>> welcome to the "journal" here on dw. as the leaders of europe's two biggest economies hold talks in berlin, the german chancellor urges greece to stick to its reform path. >> the eurozone may be in trouble, but germany's economy has recorded a big budget surplus. >> the mars rover curiosity goes off road to explore the red planet.
german chancellor angela merkel has urged greece to stick to its program of reforms as she began talks with the french president, said to be dominated by athens debt. >> the prime minister -- the greek prime minister warned that his country's exit from the eurozone would start a devastating domino effect. >> greece has been falling behind in the program to satisfy international lenders and has asked for more time to meet its obligations. >> the french and german leaders made it clear that athens must live up to its commitments, but underlined their commitment that greece should say in the euro -- their conviction. >> it is important for me that everyone stands by the commitments they made. we have to wait for the troika report and see what it says, but we will -- i will -- encourage agrees to stay on the path of reform, which is making so many demands on the people of greece.
>> we want -- i want -- greece to be in the eurozone. it is a which we have expressed since the beginning of the crisis, but now, it is up to grease to make the efforts which are indispensable to achieving this goal. >> germany and france are seeking a common position in the face of greek requests for more time to carry out the reforms demanded of them. >> let's go now live to our chief political correspondent, who is standing by outside the chancellor were talks between merkel and hollande are continuing at this hour. it does not sound as if the greek prime minister will hear what he wants to when he arrives in berlin tomorrow. >> in fact, this was quite a strong statement from mr. hollande and angela merkel indicating that there will be no relaxation of the conditions being demanded of greece. the leaders have had differences
in the past. francois hollande has tended to favor a growth path, where as angela merkel is seen as a hard- liner on austerity -- whereas angela merkel is seen as a hard- liner on austerity, but they have done their best to put up a united front. both have said in the past that no decisions will be made until mid-september at the earliest, which is when the troika, the eu, and the imf will report on greek progress. tonight, it was clear that both france and germany will be expecting the troika to say that greece is on its path, is staying on target, or else there will be no decisions about possibly improving some of the terms expected of greece. >> angela merkel is in a very tough position right now. internationally, she is under to pressure to stabilize the euro. domestically, german taxpayers do not want to put up any more cash for any more bailouts. >> that is right. germany is the eurozone's biggest economy, europe's
paymaster, and people are concerned about throwing good money after bad. there has been talk among conservatives in the csu, the cdu's sister party, that may be a referendum should be held on eurozone membership, and according to polls, nearly 50% of germans would vote against remaining in the you if they were to hold such a referendum now. that makes it tough going for angela merkel. we have an election coming up next year. maybe that is one reason why today she was out launching a new campaign called "i want europe," supposed to be talking up membership in the eu, and that could prove very important for angela merkel in the coming months. >> thanks so very much. things may be looking bleak for the eurozone as a whole, but german tax revenues are surging. berlin's public finances are back in the black in the first
six months of this year. >> that is even as europe's biggest economy begins to feel the effects of the debt crisis. new figures showed germany's budget surplus of over 8 billion euros. >> while other euro countries struggle with huge deficits, the money is pouring into germany treasury. in the first half of the year, the government took in more money than it spent. the surplus was due to a strong labor market and steady consumer spending. payments into the retirement and unemployment entrance programs were especially strong. after seeing a budget surplus in the year 2000, germany's fiscal situation fluctuated. in some years, new debt reached 3% of the gross domestic product, violating the stability and growth path. the good news comes in as germans are enjoying the last days of summer, but the government warns the economy could cool in the fall, making continued surplus is difficult to achieve. >> the news of germany's budget surplus was well received on the
trading floor, but economic data from the u.s. spoiled the mood. our correspondence sent us this report from frankfurt. -- our correspondent. >> the fact that germany and the german economy is in better shape than the economies of other european states is well known also here at the german stock market, and as traders are saying the dax already benefited from this strength. investors talked a lot about negotiations between greece and germany and the eu, although they all were saying that they do not think that there will be an outcome this week. so investors focused on new economic data from the u.s. -- the u.s. unemployment rate has been higher than expected. this drag down the dax -- dragged down the dax under 7000 points. >> a quick look at the market numbers. the dax, as we just heard, ended
in negative territory, down by 1%. euro stoxx 50 following suit, down by 1%. the dow jones down for the moment, down three. -- down 0.75%. the euro was trading for $ 1.2568. going fairly strong, actually, these days. german auto maker opel, celebrating its 150th anniversary today, says it is slowing down production in response to a slump in sales. and the cutback is quite deep. the company plans to cut back workers' hours, eliminate -- eliminating about 20 work days. measures will affect about half of all local employees. the general motors subsidiary posted losses of 500 million euros for the first half of this year. >> what was to be a day for celebration turned sour for opel's workers.
