tv Journal PBS September 17, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
>> you're watching "the journal ." >> welcome to the show. here is what is coming up. >> after the deal on serious chemical weapons, technicians return. france and russia clash. -- syria's chemical weapons, technicians return. france and russia clash. >> the social democrats, in a grand coalition. >> hostages in the philippines walk away as the military and a standoff with rebels.
-- ends a standoff with rebels. >> welcome. diplomats from the u.s., russia, britain, france and china will be meeting in new york today to discuss a resolution on eradicating syria's chemical arsenal. >> the russian initiative to get the weapons out of syria moved washington to hold off on possible military strikes. but the differences remain. >> russia has a very different version of events. at a joint press conference with his french counterpart, the russian foreign minister sergei lavrov said the attack might've been a rebelhe said that solid e pointed in that direction, with groups wanting to stage an attack that would provoke a western military strike to topple assad from power. >> russia has rejected claims
that the u.n. report on the chemical attack shows that damascus was responsible. >> on the ground in syria, people are doing what they can to stay safe. >> syrians are protecting themselves with whatever means they have. these volunteers east of damascus are making improvised gas masks, fearing another chemical weapons attack. many of the volunteers making and distributing the masks are children. >> we started making these masks after the august attack that killed hundreds of people. using our limited resources, we make them out of cotton, coal, wax, and other materials. we hope it will be effective and protect people. >> a chemical attack is just one of the hazards hanging over the people of syria. the daily battles with
conventional weapons continue unabated. this unverified footage is said to show a damascus suburb, as the syrian army bombs rebel positions with fighter jets and artillery. the makeshift workshop has made several hundred masks, mostly paid for with donations by local residents. for them, the diplomatic tug-of- war offers no protection from the threat of another gas attack. >> refugees and the injured continue to flee syria, ending up in neighboring countries, even in israel. >> relations between syria and israel have always been hostile. they have been officially at war since the six-day war in 1967. >> that is not stopping one clinic in northern israel from doing its bit to help victims from syria. >> they come from somewhere over there, across the syrian-israeli border. at the cf clinic, the wounded retrieve staff -- receive
treatment and help. this young syrian has severe stomach and head wounds, with -- which the doctors believe was caused by an explosion. he's 15 years old. they speak arabic to him, but he barely responds. he doesn't even know he's in israel. >> they're surprised. for them, it's the enemy. they never thought in their dreams to come here to israel, something very new for them. >> is also a new situation for the doctors. they are very aware of the risks to their patients, and insist their faces must not be shown on camera. the doctors know virtually nothing about their patients, apart from a few exceptions. >> we got some letters. if you can see, with their blood also.
the doctors there wrote down what they did. we did our best. >> it's not clear exactly where the syrians have come from and how they made it to the border a live. once there, they got picked up by the israeli army and brought to the hospital. but the military is not willing to comment on the situation. this young girl has also fled from syria with her mother. her leg was broken during a military assault, say doctors. they hope she will be able to walk again in a few months. she wants to go home, but her future is uncertain. >> when i see a patient that i treat for one month, two months, we talk everyday. you have some special feeling for them. you don't know what is their destiny.
>> once they recover sufficiently, the patients are taken back to the border and provided with medication for the next few weeks. after that, the doctors can only hope that their health has not been -- help has not been in vain. >> in germany, the final week of campaigning is in full swing right now. ahead of elections, the sunday. >> as things stand, angela merkel and her conservatives remain far ahead in the opinion polls. she is likely to remain chancellor. who her coalition partner will be is an open question. her current partners may not even make it into parliament. if they do, with the cdu, they may fall short of a majority. >> that is throwing the focus on one likely alternative, a grand coalition with the main opposition party, the social democrats. both sides say that is not what they want. >> they have declared clear a
line says. angela merkel's conservatives want to stick with the free democrats. the social democrats, peer steinbruck, says he will work with the greens. those political partnerships could be thwarted. a majority of german voters favor a grand coalition. >> it's possible. they need to agree on a sensible political program, but it is possible. >> it does nobody any good. there would be two compromises. >> one person it would bother is the general secretary. campaigners plan to knock on one million doors to sway undecided voters. they will come with a clear message, no alliance with the conservatives. >> anyone who speculates about a grand coalition will catch hell from me. we don't want a grand coalition.
