Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Modi’s rock star welcome; Italy’s Mt Etna belches ash; Tigers lose their coach; and guess who’s joining the NRL?

Squiz Kids is an award-winning, free daily news podcast just for kids. Give us ten minutes, and we’ll give you the world.  A short podcast that gives kids the lowdown on the big news stories of the day, delivered without opinion, and with positivity and humour.

‘Kid-friendly news that keeps them up to date without all the nasties’ (A Squiz Parent)


This Australian podcast for kids easily fits into the daily routine – helping curious kids stay informed about the world around them.

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 Indian Australians turned out in their thousands in western Sydney last night as India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi kicked off his Australian visit. 


Some 20,000 Aussies with Indian heritage packed into Sydney Olympic Park to hear Prime Minister speak and welcome him to our shores.


A chartered Qantas flight rebranded as “Modi Airways”  flew fans in from Melbourne and “Modi Express” buses drove down from Queensland full of Indian Australians keen to see the Indian PM.


It’s his first visit Down Under for nine years – and one in which all sorts of important conversations will take place between our own PM, Anthony Albanese as part of what is called ‘building diplomatic ties’.


What does that mean? It means finding things in common between our two countries and making plans to cooperate and interact and trade with one another.


Why is India a big deal? Because it is the world’s largest democracy – and as we reported in the podcast a couple of weeks back, sometime in the next month or so, India will become the most populous country on Earth … which is to say, it will overtake China to become the country in the world with the most number of people in it. 


How many people are we talking? 1.429 billion to be exact … whereas Australia’s population is only 26 million … meaning there are 54 times more people living in India than in Australia. My oh my … 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Mexico and Italy … two countries on other sides of the earth – where volcanoes have been erupting. 

Starting in Mexico – and remarkable time lapse video has been released of a volcano close to the capital Mexico City which has been rumbling away for over a week now – spewing smoke and ash into the sky. The volcano is one of the most active in the world – and schools located nearby have had to close down as fears grow it could erupt.

And that’s exactly what has happened in Italy, on the island of Sicily – where the famous volcano Mt Etna has been spewing smoke and ash into the sky.

Etna threw up so much ash this week that a nearby airport had to be closed as the runway was covered with it.

Hmmm … two earthquakes on opposite sides of the Earth … I wonder if the planet is trying to tell us something?



As NSW and Queensland whip themselves into a State of Origin frenzy for the next week, in the lead up to next Wednesday’s game in Adelaide, there’s an interesting rugby league development brewing to Australia’s north.

Our nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea, may well be the 18th team to join the NRL following a recent visit to Port Moresby – the PNG capital – by a delegation of NRL officials. 

Papua New Guinea loves its rugby league. They’re mad for it. And an expansion of the comp into our near neighbour in the north would take to three the number of countries in which NRL has a footprint – with New Zealand and its Warriors already on board.

No longer on board, in other sporting news, is Richmond coach Damian Hardwick – who yesterday announced after leading the Tigers to three premierships he was resigning.

Hardwick is the longest serving Richmond coach, having been coach there for 14 years. He said he made the decision in the best interests of the club – on account of the fact the Tiges have only won 3 games this season. Go well Damo. 



Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet … and today his nose is twitching after coming across a whole lot of fake, AI-generated photos of an explosion next to the Pentagon in Washington.

What’s the Pentagon? It’s a really important military building in Washington DC – the capital of the United States of America. Fun fact: it’s called the pentagon because when you look at it from above, it’s the shape of a pentagon. And what’s AI? It stands for artificial intelligence. 

You see: technology has advanced so fast that these days anyone can manipulate photos to make it look like something has happened when really it hasn’t.

And yesterday, photos started circulating on social media of a large plume of smoke rising next to the Pentagon – suggesting that there had been an explosion or an attack.

Pentagon officials and the local fire department quickly assured reliable news agencies that there had not been an explosion and the images were fake. But for a brief moment, people on the social media platform Twitter believed that the Pentagon was under attack. And that’s not a good thing for people to believe for all sorts of reasons. 

It’s another reminder to always do as Squiz-E the Newshound says: and that’s to STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything you see, read or hear on the internet. Check the source of information – or in this case the photo. Stop before sharing it and THINK about who is giving you the information and what possible reason they might have for wanting you to believe something. 

And if you want to be among the 1200 classrooms who have signed up to do Newshounds – our free media literacy course for primary school kids – head on over to and get involved. Woof!


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. In which two countries are volcanoes spewing ash and smoke?
  2. Which AFL team did Damian Hardwick coach for 14 years?
  3. The Prime Minister of which country received a raucous welcome in Sydney last night?





It’s May 24 – birthday for Olympic swimmer Emma McKeon, footy player and Brownlow medallist Lachie Neal, comedian Andy Lee .. and it’s also International Tiara Day .. i’m wearing one as I speak.


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

Harry from Gundagai, Payton from Forster, Matilda from Freshwater, Caleb from Bray Park, Nicholi from Lake Bolac, Sloan from Henley Beach, Sophia from Warrnambool, Alby and Fern from Frankston South, Rory from Macleod, Isabella from Brisbane, Temperance from Queanbeyan, Hansen Toh from Ryde, Charles from Figtree 


Some belated shout outs for… Margot and Achiek from Andrews Farm and Will and Hugh from Wombat (yes this is the name of the town!)


And we continue to work our way through all of your classroom shout out requests … It’s a shout out today to class 5AH and Mrs Harvey at Mount Carmel School in Yass, class 4G and Mrs Salmon at St Catherine Laboure Catholic Primary School in Gymea, class 5/6 Dingoes at Buxton Public School, class UP and Miss Maynard at Spalding Primary School, class Orelia 1 with Mrs Jurgens at Anne Hamersley Primary School in Ellenbrook and lastly to class G1 “Blugolds” and Ms Rossbach at Rocketship Public School –  the Rising Stars Campus in San Jose, California.  (Cool name for a school!)


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Italy and Mexico
  2. Richmond Tigers
  3. India