toward ending apartheid. He has always tried to unite all South Africans.

Archbishop Emeritus Tutu is fondly known as «the Arch» and he lives in Cape Town. South Africans refer to him as the laughing 'Arch', as is laughing a lot and many also call him 'the grandfather of the nation'. The city is giving him a special birthday gift. They have built a monument between the St George's Cathedral and Parliament in Cape Town.

It was unveiled on Tutu's birthday. The monument is called «Arch for an Arch» and can be described as a dome-shaped structure with quotes from the constitution written on it. A smaller version of the monument will be unveiled at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg in December. © source: dpa for kids - edited/k-w-t-g.com image

Women win the right to drive

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

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There was a lot of excitement and relief around the world last week: King Salman of Saudi Arabia announced that women in his country would be allowed to drive from June next year.

Saudi Arabia is a conservative Muslim kingdom in the Middle East. It was the only country in the world where women were not allowed to drive cars. Activists have been protesting this ban for many, many years. They saw it as a grave infringement of women's rights.

The government in Saudi Arabia, however, believes that there are a lot of things that women should not be allowed to do. This is in line with their strict religious beliefs. However, there are moves to make changes in the country.

Women are now also allowed to vote in municipal elections and to attend gyms. Saudi activist Wajeha al-Huwaider said the decision was «a victory for all the women in the world». Officials say they will use the next few months to prepare women to drive and expand licensing facilities. © source: dpa for kids

South African wants to take over Mars

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

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If all goes according to the grand plans of entrepreneur Elon Musk, humans will begin living on planet Mars by 2024.

Musk was born and raised in South Africa. He then moved to study in Canada and the United States of America. He has become a very successful businessman. He says he wants to use his money to improve human life. One of his daring plans includes making it possible for humans to live on Mars. A lot of experts say the plans are not realistic.

Musk, however, is undeterred by skeptics. Last week, he outlined his plan at a conference in Adelaide, a city in Australia. He announced the development of a new rocket and a spaceship that would be able go to Mars.

The rocket would be 100 metres/328 ft. tall with 31 engines that will have enough power to lift more than 4,000 tons into space. It would carry the things that humans will need on Mars. The spaceship will be 48 metres/157 ft. long and will have 40 cabins that could carry three people each.

His company, SpaceX plans to start building the first spaceship by the middle of next year. «The future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we are a multi-planet species than if we are not,» Musk said. © source: dpa for kids

The giant tortoises

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

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Look at these tortoises. They are huge! Almost as big as the man sitting with them. They are called giant tortoises and are found on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Ecuador is a country on South America's west coast.

There are now plans to breed these tortoises to grow their population. That is because there are very few giant tortoises left. They once lived almost everywhere in the world. However, the Galapagos tortoises are now one of the only two groups of giant tortoises in the entire world.

Their numbers decreased after pirates and sailors took them on ships for food. Some were abandoned on the slopes of the Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. It is believed that about 150,000 giant tortoises were killed. Today, only about 25,000 remain on the Galapagos island. Up to 5,000 can be found on the slopes of the volcano.

The giant tortoise weighs up 250kg. That's about as heavy as three average sized adults. It is 1.5 metres/5 feet long. These reptiles can live for up to 150 years. © source: dpa for kids

Rohingya people forced to flee

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

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More than half a million people have fled the southeast Asian country of Myanmar. They have gone to Bangladesh, a neighbouring country, to seek asylum. The refugees are mainly from a Muslim ethnic group called Rohingya.

However, the government in Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya as being a part of their nation. But the Rohingya say they have been living in the Rakhine State of Myanmar for more than 100 years. In 1982 a citizenship law was passed. It said that only people whose ancestors had come into the country before 1823 were citizens. The Rohingya were unable to prove that their ancestors settled there before that date, so their citizenship was denied.

Since then, they have been discriminated against by the Buddhist majority ruling the country. Further violence erupted in August. Many people have been killed, many have had their homes burnt down and have been forced to flee.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said they have received «bone-chilling» reports from refugees about the atrocities committed against them. Atrocities are extremely cruel and shocking acts towards people or animals. © source: dpa for kids

People who do good things get rewarded

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

This week some of the world's most exceptional people will be awarded the Nobel Prize. South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu are among the people who have received the award.

The Nobel Prize is a coveted award for outstanding achievements in different categories. The categories are Medicine, Chemistry, Physics, Literature and Peace. Each day of the week is dedicated to a separate category. So there's one Nobel Prize per day.

Winners receive a lot of money and a medal like this one with their name engraved on it. So, whose face is on this gold medal? It is the face of Alfred Nobel, after whom the prize is named.

He was a scientist and inventor from Sweden. One of his inventions was dynamite. That's an explosive which helps people to construct roads and mines, for dynamite is able to break open rocks. However, it was also used in wars. This was something that Nobel did not like. That is why he wrote in his will that his money should be given to people who have done outstanding work that helps advance humanity.

People who win the prize are called Nobel Laureates. © source: dpa for kids

Waiting for a Volcano

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

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For many people, waiting for a volcano to erupt is a part of life. There are areas of the world where this could happen at any time. People need to be prepared.

