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tv   Focus on Europe  LINKTV  September 29, 2022 7:30am-8:01am PDT

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ñl lara: this is "focus on europe." i'm lara babalola, welcome. imagine waking up and being told your freedom is gone. your right to self-determination has been stripped away, your fundamental rights are no more. it's a reality for women in afghanistan. since the taliban seized power a year ago, they are living at the mercy of the militants. many are banned from going to work, attending secondary schools or participating in sports. women and girls can only leave their homes with the permission of a man.
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well, sahar was able to flee kabul and escape the taliban. she now lives in exile in italy and is building a new life for herself. one that promises safety, tolerance and basic human rights. but already, she fears her newfound freedom is in danger. and that's because of this woman -- far-right leader giorgia meloni. her brothers of italy party is leading the polls in the upcoming parliamentary elections. sahar says their victory could bring bad news for refugees. the party is openly hostile to migrants and sahar now worries about her future. >> when sahar feels sad, or desperate, when she's received bad news from afghanistan, she comes here. usually, bad news is all she ever gets from her home country. she's started working at "orient experience," a restaurant run by her brother, hamed.
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hamed only hires refugees, like his sister sahar, because he wants to help them make it in venice. sahar: working here has helped me overcome my depression somewhat, it reminds me of when i worked in my own restaurant, back in kabul. i established the restaurant myself, but i was never able to open it. but what about all the afghan girls and women, whose hopes and dreams are being dashed? it feels like your body is alive, but your soul has died. when your spirit and dreams die , you're practically dead. >> but sahar has a new goal -- she wants to become a head chef
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in italy. she's already contacted several chefs in venice, who were very encouraging. though she still asks herself whether she deserves to be so fortunate, when she hears yet more bad news from kabul. we call a woman, whose identity we must keep secret for security reasons. she lives in kabul with her 13 sisters. >> [speaking non-english language] >> after this past year i feel like i no longer exist. i'm not allowed to study. i'm not allowed to decide what to wear. we're feel like birds locked in a cage, who can no longer fly. that's how we feel. >> they only leave their home wearing a burka. but they rarely go out, because the taliban say women should only leave their homes for important reasons. sahar:
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have you or your sister ever gone out in the streets defending your rights along with the women protesting against the taliban? >> we wanted to, but when we saw whathe taliban do to protesters -- whipping and punishing them -- our father said we couldn't. >> sometimes, sahar says, she feels like she's suffocating. when that happens, she heads out, walking aimlessly through the narrow streets of venice. recently, people in italy have been talking about how right-wing parties could win the election in late september. giorgia meloni could become italy's next prime minister. sahar is worried. would that mean she might have to leave italy? her brother hamed tries to comfort her. sahar: what is meloni's policy towards migrants? hamed:
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she leads a far-right party in italy. of course she's against refugees and migrants. though not against ukrainians, she has no problem with them. sahar: but she might have a problem with us? hamed: not with us, personally. but her approach to international politics, she is fundamentally against refugees and migrants, yes. >> but he knows what will restore her confidence. hamed: you know what, sahar? you're living in a place where you yourself could take meloni's place, become a prime minister, if you wanted to. something like that's no longer possible in afghanistan under the taliban. >> and then it's time to do something else that's no longer possible in afghanistan, another moment of freedom. lara:
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these two finns, pekka kunnas and pertti purmonen, live on the border with russia. they speak russian and are friendly with their neighbors on the other side. but that was before putin invaded ukraine. since the war broke out, residents in the small town of värtsilä are divided over their russian neighbors. while most finns stand united in condemning the kremlin's war, here at the border, there's little consensus on what should be done about it. >> finland's border with its russian neighbor runs over 1300 kilometers through the rugged taiga. peace has reigned here for decades. but ever since russia invaded ukraine, nothing has been the same, as pertti purmonen and pekka kunnas tell it. both say that peace is threatened, but they don't quite agree on who's to blame for that.
