A vote in Turkey

The Turkish people recently voted for changes in their constitution that will give the president more powers. The vote was very close. 51.4% of the people were in favor of the changes, and 48.6% were against. The people who were for the changes were out celebrating. The people who were against were out banging pots and pans expressing their unhappiness. Here are a couple of the changes. There will no longer be a prime minister of Turkey, just the president. The role of president can be held by a person for 2 five-year terms. You can watch a video about this here.

The president of Turkey is Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He became Turkey’s president in 2014. Before that, he was the prime minister of the country for about 11 years.



In July last year, a group in Turkey’s military tried to take over the country and overthrow Erdogan from the post of president (known as a coup). In this case, the coup failed as it did not get the support of the citizens or other folks in the military. Erdogan ordered his troops to bring in all people who could have any links to the coup attempt for questioning. Thousands of people have since been arrested or detained.


The modern country of Turkey was founded in 1923. Its first leader was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who is looked upon as the founder of the country. He was given the title “Ataturk”, which means “Father of the Turks.” It was under him that the first constitution of modern Turkey was written. Before 1923, Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire. Ankara is Turkey’s capital and Istanbul is its largest city.

Did you know?

Two of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World” (Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis) were located in present-day Turkey. Here is a list of all 7 of them.


Image Credits: http://www.kultur.gov.tr for Kemal Atatürk’s image, https://www.tccb.gov.tr for Erdogan’s image, Pivox for Turkey coup image
Sources: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com, BBC, New York Times, CIA World Factbook, Daniel Craggs

Time 100

Time Magazine published its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world called TIME 100. The presidents of China, United States, Russia, and Turkey were all on the list. Pope Francis (leader of the Catholic Church) was on the list. The CEOs of Snap and Amazon were on the list. The artist Viola Davis, the gymnast Simone Biles, the soccer player Neymar, the American football player Colin Kaepernick, the musician Ed Sheeran, and the writer Margaret Atwood were also on the list. TIME 100 was first published in 1999. You can view this year’s list here. Here is a video about it.


Image Credits: time.com for its Time 100 logo
Sources: time.com

Russia’s new military base

Recently, the Russian government published images of its new Arctic Trefoil military base. The base is on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean situated about 80 degrees north. The base can support 150 people for about 18 months. Why build a base so far out there in the Arctic Ocean?

Currently, floating ice covers the North Pole and part of the area around it. But this ice cover has been decreasing. Scientists believe that the seabed below the Arctic Ocean contains a large amount of oil, minerals, and natural gas. Also, people expect shipping routes to open up in the Arctic region due to the melting ice. It is believed that the Arctic region is going to bring wealth to the nations that own the area.

Five countries lay claims to parts of the Arctic region. These countries are Russia, Canada, Denmark (Greenland is part of Denmark), Norway, and the United States.

With its new military base, Russia is setting up to protect the country’s resources in the Arctic region.

Here is a video about the North Pole.

Did you know?

In 2007, Russians placed their flag on the Arctic seabed below the North Pole.

Did you know?

Vladimir Putin has been Russia’s president since 2012. He was also the country’s president from 2000 to 2008. He served as prime minister from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012.

Image Credits: https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov for the Arctic region image, http://mil.ru/files/files/arctic/Arctic.html for the military base’s image
Sources: http://eng.mil.ru/en, http://www.theaustralian.com.au, BBC, NowThis

Elections in France

Presidential elections were held in France on April 23. Eleven candidates stood for the race. However, no one person got enough votes to win. The two people with the most votes were Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. A second round of voting will be held on May 7 to select one of the top two candidates. Here is a video about it.


Image Credits: Ecole polytechnique Université Paris for Macron’s image, Foto-AG Gymnasium Melle for Le Pen’s image
Sources: http://www.cnn.com, Newsy

Earth Day 2017

 April 22 was Earth Day, a day to celebrate our Earth and also a day to remind ourselves about things we can do to keep our planet clean and healthy. This year’s Earth Day was marked by marches around the globe in support of science. Marches for science were held in over 600 locations around the globe. Bill Nye the Science Guy also took part in the events. He participated in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Earth Day is an annual event, and was first held in 1970.

Image Credits: http://www.earthday.org for Science March image
Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com, http://www.earthday.org

London and Boston Marathons

Almost 40,000 people took part in the London Marathon which was held in London, the capital of the United Kingdom on April 23. The men’s race winner was Daniel Wanjiru (from Kenya) with a time of 2:05:48. The women’s race winner was Mary Keitany (from Kenya) with a time of 2:17:01.

Many folks try and set world records during the London Marathon. This year, 40 new Guinness World Records were made. Some of them were for the fastest marathon dressed as a Mr. Potato Head, fastest marathon dressed as a three dimensional aircraft (Helicopter), and fastest marathon in a toilet roll costume.