A volcano is a mountain with an opening at the top. When it erupts, hot lava (liquid rock), ash and gas will be pushed out. When these spill out, they can cause hot ash flows, mudslides and other dangerous events. Currently there are fears that Mount Agung is going to erupt. It's situated on the island of Bali in Indonesia, a country in southeast Asia.

The national volcanology agency said on Friday that the volcano had emitted white smoke. This is a sign that it could erupt soon. The last time the volcano erupted was more than 50 years ago. A lot was destroyed. More than 1000 people were killed.

To avoid this from happening again, people living nearby were evacuated to places of safety. An initial eruption is likely to be small, but it may be followed by a bigger one, the agency said. In the meantime, people will have to wait and see what happens. © source: dpa for kids

The white hedgehog

5 October 2017 - News for Kids

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Have you ever seen a white hedgehog? Such animals are very rare. They have pink-red eyes, beige spines and white fur. Experts call them albino hedgehogs. This albino hedgehog was found in a garden in a town in Germany, a country in western Europe.

The animal looks a lot brighter than other hedgehogs, which are brown in colour. Just like his brown-coloured friends, the albino hedgehog moves around at night in search of food. They are nocturnal animals. They often sleep during the day in a nest or under bushes and come out to feed at night.

They may eat snails, frogs, mice, snakes and almost any insects.

Hedgehogs have between 5,000 and 6,500 spines on their bodies. They roll into a tight ball if threatened, making it hard for an attacker to get past the spikes.

The small animals are found in many parts of the world, including Africa, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. They live for about seven years. In colder regions, they hibernate in winter. This means they look for a cosy spot to sleep and snuggle up through the cold season. © source: dpa for kids

Norway's electric car boom

2 October 2017 - News for Kids

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The residents in the Norwegian capital Oslo are buying so many electric vehicles, the local government can barely keep up. In fact, the electric car association is even discouraging drivers from buying an electric vehicle if they don't have an option of charging it at home. Why is this so? 1 in 3 new cars sold in Norway is electric. But there are just 1,300 municipal charging stations.

In Norway petrol cars are more expensive than electric cars, therefore people prefer buying the cheaper e-cars. Drivers of e-cars can also park and charge for free in many districts, and they don't pay any road toll fees. 

In Norway, e-cars are very environmentally friendly, as 98 per cent of energy is generated from hydropower. Hydropower or Hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source generated with water from rivers and waterfalls. The first hydropower stations in Norway were already built more than 100 years ago. 

In other countries, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydro power still need to be explored further. Non-renewable energy sources such as coal or oil are still used for electricity generation in most parts of the world and this is not environmentally friendly. © source: dpa-international.com (edited)

Rocket power

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

Space rockets are very useful to humankind. As well as allowing astronauts to travel into space, they can help us find out more about our planet. For example, they can be used to gather information about weather forecasting, climate research, the Earth's history and other planets.

The rocket «Saturn V» helped take people to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s and it was used to launch a space station. Sending a rocket into space, however, is not a simple task. When a rocket is on Earth, it is really heavy. When «Saturn V» was getting ready to be lifted to the moon, it weighed 2.8 million kilograms. That is about the same as 400 elephants! In order to transport that weight into the air, a very strong engine and a lot of fuel is required.

The «Saturn V» was the most powerful rocket to have flown successfully. The United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is now busy working on other rockets like Saturn V. They hope to use them to explore yet other planets.  © source: dpa for kids

The people pyramid

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

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«Wow, I hope this is over soon!» That was probably what a few spectators at a festival in the western European country of Spain were thinking this weekend.

The festival, in the city of Barcelona, celebrates the coming of autumn. It includes fireworks and parades as well this tradition of building a human tower. People build the metres-high human towers by climbing on top of one another. They climb higher and higher, balancing on their friends' shoulders.

This climbing art has existed in Spain for more than 200 years. The towers are called castells. The climbers are called castellers. Some of them even climb in large sports stadiums in front of many spectators. The strongest castellers stand at the bottom of the castells. They are the ones who have to bear the most weight. At the top are the lightest castellers. These are often children.

The record for a human tower is 10 levels. Would you trust other people to hold you up so high?  © source: dpa for kids

Kneeling in protest

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

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American football is one of the United States' favourite national sports. Before they play, the national anthem is usually sung. It is protocol for teams to stand up when that happens. However, some African-American players in the National Football League (NFL) have decided to kneel or join arms while they stand.

This is in protest. They disagree with the way the police are behaving. They say police discriminate against black people and more easily subject them to violence. U.S. President Donald Trump is very angry about the protests. He says it is disrespectful to the country's flag. He think sports and politics should not mix. However, many people are supporting the athletes.

The National Basketball Association players said they would also stand with the protesters, insisting they are only using their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression.

The United States Olympic Committee chief executive, Scott Blackmun said the NFL players are «protesting because they love their country, not because they don’t.» Do you think athletes should be allowed to protest at games?  © source: dpa for kids

What a big stink!

