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tv   Global 3000  PBS  February 24, 2018 12:30am-1:01am PST

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welfare every month -- nearly half of which he spends on his caged bed and electricity. mr. leung: we are expendable, like trash. we have been cast out. society has given up on us. reporter: their only ray of hope is lai shan. she visits them regularly and asks how they're doing, what they need, and brings them extra money for food. she works for an aid organization that looks after people living in miserable conditions in hong kong. lai: i think it's very sad and it's also very shameful, because in hong kong, we have huge resources -- and people there are so rich in hong kong. and the government has huge resources. so i think actually the government should have the capacity, the resources, to help these people. but we just allow this to happen. reporter: living space in hong kong is more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world.
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there's very little room for the more than seven million residents. but there are plenty of buyers for luxury apartments -- a profitable business for real estate companies. buying an apartment is barely affordable even for the middle class -- it's long been the norm for them to spend half their income on rent or a mortgage. for many, hong kong is a housing nightmare. because of her efforts to help, today she's visiting the home of 13-year-old chak ming. owners here have subdivided many of the apartments into mini-lodgings, known as shoeboxes. with just a part-time job and welfare, all this mother and child can afford are about two-and-a-half square meters, with a bunk bed and a small table. the mother cries a lot, and wishes she could provide something better for her son. >> our apartment should really be big enough so that my son and i can move around freely.
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here, it's so small that we can only enter the room one at a time. reporter: chak ming won't tell his classmates how he lives -- he's too ashamed. most people here work, but they do not earn enough for an apartment of their own. so, several people are forced to share a grubby kitchen and a single bathroom. their only hope is a state-subsidized apartment. but the waiting list is several years long. lai shan gives advice, helps people deal with bureaucracy, and puts pressure on officials where she can. lai: people who live in these kinds of spaces, they feel very frustrated, feel hopeless and helpless. when it's hot here in the summer, it's very hot, and some people cannot fall asleep.
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then besides that, there are too many people, and hygiene is not good. reporter: about 30% of hong kong's residents live in subsidized housing. but there's not nearly enough to go around. the hunt for an affordable living space even drives people to live in corrugated-iron huts on the roofs of factories -- with little in the way of safety features. it's illegal and it's dangerous. but where else are people supposed to go? children are especially vulnerable. lai shan herself grew up in poverty and knows how they feel. many don't even have enough space at home to do their homework. the aid organization has other volunteers who help them, too. and here they are taught not to be ashamed of being poor. lai: their self-image is low because they feel they're inferior to others.
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or sometimes at the beginning, they're not feeling bad, but because the other people look down on them. for example, we have some children, their classmates know they are living in this kind of small space, and then they tease them. reporter: lai shan is calling for more subsidized housing from the local government. she says too much land goes to the powerful real estate companies. she has already helped thousands of residents to move from their shoebox dwellings to subsidized housing. sometimes it took years, such as with ms. tai. the apartments here are bigger, the rents cheaper. for residents, it means a complete lifestyle change, fewer worries, and more money left over. it's a neverending job, but a rewarding one. lai: i feel happy because when i help people, they're in a difficult situation, actually i feel very sorry for that. and so i work hard, and then they finally improve their situation. that makes me really happy.
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i don't know, because i think that helping people is a kind of happiness. reporter: those living in caged beds generally pay even more rent for their space than people who live in subsidized flats. if it weren't for lai shan's help, mr. leung and the other men here might not even have warm clothing for the cooler winter nights. sometimes, when the people of hong kong come home from work, mr. leung goes to the soccer pitch. he used to work in a slaughterhouse and lived in employee housing. now he's 70 and in poor health. he's given up hope of ever getting a subsidized apartment, as there are almost 300,000 other people in hong kong who are also on the waiting list. host: now from hong kong, to turkey. two years ago, more than 1000 of the country's academics signed a petition criticizing president recep tayyip erdogan's policies
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and appealing for an end to his bloody campaign against the kurds -- a small act with major repercussions. many of them were later fired by presidential decree. the accusation -- spreading terrorist propaganda. after the attempted military coup, around 150,000 civil servants in turkey lost their jobs -- often for unexplained reasons. they've hit the streets in protest at being blackballed -- made captives in their country. reporter: ulas bayraktar has been working behind the counter for only a few months. last spring, the political science lecturer was fired. and, like so many other civil servants, he was banned from his profession, as well as forbidden to leave the country. after that, he had to ask himself, what should i do now? ulas: we just wanted to do something here in mersin, to say that we don't leave.
