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The informative easy to read introduction to world news

19th March 2015

British English edition
Issue Number 245

In this issue
Terrorist attack in Tunis
Feast of Saint Patrick
Best Teacher in the world
Netanyahu wins again
Coffee research
Firebombing anniversary
Battle coin withdrawn
Corruption demonstrations
in Brazil
Yellowstone spring
going green
Eagle descent filmed
Fewer marine creatures
Pi Day
Van Gogh fading
Satellite image showing the eye of Cyclone Pam, on 13th March, above Vanuatu (purple outline) (NOAA)



A powerful cyclone struck the Pacific

island nation of Vanuatu on 13th March.
With wind speeds of over 250 kilometres
(155 miles) per hour, the storm wrecked
houses, ripped up trees and ruined food
crops. Some weather experts said it was
the most destructive cyclone to hit the
Western Pacific for over 30 years.
Vanuatu is an archipelago, or group of
islands. When seen from above, Vanuatus 82 islands form a large Y shape. The
island nation has several active volcanoes. Long ago, erupting volcanoes created many of the countrys islands. Their
coastlines have little shallow water. So
the surrounding seas are very deep. Vanuatu has frequent earthquakes.
The first European to land on the islands was a sea captain from Spain. His
ship arrived about 400 years ago. The sea
captain named the largest island Austrialia del Espiritu Santo (the Australian


Land of the Holy Spirit). This island is

still called Espiritu Santo. In the 1700s
the islands were taken over by the British
and the French. By this time, the archipelago was known as the New Hebrides.
This name came from a group of islands
called the Hebrides in Scotland, or the
northern part of the UK.
Unusually, the British and French
agreed to run the islands jointly. This continued until 1980. Then, the islands became an independent nation. Its name was
changed to Vanuatu. Today, Vanuatu has a
parliament, president and prime minister.
The parliament building is in Port Vila,
the countrys capital city. Vanuatus population is around 267,000. Sixty-five of
the countrys islands are inhabited. Port
Vila is home to 47,000 people.
Cyclones are storms that bring powerful winds and heavy rainfall. Similar
storms in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific

Missing plane update

Cervantes found
Bedlam excavation starts
Solar power flight
Dawn and Ceres
Chameleon colours
Glossary Crossword and
Wordsearch Puzzle

English as a


19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

Oceans are called hurricanes. In

South East Asian countries, these
devastating storms are known as typhoons. Cyclones are those that develop in the Indian Ocean and western
Pacific, around the Australian coast.
Meteorologists are scientists who
study the weather. A cyclone, hurricane or typhoon begins with what
meteorologists call a tropical disturbance. This is a cluster or group
of thunderstorms above a warm
area of water. The surface seawater,
under the thunderstorms, starts to
evaporate. This creates clouds and
transfers heat energy into the air.
The extra heat in the air encourages
more and more warm, moist air to
blow in from the surrounding area.
As this outside air moves towards the tropical disturbance, it begins to curve, or spiral. This change
in direction is caused by the rotation,
or spin, of the Earth. Energy from
the incoming spinning air builds up
in the centre of the tropical disturbance. This causes a drop in air pressure. The lower air pressure makes
the winds go even faster. Once they
reach a certain speed, the tropical
disturbance becomes a cyclone. It
then starts to travel across the surface of the sea. Meteorologists say
that roughly 7% of tropical disturbances become cyclones. Those that
dont turn into big storms, weaken
and disappear.
Cyclones have an eye. This is a
central area of low pressure. Within
the eye, it is very calm. Yet the winds
swirling around it are the deadliest
part of the storm. The eye of a cyclone
usually has a diameter of about 40
kilometres (25 miles). Yet some can
be far bigger than this. In the western
Pacific, most cyclones develop between the months of November and
April. This time of the year is often
called the cyclone season.

Soon after a tropical disturbance

becomes a cyclone, it is given a
name. The storm that hit Vanuatu
was Cyclone Pam. Similar to hurricanes and typhoons, there are five
categories of cyclones. These depend on the storms wind speeds.
Category 1 is the least powerful
and 5 the most. Weather experts often give two wind speeds for these
storms. One is sustained and the
other gusts. Sustained winds constantly blow for at least ten minutes.
Gusts last for about 60 seconds.
Path of
Cyclone Pam




Just before Cyclone Pam struck

Vanuatu its wind speeds were recorded. The storms sustained winds
were blowing at 250 kilometres (155
miles) per hour. Its gusts were as
high as 270 kilometres (165 miles)
per hour. This meant Pam was a Category 5 cyclone. After passing over
Vanuatu, the storm headed south towards New Zealand. By the time it
reached the countrys North Island,
it had lost most of its strength.
Many people in Vanuatu live in
houses made from wood and palm
leaves. Sheets of tin, or corrugated
iron, are used for the roofs. Most of
these homes were flattened by the
winds. Over 90% of the buildings in
Port Vila were either badly damaged
or destroyed. Many thousands of


trees were blown down. The heavy

rains caused flash floods that damaged roads and washed away bridges. Many people in Vanuatu catch
fish. Their boats were wrecked.
Local officials estimate that over
100,000 people living on the islands
are now homeless.
Vanuatus islands are spread over
a wide area. Most travel between
them is by boat. After the storm
passed, there was no way of communicating, or finding out, what had
happened on many islands. In these
places people eat what they grow.
So their food stocks have probably
been destroyed.
A few days after the storm, aid
workers from other countries began
to arrive. Military transport planes
from Australia and New Zealand
brought water purification kits,
tents, blankets, food, medicines,
chainsaws, and electricity generators. Aid workers said that supplies
of food and fresh water would be the
biggest problems.
It is not known how many people
died in the storm. Some reports said
44 people had been killed. Local officials expect this number to rise.
Cyclones are not uncommon in this
part of the world. Like other nearby
island nations, Vanuatu has specially built cyclone shelters. These are
made out of concrete. Most people
knew in advance that a cyclone was
likely to hit the islands.
On the day that Cyclone Pam
struck, Baldwin Lonsdale, Vanuatus president, was in Japan. There,
he was taking part in a United Nations (UN) conference on preparing
for natural disasters. Mr Lonsdale
described Cyclone Pam as a monster and a devastator of our country. He said the storm had destroyed
all the development that has taken
place in Vanuatu in recent years.

