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tv   Global 3000  KCSMMHZ  September 18, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT

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>> hello and welcome to global 3000, your weekly check on the global issues that matter locally. here's what we have coming up for you today. second run -- how old tires get a new lease of life in guatemala toxic legacy -- how south africa's coal mines contaminate the country's ground water and the nail collector -- one man's mission to make roads safer in jakarta
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there's still no easy answer on how we should cope with the sheer endless mountains of rubbish modern society produces. let's pick out one example -- just to keep our cars running, we globally throw away some 1.3 billion tires every year. it seems impossible to get rid of them -- unless we start using them as a resource. that's the idea being promoted by a small ngo which is using waste material -- including tires -- in an unusual recycling project. in the small town of san juan comalapa n guatemala volunteers are making buildings with materials most of us would leave exactly where they come from -- the rubbish dump. >> they're in the right place here. the hillside is covered with old tires.
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all this non-biodegradable waste has been left by the side of the road on illegal rubbish dumps. they collect all the old tires they can find -- either at the tire dealers or here. >> we are collecting tires to build a school. we are building a school using sustainable methods. so we are using tires, trash, plastic bottles filled with trash and we are getting rid of something which is contaminating our environment. >> building with trash? how does that work? initially, the people of san juan comalapa thought the american project was crazy. but that's all changed. the results are evident. long way home has built its
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first school building -- made entirely of trash. the team collected more than 25,000 plastic bottles, built walls out of countless tins and installed 3300 glass bottles to let in light. the complex includes a vocational school that improves the prospects of local children. matt paneitz has a vision -- he wants to teach locals that building sustainably benefits the environment and creates jobs. >> the kids will learn the basics here from their professors and then have an opportunity to go out with the technical maya construction team all the guys you have seen around here -- and learn how to implement these projects in the community in addition to houses. >> his project is still in its infancy -- he plans to build another 12 school buildings.
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but first the hillside needs to be reinforced -- that's harder work than just piling up old tires. >> there is some competitive spirit here. we like to see who can do the tire the fastest, who can do the most in one day. john always beats me though. >> the sturdier the better. only then are the walls stable and earthquake-proof. >> the first course is down here, this is the second course, and we go up 12 more courses of dirt filled tires from there. >> the team uses no new wood -- just the materials at hand. sandbags are used to make walls for the art room. from the outset, the students
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are taught to recycle trash. they collect garbage on the streets that they stuff into the plastic bottles to make them studier. >> i've filled about 15 bottles and it's fun. i've worked hard today. it's good for the environment. usually people here just throw their trash away without separating it. >> the children are now aware that trash actually has value. it even buys them entry to the local playground. does a project like this have a future in a city like san juan comalapa? the whole of guatemala is struggling with the problem of waste management.
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there is no refuse collection in many parts of the country, let alone any kind of functioning recycling system. even the official garbage dump in the middle of this residential area is little more than a vast foul-smelling pit. the authorities are reportedly looking for a suitable site for a new garbage dump. >> i think in my community we have to identify institutions that can help us because buying land is expensive. obviously it's also a question of educating the public. but clearly we musn't waste this opportunity to recycle just because there's no site for it. >> long way home has been recycling for a while and is already doing what it can to develop its concept further. the team built this house for david and his single mother.
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the house is energy self- sufficient. it's what the project dubs an "earthship" -- based on completely green principles. >> matt paneitz's project receives no state subsidies. his funds come from the volunteers themselves -- like these students from boston. the project wouldn't be possible without them. >> it has been a fight. you know, you start off having to finance your project by yourself. when you prove that you are worthy of receiving donations. then people start wanting to help you, little by little. >> a party with the school's first students. seeing all their hard work pay off fills matt paneitz with pride.
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this isn't the first time he's got street children thinking about waste management. >> it was a reminder these things are working, the kids are interested, and the families are supporting it, because they don't want dirty rivers, they just don't have any other options, and so it was a good moment for me to see the kids doing it without being asked to do so. >> this is probably the only school in the world where the students pick-up after themselves and use the trash to build eco-friendly homes, right here in san juan comalapa. >> not just how we treat waste, also the way we produce energy is in dire need of reform. despite some global, but mostly regional attempts to clean up our act, coal is still the basis of around a quarter of the energy produced world -wide. in fact for many of the world's fastest growing economies, coal is still the prime source of electricity.
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to keep up with growing energy demand, south africa for example is even allowing decommissioned mines to be re- opened. many of them are in the province of mpumalanga. as we hear in our report this is having a disastrous impact on people living in the region and beyond. mpumalanga is swazi for "the place where the sun rises". the province in north-eastern south africa is home to the famous kruger national park. almost 70% of it is used for agriculture. lukas maseko owns a farm here. after the 2002 land reform lukas went from being a farmhand to a landowner. >> every day i loaded my truck with pumpkins to sell on the main road. car drivers would stop and buy them. >> four years ago, a new neighbor arrived -- bringing with it a raft of problems. a decommissioned open cast coal mine was reopened as part of south africa's efforts to meet its growing energy needs.