we don't want to swap out half the government. we want it gone completely. we want peer steinbruck as chancellor. >> but the spd may be facing a tough choice after sunday's vote. joint with the cdu, or spend another four years in opposition. a grand coalition is the most likely outcome, with angela merkel as counselor -- chancellor. >> our political correspondent joins us from our parliamentary studio. what is so wrong about a grand coalition? >> the spd began the election campaign by saying they wanted to replace angela merkel with the social democrat chancellor. they could only do that with the help of the green party. when you start up an election machine and it is running at full throttle, you can't stop it a few days before the election. they are sticking to their guns on that. i would suspect that the social
democrat party headquarters, they are probably talking right now about who is likely to hold what post in angela merkel's cabinet. >> whenever conversations may be going on there, there is also a lot of focus on the smaller parties. a lot of action going on there in that last week of campaigning. >> that's right. with germany's system of her personal representation, it's virtually impossible for one party to gain absolute majority on its own. coalitions are very common here. usually the small parties are the party of the makers and coalitions. this time around, it's more germanic than that. -- dramatic than that. chancellor merkel's partner of choice, the free democrats, looks like it might not make it into parliament. the greens' junior coalition
partner of choice of the social democrats. the greens are embroiled in a scandal at the moment. there are calls for the coleader's resignation. they're doing very badly in the opinion polls. it looks as though a grand coalition is the only real possibility. >> a lot of moving up and down to watch in the last few days of the campaign. thank you very much. if you want to keep up with all those moving ups and downs in the smaller parties, find out more about the elections at our website, www.dw.de /germanelections. >> reports are coming in that police are making preparations to storm a building in austria. a gunman had holed up after allegedly killing four people, three of them policemen. the fate of the suspect is unknown. >> the standoff has lasted many hours and began earlier in the day, when police tactical units
sealed off an area 70 kilometers west of vienna. >> and has been a mammoth operation for austrian police, a vast area was cordoned off among the farmhouse where the man has been hiding out. special forces are on the scene. the killings began when the suspect tried to break through a roadblock. he allegedly shot dead two policeman and a paramedic before escaping and stolen patrol car to a farm near the town. the body of a third officer was found near the farm. the roadblock was set up to find a poacher who had recently struck several times in the region, shooting stags from a car, then cutting off their heads and leaving behind their carcasses. police have not said if that poacher is the man responsible for the killings, but a spokesman said he believed him to be a poacher, saying he was
armed and dangerous. police called on the army for assistance in ending the standoff. >> to the united states now, where authorities say they do not suspect any terrorist linked to the man who shot dead 12 people on a naval base in the capital. 34-year-old aaron alexis had a long history of disorderly conduct and firearms violations. >> chuck hagel has laid a wreath in front of the naval yard as part of mourning for the victims. the shooter had served as a navy reservist but was discharged in 2011 after misconduct issues. 100 migrants have entered europe from morocco after storming a fence on the spanish border. security camera footage shows over 300 people attempting to scale that barrier separating the spanish malia from a rocco. those who made it over --
morocco. those who made it over were taken to a detention center. >> it is one of two spanish territories located on the african mainland. 19 hours, and more than 600 million euros later, that's how much it took to rotate the costa concordia into an upright position on the coast of tuscany. >> the ship had been lying on its side ever since it ran aground last year. >> it is the site that everyone here has been waiting for. the costa concordia, upright again. stained by rest and badly damaged, the vessel has survived the ambitious salvage operation -- rust and badly damaged, the vessel has survived the ambitious salvage operation without breaking apart. exhausted workers returned to dry land in the early hours of the morning to a hero's welcome.
>> it is the least we can do to couple now the situation -- you, to help them out in the situation. >> the operation took 19 hours. time lapse footage shows the vessel emerging centimeter by centimeter from the water. engineers used a system of cables and steel tanks to lift the giant ship, and in a feat of technical prowess, turned it by 65 degrees. >> the rotation happened the way the we thought it would happen. and the way we hoped it would happen. it was a perfect operation, i would say. >> for the residents, the relief is immense. >> it's great news.
>> welcome back. when germans go to vote for a new government this weekend, the world will be watching. in the last few years, germany has become a more and more important actor on the world stage, especially in europe, where it has taken on a leadership role in the eurozone debt crisis. >> we are not just covering the campaign, we are also looking at germany's role in the world. today we focus on its relations with russia, which have been in flux. he even now works for a gas pipeline that links the two countries. >> angela merkel has become a vocal critic. >> german-russian relations has
played out on the streets of berlin. president vladimir putin is for many germans public enemy number one, especially because of his disregard for minority groups in russia. official german-russian relations often appear harmonious, but chancellor merkel regularly dampens the mood by reminding putin of the importance of democratic freedoms. >> we also spoke about the state of civil society in russia. i expressed my concern over some of the legislation that is planned. >> many in business circles want the russia bashing to stop. russia is germany's main energy supplier. germany is russia's second biggest trading partner. but german concerns are growing. violence against homosexuals have long been a source of tension. former chancellor gearhart schroeder once described putin as a flawless democrat, a label few would use today.
