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tv   European Journal  PBS  October 28, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT

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>> hello and welcome to "european journal" coming to you from our studios in brussels. let's take a look at what we have for you today. bosnia-herzegovina, no place for national treasures. written -- britain, a tunnel project withi an eco label. in bosnia-herzegovina, the wounds of the civil war are far from healed.
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the country sank into a bloody conflict after declaring independence from crumbling yugoslavia. divisions still run deep between muslims, serbs, and croats today. that becomes visible whenever there is a debate about the country's cultural's institutions like the museum of history, the national museum, and the national library. >> he looks after one of bosnia's most valuable treasures. the librarian is heading to work as she has for the past 39 years. the only problem is, she does not really have a job anymore. >> we have not received a salary for nine months now. but we still keep going to work. we see this is our duty --as our duty. >> her employer, the bosnian national library, no longer
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exists because the conflicted lawmakers cannot agree on funding. the books are in temporary storage. >> we lost colleagues in the war. then we lost our status as the national library. we were always the national library. now we do not even have the title. >> the country's ethnic serb politicians reject the library along with other cultural institutions. but the other main cultural groups do not want to have to foot the bill alone. many of the books are desperately in need of restoration, leaving the books lying around in cartons does not do them any good. >> this is one of the first
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printed books ever. "ovid's metamorphosis." >> cultural riches in a legal void. >> this is a printed book from before the year 1500. we have more such books. we are very proud we saved them in the war. >> in august of 1992, library workers risked their lives to rescue the books from the inferno of the bosnian war. serb nationalists had targeted the library building for a former city hall. the library went up in flames.
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the workers managed to save 1/10 of the books while dodging sniper fire from the hills. municipal firefighters struggled to save the building. one of them was this man, 21 years later, he heads the fire department. why a building full of books became a military target, he says he does not know. >> i cannot explain it. i do not know what a library is supposed to be guilty of. what our small children guilty of? but in wars, people turn into monsters. today we are drinking coffee together. tomorrow we are fighting. >> since 1995, bosnia- herzegovina has been a divided land. serbs within one half of the
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country. muslims and croats live in the other half. her husband was killed in the war. their muslim-croat marriage was as symbolic of the country's culture as the library once was. they lived across from the building. >> in the war, objects were targeted by grenade fire. the museum, the olympic center, schools. none of those was strategic targets. that is why we refer to that as urbicide. >> the destruction of an urban area. today, the former library building is being restored. the e.u. is getting 5 million euros to renovate it. today, she is seeing the work on the interior for the first time. >> marvelous. it is beautiful.
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>> that will not solve the problem of the library and its books. the landmark building is to reopen next year, again as a city hall. the last time it served as the seat of local government was when it was built, when sarajevo belonged to the austro-hungarian empire. it is as if the bosnians are affording the conflicts of today by harkening back to the symbols of the imperial past between the west and the orient. when the heir to the throne visited sarajevo in 1914, he stopped here. than the shots that triggered the first world war. prince ferdinand was assassinated by someone opposed to the monarchy. among the works rescued from the library, the librarian has discovered an original document from june 1914, the itinerary of prince ferdinand's visit.
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for the moment, the historic record, along with the rescued books and library staff will have to remain in their temporary quarters. >> culture always mirrors the country. our politicians need to understand that. if they do not accept how important culture is for the next generation and normal life, the state of our library will remain as bad as the state of our country. >> the moldering books of bosnia's national library, a sobering mirror image of bosnia- herzegovina 18 years after the end of the war. >> wildlife in europe has had a hard time of it the last two centuries.
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industrialization, urban development, and climate change are just some of the reasons why natural habitats have been disappearing. in the 1980's nature protection groups started emerging in many european countries. today large-scale construction magics are only given the go- ahead when companies can prove they do not have a detrimental impact on the environment. the u.k. is showing such projects might even be used to benefit nature to summit stent. on britain's east coast, the company is helping to build an artificial nature preserve. it looks like untouched nature. but a lot of hard work has gone into these mud flats on the part of nature conservationists. if he had his way, the entire essex coastline would be reclaimed for nature. the wetlands provide nesting grounds for many bird species. they also help to prevent flooding along the coast. >> the mud flat is an amazing
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reproductive habitat. it is more productive than the farmland behind us. >> earlier generations on the island reclaimed this farmland from the ocean. bird conservation's want to undo that and turn it back into mud flats and marshes. >> we have lost about 32% of our coastal grazing marsh since 1932. it is important to put that back. there will be a seawall and a new habitat. over 600 hectares of new mud flat and lagoons. >> the farmland will need to be flooded with sea water. but first, it needs to be covered with a layer of soil. to withstand the tides, the land has to be at just the right level.
