Welcome back! Since TeachingKidsNews.com doesn’t publish over the summer, here are some news briefs on stories you may have missed.
Eat like they do in the Mediterranean and you’ll live to a ripe, old age. Or at least a little longer than you might otherwise have done.
A new study has found that people who eat a Mediterranean diet are less likely to suffer heart-related problems like a heart attack or a stroke.
The Mediterranean region comprises the 18 countries, plus Portugal, that border the Mediterranean Sea. It includes Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Egypt, Israel and Turkey.
People there eat lots of extra-virgin olive oil and nuts as well as fruit, fish, chicken, wine, beans and salads. They tend not to eat a lot of baked goods or pastries.
The International Olympic Committee is planning to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport as of the 2020 Summer Games.
Some countries will feel the loss more deeply than others.
Many Iranians view wrestling as their national sport.
The governments of Iran and the United States don’t normally agree on much. In fact, they are currently in a major disagreement about weapons.
But they are standing together on the issue of wrestling. They both want it put back in the Olympics, and they are willing to work together to make it happen.
The European Union, a collection of countries in Europe, has been awarded an important prize — the Nobel Prize.
It was given the honour for keeping peace for more than 65 years.
That is a very big accomplishment, especially because the Second World War began just 21 years after the First World War ended in 1918.
But not everyone is happy to see the European Union receive the prestigious prize.
That’s because even though Europe is not at war, it is struggling with a different kind of problem.
Many countries in Europe, including Greece, Spain and Italy, are having trouble paying down their debts.
Their governments borrowed too much money and now they must cut back on the amount of money they spend to pay their workers and for things like roads, hospitals and schools.
Europe’s central bank thinks it has a good plan to help countries like Greece, Spain and Italy. Those countries are struggling because they took on too much debt.
The idea is that the European Central Bank will agree to buy some of the debt.
In return, the troubled countries must agree to spend less money and to put their finances in order.
When countries lend money to other countries, they receive small payments called interest.
When a country borrows too much money, some of the people who lent the money begin to worry that they won’t get their money back. So they demand higher and higher interest payments.
This puts pressure on countries that are already having trouble paying back all the money they borrowed.
It pushes their debt even higher.
The conservative party won the election in Greece last Sunday and around the world, economists and other people involved with the world’s money heaved a collective sigh of relief.
If another party had won the election, many people were predicting that Greece might stop using Euros as its currency.
That move would likely have affected many countries around the world including those in Europe and North America.
Last week Spain’s Prime Minister asked for $125-billion to help the country’s failing economy.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the country needs the money to save its banks.
For months the country has tried to avoid seeking outside help.
There are 17 countries that use the Euro as their currency. Spain is the fourth of these countries to request a bailout. In this case a bailout is when other countries lend a country money to help prop up its economy.
Because its economy is so large, the need for a bailout is troubling for the European union. For instance, the Spanish economy is five times larger than that of Greece (another country that is suffering from economic problems).
Usually countries’ economies affect each other. That’s because they buy and sell things from and to each other. So if one country’s economy isn’t doing well, it affects other countries.
Two countries in Europe had important elections last weekend – France and Greece. Both elections went against the conservative parties in power.
Experts are saying this could be a sign that more countries in Europe will protest against spending cuts by voting out current governments.
In France a new party and a new president were elected.
Francois Hollande is the head of the Socialist Party, and he was elected president, over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. (Incumbent means “currently in power.”)
Greece was in trouble because it took on too much debt.
But other countries have agreed to help Greece by lending the country more than 130-billion euros. Euros (€) are the units of money used in 17 countries in Europe including Greece, France and Germany.
The countries that have agreed to bail Greece out of its money problems are demanding something in return. They are insisting that the government of Greece spend less.
A number of countries in Europe are having problems with their finances and their leaders.
This year, four prime ministers in Europe have quit their jobs or been forced out of office.
That’s because their countries have spent more money than they make and now they can’t pay their debts.
Some of the countries are making deals with other countries in Europe and the International Monetary Fund for a “bailout.”
A bailout is a loan to a country to keep it from going bankrupt.
The richer countries agree to put in more money to save the poorer countries.