News assembly 11th November

SeaWorld to end killer whale shows

Killer whales

SeaWorld, in the US state of California is to stop using killer whales in their shows.

The theme park’s chief executive said that 2017 will be the last year of the killer whale show in San Diego. The company has faced years of pressure from people demanding a ban on whales being used in performances. A film called Black Fish also criticised SeaWorld for keeping whales in captivity and said the animals can be a danger to their trainers.

SeaWorld say they will now replace the killer whale shows with an experience that’s more focussed on the creature’s natural behaviours and environment.


Does Pluto have ice volcanoes?


Two possible ice volcanoes have been identified on the surface of Pluto.

They were revealed by images sent to Earth from the New Horizons probe, which flew past the distant dwarf planet in July. The mountains are several km high and tens of km across and each has what looks like dips in the tops.

Unlike Earth’s volcanoes that spew molten rock, Pluto’s volcanoes – if that is what they are – would most likely erupt an icy slush. It’s thought the substance could be made up of water, nitrogen, ammonia or methane.

Scientists still need to do further work to confirm their volcano idea.


Aid needed as severe drought hits Ethiopia


The United Nations (UN) has warned that more than 15 million people in Ethiopia will not have enough food to survive by the beginning of 2016.

It’s because of a severe drought in the region. At the moment around eight million people are in need of emergency food aid and the number is rising as rains continue not to fall.

This year, in the worst-affected areas, crop production is down by 90%. The Ethiopian government has saved nearly £130m to deal with the crisis but the UN says £330m more is needed. They’re now calling on the international community to help.


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News Assembly 17th June

Some highlights from news assembly this week.

Michelle Obama visits the UK    Michelle 

US First Lady Michelle Obama visited a school in London this week to talk about girls’ education.  It’s part of an initiative called Let Girls Learn, which wants more girls around the world to go to school and then stay in school in order to complete their education.

Magna Carta: Celebrations mark document’s 800th anniversary        Magna carta

Britain has been marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta – the document that paved the way for the introduction of basic human rights.

In 1215 the Magna Carta was created to set out a list of basic rules about how the country would be run. It was the first time that ordinary people were protected by rights. The main ceremonies took place at Runnymede, on the River Thames, where the scroll was sealed by King John.

Britain’s Got Talent: Ofcom to investigate show over ‘stunt’ dog   dog

An investigation into whether viewers were tricked into voting for a stunt dog in the Britain’s Got Talent final has been launched by Ofcom, the organisation that makes sure programmes follow broadcasting rules.

They received 1,150 complaints after trainer Jules O’Dwyer used a second dog called Chase to perform a tightrope walk because her Border Collie, Matisse, was afraid of heights.


X Factor: Will Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw be good judges?   Xfactor

Pop star Rita Ora and BBC Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw have been confirmed as judges for the 12th series of The X Factor.

Nick Grimshaw, who hosts Radio 1’s breakfast show, replaces Louis Walsh, taking his seat beside Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. Pop star Rita Ora fills the fourth chair, jumping ship from BBC One’s The Voice after just one series. She previously appeared as a guest judge on The X Factor in 2012.


What are your views on this week’s news stories?

News Assembly – Monday 9th March

Here are some of the news story from yesterday’s assembly.

Solar Impulse 2 takes off for round the world mission


There’s a record breaking attempt to fly around the world, powered only by the sun. Solar Impulse 1 has already flown across the United States, storing enough energy from the sun to fly overnight. Now Impulse 2 will aim to go one better and fly for 25 days, over 5 months, all the way around the Earth. Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi and headed east to Oman. The 12 hour journey is the first of many stops over the next five months. The plane is wider than a jumbo jet but only weighs as much as a small car. It’s covered in 17,000 solar panels. Designers hope will provide enough power to get the plane around the globe. Do you think it will manage the challenge?

Sam Smith and John Legend release duet for Comic Relief


Award winning singer Sam Smith’s recorded a special duet with John Legend for this year’s Comic Relief. The Brit Award winner recorded a new version of his single Lay Me Down in in Los Angeles earlier this year. They’ll both perform the ballad during Comic Relief : Face the Funny on Friday 13 March on BBC One. The one-off performance will be broadcast live from the London Palladium. A digital download of the special track has been released ahead of their performance. Will you be watching on Friday?


Amazing pics as woodpecker flies with a weasel on its back


Amateur photographer Martin Le-May took this amazing pic of a weasel riding on the back of a green woodpecker as it flies through the air. He took the photo at a park in Essex last Monday afternoon and they’ve since gone all over the internet. Martin told the BBC that he was out walking with his wife Ann when he saw what was happening. It’s likely the weasel was attacking the bird – but Martin thinks he scared it off. “I think we may have distracted the weasel as when the woodpecker landed, it managed to escape and the weasel ran into the grass.


FA Cup quarter-final round up

fa cup

Aston Villa beat local rivals West Brom 2-0. But there was crowd trouble towards the end of the match as supporters ran onto the pitch. League One Bradford City got through to the quarter-finals but they could only draw 0-0 with Reading FC. Liverpool couldn’t find a way past Blackburn Rovers. They’ll have to play a replay to find out who will be in the semi-final after drawing 0-0. Last night, Danny Welbeck scored the winner on his return to Old Trafford to give Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Manchester United and book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals. Who do you think will win the FA Cup?

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March 4th

Chelsea clinch Capital One cup


Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to clinch the Capital One cup trophy. John Terry and Diego Costa scored the goals to give victory to Chelsea.It was Jose Mourinho’s first piece of silverware since returning for his second stint as Chelsea’s manager. Despite winning lots of trophies during his career, he claimed this was the most important final of his time in the game.


‘Miracle’ rhino calf named Thembi


The calf of a white rhino, who survived a vicious poaching attack in 2012, has been named Thembi. The name Thembi means ‘hope’ in the Xhosa language. It’s three years since the calf’s mother, Thandi, and two other rhinos were attacked by poachers for their horns. Sadly, only Thandi survived and, with the help of vets, made an incredible recovery. On 13 January 2015 she also gave birth to a healthy female calf. Vet Dr William Fowlds, who led Thandi’s care since she was attacked, said: “The name Thembi seemed to fit best given that this little calf has brought fresh hope and energy to those who struggle to secure the future of our rhino.”


Brit winners    


Ed Sheeran scooped the night’s main award, album of the year, for his record X – which was the best-selling record of 2014 in the UK. He also won best British male.

sam smith

Sam Smith took home best breakthrough artist and the global success award – for his album sales outside the UK.


Paloma Faith won best British female, which was her very first Brit award.


Blue-black or white-gold? The dress the world’s been talking about

roman-originals white gold.JPG

A blue-and-black dress has got millions of people all over the world seriously confused. When looking at a photo of it, some people see it as gold and white, while others see it as blue and black. Taylor Swift said it got her confused. Kim Kardashian said she saw white and gold – but her husband Kanye West saw blue and black.

Why are people seeing different colours?

One possible explanation may be down to an optical illusion, stemming from how the human brain processes colours. Colours can appear different depending on what kind of light they’re in. Something that’s blue, for example, can look totally different in sunlight, than under streetlights at night-time. But even when it’s the same photograph, some people see blue, and others see white.

What colours do you see?

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