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tv   Journal  PBS  August 27, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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>> welcome to the "journal" coming to you live from dw in berlin. >> thanks for joining us. here's what's coming up in the show -- serious denies using chemical weapons and says it will defend itself with all means available if the u.s. prepares for action -- serial -- syria denies using chemical weapons. parts of china continue seeing the worst flooding in more than a century.
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>> the obama administration says it is convinced that damascus has used chemical weapons. the white house also says president barack obama has not yet made any decision on military action but that removing president bashar al- assad from power would not be one of its goals. >> the american military says it is prepared to strike at any time, and it is awaiting orders from the president. cyprus will be awaiting any error attacks. >> iran has warned that any military action to threaten regional stability. serious -- syria says any attack would be a violation of international law. >> bashar al-assad's government strongly denies any charge that it used chemical weapons. the foreign minister says no government in the world would
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attack its own people. >> i challenge those who blame our military to produce the evidence. >> the government in damascus says if the west responds with military action, it will defend itself with all means available. the u.s. defense department says it is ready to launch strikes if ordered to. for american warships are on alert in the mediterranean, and defense secretary chuck hagel said tuesday he has consulted with his counterparts in britain and france. french president françois hollande says the civil war in syria threatens world peace and that he is convinced the civil war in damascus is behind the alleged attack. >> i'm saying this very plainly -- the chemical weapon massacre
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in damascus demands a response. france is ready to punish those who made the infamous decision to kill innocent people. >> britain remains steadfastly on the side of the u.s. and is also preparing for a military strike against syria. prime minister david cameron says there is more at eighth and just syria. >> this is not about wars in the middle east. this is not even about the serious -- syrian conflict. it is about the use of chemical weapons and making sure that as a world we deplore their use. >> the message to the serious president is now clear -- the world has lost patience talking about the civil war and is preparing to intervene. >> have there been any signs from the white house about when military action might begin? for more on that, let's go live
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to max hoffman, who is standing by in the capital. has any sort of timeline emerged? >> well, nothing official yet, but sometimes it helps to look at the schedule of the president of the united states. tomorrow and wednesday, the nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of dr. martin luther king's "i had a dream" speech, so obama will be there and will have his own speech. it is unlikely anything will happen wednesday or earlier. a lot of people expect something to happen over the weekend, maybe even as early as thursday. we can expect this week, because we heard from the press secretary, that the u.s. will publish a report where they will detail the information that their agencies have gathered on the alleged chemical weapons attack last wednesday in syria, so that might act as some kind of base for military intervention. >> the white house also said
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that any attack will not be about regime change. what, then, could be possible objectives be? >> most probably, there will be a punitive measure because to topple the assad regime or even to destroy chemical weapons stock, it would take a major military operation, and the u.s. are just not willing to go there at the moment. this is supposed to send a signal, more than words, basically, to show where this famous red line is, but we all know that much more people have died in syria from conventional weapons ban from chemical weapons, and that's why many experts think that punitive measures just will not work in syria. >> thanks so very much. >> now the view from russia on this crisis could not be more different. the russian foreign ministry says there's no evidence for a chemical attack, and that% military action would have catastrophic consequences. >> russia has been warning that
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an attempt on serious -- syria would not end the civil war and would embolden the region's radicals. russian public opinion is deeply opposed to intervention by the u.s. >> "hands off serial -- syria" chant these protesters. russia has warned the west against intervention. they say it would be a grave violation of international law. >> russia categorically rejects the west's habit of getting involved in local crises through military intervention and then trying to use that party to effect a regime change.
