2-Page Mini Lessons

Millionaires say 'tax us more'

26th May - "Easier"
A group of wealthy business leaders who own multi-billion-dollar companies has asked their governments to tax them more.

Earth gets a fifth ocean

13th June - "Easier"
The National Geographic Society has officially accepted that this body of water around Antarctica is a real ocean.

UK criticized for cutting aid to Yemen

5th March - "Easier"
The United Kingdom is being criticized for cutting the amount of aid it gives to Yemen. The UK's foreign office said it would cut the amount of humanitarian aid to Yemen by...

Japan government creates a minister of loneliness

25th February - "Easier"
The Japanese government now has a "minister of loneliness". It is the first time Japan has had such a minister. Japan's Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga created the role in early...

Dogs may be self aware

23rd February - "Harder"
A team of scientists explored the question of whether dogs have self-awareness.

Scientists develop COVID-19 vaccine

13th November - "Easier"
Researchers say they have developed a vaccine that has a 90 per cent success rate in protecting against COVID-19.

Giant hornets reach North America

7th May - "Easier"
There are some scary insects in this world. Few of them are as scary and as venomous as the Asian giant hornet.

Paris bans daytime exercise

11th April - "Harder"
Paris has banned people exercising outdoors during the day to try and stem the surge in the number of infections.

Japan to start selling sliced mayonnaise

27th February - "Harder"
A food manufacturer in Japan has invented a new product that seems destined to become a huge, global bestseller - sliced mayonnaise.

Donald Trump impeached

21st December - "Harder"
Donald Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives in the USA.

Japan has a new emperor

1st May - "Easier"
A Japanese emperor has abdicated for the first time in more than 200 years.

Finland's government resigns

10th March - "Easier"
Finland's entire government has resigned. It wanted to pass some laws on social welfare and healthcare reform.

UN in record aid appeal for Yemen

28th February - "Harder"
The United Nations has launched an appeal to raise $4.2 billion in aid to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

School children go on strike for climate

26th February - "Easier"
School children around the world have been going on strike. They are unhappy that their governments are doing too little to fight climate change.

Japan prepares for many foreign workers

11th December - "Easier"
Japan is changing its immigration policy because it needs workers. Japan is an aging society. This means it does not have enough workers.

UAE passport world's 'most powerful'

9th December - "Harder"
The passport of the United Arab Emirates has risen to the top spot on the list of the world's most powerful passports.

Huge migrant caravan heads to USA

26th October - "Harder"
A caravan of more than 7,000 migrants is embarking on a thousand-kilometre journey through Mexico to the USA.

Malaysia to abolish the death penalty

14th October - "Harder"
The Malaysian government has stated it intends to abolish the death penalty in a move that has been welcomed by human rights campaigners.

French fries will be 3cm shorter

28th September - "Easier"
A poor potato harvest in Europe this summer could mean French fries are up to three centimeters shorter than usual.

Scientists record the sounds of the Sun

29th July - "Easier"
What does the Sun sound like? Perhaps you have never thought about what kinds of sounds the Sun makes, but scientists have found out.

Internet fury at woman who killed giraffe

7th July - "Harder"
Images of an American trophy hunter posing for a photo next to a black giraffe that she had shot and killed in South Africa have caused outrage online.

Japan lowers age of adulthood to 18

17th June - "Harder"
Japan's government has lowered the age at which people become adults. It is the first time since 1876 that this has happened.

Pope warns fossil fuels threaten humanity

13th June - "Harder"
Pope Francis has given a stark warning to around 50 of the world's top oil company executives about the threat to humanity from fossil fuels.

Malaysia to have 92-year-old leader

12th May - "Harder"
Malaysia's former leader Mahathir Mohamad has staged a remarkable political comeback to end the six-decade rule of the Barisan Nasional party.

Former Brazilian president in jail

10th April - "Harder"
Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is in jail after surrendering to authorities on Saturday night.

Facebook apologizes after data breach

27th March - "Harder"
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the data breach that was revealed last week. He took out full-page advertisements in broadsheet newspapers to make his apology.

Fears over USA - China trade war

25th March - "Easier"
The world is waiting to see if a trade war breaks out between the USA and China. Stock markets in Asia did badly in Friday's trading because investors are worried.

U.S. student walkout to protest gun violence

17th March - "Easier"
Students in the USA took part in a protest on Wednesday. Tens of thousands of high-schoolers walked out of their schools to protest against gun violence.

Japanese robot-wolf to protect farms

9th March - "Easier"
Technology has come to the rescue of Japanese farmers. Engineers have invented the 'Super Monster Wolf' to scare away animals.

