Podcast Episode 8: Weekly news update and Navratri special

Episode 8: Weekly news update and Navratri special



Hi, Aditya here and welcome weekly news update

Jacinda Arden is re-elected as the Prime Minister of New Zealand for the second term.

She was the world’s youngest female head of the government to assume the office of Prime Minister of New Zealand at the age of 37 in October 2017. She is the leader of the Labour Party. In the election, that was held on October 17, 2020, people have chosen her for the second term, for her commendable efforts to fight coronavirus and to declare the country as coronavirus free.

The COVID-19 pandemic might have scotched your vacation plans this year. But you can still bound through some of the world’s most iconic landscapes in a new online journey launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

A new interactive webpage allows netizens to explore three wildlife-rich forests: the Leuser in Indonesia, the Kayah-Karen in Thailand and Myanmar, and the Gran Chaco, which courses through Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.

Through videos, photo essays and quizzes, the website offers an intimate look at the plants and animals that call these forests home.

For the link to the interactive webpage check news4children.com

Which colour is cotton? white right? have you ever wondered how the clothes you pick up based on beautiful soft pastel colours or bright colors, get those colours from? Yes, after spinning white cotton, artificial chemical dyes are used to colour the clothes. These artificial dyes pollute more water bodies and damage the environment.

However, recently, according to a report in Scroll.in a new variety of coloured cotton may be released by 2021 after 3 decades of research by Indian Council for Agricultural Research – All India Coordinated Research Project on Cotton.

In the pursuit of reducing the damage to the environment, scientists are always in search of alternatives. One such alternative is coloured cotton. Coloured cotton is nothing new. It existed in the 3rd century B.C. in Indo-Pakistan, Egypt and Peru. Natural colors of cotton then were mocha, tan, gray, and red-brown. With the advent of the power looms during the industrial revolution, the coloured cotton was found not suitable as the coloured lints were short, coarse and weak. Coloured cotton needed hand spinning. Whereas, white cotton with its soft, long and strong fibres could easily be adapted to mechanization. Hence, white cotton took over.

In India, coloured cotton can be cultivated in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.

Rice is a staple for more than 3.5 billion people, including most of the world’s poor. what are the climatic conditions to grow rice? Rice crop needs a hot and humid climate. It is best suited to regions that have high humidity, prolonged sunshine and an assured supply of water.

It requires massive amounts of water and the paddies in which it grows emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Paddies – means the field where rice is grown. To tackle such issues, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been working with the Shanghai Agrobiological Gene Center to develop strains of rice that are drought resistant and don’t need to be planted in paddies.

One the new strain of rice – WDR 73 developed by scientists, proved particularly promising. It doesn’t need to be planted in a flooded paddy. During trials in Uganda, researchers also found that it helped boost yields by about 30 per cent compared to locally grown varieties. That’s important for several reasons.

First, it removes the problem of transporting seedlings into flooded fields.

Second, Paddies filled with water are breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Third, Water shortages, sparked by climate change, are expected to make filling paddies a challenge in many countries.

Further, paddies themselves vent massive amounts of methane –  up to 20 per cent of human-related emissions of the greenhouse gas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The ultimate goal of the project is to get a national certification of WDR 73, allowing it to be broadly disseminated to farmers.

In the famous birthday column, we have Pablo Picasso a well-known Spanish painter. He was born on 25 October 1881, in Malaga, Spain.

He was also a known sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer who spent most of his adult life in France.

His father was a painter and for most of his life, he worked as a professor of art at the School of Crafts and a curator of a local museum. Picasso showed a passion and a skill for drawing from an early age. From the age of seven, Picasso received formal artistic training from his father in figure drawing and oil painting. At age 16, he was sent to the country’s foremost art school in Madrid.

Picasso was so experimental, the historians have divided his entire life works into stages. First, the Blue Period where he used mostly shades of blue and blue-green only. Second Rose Period where he used orange and pink colours mostly. These were followed by primitivism, cubism, classicism (when he created more traditional or classic artworks), surrealism, wartime and Late Works.

With Navratri/Dussehra festival is ongoing let’s see the significance of why we celebrate Navratri? According to mythology stories, Navratri/Dussehra is celebrated as Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura and is also associated with the victory of the god Rama over the demon-king Ravana.

Nava means 9 and ratri means night- So during these 9 days- apart from the mythological story, what is the take away from this festival? Durga killed Mahishasura because he took his power for granted and misused it for his own benefit. Rama killed Ravana, a great devotee of Shiva, because of his pride and, he dint release Sita from captivity. It was not that Ravana was bad.

These stories portray that, every individual has good and bad habits. During these 9 days, one gets time to reflect on oneself and pray to goddess Durga to remove all bad energies like laziness, pride, obsession, hatred, ego, etc, and pray to make each and everyone a better human being filled with love, wisdom, humility, caring…

Happy navratri /Dusshera…

That’s it from me today, see you again.

For more news check news4children.com and follow us on spotify.

Source: UNEP, scroll.in












News4children, a news portal on current affairs tapered especially for children with academic input. Every article is written in simple language with full background information, so children can understand the news better. Most of the articles include academic input, activities and vocabulary as well.


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