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«the Wire. The Wire The clean-up is continuing after ex-tropical Cyclone Rusty hit Western Australia last week. The area around Port Headland was ...»

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BtN: Episode 5 Transcript 5/3/13

On this week's Behind the News

The horse meat scandal continues to grow so how do we know what's in our


A year on from the Kony campaign we head to Uganda to see if it's made a


And we go behind the scenes to find out how they make props for Hollywood


Hi I'm Nathan Bazley.

Also on the show today, Sarah locks swords with some kids who spend their free time

acting out medieval battles. But first there's been some devastating weather events across Australia this week. Let's take a look at that and some of the other main news stories in the Wire.

The Wire The clean-up is continuing after ex-tropical Cyclone Rusty hit Western Australia last week.

The area around Port Headland was worst affected - with buildings flooded and shed roofs torn off.

Luckily there were no reports of anyone hurt.

Schools had to close throughout the storm but are expected to open their doors again this week.

********* Meanwhile parts of Queensland and Northern New South Wales are facing a flooding crisis.

In the Queensland town of Dalby dozens of homes were flooded when the local creek broke its banks.

Officials say the flood levels are only a bit below the peak seen during the huge floods of 2011.

********* And finally the results are in Australia has just experienced its hottest summer on record.

The Climate Commission's latest report called it 'The Angry Summer' and said 123 local temperature records were broken during this past summer alone.

The report also says the extreme heat, floods and bushfires seen this year were all made worse by our shifting climate.

Whaling Reporter: Natasha Thiele INTRO: Hunting whales is a controversial issue that's been back in the news lately.

Anti-whaling protestors from a group called Sea Shepherd were accused of ramming a Japanese whaling ship. There's been a debate about who was to blame but one thing we can be sure of it's got lots of people talking about whaling again.

Here's Tash.

NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: In the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, an intense battle is on between two sides. But this isn't a battle over politics or land. It's over an animal!

Whales are one of the largest and most intelligent animals in the world. But for centuries, they've also been hunted.

Commercial whaling in Australia goes back almost 200 years and it was a big business. Blubber, which is the fatty stuff found under a whale's skin, was used in things like soaps, candles and cosmetics.

REPORTER: In the old days, whale bones were sometimes used in clothing. Ladies would wear corsets like this under their dresses, to make their waist look small. They were made with whale bones.

In some countries, whales have also been a source of food. But over the years, whale numbers declined, putting some species at risk of extinction.

People wanted somethingdone about the issue. So in the early 1980s, a heap of countries got together to look into commercial whaling. Some wanted it to continue.

But in 1986, the majority of those countries signed an agreement to ban commercial whaling.

REPORTER: There is an exception to the ban. Scientists need to be able to study whales to find out more about them, so countries are allowed to kill a certain number of whales each year for research.

This is what Japan says it's doing. Japanese fishing boats hunt mostly minke and fin whales. These whales are found in many parts of the world. Although they're not endangered, fin whales are a threatened species. The boats head out every year and can hunt almost a-thousand whales. Japanese whalers say it's all for science, but some people reckon it's more to do with selling the whale meat.

But some groups want Japan to stop whaling all together. The Sea Shepherd is an activist group that was set up to protect whales and other marine life. Some of the things they do can be pretty extreme and dangerous. Recently, they've been trying to stop a Japanese ship from hunting whales in waters that are under Australian protection. At one stage, the boats came so close they ended up crashing into each other, although no one will take the blame. Japan says the Sea Shepherd is putting lives at risk by going near their ships. But the group says that they're the ones being attacked.

Some people think we should send in the Australian Navy or customs vessels to sort things out. But the government is leaving it up to an international court, where the issue will be argued later this year. For now, the Japanese ships appear to be heading towards home, which has lifted the hopes of the protestors that perhaps the whaling season may be over for this year at least.

Quiz 1 OK, let's have a quiz.

