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Unwelcome Species Invading Europe

series: European Journal

air date: 5/07/13 5:00 AM

Turkey: Soldiers break their silence - Violent conduct within the Turkish military was long considered a taboo subject. Soldiers had to appear hardened; they were, after all, doing battle against the Kurdish PKK. But now the military leadership is facing serious accusations. More than 900 Turkish soldiers have committed suicide over the past 10 years. Citing eyewitness accounts, a soldiers' rights group says one reason for the high rate is abuse within the ranks. The organization says over 1,000 soldiers have reported beatings and humiliation. Now a growing number of families of suicide victims are taking the issue to court. Britain: Second homeland of the Poles - Since the European Union's eastward expansion in 2004, Britain has been the primary destination for job-seekers from Poland. In future, however, immigrants from the EU may find it more difficult to settle in the country. British diners are now used to Polish waiters, and many home owners have employed Polish plumbers. But the immigrants are not well-integrated. They live in Polish neighborhoods, attend Polish churches, and eat imported Polish food. It came as little surprise when a recent study showed that Polish is the most widely spoken language in Britain after English. Romania: Costly Exodus - During the Cold War the West German government paid for some 230,000 ethnic Germans to be allowed to leave communist Romania. Only now is the scope of those payments coming to light. The government in Bonn transferred millions in hard currency to Romania's notorious secret police, the Securitate. These payments were in addition to the billions agreed with the Ceausescu regime. A former negotiator with the West German government provides an insider's account of the clandestine talks. Germany: Unwelcome guests - More and more new plant and animal species are spreading across Europe. Many enter the region via freight shipments or by tourists. Among them are a population of nandus that have settled in northern Germany. More than 10 years ago, six nandus escaped from a private farm. Today their number has grown to 120. The huge, flightless birds have adapted well to northern Germany's environment. But farmers and hunters don't like them. Top of their preferred menu - entire fields of young corn plants.

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