19th March 2015


Newsademic.com British English edition


However, 20 tourists lost their

Over the last four years there
lives. They came from Japan, Po- have been several elections. LawIn the evening of 18th March, land, Colombia, Spain, Australia, makers have written a new constituBeji Caid Essebsi, the president of France, Italy, and the UK.
tion. This is the set of rules by which
Tunisia, spoke on live television.
a country is governed. Tunisia now
Earlier in the day, two gunmen, or
has an elected president, prime minterrorists, had attacked the Bardo
ister and parliament. So far, of all
National Museum in Tunis, the
the Arab Spring countries, Tunisia
countrys capital city. Mr Essebsi
has been the most successful.
declared that his country was now
After the attack on the museum,
in a war with terror.
many people came out on to the
The Bardo National Museums
streets. They were angry about what
building is a 150-year-old palace.
had happened. Thousands crowded
It is not far from the Tunisian Pararound the museum. They waved
liament building. The museum is
flags and lit candles. In his televiBeji Caid Essebi, president of Tunisia
well-known for its Roman statues
sion address, Mr Essebsi said that
Its not known who the gunmen the terrorists do not frighten us and
and other artefacts. It has the largest collection of Roman mosaics in were. However, many people be- that democracy will win and it will
the world. Nowadays, the Tunisian lieve that they belonged to a group survive.
government encourages tourists to known as the Islamic State (IS).
come to the country. Many of those This organisation is also known as
that do, visit the museum.
ISIL or ISIS. Currently, this militant SAINT PATRICKS DAY
The gunmen began firing at Islamic group occupies large areas
tourists who were getting off a bus of Syria and Iraq. Over the last St Patricks Day, also
near the museums entrance. Poli- 12 months many young men from known as the Feast of
ticians in the parliament building Tunisia have travelled to Syria to Saint Patrick, is on 17th
were told to leave. They could hear join the IS. The groups leaders say March. People in many
the gunfire and thought it was an they want to set up a separate state different countries cele- Shamrock
attack on the parliament. To get or caliphate. Within this state, eve- brate this day. In several cities there
away from the shooting, the tour- ryone would have to obey very strict are large parades. For some it is an
ists ran into the museum. The at- Islamic laws. In recent months, important religious day on which
tackers followed.
IS groups have been set up in Lib- they attend special church services.
ya. This country shares a border St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. A patron saint is one chosen to
with Tunisia.
Four years ago there were large represent a particular group of peostreet demonstrations in Tunisia. ple or a country. The island of Ireland
The protesters wanted the coun- is made up of the Republic of Ireland
trys president, Zine El Abidine (an independent country, commonly
Ben Ali, to resign. Mr Ben Ali known as Ireland) and Northern Irehad ruled Tunisia for over 20 land, which is part of the UK.
St Patrick was a Christian saint.
years. Because of the protests, Mr
Barjo National Museum in Tunis
Ben Ali decided to leave the coun- This means he was someone who
Specially trained soldiers and try. Similar protests against long has been officially recognised as
police surrounded the building. serving leaders then began in oth- a very holy person by the Roman
The stand off or siege lasted for er Arab counties such as Egypt, Catholic Church. Even though there
three hours. The soldiers managed Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Syr- are many legends about St Patrick,
to get inside the building and kill ia. These demonstrations became he was a real person. He is believed
the two gunmen. Many people known as the Arab Spring. So the to have lived sometime between the
trapped in the museum were freed. Arab Spring began in Tunisia.
years 380 and 460.

19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

Its thought that St Patrick was

born in Britain. When a young man
he was captured and taken to Ireland
as a slave. He eventually escaped
and returned to Britain. Later, he
became a priest. He then went back
to Ireland to teach the people living
there about Christianity.

Green Leaning Tower of Pisa on St Patricks Day

One of the most famous legends

about St Patrick was that he banished all the snakes from Ireland.
Today, a few types of snakes live
in the UK, but there are none in
Ireland. One symbol of St Patricks
Day is the shamrock, also known
as a clover. Each stem of this small
plant has three leaves. Stories about
St Patrick say he would use the
shamrock as a symbol to teach people about Christianity. Christians
are taught there is one God, but
that He has three parts: the Father
(God), the Son (Jesus Christ) and
the Holy Spirit. The three-leaved
shamrock is used as a symbol of
this belief, which is known as the
Holy Trinity.
St Patricks Day is celebrated
in many places. This is because,
throughout history, people from Ire-

land have travelled to other countries

and settled. These countries include:
New Zealand, Australia, the Caribbean, North and South America, and
the UK.
Tens of thousands of Irish people emigrated during the 1800s.
They did this in the hope of finding
a better place to live where they
could get a job and earn a living.
In the 1800s there were several
famines in Ireland, so many people
chose to leave.
The ancestors of millions of
Americans and Canadians came
from Ireland. There are about 80
million people, in many different
countries, of Irish descent. Their ancestors left Ireland between the late
1700s and early 1900s. These people are known as the Irish Diaspora.
Today, the population of Ireland and
Northern Ireland combined is only
about 6.5 million.
The colour green is associated
with St Patrick and Ireland. In Ireland people began wearing green
ribbons and shamrocks on St Patricks Day hundreds of years ago.
Nowadays, many well-known monuments are lit up in green after the
Sun has set on St Patricks Day. This
year the Great Pyramid and Sphinx
in Egypt, the Colosseum, in Rome,
and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in
Italy, all turned green.
Many cities around the world organise annual St Patricks Day parades. The largest is in New York,
in the USA. In Chicago, another
American city, dye is put in the
river that flows through the centre.
This turns the river bright green.
The water in the fountain in front
of the White House, in Washington
DC, is also dyed green as part of
the St Patricks Day celebrations.
The White House is the home of
the American president.



A special ceremony was held in
Dubai on 15th March. A new annual
prize was awarded. Called the Global
Teacher Prize, it was won by Nancie
Atwell. Ms Atwell is a teacher from
the USA.
The award was made during the
annual two-day Global Education
and Skills Forum. This large meeting, or conference, was first held in
2013. Around 1,000 people from 50
countries were invited to this years
forum. All work in education. The organisers of these conferences believe
that education and employment are
human rights.

Some people have described the

conferences as the Davos of Education. Each year, the World Economic
Forum (WEF) meets in a small town
in Switzerland called Davos. Nowadays, this annual meeting is usually
called Davos. The bosses of the
worlds biggest companies, economists, environmentalists, religious
leaders, politicians, and heads of
state are invited to Davos. They
spend four days sharing ideas and
discussing possible solutions to the
worlds problems.
The Global Education and Skills
Forum is a partnership between several organisations. They include the
United Nations (UN), the Ministry of
Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a company called
GEMS Education. The UAE is made
up of seven emirates. Each has its
own sheik, or leader. Dubai is one of
the UAEs emirates.

19th March 2015

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The GEMS Company is based

in Dubai. It operates 130 schools in
over ten countries. GEMS also provides advice and educational services
to many governments. Sunny Varkey
founded the company in 2000. Mr
Varkeys parents moved from India
to Dubai in 1959. His father worked
for a bank. In his free time he and
his wife taught local people, and
members of the emirs family, how
to speak English. Later, they opened
a school. Mr Varkey took over from
his mother and father in 1980. He
then began to open more schools in
Dubai and other countries.

shortlist of ten finalists. All were

invited to the award ceremony. The
finalists came from Haiti, Kenya,
Cambodia, (three from) the USA,
Afghanistan, India, Malaysia, and
the UK. The judges then selected
Ms Atwell as the winner.
Ms Atwell has been teaching for
40 years. In 1990 she set up a school
called the Center for Teaching and
Learning. She then introduced new
ideas for the teaching of reading
and writing. At Ms Atwells school
every room has a library. Each student reads 40 books every year. Ms
Atwell declared that she would give
the prize money to her school.


The ten Global Teacher Prize finalists

Mr Varkey is now a wealthy man

and an educational philanthropist. A
philanthropist is a person who gives
some of their money away to help
others. Mr Varkey set up the Varkey
Foundation. This is a charity. It helps
to build schools and classrooms and
train teachers in poorer countries.
At last years conference, Mr
Varkey announced that his Foundation would set up a new prize for
teachers. The award, he said, would
be for the best teacher in the world.
Winners would receive a prize of
US$1 million (680,000). Mr Varkey wants the award to be a Nobel
Prize for teaching. Nobel Prizes are
very prestigious. Each year they are
awarded for: medicine, literature,
chemistry, physics, and peace.
Over 5,000 teachers were nominated for the first Global Teacher
Prize. A panel of judges made a

An election for the Knesset, or Israels parliament, was held on 17th

March. Benjamin Netanyahu has
been Israels prime minister since
2009. The election result means he
will continue to lead the country.
Yet this will not be confirmed for
two or three weeks. This is because
Mr Netanyahu needs to make coalition agreements with several other
smaller political parties.
Israel has a president and a prime
minister. The current president is
Reuven Rivlin. The Israeli president
is head of state but has few powers.
The prime minister runs the country.
He or she is usually, but not always,
the leader of the political party that
has the most members, or seats, in
the Knesset.
The Knesset has 120 seats. For
the government to get laws passed,
more than half of the Knessets
members have to vote for them. No
single party has ever won more than
half the Knesset seats. So one of the
leading parties always needs the support of one or several smaller parties.


