War in Israel, marathon record breaker, fast food outlets sued, elderly skydiver

Oct 11, 2023 Episode 161

Israel is at war with Hamas in Gaza, Kenyan’s marathon record breaker, US fast food outlets sued and a very elderly skydiver

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week… War in Israel, marathon record breaker, fast food outlets sued and a very elderly skydiver…

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: Also known as… Lyndee Prickitt.

LEELA: That too! So, in world news this week…

Very upsetting news coming from of the Middle East as Israel formally declares war against the militant group Hamas after its surprise bombardment of missiles this weekend. We’ll dive into the long backstory of this troubled region to try to help you understand what’s happening.

We also have the latest in sports news – with a Kenyan marathon runner shattering records.

Fast-food giants claim a victory as a case against them for false advertising is tossed out of court.

And a centenarian jump at chance to become oldest person to tandem skydive – don’t know those big words or what this crazy sentence means? Never fear, we’ll tell you all in our final oddball story.

LEELA: Alrighty then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…

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

MAMA: Well, we’ve all no doubt been hearing the disturbing news

LEELA: And horrible stories!

MAMA: Coming out of the Middle East.

LEELA: It started at the weekend when Hamas launched a surprise attack firing thousands of rockets into Israel.

MAMA: And it wasn’t just military strikes – there was also a land and sea invasion of Israel, a terrorist attack on a music concert and Israeli people being pulled from their homes and taken as hostages.

LEELA: Just horrible! Who is Hamas, anyway?

MAMA: Well, they’re actually an Islamic militant and political group. But because of its armed resistance against Israel, which has included rocket attacks and suicide bombings for years, they’re considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.

LEELA: But aren’t they the political party voted to be in charge of the Palestinians?

MAMA: Just one of the two Palestinians territories – a tiny slice of coastal land known as the Gaza Strip, which is surrounded by Israel. And since Israel considers Hamas terrorists, back in 2005 they put up a blockade to prevent people from entering or exiting the Gaza Strip.

LEELA: What? That sounds like they’re imprisoned!

MAMA: That’s what people say it feels like, yes. But it’s complicated. It’s a dispute that goes way back… like a few millennia – but we’ll contain ourselves in this podcast to the last 130 years.

LEELA: Whoa, like a time before cars and airplanes and social media and videos?

MAMA: Exactly. So first there began something called the Zionist Movement.

LEELA: Wait, Zion, like the old biblical name for Jerusalem?

MAMA: That’s right. It’s considered the Jewish homeland. But for various reasons over the centuries most Jews had moved away – mostly because they were persecuted by anti-Semites.

LEELA: Those are people who are hostile or prejudice against Jewish people, right?

MAMA: Correct. Which is what was happening in Russia in back the 1880s – when there were deadly anti-Semitic riots. So many Jews wanted to move back and claim Jerusalem as their homeland.

LEELA: Wait, And that was the Zionist Movement.

MAMA: Yes. And it really gained momentum after World War II.

LEELA: When Hitler and the Nazis tried to wipe out the Jews.

MAMA: Right. So, it’s no wonder the Jewish people wanted a place they could call their own. And, well, guess who ruled the Jerusalem area at the time?

LEELA: Ummm… the Palestinians?

MAMA: No. The Ottomans – which was the former Turkish Empire – and then the British were put in charge.

LEELA: Boy, they sure did get around.

MAMA: I know, right? And so, after World War II and the mass killing, or genocide of Jews, Britain said to the Zionists, sure, go to your homeland. There are these people, called Palestinians, living there already, but, hey, we’ll just divvy it up so they move to one side and you guys can move to the other side.

LEELA: Hmmm… That doesn’t sound like a recipe for a happy place.

MAMA: Ahh haa and what do you think happened?

LEELA: Ummm, neighbourhood fights?

MAMA: That’s an understatement. War. War is what happened. Several of them in fact. And now the Israelis have more land mass than the Palestinians – who are now confined to the Gaza Strip, which we mentioned earlier, and another, patch called the West Bank.

LEELA: Whoaa… so this anger and fighting for land goes waaaaay back.

MAMA: It sure does. And to complicate things further, Jerusalem is seen as a holy place for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

LEELA: Tricky…

MAMA: Tell me about it, The Palestinians would prefer their territory to be their OWN country, instead of part of Israel and have taken up weapons, guns, terror attacks and suicide bombers to try to make it happen.

LEELA: But it hasn’t happened, has it?