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

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Can you believe that such a huge flower exists? Would you believe that it stinks? Experts say that it smells like a mixture of cheese, rotten fish and sweaty socks. The strange thing is that people seemed delighted to see it when it bloomed.

Many visitors came to the Bochum Botanical Garden in Germany recently to view it and take pictures of it. That's because it's a very rare event for the plant to have a flower. In fact, it can take up to seven years for the plant to have its first flower.

It is called the Titan Arum and grows naturally in the rainforests of Sumatra. That is a large island in Indonesia, a vast archipelago in southeast Asia. The striking purple flower is about two metres tall.

But why does it stink so much? It wants to attract insects that live off rotting meat. These insects help to pollinate the plant. That means it helps the plant to reproduce. The flower only lasts between 12 and 48 hours, then it dies. Fortunately, the smell dies with it.  © source: dpa for kids

Earthquake hits Mexico

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

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Some people came with shovels. Others simply used their hands to dig in the rubble. After an earthquake in Mexico last week, many people volunteered to search for missing people.

The earthquake was a very powerful one. Buildings collapsed and more than 300 people were killed. Many more have been injured. Some people were trapped under the rubble. Rescue teams and volunteers have been working hard to get them out.

Mexico, a country just south of the United States of America, often experiences earthquakes. This is because it is situated on the «Pacific Ring of Fire». This is an area where several of the earth's tectonic plates meet.

But what are tectonic plates? They are part of the Earth's outer layer. The Earth has four main layers. The outer layer is called the crust. It is made up of large, moving pieces called tectonic plates. They are a bit like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Sometimes the «puzzle pieces» tilt and crash into each other. This can cause the ground to shake, resulting in an earthquake. The effects of this can be devastating.  © source: dpa for kids

Angola's new president

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

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Joao Lourenco is Angola's new president. He was inaugurated in a ceremony in the capital of Luanda on Tuesday. The former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who retired earlier this year, had ruled the country for 38 years.

Angola, a country in southwestern Africa, held its elections in August. Dos Santos' ruling party, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola, won the election. Lourenco, 63, will be Angola's first leader to be constitutionally limited to serving two terms. A term is the fixed length of time that a person serves in an elected office. Angola's presidential term is five years.

Some political experts say it is not good for a person to be president for longer than that. They say other people should be given a chance to lead. This will ensure that countries are run freely and fairly. Lourenco says he wants to work to improve the lives and well-being of the people, pledging to «solve the problems of the nation».

Angola has rich oil reserves, yet the majority of people remains very poor.  © source: dpa for kids

MOCAA opens in Cape Town

27 September 2017 - News for Kids

MOCAA stands for Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. This newly opened museum in Cape Town/SouthAfrica is also called the Zeitz MOCAA for short. It claims to have the largest collection of African art.

The museum is named after Jochen Zeitz, German businessman and former general manager of PUMA. Zeitz donated his collection of artworks to the museum. All exhibits like sculptures or paintings were made in the 21st century.

The museum was made from an old grain silo in what used to be Cape Town's harbour area but now is the popular entertainment district V&A Waterfront. The silo was built in 1920 and was used to store corn and other grain. The silo was made up of 42 huge concrete tubes. The museum's designers cut the concrete tubes to make lots of new rooms.

There are now 80 galleries, shops, restaurants and education rooms within the museum. The building has nine floors and there are even artworks on the roof. Cylindrical lifts take people from one floor to another.  © source: dpa for kids (edited)

US imposing new travel bans

25 September 2017 - News for Kids

A new order issued by US President Donald Trump on Sunday will impose entry bans next month against people (or government officials) from seven countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The order, is set to go into effect October 18.

Valid visas already issued are not being cancelled, an official said. Somalia was not listed, but similar restrictions were placed on immigrant visas.

A travel ban was first announced days after Trump took office in January. The countries affected were found to be high risk areas.

The order suspends entry for all immigrant and non-immigrant visas for Chad, Libya, Syria, North Korea and Yemen. The order suspends all visas for Iran, except valid student and exchange visitor visas with enhanced screening. The order suspends entry for certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members.Countries could be removed or added to the current list. © source: dpa-international.com

World's oldest panda dies

21 September 2017 - news for kids

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Many people in China, a country in east Asia, are sad. That is because a beloved giant panda has died.

Basi was the oldest giant panda in the world. She died at age 37. That is very old for a panda. Basi had been living at a panda centre and zoo in Fuzhou in southern China since she was about four years old. She was rescued from a valley and taken to the centre where she lived all her life.

Officials say Basi was named after the valley she was rescued from. People loved her. Most of her birthdays were celebrated and hundreds of people went to the zoo to see her.

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. 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 tall, or a bit smaller than an adult person. One panda can weigh as much as 15 big bags of potatoes! © source: dpa for kids

Food for giants?

21 September 2017 - news for kids

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Some people have interesting hobbies. Joe Atherton likes to grow very big vegetables. He enters competitions every year.

Last year he made the world record for the longest carrot. It was 6.245 metres long! Two years ago he won a prize for the heaviest tomato. Here he is with his latest prize-winning carrot. In fact, it is a double delight. It looks like two carrots have grown into one. It weighed 3.96 kilograms. That is about as heavy as a newborn baby! It won the prize for the heaviest carrot at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in Great Britain.