When parties support each other in

this way it is called a coalition. In
Israel the ruling coalition needs a
minimum of 61 Knesset seats.

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel

Israel has an election system

called proportional representation
(PR). This means that the number
of seats a party gets depends on the
number of people that vote for it
throughout the whole country. Any
party that gets more than 3.25% of
the total votes will get at least three
seats in the Knesset. In the recent
election ten parties got over 3.25%
of the votes.
Mr Netanyahu is the leader of Likud. (In Hebrew, Likud means the
consolidation.) Before the election, many people predicted that he
would lose. They said the Zionist
Union would get the most seats. The
Zionist Union is a coalition between
the Israeli Labor Party and a smaller
party called Hatnuah. Isaac Herzog
leads this coalition. Many people
expected him to be Israels next
prime minister. However, after all
the votes had been counted, it was
confirmed that Likud had more seats
than any other party. It got 30. The
Zionist Union came second with 24.
For over 60 years there has been a
conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. When the state of Israel
was set up in 1948, with help from
the USA and the United Nations

19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

(UN), many Palestinians lost their

homes and lands. Over the years this
problem has led to many outbreaks
of fighting and several wars.
Some people believe that the
only way this problem can be solved
is whats known as the two state solution. This means the land would
be divided between Israel and a new
state of Palestine. Yet there are many
difficult problems to solve such as
where the borders would be.

Knesset building, Jerusalem

In Israel some political parties

support a two state solution. They
believe that talks should be held
with Palestinian leaders to arrange
this. Mr Herzog and other members
of the Zionist Union are in favour of
a two state solution.
Others, such as Mr Netanyahu
and Likud, dont want a two state
solution. They argue that talks with
the Palestinians have been tried in
the past and failed. Mr Netanyahus
new coalition will probably include
smaller parties that also disagree
with a two state solution.

Coffee is believed to be the worlds
most popular drink. Its estimated
that about two billion cups of coffee
are drunk every day. People have
different opinions about coffee.
Some say drinking coffee is good
for a persons health. Others argue
that it is bad. Researchers in South

Korea have recently completed a

new study. The results suggest that
drinking coffee may help prevent
heart disease.
Coffee is made from coffee
beans. These beans are really seeds.
They come from a plants fruit, or
berries. Coffee plants are described
as being small trees or large shrubs.
The evergreen plants usually grow
to a height of three metres (ten feet).
They begin to produce fruits when
about four years old. The plants
then continue to do this for about 60
years. It takes nine months for the
fruits to ripen.
Nowadays, coffee plants are
grown in over 50 countries. There
are two main types of coffee bean.
These are called Robusta and Arabica. Plants that produce Robusta
beans grow best at low altitudes.
Arabica bean plants prefer higher
altitudes. About 80% of the worlds
coffee is made from Arabica beans.
Coffee plants only produce berries in warmer weather. Most are
grown within 1,610 kilometres
(1,000 miles) of the Equator. Around
two-thirds of the worlds coffee
beans come from Central and South
American. The main coffee growers
are Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam.
Brazil produces around 30% of the
worlds supply.
Coffee drinking is known to
have started in Ethiopia. There is
a legend about its discovery. In the
story a goatherd notices something
unusual about his animals. If the
goats eat berries from a certain tree
they seem to have more energy.
Whats more, after eating these berries they dont want to go to sleep at
night.The goatherd spoke with an
abbot, who lived in a nearby monastery. The abbot made a drink out
of the berries. He discovered that
it kept him alert and awake during


the long hours of evening prayers.

The abbot told all the monks about
his new drink. Coffee drinking then
spread to the Arabian Peninsula.
No one knows if this story is true.
However, coffee plants are native to
Ethiopia. So this is probably where
coffee originally came from. Its
known that Arab people in Yemen
were growing and trading coffee
beans in the 14th century. Within
the next hundred years, coffee had
become popular in Egypt, Persia (or
modern-day Iran), Syria, and Turkey.
By the 17th century coffee was
being drunk in Europe. In larger
cities in the UK, France, Germany,
Austria, and the Netherlands coffee
houses were popular. People went
to them to meet and talk with others. In London, the capital of the
UK, there were 300 coffee houses.
Growing coffee became a way of
making large amounts of money.
Dutch traders took coffee plants to
what is now Indonesia. The French
and the Portuguese began growing
coffee in the Caribbean and Central
and South America.

Coffee berries (Jean-Marie Hullot)

The researchers in South Korea

were studying types of heart disease.
Blockages in a persons arteries can
lead to a heart attack. Tiny deposits
of calcium on artery walls can cause
these blockages. Thousands of people took part in the study. Each had
their arteries scanned. They were
also asked questions about their lifestyles. The researchers discovered

19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

that people who drank three or more

cups of coffee every day seemed to
have fewer calcium deposits in their

On 10th March, Shinz Abe, the
prime minister of Japan, and several
hundred other people took part in a
special service. It was held in Tokyo
Memorial Hall. This hall was built
as a memorial to people who died in
past disasters or catastrophes. The
memorial service marked the 70th
anniversary of the firebombing of
Tokyo during the Second World War
(1939 1945). This was the most
destructive, or deadliest, bombing
raid in history.
In the early 1930s Japan occupied
the northern part of China. Its army
then began to take over other parts
of the country. Japanese air force
planes bombed several large cities.
Thousands of Chinese civilians were
killed in these bombing raids. Then,
in 1941, Japan launched a surprise
attack on the American naval base
at Pearl Harbour, in Hawaii. This attack marked the start of the Second
World War in the Pacific.
During the next four years Japanese forces occupied several other
Asian countries. These included
Malaysia, Burma (now also known
as Myanmar) and the Philippines.
However, by 1944 the Japanese
navy had lost a number of important sea battles. American forces
captured several Pacific islands not
far from Japan. Now, planes flying
from these islands could bomb Japans larger cities.
In the early hours of the morning on 10th March 1945 over 300
American planes attacked Tokyo,
Japans capital city. The planes were

carrying a new type of incendiary

bomb. The bombs contained a jellylike substance called napalm. They
were designed to explode a few seconds after hitting the ground. When
this happened, burning bits of napalm were sprayed over a wide area.


General Curtis LeMay was the

commander of the American planes
that firebombed the Japanese cities. Later, he said that if the USA
had lost the war, he would probably
have been tried for war crimes.


Area of Tokyo after firebombing

The planes dropped 120,000

bombs on the city. At that time,
most buildings in Tokyo were
made of wood. The city burst into
flames. The napalm created whats
known as a firestorm. The burning
city pulled, or sucked, air in from
surrounding areas. This created a
powerful wind that blew everything
towards the flames.
The fires killed 100,000 people. Most were women, children
and the elderly. One million survivors were left homeless. After the
bombing raid on Tokyo, 66 other
Japanese cities were firebombed.
Five months after the Tokyo raid,
American planes dropped atomic
bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A few days
later Japans leaders admitted defeat
and surrendered.
Nowadays, many people in Japan
know nothing about the firebombing of Japanese cities. Even though
more people died in Tokyo than at
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what happened is rarely talked about. Some
people say that the firebombing of
Tokyo has been overshadowed by
the two atomic bombs.

The European Union (EU) has 28

member countries. Nineteen use the
euro as their currency. These nations
are often called the eurozone. One
side of euro coins all look the same.
Yet, each eurozone country selects
its own designs for the coins other,
or flip, sides.
Eurozone countries are also allowed to design special 2 coins.
These can commemorate an important historical or current event. For
example, what we now call Italy
used to be made up of many separate
regions or areas. Some were small
kingdoms. Others were Papal States.
These were mostly controlled by the
Roman Catholic Church, although
foreign countries ruled a few. In
1861 all these kingdoms and Papal
States united to form one country, or
Italy. In 2011, the Italian government
produced a 2 coin to commemorate
the countrys 150th birthday.

