tv Deutsche Welle Journal LINKTV July 31, 2013 2:00pm-2:31pm PDT
>> you are watching the "journal " coming to you live from dw. >> coming up -- the drone that never took off. germany's defense minister sticks to his guns over a botched security project. >> germany's engineering giant siemens picks a new ceo after a messy battle. >> and a -- election day in zimbabwe. polls have been closing as monitors give the votes the thumbs up.
>> it's one of the wildcards ahead of the september's elections in germany -- a row over a failed project to develop surveillance drones that wasted hundreds of millions of euros. >> today, the man at the center of it all had to appear before a parliamentary committee to explain himself, but he stuck to his guns and said he will not resign over the matter. >> the opposition says he knew more about problems at an earlier state than he is letting on, and they say that should cost him his job. >> the stakes are high because he is a close ally of chancellor merkel, and she is standing by him. >> he has denied the accusations against him. he says he knew about problems regarding the euro hop drums, but his aides told him they were not insurmountable. when that group wrong, he put an end to the project. >> i think it is important to note that at the time i took office around 85% of the total
sum had already been paid or had to be paid under the terms of the contract. when i was first informed of the problems in early 2012, more than 90% had already been paid. >> thomas de maiziere said the decisive mistakes were at the start of the project long before his tenure, but opposition politicians are not satisfied with his version of events. they are calling or his resignation. >> having listened to his statements today, there are only two possibilities -- either he is not telling the truth, or he really is mr. clueless and ignored the many pieces of information he received about the problems facing the euro hop. >> the defense minister's handling of the affair is also underscored me. the opposition say his answers
are unclear about when he was informed. >> he has only admitted to what has been proven. a minister cannot invade the truth like that. >> coalition lawmakers say the dididididi isver,hat the affair is likely to stick with de maiziere in the lead up to elections. >> we are joined by someone who has been closely following the story for us. thanks so much for being with us. is the defense minister officially now off the hook? >> he certainly is for now. he is all but certain to remain defense minister, at least until election day, he did have to admit today that he at the very least added to the confusion surrounding which information he received when. he first appeared before the defense committee of the parliament last june, and that is when he said that he first heard about problem's in march of that year and then had not
received any information until may of 2013, which is also when this project was terminated. during the process of this committee over the past two weeks, we actually saw a written evidence and papers that he signed off on where he was warned that this carried severe financial and technological risks. as i say, he regretted this, so his reputation as the picture- perfect minister who has everything under control including the -- the information flow within his own ministry has certainly taken some damage. >> of course, he is a very close ally of chancellor merkel. how damaging is this for her? >> angela merkel personally is writing very high in the opinion polls. she has approval ratings of more than 50%, and her conservative coalition is coming in around 40% at this very moment, so it is unlikely that this will be a severe blow to the election campaign that is coming up, but the social democrats and their
league candidate for chancellor certainly believe that there is some political mileage in this because they put angela merkel together with the minister on their own election posters, so this should certainly be an interesting election campaign to watch. >> always good talking to you. >> you are welcome. >> well, from political battles to a row in the business world, the boardroom battle at german engineering giant siemens. >> there appears to be a winner. the firm's chief financial officer has been promoted to ceo after a dramatic ousting over the weekend. >> he will have plenty of work to do, that is for sure, both eastern company fortunes and cleaning up the pr mess that has been left by the week's upheaval. for now, though, he seems to savor the task. >> siemens' new ceo joe kaser
has a lot to smile about -- the board voted unanimously to give him the post. he promised investors he would return order to the company after a turbulent past couple of years. >> i am well aware that i have been given a great responsibility -- perhaps greater than i had originally planned to take on, and i approach this responsibility with the greatest of humility. >> the appointment marks the end to one of the gravest leadership crises in siemens' history. the former ceo was unceremoniously forced from office just last week amid rumors of a power struggle with the board of directors. analysts say chaos at the top was bad for business. >> siemens' products were poorly managed, poorly resented, and poorly delivered. bad marks all around. people in the company can attest to that. >> kaser has set out the
company's new goals. he is tasked with returning order and stability to the giant. while he was ceo, he laid off employees by the tens of thousands. the board hopes kaser's reputation as a trusted veteran will help turn a new page and begin a new chapter. >> siemens' new ceo could not be more different than his predecessor. he is not only the solution but also part of the problem. >> joe kaser is, of course, talk of the town and frankfurt where traders have been poring over his first words as ceo. >> siemens' shares were gaining at the end of the day, but one should not misinterpret that as approval for joe kasweer. siemens' shares went up with a lot of others.
kaser is seen as old siemens and partly responsible for most of the mistakes that were made. what people do see as a positive is that in his first words as ceo, he above all seemed to address the employees, the staff around the world. he said that he is putting people and margins equally in first place. he wants to calm the atmosphere in the group down. >> let's check out the markets for you in a bit more detail. the dax closing pretty much flat on the day. some gains on the euro stoxx 50, the -- though. across the atlantic, trading still underway in new york. the dow jones, currently .4% higher, and the euro currently above $1.33.
