tv Focus on Europe LINKTV October 13, 2022 7:30am-8:01am PDT
■■■■■■■■■■■■ >> this is "focus on europe." i'm lara babalola. welcome. it's the dawn of a new era in britain. king charles ascended to the throne upon the death of his mother, queen elizabeth ii. britain bid farewell to its longest-reigning monarch in an elaborate state funeral. the new king now faces the momentous task of leading the monarchy and preserving his mother's legacy. but the future of the monarchy is uncertain.
there are those in great britain who want to abolish it altogether. for them it represents social inequality and injustice. it's a sentiment that's also shared in some commonwealth nations. king charles is head of state in 15 of the 56 member states, most of which are former british colonies. the commonwealth was a great source of pride for the queen, but can it survive without her? >> scenes from bygone days -- the queen meeting heads of state and government of the british commonwealth at windsor castle in 2018. by her side is former heir apparent prince charles, now king charles iii. the commonwealth was very important to the queen. >> it remains a great pleasure and honour to serve you as head of the commonwealth and to observe, with pride and satisfaction, that this is a flourishing network.
it is my sincere wish that the commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations. >> the queen was the symbolic head of the commonwealth, but many wonder whether her son will be able to follow in her footsteps as leader. that's because some of the 15 commonwealth realms, mostly former colonies, where charles is officially king, no longer want the monarchy, nor is britain's explicit leadership role in the commonwealth set in stone. the new king had already prepared for this, say observers such as david howell, a long-serving commonwealth expert. >> king charles, he is very well versed in all this, he has been following it for years. he knows most of the countries of the world, but certainly the countries of the commonwealth. he understands, not all politicians understand that we do need to make new links and new networks. >> in november 2021, barbados removed the queen as head of
state and declared itself a republic within the commonwealth. ♪ t then prince was invited, but had rather a supporting role at the ceremony. >> the creation of this republic offers a new beginning. >> and so a commonwealth of 16 states under the british crown became 15. and it will likely not stop there. charles' son william toured the bahamas, belize, and jamaica in spring 2022. his father is now formally head of state in all three. but the three countries have been recently making moves to change that. rather than praise prince william, he was greeted with cricism from the public, with a focus on slavery during the british colonial era. during the visit, the jamaican president announced the country's intentions to leave. >> we're moving on. and we intend to attain, in
short order, our development goals and fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country. >> but for many jamaicans, this isn't enough, they're demanding compensation for the suffering under colonialism. >> our economic conditions today are a result of colonialism. our psychological problems are a result of colonialism. our lack of development, in every sense of the word, is a direct consequence of colonialism. >> the future of the british crown is also being debated in australia, the second largest commonwealth country. however, there is support from the younger generation for keeping charles as the nominal king. >> the polling has shown that my generation is actually the most monarchist generation. the most republican generation
in australia is actually thet my generbaby boomers.ally the and so, and i know plenty of people on the left who aren't necessarily monarchist, but they support the system we have because they don't see a better alternative. >> but can charles become a symbol of a new, reformed commonwealth? the leadership role of great britain is historical, but no longer contemporary, says commonwealth expert howell. >> life has changed, and the diplomats have to face it. and they have to get away, as does the public form this sort of vision of hub and spoke, well not hub and spoke anymore. we are a network in a partnership. it's not the crown over them, it's likeminded friends around the world that we can talk to and the richer ones help the poorer ones. >> at the recent commonwealth summit a few months ago, then-prince charles spoke of the british colonial era, of the suffering it caused so many people. an apology, however, did not pass his lips.
