101 East

Oct 16 2020 24 mins 7.7k

A weekly current affairs documentary programme that focuses on Asia, its diverse cultures, and conflicting politics.



































New Zealand: A Place to Call Home | 101 East
Jun 04 2020 26 mins  
New Zealand is in the grip of a housing crisis. Auckland has become one of the most unaffordable cities in the world, ranked just behind Sydney, Australia. The average house now costs more than one million New Zealand dollars ($600,000), inequality is rife, and the most vulnerable people are being pushed into desperate situations. Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP), a volunteer-led organisation, helps people apply for emergency housing grants. Some of the families they work with cannot afford to buy food after paying the rent. "They cannot afford to cover those basic costs," says Ricardo, from AAAP. "The majority of people we work with are being squeezed out of the rental market. They can barely afford the weekly rent or may be homeless." Vika lives in a tiny public house with her family of eight. She says her children feel ashamed of their cramped living conditions. "When people come, they run and hide in the room," says Vika, who has been on a waiting list for a larger house for three years. Auckland may be ground zero for the housing crisis, but the problem is now spreading, and small towns are straining to cope with the homeless. 101 East meets the families struggling to put a roof over their heads, and the man helping the homeless become homeowners. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


Behind the Glitter: Mica and Child Mining in India | 101 East
Jun 12 2020 25 mins  
From nail polish to lipstick, mica is found in cosmetics that millions of people use every day. But unknown to consumers, the mineral that gives these products their shine is often extracted using antiquated methods in slave-like conditions, in one of the poorest regions of the world. In the dusty hills of Jharkhand, India, deep crevices have been cleaved into the hard earth. Men, women and children rummage through the dirt, using their bare hands and a few rudimentary tools to scrape the ground. They work under the constant threat of landslides and toxic dust, risking their lives in the hope they will find and sell enough mica to survive. "I would rather work in the mines than die of starvation," says a woman as she digs through the earth. At another mine, Anil, 25, is searching through the rubble with his wife and their two young children. They live in a village at the foot of the mines, where there is no running water or electricity. Anil used to be a farmer, but a severe drought has left most of the land barren. "Mica is the only option for us," he says. "We have all come here to work … so we can buy rice and feed ourselves." From the impoverished miners to the mine owners and exporters who turn a blind eye to shocking conditions, 101 East traces the mica supply chain from the Indian countryside to the laboratories of major cosmetic brands in Europe. - - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


India: Under Lockdown | 101 East
May 28 2020 25 mins  
Social distancing and good hygiene are essential weapons in the fight against COVID-19. But how can you maintain social distancing in one of the world's largest slums? How can you wash your hands regularly when there is no running water? And what happens when millions of people who survive on meagre wages are suddenly without work and struggling to feed themselves? In India, 1.3 billion people were confined to their homes with just four hours' notice as the country embarked on the world's biggest lockdown. Tens of millions of migrant workers suddenly found themselves jobless, quickly running out of money and food, and unable to return to their villages across India. Ibrahim Mohammed worked as a rickshaw puller in New Delhi, but now he cannot leave the slum where he lives with his wife and four children. "Ever since the lockdown was announced, we are dying of hunger," he says. "Now they say there is a sickness in the air. We may get sick, but before that, we will die of hunger." Construction worker, Bhikhari Yadav, says he can no longer send money home to his wife and children in the eastern state of Bihar. He says migrant workers feel abandoned. "We have made this country the way it is," he says. "But right now, the poor man is being kicked in the stomach." 101 East investigates India under lockdown. - - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


