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Current News for Kids – 04

Siyona June 14, 2020 50 1 5

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There’s so much happening on the earth at this time, In this week’s news, we discuss news on Covid-19  around the world,  Some nature news about the fast extinction of 500 animal species, We discuss how Dr Kathy Sullivan explored the challenger deep in the Mariana trench.

We cover some news on archaeological advances using GPR technology.

And finally, news on George Floyd. I also explore when racism started and share some of my own experiences.

We hear the voices of some children who are being positively influenced by the health series Little Mind Chats is running.

Hope you enjoy listening




Episode 8: Current News For kids-04

[0.01] [Background Music]

[0.09] Siyona: Hello Everyone, welcome to the 8th episode of my podcast Little Mind Chats. Minds are little, Not our thoughts! I’m your host siyona.

[0.18] Today’s episode is the bi-weekly news from across the world. 

[0.22] Let’s begin with some Covid-19 news

[0.25] There are no proven treatments or vaccines for COVID-19, yet. But the total number of cases across the world has crossed 7.6 million. US alone has over 2 million of these cases. India moves up the index to 4th place surpassing Italy, Spain and UK. 

[0.47] In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that from this weekend adults who live alone, as well as single parents, will be allowed to go to one house and they are only allowed to meet indoors.

[1.04] In Canada, the vast majority of the cases reported has been concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. 

[1.13] South Korea has opened up businesses but need to register their customers with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed.

[1.25] Authorities in Zimbabwe have started publicly naming people who have escaped from quarantine centres and directed people in the public to report them to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

[1.40] On the positive side, Malaysia reopened nearly all economic and social activities on Wednesday after a nearly three-month lockdown. 

[1.51] Moving on to some Nature news.

[1.54] Conservation experts have warned that 500 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are at the brink of extinction due to human activity such as logging meaning deforestation and poaching. Species are disappearing at more than 100 times their natural rate. 

[2.17] Professor Gerardo Ceballos of the National University of Mexico said “We have entered the sixth mass extinction,” he told BBC News. “Based on our research and what we’re seeing, the extinction crisis is so bad that whatever we do in the next 10 to 50 years is what will define the future of humanity.”

[2.43] But why is it important to protect species from extinction?

[2.48] The health of an ecosystem is maintained by its plants and animals. When species become endangered, it is a sign of an ecosystem’s imbalance.

[2.58] A well-balanced ecosystem purifies the environment, giving us clean air to breathe, a healthy water system to support diverse marine life, and arable land for agricultural production.

[3.14] It also provides us with unique plants with medicinal properties, which serve as the foundation of our medicines. When ecosystems fail, our own health is at risk. When saving endangered species, we are ultimately saving ourselves.

I wish I knew how I could do my bit to rectify this situation.

[3.38] Here’s some news about some real achievement!

[3.42] The first American woman to walk in space, Dr Kathy Sullivan, is now the first woman to reach the deepest spot in the ocean, called the challenger deep.

[3.55] Dr. Sullivan, is 68 years old and is an astronaut and an Oceanographer. Wow! What a combination. She saw the highest and lowest point a human could ever see. Her passion, makes her the first person in the world to have done both! 

[4.17] Dr. Sullivan and Victor L. Vescovo, spent about an hour and a half at nearly seven miles down in a muddy depression in the Mariana Trench. They even captured images from the Limiting Factor, a specially designed deep-sea research submersible, and took 4 hours on the journey back to the surface of the ocean.

[4.43] Hurray to Dr Sullivan!!

[4.46] Now, to an archaeological news that caught my eyes this week,

[4.51] A team of archaeologists from the University of Cambridge and Ghent university have discovered an entire Roman city, Falerii Novi in Italy. They discovered a bath complex, market, temple, a public monument unlike anything seen before, and even the city’s network of water pipes. But guess what? They did not have to sit in open air and dig out the earth for this! They used a smart advanced technology called GPR or Ground Penetrating Radar.

[5.32] This is the first time; archaeologists have succeeded in mapping a complete city using this technology. By looking at different depths, the archaeologists can now study how the town evolved over hundreds of years.

[5.50] I wonder what else will be discovered in the future, using this technology!