if he is to succeed his mother, charles iii must pave a new path for t the royal house. for the one most adept to change is the one that survives. >> europe's looming energy crisis brought tens of thousands to the streets in the czech republic. people are calling on the government to tame soaring energy prices. the country gets almost all of its gas from russia and alternatives are lacking. with winter looming, many are worried about the cost of heating their homes. and for some business owners, cutting back on energy consumption is simply not an option. the town of harrahov is home to one of europe's oldest glassworks companies. furnaces used to melt glass require massive amounts of energy, putting the company in a fragile situation. ♪ >> within the idyllic mountain range known as giant
mountainslies harrachov, a town popular with winter sports enthusiasts, near the czech-polish border. but its iconic harrachov ski jump has seen better days. ♪ not far from here, at a local glassworks, things aren't looking promising either. to keep these furnaces running, owner frantisek novosad needs to pay the equivalent of 4,500 euros every day. a year ago, he was paying just 400. he says these expenses have made his business unviable but he's determined to keep going. >> i'm an optimist. we're getting by because we are dipping into our savings. we'd put some aside for a new furnace. four or five hundred thousand euros, that is how much we spent in the first half of the year. now, we're using up even more savings. we can't give our employees a pay rise, and we even scrapped their bonuses, so we can pay
our energy bills. >> it's not hard to imagine how his staff feel about being paid less, and facing an inflation rate of over 16 percent. though they are glad to still have a job in these difficult times. czech businesses have been ordered to cut back on gas. but glassworks don't have that option, says novosad. either their furnaces are on, or they're not. >> people don't care where we get our gas from. they just want reliable energy, especially in winter. they don't care if it's from america, russia or china. they just want to be able to afford it, on czech wages. >> frantisek recently made his way to the capital prague. police estimate that 70,000 people turned up to protest against the rapidly rising cost of energy. they were calling for the government to step down. many of them, like frantisek, are worried about an unaffordable future. though the protest organizers,
and parts of the crowd, also expressed support for russia, and demanded their country leave nato and the eu. the despondent and the extremists form an explosive alliance. the dean of prague's university of economics spoke at the protest. his view that economic sanctions against russia must be dropped divides opinion at the university. >> if we impose sanctions that are effective, fine. but when see after just a few months that they're only strengthening the russian economy, that's a serious problem. >> are the sanctions really so ineffective? and is public support for them waning? [chatter] ♪ >> dance lessons at the czech-ukrainian community center. the women come here to forget
about the war in ukraine. olha cherepiuk runs the center. she fled ukraine in february, and already speaks czech. she says public opinion has changed here since arriving. >> winter is around the corner and of course everyone is worried about expenses. but i think most people in the czech republic support ukraine and want the war to end as soon as possible. >> the czech republic has taken in more ukrainian refugees per capita than any other country. ukrainian children attend czech schools and kindergartens. and many ukrainians like olha have found work. she understands why many here worry about the cost of energy, and says they too are empathetic. >> it's not right that the price for gas is human lives and bloodshed. the czech people still remember
the year 1968 and the russian occupation. i think they understand what is happening in ukraine and how people there feel. >> although many czech people show understanding for ukraine, they want authorities to understand their predicament, too. and so, support for the czech government is crumbling. back at the glassworks, frantisek novosad insists that the protest in prague was not about criticizing ukraine. czech people still support them, he says. though without affordable gas, he'll have to switch off his furnaces. and that won't end the war, either. >> she fled her homeland of iran to escape oppression and a bleak future. for women like sonia alageband, life in the islamic republic is a struggle.
in recent days, thousands of women have taken to the streets to protest for their rights after a woman died in police custody. sonia is grateful for her chance at a new life in germany and she is eager to enter the workforce at a time when german companies are suffering from a lack of skilled personnel. it is a win-win situation for both sides. sonia is training to work for germany's state rail company, deutsche bahn. now she has her eyes set on career in the fast lane. >> a commuter rail depot near stuttgart. railcar 430 070 starts rolling out. it's almost 70 meters long, with 3,200 horsepower. in the drivers' cab is sonia alaghehband, who fled to germany from iran about six years ago. >> i never imagined that i could do something like this here, never. but now things have gotten
better, i'm not nervous anymore, i'm less stressed, and i'm excited to be able to drive on my own soon. >> this is a pilot project. currently, 14 refugees are learning to become train drivers. some are from iran, like sonia, others from syria and afghanistan. >> look, when you press there and go to info, you see what's missing, see it isn't even up to 8 bar yet. >> the project has also been very new for instructor alex helm. >> i was just hoping they'd be able to speak german and were motivated, otherwise, i didn't think much about it. i just let things unfold and i''m actually positively surprised by the whole thing. we do our best with the training but in the end it's also uto them.
>> a woman driving a train has become more common in germany, and for sonia, this job is a big step towards equality. >> in iran, there are no female train drivers, they're not even allowed to do this job. >> it's one of many things she disagrees with about iran. but out of fear of the regime, she doesn't want to talk about it. she gave up her job as an english teacher and escaped to germany. alone, with only her dog chika. her family lives in iran and is proud of sonia's career with deutsche bahn. >> everyone is very happy! when i have exams, or classwork, i write to my father, and he says, yes, you can do it! you can do anything! >> in sonia's class, there are 13 men. she's the only woman.
>> it has to stay level, it could be that a bridge comes, then the current collector comes down, but the collector head still has to be level... >> today, andreas schlumberger is explaining the current collector. this is new material for everyone. then they're given classwork to see what they've learned. everyone here had another profession. in 2016, when many refugees arrived in germany, deutsche bahn created more than 700 apprenticeships for them. this has also benefited the company, which is facing a serious shortage of skilled workers. the hr director is thrilled that most of the refugees have been so successful. >> there are only a few cases of people not making it to the exam. they're highly motivated. and it makes you proud when new employees pass the test. >> but for people like sonia, that's not enough.