>> russia is on the way to becoming flawlessly despotic. anyone who criminalizes gays and lesbians simply for who they are and because they don't hide it is violating the most fundamental of human rights. >> the tough sentences against the russian punk band pussy riot also drew hardinge criticisms -- harsh criticisms from germany. >> i think it is vital that we keep the door open to countries whose democracy and parliamentary system is still in a different phase, or whose democratic freedoms are not quite there yet. everything else only serves to escalate the problem and cause tensions. >> a new government under the spd would perhaps seek a softer tone with russia, but would moscow be a reliable partner? relations are likely to remain
difficult as long as putin continues to value power over democracy. >> german-russian relationships have had their ups and downs. since merkel took office eight years ago, things have changed. >> the tone in german-russian relationships has become cooler. there is a more pragmatic approach. it is what both sides like to call a strategic partnership. there is no sign of that friendship anymore. on the personal side, putin is believed to help schroeder to adopt a russian girl from an orphanage. putin was famously called a flawless democrat by schroeder. this is nothing we have heard from angela merkel. it is still a pragmatic partnership. both know how to do business together. >> how is chancellor merkel
perceived in russia? >> her perception is mainly dominated by the fact that she criticizes putin and russia openly. however, she does get respect for that. she is respected for the fact that her voice is heard on the european stage also, and that she as a woman has a firm grip on german politics. experts and russian media expect her to also be in the future chancellor of germany. >> how much attention are german elections getting in russia, and what are the expectations for after the elections? >> to the russian media, the oddities of the german election campaign have made so far like the gesture of her opponent, peer steinbruck -- it is expected it will speed up. the media and experts here all understand that germany is a very important partner, may be
the most important partner that russia has in the west. >> thanks very much. >> now to other news, in the military, the philippines has freed scores of people who were being held hostage by islamist rebels in the southern port city. >> those rebels have been fighting since the 1970's for an autonomous islamist homeland in the south of the philippines. the standoff began last week when rebels try to take control of the city. >> a military offensive involving helicopter rocket attacks and intense street fighting, government forces say they have finally overpowered the rebels. >> exhausted hostages were reunited with their families on tuesday. some had managed to escape. others were freed by the armed forces after a week in the hands of islamic militants. >> we will rent a room somewhere. we don't want to return.
we have been traumatized and want to forget everything that has happened to us. >> the philippines' military is hitting back after an offensive by rebels from the national liberation front. an army spokesperson said the militants were fleeing and heading to outlining islands. -- outlying islands. >> hostages have been rescued or recovered. the situation is getting better. hopefully we are able to have this concluded as soon as possible. >> it is thought nearly 100 people have been killed and about 80,000 displaced since the latest fighting broke out. >> some businesses now, and it's not a great time to be a carmaker in europe, especially a mass-market one. car sales in the first eight months of this year have hit their lowest levels on record. >> a hangover from the economic
crisis is still with us with high unemployment and stagnant wages making people think twice about a big ticket buy. >> even in stronger economies, sales are struggling. >> it was not just the long, hot summer. if the automobile market still suffering from the economic crisis? new car sales totaled under 654,000 in august. the french automaker was especially hard hit with sales down by nearly 1/5 in august, compared to the same period last year. most carmakers reported a drop in sales. mercedes and bmw were among the exceptions. car sales were down by an average 5% across the eu. the u.s. saw its car market rebound. sales there were up 17%. china fared almost all is well,
and india's car market expanded. the european auto manufacturers association says that all this was not a one-off. car sales for the first eight months of this year are the lowest in the eu since the greeks started keeping records in 1990. >> those numbers are pretty bad news for one of europe's most important industries. more from frankfurt. >> the numbers weighed on share markets today. shares of bmw, but also of tiremaker continental tire went down significantly. on the other hand, they are better than expected. investor'' confidence kept it from falling too much. people are waiting for the fed decision on wednesday. the federal reserve's meeting
may show if the federal reserve sticks to its policy of easy money or not. >> let's check out the numbers for you there. the dax saw minor gains on the day. new york trading still underway. >> it seems it's not just the devil who is wearing prodded these days. italy's fashion powerhouse is reporting a big jump in first- half profits, up 7.6% to $308 million -- 308 million euros. >> analysts say that prada possibility of a low-key style is a big part of its popularity. >> the british government has been selling off its stake in lloyds banking group. >> 6% stake was sold off today.
>> lloyds banking group has around 30 million customers in britain and branches across the country. at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the lender was under a mountain of toxic assets and deep in trouble. the british government came to the rescue with 25 billion euros of taxpayer money. that faith has been rewarded. five years after staring down bankruptcy, lloyds is back in profit. the group share price has almost doubled this year. for the government, a perfect time to start bailing out. on tuesday, it sold a 6% stake in the company for 3.8 billion euros. the british government eventually once all of lloyds back in private hands. analysts expect that to happen before parliamentary elections due in 2015.
>> there is nothing that can spoil a holiday faster than getting home late after delays at the airport. a court in germany has backed a european ruling that says passengers should get some of their cash back for their troubles. >> the court found in favor of plaintiffs who had flown from miami to dusseldorf with the spanish carrier iberia. because of a missed connecting flight in madrid, they arrived more than seven hours late at their destination. they now get 600 euros each in compensation. >> that is all we have time for right now. think you for joining us. >> more news in half an hour. also check our website. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
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