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pekka: i don't trust the russians. europe should've presented a unified front much sooner. i feel sorry for the ukrainian people. pertti: we're attacking the russians ourselves by supplying arms to ukraine. to the russians, we're the enemy now. >> only two months before, pertti purmonen and his wife had taken over running this little hotel in värtsilä. they've had guests, but not enough to get by. they miss the russian summer visitors. and pertti purmonen likes the people from across the border. he's been to russia many times, both privately and on business. and he says moscow's not the only one to blame for the current situation. pertti: we're worried because finland's foreign policy's getting more and more aggressive toward the east. that worries me. we can only hope we'll be spared, and the russian missiles will pass over us if they launch them some day. >> pekka kunnas speaks russian, as well.
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but unlike his neighbor, he'd rather not see any more russians in värtsilä. he says, he used to keep an eye out for four-legged predators here in the area. but today, it's the two-legged kind that worry him more. pekka: from this sign it's only 150 meters to the international border. we feel as if we're constantly facing a giant predator. we're not afraid, but we have to keep a constant eye on this predator. >> but for now, life goes on. kunnas is looking forward to the traditional classic car show in the next town, ilomantsi, like every year. as a retired firefighter, he's especially proud of his 1960s-vintage fire truck, from an era when the cold war between east and west was raging. finland's karelia has always been a frontier region.
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today, the border is also the edge of the european union and the schengen area. soon, it'll be nato's longest continuous border with russia. many here are wondering how that will affect relations with their neighbors. will russian tourists still be allowed to cross over freely? russians have applied for nearly 60,000 visas to finland since the start of 2022, most intending to travel onwards. now, many eu members would like to see this gate to western europe closed, insisting that russians can't be allowed to vacation in the west while they're waging war in europe. others ask, why not? the responsibility for the war can't be laid on all russians. it's even a topic of debate at the car show. >> it'd be good if ordinary people realized out what kind
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of government they've got. it's a general rule, as is the government, so are the people. >> one country has attacked another sovereign state. so it's only right to limit the number of russians here, as a way of imposing sanctions. i just hope it can help improve the situation. >> they shouldn't close the border. when russians come over here, they get another fresh perspective. they're living in a closed society, and right now they're only getting a one-sided version of things. >> businesses in finland are already feeling the steep decline in russian tourists. pertti: i'm hoping reason will triumph, and we can find great statespeople who can work the matter out amongst themselves. pekka: what's important is that we can live close to the border in peace and not have to worry
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about what might come from over there in the unknown east. >> but the damage has been done to neighborly relations between finland and russia. and it's unlikely to be undone for many years, in a region that shares a thousand-kilometer-long border. -- lara: will the lights go out? it's a question many europeans are asking as an energy shortage looms. france is hoping to avoid disruption to its energy supply with nuclear power. it's where two-thirds of the country's electricity comes from, making it less reliant on russian gas compared to other european nations. but there's a catch -- half of france's nuclear power plants are currently out of operation due to repairs and maintenance. while wind power is catching on in france, it will be a while before it can make up the difference. ♪
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>> when night falls in paris the lights don't go on, they go off! the young activists show how it's done. kevin: it's symbolic, of course, but the message is clear -- everyone can do something to save energy. >> though there's never been a shortage of electricity before, because of the country's nuclear power plants. "chinon" is one of the oldest. it went into operation in 1963, and since then there have been several incidents. nevertheless, like all french nuclear power plants, it has been given a 10-year lifetime extension. nuclear power accounts for 70% of french electricity generation. the workers are on their lunch break. they support nuclear power. after all, the power plant is the biggest employer in town, as the chef tells us. audrey:
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it's been here for years, our parents and grandparents helped build it. my own father was involved in building the plant. it's our shared heritage! >> is she not worried about the risks? audrey: no! not at all! >> parquet manufacturer "chêne de france" relies on nuclear power. all the electricity needed for production, and drying the wood, comes from the neighboring nuclear power plant. in view of the energy crisis and rapidly rising costs, the manager is more than happy to have state-subsidized nuclear energy. fabrice: this is our heating system. it runs on hot water from the nuclear power plant. economically, with the rising energy costs, it just wouldn't
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be viable without nuclear energy. >> for president emmanuel macron, nuclear power is the future. but currently half of france's nuclear power plants are not in operation. and the state continues to keep energy prices artificially low with billions in subsidies. macron knows all too well that he can't keep this up indefinitely. a crisis meeting at the elysée palace. a national emergency plan is needed. zelie: we've put all our cards on nuclear energy, and haven't even come close to our renewable energy target. france is the only country in europe that didn't reach its 2020 objectives! >> in saint-nazaire in brittany, they are pushing renewables. france's largest off-shore wind park is being built here for 2 billion euros. 80 wind turbines are being anchored deep in the sea. and that's just the beginning.
