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Great Barrier Reef has suffered its third bleaching.

Experts have warned that huge patches of the reef have been affected.

It is the third time this has happened in the last five years, according to the scientist carrying out aerial surveys. They have looked at almost 500 reefs from the Torres Strait to Cairns

The worst outbreaks of mass bleaching occurred in 2016 and 2017. This results in a record killing of about half the shallow water corals on the world’s biggest reef system.

The scientists said that a fuller picture would be possible after more intensive surveying.

Corals bleach when they sit in waters that are unusually hot for too long. They can recover if temperatures fall, but are often killed when high temperatures are sustained.

Global heating caused by escalating atmospheric greenhouse gases is a major threat to the world’s coral reef ecosystems.

A 7.5-magnitude has hit Russia.

The earthquake was focussed on Russia’s Kuril Islands on Wednesday.

The quake hit at a depth of 59km (37 miles) and prompted a tsunami warning that was later cancelled.

Officials reported no casualties or damage but said 400 residents of Severo-Kurilsk were taken to higher ground.

The four southernmost islands of the Kuril chain – Habomai, Shikotan, Etorofu, and Kunashiri – have been disputed between Moscow and Tokyo since the end of the second world war. The Kurils are known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

The Voyager 2 spacecraft is about to go silent.

The spacecraft was launched over 40 years ago and it is NASA’s longest-running space mission. For decades it has ventured out to the boundaries of our Solar System.

But very soon we will not get any reports from it for a while.

NASA has announced that the only antenna on Earth that can communicate with Voyager 2 spacecraft – is going silent, and not for a short time.

Deep Space Station 43 is a giant dish, located in Australia, and roughly the size of a 20-storey office building. It requires critical upgrades.

For approximately 11 months – until the end of January 2021, when the repairs are expected to be complete – Voyager 2 will be totally alone.

As the end of the March draws near, so does the end of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month honours women who have made an impact in their respective fields or helped in some way to better society.

In New Zealand, we have a lot of women worth celebrating. As a nation, we have often been trailblazers and set examples for women worldwide. “Like who?”– you might ask, well here are a handful of amazing Kiwi ladies throughout our recent history:

Some Awesome Women in the 1800s:

  • Kate Edgar became the first female to graduate from a New Zealand University in 1877. She was also the first woman to gain a Bachelor of Arts in the whole of the British Empire.
  • Kate Sheppard was heavily involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement and on the 19th of September 1893 women won the right to vote in New Zealand. New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote.

Some Awesome Women in the 1900s:

●        Jean Batten was a New Zealand aviatrix who was recognised globally for her record-breaking flights. In  November 1935, she had become the first woman to fly across the South Atlantic. In October 1936 she became the first person to fly directly from England to New Zealand.

  • Nancy Wake better known as the ‘white mouse’ was a New Zealander who fought in the Second World War. Wake was living in France at the time of the war and became a resistance leader of an army of  over 7,000 troops. She was on the ‘most wanted list’ by the secret German police. Luckily she was never caught as her code name suggests, she had a mouse like ability to dodge her enemies.

Some Awesome Women Today:

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is currently the world’s youngest female leader. She has made media waves globally for her new style of leadership. Her focus on being kind and compassionate goes beyond politics and is something that we can all learn from.
  • Lydia Ko when she was just 17 was ranked number one in the world and became the youngest professional golfer to achieve this status.  Lydia trains for over 35 hours a week (wow!) and is considered to be the greatest young golfer to ever have played the game.

New Zealand has had some pretty impressive women who have graced us with their achievements. Who are some awesome women you know? Who are women that you look up to?
Comment below!

Finland has been named the world’s happiest country in the world.

The United Nations has revealed the results as part of its annual World Happiness Report.

It is the third year in a row that Finland has finished as the top nation.

The report asked people who live in 156 countries how happy they are based on where they live.

New Zealand came in 8th position.

Some of the least happy places to live, according to the people who live there, were Afghanistan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe, all of which have seen war, poverty and food shortages in recent years.

