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
Holding Fido Hostage (Episode #3117)
KQED World: Tue, Apr 30, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
Populist parties are on the rise in Europe. Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement in Italy and the far-right Golden Dawn party in Greece are just two examples. In Britain, the right-wing populist UK Independence Party is railing against the EU, immigrants and the unemployed, putting the established parties under pressure.
ROMANIA: THE DOG MAFIA - For years, animal rights advocates from all over the world have sought to save dogs in Romania. But it seems their good intentions are being exploited by an unscrupulous mafia. Stray dogs on the streets of Romania are a well-known problem. For years, Romanian animal rescue centers have been supported by generous donations from abroad, with donors seeking to combat the problem in humane ways. But it appears that many such centers kill the dogs on arrival and then continue to list them as resident in order to claim the money.
BRITAIN: THE THREAT FROM THE RIGHT - For years, Britain's established parties refused to take the UK Independence Party - or UKIP - seriously. But strong performances in recent by-elections have proven even a small party can create major waves in Britain's electoral system. Since the Liberal Democrats have entered government, UKIP is the number one protest party in Britain. The Conservatives in particular stand to lose votes to the right-wing party. Prime Minister David Cameron has looked increasingly uncomfortable as opinion polls show UKIP with double-digit popularity ratings. The eurosceptic party was founded over twenty years ago, in protest against the Maastricht Treaty. Now with fresh wind in its sails, UKIP is giving the other parties a run for their money.
AUSTRIA: THE LONG ROAD TO CITIZENSHIP - The rules on gaining Austrian citizenship are among the toughest in Europe. Anyone wanting to become Austrian, for example, needs to speak good German and engage in voluntary work. Austrian citizenship will in future be awarded on an applicant's level of integration into society as well as how long a person has lived in the country. Those who are particularly well-integrated and sign up, for example, as a volunteer firefighter, will be eligible for citizenship after six years instead of the standard ten years. People on low incomes, on the other hand - such as part-time workers or single parents - do not fair so well under the new legislation.
UKRAINE: SUBTERRANEAN SANATORIUM - The Ukrainian province of Donetsk is one of the largest salt mining regions in the world. But that's not all. It also boasts a unique underground sanatorium for people with asthma and other lung complaints. The sanatorium is basically made up of salt caves. Patients move in for weeks at a time. The caves are 300 meters below ground. Patients are only allowed to leave and go out into the daylight twice a day. The temperature in the caves is pretty low, so it's important to keep active. Soccer has become particularly popular among patients!
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 30, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Putting a military tank in your garage - A Ukrainian phenomenon (Episode #3116)
KQED World: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
HUNGARY: THE PROBLEM OF WATER - Nearly 2 million people in Hungary - particularly in the southeast - lack access to clean drinking water. In a number of European countries, the groundwater is contaminated with heavy metals. Hungary, Serbia and Croatia are especially affected, but the problem is particularly acute in Hungary, where many municipalities cannot afford to drill down to deeper and cleaner groundwater. At the same time, the European Union says clean water is a human right, and member states must take action to ensure it. But both local governments and national leaders in Hungary are ignoring the problem.
TURKEY: WHEN WOMEN EARN MONEY - Equality for women remains a controversial issue in Turkish society, even though legally their status is clear. The Turkish constitution says that men and women are completely equal. As part of the country's bid for EU membership in recent years, Turkey has instituted a number of legal reforms. That's improved the situation of women. For instance, women no longer need their husbands' permission to work. One example of the change can be found in the small, traditional town of Ayvalik on the Aegean Sea. Here women earn money of their own producing handbags from recycled materials.
ITALY: A WAVE OF BANKRUPTCIES - Despite the ongoing euro crisis, the three major players in Italy's parliament are still mired in gridlock. The stalemate is affecting the economy, and every day hundreds of small businesses are shutting their doors permanently. Private consumption is down, and businesses can no longer afford to pay their workers. Much of the blame also lies with the government, which owes private businesses about 100 billion euros for goods and services. The sole beneficiaries of the recession are auction houses, which are doing booming business.
UKRAINE: PRIVATELY OWNED TANKS - In Ukraine, some private citizens have taken to owning armored vehicles. Though they consume 160 liters of fuel an hour, their owners think tanks are a demonstration of power and masculinity. Now that the Ukrainian military has radically downsized, many military vehicles have been taken out of service and sold. For wealthy military buffs, a private tank has become the coveted new plaything. Some have invested in entire fleets of them and strut their stuff on local fields and roadways.