Vietnam's Cooking School of Hope | 101 East
May 14 2020 25 mins  
Vietnam is famous for its delicious food. But at a cooking school in Hanoi, the focus is on more than filling stomachs. For the teenagers who attend KOTO, an internationally recognised hospitality boarding school in the Vietnamese capital, the kitchen offers a path out of poverty - one dish at a time. "My parents both passed away at a very young age," says Duong, who grew up in Vietnam's rural heartland. "I can't afford to study, or even to live, so I decided to apply to KOTO." The school teaches disadvantaged young people cooking and helps them find jobs in Vietnam's best hotels and restaurants. "If I didn't have the chance to study cooking at this school, the opportunities for me to find a job in this country are very limited. I'd have to go overseas to get a job," says Duong. More than 700 students have passed through KOTO since its Australian-Vietnamese founder, Jimmy Pham, opened the doors 20 years ago. When he first set up the school, the students came from Hanoi's streets. Today, they are from Vietnam's minority ethnic groups, orphans, gangs and victims of abuse and broken families. But he insists the organisation is not a charity. "It's a hand up, not hand out," says Pham. "People have to be empowered." 101 East visits the cooking school serving up hope to Vietnam's disadvantaged and downtrodden. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/



Nepal's Fake Orphans | 101 East
May 07 2020 26 mins  
In the remote villages scattered throughout the Himalayas, opportunities for children are rare. So when an aunt offered to take 10-year-old Devi to the bustling capital, Kathmandu, to attend school, her mother readily agreed. What awaited Devi was not the opportunity of a lifetime, but misery and despair. Her aunt handed her over to an illegal orphanage. Devi had become one of Nepal's fake orphans. "They were lured, the families were tricked. But actually, the life which they were living in this place was hell," says Anju Pun, a social worker for the charity which helped rescue Devi. Every year, thousands of foreigners donate money or volunteer to help orphans in Nepal. But in reality, most of the children living in the more than 500 orphanages across the country have parents. Like Devi, many are victims of traffickers, who prey on poor families desperate to give their children an education. Instead, traffickers deliver the children to illegal orphanages where they are used to attract donations from well-meaning foreigners. Australian lawyer Kate van Doore uncovered the dark underbelly of Nepal's trade in children in 2006, when she set up an orphanage in Kathmandu, taking in a group of girls from another institution. Five years later, she discovered that they had parents. "We found that the children's names had been changed, to prevent, I suppose, family finding them," Kate says. 101 East follows one young girl's journey home from Kathmandu back to her family in the Himalayas. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


Thailand's Last Resort | 101 East
May 01 2020 25 mins  
From reports of abuse and neglect to soaring costs, the reputation of aged care homes in the West has taken a battering in recent years. Now some families are finding alternatives far from home. With its tropical climate, lower costs and culture of respect for the elderly, Thailand is attracting families dealing with dementia and Alzheimer's from as far away as Europe. Walter Gloor brought his wife Maya to a care home in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai two years ago, from their home in Switzerland. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's when she was 50, and it had become clear that she needed round-the-clock care. "The main reason was, where is the best place for Maya? ... We couldn't find anything better. So I think she deserves to be in the best place in the world," he says. Martin Woodtli runs an aged care facility in Chiang Mai, where 14 patients live in villas and have round-the-clock personal carers. He set up the centre in 2003, after struggling to find care for his mother in their native Switzerland. "Maybe we have to find new models of care because the care system for elderly people in Europe is not working any more and it's going to be a big, big problem," he says. 101 East follows families making the difficult choice to send their elderly loved ones far away to live out their final years. -- - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


Myanmar: On Trial | 101 East
Apr 16 2020 25 mins  
Myanmar's government is on trial in the International Court of Justice, accused of orchestrating a campaign of destruction against the Rohingya people. 101 East has now obtained secretly filmed footage of killings that took place during a brutal army crackdown that led to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh. At a secret location outside Myanmar, we meet a former member of an activist group who filmed some of the videos. "There is no justice for us there. We want to show the world how the Myanmar government and the Rakhine are torturing us," he says. He filmed an interview with a young woman just before the mass exodus began in 2017, one of many videos filmed over three years that 101 East has reviewed and verified. The woman wails as she describes how she and her baby were shot. Three years later, we track down the woman in the video, Karima Khatun, in Bangladesh, in the world's largest refugee camp. She says hundreds of soldiers attacked her village on August 27, 2017. "My baby was almost dead in my arms but I couldn't get up as the military were in position. I had to cover his mouth. I couldn't get up and put his intestines back in. My arm got hit. My baby died on the spot." 101 East also travels to Myanmar's Rakhine State to find Rohingya Muslims continuing to live in fear, caught up in a deadly conflict and suppressed from speaking out. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