The show is held every year and keen gardeners come from all over the country to attend. There are various competitions that they can enter. The Harrogate Flower Shows are held to raise money for charity and also to promote gardening and horticulture. That is the study and practice of growing flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Growing vegetables is a good thing to do. It can feed families and it can win gardeners some nice prizes! © source: dpa for kids

Celebrities help storm victims

19 September 2017 - news for kids

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Dozens of famous people gathered for the «Hand in Hand» telethon last week. This was to raise money for the victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These severe storms have left many people in the United States of America and in Caribbean island nations homeless.

During a telethon, ordinary people call in to a dedicated call centre to donate money. However, ordinary staff do not answer. No,famous people answer the telephones! Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Will Smith and many more gave up their time to do this.

Musicians like Stevie Wonder, Usher and Justin Bieber sang songs during the telethon which was broadcast on television, radio and on the internet. Beyoncé, who comes from the city of Houston which was hit by Harvey, appealed to people to send money to help others.

Millions of people watched the telethon on television or on the internet. The telethon raised about R620 million. However, the damage that has been caused by the two storms has been estimated to be much, much more than that.© source: dpa for kids

Fun at the Oktoberfest

20 September 2017 - news for kids

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The rain in Munich could not keep visitors away from their «Oktoberfest» celebrations.

Munich is a city in Germany, a country in western Europe. It is the capital of the state of Bavaria, which is like a South African province. Every year, the city holds this huge folk festival for two weeks. The festival celebrates Bavarian traditions, food and culture. It has become world famous and people from other countries like to visit Munich at this time.

There are funfair rides, food and drink stalls and lots of things to see and buy. On some days, more than one million people visit Munich's «Oktoberfest». On Sunday, for the festival's opening, there was a parade in the streets. Adults and children dressed up in traditional clothing. People wore hats with feathers, long skirts or stripy stockings and waist coasts. Some carried baskets, flowers or pretty umbrellas.

All over the world, people enjoy celebrating their unique cultures. In South Africa we have Heritage Day in September. On this day we celebrate all our people and their different cultures too. © source: dpa for kids

Rambling Volcano

19 September 2017 - news for kids

The Indonesian island of Bali is visited by thousands of tourists every year. They come for the island's stunning beaches, fascinating cultural festivals and watching the smoky clouds above the island's volcano! The volcano is also popular among local and foreign trekkers and hikers. Now Indonesian authorities have raised the alert for the Mount Agung volcano on the resort island.

People have been advised to stay away from an exclusion zone of 7.5 kilometres from the volcano's crater. Tremors have increased and therefore people are advised to remain alert for the next 14 days. Tremors are ground shaking movements which often appear before a volcanic eruption.

Mount Agung is 3,030m/9,940ft. high and last erupted in 1963-64. Then it killed about 1,500 people. Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where often earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen. Indonesia with its Indian Ocean islands is home to about 130 active volcanoes. © source: dpa-international.com

Heritage Month

13 September 2017 - news for kids

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September is special for South Africans. That is because South Africans celebrate their heritage during this month. September is known as Heritage Month as the 24th of September is Heritage Day and is a public holiday.

Heritage refers to things we inherit from our ancestors. Things like traditions, beliefs and styles of dress are parts of our heritage.

Khoisan, Black, White, Indian, Coloured, Malay, Chinese and all the people from other countries who live in South Africa have their own cultural heritage. During Heritage Month, South Africans celebrate the different cultures of people living in the country.

Former President Nelson Mandela once said: «Our rich and varied cultural heritage has a power to help build our nation.» This means that we should celebrate our differences.

We should allow everyone to work and live together according to our traditions. In this way people will be able to respect and cherish each other's beliefs. This is why the government decided to have Heritage Day as a public holiday. It wants all South Africans to accept and respect each other as they are. © source: dpa for kids

Read more about South Africa here.

Ice breaks away from glacier

13 September 2017 - news for kids

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Hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of ice have broken away from a glacier in Switzerland, a mountainous country in Europe.

A glacier is a huge frozen mass of slow-moving ice. It is formed by lots of dense snow on mountains or near the poles accumulated over centuries. Fortunately, no homes were damaged and no one was injured when the ice broke. Officials say residents in the village of Saas-Grund were evacuated from their homes before the incident. 

They feared it might cause an avalanche. This is when a huge mass of snow and ice comes rushing down a mountain side. Avalanches are very powerful. The swift mass of snow can bury houses and people. Luckily, this did not happen in Saas-Grund. That's because all of the ice did not break away. Emergency services are still monitoring some ice left on the mountain.

The glacier, called Trift, has been shrinking since 1986. About two kilometres of ice have fallen away since then. All roads, hiking trails and railway operations in the area have been closed for safety reasons. © source: dpa for kids

Harvey, Irma and Jose

13 September 2017 - news for kids

Harvey, Irma and Jose. They sound like friendly children you might want to play with. To those living in the United States and nearby Caribbean island nations, however, they are names of horror. They are the names of three severe storms that have hit the area recently. Harvey hit two weeks ago. Irma hit last week, with Jose close behind.