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50 more are in planning. celine: when the wind turbines are operational, they'll provide energy for 700,000 people -- that's equivalent to a city the size of frankfurt. >> but not everyone here is so enthusiastic. thomas has been working as crab fisher for 18 years. though the wind turbines are not in his fishing area, he's still concerned. thomas: they said, don't worry, lah-di-dah. but the turbines are the first thing you see when you go to the beach. it's a bit shocking. >> france is banking on wind energy and green hydrogen for the future, but they're not a short-term solution. and they won't be replacing french nuclear powerny time soon. lara: have you ever played futsal? it's similar to european football but is played indoors with a smaller ball.
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futsal was invented in south america -- even soccer legends like pele and ronaldo honed their skills playing it as boys. these boys in the czech republic dream of playing in the same league as their idols. they're from the roma ethnic minority. these disadvantaged youth face discrimination and segregation in society. but in the northern city of usti nad labem, they dare to dream thanks to someone who's walked in their shoes. >> futsal, a variant of soccer- is all about fast-paced dribbling and passing on a small field with small teams. and these boys excel at it. luká: go on, faster, go on! marcel, a better pass, ok? that's what i want to see, just like that! >> but coach luká pulko says education is even more important than futsal. particularly for these boys, who belong to the czech republic's roma minority.
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today, the coach is checking their report cards -- mía's grades are pretty poor. luká: i'm sorry to say you'll have to stop playing until end of september. you can't join us, you can't join futsal practice or matches. mísa is disappointed, but accepts the consequences for his poor grades. he stays and watch from the sidelines. for the boys from krásnák -- as they call the neighborhood -- fustal is everything. their district lies about 2 kilometers from the center of usti. this used to be a mining community, but those days are over. today, this area has the highest unemployment rate in the country. lukás pulko works in underground construction, operating an excavator. lukás: it's my brother's company. he founded it, he's our boss.
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my other brother pepa and i work for him. you could say it's a family business. >> pulko says anyone serious about finding work will succeed. it's this attitude that makes him a role model for the boys. it all started 8 years ago. he was standing on the balcony. and a brazilian soccer friend had just brought him a set of jerseys from mongaguá, brazil. on that very sunday, i was watching the kids playing on that pitch down there. it was fate! i went down and gave them the jerseys. and that's how our club -- mongagua -- was born. >> that's when he started coaching the boys and keeping them out of trouble. for them, playing for mongagua is a great honor. lukás:
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i think wee on the right track. but many children here still struggle with alcohol abuse, drugs, and gambling. >> over time, more mongagua clubs were created in other czech cities. there are 8 of them in all -- a success story. in a 2021 online poll, pulko was even voted usti's person of the year. lukás: i'm the first roma to win the award. and i received the most votes out of all the nominees. >> dani was one of the first players to join mongaguas. today, dani plays for "rapid usti" in the czech futsal league. the club has given him a starter contract. he hopes it will be a stepping stone to the pros. daniel: many roma boys and girls here lack confidence. they sayhings likei am from krásnák, i will be like the others, go to work, live here,
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and that's fine. they're satisfied with very little. but that's no life. we should live our dreams. >> this pitch was already in a bad state when dani was a child. out of 20 pitches in the area, only two have been given an overhaul. but the coach doesn''t want to complain. lukás: there's not much change. many people talk, but do nothing. i see that every day. it's a shame for the boys. michal: locals living near the pitch in this neighborhood don't want change. children have always played here, but some of the residents don't want the pitch modernized. they worry that teenagers will use it to hang out, insteaof playing sports.
