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Week of October 1, 2002, Program 0240

Brazil's Challenges Transcript MP3 Related Links
The Internally Displaced Transcript MP3 Related Links
World Population Transcript MP3 Related Links
Tea Trademark Tussle Transcript MP3 Related Links
Foreign Service Transcript MP3 Related Links
Fly Europe Cheap Transcript MP3 Related Link
German Economy Transcript MP3 Related Links

 


October 1, 2002
Program 0240

(This text has been professionally transcribed, However, for timely distribution, it has not been edited or proofread against the tape.)

RENATO Machado: The drug dealers have special deals with these people, with these policemen. And we have seen and we have shot pictures of police getting bribes, being bribed, and extortion, and all sorts of police crimes going on.

KEITH PORTER: This week on Common Ground, Brazil struggles with crime and corruption.

KRISTIN MCHUGH: Plus, improving the lives of persons displaced by conflict.

FRANCIS DENG: These people, when they have been forced to leave, find themselves without shelter, without food.

MCHUGH: And recalculating the world's population.

Carl Haub: An amazing figure—in fact, 98.6 percent to be as precise as I can be—of world population growth each year comes from the developing countries.

PORTER: These stories, coming up next.

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Brazil's Challenges

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Related Links
Brazil's Escalating Role in Drug War
http://www.colombiareport.org/colombia122.htm
Brazil From World Press Review
http://worldpress.org/profiles/Brazil.cfm

Tell Us What You Think

 

MCHUGH: Common Ground is radio's weekly program on world affairs. I'm Kristin McHugh.

PORTER: And I'm Keith Porter. When Brazil's new presidential administration takes office, crime and drug trafficking will join a laundry list of items to be addressed. The death of Tim Lopes, a reporter for Brazil's largest network, TV Globo, highlights the country's troubles. Lopes was murdered by drug dealers who hold poor communities in a grip of terror. But as Reese Erlich reports from Rio de Janeiro, if one thing worries Brazilians more than drug dealing, it's police corruption.

REESE ERLICH: Tim Lopes had just one more night of hidden camera shooting before he could air his expose of drug dealers, sex, and cocaine in one of Rio's toughest poor communities—known as favelas. He never finished his shoot. Lopes, a star local reporter for TV Globo, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by drug dealers. He was the first reporter killed by drug lords in Rio. And the murder has sent shock waves through police, government, and journalistic circles.

[The sound of Renato Machado's voice, reporting on TV.]

ERLICH: Renato Machado is anchor of TV Globo's news show Good Morning Brazil, and a personal friend of Tim Lopes. He says Lopes was investigating complaints from residents that local drug dealers were using dance parties to distribute drugs and encourage open sexual activity, sometimes with underage girls. Lopes had used a small, hidden camera to film the parties at public dance halls. Apparently a local drug gang recognized Lopes at the party, kidnapped him, and took him to another nearby favela.

RENATO Machado: He was badly tortured. They shoot in the legs or in the feet or in the knees. They usually do that before anything else, you know, so that the victim can't run away. Apparently the torture session lasted for two hours. Journalists were not normally prey to those people. They would be warned to get away before things got bad. Apparently that was not the case with Tim that night, that particular night. It was completely unexpected.

ERLICH: Machado says Lopes knew he was going into a dangerous situation, but assumed his knowledge of the favelas and their residents would help protect him.

Machado: He was born in a very poor environment. And he was very used to the language of this environment, to the aspirations of those people. And he really knew what he was doing.

ERLICH: [interviewing Machado] Some people have compared him to Mike Wallace in terms of his investigative skills and so on. Do you think that's accurate?

Machado: Half accurate, I would say. Because Mike Wallace, he deals with national issues. Tim, he specialized in Rio life. I mean, he was what a city reporter is. You know the old time city reporters that we watch on the movies. You know, sometimes when you see the Front Page and films like that, you have that city reporter on the beat who deals with police all the time, who really worked the beat.

ERLICH: Lopes had reported not only about drug dealers, but about the corrupt police who allowed them to stay in business.

Machado: The drug dealers have special deals with these people, with these policemen. And we have seen and we have shot pictures of police getting bribes, being bribed, and extortion, and all sorts of police crimes going on. So they take advantage of the situation. Of course, the police force have their own problems. So, salaries are low and conditions of work are insecure. And so this always leads to criminality, you know. There is a lot of crime going on within the police ranks.

[The sound of a phone ringing at a politician's busy office.]

ERLICH: If anyone knows about police corruption, it's Helio Luz. He was chief of Rio's civil police from 1995-1997 and is now an assemblyman in the state legislature. Sitting at a desk in his downtown Rio office, Luz says corruption permeates all levels of the police—not only in Rio but in other major Brazilian cities.

Helio Luz: [via a translator] There's no real interest in fighting drug trafficking, nor in protecting people in the favelas. If the police really wanted to fight against drug dealing, they would go after the money men behind the financial curtain. Those people don't live in the favelas. They live in the South Zone in places like Ipanema and Cobacabana.

