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This has to be New Zealand’s biggest pumpkin!

Weighing in at 230kg this monster pumpkin was grown by Max & Julianne Farrell and was big enough to win them NZ’s Big Boy pumpkin competition.

The competition was part of the The Little River Giant Pumpkin Festival which was recently held in Little River, just outside of Christchurch. Altogether there are 13 competitions, including the Big Boy, the Local Big Boy (for pumpkins grown on the Peninsula) and the Wide Girl (for the widest circumference).

Giant vegetable competitions are growing in popularity.

In October last year the UK announced its heaviest ever pumpkin weighing in at 1,176.5 kg.

And still the world record for the heaviest pumpkin holds at 1,190.49 kg for an Atlantic giant grown by Belgian Mathias Willemijns in 2016.

Leicester City have won the 2021 FA Cup after beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley.

It is the first time in the club’s history that they have won the FA Cup.

A stunning goal in the second half of the match by Youri Tielemans secured the 1-0 win for Leicester.

It was the fifth time they had played in an FA Cup final and finally they got a win to grab the trophy.

Leicester won the Premier League back in 2016 and this is their first major trophy since then.

A total of 21,000 supporters were at the game. This is the largest crowd of the season as lockdowns slowly lift in the United Kingdom.

Chelsea won’t get long to get revenge for the loss. The two teams play each other on Tuesday as they have a Premier League game.

Scientists have found evidence of the existence of a giant cloud rat.

Modern-day cloud rats can be found in forests in the Philippines. They live in treetops which is where they get their name from.

However, this new cloud rat is twice the size of grey squirrels. Researchers discovered fossil remains of the creatures in Callao Cave in the town of Penablanca in Cagayan, Philippines.

They examined their bones and teeth to find out more about their size and shape. They believe they were large, fluffy and with big bushy tails.

Some of the remains of the rat were found in the same layer where the human fossils was discovered, making them nearly 70,000 years old!

Researchers say it means the ancient giant cloud rats could have been around for at least 60,000 years.

The month of May marks Aotearoa’s iconic month-long NZ Music Month celebration.

Held every May, its purpose is to celebrate music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

New Zealand Music Month started in 1997 when New Zealand Music Week was launched. But by 2001 it had become New Zealand Music Month.

Today NZ Music Month is run by the NZ Music Commission. They work with other organisations including NZ On Air, Recorded Music New Zealand, APRA, The Music Managers Forum, and Independent Music NZ.

It is a great chance to celebrate the amazing musicians we have in this country.

A number of music gigs are to be held around the country.

For more details check out
https://www.nzmusicmonth.co.nz/

Fighting has broken out between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. The past few days have seen the worst violence in years.

The United Nations has called for calm on both sides, however, at this stage both sides continue to war with each other.

Tensions in East Jerusalem have risen since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on 13 April with many clashes between Palestinian groups, Israeli groups and police. Then last week Israeli police stopped Palestinians meeting beside the Al-Aqsa mosque to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

In response rockets were fired by Palestinian militants into Israel. In retaliation Israel carried out air strikes on Gaza -which is ruled by a Palestinian militant group called Hamas.

The United Nations Security Council held an urgent meeting on Monday over the violence.

A History of Violence

The latest fighting is part of the ongoing conflict between Jews and Arabs, which has gone on for generations.

This has largely been over who the land should belong to and how it should be divided up since the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948.

Jerusalem is often at the centre of protests because the city is very important for religious reasons, and has many of the most important sites for Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

After a war in 1948 the city of Jerusalem ended up being split. Jordan was left in control of East Jerusalem, and Israel in control of West Jerusalem.

But after another war in 1967, Israel took control of the entire city and regards the whole of Jerusalem as its capital city.

If you are interested in this topic check out this video

The second Christchurch Call was completed online last week with Jacinda Ardern chairing the meeting.

The Christchurch Call was started in 2019 by Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron following the 2019 Mosque shootings.

The aim is to get countries and Tech companies working together to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

Ardern said good progress had been made since the call was launched. She said that “in two years we’ve done important work together, building our common capabilities to respond to crises. Build our resilience and inclusion in our own communities.”

During the meeting Macron welcomed the six new nations who had joined the call, namely the United States, Tunisia, Peru, Estonia, Czech Republic and Croatia.

It was vital that democracies come together to fight extremist content online, he said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the Christchurch Call, highlighting his support for the fight against extremist content online. He said that British authorities have removed more than 300,000 items of online terrorist material from the internet over the past decade.

China has become the second country to successfully land a space rover on Mars. The rover is called Zhurong.

The six-wheeled rover landed on the planet just before midnight on Friday night. It had been carried to Mars on the Tianwen-1 spacecraft. This arrived in Mars’ orbit in February and has been orbiting the planet since then.

During that time it has been taking images of the planet’s surface to plan the best place to land.

The trip from the spacecraft to the surface of Mars took 17 minutes.

Chinese scientists will try to get at least 90 days of work out of of the rover – getting it to study the area around it using all the special tech it has.

This weekend saw the first weekend of the trans-Tasman Super Rugby competiton.

Pleasing, from a New Zealand point of view, all the New Zealand teams went through the first round unbeaten. However, two Australian teams could have drawn or won their games with their final kicks, so some of the games were very tight.

The top New Zealand side, the mighty Crusaders, had to work hard to beat the Brumbies. Eventually winning 31-29 with the Brumbies missing a last minute conversion to tie the game.

The Hurricanes were too strong for the Waratahs, winning a high scoring game 64-48. The Blues had a comfortable 50-3 victory over the Rebels while the Highlanders beat the top Australian side 40-19. The final game saw the Chiefs beat the Force 20-19.

Check out the high scoring games between the Hurricanes and the Waratahs.

Millions of Muslims all around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr this week.

The festival is held to mark the end of Ramadan and it is one of the biggest celebrations in the Islamic year.

Eid al-Fitr literally means – ‘festival of the breaking of the fast’.

Ramadan

For Muslims the month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer and doing good deeds. It is also a time to spend with family and friends.

During Ramadan, Muslims avoid eating from dawn until sunset for about a month.

Eid al-Fitr

On the day of Eid al-Fitr, Ramadan is officially over. Muslims often celebrate by praying, giving gifts and having a big feast with family and friends.

Eid celebrations begin when a new crescent moon appears in the evening sky, which means that Eid can be on a different day each year.