26:35 | News and current affairs
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Dateline

SBS

Turkish journalist Can Duendar has recently been shot at, then sentenced to six years in prison for revealing state secrets. Dateline speaks to him about what he describes as an attack on freedom of speech in Turkey. "It's a dangerous game to be a journalist in Turkey," he tells Dateline's Geoff Parish in an interview recorded shortly before his sentencing. Duendar is Editor in Chief of influential newspaper Cumhuriyet and a strong critic of the government. "We have a president that hates criticism," he says. "He tries to give the idea that if you criticise me, you will be in jail. And the others keep their silence, that's the chilling effect." Dateline is also able to get access to more of those fighting to speak out, including a TV executive already in prison and an outspoken former presenter facing a social media hate campaign. "Hoping Inshallah your body will be dismantled into tiny little pieces," Sedef Kabas reads in a tweet she received. The former host and panel guest has over 200,000 twitter followers. The backlash followed a tweet she posted in 2013 about an investigation into corruption that implicated government ministers. She was charged and faced 10 years in jail. Although acquitted, she won't be silenced. "There are hundreds of people being paid, getting salary, to write these posts," she says, believing they're written by supporters of the president's ruling AK Party. "There is escalating crackdown on free press."

25:09 | News and current affairs
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Dateline

SBS

"It's been 12 years since I've seen them," mum Rosa tells Aaron Thomas on tonight's Dateline. "They're the most important thing I have in the world, my children." Her sons left when they were 16 and 18 and are now undocumented migrants in the United States just two of more than 12 million Mexicans living there. Rosa has kept her sons' bedroom exactly as they left it. "I don't come here often, because when I see them it breaks my heart," she says. Rosa has kept her sons' bedroom exactly as they left it. "I don't come here often, because when I see them it breaks my heart," she says. Hers is a familiar story in the town of San Francisco Tetlanohcan. The men aren't even able to visit, because crossing the border back into Mexico would be illegal and dangerous. "I pray a lot that nothing happens to them," Rosa says. "That they won't get caught, and they'll achieve their dreams." 'There's always someone missing from the dinner table': Mexico's divided families They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but for women in Mexico separated from their husbands and sons, that heart is missing. Aaron Thomas writes about the void they're left trying to fill at the family dinner table. "My whole family are migrants. From my father to my brothers and finally my husband," another of the woman Lupita says. She's only seen her husband on video chats over the past six years. For these impoverished families, it's not as simple as just paying for flights, and getting a visa is almost impossible. "It's been very difficult," Lupita says. "Because they are away from the family for many years here life is very hard." Lupita video chats with her husband. It's the only way she's been able to see him over the past six years. Lupita video chats with her husband. It's the only way she's been able to see him over the past six years. But they have a dramatic plan. They've banded together in a support group called CAFAMI to create a play about their story, with the message that Mexico's young people must stop leaving. If they can get an invitation to perform it in the United States, they might be able to enter the country as performing artists, and finally be reunited. "I was a very shy woman, nervous, very ashamed," Rosa says. "But now that I'm in CAFAMI, I feel like a different woman." "Everything got started with the trip, rehearsals, workshops," group leader Monica says. "We were very nervous, very very nervous." "I told them that whether they give us a visa or not, we mustn't show emotion." The women have given their theatre troupe an indigenous name, which translates as Brilliant Women of the Stars. The women have given their theatre troupe an indigenous name, which translates as Brilliant Women of the Stars. But behind the acting, emotions are high on both sides of the border. "I really want to tell her I love her and have missed her," Rosa's son tells Aaron in New York, as he waits to see if they'll be allowed into the country. These families have already been through so much. Can they take more heartache if their audacious plan fails? Or will they be reunited at last with their long lost loved ones?