Lions Mound at Waterloo (Jean-Pol Grandmont)

Designs for these special 2 coins

have to be sent to the EU for approval. This year is the 200th anniversary of the defeat of Napoleon Bonapartes French army at Waterloo.

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Newsademic.com British English edition

This famous battle took place in

Belgium. The Belgian government
decided to design a commemorative
Battle of Waterloo 2 coin. Yet when
the design was sent for approval,
Frances EU ministers rejected it.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769
1821) was a military and political
leader. He ruled France from 1804
to 1814, and again for around three
months in 1815. When he took
over in 1804, Napoleon crowned
himself Emperor of France. The
following year he also became
King of Italy.
Many historians believe that Napoleon was one of the best military
commanders ever to have lived. He
led his armies to victories in several
European countries. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia. His army was
successful at first. Yet after occupying Moscow, the Russian capital city,
Napoleon and his army were forced
to retreat. The following year Napoleon lost the Battle of Leipzig (also
known as the Battle of Nations). In
1814 he was forced to stand down as
Frances leader. Napoleon was sent
to live on a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, called Elba.
However, within 12 months Napoleon had escaped and returned
to France. He immediately raised
a powerful new army. In 1815 Napoleons army crossed into Belgium. There, at Waterloo, it met a
British-led army that included German, Dutch and Belgian soldiers. A
separate army from Prussia helped
them. (Then, Prussia was a German
kingdom in northern Europe.) The
French army was beaten. This time,
as a punishment, Napoleon was exiled to the remote, small island of
Saint Helena. This island is in the
Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast
of Africa. Napoleon died on Saint
Helena in 1821, aged 51.

The design of Belgiums 2 Waterloo coin showed the Lions Mound

and a plan of the battle. Today, many
people visit the Waterloo battlefield.
A large earth mound, with a lion statue on top dominates the surrounding
area. It was built soon after the battle.
The mound is supposed to mark the
place where a member of the Dutch
royal family was wounded.
Many people were surprised that
the Waterloo coin design was rejected. The French ministers insisted
that it would annoy or upset people
in their country. To avoid further
problems, the Belgian government
agreed to withdraw its proposal for
the coin.


million demonstrators took part.

In Brasilia, the countrys capital,
a large crowd gathered outside the
National Congress (or parliament)
building. Many of the demonstrators wore yellow and green. These
are the colours of Brazils flag and
its popular football team. All the
protests were peaceful.


Tens of thousands of people took
part in demonstrations in Brazil on
15th March. The protesters were
complaining about government corruption, or dishonesty. Many were
demanding the impeachment of the
countrys president, Dilma Rousseff. Impeachment is when a senior
official is accused of a crime. If
guilty, they have to resign. They may
also be given a prison sentence or
other punishment.

Demonstration outside the National Congress

building in Brasilia (Jos Cruz)

The demonstrations took place

in several cities. The biggest was
in So Paulo, Brazils largest city.
The organisers claimed that one

Dilma Rouseff, president of Brazil

Ms Rousseff is a member of
the Workers Party. This is one of
Brazils largest political parties.
Ms Rousseff was first elected as
the countrys president in 2010.
In Brazil presidential elections are
held every fours years. Last October, Ms Rousseff was re-elected
as president for another four-year
term. However, the number of people who voted for her this time was
much less than in 2010.
Recently, there have been allegations of corruption at a large Brazilian oil company called Petrobras.
This is a state-run company, so the
government controls it. For many
years the government has given
some of its supporters senior wellpaid jobs at Petrobras.
Recently, one of Petrobrass
bosses was arrested. He told the
police that government-appointed
people at Petrobras were receiving
unlawful payments. These came
from building and engineering

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firms that work for Petrobras.

Petrobras frequently asks these
firms to work on large projects. Before work begins, the firms have to
tell Petrobras the price. The firms
bosses would deliberately increase,
or inflate, this price. The government supporters at Petrobras then
chose the firms to do the work. In
return, the firms gave these people
the money that they had increased
their price by.
Last month, 23 people from
Petrobras and the Workers Party
were arrested. Lawyers say that over
the last 10 to 15 years construction
and engineering firms have paid
US$800 million (542 million) to
government supporters working at
Petrobras. The lawyers believe that
these people kept some of this money and gave the rest to the Workers
Party. This type of corruption, or
dishonesty, is known as bribery.
In 2010, Ms Rousseff took over
from Luiz Incio Lula da Silva.
President Lula (as he was commonly known) also led the Workers
Party. He had been Brazils president for the previous eight years.
Ms Rousseff worked closely with
President Lula. For five years she
was his energy minister.
Between 2003 and 2010 Ms
Rousseff was in charge of the meetings that senior Petrobras bosses
attended. However, she insists that
she did not know about the bribery.
Those taking part in the protests do
not believe her.
Two days before the protests,
people who support Ms Rousseff
and the Workers Party held much
smaller demonstrations. The organisers of the impeachment demonstrations say that they are planning an even bigger protest. This
is expected to take place on 14th

Morning Glory is the name of a wellknown hot spring, or thermal pool.
The spring is in the Yellowstone National Park, in the USA. Nowadays,
the pools water is a yellowish-green
colour. Yet it used to be a brilliant
bright blue. Researchers are trying
to work out what can be done to
stop, or reverse, this colour change.
Yellowstone Park was set up in
1872. It is thought to be the worlds
first national park. Yellowstone covers a large area. Most of it is in the
state of Wyoming. The park also
extends into Idaho and Montana.
Large herds of bison and elk live in
Yellowstone. It is also home to grizzly bears and wolves.
Part of Yellowstone is above
whats known as a geological hotspot. This means the area often
has volcanic or earthquake activity.
Large areas of the park can even
move up and down by a few centimetres. This depends on the pressure
of the magma, or hot liquid rock, in
the large chamber below the ground.
There are frequent earthquakes, but
most are not very powerful.

Morning Glory pool as it used to be

Volcanic activity does not always

mean volcanic eruptions. In part of
the park, hot water and steam erupt
from the ground. These are known
as geysers. The most famous is
called Old Faithful. At regular intervals, this geyser forces out a jet
of hot water. The stream of water


rises 40 metres (130 feet) in the air.

Old Faithful is one of more than 300
geysers in Yellowstone Park.
The Morning Glory hot spring
was named after a type of blue
flower. In the past the spring has
erupted as a geyser a few times.
This only seems to happen if there
is some nearby earthquake activity. Usually, the springs water is
still and very clear. Certain types of
bacteria caused the pools original
bright blue and surrounding yellow
colours. These bacteria liked the
springs warm water.

Morning Glory pool today

Fifty years ago around one million people visited Yellowstone each
year. A wooden viewing platform
was set up near to the hot spring. Today, the number of visitors is three
times as high. Most go to see Morning Glory. Over the years, some
visitors have thrown things into the
pool. These include lucky coins,
rocks and other debris.
The researchers say that these
items are now blocking passageways, or vents, deep in the pool. The
water is kept warm by heat rising up
through these vents. The blockages
have therefore altered the springs
temperature. Cooler water means
that tiny, plant-like microorganisms
are able to live in the pool. Before,
the water was too warm for them to
survive. The researchers say these
new microbes are the reason why
the spring has turned a yellowishgreen colour.