>> there are more signs the euro zone economy could be on the road to recovery. figures released today show the first drop in unemployment and over two years, but the fall was very slight, and one eu official said the read of over 12% remains horrendous. >> figures were not helped by the block's biggest economy, germany, where the unemployment rate crept up slightly, but a 6.8%, it does remain well below the euro zone average. and growth figures are in from the u.s., where the economy expanded at an annual rate of 1.7% in the second quarter, up from 1.1% in previous months. the numbers beat analyst expectations. >> consumer spending accounted for two thirds of the economy. although growth there has been slowing down. growth was also on the rise. compared to 180,000 in the six months prior. one of the towering figures of post-german war industry has died.
he was 99 years old. >> he began his executive career in 1953 and later played a key role in the company merger. he was also known together with his wife or saving hundreds of jewish workers at a plant that he managed in occupied poland or ring world war ii. after the war, he launched a foundation to support projects in israel. >> some rebranding now for a high. european aerospace giant the ada's is changing its name to airbus as part of a major shakeup -- european aerospace giant eads. >> eads says it reinforces the importance of commercial aviation. >> airbus, the flagship brand of eads, known worldwide for its passenger jets. last year, the division generated more than 38 billion
euros in sales, accounting for almost 70% of the entire group. >> airbus is the most internationally known brand. >> the name change is part of a major restructuring. four divisions are being reduced to three. commercial airliners and helicopters both remain intact. defense and space, formerly separate units, will be merged into one to cut costs. eads says the move is in response to shrinking budgets in western countries, but management is not saying whether the restructuring will result in job cuts. but -- >> egypt's interim government has said it will no longer allow protests by supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi. they cited traffic is ructions
and what they called terrorist acts. >> police in cairo have been directed to clear citizens by pro-morsi demonstrators as they continue to call for morsi's return to power. the u.s. has responded by urging egypt to respect the right of assembly. on thursday, the german foreign minister is due to meet with interim leaders. he is expected to push for a quick return to democracy. and a u.s. military judge is set to hear arguments in the sentencing of radley manning. the soldier who handed over thousands of class of five documents to wikileaks. there have been international calls for the court to show leniency. >> the german government human rights chief raised manning as courageous and said that democracies have to open legal channels for whistleblowers. >> on tuesday, manning escape a life sentence without a roll when he was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, but he was convicted of 19 other charges, which could still add up to a combined sentence of 136 years.
now to a story that has everybody talking here -- a court in germany has ruled today that a man smoking in the privacy of his own home in düsseldorf can be evicted if the smoke gets into the public areas of his apartment building. >> the 75-year-old has discovered that his home is not his castle after all. citing health concerns over secondhand smoke tom at the court ruled that he can be booted out for lighting up. >> the court decision upholds the landlord's writer canceled the tenant's lease after neighbors complained about the smoke. it said people are entitled to smoke inside their homes but that others should not have to suffer. >> is 20 a day cigarette habit may have cost him his home. be stale smoke coming from the flat he'd had for 24 years was bothering neighbors. a düsseldorf court has ruled in favor of the landlord who wants to evict him. >> a landlord does not have to put up with a tenant who smokes
like that and does not air their apartment so that the stairway stinks of smoke. the court upheld the right of people to smoke inside their homes, but it said in buildings with multiple units, mutual consideration had priority in smoking issues. adults have been asked repeatedly to air his flat better. >> this is not about forgetting people to smoke in their flats. it is about excessive smoking that bothers others. >> he said he will not accept the ruling. he wants to keep fighting for smokers rights. >> this is not over yet. we are going to consider our next steps first, but i will take those steps. >> tenants associations say they have already been getting inquiries in the wake of the ruling, but since it can still be appealed, the consequences for other tenants are still uncertain. >> safe to say that it will be we will take a break, but up next, will zimbabwe's election
bring an end to the three- decade-old rule of africa's longest president yakking -- longest president? >> welcome back. polls have been closing in zimbabwe after a general election that african union observers say seems to have been peaceful, free, and fair. it is a dramatic contrast to the last vote in 2008, which ended in acrimony and violence. >> one thing had not changed as millions flocked to the voting booths today, and that is the candidates competing for the presidency. the incumbent, robert moog they, want another term at the age of 89 -- the incumbent, robert mugabe. the same candidate from the movement of democratic change is challenging him again. >> the last election has not
exactly turned them into friends. >> we explore their long rivalry. we begin the story 33 years ago when mugabe was being hailed as a hero. >> symbolic way declared independence from britain in april 1980. the newly elected president on the right called for national reconciliation. its former colonial power remained full of praise even in 1989. >> there is an atmosphere of violence. this problem can be solved by negotiation. >> mugabe was successful on the outset. he spent heavily on education and social programs using money left over from the colonial era, but when the end of the cold war, trade with eastern european countries dried up. reform project ran into
difficulty, and zimbabwe's black population grew increasingly dissatisfied. mugabe's solution -- expropriate white farmers and turn the land over to his supporters. meanwhile, impoverished and bob wayans had to look down as the government tore down entire townships. mugabe the freedom fighter had turned into an autocrat, a man who saw no need for political opposition. >> after the grim struggle that we waged, to expect that our people would be divided between themselves. we are still the heroes of this struggle. >> but the president's support steadily eroded. demonstrations and strikes spread to the end of the 1990's. the man behind the protests had started out as a mine worker before eventually becoming a union leader. he founded the movement for democratic change and stood against mugabe in presidential