China: Truth In A Pandemic | 101 East
Apr 10 2020 26 mins  
It is frightening and deadly - and now it has gone global. The COVID-19 pandemic is claiming lives around the world, terrifying populations, forcing entire countries into lockdown. But back when it all began, what really went on in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the heart of the outbreak? With people desperate for information, 101 East investigates the cover-ups and missteps by Chinese authorities that have sparked criticism of the government rarely seen in China. Government announcements and Chinese state media downplayed the spread of the virus, but citizen journalists hit the ground to expose the reality. However, they incurred the wrath of authorities and have since disappeared. A journalist, hiding his identity for fear of reprisal, tells 101 East hat, if the media were allowed to investigate and report on the virus, it might not have reached its pandemic level. Now that state media and local authorities have admitted to problems in releasing information about the virus, it seems like too little, too late for some. In Hong Kong, the memory of the deadly 2003 SARS virus is still fresh in the minds of doctors like Alfred Wong. He says those who have been speaking the truth have given their lives while doing so, and the suppression of China's whistleblowers should be seen as a crime. "If China was an open, transparent, democratic nation, then this whole thing might not happen in the first place," he says. 101 East investigates the fight for truth in a time of contagion. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


Nepal's Mighty Gurkhas | 101 East
Apr 02 2020 25 mins  
Every year, thousands of young Nepalese men endure gruelling physical training, punishing runs and relentless scrutiny for what they see as a chance of a lifetime - the opportunity to become a Gurkha soldier in the British Army. Only 432 will make it. For boys from remote mountain villages, it can be a pathway out of poverty - not just for them, but for their entire families. But first, they must survive a brutal selection process. Major Sandy Nightingale, who runs the recruitment process, adopts a no-holds-barred approach when telling the candidates what to expect. "If you join the British Army Brigade of Gurkhas, you have to be prepared to sacrifice your life to protect the UK, your fellow soldiers and the Gurkhas Brigade," he tells them. Kamal Gurung, who comes from a family of farmers, has been training for this moment for years. He is desperate to help lift his family out of poverty and transform their lives in one of the world's poorest countries. "If I succeed, I'll be able to give my family a normal life, and all the happiness they deserve. They'll feel like their hard work finally paid off," he says. But will he make it through the punishing endurance tests and stringent medical examinations? 101 East follows Nepal's latest hopeful recruits as they battle it out to see who has what it takes to join the legendary Gurkhas. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/




Japan: The Age Of Social Withdrawal | 101 East
Mar 20 2020 26 mins  
Kenji Yamase spends his days in his bedroom. The 54-year-old has been a "hikikomori" all of his adult life. The term describes Japanese who rarely interact with society beyond their family. "It's a sense or feeling that you shouldn't be here. Even if you are here, you feel like you aren't yourself," Kenji says. Japan is home to more than one million hikikomori, according to recent government surveys. Many of them are over the age of 40 and rely heavily on their elderly parents. Kenji lives with his 88-year-old mother. "Year by year, I can feel that she's deteriorating ... I worry about her, but I don't know what to do, so I feel very bad," he says. "I feel sad thinking about when she's gone." An increasing number of school students are also choosing to shun the outside world. Known as "futoko", these children blame a rigid education system, bullying and strict parenting for their social withdrawal. It has led to NGOs setting up education centres across the country as an alternative to Japan's strict schools. Umi Maekita, who runs Nemonet Free School, says most children who attend these centres eventually return to the mainstream education system. He says early intervention can prevent a lifetime of isolation. "Telling them to go back to work or go back to school straight away is not the way," he says. 101 East meets the young and old who feel lost in Japan. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/