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Some people have suggested

that all the coins and other debris
should be removed from the bottom
of the pool. However, the researchers are not sure what will happen
if this is done. It may not change
the colour back to bright blue. The
researchers are now trying to work
out how differences in light, temperature and microbes change the
colour of the water.
Park officials say the number
of visitors to Morning Glory may
have to be restricted. Some visitors
have begun to call the pool Fading


The Burj Khalifa is in Dubai. It
is the worlds tallest building. On
14th March an Imperial eagle was
released from the top floor of the
building. After circling a few times,
the large bird flew down to its
trainer, or handler, on the ground
below. The eagle had a small lightweight camera strapped on its back.
So its descent from the skyscraper
was recorded.
Dubai is one of seven emirates that
make up the United Arab Emirates
(UAE). The others are Abu Dhabi,
Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain,
Ras al-Khaimah, and Fujairah. Abu
Dhabi is the largest emirate.
There are two types of Imperial eagles, the eastern Imperial
eagle and the Spanish Imperial
eagle. The eastern Imperial eagle
is found in south east Europe and
the western part of Central Asia.
However, in Europe this eagle is
now in danger of becoming extinct.
The Spanish Imperial eagle is also
endangered. Nowadays, it is found
only in south west Spain and parts
of southern Portugal.

The eagle that flew down from

the Burj Khalifa is called Darshan.
It belongs to an organisation called
Freedom Conservation. This organisation is based in western France. It
was set up in 2006. Freedom Conservation breeds endangered eagles.
It then tries to reintroduce them to
parts of Europe. To do this the organisation has to teach the birds
how to survive in the wild.
There is a tradition of hunting
with falcons in the UAE. Like eagles, falcons are birds of prey. However, eagles are bigger and more
powerful than falcons. The Crown
Prince of Dubai heard about the
work done by Freedom Conservation. He invited some of its workers
to Dubai. The Crown Prince wants
to make people in Dubai more
aware of the need to protect falcons
and other local wildlife. In Dubai he
introduced Freedom Conservation
to people from the Sony Company.
Sony is a well-known electronics
maker that is based in Japan.

Darshan with handler, Burj Khalifa in background

White-tailed eagles used to live

in the Alps in Switzerland and
France. The Alps are a large European mountain range. Now these eagles are found only in northern Europe and northern Asia. In Europe,
most of these eagles live in Norway.
Freedom Conservation is hoping to
reintroduce white-tailed eagles to
the Swiss and the French Alps. To
teach survival skills to eagles bred
in captivity, Freedom Conservation



wants to film the way the birds fly

and hunt. Sony agreed to design a
lightweight camera that could be fitted to the back of an eagle. The camera weighs 300 grams (10.6 ounces).
The flight from the top of the
Burj Khalifa was arranged to highlight the need to protect many eagle
species. Last year, Darshan flew
from several other high buildings.
These included the Eiffel Tower,
in Paris, the capital of France, and
St Pauls Cathedral, in London, the
UKs capital city. However, at 829.8
metres (2,722 feet), the Burj Khalifa
is much taller. Freedom Conservation said that the eagle had completed the highest ever bird flight from
a man-made structure.

WoRMS stands for World Register
of Marine Species. This organisation was set up in 2008. It is based
in Ostend, a coastal city in Belgium.
The organisations job is to keep
a register, or database, of all known
organisms that live in the seas
and oceans.
Scientists called taxonomists
classify living things into groups, or
types. This is called taxonomy. Living things are put into large groups
called phyla, then classes, orders,
and families. Next comes the genus,
and within that the species.
Around 200 taxonomists work
for WoRMS. When a species is discovered it means that researchers
have spent time studying and describing it. They decide which other
species it is related to, and note its
physical characteristics. They also
study the organisms behaviour.
This includes how and what it eats,
how it reproduces and the habitat in
which it lives.

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In the past there were several

lists of marine species. Scientists at
WoRMS have been checking these
different lists. They have discovered that they contain thousands of
duplicates. This means that many
marine organisms have been discovered and named at least twice.
Recently, WoRMS announced that
it had found 190,000 duplicates,
since it started work seven years
ago. These have now been deleted
from its register.
Nowadays DNA tests are easily done. This means that the DNA
of specimens that look similar can
be checked. If the results are the
same, they are not separate species.
One example of a marine creature
taken off the register is a type of
octopus. It was discovered in 1941.
The octopus was given the name
Octopus rooseveltii. It was named
after Franklin D Roosevelt (1882
1945). Then, he was the president
of the USA. However, the scientists
discovered that Octopus rooseveltii
was the same as another octopus.
Called Octopus oculifer, this one
had been registered in 1904.

Rough periwinkle

The marine creature with the

most number of entries was the
rough periwinkle. This type of sea
snail has a shell about ten millimetres (0.4 inches) long. It is
found around the shores of the

North Atlantic Ocean. The scientists at WoRMS discovered that

the rough periwinkle had been
registered 113 times. It was first
identified in 1792. The later, or
subsequent, 112 registrations have
now been deleted. Rough periwinkles have many different colours
and shapes of shell. This probably
explains why people thought they
were different species.

Blackeye goby

Officials at WoRMS believe that

they have now deleted most of the
duplications. Now, anyone who
thinks they have discovered a new
marine species can check one complete, accurate database. Currently,
there are 228,450 marine species
registered on the WoRMS list.
Since the organisation was set
up, about 1,000 types of fish have
been added to its register. These include 122 new sharks and rays. Over
130 new members of the goby family have also been registered. These
small fish live on the seabed. There
are over 2,000 species of goby. Most
are less than ten centimetres (four
inches) long.
Officials working for WoRMS
believe that laboratories around the
world are holding 10,000 possible
new species. Kept in jars, these are
waiting to be classified. Last year,
about four new marine species were
named, or identified, every day. The
officials think that at least two million marine organisms are yet to be



Pi Day was on 14th March. Many
mathematicians and physicists celebrate this annual event. Anyone
who has studied mathematics will
know pi () and what it stands for.
Some people described this years
14th March as a once-in-a-lifetime
Pi Day, or Pi Day of the century.
Pi is used in many formulae. It
is often needed to solve science
and engineering equations. Both
the Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians are thought to have known
about pi. William Jones, a mathematician from the UK, was the
first to use the letter pi to represent
the ratio of the circumference of a
circle to its diameter. He did this in
1706. Jones chose pi because it was
the first letter in the Ancient Greek
word for perimeter.
If you multiply the diameter of a
circle by pi, you get its circumference.
Even though most people use 3.14 for
pi, it is a number with endless decimal
places. Pi is equal to 3.141592653...
the digits never end. Like infinity, pis
decimal places go on forever.
Pi Day was first celebrated in
1988. It was organised by an American physicist called Larry Shaw. He
worked at a museum of learning in
San Francisco. Pi is a pun or homophone. It sounds like the English
word pie. Whats more pies are
often circular. On 14th March 1988,
Mr Shaw asked museum staff and
visitors to walk around in circles.
Then, as a reward, he gave each of
them a piece, or slice, of fruit pie.
Mr Shaw chose 14th March as
Pi Day because of the American
style of writing dates. The figures
3.14 can represent the 14th day of
the third month (or March). This
year was a once-in-a-lifetime Pi
Day because it is 2015. Therefore,

19th March 2015

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on 14th March the date was 3.14.15.

On this day, there were two times
(morning and evening) when the
time was 9 (hours): 26 (minutes): 53
(seconds). Then, the figures for the
date and time were,
or pi to ten places. This will not happen again for one hundred years.

