Focus On Europe
This series provides offers a fascinating mix of stories exploring the important political, economic and cultural developments in Europe. With the unity of the region under threat from the bankrupt economies of Greece, Portugal, and Spain, the global economy continues to feel Europe's pain, and EJ is there each week with reports and analysis from Berlin, Paris, and London. The program also views the crises in Europe through the eyes of those whose lives have been affected the most. Presenter Nina Haase provides her unique take on the week's stories, telling the story with compelling video, strong reporting, and a good sense of humor.
Focus On Europe Previous Broadcasts
Us Installing Missiles In Romania (Episode #3239)
KQED World: Sat, Sep 27, 2014 -- 8:30 AM
France: Refugees in Calais - Over a thousand refugees have gathered in the port of Calais. The situation is getting critical. They live in occupied buildings and emergency shelters. The local residents are protesting and calling on the government to take action. Refugees hoping to make it across the English Channel often get stuck in Calais on France's northern coast. The entire port area is surrounded by high fences to keep them from making a dash for ferries bound for Britain. Recently eighty refugees stormed the port in an attempt to stow away on board a ferry headed across the Channel. Albania: No Girls Allowed - Pregnant Albanian women have been aborting unborn baby girls. Albania's traditional family structures place a premium on male off-spring, and today's medical technology can tell parents the gender of an unborn baby well in advance. Albanian law prohibits abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy, but that doesn't deter some parents, if they find they're expecting a girl. The authorities have been turning a blind eye. Recently, the director of the largest maternity clinic in the capital Tirana revealed that 112 boys are born for every 100 girls. Romania: Missiles for Progress - The United States Department of Defense is installing a missile defense system in Romania. Russia sees it as a threat, as it includes missiles that could be aimed towards the east. But the villagers in Deveselu see it as a potential windfall. The 3000 local residents and their mayor are hoping the Americans will bring investment and modernization to their community. Deveselu is to be connected to the regional sewer systems and get paved streets, a modern day-care center, and its own academic secondary school. Moscow has been eying developments with suspicion. For years, NATO has given assurances that the defense system is not directed against Russia. But since Russian president Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea, relations between Moscow and the NATO members have cooled significantly. Belgium: The Suspect in the Jewish Museum Attack - The accused perpetrator of the attack on Brussels' Jewish Museum is in custody, charged with killing four people on 24 May, 2014. The French citizen of Algerian origin was arrested during spot checks for smuggled narcotics at Marseille's central bus station. 29-year-old Mehdi Nemmouche faces charges of "murder in a terrorist context". The accused fits the profile of a jihadist. In 2013, he joined Islamist terrorists in Syria. Four French reporters who had been held as hostages in Syria until April have identified Nemmouche as one of their tormenters. Poland: German with Marlene - The number of Poles learning German is declining. As a consequence, many German teachers have already lost their jobs. One out-of-work teacher tackled the problem with creativity. Marlena Uzieblo has been criss-crossing Poland, singing chansons by the legendary Marlene Dietrich. For years, she and her Blue Angel Band have been appearing on stage, and she's come to bear a striking resemblance to the original. Marlena's mission remains to familiarize her audience with the German language.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 30, 2014 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 30, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Sep 28, 2014 -- 5:30 AM
Pope Francis Kicks Mafia Out (Episode #3238)
KQED World: Sat, Sep 20, 2014 -- 8:30 AM
Turkey: A New Home - Tens of thousands of Yazidis are fleeing Iraq due to attacks by Islamic State militants. Many are heading for Turkey, to return to villages their ethno-religious community was once forced to leave and which, until recently, lay abandoned. Large numbers of Yazidis are flocking to the village of Kiwex in southeastern Turkey. With the assistance of Germany's Yazidi community, it is hoped up to 1,000 people should be able to find new homes here. The village's former residents were once driven out by the Turkish military, and many now live in Germany. Their old houses are now falling apart, but most of the current refugees are just happy to have a roof over their heads. Otherwise they'll have to return to the refugee camps on the border with Syria and Iraq. Bulgaria: Finding Refuge in a Monastery - Bulgaria is one of the poorest countries in the EU. For over 400 days, residents of Sofia took to the streets to force the government to resign. And they succeeded; new elections will take place on October 5. There's hope this will rein in the rampant corruption and political chaos. Almost half of Bulgarians live in poverty or close to it. The St. Trinity Monastery in Novi Han has become a place of refuge for the poorest of the poor. Father Ivan, who's known across the country, runs the St. Nicholas Orphanage here. The monastery receives limited assistance from the state. People in Novi Han were suspicious of the project, as many of the children come from Roma families. But