Morocco & Libya natural disasters, G20 expands, Thai dino discovery, “barking mad” police

Sep 13, 2023 Episode 157

Morocco earthquake, Libya floods, G20 lets in the Africa Union, Thailand’s dinosaur discovery, “barking mad” US police catch car thieves

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week… Morocco earthquake, Libya floods, Africa joins the G20, Thailand’s dino discovery and some barking mad police.

OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!” 


LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi the news pool for curious kids and adults!

I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and, as ever, I’m joined by the big story explainer and sound effects finder otherwise known as my… mama!

MAMA: Howdy y’all!

LEELA: This week…

Rescuers try to find survivors after nearly three-thousand people are killed by an earthquake in Morocco.

Floods from Storm Daniel devastate Libya with thousands dead and missing.

Leaders of the world’s biggest economies agree to include the African Union into their G20 club.

A new species of dinosaur is discovered in an area dubbed Thailand’s Jurassic Park.

And a US police officer goes to some “barking mad” extreme lengths to catch some car thieves. You’ll have to hear it to believe it!

Ok, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…

BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”

MAMA: The big story this week is the sad news of a massive earthquake that’s rocked Morocco.

LEELA: Where’s Morocco, you might be wondering? Well, it’s right at the top of the north-west corner of Africa.

MAMA: Yes, and this 6.8-magnitude quake shook a rural area near the well-known, popular tourist city of Marrakesh on Friday. Now, while the worst hit area some 45 miles south of the city in the Atlas Mountains – isn’t super crowded, their mostly mud-hut homes are very fragile, so they’ve toppled easily.

LEELA: Another problem is that the worst destruction has been in isolated mountain areas that are difficult to access.

MAMA: Yes, because this area is so remote, there are only a few roads in and out, many of which are blocked by falling rock. This makes the rescue operation much harder. Tragically, many people have been left to digging through the rubble with their bare hands as they looked for survivors. So far nearly three thousand people are dead, those numbers are expected to rise as those who have survived aren’t getting the medical help they need. In nearby Marrakech, residents are spending night after night sleeping on the streets.

LEELA: Yeah, many are too scared to return to their homes. For two reasons.

MAMA: Well, one of course is emergency officials are still surveying the damage to know how badly homes and buildings are affected. And even when they don’t look damaged, there can be serious structural problems. But also, there have been many aftershocks.

LEELA: If you remember from the other stories we’ve done about earthquakes, aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that happen after the bigger one. And sometimes can cause further damage to already collapsing structures.

MAMA: Scary stuff. But get this. Many people from the city who survived the quake have jumped into their cars to head up the mountains to try and help those who are stranded and devastated. So many people are doing this, there are traffic jams on the mountain roads where there are some reports of rocks are still falling. But that’s not stopping those desperate to help.

LEELA: Yeah, we’re sending Morocco lots of love and strength.

MAMA: Staying in North Africa but moving over to the east, past Algeria, is Libya a country better known for its infamous as in famous for bad reasons, now dead dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Well, sadly this country is also facing a horrible natural disaster flooding. Storm Daniel which already battered Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey last week, is causing severe damage in Libya, collapsing bridges, damns and buildings. It’s early in the rescue operation but already more than 2000 people are feared dead. What’s just awful, though, is that some 6000 people are still missing.

[SOURCE: MOROCCO: https://edition.cnn.com/africa/live-news/morocco-earthquake-marrakech-09-10-23/index.html






MAMA: Now for some news closer to home as the G20 summit concluded here in India, let’s cut across to our New Delhi political correspondent Leela Sivasankar Prickitt.

LEELA: Ha ha yes! Why, thank you! For this I’ve gotta head outside to report on something extraordinary… Can you hear it? Near silence… Usually India sounds like this:


LEELA: But over the last weekend here in south central Delhi, it was more like this… Because the city was practically shut down to ensure the smooth running of the major economic summit of the G20. Which, if you remember from last week’s episode

MAMA: When we did a deep dive into the history of the summit.

LEELA: Yep. There are officially how many countries in the world?

MAMA: 195.

LEELA: But just twenty – the G20 countries – are responsible for most of the world’s economic output.

MAMA: And when she says most, she means…

LEELA: 85%! Which kinda seems unfair, right?

