In Spain, particularly in the contested Catalonia region, soccer is political. The country is home to the two top teams in the world, Football Club Barcelona, or “Barça,” and Real Madrid. Barça is a premier symbol of Catalan identity and pride, while Real Madrid is seen to represent the Spanish crown and Madrid’s rule over Catalonia. As the battle over Catalan independence hits crisis levels, AJ+’s Dena Takruri hangs out with Catalan soccer fans, for whom stadiums are a symbolic battleground over the future of this region.
The battle in Catalonia over independence from Spain reached a turning point Oct. 1, after an independence referendum was met with a brutal crackdown by Spanish national police. Since then, Spain has been witnessing the worst constitutional crisis in its recent history. AJ+’s Dena Takruri went to Catalonia to find out what’s driving thousands of Catalans into the streets to either fight for secession from Spain, or demand unity.
Just two miles from where the Trump administration is drafting anti-refugee policies, a little Washington, DC, falafel shop is trying to do the opposite. AJ+’s Dena Takruri visits Falafel Inc., which donates a portion of its profits to feed refugees through the World Food Programme, and also hires and trains refugees to eventually open their own franchises.
As tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalate, South Koreans are caught in the middle. AJ+’s Dena Takruri asked young South Koreans who’s scarier, Kim Jong-un or Donald Trump? And are you afraid of a possible attack?
Sun Mu once made propaganda art for the North Korean government. Now a defector, he creates art freely in South Korea. But his exhibit was banned in China, and he has to keep his identity concealed to protect the family he left behind. AJ+’s Dena Takruri sat down with him just as tensions between North Korea and the U.S. were heating up.
Tensions are heating up on the Korean peninsula, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump exchanging heated threats. AJ+’s Dena Takruri visits a U.S. military unit in South Korea whose motto is “Ready to Fight Tonight.” And she travels to a village where the U.S. military’s most advanced missile defense system, THAAD, has been installed in a remote village despite protests by local people. Watch Part 1: North Korea’s Dangerous Border: Inside The DMZ https://youtu.be/a12yniZVGLQ Watch Part 3: Meet North Korea’s Former Propaganda Artist https://youtu.be/BNjjWUD29PY
Did you know North Korea and China are still technically at war with South Korea and the U.S.? That’s because the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty. Today, the border between North Korea and South Korea remains one of the most tense and dangerous in the world. AJ+’s Dena Takruri takes you inside the demilitarized zone between the two countries, known as the DMZ, where war could break out at any moment.
Three floods in about as many years. Houston residents Israel Mustafa and Norma Perez are starting over again in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. AJ+’s Dena Takruri visited them to see how they’re coping.