The mathematicians who want to

replace pi with tau claim pi is not a
natural number. Pi, they say, is not
wrong, its just that it is the wrong
number to be linked with the properties of a circle.
These mathematicians claim that
pi causes unnecessary confusion.
For example, many mathematicians
do not measure angles in degrees.
Instead they use radians. There are
2 radians in a circle. So a quarter of a circle has a quarter of 2
radians, or half of pi. But it then
becomes difficult to work out the
number of radians in three quarters
of a circle.
Tau, the mathematicians explain,
is much simpler. A circle has tau radians; a semicircle half tau radians,
a quarter of a circle quarter tau, and
so on. Using tau, they argue, would
Pi pie
make it easier for students studying
Princeton, in the USA, is one maths. Those who prefer tau celplace that organises Pi Day events. ebrate Tau Day on 28th June.
Albert Einstein (1879 1955)
taught at Princeton University for
over 20 years. His birthday was on FADING VAN GOGH
14th March. Einstein was a Germanborn scientist. He is often described Scientists working at the University
as a genius and the father of mod- of Antwerp, in Belgium, have been
ern physics. On Pi Day, events at studying a painting by Vincent van
Princeton often include: who can re- Gogh. They believe they have dismember, or recite, the most digits of covered why bright, or vivid, reds
in some of van Goghs pictures are
pi, an Einstein lookfading, or turning white.
alike contest and pie
Vincent van Gogh (1853 1890)
eating competitions.
was from the Netherlands. He was
In recent years
an unusual artist for his day. Van
some mathematicians
Gogh liked to use very bright colhave argued that pi
should be replaced by something ours, especially yellows. During his
they call tau. Tau is twice as big (or lifetime van Gogh was not well2), so it is approximately 6.28. Tau known. He suffered from anxiety
is the 19th letter of the Greek alpha- and mental health problems. Art
bet. Pi is the 16th. The Greek letter experts say van Goghs work intau was chosen for its similar shape fluenced many famous artists who
to pi. Tau is the figure you get if you lived after him.
Van Gogh never had much
divide a circles circumference by
money. He didnt sell any of his
its radius.



paintings. Its said that he did

swap one picture for some food
and other things. (Nowadays, van
Gogh pictures sell for many millions of dollars.) His brother, Theo,
lived in Paris, the capital of France.
They frequently wrote letters to
each other. Van Gogh relied on his
brother for money and help with
his mental problems.

Wheat Stack Under Clouded Sky, by van Gogh

Van Gogh spent the last years

of his life in the city of Arles, in the
south of France. He moved there for
the warmer weather. Van Gogh hoped
it would improve his health. Most
of the pictures he produced in Arles
were painted outdoors. In this part
of France the sunlight is very strong.
This, art experts say, is why these pictures have even brighter colours.
Hundreds of years ago artists
usually made their own paints.
They, or their helpers, would grind
different coloured minerals into
powders. The first manufactured
paint in squeezable tubes was produced in the 1840s. This meant
it was easy for artists to buy the
paints they needed. As he had little
money, van Gogh normally bought
the least expensive paint. He wrote
about buying cheap paints in a letter
he sent to Theo.

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A few years ago researchers

looked at the type of yellow paint
van Gogh used. Called chrome yellow, it was also used by many other
artists. Van Gogh used bright yellows for his sunflower paintings.
Today, these pictures are some of
his most famous. The researchers
were puzzled. Van Goghs yellows
seem to be fading more than other
artists chrome yellows.
The researchers examined paint
from a 150-year-old tube of chrome
yellow. They said a chemical reaction called oxidation explained
some of the change in colour. Both
sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light
help start this chemical reaction.
However, the researchers also discovered that two chemicals, sulphur and barium, made this colour
change greater.
In van Goghs time, sulphur and
barium were used to make a type

of white paint. Van Gogh would

mix this white paint with chrome
yellow. He did this to make the
yellow look even brighter. This,
the researchers said, is why van
Goghs yellows are fading more
than those of other artists.
The scientists in Antwerp took
a tiny whitish fleck of paint from
a van Gogh picture called Wheat
Stack Under Clouded Sky. Using a
high-powered X-ray device, they
discovered that it contained red
lead. Van Gogh probably used this
type of red paint because it was
less expensive.
The scientists say that direct
light breaks down the paints red
lead. It turns it into two chemical
compounds. These then react with
carbon dioxide in the air. This reaction creates two separate chemicals.
Both are white. Therefore, some
parts of the Wheat Stack Under



Clouded Sky picture, such as the

leaves floating in the pond, used to
be a reddish colour.
Art experts often say that people
need to try to imagine how bright
van Goghs paintings were. Several
art museums are now making use
of digital technologies. These can
show what certain pictures looked
like when the artists painted them.


On 8th March officials in Malaysia
published a 600-page report. It was
about Flight MH370. The report
was released on the first anniversary
of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane. For the
last 12 months several ships have
been searching for the plane in the
southern Indian Ocean. Yet, so far,
nothing has been found.






19th March 2015










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19th March 2015

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On 8th March last year, MH370

took off from Kuala Lumpur, the
capital of Malaysia, in the very early
hours of the morning. Twelve crew
members and 227 passengers were
on the aircraft. The pilot and co-pilot
were in charge. The flight was going to Beijing, Chinas capital city.
Two-thirds of the passengers were
Chinese. Others came from Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, India, the
USA, and nine other countries.
Not long after the plane left Kuala Lumpur, the pilot spoke to Malaysian Air Traffic Control (ATC).
He said good night Malaysian three
seven zero. The plane was about to
leave Malaysian airspace. Its flight
path would then be above Vietnam.
The pilots were supposed to contact
Vietnamese ATC. They never did.
Sometime later, Malaysian ATC
realised that the plane had not entered Vietnamese airspace. The
pilots had not sent an emergency
call. The weather was fine. At
first, it was thought that MH370
must have crashed into the South
China Sea. Ships and rescue planes
searched for floating wreckage.
Nothing was found.

Malaysian Airlines passenger plane similar to the

one that went missing 12 months ago

Then, a few days later, Malaysian

officials made two surprising announcements. Military commanders in Malaysia had checked their
radar recordings. Just before entering Vietnamese airspace, the plane
made a sharp, unexpected turn to the



left. Two communication devices on the plane fly to one of the worlds
board had been switched off. If they most remote ocean areas?
Some people believe that there
were turned on, it may have been
are only two possible explanations.
possible to track the plane.
Yet both seem very unlikely. One:
Flight MH370
there was a sudden accidental dePlanned route
compression. As the oxygen ran out,
Detected by radar
Slower speed route
the pilots and passengers became
Faster speed route
unconscious. The plane then flew
on autopilot until all the fuel was
gone. Two: one of the pilots decided
he wanted to die. When alone in the
cockpit, he turned off the oxygen in
other parts of the plane. Everyone
except him became unconscious. He
then flew the plane south, knowing
that it would run out of fuel. After
landing on the sea, the plane sank.
(This could explain why no floating
First search area
wreckage has been found.)
The report says the plane had
Later, information recorded by a few minor technical problems.
a satellite, high above the Earth, However, these would not cause
showed that the plane continued to the plane to decompress or change
fly for seven hours. It had enough direction. The report also examines
fuel to travel for eight hours. After the lives and lifestyles of the pilot
studying the satellite information, and co-pilot. It says that there were
experts worked out that MH370 no personal reasons why either of
flew south. They declared that it them would want to kill themselves.
must have eventually run out of
If no wreckage is found on the
fuel and crashed into the southern seabed or floating in the sea, the
Indian Ocean.
mystery of what happened to Flight
Planes and ships from several MH370 may never be solved. Many
countries started to search several have described it as the most puzareas of ocean. The search opera- zling disappearance in history.
tions have been organised from the
city of Perth by Australian officials.
Surprisingly, after 12 months, no CERVANTES FOUND
floating wreckage from the plane
For the last 12 months, researchhas been found.
It is very unusual for a large pas- ers in Spain have been searching
senger plane to disappear. Many an old convent. This building is in
questions are difficult to answer: Madrid, Spains capital city. The
Why did the plane lose contact at researchers were looking for the
the exact place where Malaysian air- bones of a man who died 400 years
space ends and Vietnamese airspace ago. Recently, they found the rebegins? Why did the plane suddenly mains of a wooden casket, or box.
turn left? Who switched the com- The letters MC were marked on
munications systems off? Why did it. On 17th March the researchers