on its 150th anniversary, it announced a reduced hours. the workers' council sees this as the only way to secure jobs. >> what we achieved in our negotiations is a limit to the loss of earnings. no matter how many reduced work days there will be, none of the pay scale employees will lose more than 6% of their net earnings. >> by the end of the year, opel's production lines will have been running for 20 days less than initially planned. only the development center in reston will remain unaffected. employees are facing a situation with mixed feelings. >> that is just the way it is. i think it will mostly hit the factory, not the engineering section, like us. we will move on. it is just politics. >> experts do not think reduce working hours alone will be able to fix opel's problems. >> this will be an initial compromise that works for a few months, but no more than that. in the long run, we will have to
see whether they undertake fundamental reforms, but for now, i do not see any insights on that. >> some of the debate over possible plant closures in germany looks set to continue. >> the south african president has announced a creation of a judicial inquiry into the deaths of 34 miners who died in strike- related clashes with police in the deadliest clashes since apartheid. van at a ceremony was held near the scene of the violence, which local media are describing as a massacre -- >> a ceremony was held near the scene of the violence. >> thousands of mourners gathered in a tent to remember the victims of the violence. 34 miners were gunned down by police last week during a strike over pay. police say they were acting in self-defense as many of the miners were armed with machetes. mortar's offered prayers for the
victims while priests called for justice and forgiveness, but many here are furious -- mourners offered prayers for the victims. >> if it were up to me, i would want everyone involved in the incident, including mine managers, to be arrested, the whole lot of them. because a person's life is not measured in money. >> we are very, very hurt. i used to work in mines. i am now retired, but we have never seen anything like this. the killing of innocents who have done nothing wrong -- nothing. they did not deserve to be killed like that. >> the president paid a visit to the workers on wednesday and promised an investigation. he has now appointed a commission that will look into the actions of police and the unions, and investigate the mine owner's treatment of its workers. >> actual also investigate
whether, by act or omission, the company directly or indirectly caused loss of life or damage to persons. >> the company has entered wage negotiations with workers. for those who lost friends and family, it is little compensation -- consolation. >> in a minute, we will look at the roll fans have played in germany's soccer bundesliga. >> first, a look at other stories making the news. john david chapman pleaded guilty to shooting john lennon outside his residence in 1980. lyndon's widow says she believes chapman still poses a risk to herself, lennon's sons and the public at large -- lennon's widow. >> tropical storm isaac it's turning its way into the
caribbean. the u.s. military base at guantanamo in cuba is in its path. the u.s. has postponed a pre- trial hearing after five prisoners accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks. >> police in western germany have launched a massive operation against local neo-nazi groups. more than 900 officers raided about 100 homes and meeting places on thursday. the operation came after authorities in the state of -- in one state outloud 3 groups. every week, masses of fans had up to the stadiums. an average of 44,000 attend every bundesliga match. >> that is more than in any soccer league worldwide. germany's bundeswehr is celebrate -- germany's bundesliga is celebrating half a century of play this week. >> we celebrate the fans who have been at the very heart of
german soccer for half a century. >> the very first match in bundesliga history. fans turned out in their sunday best. there were no barriers separating spectators from the pitch. no advertisements either. in the 1970's, fences were put up to separate rival groups of fans. young fans gathered where the view was that and the tickets were cheap -- with the view was that in the tickets were cheap. it was a place they could go to forget their manners. >> in the 1980's, soccer games were where the working class went to act up. that was the reputation, and it kept other people away. the stadiums were seen as dodgy and rowdy. >> things were set to get even rowdier. the arrival of the hooligan scene meant more and more fights. it was a disappointment for the real fans, who were there to watch soccer.
