Home 2019

Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

Thunberg was the 16-year-old who inspired millions of young people to take action against climate change.

She organised a campaign for school students to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament, pushing for her government to meet its ambitious goals to curb carbon emissions.

Her actions were quickly followed by millions of others around the world.

In the 16 months since her first protest she has addressed heads of state at the UN, met with the Pope, tweeted about the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike.

She is the youngest individual to have won the accolade.

The All Blacks have appointed Ian Foster to coach the All Blacks.

Foster will replace Steve Hansen who left the post at the end of the Rugby World Cup.

Foster, 54, has been Hansen’s assistant for eight years.

This main rival for the position came from Crusaders coach Scott Robertson to earn his promotion.

“I feel truly privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity,” he said.

New Zealand won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015, but were beaten by England in the semi-finals of the 2019 tournament in Japan.

A Finnish politician is set to become the world’s youngest prime minister.

Sanna Marin, Finland’s 34-year-old transportation minister, is to be sworn in as prime minister of Finland next Tuesday.

Last Sunday, Marin narrowly won a vote among the Social Democrat party to replace outgoing Prime Minister Antti Rinne.

Sanna Marin told reporters that she has “a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust.”

Marin rose through the political ranks after leading the city council of her industrial hometown Tampere when she was 27.

Marin isn’t the only world leader in her 30s, though: Ukranian premier Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35, with our own Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern being 39.

At schools all around New Zealand prizegiving is coming up to recognise and celebrate students who have worked hard and achieved highly. Most schools use these sorts of schemes to reward their “star pupils.” But there is often some form of unease among teachers and parents who argue awards can do more harm than good: that, if not managed carefully, they encourage unhealthy competition or an expectation of reward. So does this mean we should cancel prizegiving’s altogether? Absolutely not!

While I agree that there is a wrong way to do prizegiving, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a right way. It also doesn’t mean that students who have worked hard all year should not be acknowledged. Students are often very enthusiastic about awards they receive, not only does it make them feel proud of themselves, but it helps them to realise teachers really notice everybody.

I believe that awards inspire students to work to their highest potential. Giving out an award to students who have achieved something is a way to make students feel like they can achieve something if they work hard. This helps young people to learn early on that their actions can have an effect on how they will do in life and that the harder the work the more they will achieve.

It is also a mechanism to promote a little bit of healthy competition. With a goal for students to work towards students will be encouraged to complete their work to the highest standard possible, rather than just complete it to a passable standard. At the end of the day, competition is a factor in life that will show up time and time again in the workplace. School is a good place to learn how to treat competition in a healthy manner, without letting it take over your life! It seems like there is no better place to start being competitive than in your years at school.

Giving out awards at school encourages kids to not just get passing grades, but to strive to get the best possible grades they can. If you don’t get any more credit for getting amazing grades, what is the point for working hard? Would this leave kids thinking all they need to do is the bare minimum? Awards encourage kids to do their best and getting recognition will make them want to do just that little bit more.

An awards ceremony is a special day for many students receiving awards, and it gives an opportunity for the students to be recognized by their peers, teachers and family members that have supported them throughout the years. However, if you are going to award certificates, the key thing is to make sure they are inclusive. There is something in every child to recognise. Categories should be all-inclusive, covering every subject and after-school activity, from theatre to dance to speech and debate. This gives the opportunity for students to be recognized for things other than grades.

At the end of the day, prizegiving is just one day out of the whole year. It is designed for the school community to feel happiness for their peers, not jealousy. Are we really so scared to celebrate success?

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Can you think of any flaws with this opinion?
  2. What are some cons of prizegiving? Does it make students feel left out?
  3. Should prizegiving celebrate more than academic success?

Practical Thinking Questions:

  1. Ask your peers and/or your teacher what they think about prizegiving. Do they think it is a good idea.
  2. Has prizegiving motivated you to work harder? Why/why not?
  3. Explain how you think prizegiving should be run and what awards should be given.

Saudi Arabia will end a controversial law requiring restaurants to have separate entrances for women.

The law will mean only one entrance is needed.

Previously, it was the law to have one entrance for families and women, and another for men on their own.

Restaurants had already been ignoring this rule, with many restaurants, cafes and other meeting places no longer enforcing segregation.

Since Mohammed bin Salman was elevated to crown prince in 2017, he has made changes to laws to change Saudi Arabia’s extremely conservative views.

Earlier this year, a royal decree allowed Saudi women to travel abroad without a male guardian’s permission. This follows a change in 2018 which ended a decades-long ban on female drivers.

A huge weather bomb has hit large parts of Te Waipounamu (South Island)

Wild weather, including high winds and torrential rain, have soaked large parts of southern New Zealand.

Townships on the West Coast including Franz Josef and Fox are cut off as washouts and slips blocked State Highway 6.

Around 970 tourists are trapped in Franz Josef and are unlikely to get out until Friday. The only way in or out is by helicopter.

In Timaru District, the council says it could take weeks to recover from flood damage.

Timaru District remains under a state of emergency which will not be lifted until at least one of the bridges reopens.

A New Zealand-based Canadian shearer has set a new world shearing record.

Pauline Bolay sheared 510 lambs in eight hours in a remote Waikato woolshed.

Bolay was challenging the women’s solo eight-hours strong wool lamb record of 507, set by New Zealand shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia in January 2012.

She was the first North American to attempt a shearing world record.

The challenge was made at Whitford Farms, in Waikaretu which is close to Raglan. Bolay works for shearing contractors there.

After starting at 7am on Saturday and finishing at 5pm, Bolay managed to shear 510 lambs, beating the previous record by three.

The challenge was split into four two-hour runs. Each run separated by breaks of 30 minutes for morning and afternoon tea and an hour for lunch.

To break the record Bolay needed to average less than 56.8 seconds per lamb, caught, shorn and dispatched.

Instagram has announced that from today people will now have to provide their birthday when they create a new Instagram account.

Up until now, users have just had to confirm that they are at least 13 years old.

The social media company says that knowing someone’s age means they can help ensure content is safe for younger people.

Instagram will be able to recommend specific privacy settings or generate in-app information about staying safe online.

Once submitted, birthdays will be hidden from other users. Existing users won’t have to add their birthdays.

Instagram said that at this stage they won’t verify birthdates, but it believe people will be honest about their birth dates.

Eventually, they might rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to help know how old users are.

The AI will look at the posts people make and the hashtags they use to figure out someone’s age.

New Zealand sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have won their fifth title at the 49er world sailing championships in Auckland.

The pair had trouble on the final day and after the morning races, victory looked out of sight.

The Rio Olympic gold medallists had to deal with capsizes, broken equipment and a Did Not Finish in their races.

However, they fought back to finish fourth in the top-10 shootout. This was enough to win by six points overall.