ERLICH: Luz says the drug dealers from the favelas and from the trendy neighborhoods bribe the police, who rarely take action, even when they know about major crimes. He gives the example of a favela called Catagalo, where police were tipped off about where drug dealers dumped the bodies of their victims.

Luz: [via a translator] A group of 100 military police were stationed in the Catagalo favela, commanded by a certain major. But somehow they couldn't arrest the drug dealers. Some climbers found a clandestine cemetery in that favela, and they told the police about it. The major said this is Caju's place. Caju is the area's big drug dealer. Nothing happened after that, no investigations or anything. This case was the worst. In Cantagalo there were 100 armed men, costing the state $27,000 per month and nothing happened.

Machado: This has been going on for a long time. It's not new.

ERLICH: TV Globo's Renato Machado says the problem is systemic.

Machado: In the heart, in the core of the favelas, there is a parallel power. And people in the favelas, the honest people who live there—because there are millions of people who are just workers, they get scared everyday. I mean, they do not call the police because they are afraid for their lives. And this parallel power keeps its power by shear terror.

ERLICH: Former police chief Luz agrees that the drug dealers intimidate and brutalize local residents. But he says calling it parallel power gives the drug dealers too much credit and downplays the role of police corruption.

Luz: [via a translator] They're selling an image by calling it "parallel power." Crime in this country always has the direct or indirect participation of the police. The police can go anywhere in the favelas. They have to go in to collect their bribes.

ERLICH: Tim Lopes' death is just one among hundreds of cases of drug dealer murders in Rio. Many Brazilians ask why the police don't protect the local people fighting drug dealers, people like one man at the Imperio Serrano samba school.

[The sound of samba music.]

ERLICH: On July 24 Antonio Araujo, known to his friends as "Macarrao", was murdered by a local drug gang. He was both a community leader helping to plant trees in the favela and head of the samba school's batteria or percussion section.

[The sound of samba music.]

ERNESTO Nasciomento: [via a translator] We'd like to dedicate this song to Macarrao, because wherever he is, he's a hero to us.

[The sound of samba music.]

ERLICH: Ernesto Nasciomento is the samba school's Carnival manager.

Nasciomento: [via a translator] He had an obsession about reforestation in this neighborhood. He headed a project to plant trees on the hills in the favela. It helped the environment and gave jobs to kids. This took them away from the influence of drug traffickers.

ERLICH: Apparently, local drug dealers wanted to rent the neighborhood association building for an event and Macarrao refused. Local residents believe he was murdered for standing up to the drug lords.

Nasciomento: [via a translator] It was Wednesday, July 24. He was very nervous when he left the samba school to go to the favela. He was being pressured. He was vice president of the neighborhood association where he lived.

ERLICH: When Macarrao was murdered, the president of the samba school temporarily resigned and wasn't available for interviews. The murder garnered some news coverage but quickly faded.

Nasciomento: [via a translator] Macarrao didn't have media support. They talk about Tim Lopes, for example, who died under the same circumstances. But they don't say anything about Macarrao.

ERLICH: Why do you think the Lopes case has gotten so much publicity and not his case?

Nasciomento: [via a translator] Television. TV Globo.

ERLICH: Indeed, TV Globo is keeping up a relentless campaign to find and prosecute Lopes' murderers. Any new development in the case receives immediate coverage and reporters hold regular demonstrations. And police say they are responding.

Zaqueu Teixeira: [via a translator] My name is Zaqueu Teixeira. I'm chief of the civil police of Rio de Janeiro.

ERLICH: Teixeira says police corruption is a problem generally in Brazil, but it's not interfering with the Lopes case. He defends his force by saying corruption is no greater among police than among other government employees.

Teixeira: [via a translator] Corruption exists among police as it does in every sector of society. Every part of society that has economic power develops its own level of corruption. This is true for drug dealers who have made a lot of money. They can bribe the police, as they do with other sectors of society.

ERLICH: Police Chief Teixeira says he would like to receive some technical assistance from the US to help his overall police work. He could use some new equipment as well. But he doubts the US is interested in providing it at the moment.

[The sound of Renato Machado's voice reporting on TV.]

ERLICH: Back at the TV Globo studio, morning anchor Machado says neither US aid nor a harsh crackdown will be enough to solve the country's crime problems.

Machado: What the international community can do is to help emerging nations in their economic woes. For instance what's happening now, you know, world markets getting away from Latin America—this is the worst scenario that can happen. Because all of this is the result of impoverishment, bad conditions of living, lack of education, lack of money, lack of support.

[The sound of people talking in a busy community office, with a phone ringing in the background.]

ERLICH: Bianca Regis, president of a neighborhood association in the favela of Vidigal agrees. Everyday she meets with community residents to help them organize classes, tenants groups, and anti-crime neighborhood watch committees. She says perhaps the Lopes murder will focus more attention on the issue of crime in the favelas.

BIANCA Regis: [via a translator] The death of Tim Lopes was a huge loss. I was terrified when I heard that. The violence is growing and we're losing control. He was just a human being trying to do his job. He was doing it very well and it's a shame he's dead.

