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tv   DW News  LINKTV  August 4, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT

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brent: this is "dw news," live from berlin. tonight, beyond the blast. beirut one year after that devastating explosion. today at the site of the deadly blast, lebanon remembered the 200 lives that were lost. at the same time, the lebanese vented their anger at the government, because no one has been held responsible for the disaster. also, a belarusian athlete flies
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to poland seeking asylum. krystsina tsimanouskaya criticized her coaches. now she's worried she will be punished if she returns to belarus. and an emergency evacuation at a power plant in turkey as fires move closer. european monitors say the fire is in the region are the fiercest since record-keeping began. and france's new covid-19 health pass is pushing up vaccination rates and winning approval among the french, but others say it is a violation of their right to liberty. ♪ i'm brent goff. to our viewers watching on pbs in the united states, and to all of you around the world, welcome. we begin tonight in lebanon, a year after that massive explosion that destroyed so much of the capital beirut. today, the city marked the
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anniversary with mixed emotions. many observed an official moment of silence and listened as the names of the more than 200 victims were read aloud. but elsewhere, protests broke out. many rohingya are -- many residents are demanding answers. reporter: anger is brewing in beirut. one year on, no one has been held responsible for the blast. some still have scars that have not healed. i don't feel like a year has passed since the explosion. time has stopped completely. every day is august 4. every day. every day. every day i remember the blast, or remember what happened on that dreadful day. reporter: he saw it coming from his office.
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the explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port. it laid there for years, and one day, it caught fire. in memory of the victims, lebanon held a minute of silence. many lost their children, their friends, their homes. but beneath the sadness is a seething rage. >> this blast still lives with us. he lives in our lungs, in the little details of our houses. it lives everywhere. and really, it's not easy to say oh well, we will rebuild, life goe son. we need justice. reporter: thousands of protesters blame the government
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for years of mismanagement at beirut's port. no answers have emerged from the investigion so far instead, critics are being pushed back with force. ent: and my colleague rebecca ritters's is in beirut tonight. people looking at this situation cannot believe a year after the explosion there have been no charges filed and no one has been held accountable. what is going on with this investigation? rebecca: well, nothing has changed from today, that is for sure. the investigation is ongoing, but as you say, inconclusive. that is why people have come out on the street today. what you are seeing behind me is the final throe of what has been a day full of mixed emotion here. it started out quite calmly and solemn, everything here was closed. i have never seen beirut look
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so quiet. people were solemn as they made their way to the port for a minor protest. everyone wanted to come together, converge at the port. and there was the commemorative service, the minute of silence, then things started to kick off. crowds moved to the downtown parliament area and the square which is where most of the protests take place here. things did get violent, but all in all things were not as hectic as many people thought they might be today. and the security services were really out in force to try and get everybody to go home, and that is what we are seeing now. we are seeing some small groups so continuing, but basically things are wrapping up. brent: rebecca ritters in beirut, thank you. one day after the explosion, the lebanese government promised a speedy and transparent investigation. that government then resigned
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and the investigation has gone nowhere. this is one of the many crises paralyzing lebanon. i am joined now -- it's good to see you again. from the outside it looks like things have only gotten worse in lebanon since e blast has anything improved in the countr >> no. absolutely not. you say, things have gotten steadily worse. dramatically worse, you might say. today, people in lebanon he three hours of electricity at best. they can't fd diesel to power the generators to have electricity for the other1 hours of the day. and it is really hot. people hav to stand in line for hours to fill their cars. and as you said, the investigation has gone nowhere. brent: these images of the city, they look as apocalyptic today as they did a year ago.
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no one has bee held accountable for this disaster. do you think that justice will ever be served? heiko: i think it's highly doubtful. the case as such is really complicated. i'm not sure we're ever going to get to the bottom of it. but what we can find out, i think, is who in that sprawling bureaucracy was negligent, and who should charged with dereliction of duty. and there are names and officials that the investigative judge wants to question, may want to indict. so far they have closed ranks and prevented that from happening. brent: there was this sense right after the blast that the disaster was so catastrophic that it would shock the politicians into pushing for reform and then they would begin cleaning up this systemic corruption.