22:23 | News and current affairs
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Dateline

SBS

Drinking games, sex talk and jigsaws - this is life in a unique Dutch retirement home. Tonight's Dateline meets the young and old living side-by-side, sharing the joys of life, and the sadness of death, together. You have to try to throw a white ping pong ball into the beer, and then you have to drink it, Annie Middelburg explains about the beer pong drinking game shes just learnt. Shes 84 but she says that things are lot more fun when shes spending time with youngsters like 22-year-old Jurrien Mentink. Hes one of six students who live rent free at the Humanitas aged care home in Deventer near Amsterdam. In return, they agree to spend at least 30 hours a month socialising with the older residents. Students struggle to find housing in the Netherlands, especially in big cities, Jurrien tells Aaron Lewis on tonights Dateline. I pay nothing to live here. Amsterdam was short of 9,000 student rooms in 2014 alone, while two years earlier, the Dutch government cut care funding for people over 80. Those two shortages prompted Humanitas to come up with this cheap way of providing better care, and company, for their residents. I think that the students influence the whole tone of the conversation here, CEO Gea Sijpkes explains on the thinking behind her idea. So that its not only about death, sickness and old age, but also about youth, about parties, about girlfriends. In fact, a lot of the talk here revolves around sex! I saw you came in late with a pretty girl, 93-year-old Joke van Beek says to Jurrien. And did things go well? Things went well, it was good, he tells her. I escorted her home like a gentleman. They sometimes like to flirt with a young guy, another student Jordi Pronk tells Aaron. You pass by and they whistle or wink at you or they give you a little slap on the behind. There are two residents I must visit if I have a new girlfriend, he says. Afterwards I hear how they really feel they keep an eye on everything. Rather than a generation gap, these old and young people have become very close by living side-by-side. Things are a lot more fun when we're all together, Annie says as Jurrien shows her how to use Facebook on her tablet. They become like your own sons you consider them like your own family. What I see from the elderly is that they really enjoy the little things, Jurrien explains. Young people are so focused on their future that they dont notice things like how beautiful this park is, theyre just racing through it on their way to work or school. But they know that as well as making life enjoyable for the residents at Humanitas, they also have a serious role to play. And Jordi feels added responsibility in the dementia ward. Sometimes you have to explain to people that they may have forgotten that their husband or parents have already passed away, he says. Its always a surprise, every time you see that pain come again. Its hard to see people intensely sad. Sometimes residents keep waiting for something thats not there I try to explain as honestly as I can and just comfort them. And inevitably these are friendships that can quite suddenly come to an end, as they face the final moments of life together. For Annie, that means a typically upbeat approach. Ive already had three people dying in their chairs at dinner, she tells Aaron. But it happens, it doesnt worry me. She wished me a good life, to get the most out of it, Jurrien says of a former 105-year-old neighbour shortly before she passed away. Its a nice feeling to help them find their final moments of happiness.

24:51 | News and current affairs
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Dateline

SBS

A year on on from Nepal's earthquake, there's little progress in rebuilding physically or politically. Dateline meets the people trying to move on, in a country more vulnerable than ever. Immediately after the quake, the world rushed to help in the rescue effort and almost $4 billion was pledged in aid. But with a government infrastructure as shaky as the poorly-constructed buildings, efforts to rebuild have been hindered by bureaucracy and political power play. "The donors failed us, the government failed us," Gagan Thapa tells Dateline. "Despite that, we are surviving, we are living with hope." He's a rising star in Nepal's ruling coalition, frustrated that so much aid money went into a central fund that's only recently authorised rebuilding. When Aaron Lewis arrives a year on from his last visit, he finds a country trying to modernise at a time when people are still living amidst the rubble, waiting for help. "People have learnt a lot," Krishna Dharel says. Dateline filmed with him last year in his badly damaged six-storey building. Forty to 50 people died in his neighbourhood alone. Now his home only has three floors, but it's been made safe thanks to the country's new building code. "People have started to sense that it's not earthquakes which kill people, it's the poorly built structures which kill people," he says. Kamal Bhattarai is a reporter for the Kathmandu Post. He looks back on the past year that also saw Nepal introduce a new constitution - after eight years of negotiation. "After the constitution passed, there were high expectations that it would bring political stability, but that really didn't happen," he says. "Almost half of the population living in Nepal's southern belt didn't take the ownership of the constitution, which invited political instability in the region." What if another earthquake hit Nepal now? Could the country cope?

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