and projects helped reduce the tensions, but as the bundesliga became more commercial, more fanatic supporters started organizing to defense team traditions. they call themselves a ultra -- themselves ulstras. -- ultras. >> they are seen as the team's conscience, but you also have a side that says they will steal each other scarves and maybe give each other a good smack. >> sometimes, their love for soccer goes beyond their respect for the law, but they also organized the letter displays and decorations and help create the exciting atmosphere that can raise goosebumps and the occasional riot -- organize the elaborate displays and decorations. >> it looked like a lot of fun when there was no separation between the pitch and the spectators. >> very peaceful and great fun. good times. >> after a short break, we will
>> thanks for staying with us. >> in syria, damascus is experiencing some of the worst fighting since the uprising started last month. >> after a day of inns -- intense shelling and bombardment, the army has entered some of the suburbs in a bid to push out rebels. warplanes and heavy artillery are also being used in the northern city of aleppo. >> the government claims it has recaptured three strategic cities and is closing in on the remaining rebel strongholds. >> i witnesses keep reporting intense battles in several parts of a lot of -- i witnesses --
eyewitnesses keep reporting intense battles in several parts of aleppo, but it is impossible to confirm footage over the internet. people queue outside the few food shops that still remain open. >> this is what assad wants -- he wants to kill the people, starve the people. there is no bread, electricity, water, diesel, or petrol. people have mostly fled, defeated by the aerial bombardment or shelling. >> united nations estimates some 2000 -- some 200,000 people are in need of assistance. so far, nowhere near enough aid is getting through. >> we face problems with access to people in need, particularly where there is intense and ongoing fighting. funding is also holding us back. if we had more resources, we could reach more people.
>> most of them are civilians like these, who have managed to reach relative safety just in time for this new arrival. >> thanks be to god he is healthy. i named him mohammad like our profit. >> one ray of hope amid the chaos of the conflict, which is taking an ever greater toll on the general population. >> in germany, a debate about the legality of religious circumcision has gone before the government's ethics counsel. the issue came to the floor after a regional court ruled that circumcision was a form of grievous bodily harm against a minor. >> german jews and muslims have condemned the decision ended years that it infringes on their religious freedom. the german government has been drafting legislation that would protect parents and circumcises from criminal charges -- circumcisers from criminal
charges. >> experts gathered to discuss the effect of circumcision on male children. some want to -- some want a complete ban and others do not. others want the practice to continue only under supervision. >> all sides must endeavor to come up with good, reasonable, and livable compromise. >> it is a complicated issue because there are medical and theological questions in addition to the legal issues. for jews and muslims, circumcision is an important religious ritual. >> for example, in turkish culture, circumcision marks the social and religious transition from childhood to adolescence. which is tied to new rights and responsibilities. >> but opponents of circumcision say the law against bodily harm cannot be suspended for jews and muslims, though they acknowledge germany's history makes the issue especially thorny. >> given the historical mass murder of jews at the hands of germans, the german government
has amongst all nations a singular responsibility to be sensitive to the interests of the jewish community. >> the ethics counsel is not ready to make a recommendation just yet. -- the ethics counsel -- ethics council. it seems likely they will permit circumcision if anesthetic is used. >> as we just heard, in judaism, circumcision is an essential ritual, but it comes into conflict with the german state's guarantee that every person has a right to determine what happens with their own body, even infants. >> because they are too young to decide for themselves on the issue, the state has the responsibility to protect them -- so goes the constitutional reasoning. here is a look at the clashing cultural views from both sides in this debate. >> every week, this man takes his two boys.
