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tv   Journal  PBS  September 18, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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>> live from berlin, you're watching "the journal." for the very first time, germany is convinced the steering government is responsible for a deadly chemical weapon attack. >> the tail of the missing paper. the fed chairman says this new us stays. >> the president says the oil giant has failed for polluting the amazon rain forest.
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russia says that it will be giving the un security council evidence proving that syrian rebels, not the syrian government were behind the deadly attack. >> russia and western governments have very different versions of what exactly happened. today, germany waiting for the first time saying that like the u.s. and france, it believes that bashar al-assad was responsible. >> these divisions could complicate efforts at the u.n. to move forward on the russian plan to get rid of serious chemical weapons. >> many fear that could be another chemical attack and they are preparing. >> a classroom and aleppo and the otentially life-saving lesson. the searing rebels are teaching their followers how to respond to a poison gas attack. -- the syrian rebels are teaching their followers how to respond to a poison gas attack. >> even if an airplane had
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dropped any buildings. >> the rebels show on how to put on protective clothing and care for the wounded. the message is clear, they are the victims of attacks, not the perpetrators. on the world stage, and romance are still arguing the point in damascus, bashar al-assad met with the russian deputy foreign minister they claim to have no evidence that -- new evidence were behind the attack. western powers say the u.n. report proves that assad's forces were responsible. the german foreign minister agrees. >> the evidence in the report clearly shows that assad regime is responsible for breaking this taboo. >> rebels and aleppo save you one report confirms what they
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have been saying all along. serious using chemical weapons on its own people. -- syria is using chemical weapons on its own people. >> we just heard the foreign german minister for the first time blaming damascus for the attack. >> he did not specifically mention the evidence. he did mention circumstantial evidence based on a report of the u.n. inspectors and said that it made clear that this attack only could have come from the syrians. what we know is that the u.n. inspectors have detailed findings about the kind of rockets that were used to convey the chemicals and about where some of those rockets came from, namely in an area that definitely was under the control of assad's forces. maybe what he was referring to, but we don't know for sure. in this statement, he is basically confirming to the
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opinion that has been voiced by an number of other western countries. this does not influence debate in the un security council. germany is not one of the permanent members of the council. the german minister said that germany will push hard for assad regime to be put on the list of war criminals who can be tried by the international war crimes court and that germany stands ready to help destroy chemical weapons in syria. >> there are reports that between 2002-2006, germany allowed chemicals to be shipped to syria that could have been used to manufacture gas. >> this came in response to an inquiry i'm one of the german political parties, the german economics ministry responded, saying the chemicals in question, and they are all known as dual use chemicals. they can be used to make things as innocuous as toothpaste.
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these weapons were required to be licensed at the time between 2000-2006. the government authorized licenses after careful consideration and inspection about the possible uses to which the chemicals could be put. the government concluded that they were not destined to be used for chemical weapons production and they have no evidence to date that they were used for that purpose. so far, that is all we know about these. >> thank you. you recall the last week, barack obama passed the u.s. senate leaders to suspend a vote on authorizing force against syria and its deep opposition in congress and the american public. >> a new survey showing the public opinions on both sides of the atlantic remained strongly against any possible military intervention in syria. >> the fighting continues unabated and syria and the
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world powers do not want to get involved in the conflict. the survey by the german marshall fund shows this is largely in line with public opinion. in both the u.s. and european countries, public opposition to military intervention and syria has grown over the past year. analysts say the findings are hardly surprising in light of recent history. >> the experience of the last 10 or 11 years, people have gotten tired of these military engagements. they see them as open ended, the permissions can be limited and i think that kind of thinking, that fear of the consequences operating on both sides. >> there is similar skepticism on how to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. overwhelming majorities in the u.s. and the eu prefer economic sanctions. the survey found changing views towards the relationship between europe and the u.s. across the board, there is a
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sort of search for something that is more nationally based and in some cases more inward looking, maybe more unilateral. we see an independent streak emerging on top of this general interest operation. >> nato continues to bind the u.s. and europe but increasingly many favor making decisions without regard for washington's european partners. >> moving onto some business news. it has been something of a year of jargon about about the u.s. economy. in march, it was all about the sequester. now, the markets and the media have been fixated on the taper. except, it hasn't happened. >> the taper was meant to be the start of a gradual process by the u.s. federal reserve to reduce its monthly stimulus program. this is currently $85 million a
