Chinese cars for Europe

Nov 14th, 2010

Chinese cars for Europe

Last year China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest car market, buying 13.6 million vehicles in 2009. Chinese car producers are also exporting cars to developing countries and now they are starting to make inroads into the lucrative European market. A joint venture in Bulgaria will produce the first Chinese brand cars in the European Union. From Bahovitsa, Bulgaria, Matthew Brunwasser reports.

Roma integration in Bulgaria

Oct 14th, 2010

Roma integration in Bulgaria

Matthew Brunwasser visits two ethnic Roma neighborhoods in Bulgaria to find out how the Roma there view the issue of integration. France’s extradition of Roma to Bulgaria and Romania has set off a debate in Europe about the Roma’s place in European society.

Unlikely Allies in Bulgaria Reveal Fatal Mental Health Neglect

Oct 6th, 2010

Unlikely Allies in Bulgaria Reveal Fatal Mental Health Neglect

SOFIA — An unusual investigation that brought together prosecutors and human rights lawyers has revealed a grisly picture of neglect at Bulgarian state homes for mentally disabled children: 238 deaths since 2000. More than three-fourths of the deaths were found to have been avoidable: 84 from physical deterioration caused by neglect; 36 from exposure to cold or long-term immobility; 31 from malnutrition; 13 from infections caused by poor hygiene; 6 from accidents; 15 were unexplained.

Life for Roma back home

Sep 27th, 2010

Life for Roma back home

This week the European Commission will decide if it will take action against France over its expulsion of Roma migrants. Correspondent Matthew Brunwasser reports on how the Bulgarian government has tried to help Roma integrate in Bulgarian society.

Muslim drummers silenced

Sep 14th, 2010

Muslim drummers silenced

In many Muslim towns and villages around the world, drummers march through the streets to wake up residents for a meal before sunrise. Matthew Brunwasser reports from a neighborhood in Turkey where the drummers are no longer welcome by all.

Singing lessons for muezzins

Aug 11th, 2010

Singing lessons for muezzins

With thousands of mosques broadcasting the call to prayer five times a day, it only takes one muezzin singing with a froggy voice to make life miserable for neighbors. To make it easier on the ears – and nerves – of local residents, the city’s chief religious official has set up singing lessons. From Istanbul, Matthew Brunwasser reports.

Eco-Islam in Africa

Jul 24th, 2010

Eco-Islam in Africa

Green is the color commonly associated with Islam and some scholars say the Koran also commands Muslims to be green in the modern environmental sense. In East Africa, a development project using Islamic ethics has taught locals the Koranic imperatives of conserving natural resources. Some say eco-Islam has taken root. From Pemba Island in Tanzania, Matthew Brunwasser reports.

Kenya’s planned port threatens Swahili culture

Jul 13th, 2010

Kenya’s planned port threatens Swahili culture

In East Africa, a multi-billion-dollar supertanker port is being planned for Lamu on the coast of Kenya. The massive project would give a boost to the isolated area and forge economic links between countries in the region. The plan includes proposed oil pipelines, motorways and railroads, linking Lamu with Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda. But the big changes also threaten one of the last strongholds of traditional Swahili culture – a mixture of Arab and African cultures dating back from trade between Africa and the Middle East in the 9th Century. From Lamu, Kenya, Matthew Brunwasser reports.

Israeli travelers avoid Turkey

Jun 23rd, 2010

Israeli travelers avoid Turkey

Israelis are cancelling planned trips to Turkey, in the wake of tensions following the killing of nine Turkish activists on a Gaza-bound aid ship convoy. That could have an impact on the Turkish economy. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Antalya, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, one of Israelis’ favorite international vacation spots.

China’s approach to helping Africa

Jun 23rd, 2010

China’s approach to helping Africa

China is investing heavily in Africa. While many African welcome the capital and know-how, others fear that China is stepping in with heavy boots. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Nairobi, Kenya.