Airbnb enters luxury travel market

25th February - "Easier"
The online accommodation booking company Airbnb is going upmarket. It is moving into the luxury travel market.

Early humans were bad at drawing

13th February - "Easier"
An early species of humans who lived between 120,000 and 35,000 years ago were not as good at drawing as early modern humans.

Polish climbers in heroic Himalaya rescue

30th January - "Harder"
A team of elite mountain climbers from Poland made a hazardous night rescue on the 8,126-meter-high Nanga Parbat mountain in the Pakistani Himalayas.

'Nutella riots' in France after 70% price cut

28th January - "Easier"
There have been crazy scenes in supermarkets across France. Shoppers have been fighting and punching each other to buy jars of the hazelnut spread Nutella.

2018 to be a great year

2nd January - "Harder"
The year 2018 is just days old, but already there are indications it will be a great 12 months.

China ends ban on smelly cheese

25th October - "Harder"
China has reversed an import ban on several types of cheese that get their flavor (and distinctive smell) from bacteria.

Potato shortage causes 'chipocalypse'

19th October - "Easier"
Potato chip lovers in New Zealand could be in for a big shock. New Zealand is facing a possible potato shortage in the next few months.

World's 'most useless' airport opens

17th October - "Harder"
The first scheduled commercial airplane has landed on the remote British island of St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic.

Baby talk is a world language

15th October - "Easier"
A new study has found that mothers all over the world speak to their babies in the same way.

New mummies found near Luxor, Egypt

11th September - "Easier"
Archaeologists in Egypt have found a tomb that has three mummies inside it. The ancient tomb is over 3,500 years old.

Hurricane Irma slams into Caribbean

9th September - "Harder"
A record-breaking hurricane is causing death and destruction as it passes through the Caribbean and heads towards the U.S. state of Florida.

Why do people yawn?

3rd September - "Easier"
A new study from Nottingham University in the UK has found that yawning is contagious.

Dirt is good for babies

19th July - "Easier"
It seems like common sense to most parents to make sure their baby is always in a clean place.

House dust could make us fat

15th July - "Easier"
Scientists say house dust could make us fat. They say that people should keep their house clean if they want to avoid putting on weight.

Coffee drinkers may live longer

13th July - "Harder"
There is potentially good news for coffee lovers. Drinking three or more cups of coffee a day may help people live longer.

Jay Z receives top songwriting honor

19th June - "Harder"
The rapper Jay Z has been recognized for his prolific and influential songwriting career by being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Arab nations cut ties with Qatar

7th June - "Easier"
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Libya and Yemen have all cut relations with Qatar.

Dutch towns tell tourists how to behave

14th April - "Harder"
Villagers living in the area known as 'Old Holland' outside of Amsterdam have got together with local tour companies to create rules of conduct for tourists.

Japan attempts to ease working hours

5th March - "Harder"
Japan's government has backed an initiative to ease the pressure on Japanese workers and simultaneously boost consumer spending.

Zealandia – The eighth continent?

19th February - "Easier"
We may have to change our thinking about how many continents there are. Geologists say there is an eighth continent - Zealandia.

Marriage makes you less stressed

17th February - "Harder"
A new study suggests that marital bliss has beneficial health effects. The research is from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.

Cats are just as clever as dogs, says study

28th January - "Harder"
For whatever reason, people assume dogs are more intelligent creatures than cats. This notion has been called into question by scientists in Japan.

Ants use the Sun to get from A to B

22nd January - "Easier"
Ants are some of the most impressive creatures on this planet. There are so many things we do not know about them.

Zombies would wipe out humans in 100 days

10th January - "Easier"
Everyone knows that zombies only exist in horror movies. Or do they? A new article predicts that imaginary zombies would kill almost everyone on Earth in just 100 days.

Scientists unlock secrets to seahorses

17th December - "Easier"
For the first time, scientists have unlocked the secrets to one of the world's most recognizable but least understood fish – the seahorse.

Syrian refugee top student in Australia school

15th December - "Harder"
A Syrian refugee who could hardly speak a word of English two years ago has just passed his school exams in Australia with flying colours and is in the top 4 per cent of all graduates in Melbourne.

Thailand has a new king

3rd December - "Harder"
Thailand has a new king after Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, accepted an invitation from parliament to succeed his father.

Christmas cards show nativity in war zone

1st December - "Easier"
A charity has released a series of Christmas cards with a difference. They have traditional Christmas scenes from the Holy Land but they also contain images of the war in Syria.