ERLICH: But Regis, like Machado, rejects the idea that more arrests and harsher sentences will solve the problem.

Regis: [via a translator] I don't think cracking down on the drug dealers is the solution. Police are the last resort. You should provide jobs. You should put the kids in school and make school for the whole day. Right now, kids go to school but get out at 10 in the morning. So the kids have a lot of time to be corrupted. Yesterday a mother came to ask me how to find a job for her 13-year-old. How do you find a job for a 13-year-old kid? But the drug dealers can.

[The sound of people speaking and street construction outside a favela.]

ERLICH: Walking outside her small office and looking out over the slum with its narrow, winding paths, Regis admits that drug dealers certainly conduct business in her favela. But they don't have as much power as in some other parts of Rio. That's because this community is organized.

Regis: [via a translator] I think you can see the difference here. We have a good interaction between the neighborhood association and the community. This makes a difference. We can solve some problems. We can help them. This community is better organized than in many places so the people can find support here.

ERLICH: Police may be able to catch the murderers of TV reporter Tim Lopes. But many Rio residents say reducing the power of the drug dealers and the corrupt police who help them will be a long-term job. For Common Ground, I'm Reese Erlich in Rio de Janeiro.

MCHUGH: On September 19 police in Rio de Janeiro arrested drug dealer Elias Perira da Silva in connection with the murder of Tim Lopes.

[Musical interlude]

PORTER: Protecting those displaced by conflict, next on Common Ground.

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The Internally Displaced

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Related Links
UNDP and Internally Displaced Persons
http://www.undp.org/erd/archives/internal.htm
UN Commissioner for Human Rights: Representative on Internally Displaced Persons
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/7/b/midp.htm

Tell Us What You Think

 

MCHUGH: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or UNHCR, is charged with assisting people who flee across borders to escape conflict. But in this day of modern warfare, ethnic tensions, and internal strife, millions of uprooted people relocate to other areas of their homeland. Today, there are some 25 million of these internally displaced persons, or IDP's. Francis Deng is the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Internally Displaced Persons. I recently spoke with him about the special needs of the internally displaced. He started our conversation by outlining the difference between an internally displaced person and a refugee.

FRANCIS DENG: Internally displaced person is a person who has been forced to leave his or her home or areas of normal residence as a result of internal conflict, communal violence, gross violations of human rights, or natural disasters or human-made disasters, where discrimination becomes a factor.

MCHUGH: And what is the difference between an IDP, or an internally displaced person, and a refugee?

DENG: Basically, if we take the classical definition of a refugee according to the 1951 Convention, it's someone who is fleeing from persecution. But if we take the definition adopted by the Organization of African Unity and also the Organization of American States, a person who is fleeing from internal conflict or among the kinds of things I said before, if they crossed international borders, would be a refugee. So the critical difference, really, is that internally displaced persons are those who, although they are fleeing from conditions somewhat similar to those of refugees, they have remained within the borders of their countries—have not crossed.

MCHUGH: Do we have an accurate figure of how many IDPs there are around the world?

DENG: Again depending on how broad you take the definition, if you take the definition I just gave we estimate that there would be about 25 million people in over 40 countries around the world. And literally, in all the continents of the world. If you broadened that and you include, which some try to do, people who migrate into urban centers as a result of either poverty or because of development projects—dams and things like that—then the number would increase considerably. It would be actually over 40 million. I would believe even more than that.

MCHUGH: And how does that number compare with what the numbers were 10, 15 years ago?

DENG: Well, you know, when I was giving this assignment in 1992 I believe we estimated that there were some 14 million IDPs. Since then the number has increased considerably. That is also a function of the increase in conflicts. But it could also be a function of better information about what goes on within countries. Because during the Cold War period we really did not have access to internal situations, partly because those situations were either managed or covered up or shielded, anyway, by international divisions behind the superpowers. The polarization of the world in which what happened within countries was pretty much taken care of by the countries concerned with the support of their superpower ally.

But since the end of the Cold War the pressures for human rights concerns as well as humanitarian situations and overall sort of modification, if not eradication or elimination of the barriers of sovereignty, I think has given us more access to the real situations and therefore to more numbers than were available to us before.

MCHUGH: You mentioned that this is a phenomenon that has happened in all continents across the world. Is there a certain place where there is more of a concentration of IDPs than in others?

DENG: Yes. I think the general rule is that while it is affecting all the continents, some regions are worse off than others. For instance, Africa is the worst hit. It has almost half the total population of displaced persons. In Africa itself some countries are worse off, including my own country, the Sudan, which has 4.5 million, and it's certainly the worst in the world.

MCHUGH: And is the situation in Africa the result of a natural disaster in most cases or conflict?

DENG: This is mostly the result of conflict. And again, the thing about these conflicts is they are usually categorized by ethnic or religious or cultural differences. Which, as I see it, create conditions of conflict of identities within the country.

MCHUGH: And some of these people have been internally displaced for decades. This is not just a short-term phenomenon.

