tv DW News LINKTV March 15, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
>> this is dw news live from berlin. europe, fighting a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic minus one major vaccine. germany, italy, france and spain have suspended use of the astrazeneca vaccine over blood clot worries. regulators in the who it insist the vaccine is safe. a punishing defeat and a warning for germany's ruling conservatives. angela merkel's cdu suffers big
losses in regional elections. already leaders call it a wake-up call ahead of federal elections in september. international condemnation of myanmar's military following violence in yangon. the army imposed martial law in part of the city. the missing face of syria's revolution. >> i am a human rights activist. >> she was kidnapped by armed men seven years ago and is still missing. dw news retraces the steps she made before she disappeared. i'm brent goff. to our viewers in the united states and around the world,
welcome. in the race to vaccinate, this is not what europe needs. nearly a dozen countries, including germany, france, italy and spain, suspended use of the astrazeneca vaccine over fears the shots could cause blood clots. both the european medicine agency and the world health organization say there is no evidence linking the vaccine to clotting problems. >> another setback in an already troubled vaccination campaign. germany, france, italy and spain became the latest european countries to stop administering the astrazeneca vaccine over fears it causes blood clots. to keep up confidence in the vaccine, we now have to give experts in germany and the european union time to review the recent cases. they must clarify the question of whether the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh possible risks. because one thing is clear, not
vaccinating also has serious health implications and that process is what we are waiting on now. >> emmanuel macron said his government would await a statement by the european medicines agency tuesday before deciding if the vaccine is put back into use. >> the decision that was taken in accordance with our european policy is to suspend the astrazeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure in the hope it will be resumed quickly if they european medicines agency allows it. >> the ema only last week declared there are no indications that people who have received the astrazeneca vaccine are more likely to develop blood clots. boris johnson was quick to dismiss concerns over a vaccine that has already been administered to 11 million in the u.k.
>> we have one of the toughest, most experienced regulators in the world. they see no reason to disctinue the vaccination program.k.accination drive is as to inoculate its population against covid-19. with a increasing number of european countries putting their astrazeneca vaccinations on hold, that lead is likely to grow. >> for more, i am joined by our political correspondent, simon young. the timing couldn't be worse. how significant is this decision? >> the german government's decision to suspend the astrazeneca vaccine is potentially a major setback for the vaccination program and could slow things down.
germany's vaccination campaign has been criticized for being slow. the government says it is about making sure doing checks, and potentially increasing public confidence, but i think this is another example of germany's cautious approach on vaccination. they are being cautious. 1.6 million people have vaccinated in germany with the astrazeneca substance and there have been seven cases of problems. they are worried about blood clots, but it is unclear whether they have anything to do with the vaccine. they might, they might not. the government says in that case, let's check it out a lot of politicians are saying, maybe we could check it and at the same time continue with the vaccination because it is really important that people get vaccinated. brent: germany is down one major vaccine in the fight against the pandemic. how will this affect the vaccination program going forward? simon: the vaccination rollout
is being done by the regional states so they have suspended that for now. it is not being distributed around the country. they are hoping for the european medicines agency to carry out these checks and maybe make the results known within the next few ys.da one problem that arises, what about people who have already had one dose of astrazeneca? wi tllhey get a second dose of a t e?vat supply and after a story like this it is hard to see people developing full confidence in astrazeneca and that may be a problem in the months ahead. brent: public trust is definitely a problem. simon young on the story in berlin. thank you. for more i want to bring in the deputy director of the institute of virology in berlin. it is good to have you on the
program. what do you make of the decision to suspend use of the astrazeneca vaccine? >> first of all, as pointed out, this is a precautionary measure but if you look closely at the numbers of so-called side heikely temporarink b not a usal conctionetweenoth evts. brt: so whsuspend e of the vacce? >> as i said, it is a
precautionary measure, so there have been reports in germany that brought a blood clot think in brain vessels as beingortantt very fast and resume the vaccination program as soon as possible. as far as the things are aut 30 cases of blood clotting have be observe in about 5 million vaccinated. that is not more frequent blo clotting than of -- than is
observed in those who haven't received the vaccine so there is no statistical argument to support a causal relationship. brent: do you think this is good public health policy? because regardless of whether or not there is a danger, the fact that the usef the vaccine, the fact that it has bn sueespended, that will put doubt in the mind of the public. they won't trust this vaccine like they did yesterday. is that good pblic health policy? >> it is absolutely true. it is not good for the reputation of the vaccine, becauseny way, they astrazeneca vaccine has been disputed before. if you remember the discussion about the age group above 65, there is not enough data to recommend the astrazeneca vaccine for those individuals. there is enough data and