it is important that they grow up in the muslim faith. it was always clear that his boys would be circumcised. it is a sign of belonging to the islamic community. he is a doctor. circumcision is a minor procedure for him. when the boys reached the ages of two and three, he took them to be circumcised. >> it did not take long. maybe half an hour. there was a bit of pain for a day or two, and then it was ok. >> i am responsible for my children. i decide what they can and cannot do. this was no different. >> until now, muslim parents have been able to choose what they think is best for their children.
but since the cologne court ruling, what used to be private has now become public. parents no longer have the freedom to choose, but health workers say parents are violating a much greater freedom -- a child's right to physical integrity. then the parents do not have rights over a child's body. -- >> parents do not have rights over a child's body. they cannot do that. it is a fundamental, constitutional right for everyone in germany. it is part of the constitution that is irreversible, and for a good reason. >> the courses every operation must have a medical purpose to prevent suffering, but circumcision causes suffering to a child, with or without an anesthetic. >> if the procedure is done with
a local anesthetic, there is a certain trauma for the child, and then there is the trauma of the pain afterwards. >> he is demanding people be allowed to choose themselves whether or not they want to be circumcised. >> in other news, sentencing is set for tomorrow in the case of the norwegian gunman, anders breivik, who confessed to the attacks that left 77 people dead. >> 5 district court judges must decide if he is sane and goes to jail or if he is insane and to a mental asylum. either way, he will be calling the top security prison just outside oslo home. >> right outside of the trial, he insisted he was sane. he says norway is in danger of being taken over by foreigners. >> i do not recognize the norwegian courts. you have received your mandate from political parties, which support multiculturalism.
>> it was hoped the trial would help bring emotional closure after the horror of the attacks, which shocked the country, but at times, it looked like breivik was basking in the international attention. witnesses and survivors gulped hard when he shed tears, not for victims but for himself. he cried when watching a self- made video in which he is shown in a crusade against islam. his testimony was not allowed to be broadcast. he spoke for 75 minutes on his role in the killings and said his only regret was that he did not kill more people. >> it was very emotionally difficult. on the other hand, it was good that he had an opportunity to explain himself because this is according to the norwegian law. >> the prosecutor grilled him extensively on his motives during the trial. he said his ideological
inspiration came from which to pd. he came up with a radical manifesto claiming that muslims were seeking up to take over norway and claimed membership in a mystical light could that norwegian authorities could not link to other members. in the end, he admitted to being a one-man terror cell, but he himself remains a mystery. >> why did this happen? how could someone do something so horrible in such a short span of time? how does a human being become a killing machine? >> breivik's lawyer says his client fully expects to be sent to prison and insists he will appeal if the court decides he is insane and sends him to a psychiatric institution instead.
>> curiosity has made its first tentative venture into the unknown of the red planet as it seeks to unveil its secrets. >> with the world wants to know is that the planet have any frozen water and mineral deposits? many have been intrigued by the terrain. >> here are some of the latest snapshots as it begins to roll on out. >> images from one of the cameras on curiosity. nasa says the robot has successfully taken its first test drive, going four meters forward, turning, and then backing up a couple of meters as seen in this computer animation. during curiosity's mission over the next two years, the world can expect to see many more images like these, which the rover transmitted after it -- back to earth 10 days after it landed. nasa has named the site bradbury
landing in honor of the american science fiction writer ray bradbury who died earlier this year. bradbury's martian chronicles, published more than 60 years ago, imagine the colonization of the red planet by humans. but that is still a ways away. in the meantime, curiosity will be searching for clues that there might once have been life on mars. >> we certainly look forward to getting more information about that. >> i am curious to see how many more pictures will be. >> franco-german talks going at this hour here in berlin on greece. we will have more in our next bulletin about those proceedings. >> for now, this is it. thank you for staying with us. >> see you again. bye-bye. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--