MAMA: Definitely, it’s a real imbalance that only 20 countries should hold so much economic power.

LEELA: Well, that was one of the goals of this G20, hosted by India, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas,” which means: together with all, development for all and trust for all. In other words – be more inclusive.


MAMA: And… that’s been the major highlight of this G20 getting everyone to agree on inviting the Africa Union into the club – as a permanent member!

LEELA: Hurrah! The leader of the AU The African Union calls this invite a “game changer” for Africa.

MAMA: There was a worry that Russia’s war in Ukraine would overshadow the summit, but there was even a joint statement that all nations agreed upon, calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict Although, Ukraine didn’t think it was a strong enough criticism of Russia.

LEELA: And, by the way, not only was it quiet here in Delhi during the summit, but it rained. And, did you know, in India rain is considered auspicious, or good luck, when it happens during important ceremonies.

[SOURCE: India’s diplomatic masterstroke at G20 Summit – Opinions & Blogs News (wionews.com)

Bharat’s Culture On Global Stage | Incredible India Charms G20 Summit | India Sheds Colonial Past | Top News | India News, Times Now (timesnownews.com)

G-20 Summit 2023 Sept. 9 updates | World leaders attend dinner hosted by President Murmu; Ukraine says declaration ‘nothing to be proud of’ – The Hindu]

WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… it’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.” 

MAMA: Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, takes a slow, bulletproof train to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin. Russia is said to want North Korea to sell it ammunitions for its war in Ukraine, while the repressive Asian country is said to want food aid.

China sparks a big debate as it drafts a new law banning speech and clothes that are, quote, “detrimental to the spirit of Chinese people.” The proposal is so vague people aren’t sure what outfits will be seen as a violation – but if the law comes into force, those found guilty could be fined or jailed.

Florida teenage tennis pro, Coco Gauff, won the US Open for her first Grand Slam title at just 19-years-old. Last year US tennis fans said goodbye to the great Serena Williams who retired, while this year they made clear they had a new superstar, welcoming Coco with constant applause.

Big news in food as major snack maker Hostess Brands – yes as in Twinkies and those powdered Donuts is bought by rival food giant JM Smucker for a sweet $5.6 billion dollars. Smucker is famous for its fruit preserves and Jif peanut butter. So, let’s see if any P&J donuts will be cooked up.

And, what’s a giraffe without spots? Kipekee, of course. Well, the one born at a Tennessee zoo in the US is called that, anyway. After asking the public to vote on a name, the rare giraffe was christened Kipekee which means unique in Swahili.

[SOURCE: China wants to ban clothes that ‘hurt nation’s feelings’ – BBC News



Twinkies maker Hostess bought by food giant Smucker in $5.6bn deal – BBC News


LEELA: Well, thank you so much for that… that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.

MAMA: My pleasure, Leela – it’s been a busy week, so I’m happy to get it all in there. And now, it’s time for…

NATURE STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The call of nature. Get on your safari suite. Or squeeze into your scuba gear. And get ready to hop into a jeep. Or submarine. Submarine. Because Mother Nature is calling! Nature.”   

MAMA: So, it’s not every day that a complete fossil of a new species of dinosaur is found but that’s what’s happened recently in Thailand. And, by the way, for those who might not know, a fossil is the preserved remains, trace or impression like of the bones left by any once-living thing from a past geological age.

LEELA: And of course, it kind of helps that this is a tiny dinosaur. And when we say tiny, we mean really, really small…

MAMA: For more on this, we’re going to our very own dinosaur enthusiast and future paleontologist, who also happens to be half-Thai as well Mirabel Power.

LEELA: This story was made for you, Mirabel. Take it away!

MIRABEL: Hello, this is dino lover Mira, with your dinosaur news update!

This one’s extra special to me because it’s from Thailand and I’m half Thai!

A lot of dinosaurs have been found in places like the western United States, Europe and China.

But recently paleontologists have been finding new dinosaurs all over the globe.

Researchers from Mahasarakham University have found one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons in southeast Asia.

This dinosaur named Minimocursor phunoiensis is only 60 cm. tall, which is about 2 feet.