she already has bigger plans in sight. >> if i can drive a local train, i'm sure i can drive an intercity express train. >> her new dream, iving 300 kilometers ahour on the intercity express, sonia alaghehband is planning to go the distance. >> this is husein smajic, an entrepreneur from bosnia and herzegovina. he was renovating his property when he came across the ruins of an old christian church. husein decided to rebuild the place of worship on his land. husein is a muslim, and that makes his renovation project especially remarkable in his country. the southern european nation is deeply divided along ethnic lines, with the trauma of the war 30 years ago still fresh. with tensions rising ahead of october's general elections,
husein wants his church in bugojno to become a symbol of unity. >> his church isn't yet finished, but it's getting there. the official opening was at the beginning of august. now husein smajic says it's time to take a break. winter is coming, plus he's hoping for more donations so he can keep building in spring. this church is his life's work. >> it makes me very happy. people will see that this is a church of peace, love, and respect for everyone. it brings people together instead of dividing them. >> husein, a muslim, is building a catholic church to reconcile his torn country. it's now been 30 years since war broke out in bosnia, unleashing a bloodbath between serbs, croats, and bosnians. hundreds of thousands of people
died. the war left deep wounds. today, there are still bullet holes in many houses. people's souls, too, are still scarred by the war. husein says that he and his family remained here in his hometown of bugojno throughout the war. but that's all he says. >> i don't talk about the war, i don't want to talk about it. for me, it's in the past. and honestly, i don't like to remember it. >> but others do like to talk about it. especially now, ahead of the elections. a whole class of politicians benefits from the fact that bosnia is still divided, for it secures their power. the leader of the bosnian serbs has been holding military parades, while bosnian and croatian politicians are quarreling over voting rights.
>> i'm really surprised that there is such tension between bosnians and croats. there's always been compromise and they've always worked together. but this time? i don't know! >> my dream in life is that the situation in bosnia changes so that we're all better off and young people no longer leave the country. >> the war is long over, but nothing has changed. instead, the situation is escalating. >> husein says the people of bosnia are tired of the nationalistic rhetoric of the politicians. >> politicians? we see what they're up to! all of them! they want to divide us, to spread unrest among the people. i'm so sick of it!
>> after all, says husein, different religions have been living together in bosnia for centuries. and these stones are evidence of this. he discovered them by chance when he wanted to start building on his property. instead of making a foundation, he discovered one -- the foundation of a church from the middle ages. >> i wasn't disappointed when discovered these walls. after all, they're the foundation of a medieval church. i knew it was treasure! >> with the help of scientists, he continued digging at his own expense and finally came across something sensational, the tomb of the bosnian queen jelena. >> she ruled the country from 1395 to 1398, as the queen of everyone, bosnians and herzegovinians, serbs and croats. >> he erected a monument in her honor.
uniting all the peoples of bosnia is what inspired him. that's why he's rebuilding a church here. he's received support from all over the country. >> this church was built by all of us, stone by stone. i can't count all the donors, serbs, muslims, croats. we're all just human beings. >> our lady of the angels is the name of the new church, and despite all the nationalistic rhetoric in the election, it represents a new symbol of peace 30 years after the war in bosnia. >> meet daveed caumette. during the day, he's a farmer. it's a job that he loves, and one that he was born into. at night, he hangs up his pitch fork and suits up to perform in a cabaret show, staged on his farm in france. it's an unlikely business model, one that allows daveed to stay afloat financially. villagers in gair near toulouse were skeptical at first. but daveed and his performers are
winning them over one step at a time. ♪ >> here in rural france, preparations are underway for an extraordinary evening. ♪ [chatter] show time! ♪ >> and here is the man behind it all. david caumette. the venue is booked out. everyone has come to enjoy a professional cabaret show. with all the trimmings. ♪ >> when they saw that i was starting a cabaret show, the
elderly villagers came to my grandfather and said, your grandchild is losing his way. cabaret is about drugs and prostitution. that's what they thought. ♪ >> tiphaine is a professional musician who performs here four times a week. ♪ [applause] >> audiences are enamoured, and surprised! >> seeing a performance like this out here, in the countryside, away from it all. crazy! >> this is such a friendly place. you're out in the countryside which is wonderful. as you arrive here at the end of the day you see all the hills and valleys. it's a different world.
>> the next morning, david caumette is at his other work. after a short night sleep, at 7 a.m. and he is already in the stables. >> i feel happy when i'm with the cows. cabaret is my job. but here is my passion. >> but working two jobs is exhausting. >> my accountant says i should stop tending to the cows -- just stick to cabaret and the farm shop so i can have weekends off, even go on holiday. but would the french state help a small business like mine? i think it prefers huge, 1,000-hectare farms with 1,000 cows. we don't want to be part of that agriculture. >> david took over his father's farm with 100 cows and 700 chickens.
what does he think of son's cabaret business? [laughter] >> he's crazy. it's got nothing to do with farming. we thought he'd keep the farm running like before, and then he did that. >> but these days, farming isn't all that lucrative anymore, >> too many people want a piece of the pie. middlemen have too much power. it's just not profitable anymore. in france, 27 farms give up every day. ♪ >> branching out into show business has worked. today, david has 15 performers on his payroll. and every performance is sold out. ♪ [applause] [cheers and applause]
10/13/22 10/13/22 [captioning made possible by democracnow!] amy: from new york, th is democracy now! human rights groups say over 200 people, including 23 children, having killed in iran and's nationwide demonstrations began almost a month ago following the death of mahsa amini. we will look at how the scope of protests in iran
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