officials recommend the astrazeneca vaccine for those older than 65. it is a mechanism, and automatic mechanm that h to work. once there are reports of, we call it pharmaco vigilance, it is a serious side effect and they have to pause. but i hope that they resume very soonhe vaccination campaign, and thin a few days, i he, because it is so important that we have this vaccine. brent: let's hope that is the case. doctor, we appreciate your time and insights. thank you. >> it is a pleasure. brent: let's get some of the other developments on the pandemic. the developers of the russian sputnik v vaccine say several
countries have agreed to help manufacture the vaccine. i see you doctors in germany are urging an immediate return to partial lockdown because of covid-19 mutations. germany has seen a rise in infections since easing measures lateral -- last month. half of italy is under a strict lockdown because of a new spike in coronavirus infections. hospitals say they are overwhelmed by new admissions. let's take a look at the other stories that are making headlines around the world. the european union has launched legal action against the u.k. over an alleged breach of the northern island protocol, a major part of the brexit deal which is intended to avoid a hard border between northern ireland and the republic of ireland. the vatican ruled the catholic church cannot bless same-sex unio, explainin god, quote, cannot bless sin. the vatican's orthodoxy office was responding to a question about whether
catholic clergy have the authority to bless gay unions. pope francis approved the response. the official instagram account ofin kremlin critic alexey navay posted the first photo of him since he began his 2.5 year prison sentence. shown with a shaved head, he writes that he is serving his sentence at a penal colony number two, 100 kilometers north of moscow. he describes it as a, quote, real concentration camp. voters in germany have handed chancellor angela merkel's ruling conservatives a stinging defeat in two regional elections. voters in the south and west turned their backs on the cdu party in record numbers. >> germany's super election year began badly for chancellor merkel's conservatives. in two elections they significantly lost support. the cdu is in crisis.
in berlin, the frustration was crystal clear among party leadership. >> we can clearly say the regional election results are disappointing for the cdu. any election result is always a wake-up call. anybody who doesn't take note and ignores them hasn't understood the meaning of an election. >> the cdu was probably punished by voters for the painfully slow coronavirus vaccine rollout nationwide. a face mask procurement scandal involving conservative lawmakers only made things worse. one party's loss is another's gain. after winning the election in a wealthy state, the greens were in triumphant mode monday. >> we see momentum for the greens continues. we are starting the super election you're strongly. the trend of recent years is being borne out in 2021.
>> similarly, the social democrats were eager to highlight their victory in this state. >> the election result, especially in this state is giving a boost the social democratic party as a whole. we want to use the upswing to help ensure that we can lead a future federal government, and provide the german chancellor. >> the two regional votes are not necessarily a preview of what will happen in sepmber, when all germans go to the polls. but they provide clues about what voters wrote the country want, what problems they see and what parties they like and what coalitions might be possible at a federal level. further cdu -- for the cdudw thy have a warning, they have six months to recover for their biggest challenge, whether they can hold onto power without angela merkel. brent: still to come, bundesliga
football losing ground in the title race. that is coming up in a moment. myanmar security forces have fired on pro-democracy protesters. at least six people were reportedly killed a day after dozens of activists were shot dead in the country's largest city, yangon. the military has imposed martial law on six district in the city. the u.n. says 138 people have been killed since the military seized power on february 1. >> deadly clashes continued into the night as fires burned in the streets and smoke mixed with teargas. monitor groups report that over 40 people died from sunday into monday morning.
the bloodiest they of protests against the coup so far. on the outfit -- outskirts of yangon chinese owned factories were set on fire, reportedly wounding employees. many pro-democracy protesters accused china of secrey supporting coup leaders. the chinese embassy said china urges myanmar to take further effective measures to stop acts of violence, punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law, and ensure the safety of life and property of chinese companies and personnel in myanmar. the military shows no signs of easing the crackdowns. the military declared martial law in several large districts of the country's two largest cities but the protesters are not relenting. in mandalay, hundreds return to the streets to call for the release of civilian leaders arrested at the start of the coup. a court aring was scheduled today, but her lawyer reported it was postponed.
the deposed leader expects her next hearing on march 24. brent: it has been 10 years since the arab spring erected in syria -- erupted in. president bashar al-assad responded with a brutal crackdown, triggering a war that has not been resolved. the u.n. says more than half the country's prewar population is internally displaced or live as refugees, mainly in the middle east and in europe. in the remaining opposition stronghold of idlib, thousands came out to commemorate the decade of resistance against assad. as part of our coverage of the 10th anniversary of the start of the syrian protests, we are shining a light on one of the most prominent figures of its pro-democracy movement. a woman who was kidnapped by armed men in 2013 and whose fate
remains unclear. our investigative unit has been retracing her steps. >> my name is razan zaitouneh, human rights activist from damascus. >> when protests erupted in 2011, activist razan zaitouneh was key to revolutionary efforts across the country. beside her was her close friend. we meet the human rights lawyer in paris. >> for me, the most important aspect of razan's personality is her rejectn of injusticend willingness to do anhing to fight injustice. >> when the assad regime responded with a bloody crackdown, razan made su the world uld know.
