News & Politics, Popular

What is Separation of Powers?

Have you ever heard this term and wondered what is separation of powers exactly, and why is it so important? If so, then read on because we are going to explain it!

 

Brandon Mowinkel / Unsplash

Separation of powers isn’t a new idea – in fact, even the Ancient Greeks had a version of this political system, as did the Romans. There are variations in place across the world.

 

Each country has a slightly different setup, so we’ll use the system in place in the United States to explain the concept.

 

What is Separation of Powers?

The idea behind it is to have a system in place that prevents one person or group having all the power over an entire country. If you think back to the days when countries were ruled by a king or queen, who made decisions that affected the lives of everyone who lived in their kingdom – sometimes that went well, but often it didn’t. Instead of one person having all the power, a democracy splits the power between different people or groups of people.

 

When you think of the person who runs the country, you probably think of the President. The President represents the EXECUTIVE branch of the government.

In the USA, that means that the President executes the instructions of Congress, signs Executive Orders, selects judges to be approved by Congress, and is in charge of the armed forces (the navy, army and airforce).

By the way – don’t get confused by the word ‘execute’, which can mean ‘to put to death, to murder’ but can also mean ‘to carry out, to accomplish’. The President carries out the instructions from Congress, he doesn’t kill them all!

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News & Politics, Popular

The US Election – An Explainer for Kids

US Election

The voting system in the US election often confuses people. What is an Electoral College, and what is the difference between the ‘popular vote’ and the ‘electoral college vote’? Who are the people who work in Congress, and what is the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives? We take a closer look and answer these and other questions, in a kid-friendly way.

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News & Politics, Popular

What Does Brexit Mean for Kids?

The British have voted to leave the European Union, but what does this mean, and what does Brexit mean for kids?
Most of you will have heard of the EU Referendum, known as BREXIT (which stands for BRitish Exit). If you don’t know what a referendum is, then this is a good place to find out more.
We asked some of our readers what questions they had about BREXIT. These questions are difficult to answer right now because even the experts don’t know exactly what will happen, but here’s what we know so far. If you have any questions, comment on this post and we’ll try to find the answers for you.

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Popular, Science, Nature and Tech

Can You Catch a Cold from Cold Weather?

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Sam

Sam has worked as a forensic scientist as well as for the British government, and has degrees in both archaeology and osteoarchaeology. She has 2 children, is passionate about science, reading, history and music, and loves dyeing her hair bright colours!

Sam blogs about all kinds of science at www.samanthagouldson.com.
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For years people have told their children to wrap up warm or they will fall ill, but is it really true that you can catch a cold from cold weather? Sam Gouldson’s latest FACT OR FABLE investigation finds out!

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Language & Literature, Popular

The Great Vowel Shift

If you have learnt a foreign language, or if you are bilingual in another European language, you may have noticed that there are a number of words that are similar to words in English. Perhaps you may even have been told that some of them are derived from Latin or Greek, or that they have Germanic roots. But why is the pronunciation so often so different in English?

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