[5.55] Moving on to the next news that has shook the world in the past few weeks. I’ve kept this news to the end on purpose as I wanted to extend the news into a little discussion. I’d really recommend you take your parents’ help to understand this further

[6.13] The news is regarding the death of George Floyd in the hands of the police in Minneapolis, United states. And how his death has triggered huge protests across the world.

[6.26] Who is George Floyd? George Floyd was a 46-year-old Black American who was working as a security guard in a Latin American restaurant. On the 25th of May, Police, arrested George after receiving a call that he used a forged $20 note. The police, all White, arrested and then chose to kneel on George long enough to stop him from breathing which then killed him.

[6.56] Unfortunately, I’ve had to mention the skin colours of both George and the police involved as this brings to light, the worst part of human history in the past few centuries. It’s called racism!

[7.12] But What is race? And what is racism?

[7.15] In 1779, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach proposed the classification of humans based on their skin colour. The 5 races he identified were

[7.42] The idea of race was invented to magnify the differences between people of European origin and other races, particularly of African descent whose ancestors had been involuntarily enslaved and transported to the Americas. Because, “race” is linked to physical differences among people, such features as dark skin colour have been seen as markers of low status. 

[8.14] By the 19th century, racism had spread around the world. In many countries, leaders designated “higher” and “lower” races. Those seen as the low-status races, especially in the colonized areas, were forced to work against their will, and treated in harmful ways. This became a common pattern in many areas of the world. 

[8.41] It’s only in the 20th century that most human societies have concluded that racism is wrong, (at least in principle), and social trends have moved away from racism. Until, a series of incident like George Floyd’s occurred in various places around the world in the recent past. It has proved that racism still exists in many different forms.

[9.09] This is why, Major protests have broken out in numerous cities across numerous countries spanning across all of the continents. It’s sad there have to be these protests to get a message so simple! ‘We’re all the same, we’re Humans’.

[9.08] I’m really hoping the world is able to change how we treat each other and not judge by how we look!

[9.36] But is racism always only towards Black race? 

[9.41] After I was explained what racism was, I’ve been able to relate some incidents through my life which felt really unfair too. When I was in reception in the UK, literally 5 years old, I had a really good friend at school. I used to look forward to talk and play with her every day. One day, suddenly, she stopped talking to me. I was absolutely distraught. I pleaded her to play with me and asked why she suddenly changed. After a few days, she let out the reason. It’s because her Mom asked her not to play with me, as I was not white skinned. Now, when I think back on that incident, it feels like my friend’s mom was slowly training her to become a racist. Many more such incidents forced my parents to change my school. They felt safer in the new school because the Head teacher was a woman of colour.

[10.47] After a few years, I moved up to the junior school. There, I started experiencing many more such incidents, I saw with my eyes how dinners were served in the school. While white kids got a good portion, me and my afro Caribbean friends were served a lot lesser or, on purpose not served what we asked for. Hunger is not dependant on skin colour? Most of the time we tend to ignore these incidents.

[11.19] These are just a very small and mild examples of how racism is exercised. On the bigger scale, we have incidents like George Floyd’s.  

[11.30] If you are a child like me, with stories you’d like to share with the world, please do send it over to me. This is a time when the whole world is speaking of their experiences to fight what’s not right. 

[11.44] With no intentions of dampening your mood, I have a few little voices before we end this episode!

[11.52] In my episodes 5, 6 and 7, I’d asked a few health-related questions. A couple of my friends mailed me and sent their voice messages. 

[12.03] Here’s my new friend Suvan from UK on what he learnt from the healthy teeth episode. I love his quote towards the end of the message!

[12.14] {Message is played}

[12.54] Siyona: Yes. All you need is happy teeth and a great smile! 😊. Thank you Suvan. Here’s another message from my friend Shriya and her little sister Saanvi regarding healthy eating. 

[13.08] {Message is played}

[13.49] Siyona: Aww, what a cute voice Saanvi. I’m so looking forward to meeting you soon.

[13.54] Siyona: That brings us to the end of this episode. It’ll be great to hear back from you on your thoughts, views and stories. You know where to contact me from! Ok I’ll give it away again. Mail me at, WhatsApp me on +916366305959 Or use the ‘Get Involved’ page on my website

Thanks a ton for listening! Bye.

[14.34] {Closing Music}

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