MAMA: Nope, Instead, Israel has gotten stronger, developing a massive military and building settlements on land the Palestinians says is theirs, but Israel says they have to for self-defence.

LEELA: But I bet the Palestinians don’t see it that way?!

MAMA: They sure don’t. And so, it goes on and on.

LEELA: But still, attacking people at a music concert and kidnapping old people and kids – that’s just horrible. And then the retaliation that as no doubt happening for that… Surely there’s gotta be another way?

MAMA: Well, my dear, if you or anyone could think of a better way, you’d win the Nobel Peace Prize – because this is a mess that no one has been able to figure a way out of, for well over 100 years.

LEELA: And with Israel officially declaring war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, it’s gonna get worse before it gets better, I bet.

MAMA: Sadly, I think you’re right.

[SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/article/israel-gaza-hamas-what-we-know.html







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: Afghanistan is reeling after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit the west side of the country. A rescue operation is underway, but so far more than 2,000 people have been killed.

TikTok is trouble in the US state of Utah, which is suing the social media company for allegedly designing algorithms that harm chidren. Authorities say TikTok deliberately designed features to mimic a – quote – cruel slot machine that hooks kids’ attention and does not let it go.

More Nobel prizes are given, including the Prize for Literature to a Norwegian writer, Jon Fosse, and the Peace Prize to Iranian activist, Narges Mohammadi, for her relentless fight against the oppression of women in Iran. If you want to know more about the history of this prize, do check out our Episode 120!

And scientists find ten markers in blood that predict people’s chances of reaching the ripe old age of 100. The findings, published in the journal Geoscience, unveiled common biological markers, including things called cholesterol and glucose, in people who live past 90.

[SOURCE: https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/magnitude-6-3-earthquake-hits-northwestern-afghanistan-101696986089508.html




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

MAMA: I hope somebody understood that. Anytime, Leela. Now – moving on to something a little tastier to talk about…

LEELA: Or not, as the case may be!

MAMA: Well, that’s true – it’s something we’ve all gone through… wanting the taco, burger or fries shown on the menu at a fast-food restaurant…

LEELA: You know the ones a BIG burger or big burrito that – glistening with cheese and fresh lettuce that looks so crisp, you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.

MAMA: Yet.

LEELA: When it arrives it some dinky, soggy version of the picture advertised. What’s that called?

MAMA: Disappointing?

LEELA: That too mainly false advertising! And some people have had enough and taken some major fast-food giants to court.

MAMA: Only… it hasn’t gone very far as their claims has got dismissed – as in tossed out of court.

LEELA: For more on this consumer story, let’s cut across to our food correspondent, Mirabel Power.

MIRABEL: Thanks, you guys!

So, people have been complaining about how a lot of fast-food companies make their food look much better in their advertisements than in real life.

In fact, this has its own word – it’s known as “puffery” – you know, like to puff something up, to exaggerate it.

Well, this has made one guy from New York so angry that he filed a lawsuit against the world-popular fast food chain McDonalds and one of its big rivals, Wendy’s.

You might call it petty – or should I say, patty – but he was serious.

In his lawsuit he said the rival burger chains use and I quote! “Unfair and deceptive trade practices” making their burgers look 15-20% bigger on their menu than their actual size.

A lawsuit – by the way – is basically when someone brings something to the attention of the court, like a public issue or a personal complaint, so a judge can decide if someone’s done something wrong.

Well, bad news for consumers – the judge dismissed the case, saying a reasonable customer wouldn’t likely be misled by the photos and that they were “no different than other companies… images.

But that’s not stopping other consumers pursuing similar cases.

Taco Bell is being sued for 5 million dollars because a Mexican Pizza supposedly had less than half the beef and beans as advertised!

That’ll be an expensive pizza if Taco Bell loses the case.

In Florida, I’m Mirabel Power, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks so much for that story, Mirabel. I want Taco Bell.

MAMA: Ahh I get hungry too, but you know you gotta manage our expectations, might not look like the picture.

LEELA: Yeah, I don’t want a soggy one.

[SOURCE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2023/10/05/wendys-mcdonalds-win-burger-lawsuits/71075544007/



SPORTS STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “It’s time to play ball… Score… Sports News!”

LEELA: Big news in the world of running this week.

MAMA: Yep, Kenyan marathon runner, Kelvin Kiptum, shattered a world record in Chicago this past weekend.