Man sells firewood to pay wife's medical bills

25th November - "Harder"
An Internet campaign has come to the rescue of 80-year-old man in the USA who was reduced to selling firewood on the roadside to try and pay for his wife's medical bills.

Philippines to split from USA

22nd October - "Easier"
The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has announced his country will move away from the USA and work more closely with China.

Teen drivers most at risk of crashing

18th October - "Easier"
Teenage drivers are still the most likely to crash, according to a new study. Teen drivers are 1.6 times more likely to be in a traffic accident than adult drivers.

Vegetable gardens tested for Mars

10th October - "Easier"
Researchers from the U.S. space agency NASA are currently trying to find out what kind of plants could grow in the red soil on Mars.

Sad movies help reduce pain

24th September - "Harder"
Watching sad movies can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered and may increase our tolerance to pain.

Dolphin language may have grammar

15th September - "Easier"
Humans may not be the only ones to use grammar and vocabulary to speak and communicate. Scientists believe dolphins also use words and sentences to speak to each other.

Swimming with dolphins may be banned

31st August - "Harder"
Authorities in Hawaii are proposing a ban on the popular tourist activity of swimming with dolphins off the Hawaiian coast.

People who read live longer

10th August - "Easier"
New research shows that people who read a lot live longer. The study was carried out by researchers from Yale University.

Rio Olympics medal predictions

4th August - "Easier"
The worldwide banking company Goldman Sachs has made predictions about how many medals different countries will win at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

6,000 held after failed Turkey coup

20th July - "Harder"
The Turkish government is increasing its efforts to detain those it deems responsible for the weekend's failed coup attempt.

Pokemon Go is the next big thing

12th July - "Harder"
The Japanese games giant Nintendo has released an app that is taking the world by storm with an augmented reality game called Pokemon Go.

Company pays its workers to sleep

2nd July - "Easier"
A company in the USA is paying its employees to sleep more. Staff at the insurance company Aetna will get $300 a year extra.

U.S. police to look into shooting of zoo gorilla

2nd June - "Easier"
Police in the US state of Ohio are going to look into the shooting of a 17-year-old gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo. They will investigate the facts around the killing of Harambe the gorilla.

Anger over racist Chinese advert

29th May - "Easier"
There is a lot of anger on social media because of an advertisement for a Chinese detergent. Some newspapers are saying it could be the most racist advert ever.

New product tests for spiked drinks

27th May - "Harder"
A British businessman has developed a product that helps people test drinks they think might have been drugged, or 'spiked'.

President Obama to visit Hiroshima

25th May - "Easier"
On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama will become the first American president to visit the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Get an electric shock to stop buying things

21st May - "Easier"
A British firm has developed a new product to help us save money. The product is a wristband that gives us an electric shock if we spend too much money.

Scientists make see-through wood

19th May - "Harder"
Scientists have come up with a revolutionary new use for wood. They have devised a way to make it transparent.

72-year-old woman gives birth

15th May - "Harder"
A 72-year-old woman from Amritsar, India is celebrating the birth of her first child. Daljinder Kaur and her husband Mohinder Singh Gill, 79, posed for photos...

Budweiser beer renamed 'America'

13th May - "Easier"
One of the word's most famous beer companies is changing the name of its best-selling beer. Budweiser is going to be called 'America'.

Leicester City in football fairytale win

5th May - "Easier"
Football fans in the English city of Leicester have been celebrating a fairytale win for their club. Leicester City won England's Premier League for the first time.

New gym opens to train robots

1st May - "Easier"
A group of business people has opened a kind of gym for robots. The group is headed by Elon Musk, who is the boss of the electric car company Tesla Motors.

Worries over eating disorders in Japan

27th April - "Easier"
A health group in Japan is worried about people with eating disorders. The Japan Society for Eating Disorders (JSED) said that most people...

Massive coral reef found in Amazon River

25th April - "Harder"
An international team of scientists has discovered a huge coral reef in the Amazon River. The team from the universities of Georgia in the USA and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil...

Rock superstar Prince dies at 57

23rd April - "Easier"
The rock superstar Prince has died at the age of 57. He passed away on Thursday at his home in Minneapolis.

Over-the-counter medicine may shrink brain

21st April - "Harder"
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicine is a common part of our lives. Many of us pop into the local pharmacy for cold and headache tablets, cough syrups or allergy treatments.

Ancient mummy found wearing Adidas boots

15th April - "Easier"
An ancient mummy that was found in Mongolia has gone viral online because it seems to be wearing Adidas boots. Many people have been tweeting that...