A man dressed up as a gorilla walked the London Marathon on his hands and feet like the animal. He started on April 23, and 5 days later, he was still going. He is raising money to save endangered gorillas from extinction.

The Boston Marathon was held in Boston, USA on April 17. Over 27,000 runners took part in the race. Geoffrey Kirui (from Kenya) won the men’s race with a time of 2:09:37, and Edna Kiplagat (from Kenya) won the women’s race with a time of 2:21:52. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual city marathon and started in 1897.

Both of these races had a running distance of 42.195 kilometers (26.2 miles).

The distance of the marathon race was not fixed and the approximate distance of 40 km was used until 1921. This is when the organizers of the Olympics decided to use the marathon distance of the 1908 Olympics, which were held in London, UK. In those Olympics, the race had started at a castle called Windsor and finished in front of where the country’s royals sat in the Olympic stadium, an exact distance of 42.195 km.

Here is a video showing the highlights from the 1908 Olympic Games.

Image Credits: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com for the Guinness World Records image, https://twitter.com/GorillaSaver for the gorilla image, https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com for the marathon image
Sources: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com, https://twitter.com/GorillaSaver, https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com, http://metro.co.uk, http://time.com, http://www.baa.org, http://www.history.com, https://www.olympic.org

Oldest living person in the world

The world’s oldest known person, Emma Morano, recently passed away. She was 117 years old. Morano was the last known person born on the planet in the 1800s. She was born on November 29, 1899.

Violet Brown, a 117-year-old Jamaican woman (image), is now the world’s oldest person. She was born on March 10, 1900. The world population has grown by over 5 billion people during her lifetime. When Brown was born, Jamaica was part of the British Empire.

Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is Kingston. The famous runner, Usain Bolt, is also from Jamaica.

Did you know?

The oldest known person who has ever lived was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years.

Image Credits: https://twitter.com/AndrewHolnessJM for the image of Violet Brown
Sources: http://www.grg.org, https://www.usatoday.com, CIA World Factbook, https://www.census.gov

Some fun videos

A trailer was released for the next Star Wars film. It is called “Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi” and the movie will be out in December this year.




A flying car? The company Kitty Hawk unveiled its all-electric aircraft. The Kitty Hawk Flyer is designed to fly over water. You don’t need a pilot’s license and it is very easy to use.



On April 26, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dove through the space between Saturn and its rings. It is in the process of sending the data it collected to Earth.

You can watch the Star Wars trailer, Kitty Hawk Flyer, and Cassini’s videos here.



Image Credits: https://kittyhawk.aero for the Kitty Hawk Flyer’s image, http://www.starwars.com for the Star Wars image, https://www.nasa.gov for Cassini’s image
Sources: https://kittyhawk.aero, http://www.starwars.com, https://www.nasa.gov

Missile attack on Syria

On April 6, the United States launched a missile attack on a Syrian airbase. A couple of days before that, there was a chemical weapons attack on a town in Syria. Over 80 Syrians were killed and many were injured. Some nations (including the United States) believe the chemical attack was carried out by Syrian troops. However, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that his government is not responsible for it. The United States President Donald Trump ordered the missile attack in retaliation to the use of chemical weapons. 

A civil war has been going on in Syria for the last 6 years, and several groups are involved in the fighting. It started in 2011 when Syrians began protests against their president. Assad, who had been Syria’s president for over 10 years at the time, refused to step down. He even used force against the protesters. Rebel groups formed and started fighting against the Syrian government. A group called the Islamic State (IS) also joined the fight. The IS is fighting both the rebels and Assad’s troops. The group wants to control Syria. Assad has support from Russia and Iran. Some of the rebels are supported by the United States and other nations. Both Russia and the United States are against the IS.

Chemical weapons are chemical substances that are produced to kill or hurt people, and are often delivered through devices such as bombs. Chemical weapons were used in Syria in 2013 killing more than 1,000 people. Assad’s government was blamed for it.

Damascus (Syria’s capital) is amongst the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world.

Image Credits: http://www.presidentassad.net for Assad’s image, https://www.defense.gov and Robert S. Price for the missile image, AlienSquid – DeviantArt for the image of the Warning Chemical Weapons sign
Sources: BBC, New York Times

No eating dogs and cats

A new law has passed in Taiwan. The law bans people from eating cat or dog meat. The new law also prohibits people from walking their dogs while driving their cars, scooters, or motorcycles. Taiwan is an island at a distance of about 100 miles (160 km) from mainland China. The status of Taiwan is a controversy. Taiwan has its own government and runs its own economy. However, China considers Taiwan to be a part of itself. Here is a video about it.

Image Credits: https://pixabay.com and ilyessuti for the cat-dog image
Sources: CNN, http://focustaiwan.tw, USA Today