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we will find new ways to do what we had been doing in the university. that means, what have we been doing with students, with science, with books, and with the city in general. reporter: in 2016, bayraktar signed a petition called "academics for peace" that criticized how the turkish government handled human rights issues in a kurdish part of the country. he was fired for that, and barred from government service by a state emergency decree. he will also receive neither unemployment compensation, nor a pension. bayraktar opened a cafe, together with other colleagues they offer workshops and readings. they want to provide a space to share knowledge, where people can learn and discuss things and ask critical questions. this was his dream. ulas: these are the seeds and grains of hope. maybe that will be a forest, maybe that will be a desert. the support and the people, and
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maybe you see a lot of messages over internet or personal messages saying that you gave us support and you gave us hope. reporter: he calls the cafe an island of hope. working here gives him strength and distracts him from private concerns. his wife works at a university in germany. he hasn't seen her in eight months. he is not allowed to leave the country, and if she were to return to turkey, she would face the same situation. ulas: i send her e-mails daily, like a diary. when she comes back, i want her to know every detail of this place, every detail of our life after her departure. you saw her birds? even from germany, she contributes. i think that's the most terrible dimension of all this process. reporter: in the capital, ankara, husband and wife cem and muslume cinar also saw their professional world collapse
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before their eyes. they were elementary school teachers before being fired about a year ago. now they are trying to make ends meet by running a small food stand. the number 686 is on the front counter. this is the number of the law that was quoted as they lost their jobs. they are trying to keep a sense of humor. cem: we had to sell our car to open this shop. we have two children and somehow we have to make ends meet. reporter: today they have a visitor -- kemal inal. inal used to teach communications. he's writing a book about those who were fired. and yes, he too was dismissed for the same reasons. he wants to tell the stories of some of the 40,000 teachers and professors who lost their jobs. kemal: many people who were victims of this decree are now networking. we have the same worries and we are beginning to feel some solidarity -- a kind of
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resistance movement. it's not just about coming into this shop to eat. it's more important than that. it's about the exchange of political and personal ideas. reporter: but kemal has almost no contact with former colleagues at the university where he taught. the school was right-wing conservative, and he was one of the few liberal leftist teachers there. now, he spends his days in his home office, working on his book. he also has financial worries. he has loans to repay, but now no income. he gets small monthly payments from his labor union, but it's not enough to make ends meet. he and his wife have begun selling homemade leather bags. kemal: we have started eating soup, instead of proper meals. and i rarely go out, so i can save money. i have sent out a lot of job applications, but no one is interested in employing someone who was let go due to a government decree. of course, anyone can become unemployed. but for us, it's important to
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come up with a survival strategy. reporter: but it's not just about survival -- these people want their lives back. that's what most of the fired professors and journalists are demanding at this demonstration in istanbul. ulas bayraktar is determined to remain positive. he came all the way from mersin to be here in istanbul today. ulas: it's not easy. it's not easy to insist on optimism. sometimes you need to be -- you need to see that you're not the only maniac. you're not the only fool of the town. there are other fools, if this is stupidness. so, you just start to re-believe in yourself. you just refresh your insistence and your struggle. reporter: ulas bayraktar is going to need his strength and positivity. all of the academics who signed the peace petition have been
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legally charged. the first court proceedings began in december. but the professor says he's not afraid -- after all, he's an eternal optimist. host: this week in our global ideas series, we take a look at a billion-dollar industry -- cut flowers. most of the world's supply comes from large-scale flower farms in just a handful of countries. it's a business worth around 44 billion euros a year. the global center of the cut flower trade is still the netherlands. but production is on the rise in four countries in the tropics -- one of them, kenya. our reporter manuel ozcerkes headed to lake naivasha near nairobi, where dozens of flower farms have sprung up. but for other people who rely on the lake for a living, the future looks far from rosy.
