Behind the Headlines
Explore our world, one headline at a time.
World Book Editors break down the news in our Behind the Headlines feature allowing for a deeper understanding of the complex events that shape our world today. Behind the Headlines articles are carefully crafted presenting the latest national and world news, science discoveries, current events and other top stories and are simplified for young readers.

Australian Firehawks

Bird watchers in Australia were recently surprised as several species of predatory birds appeared to be spreading bushfires as a novel hunting technique. For many years, wildlife biologists have documented raptors that fly around the edges of wildfires, practicing what the scientists call “fire-foraging.”

Australia’s Mungo Man

Late last year, the oldest known human skeleton from Australia, known as Mungo Man, came home. The remains of Mungo Man, who lived more than 40,000 years ago, were transported in a special hearse that had been ritually cleansed with eucalyptus smoke back to his ancestral homeland in the Willandra region of New South Wales.

Recovering Australia’s AE1

​Last month, the wreckage of HMAS AE1, a Royal Australian Navysubmarine lost early in World War I (1914-1918), was found north of Australia off the coast of Papua New Guinea. HMAS stands for His or Her Majesty’s Australian Ship.

Ekka Time in Australia

This week in Brisbane, a city in Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland, many thousands of people are crowding into the Queensland Ekka, an event officially known as the Royal Queensland Show.

Australia’s Ancient Origins

New excavations conducted at Madjedbebe, a rock shelter in northern Australia, have provided evidence that humans first arrived there around 65,000 years ago. That date, based on sophisticated modern dating methods, pushes back the earliest physical evidence for human occupation in Australia by at least 15,000 years. The discovery is forcing scientists to reevaluate some common theories about the ancestors of today’s Aboriginal people of Australia.