Australia's Wildlife Emergency | 101 East
Feb 20 2020 26 mins  
For more than six months, Australia has been on fire. Millions of hectares have burned, dozens of lives have been lost, thousands of homes destroyed - and now a wildlife emergency is unfolding. It is estimated that as many as one billion animals have been killed. With bushland scorched, more animals are continuing to succumb to the loss of food and habitat. 101 East travels to Kangaroo Island, a tourist destination off Australia's southern coast which has been ravaged by fires. Known for its stunning natural beauty and abundance of wildlife, conservation groups are now in a race against time to try to rescue and care for the island's sick and injured animals. Evan Quartermain, an ecologist, has been helping rescue as many of the surviving animals as he can, including the country's much-loved koalas. About 80 percent of the koalas' habitat on Kangaroo Island was wiped out by the flames. "There's corpses littering the ground. Nothing could have prepared me for it," says Quartermain. "It's extremely confronting, the amount of death." Another ecologist, Pat Hodgens, is trying to help save one of the world's most vulnerable species, the Kangaroo Island dunnart, a small mouse-like marsupial. There were thought to be less than 500 of them before the fires, but nearly all of their habitat has been destroyed. "This could be the next species to go extinct," he says. 101 East meets the dedicated people fighting to save Australia's native animals. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/




Japan's Evaporated People | 101 East
Feb 06 2020 25 mins  
Every year, thousands of Japanese men and women vanish without a trace. They are known as the "johatsu", or evaporated people, and they engineer their own disappearances. Without warning, they leave behind loved ones who are left searching for answers. Tsuyoshi Miyamoto's brother Naoki was 24 when he disappeared after boarding a ferry in the Port of Tokyo 17 years ago. He has never been seen since. "We all thought he went to work. Then we found out that he had actually quit his job," says Tsuyoshi. The desire to disappear has become so common in Japan that there are now specialised businesses, known as "night-moving agents", which help people vanish. We follow Miho Saita, who owns a night-moving company, as she helps a woman who is desperate to escape her abusive husband. In less than two hours, workers help pack up the wife and her children's belongings, taking them to a new house in a new city. Others decide to vanish for different reasons. Sugimoto describes how he engineered his own disappearance with the help of a night-moving agent after his family business began experiencing money problems. He left his house one morning as if he was going to work. "I got tired of human relationships and I just escaped this place," he says. Sugimoto left behind a wife and three children. "I was very worried about my children. It was hard leaving them behind." 101 East investigates Japan's evaporated people. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


China's New Silk Road | 101 East
Jan 23 2020 26 mins  
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called it the "project of the century". The new Silk Road is China's ambitious plan to boost its worldwide reach through new train and shipping lines, roads and ports. Following the old Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) crisscrosses from Asia to Africa and Europe. China insists the massive development will benefit all countries along the route, but locals tell a different story. Along a railway that stretches from Djibouti to landlocked Ethiopia, local worker Mohamed says he feels frustrated. "The Chinese don't do anything! It's not right. They just hang around drinking water and eating ... All of the work is being done over there, and it's us, the Djiboutians, who are doing it," he says. 101 East travels to Pakistan, where China is investing $62bn over the next 15 years to transform the small fishing port of Gwadar. But local fisherman Ghani says he has not seen the benefits of this project. He lives with 36 relatives in a house that has no water or electricity. Since the deep-sea port was built, he says fishermen have been finding it increasingly difficult to find fish. "We no longer have access to certain areas at sea, where we always used to go fishing because there were lots of fish. The port has taken them over. Now we have to go much further out." 101 East examines the human cost of China's new Silk Road. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/


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