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Across the globe there’s been a race to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and now it looks like Russia has won. The trouble is, some scientists reckon they might’ve jumped the gun. See, before a vaccine can be approved, it has to go through a few phases of testing – first in a lab, then on bigger and bigger groups of people. That can take years, but Russia has pumped out its trials in less than 2 months and it’s only just starting its final phase of tests.

The World Health Organisation says it hasn’t seen enough data to give the vaccine the all clear and some scientists are concerned about its safety. Russian President Vladimir Putin reckons there’s nothing to worry about and says he’s even given his daughter the vaccine. And he hopes mass production will start soon, but with so many questions surrounding it we’ll have to see whether this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

After more than 100 days of being covid free, New Zealand’s announced four new cases of coronavirus. All four came from the same family and no one’s really sure how they caught it, so New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern isn’t messing around. She’s put all of Auckland back into lockdown to try to stop the virus in its tracks. For Kiwis that’ll mean mostly staying home again and public venues like dine-in restaurants, cinemas and playgrounds will be off-limits.

Joe Biden, the guy who wants to take US President Donald Trump’s job, has just announced his pick for Vice President. Her name is Kamala Harris and she’s a Senator. She’s also the first woman of colour to be a major contender for the second-highest position in the US government. Harris and Biden will be teaming up to take on President Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, in November’s election.

Deep in the Arctic Circle, in the northernmost town in the world, lies a vault built into the side of a mountain. It’s called the Arctic World Archive and it is all about preserving the world’s digital data for future generations. The vault digitally stores everything from famous artworks to TV shows and music from around the world. Australia isn’t left out – there’s a record there of our native plants and animals in case years from now, people forget what kangaroos look like.

Now it’s just added a huge collection of open-source software. That powers things like Facebook reactions and Bitcoin. The software’s all been stored on special film that scientists say should stay intact for at least 1000 years so our legacy and data will live on well into the future.

Famous Italian painter, Raphael, hasn’t lived since the 16th century, but scientists have only just discovered something new about him. He had a big nose! Or at least maybe bigger than he might’ve liked. Scientists found that out by creating a 3D reconstruction of the artist’s skull and comparing it to his self-portrait. Turns out he gave himself a smaller, more slender schnoz than he actually had.

NASA scientists have been watching the dwarf planet Ceres for years now, but they’ve only just gotten to the bottom of what some mysterious bright spots on it are. They’re deposits of sodium carbonate which is what’s left behind by evaporated water! While it’s not quite alien life, it’s still a pretty cool discovery!

A pro pole vaulter, turned window cleaner, turned TikTok star has gone viral for showing off some dance moves while she hangs off a building! Noa Toldeo says she hopes her cheerful work will inspire people to do whatever job they want.


For the past 50 years, Behind the News has been helping to break down current issues and events for young people all around the world. The program is a high-energy, fun way for people to learn about the stories we see in the news, while providing background information that isn’t usually given by other news bulletins.

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