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has that happened at all? heik no. and i think those peoplcannot be scked. some of them are indeed warlords of 30, 40 years ago. they have seen it all, and some of them have done it all. and you will not shock them. as you said, corruption is systemic. without these corrupt practices, they cannot rul that is the way ey generate suppt, that is the way they le. if they were to actually go t gnificant reforms, they would pull the rug from under their own feet. the system they set up for themselves would not work anymore, so they will just not do it. brent: we know foreign direct investment in lebanon has dropped dramatically. they do not trust the lebanese government with the money. -- do you seehat making a real difference? heiko: so, i think what we have
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to be realistic. today, $350 million were pledged. what lebanon needs to actually start fixing the economic crisis is at least 10 times as much. and unless these reforms happen, even if somebody would volunteer to pay that money, it would not do anything because they are just pouring it into a barrel at the bottom. as long as systemic corruption has not been tackled. so tha $350 one milon, they should go to humanitarian support,or people who areow suering from the economic crisis. th should go to keesome of the reallyssenti partsf the stateunctional, that acally serveeople. t before anythin els goes in there, we need theseubstantial
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reform and we need an imf program, we need to fix comptely rig now the comatoseinancial secr, we need to cln up the central bank. as long as that does not happen, you don't even want to start. brent: it a long to do list, that's for sure. heiko: it surely is. brent: we appreciate your insights tonight. thank you. heiko: thank you. brent: let's get you up-to-date now with some of the other stories making headlines around the world. israel has italia did against rocket strikes launched into its territory from lebanon. they say they fired artillery barrage is in response. there are no reports of casualties. the u.s. state department condemned the rocket attacks. two trains collided in the west of the czech republic, leaving three dead and eight seriously injured. authorities say an express train from munich to prague collided with a regional train.
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emergency services are on the scene. thousands of firefighters in california are bracing for a tough few days, as hot, dry weather threatens to further stoke the state's largest wildfire. the dixie fire in the north has jumped to permit her lines, prompting additional evacuations. it has been burning for three weeks and spread over 1000 square kilometers. in turkey, a thermal power plant has been evacuated as fire closed in on it. the plant is located in a town on the aegean coast. firefighters and plant workers were seen fleeing the scene as the flames approached. blazes have been prompted by extreme heat wave currently gripping the mediterranean region. almost 200 wildfires have broken out over the past eight days in turkey alone. and our very own julia hahn is
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in the area of that power plant in southwest turkey. it is good to see you. what is the situation there right now? julia: well, the area surrounding the power plant is being evacuated right now here at the aegean coast, one of the areas worst affected by the wildfires. now, we got to the area just a little earlier and were told that our hotel that we have to leave immediately. we just saw a huge number of cars, locals leaving the area. they have all basically driven out further away. they were directed by turkish authorities to safer places. now, the mayor already warned on twitter yesterday the flames have crept dangerously close to this power plant. today, local media reported the fire was under control, but now the flames are at this power plant, raging there, and
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firefighters are trying to get the situation under control. brent: this is no longer a story of a fire being a threat to people's homes. we are now talking about the energy infrastructure. if the fire consumes this plant, what is that going to mean for the surrounding area and the people who live there? julia: first, let's talk about the risk there. officials said earlier that hydrogen tanks used to cool the filled with water as a precaution, because presumably there is a risk of explosion. now, this power plant is the biggest thermal power plant here in the larr province. it provides energy for about 800,000 people in the area here. itperates using coalnd fuel oil. now, if this power plant is gone,e canxpect massive eltricity ortages the area in the coming days.