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the ground is now rocked by daily explosions at the nearby mine. noise is one problem -- another is the dust cloud that hangs over lukas' fields. it covers everything -- humans, animals and crops -- with a thick layer of coal. the farm house is no longer habitable. the shock waves have left it too unstable. lukas shows us a massive crack in the wall. the visible damage isn't even the worst of it. the groundwater is contaminated by lead, nickel and other toxic heavy metals from the mines. >> there's hardly any water anymore, and what there is is dirty.
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>> he's convinced it's killing his livestock. he's lost half his cattle over the last four years. terence mccarthy, geology professor at the university of witwatersrand confirms that the local groundwater is riddled with toxins. he predicts that millions of south africans will soon be dealing with a contaminated water supply. >> the areas where most of the coal-mining is taking place are our primary food producing regions and we are impacting on those. moreover, coal is not only mined but also burned here in mpumalanga. eleven huge, smoke-belching coal-fired power plants darken the skies. pollutants react with water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acid rain.
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scientists fear that heavy metals from the coal industry will soon spread throughout the regional water cycle. >> we are destroying the ecology of our main river system, and there is nothing we can do about it except stop mining. >> but coal deposits are one of the rainbow nation's main resources. and right now, its fast-growing economy needs more energy than ever. south africa ranks twelfth on the list of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters. coal-fired power plants produce 71 percent of the country's electricity. the country lags far behind the renewable energy targets established at the climate conference in durban last year, even though the country gets plenty of wind and sunshine. but there is a solution to the contaminated water problem, at least. south africa now has its first mining treatment plant.
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>> quite simply, any water is treatable. it's never too late, there's always something you can do about the situation. >> the mine operators are showing little willingness to invest. according to africa's largest electricity provider eskom, the country needs another 40 mines. so the question is -- who pays for it? lukas maseko also wonders who is going to pay -- for the damage to his property. his farm has never had a power connection. like 3.5 million other households in the country. >> the south african government has pledged some 26 million euros over the next two years for water purification in the region. imagine having to constantly worry that you could be thrown out of the country where you grew up -- in fact the only place you can call 'home'. this is a daily reality for many young people designated
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"illegal immigrants" in the united states. only some 37% of foreign born residents in the us are actually naturalized citizens. almost a third have permanent or temporary work permits, but more than a quarter have no legal status at all. this includes many young people who were brought to the us by their parents but are still barred from many things because they have no legal papers. the obama administration is pushing a new policy directive which will make some 800 000 young people who came to the us as children safe from deportation. we met two young men who are hoping that such reforms will mean a better future for them. >> soccer. jonathan's abiding passion. his mother brought the family to washington, d.c. when he was 6 years old. he started playing soccer right away. but his football career was nipped in tbe bud.
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>> they told us that the next week we were going to brazil for a tournament, and they said to bring our paperwork. our documents. i spoke to the coach and told him my situation, how i don't have any papers or anything and he said well i'm sorry but i'm going to have to drop you from the roster. you can't be playing no more. >> it was a terrible disappointment. but when he and his mother left bolivia and entered the us 14 years ago, they had no papers. >> i felt like i was so close to accomplishing what i wanted, but there was something right there that was stopping me trying to accomplish my dreams. >> today, jonathan is celebrating his 20th birthday with his mother, his sister and a friend of the family who works with immigrants. >> there's a culture in many parts of the us of fear of
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immigrants, of wishing that people who were different would go home. >> 19-year-old evan knows how jonathan feels. he lives in fredericksburg, virginia. despite good grades, he's not allowed to go to university because he doesn't have a residence permit. >> it's kind of frustrating at the same time. 'cause you wanna do something but you can't because there is that little block in front of you that you can't get over. so you're getting closer but at the same time you can't reach it, you're stuck with it. >> his parents moved to the us from mexico when he was a child. he now works 11-hour days in a restaurant and volunteers as a paramedic. >> i'm in the ambulance, going round responding to calls, when people call 911 and need an ambulance, then we go and help them.