That’s about the size of a small dog! The researchers think that this fossil was from a juvenile and that the full-grown dinosaur would have reached 2 meters tall, or about 6 feet.

Minimocursor phunoiensismeans “small runner from Phu Noi.”

And as of July, of this year, was the world’s newest discovered dinosaur species.

Phu Noi mountain, where this fossil was found, is sometimes called the Jurassic Park of Thailand.

In Florida I’m Mira Power for Newsy Pooloozi.

LEELA: Thanks a lot for the dino news, Mirabel.

MAMA: And that area where the fossil was found is called the Jurassic Park of Thailand because soooo many fossils are found there. So – watch this space!

[SOURCE: https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/general/40029686


ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An oddball, no doubt!”

LEELA: So, you know the British have an expression, “barking mad,” – as in realllllly crazy, right?

MAMA:  Oh, are we doing another “slang explained” segment already?

LEELA: Oh, that’s not a bad idea for later, actually, to tell the story of how that phrase came about… But back to this week’s oddball.

MAMA: Yes.

LEELA: So, this is a story that gives new meaning to the British phrase, “barking mad.” As in this is just out-there cray-cray.


LEELA: Have a listen to this.


MAMA: Oh, that sounds like one angry or excited dog.

LEELA: Exactly. That was the idea. Only it’s not. Not a at all dogs.


LEELA: Let me back up. Queue the music, Mama. Something dramatic – but… silly…


LEELA: Once upon a time just a few days ago a group of naughty teenagers from Washington State in the US reportedly stole a car.

Hearing about this the police set out to find the car thieves, deploying something called “stop sticks” – also called “spike strips” to try and slow the car down.

It worked when the car ran over the trap, it got four flat tires.

But that didn’t stop the robbers.

Not immediately, anyway.

The suspects continued driving and deputies had to call off the pursuit.

Until the stolen car was found empty but oddly with the engine still running near a wooded area.

So, deputies surrounded the area and began searching for the teens.

And then an ingenious idea struck one officer.


Act like a canine patrol.

After the deputy imitated a dog bark multiple times, the four teenagers came rushing out of a nearby creaky bed and surrendered. Barking mad, indeed.

MAMA: Man, you can’t make this stuff up, can you?! That reminds me of another story recently in America. A driver in the state of Nebraska phoned police to report that he was nearly hit by a driver on the wrong side of the road. Except… the driver who made the phone call had have a way too much of drink and it was he who was driving the wrong way down a highway

LEELA: Hey that reminds me of a joke. So, a mother calls her son and husband who were driving in a car and said hey, I just heard a news be careful there is a crazy person driving down the highway in the wrong direction and then the father on the phone said are you sure its just a one person everybody seems we going the wrong way down.

MAMA: I think I get that. Okay alright..

[SOURCE: https://nypost.com/2023/09/03/washington-police-officer-barks-like-a-dog-to-scare-car-thieves/

FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…” 

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 –More than 2,000 people are killed after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Morocco. Where is Morocco?

Northwest Africa

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – Thousands of people are sleeping outside as they fear the effects of aftershocks, which are what?

Smaller earthquakes that happen after the bigger one

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – India has just hosted a successful G20 summit in which the African Union was invited to be a permanent member. What is the G20?

A club of the world’s richest economies.

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – There are officially 195 countries in the world. But the G20 countries alone are responsible for what percentage of the world’s economic output?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A new dinosaur species is discovered in Thailand with the unearthing of the largest dinosaur fossil ever found in the South-east Asian country. What’s a fossil?

The preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age.

And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website,  newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!

LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But first…

MAMA: As we’re still playing catch-up from the summer, we have some great reviews we’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks. This one is from a few months ago, so apologies to Carmel_Cakeslove, for our delay in reading this out but THANK you for taking the time to write…

LEELA: I love this podcast so much. It is family friendly, and I love to listen, every night. I wanna 100% suggest this podcast to any new listeners. Leela and Lindy make such a fun and great pair. Thank you so much for all you do! Thank you so much, that’s so nice.

MAMA: I love that thank you.

LEELA: And if your review is not read right now well will be a reading one or two reviews each and every week so…

MAMA: Stay tuned


LEELA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then smash that subscribe button on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.

MAMA: While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review! Go on – we’ll read it out loud if you do…

LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!