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tv   Journal  PBS  August 7, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>> welcome to the "journal" on dw. >> here is a look at the next half hour -- syrian government forces pounded rebel positions in key battlegrounds of aleppo and damascus. >> another big bank in big trouble -- u.s. regulators accuse standard chartered of skimming in iran. >> and a torrential rains in the philippine capital manila bourse thousands of people to flee their homes -- and torrential rains in the philippine capital manila bourse -- force thousands of people to flee their homes. syria's leader has been holding
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talks with one of his last allies, iran. in a meeting with the senior iranian envoy, he vowed to crush the syrian rebellion. >> the iranian envoy offered his countries backing in what he says has become an international conflict. iran has accused turkey and countries in the gulf of arming the opposition in syria in collusion with the u.s. and syria. >> the government continues its air bombardment of rebel bases in syria's biggest city, aleppo. the opposition says fighting has spread to more suburbs as both sides try to gain control of the strategic urban center. >> a lot of footage we have been broadcasting during the last few months has been unverified internet video, but here is a report filed by a german tv reporter on the ground. >> assad's men -- those are the words repeated across syria in places of destruction.
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assad's men were here in this village. tank tracks tell the same tale. a few meters or a bit -- further on, a car flipped over and flatten. villagers say assad's men could be back any time. blood spatters mark the entrance to a house. the walls are filled with bullet holes. neighbors said assad's men came and shot the residents dead. no one can say for sure why. over and over, residents placed the blame on the militia. the unit is believed to be responsible for most of the murders of civilians in syria. the house next door was torched. syrian state tv reported an army face-off here against the rebels. they said 50 people were killed. opposition forces as well as civilians. neighbors say the number was well over 80, although neither figure could be confirmed.
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one thing appears certain -- assad's men were here. outside the capital, a small town was once a hotbed for anti- assad demonstrations, but their anti-regime chants are not heard any more. most had fled to relatives or neighboring countries. back in damascus, roadblocks marked every major intersection. anyone who wants to pass here has to show identification and convince government security to let them through. just two weeks ago, these streets were a battleground. and the terrorists had occupied this area. it is all normal people around here. we are not interested in politics. we all hit and the police and army came and liberated us. >> that is the standard answer, but not everyone favors the
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regime. these young syrians say they meet regularly to discuss syria's future, a future they want to see without assad, but unlike the young rebels, they want that to happen without violence. this former political prisoner heads the opposition group building the syrian state. they are even tolerated by the regime. they advocate negotiation rather than war. they say assad might even have to stick around for a time during a transition of power. >> may be the first phase, we can dialogue with the regime and the second phase, maybe we will have dialogue and represent the regime better. >> this regime opponent once shared their view. another former political prisoner, he says he gave up his last hope for a non-pilot solution last week when united nations special envoy kofi annan
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resign -- his last hope for a non-a violent solution -- non- violent solution. he said syria's only hope is if the country comes together to put pressure on the regime. >> have to reach any kind of understanding if not an agreement to solve the problem. >> for now, assad's men say they are winning the fight. the special military unit took back a damascus suburbs in a battle of tanks obverses rifles. they have declared the capital free of so-called terrorist. next up, they say, syria's main hub -- aleppo. the bloodshed continues on both sides. >> russian prosecutor's what the -- russian prosecutors want the pussy riot rock band
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locked up. but the european union accuses moscow of intimidating judges and witnesses, saying the case breaches international judicial standards. >> a verdict is expected in the next few days. >> members of the band pussy riot have already apologized for their protest stunt. they maintain their paul prayer was not aimed at insulting the church, but the church has one of the danger of trivializing the incident. the plan to's lawyer has sought to clarify their position. >> this is a serious crime. this is hooliganism. it is not a political case. putin was not in the church. they created chaos. >> lawyers for the ban are already thinking past the trial. >> if our clients, the
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defendants, are found guilty, we will appeal against the verdict within russian institutions and through international bodies as well. >> the trial has been criticized in the west, including in germany. >> a prison sentence of three years and pre-child custody for such an artistic event is entirely out of proportion, and i urge the german government to take a firm stance. >> the verdict can be handed down as early as next week, but for many, the trial is a disgrace to russia. >> regulators in the united states accused british bank standard chartered of hiding billions of dollars in transactions tied to iran. >> it is the sixth foreign bank in the past few years to be implicated in dealings with sanctioned countries like iran. officials are threatening to dissolve the lenders license.