s bece a key source. she had a softness, almost frailty you met her, like how she is -- how is she doing this dangerous job? as soon as you spoke to her, you discovered the steely courage and principles. >> in 2013, razan fled damascus for duma, a town that would be dominated by a hard-line militant group. she launched women's initiatives and documented human rights abuses, including those committed by armed rebels. all that made her a competitor to the group's ideology and desire to eablish aemirate or calhate. razan was targeted several times. a bullet left at her doorstep and an anonymous letter obtained
by dw threatening her life. the words, i will kill you, repeated five times. her trusted confident -- c onfidant asked her to leave. >> youesponded saying,'m not going to move. we didn't lose thousands of souls so monsters can come and repeat this in just history. these people need to be held to account like the regime. >> on december 9, 2013, armed men stormed her office and abducted razan along with her husband and two fellow activists. after years of investigation, a human rights lawyer is confident the group is responsible. they give us access to their findings. additional witness statements collected in syria and turkey corroborate that she was held by the islamists before her trail
goes cold. we contacted jaish al-islam but they denied the abduction. a former top official of the group has already been arrested in connection with the case. they hope the investigation wilt gups that in the end are authoritarian, as well. eight years after razan and her colleagues disappeared, their fate remains one of the great mysteries of the revolution. but friends and relatives have not given up hope that one day,
they will know the truth. brent: we will have more on the fate of razan and syria coming up on "the day." we will take a look at the other stories making headlines, the nigerian authorities confirmed no schoolchildren are missing in the northwestern region of kaduna following fears they had been kidnapped. three of their teachers are still yet to be located. armed men attempted to abduct college students in the same region over the weekend. opposition activists and musician bobby wine was arrested in a protest in the ugandan capital. he was leading a rally against the detention of his supporters when he was seized by the authorities. he is reported to be under guard at his home. the images are almost apocalyptic. the skyline in beijing, engulfed in seemingly -- and seemingly
and raced -- erased when a sandstorm collided with air pollution. blowing in from the gobi desert, the storm choked everyday life in the city. hundreds of flights were canceled and commuters made their way to work through what some described as a landscape at the end the world. >> thick clouds of sand and yellow smog enveloping downtown beijing. the landmark headquarters of the state broadcaster cctv, shrouded in the gloom. residents of the chinese capital were hoping sandstorm's were a thing of the past thanks to extensive planting of protective trees and bushes. but atmospheric pollution from the biggest sand clouds in 10 years has now reached hazardous levels. it looks like the end of the world. i don't really want to be outside.
it feels like a science fiction movie. >> this is nature. in the face of nature, human beings are truly tiny and powerless. we must do what we can to protect the environment. >> the sand has blown in from remote areas of china's neighbor, mongolia, where several people have been killed by the storm. china has managed to cut some pollution levels. the government says it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. greenpeace says an upsurge in industrial production as the pandemic subsides is adding to the fallout of the sandstorm. brent: bundesliga soccer, leipzig was hoping for a win at home against frankfurt but they only managed to draw. it was the second setback in recent days.
>> after they were dumped out of the champions league by liverpool midweek, leipzig were hoping to avoid the european hangover and rack up another bundesliga win to keep the challenge on track. the host at off to a flyer in the second. the score was 1-0. he was the joint top scorer of a strangely modest campaign in front of goal. leipzig's title push has been built on defense. they had the fewest goals of any bundesliga side, but frankfurt found a way through. it was 1-1 after the one hour mark. leipzig had a chance to win, but frankfurt also knows a thing or two about defending. 1-1 it finished. leipzig's winning run is over. the coach hopes their
championship chances haven't disappeared. brent: in sunday's late game, stood guard gave their ambitions -- stuttgart gave their ambitions a boost. the ball was turned into the opponent's net and one player guaranteed a victory in the second half, scoring for a second game in a row to equal the club record. stuttgart are four points away from the european qualification. now to some big news for boxing fans. anthony joshua and tyson furey are to clash for the title of heavyweight ampichon afterht dea joshua's two titles and fury's crown will be on the line in the
fights, set to make the two british boxers 100 $40 million each. joshua's camps as a venue is likely to be confirmed within the next month. you are watching dw news. after the break i will be back to take you through the day. tonight, europe fighting the pandemic minus a major vaccine. what 10 years of war have done to syria and its people. we will be right back. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] please stand by
facts.ews based on >> is 9:00 p.m. in -- it is 9:00 p.m. in paris. >> france, germany and italy have announced they are suspending the use of the astrazeneca covid-19 jab after reports of blood clots. 10 years to the day since edge government protests began in syria. we are analyzing a decade of violence that has claimed the lives of 3800 people. despite the pandemic, the film industry has bn