19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

announced that the box contained

what they were searching for: the
bones of Miguel de Cervantes.
Miguel de Cervantes (1547
1616) is best known as the man who
wrote Don Quixote (pronounced
don kee-ho-tay). This book was
published in two volumes in 1606
and 1615. Literature experts say it
was the first modern novel. Some
believe that the book is one of the
greatest works of fiction ever published. Don Quixote has been translated into at least 60 languages.
In the book Cervantes makes
fun of knights, heroes and chivalry.
The main character is a middle-aged
man. He reads lots of books about
chivalry. He starts to believe that he
is a knight called Don Quixote de
La Mancha. He also thinks he loves
a princess. Don Quixote persuades
a local man, called Sancho Panza,
to be his servant. With an old horse
and donkey, they set off on a number of adventures.

Portait of Miguel de Cervantes

The two men get into many difficulties. Don Quixote lives in an
imaginary world. Honour is very
important. Those around him, like
his servant, live in the real world.
However, the more illusions Don
Quixote has, the more people close
to him are drawn into his strange
world. In one famous scene, Don
Quixote thinks some windmills are
giants. He tries to fight them.

The word quixotic comes from

the book. It is used as an adjective
to describe something that is unrealistic, or something that cannot
be done. Tilting at windmills is a
phrase that means to attack, or argue
against, something that doesnt exist. In Cervantess time, knights on
horseback used a long spear-like
weapon called a lance. Attacking
another horse rider with a lance was
known as tilting.



of the convents rooms. The wooden

casket was discovered in one of 33
niches in a wall of the crypt.
A new tomb for Cervantes will
now be built in the convent. It will
be officially unveiled, or opened,
next year. This will be the 400th anniversary of Cervantess death. The
city of Madrid will pay for the tomb.
Officials believe the discovery of
the famous authors bones will encourage more people to visit the city
and the convent.


Painting of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

As a young man Cervantes was in

the Spanish army. During a naval battle in 1571 he was shot in the chest.
He also injured his left hand. Pirates
from Algeria held him for five years
after they captured his ship. Later, he
was put in prison several times because he could not repay the money
he had borrowed. Don Quixote only
became a popular book a few years
before Cervantess death. So he did
not make much money from it.
Before he died aged 69, Cervantes asked to be buried in the convent. This was because the people
who worked there had given some
money to the pirates. After this ransom was paid, the pirates agreed to
release him. Many other people were
buried in the convent. Yet it was not
known where Cervantes was buried.
The researchers used a special
device. Called ground penetrating
radar, it could see below the convents stone floor. They found a long
lost underground crypt beneath one

Sixty archaeologists have begun

working at a site near a large railway station in London, the capital of
the UK. They plan to dig up, or excavate, over 3,000 human skeletons.
Its known that this site was an old
cemetery, or burial ground.
The cemetery has been uncovered by the construction of a new
railway line. Called Crossrail, it is
one of the largest construction projects in Europe. The new railway is
118 kilometres (73 miles) long. It
will open in three years time. The
part that goes through the centre
of London is under ground. This
means that large tunnels have to be
dug. These are beneath some of the
oldest parts of London.
The Romans founded the city of
London about 2,000 years ago. High
walls, made from stone, enclosed it.
The Romans called the city Londinium. Later, many churches were
built in the city. By the 1560s the
cemeteries close to these churches
were full. It was decided to open a
burial ground just outside the city
walls. The place chosen was a cemetery used by the Bethlehem Hospital. This was made into a much
larger burial ground.

19th March 2015

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The Bethlehem Hospital had

been set up in 1247. By the 1460s
people with mental problems, or
the insane, were kept there. Local
people called the hospital Bedlam. (The name Bethlehem became
Bedleheem. This was then shortened to Bedlam.) Today, in English,
the word bedlam means uproar,
confusion or madness.
The Bedlam burial ground was
used for about 200 years, or from
the 1560s to the 1760s. During this
time London became one of the biggest cities in the world. It was the
capital of an expanding empire.
After the burial ground was closed,
houses were built over the top of it.
Hundreds of years ago there were
a number of plague outbreaks in
Europe. One in the 1340s became
known as the Black Death. Most
scientists believe the disease was
caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. They think rats and fleas
spread the plague. Humans may have
caught the disease from the bites of
fleas that lived on infected rats.
In the 14th century, the Black
Death is believed to have killed 50
million people in Europe. Then, this
was about 25% of the population.
People who caught the plague had
large painful swellings on their bodies. The skin around these swellings
turned black. (This is why it was
called the Black Death.) Some recovered, but most died several days
after falling ill.
There was another serious plague
outbreak in London in 1665. Known
as the Great Plague, it killed at
least 100,000 people. Many of
these plague victims were buried in
the Bedlam cemetery. After taking
DNA from the teeth of these skeletons, scientists plan to study the Y.
pestis bacterium. They will compare
their results with DNA taken from

the teeth of people who died from

the Black Death in the 14th century.
This will show how the plague bacterium changed, or evolved, over
300 years.

Excavation at Bedlam burial ground

The archaeologists must complete their work by September. They

plan to work in shifts, 16 hours a
day, six days a week. After all the
bones are removed, a new railway
ticket office will be built on the site.
Crossrail is the UKs largest archaeology project. Along the route
of the new railway, archaeologists
have made many discoveries. These
include hundreds of skeletons, Roman coins, an ancient pathway
from the Bronze Age, and the
38,000-year-old bones of a woolly



This is similar to a large passenger planes wingspan. Yet the body

of Solar Impulse 2 is small. Inside
the cockpit there is room for only
one person.
Solar Impulse 2 weighs about
2.3 tonnes. This is roughly the same
weight as a medium-sized family
car. On top of the planes wings and
body are 17,000 solar cells. These
capture energy from the Sun, which
powers the aircrafts four propeller
engines. The solar cells are able to
store some energy. This means the
plane can keep flying at night. Its
top speed is about 80 kilometres (50
miles) per hour.
The plane has two pilots, Andr
Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard.
Both men are from Switzerland.
During the circumnavigation, the
two men will take turns to pilot,
or fly, the single-seater plane. Mr
Borschberg started the Solar Impulse project over ten years ago. His
idea was to build a plane that would
be able to fly around the world using
solar power.

An unusual plane took off from Abu
Dhabi on 9th March. The flight was
the start of a record-breaking attempt to circumnavigate, or fly all
the way around, the world using
solar power. The plane, called Solar
Impulse 2, flew towards the east.
It landed in Muscat, the capital of
Oman, ten hours later. This was the
first stage, or leg, of the 35,000-kilometre (21,750 mile) journey.
The solar-powered plane was
built about four years ago. Its wingspan, or distance from wingtip to
wingtip, is 72 meters (236 feet).