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>> that sent stocks plummeting on tuesday. the threat from the new york state department of financial services is serious. standard chartered is in danger of losing its new york banking license. that would be a disaster for the british bank. the regulator alleges that standard chartered conducted hidden financial transactions with iran for almost 10 years. the illegal transactions may total some $250 billion, but the bank disagrees with that account. >> the state department alleges that this covers 60,000 transactions worth over $250 billion. according to standard chartered, the amounts in dispute cover less than $14 million. so, a tiny fraction. >> standard chartered specializes in the emerging economies of asia and africa. the allegations have come as a surprise to many. >> until now, standard chartered were seen as a safe haven.
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there were not part with any scandals or allegations, and as a result, they traded above peers because of this. this, however, does take them down a notch and could result in a de-rating of the stock. >> shares have fallen 26%. u.s. officials are to discuss the matter with standard chartered in a meeting scheduled for next week. >> for a look at more market action, let's go to the frankfurt stock exchange. >> the new banking scandal also shocked traders on the frankfurt floor. it is also putting pressure on german bank shares, but the overall mood was again on the outside. the prospect of more help from central banks is the main driver. disappointing german industrial data and the growing risk of a recession in the eurozone have been ignored while positive
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corporate results were much welcomed. >> the dax is on the rise, thanks in part to munich re. the german reinsurer has presented quarterly results surpassing all expectations. and a pretty good -- 800 million euros profit. the earthquake and tsunami hurt revenues earlier this year, but the global firm is back in good financial form. >> the world's largest reinsurance company is setting aside funds in anticipation of extremely poor crop yields in north america. the international reinsurer protect against disasters including droughts. profits were up 10% in the first half of the year. >> we and many others are worried about the development of the global economy. the euro crisis is far from over. in fact, one could even say
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things are getting worse. >> turbulent times have made it difficult to find a secure investment opportunities. munich re has to make sure their assets do not lose value. >> coping with the low interest rate right now is very difficult for us. this will keep us on our toes for the foreseeable future. it is important for us to safeguard our assets during the crisis. >> insurance companies are seeking new forms of investment. like in renewable energy, but these, too, are not risk-free. >> attempts to combat the eurozone debt crisis by pumping in more money and keeping interest rates low are putting a growing strain on insurance companies and pension funds. it is literally impossible to build up solid long-term investments in the current climate, and there is little incentive for people to save, so
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the eurozone risky measures -- to rescue measure -- the eurozone rescue measures run counter to current society. >> the dax inching up closer and closer to that 7000 mark. the euro stoxx 50 up almost 1.75%. the dow jones is above the 13,000 mark now. the euro -- $1.2407, also in positive territory. >> any economic crisis is good for investors in gold. the more money that is printed, the more gold appreciates against the bureau. its price has soared by 140% over the past five years. >> governments also like gold. the year it is -- the u.s. is the biggest holder with an estimated 8 tons of the stock --
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stuff. >> but where is it all being held? >> the bars of gold are stacked high in the state of germany's central bank. once a year, a member of the staff carries out an inspection. germany owns some 3,400 pounds of gold. but only 1/3 of that supply is kept on german soil. the rest is held overseas. some of it is in the safekeeping of the central banks of england. and france. but almost 2/3 of it is said to be in the u.s.. the bank has never released the exact figure. it is kept in the safes of the u.s. federal reserve beneath the streets of manhattan, but how does germany know it is really all there? the bank relies on annual statements. it has not carried out a physical inspection for years,
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arguing that it is not standard practice. more and more, german politicians want hard proof that the gold really is there and has not been loaned out somewhere. germany's federal audit office is also calling for the bundesbank to conduct annual checks of foreign reserves. parliament has jumped on the issue. the finance committee is due to discuss the matter after summer recess. >> india has had its first talks with representatives of the community of latin america and caribbean states. the indian foreign minister met with his counterparts from chile and cuba. discussions focused on improving cooperation on trade investment and technology. it was founded just over two years ago. trade between the region and india totals some 20 billion euros last year. coming up after the break, we
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will have a look at a flap by russia and also manila under water. do not go away.