neither the threat of being shut down nor a lack of donations is keeping Father Ivan from helping the children in his care. France: Bucking the Crisis - President Francois Holland of France recently reshuffled his cabinet due to ongoing disputes within the government about the country's economic direction. The French are unhappy with their leader, unemployment is high and the grande nation's image has taken a beating. Some say that the 35-hour work week, retirement at 62 and high taxes mean that France can no longer compete internationally. Now people are calling on medium-sized businesses to stimulate the economy. In the French Basque country, an Irishman is showing them how. He says the French need to have more faith in the attractiveness of their own products. For his part, he's saved the last factory that produces traditional French berets from bankruptcy. Italy: The Church and the Mafia - Pope Francis has declared war on the Italian mafia. In June he excommunicated several members of the mafia during a church service. The mafia still enjoy control over the villages of Calabria. Precious few priests are daring to follow in the footsteps of the tough stance taken by the Pope. Among them is Giuseppe Demasi, who is determined to break the silence on the mafia's crimes. Every year he organizes summer camps for youngsters from across the country, where they learn about the brutality of the 'Ndrangheta. Denmark: A Different Kind of Dating Service - Increasingly, people are resorting to the Internet when looking for love. In Denmark there's now an online dating site specifically for singles who want to start a family. Love&Kids was founded by Emmanuel Limal, a French actor based in Copenhagen. He was looking for a woman to settle down and start a family with. Over 2,500 people registered with the site just after it went online. Limal was inspired to create Love&Kids after realizing that expressing a desire to have children was taboo on most Internet dating sites.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 23, 2014 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 23, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Sep 21, 2014 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Sep 21, 2014 -- 5:30 AM
Scottish Independence: Yes Or No? (Episode #3237)
KQED World: Sat, Sep 13, 2014 -- 8:30 AM
Scotland: Yes or No? - The United Kingdom might soon be history. Latest surveys indicate growing approval for Scottish independence. Many people in Britain view that with concern. Shortly before the referendum, the Scottish National Party is flexing its muscles for a possible victory pose. Its leader Alex Salmond promises to free Scotland from the English Tory yoke. His calculations seem to be paying off. Many Scots feel they're being fleeced by London and no longer want to share the profits from their North Sea oil reserves with the rest of the UK. Sweden: Far Right Hopes for Power - The right-wing populist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats want to increase their power in parliament. The party got ten percent of the votes in the European elections. Its vigor is shocking Swedes. Liberals see the Sweden Democrats, with their neo-Nazi roots, as a real danger, and are organizing counter-demonstrations. The Sweden Democrats first made it into the parliament in Stockholm in 2010. Now the radical right-wing party wants to move away from that image and acquire more mainstream appeal. But insiders consider that a ruse. Belgium: Fragile Peace - In Antwerp, one of the largest Jewish communities lives peacefully with its Muslim neighbors. The war in the Gaza Strip has not yet spread to the religious communities in Belgium. During the Gaza War of 2008-09 there were riots and attacks on Jewish residents in Antwerp. This summer's conflict in Gaza was even more brutal, but this time the Belgian city has remained surprisingly quiet. Jews, Muslims and Christians have been working intensely for several years to keep channels of communication open. But alongside the good will there is also blatant hatred and fear of new conflicts. Czech Republic: Bohemian Lions - An animal lover is keeping two circus lions he's rescued on his run-down farm. Ever since the lions arrived, the small Czech town of Humpolec has been in a state of alarm. Ladislav Vana loves animals so much that he's turned his home into a private zoo and shelter. Some 100 animals of all kinds have lived here for years in spartan conditions. But two young lions are the last straw for his neighbors. They're up in arms and fear for their safety. The veterinary authority sees no reason to interfere, saying ultimately the owner is liable for his animals. France: Presidential Holiday Home - Perched atop a small, secluded island in the Mediterranean, the Fort de Bregancon has been the official summer residence of French presidents for decades. Now ordinary holiday-makers can also come here, though only as sightseers. Georges Pompidou, Valerie Giscard d?Estaing and Francois Mitterand spent their summers here. The current head of state, Francois Hollande, has now opened the fort overlooking the Mediterranean to the public - and tourists are flocking to see it.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 -- 5:30 AM
France: Jihadist Fighters Increasing (Episode #3236)
KQED World: Sat, Sep 6, 2014 -- 8:30 AM