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>> but luká pulko won't let that deter him. what matters to him is that the boys keep themselves busy. on and off the pitch. a made-to-measure suit- the quintessential outfit of the well styled english gentleman. but during the pandemic, working from home became the norm. a sartorial shock for london tailor james sleater. demand suddenly dropped. he feared his custom-tailored suits would be replaced by sweat suits. but now london's famous menswear street, savile row is buzzing once again. >> london's savile row -- where men's wear meets tradition. james sleater opened his shop here in 2008. before that, he was a banker. now, he offers custom-tailored suits, primarily for the office. and he was doing good business
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- - until the pandemic. james: our general tailoring business took a huge hit. we were probably 80% down in revenue. since unlocking its been incredible. very few people remained the same shape actually in lockdown. everyone either went on a health kick or they sat back and became lazy and ordered lots of takeaways because there was nothing else to do. ♪ >> so in other ways, the lockdowns helped fashion. changing physiques meant new wardrobes. james sleater's employees have never been busier. after months or even years in lockdown, many gentlemen feel like trying something new - something a bit looser and more comfortable. davis: if i put on a blue suit -- james: if i put on a blue suit in the morning, it's just one decision, trousers and jacket come as a parcel. but if i pick a jacket out, i have to think what trousers to wear, what shoes. it requires a lot more thought,
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and a lot more work for your tailor therefore. >> but fashion starts before stepping out the door -- with robes of velvet and silk. >> this is a showstopper. >> entrepreneur marques davis might easily wear something like this to a business meeting. marques: with the pandemic, things have gotten more casual, you might even say more fun. for me, this is a way to express my style, in a way thats not so formal. shirt and tie, but it still gives you the 'je ne sais quois' . >> even now, it still takes a special kind of spirit to go for iridescent magenta robes. and yet, the traditional dark business suits have become quite rare in downtown london. this summer, the english gentleman preferred a more casual look. it's all to do with a yearning
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for freedom, says fashion blogger aleks cvetkovic. and with the hope the lockdowns are now a thing of the past. aleks: the business suit is having quite a tough time. but that does something, i think, quite exciting. if men dont have to wear the suit as a uniform, they can use the suit as a tool to express themselves. so what we are seeing in london, over the last year and a half, is a big de-corporating of the suit. the suit has become much less of a corporate uniform, more of a lifestyle garment. >> nowadays, a tailored suit is a deliberate statement. zachary freud, for instance, had a tuxedo tailored for his wedding -- a thoroughly traditional one. and he asked the guests to come in tuxedos, too. zachary: when there are these special occasions, people enjoy the thrill of dressing up, thinking
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about the outfit beforehand. >> it's a different type of cotton then you would normally buy. >> and so, james sleater needn't worry that his craft will go out of fashion. >> yeah, it looks really good. james: the suit is definitely never going to die. there's always an occasion for a suit, whether it be an interview or a wedding. going back to your question about an english gentleman: you can never be overdressed. its so much better to be overdressed than underdressed. if i turn up to a cocktail party and i am the only person to wear a tie, i just take the tie off. but also, there is nothing wrong with being best-dressed guy in the room. ♪ the english gentleman still aspires to be well-dressed. he's simply expanded his repertoire -- and his range of colors. lara: looks like the loss of taste during the pandemic was not permanent. that's all from us this week at "focus on europe." thanks so much for watching.
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bye for now. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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09/29/22 09/29/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> the president and our administration are fully committed to offering and supplying federal support to state officials and doing everything we can to help them both in terms of recovery, but also whatever is necessary to ensure those are safe and out of


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