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Holding Fido Hostage

series: European Journal

air date: 4/29/13 4:00 PM

Romania: The dog mafia - For years, animal rights advocates from all over the world have sought to save dogs in Romania. But it seems their good intentions are being exploited by an unscrupulous mafia. Stray dogs on the streets of Romania are a well-known problem. For years, Romanian animal rescue centers have been supported by generous donations from abroad, with donors seeking to combat the problem in humane ways. But it appears that many such centers kill the dogs on arrival and then continue to list them as resident in order to claim the money. Britain: The threat from the right - For years, Britain's established parties refused to take the UK Independence Party - or UKIP - seriously. But strong performances in recent by-elections have proven even a small party can create major waves in Britain's electoral system. Since the Liberal Democrats have entered government, UKIP is the number one protest party in Britain. The Conservatives in particular stand to lose votes to the right-wing party. Prime Minister David Cameron has looked increasingly uncomfortable as opinion polls show UKIP with double-digit popularity ratings. The eurosceptic party was founded over twenty years ago, in protest against the Maastricht Treaty. Now with fresh wind in its sails, UKIP is giving the other parties a run for their money. Austria: The long road to citizenship - The rules on gaining Austrian citizenship are among the toughest in Europe. Anyone wanting to become Austrian, for example, needs to speak good German and engage in voluntary work. Austrian citizenship will in future be awarded on an applicant's level of integration into society as well as how long a person has lived in the country. Those who are particularly well-integrated and sign up, for example, as a volunteer firefighter, will be eligible for citizenship after six years instead of the standard ten years. People on low incomes, on the other hand - such as part-time workers or single parents - do not fair so well under the new legislation. Ukraine: Subterranean sanatorium - The Ukrainian province of Donetsk is one of the largest salt mining regions in the world. But that's not all. It also boasts a unique underground sanatorium for people with asthma and other lung complaints. The sanatorium is basically made up of salt caves. Patients move in for weeks at a time. The caves are 300 meters below ground. Patients are only allowed to leave and go out into the daylight twice a day. The temperature in the caves is pretty low, so it's important to keep active. Soccer has become particularly popular among patients!

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