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>> a day after nasa successfully launched a robotic space probe on mars, russia has failed to launch two multimillion-dollar satellites into orbit. they would have provided russia and indonesia with telecom services. >> that ever happened shortly after takeoff late on monday. >> the proton rocket carrying the two communications satellites blasted off successfully from the launch pad in kazakhstan, but an engine malfunction in the satellites were left stranded in low orbit. the russian space program admits they have been lost. >> this incident will weaken the russian space program's international reputation, but you have to understand that the rocket itself did not
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malfunction that take off. only its booster malfunction. >> the loss of satellite was around $150 billion is big news in russia. it is the latest disaster to hit the russian space agency. by the satellites were lost in 2010 and 2011. experts say the official explanation for their failures -- obsolete technology -- does not address root causes. >> you would have to hope that the efforts to address their problems worked out. something has to be done about corruption in the russian space program. officials in the top jobs pocket the money meant for new technology. >> the lost satellites are expected to re-enter the earth's atmosphere in six to eight weeks. experts warn there is a slight chance they could hit the international space station on their descent. >> half of manila is under
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water, according to philippine authorities. that the flood waters have taken 15 lives so far. >> that brings the nationwide death toll to almost 70. the country is no stranger to torrential monsoon rains, but this one has been fuelled by a mass of tropical storm. hundreds of thousands of locals have fled their homes. >> water levels in some suburbs are said to be as high as 3 meters. >> the places where this family work, eight, and slept are all under water. the philippines has been pounded by one monsoon after another, and the rains keep coming. manila's roads have turned into a river ways. rescue workers have received countless calls for help, but they themselves are often helpless. >> it is difficult to rescue the trapped residents. we are battling strong currents with our votes -- boats. and the many who have made it to
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safety are worried about their family, friends, and neighbors. >> it was scary. the water level was so high. the others were left behind, many of them. >> i was trying to escape our house beside the creek with my son. that is when we got separated. >> hundreds of thousands have fled with little but the wet clothes on their backs. more than 20,000 people are staying in evacuation shelters in schools and gymnasiums. >> as of now, there are about 5000 people here. we cannot control the flow of people. >> that number also looks set to grow. more and more people are losing their homes now in landslides. the rains do not show any sign of letting up before wednesday. >> more destruction -- wild fires on spain put the canary
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islands are still burning, and a world heritage site has been seriously damaged. >> buyers on the island had destroyed thousands of hectares of land, including parts of the national park -- fires on the island. >> the fire has also destroyed farmland and kill livestock. it is the latest in a series of blazes to hit spain since and excessively dry winter. >> the fires have been burning for four days. officials say they are not yet extinguished but are now largely under control. the blazes of charred fields and burned out houses. more than 3000 hectares of land have been affected, including 30 hector's in the national park, a world heritage site. many roads on the island are closed. there have been temporary power cuts and disruptions to the mobile phone network. most of the 600 residents evacuated over the weekend are now back home. still, worries remain.