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month. >> it was expected to begin today but in the past hour, the fed surprised everyone by saying no taper. >> for the past five years, the federal reserve's plan has treated the world to easy money. it's massive dollar printing program has made sure that banks, companies, and private households can borrow at the lowest possible rate. the fed has been pumping out $85 billion a month, mainly through the purchase of treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. the balance sheet has ballooned to $3.4 trillion. there are still no talk of the fed selling off the stockpile and now ben bernanke is deciding not to reduce the purchases just yet. the much-anticipated tapering could have drastic effects. mortgage rates are already
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creeping upwards as international investors take their money out of emerging economies like brazil and india and putting it back in the u.s.. the eu has a vested interest. the central bank has promised an extended time of lowered interest rates to stimulate the economy. >> the markets are not complaining one bit about the fed's decision. it goes straight into the stock market to push up those prices. that is what is happening on the dow. it is currently up just over one percent. we will see what happens on thursday. the euro stoxx 50, the closing
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number. the euro making some very solid gains. the dollar slipping as a result of that. the stimulus will continue around one dollar 35. >> the european commission wants to bring down the regulatory hammer on financial markets. specifically, on benchmarks. >> the scandal last year about libor, another financial jargon. this is the referenced interest rate that is set every day by a panel of bankers in london which is meant to reflect the true rates they used to lend money. some banks were trying to rig it. >> now, the eu would like to bring supervision and some kind of transparency to this process. >> libor is the basis for
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financial products like mortgages, consumer loans, savings accounts, stock market transactions. that is why the eu would like to prevent banks from manipulating them. in the future, the rates will be subject to tougher oversight. >> they work like a thermometer and we are not trying to break that thermometer in order to cover-up a crisis or a fever. my job as a regulator involves ensuring that that thermometer functions correctly. >> the proposal backs away from earlier plans for european regulators to watch over the indices. that response ability should now lie with national authorities. libor will continue to be set in london. some in the eu are disappointed. >> i would like to leave no room for doubt and ensure there is
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no more rate manipulation by cartels. that is why i favor a european authority which would require the international oversight body. >> the proposal is unlikely to undergo further tweaks before it goes to the eu members for ratification. >> six people have been killed and 30 injured in a crash. >> witnesses say that it went through a barrel at a railway crossing in a suburb of the capital. it was hit by the passenger train which been derailed. prosecutors in austria say the gunman who killed three lease officers and a paramedic likely committed suicide following tuesday's raid at a farmhouse. >> dna tests are being carried out to confirm the suspects identity. he barricaded himself after
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police tried to stop his car. authorities found over 100 weapons in his home and many of them believed to be legally owned. >> to mexico and the number of people killed in the wake of a double tropical storm has risen to 57 in the west of the country. this has been the worst hit by flooding, especially the city of acapulco. >> around 40,000 taurus remain stranded at the famous resort. >> thousands of exhausted travelers remained removed in acapulco after flooding and landslides blocked the highway. >> we are desperate because we cannot return home. our time at the hotel is up, so we will have to see if they help us out and continue to provide us with a room. at the moment, there is no hope of getting back. >> days of torrential rains
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have left more than half the city underwater including the airport. mexican officials have been using military aircraft to evacuate the travelers. >> it is a little tired. trying to get home. >> so far the fraction of the stranded tourists have been airlifted out. >> just before we take a break, germany's best-selling literary critic has died. he was 95. >> he became known for his wit and a popular tv show. he was born into a jewish family.
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he survived the not sees and the ghetto. we will be back after a short break. break.
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>> welcome back. we continue our series looking at germany's place in the world as election day approaches. >> it looked as if the crisis in syria was suddenly overshadowing the german election as a u.s. attack on that country looked all but certain. some saw parallels to 2002 when gerhard schroeder's opposition to the war helped him win election. >> this year, the parties were much more united on the question of syria. >> violent unrest in egypt. a civil war in syria, peace talks between the israelis and
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the palestinians. these are tumultuous times in the middle east. mrs. back in the creation of a solid palestinian state in peaceful coexistence. the german politicians are reticent when it comes to proposals on how they should be accomplished. moreover, the criticism of israel's settlement policy in the west bank. we are convinced that the settlement policy is incorrect and that has never been a secret. >> only the green party is demanding full membership for the palestinians. when the un's general assembly voted on granting the palestinians observer status last year, the german government abstained. on syria, there is broad agreement on one issue, there will be no direct german participation in any military intervention.
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as i often say, i hundred hours of organization of negotiation are better than a minute of shooting. >> angela merkel has not said what a strong response would entail. the germans waited a day before signing a communiqué from the u.n.. >> we cannot have this in foreign policy. >> egyptian military ousting him on the morsi caught the german politicians offguard. they have been unanimous in their calls for a stable egyptian government and in and to the unrest. no party has focused on presenting a proposal for how egypt could return to civility. >> we are happy to be joined by an egyptian political scientist studying here in berlin.