Every year, this part of the world experiences hurricanes in what is called the «Atlantic hurricane season». However, Harvey and Irma have been the biggest and most powerful storms in many, many years.

When a hurricane hits land, it can be very destructive. This is because it brings with it a lot of rain and wind as well as large waves from the sea. Irma first hit the Caribbean islands to the southeast of the United States. Many people were killed and a lot of homes and businesses there were destroyed. It then moved to the US state of Florida where six million people had been told to evacuate their homes. The total extent of the damage is still unclear. © source: dpa for kids

Volcano spits ash and smoke

13 September 2017 - news for kids

news for kids: sabancaya erupts in peru

The huge gray cloud you can see here is a cloud of ash and smoke. It is coming out of a volcano. The volcano is called Sabancaya and it is in Peru, a a country in South America.

How does a volcano erupt? Molten rock is inside the volcano. This molten rock is also called magma, is rock that has become so hot it has turned into a thick liquid. When pressure builds up underground, the volcano can erupt. Gases, magma and ash can be pushed up through the opening. When they spill out, they can cause hot ash flows, mudslides and other dangerous events.

Sabancaya, which means ‘tongue of fire’, is located in the south of the country and is one of Peru's most active volcanoes. It is almost 6000 metres high. Experts say that there are more than 40 explosions inside it every day!

The people who live near the volcano are sometimes given masks and goggles to wear. This is to protect them from the smoke and gas. © source: dpa for kids - edited

Tomb discovered in Egypt

13 September 2017 - news for kids

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What an exciting discovery! Researchers have found an ancient burial chamber in Egypt, a country in northern Africa.

The burial chamber near the city of Luxor is believed to be more than 3,500 years old. In the chamber, researchers found items like jewelery, wooden masks, mummies and a statue. The chamber used to belong to a goldsmith named Amenemhat, his wife Amenhotep, and their son. A goldsmith is a person who crafts golden jewellery.

Many old tombs have been found in Egypt over the years. That is because Egyptians already buried people in tombs thousands of years ago. After a person had died, his or her organs were removed and the body was then cleaned and wrapped in bandages. Such wrapped bodies are known as mummies.

Researchers are always excited when they find ancient burial chambers and mummies because they are a window into the past. They study the findings from the chambers to get more information about how people lived thousands of years ago. © source: dpa for kids

Millions of children without schools

13 September 2017 - news for kids

School kids in Africa - dpa© dpa

There are about 123 million children around the world who have no schools to attend. That is so according to UNICEF, an international aid organisation caring for children. The organisation says poverty, conflict and humanitarian emergencies are to blame for this. 

A humanitarian emergency is an event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or well-being of a community. The head of education at UNICEF, Jo Bourne, said that although world leaders have agreed to create more school spaces, there has been very little progress.

He says the problem is most serious in sub-Saharan Africa. Most children affected live in very poor countries. «Governments and the global community must eliminate the factors preventing these children from going to school, including making schools safe and improving teaching and learning,» said Bourne.

However, he says there has been some progress in getting more children into schools in African countries like Ethiopia and Niger. © source: dpa for kids

Read our article: Unicef Facts for Kids

Purple Bananas?

11 September 2017 - news for kids

© dpa

Grocery stores in Europe and North America typically stock only one variety of banana. This variety of banana is called the ‘Cavendish’ banana, a seedless variety.  However, there are actually more than 1,500 different varieties of bananas! The Belgian university in Leuven houses the world's largest collection of bananas. Belgian researchers are hoping that new varieties will soon enter the supermarkets.

The university's greenhouse has only a few dozen fully developed banana trees. The large leaves of these trees are often the size of people - or even bigger. Therefore, the banana collection itself is kept in more than 30,000 test tubes, where the plants are allowed to grow to about 10 to 15 centimetres (4 to 6 inches). The collection has banana plants that can produce fruit with red skin and orange pulp, or fig-sized ones with a hard, purple-brown skin. 

The banana is one of the oldest crops in the world. Some varieties were being cultivated by humans as early as 7,000 years ago. 

While bananas originate from South-East Asia, they made their way to Africa 3,000 to 6,000 years ago, where they became a staple food. Eventually, banana trees were also brought to the Americas.Today, most of the bananas sold in North American and European markets originate from Latin America. 

The banana is a staple food for 400 million people and a total of 1 billion people consume it worldwide. © source: dpa-international (edited)

Hurricanes Irma and Jose hit the Caribbean islands

10 September 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Caribbean island residents emerged from bunkers and shelters to begin surveying and cleaning up the damage from Hurricane Irma. Luckily the second Hurricane Jose passed further north of the islands than expected. Several islands in the Caribbean were hit by the strong winds and rain of the hurricanes and flooding occurred in many regions. Most severely hit were the islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy as well as Barbuda, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Cuba.