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right now, the next delivery has been delayed. for hauling machine is out of service. eventually several million tons of soil will be needed to cover 670 hectares of farmland. when done, it will be a paradise for birds and nature lovers. but where will they get so much soil? the answer is in central london. as part of the crossrail project, new tunnels are being dug in various locations. 10 new rails and metro stations are under construction. the soil is cleaned and transported by rail and ship to essex. he is a tunnel engineer and project manager for a section of the new railway line. he is in charge of the whitechapel station in east london. >> here we have some london clay that has been excavated out. we have a stockpile behind me. this has been moved out from the
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bottom, taken to the surface, and then to the island. >> the whitechapel station is located 30 meters under the surface. down here, the soil is clean. work has stalled. the air vents need to be repaired. when they started digging, the workers found more than they bargained for. >> they found medieval skulls, queens, roman artifacts. a lot of bodies they have dug up over the years. they found bones that need to be exhumed. i think 400 bodies have been found over that time. >> most londoners have no idea what is happening below them. still, the entire city stands to benefit. the new lines will transport 200 million passengers a year and boost to real capacity by 10%. the new railway and underground
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stations are incorporating ecological standards. the whitechapel station will have solar energy panels and a green roof. the city of london asked crossrail to make sure the soil is used for projects that will benefit the public. in essex, the london soil is more than welcome. fortunately, the machines are working again. the nature conservationists and construction firms are working closely together. they are collaborating. they are making sure the earth is spread at the right level and monitoring the soil quality. >> we have some work. this is natural material from under central london. that changes depending on the geology of where the tunnel is and where the new stations are. it is always a challenge.
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some areas, it is a surprise. we wait until they have dug to find out what the material is. >> when the soil has been spread and the land flooded, it will take a few more years before plants and animals return to the new wetlands. >> the island was reclaimed from the sea 500 years ago. it was a mix of five separate islands. we are trying to bring that habitat back for the future generations to enjoy. >> it will take a few more years before peace and quiet returns to policy ireland's --to the islands. the machines will not be leaving until 2015 at the earliest. but one day, the marsh birds will be nesting here on soil brought in from london. >> it certainly has not slipped past criminal elements. over the last 30 years, copper and other metal prices have continued to climb because there is more demand than supply. in some european countries, cables are being stolen from
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train tracks and sold to scrap dealers on an almost daily basis. audacious? in the czech republic, the thieves have been going further. in the border region with germany, criminal gangs have broken the last remain taboo by stealing from cemeteries. >> he lost his mother twice he says. on the day she died, and again on the day her urn was stolen. metal thieves broke into the cemetery, destroying graves and stole the urns after pouring the contents on the grass. >> i was very upset. it made me cry. i would visit the cemetery to pay my respects to the memory of my mother and grandparents. then someone comes along and desecrates that memory. i travel a lot in europe, but i have never seen anything like this before. people respect the dead.
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here, the memory is dragged through the dirt. >> in the last few years, hundreds of graveyards in northern bohemia have been disloyal to -- despoiled. grave robbers have taken urns an stolen valuables and even gold teeth from the dead. he is the local priest. even the bell tower of his church was broken into. the bell was damaged. the robbers made off with about 300 kilos of loot which probably earned them around 1000 euros. >> this church bell dates back to the 16th century. there are not many like it left in bohemia. it has historical value beyond its metal. they broke it into pieces just so they could sell the metal to scrap dealers. >> he is slovakian.
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when he tells people at home about the rising graveyard theft in northern bohemia, they are shocked. the priest says it is further proof religion does not play much the role in the region. hardly anyone goes to church year. >> when people start robbing graves, it goes to show we are starting to lose our humanity. we are becoming no better than animals. if we no longer respect our dead, we risk losing our souls. >> who are the perpetrators there are scrap dealers on every corner in northern bohemia. the police suggest we talked to one of them. she would not buy urns work
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chris affixes -- crucifixes. not only is bohemia a godless region, it is also a poor one. selling scrap metal is the only way he can make ends meet. >> if you do not have a job, you have to make a bit of money somehow. the government does not care. but you need to pay your bills. where do i get it from? home, garden, where ever i find it, that i do not steal it proved the whole country has already been looted. >> the only places where there is still something left to steal are the graveyards. he is a policeman. even he admits justice is seldom done in northern bohemia, and there is nothing he can do about it.