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germany has long enjoyed a reputation as an honest broker in the arab world. is that still the case? >> germany is part of europe and europe is seen as not the main player in terms of the west relations to the world. it is usually the u.s. that is regarded as a main player and this is why germany and how it reacts to arab developments wouldn't be the most important topic among ordinary citizens. >> the arab spring kicking off. what are arab countries looking for from germany? >> well, the foreign had already made very strong statements on what happened in egypt, the recent military intervention against the former president. it was seen as an involvement in the domestic politics, but it was not actually seen as a major shift. it would not be really stopping
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at the talking. they might talk slightly different. in the end, it would not be seen as a very influential shift or change in the strategy of germany towards the arab world. >> you mentioned the foreign minister today. the german government believes that it was damascus that was responsible for the chemical attack in syria. will that be seen as a shift in german policy? >> german policy in the area had been mostly blurred, like there was no clear-cut standpoint in terms of the most vital issues. in terms of the palestinians, topics that struggled and in terms of the developments in the arab spring. the recent standpoint on the chemical attacks would be seen as a shift. >> thank you very much for
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joining us. >> back to german politics, domestically. angela merkel has presided over the last cabinet meeting before the elections go into effect. >> we have seen some turbulent times over the past four years. with her coalition partners losing favor, there could be some new faces in the next government. >> wednesday morning in the chancellery. the move was one of fond farewell's and snapshots for posterity at the last cabinet session before the election. shared as usual by angela merkel. this was their first cabinet session four years ago. the ministers were ready to go. some were forced to leave early such as the education minister. and the defense minister.
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resignations and infighting led to initial approval ratings for the coalitions that were low. as voters grew more satisfied with their performance, mainly due to chancellor merkel. she has campaigned tirelessly for continuation of the alliance between the ftp and the -- she defended the government's achievements in parliament. >> a sober look at the facts shows this is the most successful german government since reification, ladies and gentlemen. >> pulls indicate she is set to stay in the chancellery. it not looking good for her deputy chancellor and the junior coalition partner. the polls suggest his party might not even make it into the next bundestag. >> you can find out much more on our website. in a moment, a report from the widows national park.
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it is being opened up for oil exploration. >> we have some of these other new stories. >> and a rainy and human rights capitalist has been freed. she had been held for three years. the nigerian army says that it killed about 150 oak overall militants last week. 16 soldiers were also killed in the operation against the cap. the insurgents have been fighting for the islamist state in the region for many years. >> the us trillion has been sworn in. the conservative politican fired three top public servants linked to previous climate
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change policies and announced tougher rules for asylum seekers. he came under fire for only appointing one woman to his cabinet. the ecuadorian president is calling for a worldwide boycott of the american oil company chevron. he would like to highlight the environmental destruction caused by the company. >> his announcement comes weeks after he abandoned plans to protect one of his country's most treasured parts, the scv national park, from oil exploration. this sparked protest and call for a referendum. >> they have more species per hectare than anywhere else in the world. is this just the latest part of the amazon to come under threat. >> progress is slow in the narrow rivers of this national park. if it was up to the ecuador government, we would not be here at all.
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i don't want coverage of the habitat of the people who accompany us deep into this unique ecosystem. nor of the oil drilling plans that have spread throughout the rain forest. >> the forest is changed. there is so much noise and the river is dirty. three tribes have left their homes here. the government is greedy. they should leave the oil in the ground. if they take it out, it will pollute the world. >> three hours later, we arrive at a community. it is hot and humid in this region. it is a reserve that unesco has reserved especially worthy of preservation. around 3000 indigenous people live here, existing on what the forest has to offer. now, the men have heard the government wants to drill for oil in the last untouched parts of this area.
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it has been said that no other place on earth has such a diverse array of flora and fauna. there are more trees within a square hectare than in the whole of north america. also an unparalleled number of birds, insects, reptiles. since the first oil companies arrived 45 years ago, there has been numerous disastrous consequences. this has hit the fragile ecosystem hard as does the burning off of excess gas. six years ago, the government unexpectedly announced a plan to save part of this area despite its wealth of oil in reserve. the country has been drilling for oil in large parts of rain forest for decades. the president had the block in the east if the international community paid his country three
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point $7 billion. >> the world has let us down, sadly. so far, the only have $14.3 million in the funds. that is 0.37% of what we were expecting. >> the government has opened the blog for oil drilling, even if opposition say the decision should go to a referendum. even if the inhabitants found their way to the ballot box, it is unlikely their voice and make a difference. a government says the financial needs are greater. >> that is all for now, thank you for joining us.
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