The French Caribbean territories of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy were devastated by Hurricane Irma. Saint Martin is controlled half by France and half by the Netherlands. Barbuda, an island south-west of Saint Barthelemy was also severely hit and there more than 95% of all buildings were reduced to rubble. 

France now sends out hundreds of police and army reinforcements to the island of Saint Martin. Many local residents, however, complain about a lack of security and reports of widespread looting. Meanwhile, more than 50 police officers departed Britain for the British Virgin Islands on Sunday to assist local authorities. Britain has deployed some 500 troops to the region.

Also in Cuba there are rows of roofless houses and uprooted trees amid severe flooding in some regions, but many of the residents were evacuated into emergency shelters. There is widespread damage to homes and roads as well as flooding. Hurricane Irma had hit the island with winds of 250 kilometres per hour! © source: dpa-international (edited)

Fashion from Oranges

6 September 2017 - news for kids

A very clever designer from Sicily has come up with a new use for orange peels - fabric. Sicily is an island off southern Italy. It is known for its citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges.

People there make delicious orange juice. However, once the juice has been squeezed out, the rest of the orange is discarded. Thousands of tons of orange peels or rinds are discarded each year.

Adriana Santonocito thought that this was a terrible waste. She started to wonder about what else the peels could be used for. She did research and experiments. She found out that fibre could be made from the rinds. Fibre is long and thin and is a bit like hair. It can be spun into thread. This is then used to make fabric.

Now, a well-known fashion house in Italy has used her orange-fibre fabric to create designer wear. Getting rid of the orange peels is expensive for juice makers. If the waste can now be used to make other things, then everybody wins. © source: dpa news for kids

Wildfire in California

6 September 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

There is a massive fire burning in parts of Los Angeles. The city lies in California, a state on the west coast of the United States of America.

Firefighters say this could be largest fire the city has ever seen. Thousands of hectares of land have been destroyed in the nearby Verdugo Mountains. So far, three homes have been burned. Fortunately no one has been injured. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and moved to safer areas.

About 800 firefighters are working to put out the blaze. Parts of the national highway near the mountains has been closed and people have been warned to stay away from the area. Officials say the fire could spread if it becomes more windy. This fire is known as a wildfire. Wildfires often cannot be controlled easily. © source: dpa news for kids

Sandcastle Building - New World Record

6 September 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

Do you remember reading about the sandcastle being built in Germany? There was a team trying to build the highest sandcastle in the world. Well, guess what? They did! On Friday, a judge from Guiness World Records confirmed this. Guiness World Records is the international organisation that judges world records.

The sandcastle, built in the city of Duisburg, is now the highest in the world. It is 16.68 metres high. It is also beautiful, with a lot of detailed decorations on its sides. The previous record was for a sandcastle built in India. That one was 14.84 metres high.

It took the team of 19 artists three weeks to build this castle. It was not as simple as one you would make in a sandpit. Tons of sand had to be brought on trucks and it was built around a wooden frame. The sand was mixed in a certain way to strengthen it.

The team was very pleased with their achievement. People can go and see the massive sandcastle until the end of the month. © source: dpa news for kids

Back to Earth

6 September 2017 - news for kids

© dpa

They have come back down to Earth! These three astronauts are smiling as they sit outside on large, comfortable seats, though still in their space suits. They are happy to be safely back home.

The three space experts have been in the International Space Station for the past few months. The space station travels about 400 kilometres above our planet. From there, the experts explore the universe and conduct experiments.

Why do you think they look slumped in their chairs? It is because their muscles are very weak. In space you do not use your muscles in the same way as you do on Earth. Up there the body is weightless. It floats. It is like being in deep water where your feet do not touch the bottom. The astronauts will have to train their muscles again.

Peggy Whitson is one of the astronauts. She has been in the station the longest - for almost 10 months. She has been to space a number of times. In total, she has spent 665 days in space already. It will take a long time for her body to readjust to the Earth's gravity. © source: dpa news for kids

Severe Flooding in South Asia

31 August 2017 - News for Kids

Two people bracing rain during Monsoon in Bangladesh - dpa

It is Monsoon season in South Asia and heavy rains resulted in deadly floodings and landslides all around Southern Asia. Severe flooding, landslides and mudslides hit India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh and more than 1,200 people have been killed in these countries during this year’s monsoon. Over 40 million people have been affected by this year’s monsoon rains. The floods have also damaged over 18,000 schools in the region, so more than 1.8 million children cannot attend school.

The country of Bangladesh has been hardest hit by the floods which left more than two thirds of the country underwater. Most of the victims drowned, others died when buildings and bridges collapsed or were swept away. Many people had to flee their homes and seek shelter in safer areas. 

Monsoon is a weather phenomenon in South Asia. The wet monsoon season is June to September and bring heavy rainfalls. Heavy rain is usual during the monsoon, but this year brought enormous amounts of rainfall. As the rivers swell, the soaked soil cannot hold more water, dams break or overflow and create flooding and mudslides. They thus bring disaster to people and livestock as well as to their crops. © source: dpa-international (edited)

Hurricane Harvey wreaks Havoc

30 August 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

On Friday a hurricane hit the state of Texas in the United States of America. A hurricane is a name for a massive storm. Hurricanes start over warm parts of the ocean. Clouds and strong winds combine to make the storm. The winds spiral upwards and make the storm spin across the ocean.