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reporter: these local fishermen have finally managed to land a catch again. after hours out on the water, every boat has at least returned with a few kilos of tilapia. but talk is making the rounds again that pollutants have been found in lake naivasha. it takes samson macharia back to the environmental disaster that struck in 2009. the lake almost dried out and the fish population was decimated -- all caused by the flower farms on the shore. samson: they almost dried out the lake completely, and the chemicals they were draining off affected the water. there were hardly any fish left. that pile of fish over there, that was the harvest of 10 boats. it took the department of fisheries one year to regenerate the fish stocks. so people went hungry. reporter: conditions by lake naivasha are ideal for cultivating flowers. over 50 companies have set up greenhouses on its shores.
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the soil is fertile, temperatures mild, there's 12 hours sunshine a day, and the lake's full of water. since the 2009 disaster, local fisherfolk are highly suspicious of the cut flower industry -- even though strict regulations for companies were introduced in the aftermath. edward: they are spraying the chemicals, and once they spray those chemicals, then when the water and the rain comes it also takes the water to the lake. and then once the fish consumes that, it has a side effect to the consumers and also to the breeding areas, because the farms are close to the breeding areas. reporter: the flower companies reject the accusations. normally they won't grant journalists access to their greenhouses. but we've been allowed into this facility, accompanied by ruth
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moora from germany's organization for international cooperation -- the giz. oserian flower farm claims its own environmental record is exemplary. hamish: if there is pesticides in the lake, maybe it is coming from industries which are not managed by a good code of conduct like the kenyan flower council, and that's where maybe there needs to be more focus on small scale farming to help farmers understand the values of using products in a responsible way, but also the impact of those products, that they're misused on nature. reporter: oserian says it only uses half the industry-standard amount of insecticides. the company prefers to employ natural allies like these tiny beetles, which are sprinkled over the roses to eat the pests that target them. ruth moora is always looking for natural methods that other operators could also use.
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anton: all the water in this gutter that the plant don't use we recycle it and use it again. for many things, it is very good. for the ecosystem, because nothing from the recycled water or drained water goes to the ecosystem. but also it saves us fertilizers, because after recycling there are still fertilizers inside, and then we use it again and again and again. ruth: i think it is very costly to put up this system. for the small holder farmers, who are growing outside, it might be quite difficult for them to have such a system. but for those who have the capacity, it will be a good solution, because it cuts down on their cost, but at the same time it is also good for the environment. reporter: there don't appear to be any toxins leaking into lake naivasha. but oserian is only one of many flower growers in the area. and we aren't allowed into the others. it's also pretty hard to
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pinpoint just where the pollution is coming from. the flower industry says small hold farmers are to blame. like potato farmer paul kimani. so what is the solution to the pollution? farmers are offered advice on sustainable practices by an organization headed by kamau mbogo. he also wants to know why the lake is constantly being polluted. paul: the farmers within this area are using fertilizers. and that cannot be avoided because of economical status. they have to improve their harvest every season. ruth: there is a lot of gap between the technology that is available in the big farms and what the small scale farmers are doing. and also the kind of advisory they get. because even when he has a problem with his potatoes, he just goes to the chemical store and he says, i have this problem.
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but they don't get to get an advice from the other methods that could be used that are more sustainable. reporter: kamau mbogo's organization promotes sustainable pest control. kamau: you use a good pest -- you can say a friendly pest, to feed on the bad pests that are feeding on your crop. and this is a technology that is used in the cut flower. they have perfected it. reporter: that's nothing new for him. before any pesticides were available here, the farmers used a species of ant to eradicate crop pests. but it's also true that the insecticide they use now is highly efficient -- even if it is expensive. back at lake naivasha, the day's catch is already on its way to market -- which these days, is several kilometers away. the lake's water level used to reach as far as the market.