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he has put dozens of thieves behind bars only to see them get out again almost immediately. one thief stole the urn of a one-year-old boy and dumped the ashes on the ground. even he did not spend long in jail. >> the family visited the graveyard on what would have been their son's birthday and realized the urn had been vandalized. they found it behind the fence. it was a terrible shock for the family. of father had only recently died and they were already at the end of their tether. what can you say? it is a moral downfall, and it is happening all over the country. instead of trying to put a stop to it, the government announced amnesty and all of the grave robbers walked free. >> poverty, drugs, the
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disappearance of traditional values. northern bohemia is struggling with many problems. he says nothing here is holy anymore, and not even the dead can rest in peace. >> when it comes to dealing with refugees who come to the e.u., countries like germany want things to return --remain the way they are. . refugees have to apply for asylum in the country where they first set foot on european soil. greece in particular has been struggling to cope. thousands of refugees in greece are living rough or spending time waiting in overcrowded holding centers prior to deportation. they are not allowed to work. there are not enough jobs anyway. three years into the debt crisis, one in four greeks are unemployed. the greek state is still dependent on financial aid from e.u. partners. is an explosive situation which right-wing extremist groups are
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exploiting. but there are groups actively campaigning against racism, and they often risk their lives. to call themselves the wave-o- matics. for a multicultural dance troupe, life is not easy in athens these days. his mother is from cuba. reason enough for four men to attack him on the street one night. >> i talked to them. i said i am in greece. i have been living here 20 years. what is your problem? they responded like they did not care. they stopped just for a fight. >> it is a familiar story for other dancers in the group. they are often the target of insults during street performances. some of the dancers live off of what they bring in.
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those who have more share it with the rest, just like a family. >> if everyone is the same, there is no development. if everyone is different and yet we are united, there is development. strong people that have money do not want development. development is the key. development happens with difference. we support the difference everywhere. >> this openness to foreigners, to people who look or think differently, has become increasingly rare in the last. here's. -- the last few years. one reason is the refugee issue. refugees are seen as potential criminals and the police treat them with excessive rigor. one month ago, pablo was stabbed to death by neo-nazis. he was a well-known rapper and antifascist activist.
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some of the group knew him well. he was a friend and gave breakdance performances at his concert. but he refuses to capitulate to the right wing extremists and their racist tactics. that is something he shared with pablo. >> ♪ >> pablo and i want the same thing. we have the same goal. we want to show our resistance to the rise of the right wing, to take a public stand. the difference is he did that with his songs and lyrics, and we do it with dance. >> the site where pablo was killed has become a kind of pilgrimage site. his songs are more popular than ever.
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the murder of a greek citizen targeted for his politics has sent shockwaves through society. >> he was killed because he did not like the fascists. he was not a member of any political party. he just wanted to use music to fight the pain and injustice of our world. the fascists were just looking for the right moment to kill him. >> the men who killed him is a supporter of the fascist party or golden dawn. three weeks ago, most of the golden dawn's top leaders were arrested. they face charges of running a criminal organization, murder, money laundering, and blackmail. he says the arrests are long overdue. the organization has been trying to draw attention to racist
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violence in greece for years. politicians and the media have been ignoring the problem. >> this balloon of cover-up has been broken. but this does not necessarily mean the whole greek society is willing to see the truth. there are many problems remaining. everyday life, still people do not consider it important the way immigrants from pakistan are attacked. we have a long way to go. we have racism in greek society. we have had it in the past. it came up with the financial crisis and is still there. >> for the group, the crisis is an opportunity. it is a chance to break up the old boy network, the old way of doing things. for these young dancers, the way forward is clear. greece needs to become more open
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and tolerant and start welcoming immigrants and cultural diversity as a positive benefit. >> if more people were different and did what they liked and express themselves as they are, this thing would not exist here. >> they have qualified for the finals of the international breakdance competition in germany. they are proud to have the chance to represent greece in the tournament. as break dancers, nationality is not important to them. for them, dances about breaking down barriers that divide us as people. >> ♪ >> that is all we have time for today on "european journal." from all of us in brussels, thank you for watching. until next time, bye for now. captioned by the national captioning institute
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hello and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. chinese authorities reportedly suspect foul play in a deadly car crash at beijing's tiananmen square. reporters say investigators are viewing it as more than just an accident. the car hit a sidewalk on monday and traveled several hundred meters. it slammed into a bridge and burst into flames. xinhua news agency reported three people in the car and two


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