- KQED World: Sat, Apr 27, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
France - Where Working Moms Are Welcome (Episode #3115)
KQED World: Tue, Apr 16, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
GERMANY: TERRORISTS ON TRIAL - Beate Zschape, alleged to be the only surviving member of the far-right National Socialist Underground terror cell, is to be the main defendant in what is already a highly publicized trial. Zschape is accused of complicity in the murders of ten people, including nine people of Turkish and one ethnic Greek. Also among the list of charges are bank robbery, arson and membership of a terrorist organization. Zschape denies having been an accessory to the crimes. Joining her in the dock are four more alleged accomplices. Public scrutiny of the trial is sure to be intense. Even the selection of spectators has been subject to criticism; as things stand, Turkish reporters will not be among them.
CZECH REPUBLIC: OPENING UP TO HISTORY - Wariness about ethnic Germans expelled from the Sudetenland in the wake of World War II have long clouded German-Czech relations. Now, one Czech village is determined to combat the fears and clear away the cliches. After the Second World War, some three million ethnic Germans had to leave their homes in Czechoslovakia behind and resettle in West Germany or further afield. Most the people who moved into their houses and villages didn't want to know about the previous residents. The citizens of the tiny village of Dekov are different, are however. They've been avidly researching the German history of their region - and helping to overcome the prejudices.
FRANCE: WORKING MOMS ARE WELCOME - A lot of young mothers in France go back to work within a few months of giving birth - safe in the knowledge that their babies are in good hands. France has a relatively positive image in Europe when it comes to child care. The law makes free nursery schools available to children from the age of three. And there's an abundance of day-care centers and nannies - especially in and around Paris. The system makes it easier for young mothers to balance work and family.
TURKEY: BEARDS BOOMING ON THE BOSPORUS - Hair transplants are more popular than ever in Turkey. Istanbul alone has over 250 special clinics now also offering beards. The latest hit in this growing sector is beard-transplant trips. For around 2,000 euros, follically challenged men get the full package: a new set of facial hair as well as the accompanying medication, a blood test and two nights in a hotel. This new type of transplant tourism is particularly popular among men from Arab countries. Whether for a tiny moustache or full beard - patients only spend six hours in the clinic, giving them plenty of time to explore Istanbul.
- KQED World: Sat, Apr 20, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 16, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
KQED World: Tue, Apr 9, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
- KQED World: Sat, Apr 13, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 9, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Women Living As Men - An Ancient Albanian Custom (Episode #3113)
KQED World: Tue, Apr 2, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
They carry guns and engage in some of the most physically demanding jobs around. An outsider would hardly recognize them as women - but biologically they are. Known as sworn virgins, these Albanian women live as men, following a centuries-old Balkan tradition. The details:
ROMANIA: THE OLD COAL PITS - The picturesque Jiu Valley in southwestern Romania is experiencing a social and economic crisis. As the mine pits shut down, unemployment is growing - but there's little help from the state. During the Ceausescu era, tens of thousands were employed in the Jiu mines. Most were unskilled workers from other parts of the country. The turn of the millennium saw the first pit closures and massive protests of miners in Bucharest. Today the miners have given up protesting and are left living in dire poverty. Some even dig for coal to heat their homes for their families.
ALBANIA: THE WOMEN WHO LIVE AS MEN - It's an unusual tradition in Albania, and today it's dying out: the tradition of the sworn virgin. They are women who choose to live as men to escape the restrictions imposed on women in their patriarchal society. They call themselves burrnesha, and have sworn a vow of chastity. Most of them made the decision during puberty to switch gender roles and live as men, though physically they remain female. The tradition of the "man-woman" has its origins in an ancient code of honor common in Albania whereby families without a male successor could choose a girl to fill the role of patriarch instead.
BRITAIN: HAPPY HENS - The Hen Welfare Trust is a national charity in Britain that believes all hens should live in free-range settings. The charity has already rescued more than 300,000 hens from the misery of battery cages. Trust members regularly rescue commercial egg-laying hens from slaughter and find them new homes with private households. Often the birds are scrawny and have been classified as "unproductive" because the strain of life in the battery farm has left them unable to lay many eggs. But in private gardens, the hens often recover and thrive.
SPAIN: SAVIOR OF THE HOMELESS - The debt crisis and forced evictions have left many people in Spain without a place to live. It's estimated that 100,000 Spaniards are homeless. Many of them rely on help from their community. One of them is Gloria Iglesias, who has been opening her home to homeless people for 13 years now. Motivated by her religious belief, Gloria has helped more than 160 people over the years. But her project also depends on the charity of others - like the owners of a nearby grocery stall who give food donations, and property owners who let her use space for her project's workshop.
- KQED World: Sat, Apr 6, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 2, 2013 -- 10:30 AM