Solar Impluse 2

The flight from Abu Dhabi to

Muscat was not Solar Impulse 2s
first. In 2013 the plane made its first
international flight. It flew from
Switzerland to Belgium. Soon afterwards the solar plane completed
its first journey between continents.
Then, Solar Impulse 2 travelled
from Madrid, Spains capital (in Europe), to Rabat, Moroccos capital
city (in Africa). This flight took just

19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

over 19 hours. Solar Impulse 2 has

also flown across the USA.
The pilots have divided the journey into 12 stages. After crossing
the Arabian Sea to India, the plane
will fly to Myanmar (also known as
Burma) and China. Halfway across
the Pacific Ocean, it will stop in Hawaii. There will be several landings
in the USA. After flying over the
Atlantic Ocean, there will be a few
stops in southern Europe or North
Africa. Where the plane lands may
depend on winds and weather. The
pilots hope to arrive back in Abu
Dhabi in July. Total flight time is
expected to be 25 days.
The longest leg is between China
and Hawaii. This distance is about
8,500 kilometres (5,270 miles). It
is expected to take five days. The
pilots say staying awake and being in the small, cramped cockpit
for a long time will be difficult.
Mr Borschberg and Mr Piccard
have done some special training. It
included yoga and self-hypnosis.
They have been taught how to sleep
for 20 minutes but wake up feeling
refreshed. During sleep time the
plane will fly on autopilot.
Mr Borschberg says Solar Impulse 2s circumnavigation will help
to promote the use of sustainable, or
green, energy. He believes that better solar-powered planes, which can
carry more people, will be built in

The asteroid belt is between Mars

and Jupiter. It is a region where
there are many bits of rock, or rubble. These were leftover when the
planets in our Solar System first
formed 4.6 billion years ago. This
ring, or belt, of bits of rock stretches
all the way around the Sun.
Pieces of rock in the asteroid belt
range from a few hundred kilometres across to ones the size of a speck
of dust. The four largest objects are
Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea.
Ceres is 972 kilometres (604 miles)
across. It is big enough to be called
a dwarf planet. Vesta is 530 kilometres (330 miles) wide. It, Pallas,
and Hygiea are what are known as
Ceres and the three proto-planets
were discovered over 150 years ago.
Then, it was thought that they, and
the asteroid belts other space rocks,
were the remains of one or two
planets. Either one planet had been
ripped apart, or two had collided
and broken up into many pieces.
However, its now known that this
is not true.


On 6th March Dawn finally reached
a dwarf planet called Ceres. Dawn is
an unmanned spacecraft, or probe.
The probe immediately began to
circle, or orbit, the dwarf planet.
Ceres is the asteroid belts largest
space object.

Ceres dwarf planet showing two bright spots

Scientists worked out that the asteroid belt does not contain enough
material to make a planet. If all the
pieces of rock were merged into one
large one, its total mass would be
roughly 4% of that of the Moon. By



itself, Ceres would be one-third of

the total. Scientists believe that asteroid belt rocks are ones that never
became part of the larger planets
when they formed. This means that
Ceres (and everything in the asteroid belt) dates back to the beginning
of the Solar System.
Dawn is a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
space mission. The spacecraft was
launched 7.5 years ago. It took four
years to get to Vesta. Dawn then spent
14 months mapping and photographing the surface of the proto-planet.
At the end of 2012 the spacecraft left
Vesta. It then headed for Ceres.

Vesta proto-planet

Unlike Vesta, its thought that

Ceres is not all rock. Scientists suspect that it contains a 100-kilometre
(62 mile) thick layer of water-ice. If
true, at least one quarter of Ceres is
frozen water. As Dawn approached
the dwarf planet, it took a surprising
photograph. Two very bright spots
can be seen in the picture. One is
brighter than the other. Both are in a
92-kilometre (57 mile) wide crater.
The two spots puzzle scientists.
Some think that they are volcanolike mountains erupting ice. Yet
NASA scientists think this is unlikely. They believe that the bright
lights are reflections of the Suns
rays. Some minerals called silicates
can reflect up to half of the light that
shines on them. The bright spots

19th March 2015

Newsademic.com British English edition

might be sunlight reflecting off

minerals, which are normally below
Ceres surface. Yet, what exposed
them is not known. Dawns forthcoming photographs and recordings
should answer these questions.
Dawn has enough fuel to orbit
Ceres for about 14 months. After
this it will shut down. The dead or
tumbling spacecraft will then continue to circle Ceres in perpetuity, or

Chameleons are famous for being able
to change colour. Researchers from
Switzerland have been studying one
type of chameleon. Called the panther
chameleon, it can quickly change into
many bright colours. The researchers believe that they have worked out
how the chameleons do this.

Female panther chameleon (B Navez)

There are about 160 species of

chameleon. Not all have the ability
to change to bright colours. Some
species only turn a black, brown or
a tan-like colour. However, many
others produce patterns of different
bright colours. These can include
pink, green, red, yellow, brown, purple, aqua blue, turquoise, dark blue,
and white.
Chameleons live in Madagascar, Africa and the southern parts
of Spain, Italy, Greece, the Mid-

dle East, and India. Most are tree

dwellers. About half of the worlds
chameleons live on the island of
Madagascar. Chameleons vary in
size. The smallest, called the pygmy leaf chameleon, is only three
centimetres (1.2 inches) long. The
Malagasy giant chameleon is the
largest. It grows to 70 centimetres
(26 inches) in length. Both these species live in Madagascar.
Chameleons have very good
eyesight. Their eyes can look in
different directions at the same
time. They rotate and swivel, or
pivot, independently of each other.
With almost 360 vision, the lizards
are able to see two objects at the
same time. The toes on their feet
are designed to grip small branches
and twigs. To help their balance,
chameleons will curl their tails
around branches.
Most chameleons are omnivores.
They eat both meat and plants. The
lizards feed on leaves, berries, fruits,
flying and crawling insects, worms,
and snails. The larger ones also eat
small reptiles. Chameleons have very
long tongues. These are usually twice
the length of their bodies (not including their tails). The lizards catch their
prey with their tongues. These unfurl, or come out of their mouths, in a
fraction of a second. Chameleons can
catch insects that are quite far away.
The speed of their tongues mean their
prey has no time to escape.
Female chameleons lay eggs.
They come down from the trees
and dig a hole in the ground.
Some species will lay two to four
eggs in the hole. Others may lay
as many as 100. Depending on
the species, the eggs can take between four months and two years
to hatch. After the baby lizards
emerge from the eggs, they have
to look after themselves.



Other tree-dwelling animals, such

as certain snakes and birds, prey on
chameleons. The lizards can hide by
matching the colours of their surroundings. However, this is not the
main reason for their colour changing
ability. Chameleons use different colours to communicate with each other
or change their body temperature.
The lizards produce different
colour patterns for different moods.
Bright colours may show that a
chameleon is angry. Other colours
might be used to attract a mate. If
the lizard is too cold, it may turn a
dark colour. This will help it absorb
heat and warm its body. If it wishes
to cool down, a chameleon will turn
a lighter colour.
The researchers discovered that
the panther chameleon has a lattice,
or grid, of very tiny crystals (called
nanocrystals) in a layer of cells. This
layer is just beneath the lizards skin.
The tiny crystals reflect light. Normally, they are evenly spaced. The
space between the crystals affects the
lights wavelength. To change its colour, the chameleon alters the spacing
between the nanocrystals. It does this
by stretching or relaxing its skin. As
the spacing changes, so does the reflected lights wavelength. It is these
changing wavelengths that create the
chameleons changing colours.

Editor: Rebecca Watson
News story photographs by gettyimages
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19th March 2015




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2 Verb Made visible or uncovered

4 Adjective Describes something that is admired and
10 Noun (Plural) Statements that are sometimes true and
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12 Adjective Able to continue successfully over a long period
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13 Noun (Plural) Pictures or designs made of small pieces of
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15 Noun Being in a trance or sleep-like state of mind
17 Noun Relieving air pressure
19 Noun The system of values (such as loyalty, honour and
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20 Noun A boundary line, or the area just inside the boundary

1 Noun (Plural) Two or more identical things

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11 Adjective Designed to cause fires
14 Noun Scattering of people who used to belong to one
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18 Adjective Used in names of animals and plants that are
much smaller than other similar ones

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