The animal known as a killer whale is actually what?

Fish Dolphin Shark Answer: Dolphin They're also called Orcas and the killer whale is actually the largest member of the dolphin family.

OK, now to a story about food.

Food Standards Reporter: Sarah Larsen INTRO: You might have heard about the 'horse meat scandal' in Europe. Horse meat has been found in some food including in some IKEA meatballs overseas. So how do we know that the food we're eating is what we think it is? Sarah finds out.

VOICEOVER: This week on Master Kitchen rules.

JUDGE: So what have you cooked for us today?

CHEF: Pate and tomato ravioli CHEF: Hmm… it smells delicious.

JUDGE: You can really taste the fresh ingredients. Where did you find such amazing pate?

CHEF: Well...

You can't always tell everything you need to know about food from the way it tastes.

A lot of the food we eat every day is prepared somewhere else and we have to trust that what we're eating is made from something we'd want to be eating.

Over in Europe there's been a massive scandal about an unexpected ingredient in some popular food.

A UK supermarket was selling lasagne which was supposed to be made of beef. But earlier this year tests showed that it was 100% horse meat.

Authorities tested other meat products and found more traces of horsemeat which they tracked back to Romania.

Somewhere between the abattoirs here and the supermarkets of Europe horsemeat was being relabelled as beef and put into all sorts of foods, even school lunches.

REPORTER, SARAH LARSEN: Now the real issue here isn't so much that people ate horse - that’s not that unusual. Lots of countries have perfectly legal horsemeat industries and lots of people eat it.

The issue was that people were eating something they didn't know about. Eating horses is against some people's religions... and others just don't like the idea.

UK KID: Every day near my house I stroke a horse and I wouldn't want to eat it.

None of the horsemeat has made its way into Australia.

But how do we know that the food we're eating is exactly what we think it is?

Australia has strict rules about what goes into food, where it comes from and how it's handled. The rules are set by a big agency that covers Australia and New Zealand and it's up to state and territory governments to make sure they're followed.

Say you win master kitchen and want to start your own pasta business. If you do that then food regulators will want to know that you're following the rules.

You'll have to show that the way you make your food is safe.

And you have to show what each ingredient is, where it comes from and whether it's safe to eat.

And that's where these guys come in. Food companies often get their products tested at labs like this to make sure there aren't any germs in there that could make people sick.

SINAN, FOOD LAB TECHNICIAN: We test for bacteria that can cause food poisoning and make people ill things like salmonella, listeria and staff.

Most supermarkets won't sell food unless it's passed the laboratory tests.

You'll also have to label your pasta with every single thing that's in it.

REPORTER: The information on labels is really important because it lets you know about little ingredients you might not expect to find in the food. It lets people with allergies and special diets know what to avoid and what's OK to eat.

But Australia isn't the only country with laws covering processed foods and over in Europe governments are investigating what went wrong.

Some reckon there needs to be more thorough testing, not just to show that food is safe, but also that meat comes from the right animal.

And it means that food makers are being watched even more closely to make sure the stuff on people's plates is exactly what it's cooked up to be.

Kony Update Reporter: Sophia Thomson INTRO: Do you remember Kony 2012? It was a huge internet campaign that was launched exactly a year ago. The idea was to tell the world about a war criminal called Joseph Kony in the hope he'd be caught. But in the year since has anything changed? Sophia travelled to Uganda, in Africa to find out.

SOPHIA THOMSON, REPORTER: More than one hundred and twenty million people watched this video last year.

If they made up a country it would be the tenth biggest on earth.

It was all about Joseph Kony and the horrible things he and his army have done to children in Uganda.

Despite all that attention Joseph Kony hasn't been caught.

So does that mean the whole campaign was a failure?

I travelled to Uganda to find out.

Uganda is an amazing but small country in Africa. It's also very poor. But how do they feel about the campaign that captured the world's attention?

I spoke to three men.