DENG: That's right. As long as the war continues—and in some countries internal conflicts have gone on for decades, and therefore they remain exposed to those conflict situations. I should say that a lot has been done since by the international community to respond to the situation. For instance, in the case of refugees we have the 1951 Convention on Refugees and the institution of the High Commission for Refugees to respond to their needs. And they are quite well protected legally and institutionally.

With respect to the IDPs, as we call them, there is no legal instrument protecting them. Nor is there any one organization. What we have been working on for the last decade or so has been to develop a legal framework—building on existing human rights law, humanitarian law, and analogous refugee law. And we've come out with a restatement of the law that exists in the form of guiding principles on internal displacement. Which have become quite accepted. Not as a legally binding instrument but as a persuasive document that has a degree of moral authority.

MCHUGH: And can you tell me what those principles are?

DENG: These principles deal with what you do to prevent displacement. If you live up to a minimum of human rights tenets you create a situation where people are protected and therefore you avoid displacement. It also stipulates very specifically the right not to be arbitrarily displaced. Now, once you have been displaced there are basic needs for physical protection, security, respect for the rights of those who have been displaced, as well as humanitarian assistance. So, the principles also provide for providing these necessities.

Then you also have a situation where if the security situation improves we move towards solutions, which include return, alternative settlements, or resettlement, and integration. And then we move on to potentials for development. Which in themselves also become preventive. Now I should say that the responsibility for this sort of situation, responding to the protection and assistance needs of the displaced, is supposed to be that of the states concerned. We do know of course, that in some cases these states are poor, weak, and lack the capacity to provide adequate protection or assistance. In which case the international community is then expected to step in.

MCHUGH: Francis Deng is the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Internally Displaced Persons.

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World Population

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Related Links
Census Bureau Population Clock
http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html
UN World Population Trends
http://www.un.org/popin/wdtrends.htm

Tell Us What You Think

 

PORTER: Around lunch time on a summer afternoon in August, the International Programs Center of the US Census Bureau estimated there were 6,245,265,715 humans on our small green planet, with an average of 145 new lives being added every minute.

MCHUGH: That's a lot of new people, but the numbers truly stand out when you think every day, another 209,000 join the world, 6.3 million every month, for a total of more than 76 million new humans each year. While the numbers are eye-popping, experts are not convinced that the number of humans on earth will continue to grow until there's no room left. Priscilla Huff reports.

[The sound of a baby crying.]

PATRICIA HUFF: At least two babies join the world's population every second.

[The sound of a baby crying.]

HUFF: That's two more mouths to feed.

[The sound of children at a school.]

HUFF: Two more minds to educate.

[The sound of water splashing.]

HUFF: Two more people needing clean water, a place to live, clothes, a job.

[The sound of traffic.]

HUFF: Carl Haub with the Population Review Bureau remembers a conversation he had with a taxi driver in Uttar Pradesh, one of India's northern states.

Carl Haub: I remember one particular conversation, the cab driver asked me why I was in India. He says, "Traffic gets worse here every year." And I said, "You can say that again." And he said, "If I may ask you sir, how many children do you have?" And I said, "Well, I have two." And he said, "I have six!" And he was very proud of that. But it's also interesting how you don't connect your own fertility to the population growth that you see around you, either.

HUFF: The United Nations World Food and Agriculture Organization now sees the rate of population growth slowing, from a current rate of 1.7 percent per year to just 1.1 percent per year in 2030, when, in that year, the projected total population is likely to reach 8.3 billion. When population estimates were first started in the 1960s, there were dire warnings of a peak population of 12 billion humans on the Earth. But now, some UN projects are estimating, human population may top out at 10 billion and then begin to decline, as early as 2050. Demographers are turning their focus to the more complicated question of where growth is occurring. Carl Haub of the Population Review Board.

Haub: An amazing figure, in fact—98.6 percent—to be as precise as I can be, of world population growth each year comes from the developing countries. The industrialized world is putting virtually nothing into population growth at this point.

HUFF: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia are growing the fastest, with India projected to have 100 million more people than China by 2050.

Haub: The only thing I think we can safely say, is that whereever population growth in the world is going to be in the next 50 years, the next 10 years, the next 20 years, it's going to be more and more in the world's poorest countries.

HUFF: Ian Johnson with the World Bank agrees that most of the growth in the world's population will happen in developing nations. But he says there's another key change—growth will be centered in urban areas.

Ian Johnson: We will see a major transformation over the next number of years between essentially being a rural planet that we are today, to being an urban planet. So the provision of services, the provision of infrastructure, basic services for those people, will be very, very important.

HUFF: With drought repeatedly devastating vast regions of Africa and floods threatening China's agricultural heartland—a cycle repeated around the world—the inescapable question is how to feed all these people. Add in the great brown cloud spotted by US Air Force pilots over India and much of Southeast Asia, and the environmental impact of humans on natural resources is apparent. The obvious answer is that fewer people are needed, but William Saunders with the conservative Family Research Council says, the question needs to be looked at in a different way.

