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Global 3000

Shady Dealings with USA Student Loans (#721)

***Reservoirs for Millions: Colombia's Paramos - They're a world of highland mosses and moors, lagoons and lakes. The Spanish conquistadors also called the paramo the land of clouds. Colombia's archipelago of paramos, areas of tropical high mountain vegetation above the timber line. At an elevation of more than 2500 meters, we're confronted with a magical landscape of shrubs and grasses plants, misty valleys, and crystal clear lakes. The paramos supply the entire country with water. Paramo ecosystems are unique in the world, and they're the source of clean water for Colombia's capital, Bogota. But these ecosystems in the upper Andes are endangered: farmers and herdsmen burn the vegetation to create land for grazing. Biologists from botanical gardens in Bogota and Berlin are cooperating on researching the indigenous mosses, lichens and grasses. Like sponges, they absorb and store water and return it to the river systems. If the plants continue to be burned off, the water supplies of millions of people are at risk.

Global Brain: Robohand - Richard van As from South Africa lost several fingers in an accident with a circular saw, so he developed the Robohand. What's new about it is that the individual components can be produced on a 3D printer, making it much more affordable than conventional prosthetic hands. Producing a Robohand costs the equivalent of about 500 euros. Conventional prosthetic hands are priced at about 25,000 euros. To make it possible to produce the Robohand in remote places and crisis zones, Richard van As developed an extremely robust 3D printer, the Robobeast. With open source software and a printer costing about 3500 euros, anyone can now print out van As's prosthetic hands, even "in a moving car."

US: Shady Dealings with Student Loans - In the US, tuition fees have more than quadrupled since 1986. College graduates are sitting on a billion dollars in debts. Many fail to find the jobs they need to repay them. The College Board, a non-profit educational organization, calculates that the sum has doubled in the past ten years. It now exceeds Americans' credit card debts. Economists are already warning of a new bubble that could catapult the entire economy into the next crisis. The debt burden is especially heavy for students who have to take out loans to attend what are called "for-profit colleges."

Switzerland: A New Beginning in "Neuland" - While their applications for asylum are being processed, pupils attending an integration class in Basel are trying to learn about Swiss society and fit into it. "Neuland," a documentary by Anna Thommen about young immigrants in Switzerland, takes a look at what happens to them. Basel is trying out an unconventional project. Young people believed be capable of becoming Swiss citizens are being sent to integration classes. This film followed the young people for two years during their time there. At the beginning of the film, a young Afghan, Ehsanullah Habibi, has his asylum application rejected. In addition, he still owes a large amount of money to the traffickers who brought him to Switzerland. [26 minutes] TV-G Closed Captioning

PBS Video

Series Description: Global 3000 is Deutsche Welle's weekly magazine that explores the intersection of global development and the environmental and social conditions of the diverse cultures of the world. In each program, host Michaela Kufner presents three to four video-rich segments that profile a different part of the planet where man's quest for economic and industrial strength is jeopardizing the ecosystems and the social and economic structures of people thousands of miles away. The program not only documents where those struggles are taking place -but how some groups and individuals are finding solutions to the growing problems of global development.

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These episodes of Global 3000 aired in the last few months on Iowa Public Television.

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