If the storm hits land, it can be very destructive. This is because it brings with it a lot of rain and wind as well as large waves from the sea. Experts say Harvey is the worst storm to have affected the country in a decade.

Many people have been injured and at least five people have died. Streets have turned into rivers. Houses and other buildings have been destroyed. The army has been brought in to help rescue thousands of people«This event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced,» the National Weather Service reported. The storm is not yet over and a lot more rain is expected. © source: dpa news for kids

Stranded Humpback Whale gets Help

30 August 2017 - News for Kids

© dpa

This humpback whale has had a lot of luck and lots of helpers! He had strayed from his home in the ocean to the coast of the South American country of Brazil. He was found lying on a beach in the city of Buzios.

The humpback whale could not get back into the sea on its own. Hundreds of people decided to help the stranded animal. They took water from the sea with buckets and poured it onto the whale. This kept it wet.

At the same time, three excavators dug a pathway from the beach into the sea. The whale was pulled back into the water through this pathway. Fortunately, the humpback whale was also quite young, and therefore lighter. If an adult whale is beached, it is very difficult to move it.

Humpback whales weigh up to 30 000 kilograms. That is about as heavy as six elephants together. Humpback whales are the noisiest whales in the ocean. They make noises that are known as songs. These songs can last for more than 20 minutes. Humpbacks feed on krill and small fish. © source: dpa news for kids

Referee scores a new Goal

30 August 2017 - Sport News for Kids

© dpa

The German men's football league has a new referee. Bibiana Steinhaus is the first woman referee in the Bundesliga. This job has traditionally belonged to men. However, Steinhaus has proved that women can do the job just as well.

Her father was a soccer referee. She decided from a young age that she would also like to become one, one day. She played soccer and then started refereeing in the women's league. She went on to referee in the second Bundesliga. Now she has been chosen to referee in the main Bundesliga for the 2017-2018 season. What an achievement! 

The Bundesliga is considered one of the best leagues in the world. So it is certainly not an easy job. She has to make tough decisions. Sometimes the famous footballers will not like her decisions. Some people might even think that it is not a job for a woman. However, there are many men who have congratulated her on her new position. Steinhaus said: «I referee in the Bundesliga, because my performances are right - not because I am a woman. This is an important difference. If I were a role model for young girls, I would be happy.» © source: dpa news for kids

Robot Wolf guards the Fields

30 August 2017 - Science News for Kids

© dpa

He growls and his red eyes twinkle. He looks very dangerous, but he is not. That is because this wolf is really a robot. The machine only pretends to be a wolf. The robot is covered with a coat that looks like fur. 

The robot wolf scares off wild pigs and buck in rice fields in Japan. The animals have been destroying the rice fields by walking on them. Scientists came up with the idea of a robot wolf to help the farmers. 

The super monster has metal stands for legs. It has sensors that allows it to detect when an animal approaches. The robot then growls loudly. At the same time, lights that look like red eyes begin to sparkle and its head wiggles back and forth. It is not yet known if this trick will work. Farmers have only just started using the robot. What do you think? © source: dpa news for kids

Wall of Shame

28 August 2017

© dpa-international

In Peru’s capital city Lima, two neighbouring districts are divided by a concrete and barbed wire wall. On one side, there are big white houses, swimming pools and tennis courts. On the other side of the wall is Pamplona, a shanty town without running water and without a sewage system, so diseases can spread easily. Water is brought into Pamplona by truck, but many people are so poor, that they can hardly afford it.

The wall is 10 kilometres long, three metres high was build to protect the gated community where the wealthy people live. Residents, however, call it "the wall of shame." Many people of Pamplona who live in the shacks work as domestic employees and cooks or help building the homes on the other side, the rich side.

Before the wall was built it was easy to walk across the land, as one inhabitant of Pamplona says: ‘We could cross over and arrive in an hour. Now we have to go all the way around and it takes up to three hours," she says. Children in Pamplona say they miss being able to see the ocean and the lights in downtown Lima from the top of the hill. Sometimes, they lean a ladder against the wall, climb up to the top and peek over to look at the other side and ask themselves: "Why can't we live over there?" © source: dpa-international

The Boy who loved Experiments

23 August 2017

© dpa

Did you know that a lot of what we know today comes from experiments that people did many years ago? Sometimes it is by testing different ideas that new things are discovered. One of the most famous experimenters of all time was Michael Faraday. He died 150 years ago! However, we still use his discoveries on the effects of electricity and magnets.For example, today's electric motors and traffic lights go back to his experiments.

Nobody ever thought he would become a famous scientist one day, says the historian Friedrich Steinle. An historian is someone who studies history. This was because Faraday came from a very poor family. He had to work from a very young age. However, he loved to learn and read. He even attended lectures given by scientists. One day he asked one of them for a job! «It was very courageous and a bit cheeky,» says Steinle.