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electricity was already very problematic today. many air-conditioning systems are not working properly. and it is incredibly hot here in southern turkey right now, some 40 degrees celsius. brent: and there is concern, julia, that so many hectares of forest have been destroyed in turkey by these fires that the turkish government may not have the means to replace all the trees that have been lost. what are you hearing? julia: the true extent of the damage done to nature here by the wildfires is not known yet. nobody knows. what people are estimating that at least 100,000 hectares of forest land have been destroyed. we witnessed the damages here in the area. a grey landscape left by the flames, basically. many tell us ty will te
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decades for nature to recover from these fires. this is of course part of the criticism the government has to listen to now because many people here in turkey are angry, criticizing president erdogan and his crisis management, sandy government reacted too -- saying the government reacted too late and was not equipped well enough to to the blazes under control when they erupted about a week ago. brent: dw's julia hahn, close to those fires in southern turkey. we appreciate your reporting. please stay safe. the world health organization is calling for a halt to covid-19 booster shots until at least the end of september. the agency wants a paulas in top off shots to help close the gap between vaccination rates in rich and poor countries. vaccine stocks should go to low
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income countries instead of wealthier states with high levels of immunization. it comes days after israel began offering third doses to anyone in the country over the age of 60. germany is reportedly moving to do the same starting in september. france is speeding up its vaccination campaign by making it more attractive to get the shots. anyone who wants to board a train or a flight or eat at a restaurant has to show a so-called health pass. this proves they are either fully vaccinated, recently recovered, or have tested negative. the requirement is a hit with most of the french, but some see it as an attack on their freedoms. reporter: a year and a half after the pandemic began, this restaurant owner is facing yet another obstacle for his usiness. the new health pass could make an already difficult year even more of an uphill struggle, he fears. >> i am in favor of the
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vaccination and all of our staff will soon be fully immunized, but i'm worried we will lose our clients. not all of them will want to get vaccinated or have a test done every 48 hours. and we are already 30% below our usual july, as there are less tourists. reporter: the announcement of the mandatory health pass comes just two months after they were finally allowed to fully reopen, following months of lockdown. at the time, he felt optimistic. >> we are delighted to be able to welcome customers back inside. this gives us an additional option when it is raining. it is great because if you will be pushed back and eventually lifted. reporter: he's not the only one concerned about the new measures. tens of thousands of protesters have been taking to the streets over the past two weeks, demonstrating against what they say are restrictions on their freedom.
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polls show more than 60% of the french are in favor of the health pass. 64% approve -- 74% approve of compulsory vaccination for health workers. since president macron's announcement, the number of daily covid-19 jabs has skyrocketed, especially among young people. and yet many of them say they don't like being put under such pressure. >> some of my friends don't want to get vaccinated, and that is why we will continue to meet at home or somewhere outside. >> i do understand that measures need to be taken, and we have to stand together. but i don't feel the government is really transparent, and their method is anything but gentle. reporter: the french government says t healthass is to only stay in place until herd immunity is reached. but for now, just over 50% of
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the french are fully vaccinated. brent: the belarusian sprinter at the center of an olympic political row has arrived in poland. she flew on wednesday from the tokyo olympics under diplomatic protection. krystsina tsimanouskaya is seeking asylum. she fled the olympic games fearing retaliation from belarusian authorities after she criticized her team coaches. she claims team officials try to force her to return to belarus earlier this week for she was able to obtain a humanitarian visa from poland. she says she is not trying to make a political statement, she just wants to protect her career. joining us for more is belarusian journalist hannah. it's good to see you again. let's turn to this olympic sprinter. what lies in store for her now that she has found refuge in poland? >> so, she received only a
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humanitarian visa. it has been granted to those people who are fleeing some conflict or people who fear persecution. it does not mean asylum yet. because krystsina tsimanouskaya previously said that she might apply for asylum, so that is something she might do while in poland. her husband is in ukraine in kiev, but he was also granted a visa to poland, so he might be traveling soon to reunite with his wife. he remains a question whether she might be able to train in poland, but i think the polish authorities will do everything possible to ensure that she can continue her career as an athlete. and more importantly, she is now safe in poland, as much as any activist, any athlete, politician can be safe abroad. brent: and how do you see this