France: appeal of extremism - More and more young people from Europe are fighting with Islamists in Syria and Iraq. Many were recruited by militant networks and preachers. In France, hundreds of young people have already joined the jihadist fighters. The majority come from non-religious families. Many were first approached by Islamists who claimed to be social workers, while others were recruited over the internet. More than 700 young French men and women have already heeded the call to go to Syria. When they arrive, they find themselves confronted with a reality that is more violent and brutal than they had anticipated. Only a few manage to leave the militant fold - and others die in the civil war. Greece: misery of illegal migrant workers - Thousands of undocumented seasonal laborers work in Greece, among them many from Bangladesh. On the Peloponnese, they work for starvation wages harvesting strawberries and potatoes, often under conditions akin to modern-day slavery. Last year, 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers were shot and wounded by their foremen for demanding months of unpaid wages owed to them. The Greek courts acquitted the farmers who admitted to the shooting. Greek human rights activists say that racism against Asian migrant workers is to blame. But without legal work permits, their desperate circumstances will likely continue. Romania: illegal logging in Carpathians - In the Romanian region of Carpathians, centuries-old trees are being logged illegally. Over the past decade, about 3,000 hectares of ancient forest have disappeared. Even in the famous national parks such as Maramures Park in northern Romania, enormous tracts of land have been logged bare. The lumber is sold for industrial use. Corrupt officials work closely with the logging mafia and the illegal loggers operate with near impunity. Large wood-processing enterprises in the region claim they careful to ensure that all the timber they use has been legally harvested. But conservationists are skeptical of this claim. They argue that the wood-processing industry's negligence in monitoring the source of the wood they use is what allows illegal logging to thrive. Germany: autobahn and bratwurst - The car - and the autobahn - are still king in Germany. And every autobahn needs a rest stop, of course. But there's one rest stop in the state of Thuringen that's rather unusual. It's home to what was Germany's oldest autobahn snack shop. Then the authorities built a fence between it and the autobahn, saying that road traffic regulations don't allow food to be served at that rest stop. Despite the threat of fines, the proprietor continues to serve bratwurst over the fence to hungry motorists.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Sep 7, 2014 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Sun, Sep 7, 2014 -- 5:30 AM
Deadly Danger: Looming Tsunami In Norwa (Episode #3235)
KQED World: Tue, Sep 2, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
Norway: Deadly Danger - More often than not, people associate tsunamis with Japan. But people living around Geirangerfjord in Norway are well aware of their own vulnerability to a huge tidal wave. Mount ?kernes threatens to crash into the fjord, with incalculable consequences. Geologists are measuring and monitoring the steep mountain's movements, and are sure the tsunami that would result from a major landslide would inundate the surrounding villages. Scientists say an 80-meter tidal wave following a collapse would sweep everything into the narrow arm of the sea. 4,000 villagers are at risk. Some have already moved to higher elevations. Others continue to live down near the water, despite the threat of a natural disaster. The area has already experienced two such disasters. In 1905 and 1934, dozens of people lost their lives. Romania: Fearless Shepherds - Their lives are poor, archaic and not without danger. Shepherds in Romania have to be on constant alert for wolves and brown bears that attack their herds. Some 5,000 to 6,000 bears roam the forests of the Carpathian Mountains. There are especially large numbers of them in summer. Then thousands of shepherds with their sheep dogs trek through the mountains and valleys of the Carpathians. Usually just a wooden box serves as summer accommodation. The dwelling stands in the middle of the area where they feed their flocks. That makes its easier for the shepherds to keep an eye on their animals and protect them. Bears and wolves aren't the only danger for the shepherds, however. Germany: Resolute Refugees - Countless refugee dramas have taken place off the coast of Lampedusa. Year after year, tens of thousands of people fleeing Africa end up on the Italian island. But hardly any of them want to stay in Italy. One group has managed to get as far as Berlin. In recent history the Berlin district of Kreuzberg has enjoyed a reputation for being unconventional and nonconformist. For several months now it's also been accommodating several dozen refugees from Morocco, Senegal, Sudan and other African countries. The immigrants Africa haven't found a permanent home there, however. They are living in a disused school, tolerated by the authorities, eyed warily by residents, beset by the police. As most are threatened with expulsion, some took refuge on the roof of the school. Britain: Historical Trauma - A hundred years after World War One, Britain is remembering not only the 17 million victims who lost their lives on all fronts and sides, but also the many men who returned home from the battlefields of Europe with psychological scars. Some of the former soldiers suffered from a hitherto unknown disorder: shell shock. Sergeant Bernard Brookes, a signaler, wrote a diary describing the appalling conditions in the trenches and his difficulties after being invalided out of active service with the condition. He wrote extensively about how society treated the traumatized returning soldiers. His letters and diary were published in book form early last year.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 2, 2014 -- 10:30 AM