Faraday became a laboratory assistant. Experiments were his favourite thing! Experts say he did over 20 000 of them in his life. He discovered many things. Luckily he shared his knowledge so we can still use it. © source: dpa news for kids

Living on the Moon

2 August 2017

Astronaut on the Moon wth American flag - dpa© dpa

Do you like to look up at the moon? Do you like it best when it is full and round, or do you like it when it looks like a smile? Some people would like to go up to it and look at it more closely. However, it has been a long time since anyone has been to the moon.

Almost 50 years ago, the first astronaut visited the moon. Only 12 people have ever been there. It is very expensive for people to get to the moon. Instead, rockets and robots have been sent up to take pictures and gather information.

However, researchers have begun to build space capsules and rockets that can take people to the moon again. This is because scientists want to build a station on the moon. Astronauts could live there.

This is expensive and tricky, but it could be very useful, says space expert Ulrich Koehler. From there, they could better explore the universe. They could also go from there to Mars. For many researchers, this is the next big goal in science exploration. © source: dpa news for kids

Flooding in India

2 August 2017

Indian woman walking through water - Flooding in India  - dpa© dpa

Rescue workers in parts of India are very busy. That is because the South Asian country has been experiencing very heavy rain. It has led to floods in many parts of the country.

Some villages in the provinces of Gujarat and Rajasthan have been submerged in water. This means that the villages are almost completely under water. Many people have lost their homes and all their belongings. Some people have even died.

Dozens of people are trapped in places where the water is too high. Rescue teams are working hard to bring as many people as possible to safety. Officials say over 100,000 people have already been moved.

India and some other parts of Asia experience heavy rain every year between June and September. These rains are known as monsoons. A monsoon is a seasonal shift in the wind direction that usually brings with it very heavy rainfall. This rain is important for agriculture, but it causes destruction to villages and homes near the coasts and rivers. © source: dpa news for kids

Living with HIV

25 July 2017

Scientists who are working on a cure for AIDS are very excited. They have been testing anti-AIDS medicine. A nine-year-old South African girl has become the third child to control the virus after taking the medicine.

The girl was born with HIV. She was given the medication for 10 months after birth. It was then stopped. The child was recently tested again. While her body still has the virus, it is weak and cannot grow. She has been living with HIV for almost nine years without taking any drugs. This is very good news. At present, anyone with HIV has to take drugs every day to remain healthy.

Researchers are now trying to find out more about how the child was protected. They are hoping to use this information to make a vaccine or new drugs for people infected with HIV.

HIV is a virus that causes AIDS, which is a serious disease. Many thousands of people die of AIDS in South Africa every year. Worldwide, almost 37 million people are living with HIV. People can get infected with HIV through unprotected, intimate relationships. © source: dpa news for kids

Elephants stranded in the Sea

25 July 2017

© dpa

Elephants are the biggest animals on land, but they cannot swim. On Sunday, two elephants ended up in the sea in Sri Lanka, a country in south Asia.

Scientists say it is not unusual for wild elephants to wander into the oceans off Sri Lanka. However, they do not have enough energy to stay afloat for a long time. That is when they get into trouble. These two elephants were struggling to get back to land on Sunday.

Ships from the country's navy came to their rescue. Navy divers helped guide the huge animals back to land. Neither of the animals were harmed during the rescue. The elephants live in a jungle near the ocean. Earlier this month another elephant had to be rescued from the sea in Sri Lanka. 

Elephants are the world's largest living land animals. The biggest weigh about six tons. That's about the weight of three cars together. They live in the wild in parts of Africa and Asia. © source: dpa news for kids

Bastille Day

18 July 2017

© dpa

Many country in the world fought for freedom and have been through tough struggles. France, in western Europe, celebrated its freedom on Friday.

French National Day is also known as Bastille Day. It is a public holiday held in July every year. It is a day that commemorates «the storming of the Bastille» on 14 July 1789. The Bastille was a prison in Paris, the capital city. It was a symbol of government abuse.

At the time, the French king and the upper classes lived a life of luxury. The poor had to work and pay taxes but had few rights.

They were angry and attacked the Bastille. They were successful. After this, they established reforms in the government. They wrote the «Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen». These rights, which included freedom of speech and religion, became part of the French Constitution. This declaration is still in use today. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

Read our France Facts for Kids here.

Massive Iceberg on the Move

18 July 2017

iceberg on the move - dpa

Last week a huge iceberg split from an ice shelf in Antarctica. Antarctica is a continent located at the very south of the Earth.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, in the USA: «Antarctica is made up of lots of ice in the form of glaciers, ice shelves and icebergs. It is the coldest place on earth.»

For years researchers have observed a crack in the ice there. The crack became longer and longer. Last week the ice broke apart. The iceberg separated from the ice surface. Experts say the iceberg will not move very far or very fast. But currents and the wind will move it northwards. It will need to be watched closely because it could become a hazard for ships. Satellites monitor the iceberg. Satellites are special instruments that travel in space.

Experts say that if the iceberg does not break up into smaller parts, it could take two to three years until it is completely melted. © source: dpa news for kids - edited

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 - news for kids

© 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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