William Saunders: I think that people are a solution, not a problem. So, if you look at a country like Zimbabwe, where you have a lot of people, and you've got some questions about maybe famine or them being fed or whatever else, why is that? It's not because you have too many people. It's because you have an economic system that doesn't reward or allow people to solve these problems, or you've got some other kind of political problem involved.

HUFF: Saunder's group, the Family Research Council, also adamantly opposes abortion. Earlier this year, the Bush administration withdrew $34 million dollars in financing for the UN's family planning initiatives, accusing the UN Population Fund of supporting reproductive programs in China that involved abortion. Saunders agrees with the White House, saying that family planning is not a government concern.

Saunders: First of all, I think that family planning should be left to families. Whenever government is involved, you get coercion, I think, because government will set goals, goals will become targets, targets will become quotas.

HUFF: And yet, it's the government that's expected to provide clean water, get rid of trash, insure a basic, safe food supply, establish schools, support power and energy supplies, and protect the populace. In the complex picture of the evolution of the human population, demographers are certain of one thing—they will continue to be surprised by which factors will impact population trends, whether it be an unforeseen war, the explosion of AIDS or another epidemic, unpredictable natural disasters, religion, the spread of education, or the expense of raising children in a crowded urban setting. For Common Ground, I'm Priscilla Huff.

MCHUGH: If you have questions or comments about today's program, visit our Web site at commongroundradio.org, or e-mail us at commonground@commongroundradio.org.

ANNOUNCER: Common Ground is a Stanley Foundation production. On the Web at stanleyfoundation.org.

MCHUGH: This is Common Ground, radio's weekly program on world affairs.

PORTER: I'm Keith Porter.

MCHUGH: And I'm Kristin McHugh. Coming up this half hour on Common Ground, exploring the not-so-glamorous life of the US foreign service.

JOHN NALAND: I think we'd like to take a hardship assignment. But there are different kinds of hardship assignments. I wouldn't want to go back to a danger pay post right now. I wouldn't want to take her to Kabul.

MCHUGH: Plus, fly Europe on $29 a day. And the former East Germany struggles to compete with the West.

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Tea Trademark Tussle

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Related Links
Rooibus, USA
http://rooibosteausa.com

Tell Us What You Think

 

PORTER: It is the ultimate tempest in a teapot—the fight between the growers of a South African plant and an American company which wants to make it a household brand. At issue is the name of an herbal tea which has been used for centuries in South Africa and which is growing in popularity here. It's widely known in its native country by the Afrikaans name for the plant "rooibos," which, literally translated, means "red bush." But the South African industry is up in arms because a Dallas-based company is warning them not to use the word "rooibos" in the United States without permission, saying it owns the exclusive rights to the term over here. Malcolm Brown has more.

MALCOLM BROWN: The company which owns the trademark to the rooibos name in the United States is putting competitors on notice.

VIRGINIA BURKE-WATKINS: They can pay shipment back to South Africa, or it will be dumped.

BROWN: Virginia Burke Watkins, the owner of Burke International in Dallas, wants the US Customs Service to block imports which infringe on her exclusive rights to the name rooibos here in the US. But the South African firm Rooibos Limited is pursuing legal action over the issue. Its Managing Director, Martin Bergh, says the US shouldn't have granted the trademark in the first place.

Martin Bergh: Rooibos is a generic name and as a generic name compares to orange or apple and therefore should not be registerable anywhere in the world.

BROWN: The plant at the center of the dispute is a shrub-like bush with thin, sharp leaves which grows to around five feet high and is found only in a certain area of South Africa's Western Cape. For hundreds of years, the Khoisan indigenous peoples of the region fermented the leaves of the wild-growing plants and used them to make a type of herbal tea. The commercialization of rooibos started early in the 20th century and today, its pleasant sweetish taste and health benefits are attracting new drinkers worldwide.

[Sounds from a small tea shop.]

BROWN: It's certainly a popular choice at this Washington tea shop.

WASHINGTON, DC, TEA SHOP OWNER: People like it hot, because it's robust and hearty like tea but it doesn't have the caffeine. And we also do it iced all summer long and it flies out the door. We can't brew it fast enough.

BROWN: That's music to the ears of Virginia Burke Watkins, who's planning a major marketing push for her trademarked product. In response to the critics, she says she's promoting a great South African export which would not have got this far in the US market without her company's efforts.

BURKE-WATKINS: Do I think it's fair that I own this trademark? Yes I do. For 10 years I have promoted this product in the US. There was no one literally in the US that knew the word rooibos, other than possibly a few South Africans which are, probably you could count on your two hands at the time.

BROWN: She says others are free to bring rooibos into the United States, so long as they call it something else. That's unacceptable to Martin Bergh of Rooibos Limited, who compares the situation to one facing the American fast food giant McDonald's when it arrived in his country.

Bergh: When they did come to South Africa, some other entrepreneurial South African had registered the name McDonald's and he was forced to give it up. McDonald's didn't come and trade as Joe Soap's Hamburgers in South Africa, they came as McDonald's. Rooibos is known as rooibos right round the world. The Japanese says rooibos, the German says rooibos, the Englishman says rooibos. Why shouldn't the American?