LEELA: And when we say shattered, we’re talking running 26-point-2 miles or 35 kilometers in almost two hours flat.

MAMA: Yep, 2 hours and 35 seconds to be exact. To put this into perspective, most treadmills don’t actually go as fast as this man ran – for two hours straight.

LEELA: So, We’re talking fast.


LEELEA: And he’s in a long line of Kenyan marathon runners who’ve broken records. How do they do it??

MAMA: Well, that’s what everyone in the world is asking! Could it be the latest technology and design in shoes giving them this edge?

LEELA: Or the fact that he comes from a high-altitude place in Kenya which is really hard to run in, so then running almost anywhere else is a piece of cake…?

MAMA: Or was it even that kids from that area often walk and run barefoot to school and that’s what’s helped strengthen the lower parts of their leg? Or maybe just a determination to break out of a poor community and be a world leading athlete that gives these Kenyan’s the edge?

LEELA: Well, whatever it is – it’s working!

MAMA: And now the running world is abuzz thinking that an even more massive record – running a marathon in under 2 hours –

LEELA: So just shaving 35 seconds off Kiptum’s run.

MAMA: Could be just around the corner.

[SOURCE: https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chicago-marathon/ct-2023-chicago-marathon-spectators-20231008-nsbxmucytfg7debl75pxp4rfvm-story.html


LEELA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has for us this week.

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: Well, this story is all about proving age is just a number.

MAMA: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more.

LEELA: At least that’s what you and an older woman – a bit older than you, Mama – from Chicago in the US think.

MAMA: Oi…!


LEELA: Dorothy Hoffner left her walker behind – you know, those double-leg walking sticks that people use to hold onto to be able to shuffle abut – well, she ditched the walker to… sky dive.

MAMA: Excuse me?

LEELA: You know, jumping out of a plane!

MAMA: Right. As you do. You certainly don’t need a walker for that.

LEELA: Correct. Nor is there an age limit. Oh, no. Dorothy Hoffner is no ordinary elderly woman. For a start – she’s a centenarian.

MAMA: No way!

LEELA: Yes, way. And in case you don’t know what that is – it’s a person who is a hundred or more years old!

MAMA: Wowzers.

LEELA: This isn’t her first skydive either. She did that on her 100th birthday.

MAMA: That’s a way to celebrate turning a century hence the name, centenarian, like.

LEELA: Exactly. But that dive wasn’t enough as Dorothy wants to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. And there’s already a centenarian on record – a 103-year-old Swedish woman. Of course, these are tandem jumps – that means two people or piece of equipment that works together to achieve the same result, like a tandem bicycle that’s for TWO cyclists.

MAMA: Got it. But still. That’s no less impressive! Is it?

LEELA: Tell me about it. She also said she wanted to do it again, because this time she didn’t want to be pushed out of the plane – she wanted to take the lead on the jump.

MAMA: Man, that’s exactly the kind of centenarian I want to be, let me tell you!

LEELA: Well, you’ll have to live past 104 if you want to break Dorothy’s record. Not long to go though.

MAMA: Ha, ha – very funny!

[SOURCE: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/10/03/oldest-skydiver-guinness-world-record/71041351007/


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 – Israel wages war on, Hamas, after the political and militant group bombarded it with missiles and terror attacks. Which of the two Palestinian territories was Hamas elected to run?

The Gaza Strip

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – The Zionist Movement started in the 1880s with the idea to settle Jews in the area they consider their homeland. What does Zion mean?

It’s the biblical name for Jerusalem, which is considered the Jewish homeland.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – Fast-food giants claim a victory as a case against them for false-advertising is tossed out of court. What’s the word for making items for sale, like food, look much better in their advertisements than in reality.


LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – A centenarian woman from the US jumps at the chance of becoming the oldest person to tandem skydive. What does tandem mean?

Two people or piece of equipment that work together to achieve the same result, like a tandem bicycle.

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – And how old is a centenarian?

A person who is a hundred years or more old

And if you’re an educator and you want to test your kids’ listening skills… then have a look at our quiz online. Go to the Lucky Dip page of our website,  newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and let the kids take this quiz online or surprise them with an in-class pop quiz!

LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But we did want to leave you with something a little gentle during this tough news week…

MAMA: Yes, we want to help you sleep well at night with some gentle and inspirational bedtime stories from our Kids Listen Friends – the Storypillar podcast.

PLAY STORYPILLAR PROMO (not transcribed)


LEELA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then hit 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!