European Journal

Season 32, Episode 23 of 52

Albania: The New Women's Movement - Time seems to have stood still in the mountain villages of northern Albania. Alongside the state law, the Kanun, a set of laws and norms dating back to the Middle Ages, is still in force here. The back-breaking work in the fields is considered women's work in Albania. That was also true under Communism. In the Catholic stronghold of the north, the Kanun also survived the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. Under the Kanun, the wife is considered the husband's property. He is permitted to beat and even to kill her if she is disobedient or unfaithful. Fabiola Egro is trying to change that. She's a pivotal figure in the Albanian women's movement. Turkey: A Mayor from Germany - In southeastern Turkey, women in politics are not yet commonplace. The majority-Kurdish society is traditionally dominated by men. Despite that, 27-year-old Leyla Imret was elected as mayor of Cizre, a city with about 110,00 residents. And she's not just unusual because she's a woman - Leyla Imret comes from Bremen, Germany. A few years ago, she decided to visit eastern Turkey, where her Kurdish parents were born. In a spontaneous decision, she decided to stay in Cizre. Latvia: The Russian Loyalists - In the wake of the Crimea crisis, many people in the Baltic countries are concerned. They're wondering how their own citizens of Russian descent would respond in the event of an attack on their country. That's also true in Latvia, where nearly every third citizen has Russian ancestry. Igor and Valerie are from Latgale. It's the easternmost region of Latvia and home to many people of Russian descent. Both Igor and Valerie say they are loyal to Latvia. But some in Latvia do approve of President Vladimir Putin's policies and actions in neighboring Russia. Igor and Valerie are not among them. They're voluntary members of the defense force and take part in military exercises. If need be, they'd defend Latvia against Russian soldiers. Netherlands: The Catch of the Day is Plastic - Every year, almost five million tons of plastic waste winds up in the ocean. Now Fishing for Litter, an initiative started by fishermen, has declared war on marine pollution. Only a small portion of the plastic waste in the sea can be seen floating on the surface; most of the garbage lies on the seafloor. Many marine animals suffer painful deaths as a result. At the other end of the food chain, little is known about the effects the waste could have on humans. Now fishermen from the Netherlands have begun collecting the garbage that gets caught in their nets. The initiative is growing, with hundreds of fishermen now collecting tons of plastic each year. Still, at the current rate, it's estimated that it would take 79,000 more years to rid the oceans of plastic waste. Poland: The Round Table Revisited - The Round Table Talks in 1989 marked the beginning of Poland's road toward democracy. The original table is displayed at the presidential palace in Warsaw. The 1989 negotiations at this table have gone down in history. The talks led to the overturning of the ban on the Solidarność trade union and to a partially-free parliamentary election. 25 years ago, on June 4 and June 18, Poland held its first elections since the Second World War. The elections spelled the end to Communist rule in Poland.

Previously Aired

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