BROWN: So, how did the name of a plant indigenous to South Africa become trademarked in the United States in the first place? Jessie Marshall, an attorney at the US Patent and Trademark Office, notes that the rooibos trademark was issued back in 1994, when research was harder than it is today.

Jessie Marshall: We did not have the resources of the Internet that we have now. So, unless the examining attorney had some clue that this was something more than an Afrikaans word that meant "red bush," there would have been no need for the examining attorney to go much further than ask what it meant, get an answer from the applicant, and that's now in the record that that's what this word means.

ANNOUNCER ON A US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE VIDEO: Typically a trademark, or a service mark, consists of a word or design sometimes called a logo or a combination of both. The word or words may be completely fanciful, or may appear in dictionaries.

BROWN: The museum at the US Patent and Trademark Office contains familiar-looking products which are household names. Burke Limited hopes that rooibos will one day join this marketing hall of fame. The company's rivals though have other plans. Rooibos Limited is fighting to have the trademark cancelled. The Patent and Trademark Office says it can't comment on a pending case, but attorney Jessie Marshall will say that the trademark probably wouldn't be granted today. She says that an online search would quickly find support for the case that it's a generic term.

Marshall: They would find a lot of information. They would make the refusal. There's always a possibility that the applicant could argue around the refusal, so I think I would have to say that the examining attorney would probably make the refusal.

BROWN: But overturning a trademark can be a slow process. The cancellation petition in this case was filed back in 1996. For Common Ground, I'm Malcolm Brown in Washington.

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Foreign Service

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Related Links
U.S. Foreign Service
http://www.careers.state.gov
Associates of American Foreign Service
http://www.aafsw.org

Tell Us What You Think

 

MCHUGH: More than half of America's embassies and consulates overseas are classified as hardship posts—for everything from remoteness of location to poor schools to extreme personal danger. And at this crucial time in international relations, the State Department is having a hard time finding qualified people to work at those posts. Judith Smelser reports.

US SENATOR PAUL WELLSTONE: [calling a Senate subcommittee meeting to order.] The subcommittee hearing on ambassadorial nominations to Oman and Pakistan will come to order.

JUSITH SMELSER: This summer, senators came together to approve two new US ambassadors—a routine process, but this time there was a twist. The same committee had confirmed a different ambassador to Pakistan just a year earlier, as Senator Paul Wellstone acknowledged.

WELLSTONE: [speaking before a Senate subcommittee] I want to express my profound gratitude to Ambassador Chamberlin for her service in Pakistan after September 11th and to all of the American and local staff at the American embassy and consulates in Pakistan.

SMELSER: Since September 11th and the ensuing war in neighboring Afghanistan, there have been a number of attacks on foreigners in Pakistan. Families of US diplomats, and even some embassy staff, were evacuated from the country. Among the evacuees were Ambassador Chamberlin's two teenage children, and she felt she couldn't be separated from them. And so, just over nine months after she arrived in Pakistan, Ambassador Chamberlin went back to the US. Her story is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent report by the General Accounting Office—the investigative arm of Congress—suggests that many positions at hardship posts are staffed by unqualified people, and some are not staffed at all. Representative Vic Snyder of Arkansas requested the GAO report.

VIC SNYDER: Particularly for the first few months after September 11th, we heard a lot of discussion about, gee, why doesn't the Arab world understand us? Why isn't the American story getting out? Then you read through this study and you see some of the challenges, some of the shortages that some of these key embassies have.

SMELSER: The report found that in many hardship locations, a large number of employees hold positions above their so-called grade levels. Meaning, essentially that junior foreign service officers are doing jobs that should be done by more experienced members of the corps. And in some cases, embassies and consulates are forced to hire people who lack the language skills they need. For example, the GAO found that while 93 percent of foreign service positions in China require language proficiency, only 38 percent of the officers in that country meet the requirement. And in one consulate in Saudi Arabia, the head of public diplomacy doesn't speak Arabic. So, what's causing the problem?

TOM BOYATT: It's just that right now it's a seller's market, and this is what happens when you have a seller's market.

SMELSER: Former US Ambassador to Colombia and longtime foreign service veteran, Tom Boyatt, says there simply aren't enough people to fill all the positions.

BOYATT: If you have 4,000 posts and 3,000 people, they're gonna volunteer to go to the safer, more comfortable posts. And Colin Powell is moving to correct that, bringing in 1,000 new foreign service officers over the next three years.

SMELSER: Ambassador Boyatt says the State Department is having to play catch up now because the Clinton Administration made drastic cuts in the foreign service budget during the 1990s. And he's still angry about it.

BOYATT: We won the Cold War in '89 and '90. In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. We won! And then, like we always do, we proceeded to disarm, unilaterally, both in the military and in the intelligence, and in the diplomatic. And we paid for that on September 11th.

SMELSER: But the problem in the foreign service is not all about the numbers. Ambassador Boyatt agrees that society has changed since he was a diplomat, especially when it comes to employment for spouses of foreign service officers.

