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Cuba: Fee To Travel Freedom

series: Global 3000

air date: 12/11/13 6:30 PM

Cuba: New Travel Freedoms - with Restrictions - Nine months after Cuba granted citizens the right to travel, the lines outside foreign embassies haven't gotten any shorter. People are eager for visas to travel abroad, but getting away isn't always easy. The Cuban government is concerned about a potential brain drain - the loss of qualified workers in its own economy. That is why even after the government lifted travel restrictions, it is still attaching conditions to trips by managers, scientists, top-level employees or successful athletes. Another problem is the cost of travel. The average monthly income in Cuba is 20 dollars, but a passport alone costs 100. Laos: Courageous Women Take On the Legacy of War - An estimated two million ordinance were dropped on Laos during the Second Indochina war. 30 percent of the sub-munitions from cluster bombs failed to explode and pose an acute danger to the population. Bomb disposal experts like Manixia Thor have learned to deal with the danger. Three weeks a month, she leaves behind her husband and child to lead a team of 12 women in Laos. "It's no coincidence that we're an all-woman team. I'm convinced that we have a better inner radar than men," says Manixia Thor. To date, no one in her team has been injured on the job. Global Brains: One Dollar Glasses - Millions of people around the world have bad eyesight, but can't afford the cost of eyeglasses. Children drop out of school as a result, grownups can't find a job. The project One Dollar Glasses wants to change that. Martin Aufmuth from the German city of Erlangen has developed eyeglasses that only cost around a dollar to produce. The physics and math teacher has devised a system that allows anyone, with just a bit of an introduction, to assemble eyeglasses. His small assembly set is already being successfully implemented in Ruanda, Tanzania and Burkina Faso. Egypt: The Amazing Forest in the Desert - Fertile land is scarce in Egypt. All of life depends on water from the Nile River. 85 million Egyptians are settled along its banks. The rest of the country is desert. Egyptian and German scientists have now found a way of cultivating forests in the desert sand. It looks like a fata morgana. But the forests in the Egyptian desert are real. They're watered with processed sewage. 24 such forests have sprung up across the country over the past eight years. The sewage is rich in nutrients and fuels the growth of plants like maghagony, eucalyptus and sisal. Report by Florian Nusch.

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