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>> russia has a lot at stake in the serious and civil war it has maintained close ties with damascus. russia's only remaining naval base is in a serial port city, though it is used only for supply and maintenance purposes -- in a syrian port city. syria also regularly purchases russian weapons. it's unclear what quantity changes hands. many ordinary russians support their government's stance on serious -- syria. >> the americans have no right to intervene. it's up to the syrians to decide for themselves. the americans had intervened all over the world. >> it's a difficult situation, but i hope our politicians manage it -- managed to turn things around for the better so there cannot last be peace. when people get involved from
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outside, it only serves to intensify conflict. i think military intervention should be an absolute last resort. >> russia will likely block any further united nations resolutions on syria. moscow has compared the potential use of or to the 2003 u.s.-led invasion of iraq, which it also vehemently oppose. >> the prospect of western intervention in syria has been causing a law month -- alarm on the markets around the world. >> the frankfurt stock exchange has been feeling the jitters reverberating from asia. investors fear a military strike in serious could bring instability, reason enough for some to sell, mainly affecting german auto shares. the dax lost almost two percent. of course, this all depends on the oil which comes from that very region, and there's concerned this conflict could spread, and nobody knows who will get dragged into it, whether it is the israelis or
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the iranians, and if they do, whether that will cut off our oil supplies. >> earlier, the news triggered major selling on asian markets, which all closed slightly down. >> let's turn now to find out more about how that threat of military strikes went down on the german stock exchange in frankfurt. >> syria was also a main issue on the financial markets. even when traders did not want to speak of a panic, the german dax tumbled, lost more than 2%, and there was a flight to so- called safe havens like gold or bonds. no chance for good news. the german economy is clearly on the rise, but this was ignored, as was the stronger than expected consumer confidence
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settings in the u.s.. >> market numbers here. the dax went down quite a bit. 2.28%. euro stoxx 50 down even more. over in the united states, the dow jones is trading just under one percent down. the euro slightly up against the dollar -- $1.3383. as we just heard, if business survey put together before the syrian crisis shows german businesses are feeling more confident about the future. >> business optimism rose more than expected in august. in fact, it hit the highest level in more than a year, and as part of an upward trend, the index has been on the rise for the past four months. france's highest administrative court has struck down a
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government ban on some mercedes- benz automobile models. the ban was introduced in june after the brand's parent company refused to use a more environmentally friendly air- conditioning coolant, citing fire safety concerns. the ban affected about half of its sales in france. the decision clears the way for the delivery of some 4500 newly purchased cars. a judge in the u.s. has granted final approval to facebook's multibillion dollar settlement and a class-action lawsuit over targeted advertising. >> a plaintiff filed that suit in 2011, saying that facebook's sponsored stories benefited advertisers without paying members to display the ads. facebook will now pay $20 million to constant -- compensate the plaintiff's and give members more control over how their likes are used for ads. in india, the parliament has
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passed a landmark $18 billion program to provide subsidized food to the poor. that is intended to wipe out endemic hunger and malnutrition. >> despite decades of fast economic growth, india still struggles to feed its population. >> millions of children in india suffer from malnutrition. about half of the people who live in cities are poor, and numeral areas, the property is even worse. these are the needy who could benefit from india's new food program. families get subsidized foodstuffs, and farmers get a reliable customer -- the government. >> the state will pay, and the farmer will get the benefit. this will really help the
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farmers to continue to cultivate this relationship. >> the initiative passed in india's lower house and started as a campaign pledge made by the congress party. the legislation was held up in parliament, but now it looks like the legislation will be endorsed by the upper house and the president as well, but critics say india cannot afford the price tag. there's also concern that even a country as big as india does not have the food reserves needed to implement the program. >> china is continuing to battle flooding in the far northeast of the country, already said to be the worst in over a century. >> after weeks of heavy rain, the flood crest is approaching the city on the border with russia. several villages in the region have already been swamped. >> russians are helping as the priority moves to making sure that the dikes can stand up to the flooding. >> it is a race against time. thousands of helpers are working
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under extreme pressure to reinforce dikes in the region and build additional protective barriers. weeks of flooding have softened the dikes, and the floods are expected to peak here soon. the river forms the border between russia and china. letting has affected both countries. it has rained almost continually here since the end of july. as these satellite images show, in some places, the river has swollen to many times did with. it's the river's worst flooding in more than a century. hundreds of people have been killed in the region, and many are still missing. on both sides of the border, the high waters have estimated villages, destroyed villages, and made roads on passable.
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>> after the break, we will be gone for about just one minute. germany's former president appears in court. >> we will offer -- also let you know about the steamroller known as bayern munich hitting a pothole in the bundesliga. stay tuned.
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>> welcome back. germany's former president is getting his day in court. christian wulff will go to court on charges he behaved inappropriately. >> he faces a series of charges over his links to some wealthy businessman. prosecutors had sought to try him over corruption, but the court only approved the lesser charges. >> is the first time a german president has faced trial. he earlier rejected an offer to settle the matter by paying a fine, saying he wanted to clear his name in court. >> christian wulff resigned as
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president in 2012, just a year and a half after he was sworn in. he said he no longer have the trust of the german people. >> for this reason, it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president. >> now, wulff is set to stand trial after a court and hanover ruled there is enough evidence to launch proceedings. >> after analyzing the documents, the court has come to the conclusion that with the evidence, conviction and acquittal are at least equally likely at this stage. >> the details of the case date back to 2008 when wulff was state premier of lower saxony. a film producer allegedly paid his expenses on a trip to the oktoberfest in munich. wulff later asked businesses to
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support one of his film projects, but the court rejected one of the more serious accusations of corruption, ranging from wulff having received a favorable home loan to free holidays and taxpayer trips. wulff's lawyers are confident their client will be exonerated. >> the accusations will turn out to be groundless. we already know the outcome of the trial. we are convinced that the trial will end in an acquittal. >> the court is due to begin proceedings on november 1. >> the former german president attempted to clear his name in court. for more on this, let's go to john burke. this has never happened before in germany. how are people reacting to the prospect of seeing a warmer head of state in the dock yet though >> 18 months ago when wulff resigned, the mood in germany
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was one of moral indignation. it followed a long period of the media, in particular, voicing accusations, insinuations, that he had behaved in a way that was inappropriate and that possibly, he was involved even in bribery and corruption. he re-signed, but these allegations were not supported by hard evidence. the public prosecutors, working together with the police, were unable to present hard evidence, and that is why it has been whittled down now to just one charge, basically. i think now the mood in germany is more one of resignation about it. this taste perhaps that he appears to be involved in things that are unsavory, but there's not a great deal of interest in this particular trial. >> as we heard in that report, his lawyers sounding very upbeat
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. what's the likelihood the former president will actually be convicted? >> as i said, they have whittled down the charges now to this weekend in munich during the oktoberfest. it involves an amount of money less than 800 euros, so he is actually being charged with a misdemeanor in office, rather like somebody perhaps not declaring a few hundred euros on their income tax return, so it is not a very serious charge, and even if he is convicted, his lawyers have already said they will appeal the judgment. >> as ever, thank you very much. >> we will stay in germany but moved to a very different issue -- the turkish community is demanding a fundamental overhaul of the security services in response to their failure to stop a neo-nazi cell from allegedly mounting a decade-long spree of racially motivated murders. >> last week, the parliamentary commission slammed the security services for neglecting the threat of the far right and bungling the investigations.