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impacting relations between the european union with belarus, and of course with the main supporter belarus, that being russia? hanna: so, well now, obviously the european union has condemned the election results, the rigged elections in belarus. sanctions have been introduced, imposed in some sectors of the economy, on some people who were involved in vlations of human rights. and the regime in belarus is obviously worried about that, especially t economic center sanctions. lukashenko has criticized poland, lithuania, and other european countries for imposing pressure and meddling into internal issues. and now as we see, the migration isis iseveloping on the border opoland and lithuania,
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migrants coming from iraq or syria are being brought to belarus and then sent to neighboring countries so that's sometng both poland and lithuania are now worried about. when it comes to russia, russia keeps supporting lukashenko. putin is mostly interested in maintaining the status quo, because he is scared of any protests in belarus because that might become an example for russians. but it's not clear yet to what extent putin is readyo really support lukashenko, because lukashenko is becoming really toxic for everyone, and also for the kremlin. brent: standby. this is one of the stories connected to belarus today. two belarusian activist apperead -- appeared in court today. they were in a glass box at the
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trial which was open to state media, but not to the families of the accused. they are accused of undermining national security, conspiring to seize power, and creating an extremist group. she was a key force in leading demonstrations following last year's disputed presidential election. if found guilty, the activist could face 12 years in prison. so hanna, let me come back to you. should the international community, should it interfere in matters like this? hanna: well, standing up for human rights does not mean interference i think her only goal was to make sure people in belarus had a choice, can elect a president freely, participate in elections. this is not seizing power, it is people's constitutional right. so i would say that they are not guilty.
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what they were doing was totally peaceful. they were trying to participate in the political life. the fact that they are now in prison should become a signal for the international community in the west. western democratic countries should respond. one of the tools the west should use are sanctions. this is something lukashenko has cared about. this is something that really imposes a lot of pressure on him, and it is something he response to. there were previous examples of after sanctions were imposed, lukashenko had to release political prisoners. that is something the west should consider, because the aggressions of belarus are not decreasing, they are actually increasing. so lukashenko must be stopped, and the west should react, absolutely. brent: what happens if there are no sanctions? do you see lukashenko cracking down even further on protesters? hanna: at this point i think it
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is very hard for me to say. because civil society has been completely destroyed. the level of aggression is unprecedented. since august there have been more than 36,000 people arrested, there are thousands in jail at the moment. and lukashenko can only escalate. but we see that he does not even threaten peoplinside the country. now he is starting threatening people abroad. in japan, as happened with krystsina tsimanouskaya, or the man on a flight which was forced to land in minsk. so this is all very scary and worrying. that's why more reaction is needed. as long as lukashenko feels impunity, he will continue escalating repression inside and outside the country. brent: journalist hanna liubakova, we appreciate your
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reporting tonight. thank you. at the olympic games in tokyo, candidate finally broke through to win a gold medal in the 200 meters after one bronze and two silvers. he madet to the top of t podium. it ended years of frustrating finishes behind the likes of usain bolt. earlier, the hundred meter hurdles on another world record in the women's event. sydney of the u.s. edged out her compatriot, defending champion. at the skateboard venue, youth ruled the day at the women's park skateboarding final. japan won the inaugural event. and at 19 years old, she was a veteran compared to the other winners. silver went to, who at just 12,
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is the youngest olympic medalist since 1936. and a 13-year-old britain won bronze. the winner's combined age is a right 44. covid-19 infections have forced the greek women's team to withdraw from the artistic swimming competitions. five members tested positive, and seven others have been designated as close contacts. olympics organizers recorded 18 new cases tuesday, bringing the total to 300 since the start of the games in july. we'll be right back. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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> it is a year since beirut was rocked to its core by ts explosion. there was anger and clashes with police. we will hear more from beirut with sally. in afghanistan and explosion has injured three people near the office of the main security agency. the taliban has also claimed responsibility for an attack on tuesday on the acting defense minister's pump.


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