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>> how are women to get out? we could have been surrounded by flames in a matter of minutes -- how are we meant to get out? we are surrounded by mountains. that streak is our only way out. so i wanted to leave. >> we have not seen a fire this big for a long, long time. >> monday brought lower temperatures to the canary islands, helping firefighters battling the blazes, but a meteorologist said temperatures on the islands could top 35 degrees by friday -- but meteorologists say temperatures could top 35 degrees. >> a group of conservative politicians in germany has called for gay people in civil partnerships to begin in the same tracks partnerships as married couples. >> until now, homosexuals have been banned from taking advantage of a special tax break which every year can leave heterosexual, even those without
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children, thousands of euros better off. >> homosexual couples have the same duties but not the same rights as heterosexual ones. in the past, it has been a conservative politicians who have insisted on treating gay relationships tiffany, but now a group of conservative politicians is proposing that homosexual people be allowed to enjoy the same tax benefits as straight couples. >> we just wanted to restart the discussion with this proposal. the discussion is not new. we have been having active for years, and it is my impression that a lot is changing at the moment. >> one of the reasons things are changing now is because the country's constitutional court recently issued rulings strengthening the rights of gay couples. for example, in inheritance law. the opposition green party welcomes the move. >> in the autumn, our parliamentary party will initiate some new proposals to up the pressure on the government. we know there is still a lot of
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work to be done when it comes to securing equal rights for gay people. >> the politicians hope the law will be changed in the upcoming legislative period. many think the chances of the bill passing are good as the conservative family minister also supports >> the move greater than time now for a sports roundup. over at the london olympics, the host are enjoying a gold rush as they celebrate their best games since 1908. >> the chinese and dutch also picked up gold today, but the british pound the day -- owned the day. >> double gold for britain on the final day of cycling competition. laura trott clinched a second gold. britain has captured an overall seven goals in 10 starts on the
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track. germany's maximilian levee finished as runner-up to chris roy, germany's fourth sober on tuesday. one genista 1 germany's first over the day on the parallel bars. he had already come second in a parallel all-around competition. -- one gymnast won germany's first gold of the day. another gymnastics' silver on the high bar. and more sober for germany, who came in second to britain. in windsurfing, it was bold again for the netherlands. a dominant performance with another victory. germany had been on course for a medal but finished a disappointing ninth.
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china has long been number one in table tennis. the three-women chinese team beat japan 3-0 to win gold tuesday. the chinese men's team will face off with south korea in the gold medal round. >> you would have thought that the tourism trade in london would be booming this year with the olympics in town. >> that is not the case. as it turns out, those hopes were dashed. many hotels have had to cut prices to fill their rooms. >> the park plaza was mr. bridge is a four-star hotel in the heart of london, butts excellent location, it still has plenty of vacant rooms due to the surprisingly low demand during the olympics. management has decided to drastically cut prices. >> lots of space available in london, and the great news is it is an excellent value. it is less expensive than it was this time last summer, and if you were comparing us to six weeks ago, it is probably 40% less expensive than that. >> theaters and tourist attractions are also
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disappointed with the lack of demand. london has turned into a ghost town. among the top attractions is westminster abbey, but you certainly do not have to worry about long lineups. tourism in britain accounts for around 145 billion euros in annual revenue. it is the country's sixth largest industry. the association of leading a visitor attractions is very concerned. >> this is the most important trading week for all of central london visitor attractions. we would be looking at millions of people being here at the moment, and we are about 40% down to 50% down. >> during the first few days of the olympic games, oxford street, london's top shopping venue, saw sales drop. london -- lenders stayed at home because they were afraid of the traffic chaos that had been predicted -- wonders -- lond oners stayed at home.
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>> we were expecting it to be really, really busy. but actually, it is completely opposite. >> the tourism industry hopes the advertising effect of the games will trigger an increase in high-inning visitors in future years. then it is likely the park plaza westminster bridge will be fully booked again -- after all, it does offer a spectacular view. >> there is one for the books. anyway, you are watching the "journal" on dw, so do not go away. captioned by the national captioning institute
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