A news species of tree hopper has been named after Lady Gaga.

The newly discovered treehopper species will officially be known as Kaikaia gaga.

University of Illinois entomology grad student Brendan Morris was allowed to name the new species.

He chose to name a new treehopper species after Lady Gaga to improve awareness of this unique but relatively unknown family of insects.

Treehoppers include some of the most spectacularly beautiful and often quite bizarre bugs on the planet. They have long fascinated biologists who are intrigued by their unusual “helmets.”

Lady Gaga has yet to respond to the news. Morris hopes she’ll take it as a compliment, finding admiration for K. gaga‘s “fierce, purplish face” and striking “‘shoulder pad’ horns.”

NASA is building a supersonic plane out of old parts.

The news X-59 Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) will feature a number of recycled parts from retired U.S. Air Force planes.

The QueSST is being designed as a project to develop commercial airliners capable of flying supersonic speeds without causing headaches for people living on the ground.

The plane is currently under construction at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works factory in Palmdale, California.

In order to keep costs down, NASA is re-using parts from older retired jets including;
– landing gear from an Air Force F-16 fighter
– a cockpit canopy from a NASA T-38 trainer
– a propulsion system from a U-2 spy plane
– a control stick from an F-117 stealth fighter.

Using parts from existing aircraft reduces cost, risk, and construction time. Check out the video below.

Spring has arrived in Japan with cherry blossom now in full bloom.

This part of the year is known as blossom or hanami, season.

It’s an extremely important time of year for the country, both economically and culturally.

Traditionally friends and family get together, and for the younger generation, it’s a perfect Instagram opportunity.

History of Hanami

During Hanami people from Japan drink under a blooming sakura or ume tree.

The custom is said to have started during the Nara period (710–794). It was originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and then onto the common people as well.

Buckingham Palace has released details explaining that the Queen will begin her Easter break one week earlier than normal.

She will be moving from the Palace to Windsor Castle for the Easter period as a “sensible precaution”.

Engagements such as her scheduled trip to Camden and Cheshire have been postponed.

However, the 93-year-old monarch will continue her scheduled audiences this week with any future audiences reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Further royal events such as the  Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan will be made in due course.

Dolphins and swans are returning to the Venice canals.

Residents of Venice have reported spotting dolphins, swans and fish in the now clear canal waters.

Canals have been closed as the city has gone into lockdown with Italy becoming Europe’s COVID-19 epicentre. 

But, in the lockdown, Venetians have been posting photos and videos of animals reclaiming the city’s canals, usually muddied by passing boat traffic. 

Venice hasn’t seen clear canal water in a very long time. However, the water is not any more cleaner. It is just the usual traffic of boats has not been able to stir up the sediment from the sea floor.

VENICE KEY FACTS

  • Venice is divided into six areas.
  • There are 118 islands, 417 bridges, 177 canals and 127 squares in Venice.
  • Of the 417 bridges, 72 of them are privately owned.
  • The S-shaped Grand Canal is the most famous canal in Venice, and it divides the city in two.
  • Of the 127 squares, Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St. Mark’s Square, is the most popular.
  • There are over 450 royal residences (palazzi) in Venice. The structures are built in a variety of styles: Byzantine, Baroque, Gothic and more.
  • Venice is sinking at a rate of 1-2 millimeters a year. Another challenge is the Acqua alta, a particularly high tide. It occurs in special conditions when warm winds and the moon cause a 9cm rise in water level and most of the town is flooded.
  • Taking a trip to Venice and not riding a Gondola is like going to France and not seeing the Eiffel tower. These traditional and symbolic boats have been used as transport around the narrow Venetian waterways for more than 10 centuries.
  • There are only 350 gondolas and 400 gondoliers in Venice. A gondola is typically 11 meters long and can weigh up to 600 kg.
  • According to Venetian tradition, when riding a gondola, a couple that kisses under each bridge will remain in love forever.