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>> what he really wants is to be a doctor. but recently, someone at the hospital told him to get lost because he had no papers. >> i'm not hurting anybody. i'm actually trying to help people. i don't feel it should be done like that, where people try to block you. >> evan turned to the organization "just neighbors" for help. now the organization can actually do something, thanks to president obama's recent relaxation of immigration policy. >> it means that if they are in an appropriate age range and have no papers but have been in the us at least 5 years and came before they were 15, then they can apply for deferred action and for a work permit so they can work lawfully in the us and won't have to worry about being deported. >> "just neighbors" is well aware that under obama's plan, those who qualify would only be allowed to live and work in the
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us for two years. and it doesn't mean young people like evan and jonathan can apply for us citizenship. jonathan still plays soccer. these days he also goes to college and is hoping to train as a policeman one day. in addition to his interest in medicine, evan is very keen on american history. he visits the museums in fredericksburg. >> this is the place where george washington grew up, he was famous, he made history. and just like that we are hoping that someone will make history again and make people like us, who grew up and consider each other american, will do something to let us stay. >> evan and hundreds of thousands of others like him hope that obama's new policy is a first step towards a long- term solution. >> if you've ever been downtown in the indonesian capital jakarta you will know that the last thing commuters need there is another obstacle to getting
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from a to b. well, as if jakata's traffic wasn't punishment enough in itself -- drivers there are increasingly getting stopped in their tracks by unexpected objects on the road. so one man decided to take things into his own hands to solve this metropolitan mystery -- and make jakarta's streets safer again. a move that has earned him and his team of volunteers official recognition by the police, but also anonymous death threats. we accompanied him in his day's work. >> well before sunrise, siswanto takes to the streets. he's not a city employee, though the police have donated the reflective vest. he's just a resident of jakarta on a mission to rid his city of a plague. siswanto and his group uses a hand-made device constructed of magnets to pick up nail traps from the pavement. >> i designed it myself. the two small tires lift the
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magnets about a centimeter off the street, and that allows the magnets to pick up all the nails. >> in jakarta, it's not just the traffic that makes the roads treacherous. unknown persons are flooding the streets with nails. whoever they are, they've got it in for the 9 million mopeds clogging up jakarta's roads. their actions cause chaos during rush hour. commuters arrive late to work, and children don't get to school on time. >> not only does it waste time, when i run over a nail the tire blows, and the bike swerves and skids. that can cause a serious accident. the thought of it is terrifying. >> citizens have begun to take action -- scouring the streets with magnets to clear them of nail traps. after four punctures, siswanto had enough and founded a community of nail collectors
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known locally as saber. six months on, he's already amassed a half ton of nails. >> one night i lay in wait to see how they do it. they came on motorbikes with the nails in plastic bags. then they scattered them everywhere. all over the place. >> one man's suffering is another man's happiness, as they say. the nail trap-prone areas all happen to be home to tire repair garages. the mechanics can repair punctres on the spot. extra service, at an extra cost! the word on the street is that they're the ones behind the nail traps. they of course deny all wrongdoing. >> we have nothing to do with it. that would be ridiculous. i drive a moped too. i'd be ruining my own tires.
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>> it's an outrageous accusation. it's probably the chinese who sell the inner tubes. they're poor quality and they do it to boost their sales. >> siswanto has collected enough nails today. now he has to start his actual job, selling granite. but first he shows us his booty. he collected almost five kilos of nails this morning. he's proud of the collection, he tells us. but his house is on the small side and he's running out of space. he's already sold 100 kilos of nails. >> to begin with my wife didn't understand why i was always leaving the house early and coming back 2 hours later with a sack full of nails. >> he doesn't see much of his
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family these days. but to siswanto, it's a question of principle. people like him shouldn't have to waste their hard-earned wages paying for over-priced tire repair work. >> of course i'm proud that my husband is doing something for the community. but i'm afraid that the people responsible will be angry with him will suddenly attack him or something. >> it's not as if the people of jakarta don't have enough to put up with. endless traffic jams are a fact of life. the police battle daily with the permanent gridlock. dealing with nail traps is the last thing they need. their best strategy is to catch them red-handed -- as happened to one perpetrator recently. angry commuters got to him faster than the police did and wasted no time seeing justice done. his motorbike was set on fire and he suffered a severe beating.
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under pressure from the saber citizens' initiative, the police have set up a special squad that patrol the streets in specially-equipped golf carts. unfortunately, none of them will start today so we can't see them in action. the police investigation into the matter is proving equally sluggish. >> the trouble is amassing evidence. we have to establish a connection between the victims, the tire repairmen and the people leaving the nail traps -- and to prove that they were working for exactly the tire repairmen the victim ended up going to. it's more or less impossible. >> for the time being, collecting the nail traps is the most effective approach. after work, siswanto and his friends are back on the streets. they've bonded over their shared mission. the jakarta police have officially recognized their work, and they've become local heroes.
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>> there's a lot of camaraderie between us. it's become addictive. if we don't go out collecting nails we have trouble falling asleep. we're too worried about a nail causing another puncture. >> the saber team say they'll only stop their work when they've cleared the last nail from the streets of jakarta. >> so, watch out next time you hit the road. and that's all we have time for on this edition of global 3000. thanks for watching and don't forget to tune in next week when we bring you the latest reports from around the globe. but for now from me and the whole team here in berlin, bye bye! captioned by the national captioning institute
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