BOYATT: That wasn't a problem in my day. We both saluted and went where they sent us and did what we were told to do.

SMELSER: Now, foreign service officers have to worry about whether their spouses will be able to find work in an overseas post, and in some cases, whether their families will even be safe. John Naland is the President of the American Foreign Service Association, a kind of union representing thousands of current and former foreign service employees. He also served in Colombia, as well as Nicaragua—another hardship post. He says he liked the high morale and sense of purpose that come with working in difficult places, but now that he has a wife and two young daughters, he admits his considerations would be different.

JOHN NALAND: I think we'd like to take a hardship assignment. But there are different kinds of hardship assignments. I wouldn't want to go back to a danger pay post right now. I wouldn't want to take her to Kabul.

SMELSER: Mr. Naland thinks those types of concerns are very valid. But he's frustrated that some people in the foreign service seem unwilling to serve at hardship locations at all. For that reason, his organization suggested that the State Department make sure all officers do their fair share of service at those types of posts.

NALAND: We, the union, believe that during the course of a foreign service career, that everyone should do service in developing countries and places that aren't, you know, as nice as Paris. Because that allows people like me, who prefer hardship posts because of the high morale or whatever reasons, allows us to once in awhile, you know, go to Paris.

SMELSER: But the State Department is skittish about forcing people to go places they don't want to go, for fear those people will simply resign. The foreign service already offers pay incentives for hardship posts and dangerous locations, but Ambassador Boyatt thinks different types of rewards might work better.

BOYATT: You can't become an ambassador unless you've had a hardship post—that kind of thing. Or, at certain levels if you want to get promoted, particularly at the senior levels, you have to, you know, punch that hole in the career sheet.

SMELSER: Ambassador Boyatt is convinced that many of the problems will disappear when the newly hired foreign service officers gain some experience. And there's no lack of interest in the foreign service—the number of applicants for the corps has tripled since September 11th. The challenge will be to make sure the people coming in are well trained and that they end up in the places they're needed most. For Common Ground, I'm Judith Smelser in Washington.

MCHUGH: Coming up next on Common Ground, Europe's no-frills airlines.

PORTER: You're listening to Common Ground, radio's weekly program on world affairs.

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Fly Europe Cheap

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PORTER: America's major airlines are on the brink of collapse. US Airways filed for bankruptcy protection in August and United has said, it too will file for bankruptcy if costs aren't drastically reduced. Adding to their headaches are no-frills discount airlines like Southwest and Jet Blue, which are actually turning profits. Now the same story is unfolding in Europe. Suzanne Chislett reports from London on Europe's new love affair with cheap travel.

[The sound of a jet aircraft taking off.]

SUZANNE CHISLETT: Europe's major airlines—British Airways, Air France, and KLM—were already struggling before 9/11, and were forced to take urgent action to cut costs as passenger numbers fell sharply. But as the big players cut back routes, axed jobs, and tightened margins, their cheaper counterparts experienced massive increases in sales. Ryanair, Easy Jet, and Go, which all offer a no-frills service, saw passenger traffic rise and record profits. They've done away with airline food, free coffee, and television screens, and instead only offer customers a seat to sit on. The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair took a gamble and announced a major expansion at the start of the year. In doing so, it's Chief Executive Michael O'Leary predicted the good times were going to continue.

MICHAEL O'LEARY: Over the next eight years at Ryanair we expect to grow the fleet from 40 to 130 aircraft and to grow our traffic from 10 to 40 million passengers, which will mean that Ryanair will pass-out British Airways to become Europe's largest international scheduled airline.

CHISLETT: As Ryanair spent money on new aircraft, its British competitor Easyjet purchased rival airline Go. Easyjet paid $570 million for Go, which had been sold off by British Airways just a year earlier. At the same time British Airways reported a loss of $348 million on short haul flights for the financial year ending March 31, and was forced to dramatically rethink its fare structure.

[The sound of a jet aircraft.]

CHISLETT: Gone are the mandatory Saturday night stays for cheaper tickets. Most advance purchase clauses have disappeared and fare categories were slashed from 26 to just 12 on the majority of flights across Europe. British Airways is now desperately battling to get back into the market it abruptly left when it sold off Go. Chief Executive Rod Eddington says in the wake of 9/11 he is ensuring the company has a solid core operation.

ROD EDDINGTON: No company can sail unscathed through the major short-term shocks such as those of September 11th last year. But by taking a more long-term outlook business can ensure survival and eventual prosperity in an unpredictable business climate. To achieve this we've got to strive to control our own destiny rather than be a victim of events.

CHISLETT: British Air is not the only airline trying to get a bigger chunk of the low-cost market. Dutch Airline KLM owns Buzz, BMI British Midland has set up BMI Baby, Virgin Atlantic operates Virgin Express, and Germany's Lufthansa is considering a similar move.

[The sound of a public address announcer at an airport, announcing flights.]