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victims' families are calling for some far-reaching consequences. >> the trial of a member of the neo-nazi terror cell that allegedly murdered her father. she has asserted that for years, german investigators asserted that her father was killed because he was a drug dealer and failedo investigate l.ea for the turkish community, a cler sign of racism. >> of course, there are individual racist like anywhere in society, but this is about structures of inking and of the hager. that's what we describe as institutional racism. >> critics have accused authorities of turning a blind eye. one political scientist says that must have consequences for the authorities in charge. >> the federal office for the protection of the constitution should be dissolved for operating in a gray area without
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self reflection on what it does or fails to do. i support the proposal of the greens and the left party. >> the turkish community says it is not the constitution. it's the people who need protection. it praised the work of the investigative committee of germany's parliament, but now it wants to see politicians act, and they have called for the ombudsman and a federal trust to support the victims. >> coming up, a look at this year's in his film festival. >> a technical glitch has forced the cancellation of japan's next-generation rocket, just athens before liftoff. it is a potential blow to the country's hopes of taking a larger share of the growing satellite launch industry. an earlier launch this month failed because of a computer problem. >> the tunisian prime minister says he has evidence that the salafist party is responsible
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for the assassinations of two opposition leaders this year. political activists have accused the government of looking the other way when it comes to extremists, for fear of losing popularity among islamist voters. >> firefighters are battling a major wildfire in northwestern spain. the flames broke out near the border with portugal last week and have consumed parts of a national park. hundreds of residents have been either he waited from their homes. -- have been evacuated from their homes. >> a major blaze is also reaching in northern california. firefighters have contained nearly 20% of the blaze near yosemite national park, but it is still out of control and continues to threaten a reservoir that supplies most of san francisco's water. it's one of the worst wildfires in the area in decades. >> to the world of film, the italian city of venice is rolling out the red carpets for the kickoff of its film festival tomorrow. >> the event promises to attract
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plenty of stars. >> it turns out that this year is one especially worth celebrating because of a big anniversary. >> the venice film festival is turning 70, and it is getting ready to celebrate in style. the venue may be surrounded by building sites and construction in the festival's new home has been stagnating for years, but the passion for film is alive and kicking. the filmmakers, stars, and visitors from around the world flocking. the american 3-d production " gravity" by mexican director a lfonso cuaron starts off. sandra bullock and george clooney are astronauts on a routine mission that gets out of control.
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this year's competition offers plenty to choose from with 20 films competing for the golden lion. for the first time, two documentaries are among the contentions. once the red carpet is rolled out, it will be graced by top- flight directors. with the exception of the opening film, the festival director has chosen competition entries beyond the mainstream. >> the venice film festival is a festival that supports and distributes traditional and ambitious cinema. our aim is to discover new, exciting, and artistically interesting films from around the world every year. >> with sections ranging from new cinematic trends to a workshop dedicated to african films, venice is once again offering a wide range of approaches to film. german cinema is fielding competition to its famous hi
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mark trilogy. star german actress will be part of this years international jury headed by none other than bernardo bertolucci, who received an oscar for "the last emperor" in 1987. venice counts among the most important film festivals in the world. this year's anniversary will see plenty of celebrations with retrospectives and special screenings. >> for many, t is more than just a dance. it's a passion. the world's top tango dancers have just finished the world championships in the city of its birth. >> that, of course, is argentina's capital buenos aires . 37 couples battled it out with
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the top three prizes all going to argentinians. asked to tell the secret of their favorite dance, the new world champions said it is the respect between a man and a woman. some german soccer now, and because bayern munich has a game coming up friday, as other match has been moved to tonight, and it looks like that was bad for their concentration. >> indeed. they only managed a one-often draw. >> more sports at our website, >> keep on watching dw tv. >> bye-bye. captioned by the national captioning institute
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