Patrick from Invisible Children the group behind the Kony video.

James the director of another charity group working here called CARE.

And Risdel a Ugandan journalist who's covered this issue for years.

For its part Invisible Children says it's made a lot of progress.

PATRICK: We are committed to ending this thing comprehensively and that is why we have a presence in Northern Uganda, to continue to repair and heal the wounds that were left behind.

They've built communication networks so locals can spread warning of an attack.

They've set up radio networks that broadcast information to children who want to escape Kony's army.

And they've dropped nearly half a million flyers to give abducted children advice about how to safely escape.

PATRICK: If I were asked, I think we've done incredibly well.

But not everyone agrees.

RISDEL: Kony 2012, Kony 2012 been a success? No I don't think so!

Like many Ugandans, Risdel thinks the Kony campaign was misleading.

Despite what the film said Kony had moved away from Uganda years earlier.

RISDEL: So up till now, that's why people are suspicious. They ask "why did Invisible Children do this? They should have explained this was what was happening ten years ago. Kony is no longer here."

JAMES: For most Ugandans the war has already long been over.

But there is a bigger criticism of this campaign in Uganda.

RISDEL: I think Kony 2012 was more beneficial to Invisible Children than people in Northern Uganda.

The film helped generate more than 26 million dollars in total.

So far 10.5 million of that hasn't been spent.

Risdel wants to know if the money will go to the kids the video was inspired by.

RISDEL: If you go to Northern Uganda and you talk to these children, if you talk to those that have been affected by it, they will tell you nothing has changed.

There are also worries about the film's effect on tourism here.

RISDEL: That video would definitely scare people away from coming to Uganda investors and tourists.

And as I found out in my time here there's far more to Uganda than Joseph Kony.

JAMES: Fortunately now that Kony is not here, it's a good place to visit and it is still a poor country, it's still growing, still requires a lot of development assistance, but it's a beautiful place to visit.

A beautiful place with hopefully a brighter future.

Online Poll Last year we ran a poll on this story. 81 per cent of you said you thought the Kony campaign would make a difference. So what do you reckon now? Have you changed your mind?

The question is:

Do you think the Kony campaign made a difference?

To vote just head to our website.

Last week we asked if all schools should teach kids how to fix cars.

65% of you said yes.

35% said no.

Thanks for voting.

Oscar Props Reporter: Natasha Thiele INTRO: We told you last week about the big winners in this year's Oscars. But it got us to thinking about all the people working behind the scenes to make these amazing movies. One important area is designing and making props. Tash caught up with an Australian guy who's had a hand in some big Hollywood movies.

NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: Have you ever watched cool movies like this and wondered how do they make these characters look so life-like? Well, there are people who do this as an actual job!

Corrie is an expert in prop making and special effects. He's worked on TV shows and movies and one you might've watched is Star Wars Episode Three, Revenge of the Sith. He helped make some of the creatures.

CORRIE EMERY, PROP MAKER: It might be a case of, for instance, with the Wookies, helping to build the suits, sorry build full life sized casts of the performers so that the people could buy the suits that would go on them. Casting the hands and the feet for the individual characters, then they would go to another department to put all the hair and everything else on it.

Corrie studied at the Adelaide College of the Arts. And he recently went back to meet some students, who want to follow in his footsteps. This year, students are studying prop making.

GEOFF BALDACCHINO, LECTURER: As a prop maker that's one of the hardest things is deciding what to make.

They've got their first practical workshop with Geoff, who's worked on big stage productions like the Lion King. Today they're learning how to mould characters using plasticine.

GEOFF: You're pushing things around with your clay and every time you do that, there's a different expression, a different shadow that's cast on the piece.

REPORTER: What are you working on here?

MARSHALL: I'm doing a little head sort of inspired by Dracula and Frankenstein, something like that.

REPORTER: So Rose, what's this little creature here that you're making?

ROSE: So basically I'm making a little monkey.

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