CHISLETT: But it is not just the traditional players trying to spread their wings. Travel companies are also getting in on the act. MyTravelLite is an offshoot of Britain's biggest tour operator MyTravel, formerly Airtours. It's recently entered the market operating flights from some of the UK's less busy airports, offering tourists tickets to resorts in France, Spain, and Switzerland for as little as $29 one-way. MyTravelLite spokesman Tim Jeans insists there is still room for more competition is this already crowded market.

TIM JEANS: What's going to set MyTravelLite apart from the other operators on the market is our cost-base. From our cost base we will be able to deliver lower fares and therefore more passengers. And we intend to concentrate solely on leisure routes rather than trying to diversify into business or other niche markets.

CHISLETT: This increase in competition means Britain is quickly running out of passenger capacity at the major airports. Proposals are now being discussed for an extra runway and terminal at Heathrow or even a new airport on the outskirts of London, and also a string of expansions in the regional airports. Over 180 million people passed through Britain's airports in 2000, and despite the fall off following 9/11, experts estimate that number will double in the next 15 years. But in the last 50 years no new runways have been built at the main airports. British Transport Secretary Alastair Dowling says that must change.

ALASTAIR DARLING: If we do nothing the UK will lose out. Not just in terms of flights but also in terms of jobs. We believe that it is in Britain's interests to maintain a world-class global hub airport in the Southeast—not just because it is good for passengers but because it is an essential part of the United Kingdom's prosperity.

CHISLETT: In 2001 Britain's low cost airlines carried 16 million passengers around the country, and to and from the rest of Europe, 26% more people than the year before. Industry analysts say this is one sector that will continue to grow rapidly, that means more bad times for traditional short haul flag carriers, who will have to diversify or watch profits fall. And with so many low-cost airlines entering the markets a wave of consolidation is also being predicted. The only guaranteed winners are the passengers who can now fly from Britain to the rest of Europe for less than the price of a train ticket from one end of England to the other. For Common Ground, I'm Suzanne Chislett in London.

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German Economy

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MCHUGH: The summer floods that heavily damaged cities in Germany also drenched the country's economy. Damage is estimated at nearly $15 billion. And while the European Union may be able to provide some relief, it's expected the German government will have to come up with most of the aid. and economic times are already tough in Germany. As Common Ground's Simon Marks reports, the country is still finding it difficult reconciling the former Communist East, with the advanced economy of the West.

[The sound of a busy employment office.]

SIMON MARKS: The employment bureau in Magdeburg, East Germany, has sleek new offices but an age-old problem. Unemployment has always been high in this part of the Communist East. But as the crowded hallways here each day illustrate, it's now running at 19 1/2 percent. That's double the national average and has helped push the country's jobless total to its highest level in three years and back over the psychologically-important four million barrier. Gustav Horn is an employment analyst with the German Institute for Economic Research.

GUSTAV HORN: Certainly the labor market concerns me, mostly because unemployment is still very high in Germany, for years already very high in Germany. And that causes a lot of problems, financial problems and social problems, a lot.

[The sounds from a busy factory floor.]

MARKS: Magdeburg's industrial plants still give the appearance of being productive, but factory orders all over Germany have fallen unexpectedly amid fears that the economy is heading into a recession. Growth estimates have been cut from one percent to as little as half a percent for 2002. Uncertainty about jobs and volatile stock markets mean Germans are saving more and spending less. Germany's economic policy has been driven in large part since 1990 by the effort to reintegrate Magdeburg and the rest of the East with the capitalist economy of the West. Stephan Collignon, a former finance ministry official, says that's the main reason why Germany's economy lags behind those of other Western European countries.

STEPHAN COLLIGNON: German unification has enormously increased the burden on the productive part of the German economy. It has increased the tax burden and it has lowered the aggregate return on capital for German industry.

MARKS: And the economic gap between East and West is getting wider. German officials now say they underestimated the problems of the East, and the recent flooding in several Eastern cities destroyed millions of dollars worth of infrastructure.

[The sound of traffic.]

MARKS: A simple tour of Magdeburg reveals the extent of the problems. Crumbling buildings that almost define the phrase "faded grandeur," dominate the city's skyline. Repairing them, and steering East Germany's economy back on the road to recovery is an enormous weight around the rest of the country's neck. And now analysts are wondering whether Germany needs to take more drastic measures to integrate the East and revive its economy. For Common Ground, I'm Simon Marks reporting.

PORTER: That's our show for this week. If you have questions or comments about today's program, visit our Web site at commongroundradio.org or e-mail us at commonground@commongroundradio.org. Please drop us a line—we'd love to hear from you.

MCHUGH: Transcripts and information on how to order copies of this and other Common Ground programs are also available on our Web site: commongroundradio.org. I'm Kristin McHugh.

PORTER: And I'm Keith Porter. Cliff Brockman is our Associate Producer. B.J. Liederman created our theme music. Additional compositions by Wink Music.

ANNOUNCER: Common Ground is a Stanley Foundation production. The Stanley Foundation: promoting public understanding, constructive dialogue, and cooperative action on critical international issues. On the Web at stanleyfoundation.org.

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