elections. >> president mugabe has served his time. i think to all intents and purposes, he is more of a liability than an asset to the nation. >> mugabe's security forces even resorted to physical violence. but his biggest rival stayed popular despite several attempts on his life and charges of treason. he ran for president again in 2008 and won the first round, but he boycotted the runoff after scores of his supporters were killed. he said he wants to prevent further bloodshed. but the party did win the parliamentary vote. the african union pressured mugabe to establish a government of national unity. in the end, mugabe named his
archrival prime minister. while mugabe remained the country's most powerful man, he lost a great deal of authority. this time, both adversaries have ruled out any new coalition. >> earlier, he spoke to daniel from our africa department and ask what the chances are of this being a free and fair election. >> well, the party of the prime minister has already complained, and so have some of the election observers. western observers are excluded, but there is a delegation from an association of west african countries, and the head has complained that they have not been able to see the voters roll . there are allegations that there are up to one million ghost voters. these allegations are not proven, but of course, it is not a good sign that the election commission did not hand over to the voters roll -- hand over the voters roll to the observers so they could check. >> robert mugabe says he will
step down if he loses the election. how credible is that, and were you surprised? >> it does not come as a surprise to me, and it is a bit hard to say what he means by that, whether he is really genuine. there are a lot of people that say that he is very good at political tactics, and he is a master of the political game. a lot of people are saying he made that statement to calm fears in the west, to make it look like it is a democratic exercise, but there are also other people who say that robert mugabe does believe deep inside that the people of zimbabwe love him, and that he would be really clear to go if he did lose the elections because he would be so furious and so angry that he would step down. >> what about the man who would like to replace him? has being prime minister changed him? what would he do differently this time around? well, -- >> well, of course, his
party has been part of that coalition government, so there has been a lot of fighting, and the party has not been able to implement all its promises from the last campaign. what they, of course, have said is that they want to work on the economy, on improving the economy. poverty rates are still extremely high, and that they want to depoliticize the security forces. security forces are still very closely associated to the extent that some political -- some chiefs have said openly they will not serve under an ndc government. >> thanks so much for your insight. >> my pleasure. >> still to come, the latest to come on elections in germany. >> other stories making the
headlines -- the international monetary fund has told greece it must do better to deliver more on promised reforms. part of the 110 billion euro bailout package negotiated with international lenders back in 2010 to keep athens from going bankrupt. >> a californian student has been awarded over $4 million in compensation after he was left forgotten in a prison cell for five days without food or water. he was mistakenly arrested during the drugs raid last year in san diego. law enforcement agencies have apologized. >> cambodia's prime minister says his party is open to dialogue with the opposition following sunday's contested general election. he also says he would welcome any investigation into voting irregularities. the opposition has rejected the results. >> the next time you log onto
social media, you might want to like or follow your favorite politician. if you have one, of course. it turns out they might be paying attention. >> as campaigning in german election heats up, candidates are looking for votes both on and off-line. >> tranquil pedestrian zones are the classic campagn battleground in germany. balloons and pinwheels and party colors have been a no-brainer for decades, and this election season is no exception. but with more and more german voters on the internet these days, candidates are also under pressure to take advantage of new media. chancellor angela merkel's campaign team has a job directing campaign presence. merkel has more fans on social media than any other german politician. >> we are happy that so many
people are following angela merkel on facebook. it's a good way for us to reach lots of people, but the numbers on their own do not tell us much. what really counts is user activity -- how often users share our content, how many likes we get, but even in that area, we are doing better than the spd, and that is what is crucial. >> campaign workers and spd -- at spd headquarters beg to differ. their candidate may be well behind the chancellor and online fan numbers -- he has only got 67,000 compared to her more than 300,000 -- but spd campaigners say the difference is that they use the internet to encourage and mobilize supporters to campaign for them off-line. >> i think the days when campaigns just ran ads are over. it is not just about being online. it's about being off-line, too. we have had very strong dialogue with voters. for me, the mark of modern
campaigns is to approach voters and interact with them, not just to run ads. >> still, it is no secret that neither of the front runners is a whiz when it comes to the internet. steinberg -- steinbrueck admits that he relies on people to help him rather than posting himself. and during a recent visit by u.s. president barack obama, merkel made many satirists happy when she said, "the internet is uncharted territory for us all. a the result -- a flood of derision. the parties cannot afford to neglect and germany possible in net-savvy voters. and of course, balloons and brochures, pinwheels and pamphlets are not going anywhere, either. >> to sports news now -- strong winds, plenty of sunshine, conditions were perfect.
>> in the final day of the slalom event, rhinos -- writers hurdled -- riders hurtled through the waves helping them to reach up to 60 kilometers per hour. frenchman julien keller eventually came out on top. >> that looks pretty cool. >> it is pretty cool. too cool for me, that's for sure. >> stay with us on dw. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--