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now it's shrinking -- along with its fish stocks. too many companies are pumping too much water from the lake. it's almost 30 degrees in the shade, so the fish have to be sold off quickly. it's a good day for the women of the market. their husbands brought sackloads back with them. since a small tilapia fetches one euro at the moment, the haul will translate into a tidy profit. for today, at least. roseline: we have this improvement. because there is no fish dead anymore. yes, they worked on it. researchers came, they worked on the fish. but you know, we are just people at this level. we couldn't be given the feedback. but maybe they solved the problem on their own. reporter: for now, these people can only hope the water stays clean. the way it was before the cut
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flower industry descended on the shores of lake naivasha. host: in this week's global snack, we check out a tasty dish from brazil. reporter: it's a sultry 27 degrees celsius in belem, the thriving metropolis at the mouth of the amazon. in the city's famous market, the mercado ver-o peso, you can find cassava flour, brazil nuts, a rainbow of tropical fruits, and all sorts of other regional specialties. this stall sells one the market's most popular fruits -- acai berries. the somewhat sour and earthy palm tree fruit is packed with vitamins. everyone here loves them. >> before we had modern appliances, we mashed the berries by hand and pressed them through a sieve.
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now with these machines, it's much easier to puree the acai. reporter: the mashed acai is traditionally eaten with fried fish. the flood of diners at lunchtime certainly keeps the owner on his toes. the acai is doled out liberally and eaten plain without salt or spices. it's said the indigenous people here began eating it this way over 400 years ago. >> the berries have to be washed thoroughly, and then soaked in warm water. then they're dropped into these blenders -- we call them manipulation machines. then of course, there's the fish. we buy it fresh every morning. i filet them myself. we all have a particular job to do to ensure this famous dish is prepared with the same, consistent high quality.
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it's hard work. reporter: the restaurant is an institution here at the market. >> it's the perfect blend of flavors. the acai is nice and thick, not thin and watery. it's freshly mashed and really delicious. you can't come to the ver-o peso market and not stop in here. >> we're all used to this here. the children learn to eat acai when they're little. reporter: it's part of local cultural heritage. >> it's been in my family for generations. my mother's been cooking with acai for decades. a kind of acai mania started in other regions a few years ago. lot's of people started eating it with banana, granola, or guarana, like in rio. but we like it pure. just acai and fish. delicious.
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reporter: widely touted as a superfood, the berries are perfect for nutrition-conscious eaters. what did you think? let us know. send us an email and check out our facebook page -- dw global society. we're back next week. see you then. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: opportunity. prosperity. optimism.
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- [female voice over]: this program is made possible in part by the town of marion, home of the wayne henderson school of appalachian arts, celebrating 21 years as a certified
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virginia main street community. the historic general francis marion hotel and the speak easy restaurant and lounge, providing accommodations and casual fine dining. in downtown marion, virginia. the bank of marion. technology powered, service driven. wbrf 98.1 fm. bryant label, a proud supporter of our region's musical heritage. ("cherokee shuffle" by gerald anderson) ♪
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- good evening and welcome to song of the mountains. i'm tim white, your host here at the beautiful lincoln theater in marion, virginia. now kicking things off for us will be the trinity river band. originally known as the harris family, trinity river band, they trace their beginnings to their first public performances together in their home church in may of 2007 in the pine forest of northeast florida. after that humble beginning and without knowing where it might lead, trinity river band worked hard and prayed harder, striving to improve and pay their dues in a tough industry while staying true to their beliefs and to each other. these were years of learning their craft and making better recordings. with each passing year, slowly meeting people, gaining experience, and developing a devoted locally and then regionally fan base. they put on a great show, and we're pleased to have them here on the show tonight. here's the trinity river band on song of the mountains.
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["you can't walk all over me" by trinity ran ♪ you can't sail over the mountains ♪ you can't drive across the sea ♪ dream of rolling out of town ♪ and i ain't never coming back ♪ you can't walk all over me ♪ if i said go and fetch some coffee ♪ i'm just a rug under his feet ♪ well i'm gonna show that bossman someday ♪ you can't walk all over me ♪ you can't sail over the mountains ♪ you can't drive across the sea ♪ dream of rolling out of town ♪ and i ain't never coming back ♪ you can't walk all over me take it, dad.

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