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tv   Journal  LINKTV  December 18, 2013 2:00pm-2:31pm PST

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>> welcome to the "journal" coming to you live from dw in berlin. good to have you with us. >> here's what's coming up in the next half-hour -- >> russian parliament passes a sweeping amnesty bill for thousands of prisoners including mothers, the aging, and the disabled. >> angela merkel outlines her new policy on europe. what will it mean for the eurozone debt crisis? we speak with our political correspondent. >> and it looks like a new head
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coach for the world's current number two. some of russia's best-known prisoners, including the two jailed pussy riot members and 30 greenpeace activists could be freed after the country passed a wide-ranging amnesty bill. >> pregnant women, mothers, veterans, and those with disabilities are also set to be released from prison. >> thousands of people will be freed to mark the 20th anniversary of russia's post- soviet constitution. will talk more about this with a russian journalist. first, here is this report. >> it did not take long to rubber stamp the kremlin-backed amnesty law. thousands may now walked out of jail including prominent putin critics like the two pussy riot activists locked up for a protest in a russian church.
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this amnesty is the most wide- ranging in years. it could lead to the release of high-profile western detainees the kremlin might like to see the backup. the amnesty law extends not only to convicts, but to those under investigation as well. this is important. that is significant for 30 environmental activists from greenpeace who still face charges of hooliganism after they tried to board an oil platform in russia's arctic north in protest of chilling there, but activists say the law will only free a small fraction of those behind bars in russia. a former oil tycoon will continue serving an 11-year sentence for embezzlement. rights activists say his continued detention shows the amnesty does not go anywhere far enough. >> we are joined now for more on this in the studio by a russian
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journalist. welcome to the show. first off, this amnesty for prisoners -- some are claiming it is simply a publicity stunt by the kremlin ahead of the sochi olympics. is that too cynical? >> oh, yes, it is very much about publicity in this law. if you look at the pussy riot case, their sentences almost over. and the greenpeace activists, you cannot prove it was hooliganism because it was an international sea. they had either released them in court by either proving they are innocent or make a good face and say they will release them because they have amnesty. that is actually what this law is. it's a big propaganda advertising. >> what will be the results of it? could we actually see a flaw -- thaw in east-west relations?
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>> you will see that lots of people who are kept in jail are not proven guilty, but they are in jail because they have taken part in anti-government riots. they will not be set free because they are excluded from this amnesty. but who will be set free -- dozens of police officers who have arrested people, tortured them, and even killed them. they will all be set free according to this law. >> with pussy riot, we saw that russian society and politics considerably more conservative than the west. what does this mean or future relations? >> i think russia will continue to go in this conservative direction. you can see that in recent appointments. it will continue to be a very
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conservative state. >> thanks so much for your insights. >> here in germany, chancellor angela merkel is calling for more european integration as a way out of the economic stagnation in countries like greece, portugal, and spain. >> she made the comments as she laid out her new government's policy in europe. merkel is starting her third term as chancellor and has already urged binding reforms to preserve the euro. >> it was chancellor angela merkel's first speech of her new term in office, and it was dedicated to europe. merkel said she wants to strengthen convergence of european policies, citing areas such as the banking union initiative and measures to tackle youth unemployment, merkel said europe was moving in the right direction. >> the european debt crisis is not yet overcome. there's no doubt about that, and i cannot stress that often enough, but we are seeing
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initial results and are convinced that the crisis can be overcome long-term. in its autumn forecast, the european commission spoke to the first time a clear signs that the economy is gradually starting to recover. >> the opposition bloc in parliament looks tiny compared to the rows of government lawmakers as germany's two biggest parties have come together in their grand coalition, but the left party has been lashing out at merkel. >> they handle all attacks with kid gloves and force ordinary people to pay tens of thousands for the mistakes of the rich. it is not christian. madam chancellor, it is inhumane. >> the social democrats are part of a government and have put their stamp on european policy, which they said would no longer focus exclusively on budgetary discipline in the eurozone.
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>> i believe many european leaders and even some conservatives have been openly or secretly waiting for this policy shift, which is now possible with he social democrats and government. >> but in the end, it's the chancellor who had the final say on germany's european policy. during her speech, she defended her handling of the eurozone crisis to date, indicating continuity is more likely. >> so what is ahead for germany and for the ee you? we are joined now by our political correspondent. europe was very much at the center of angela merkel's first speech in parliament. what did it tell us about her approach to the eu right now? >> it's interesting because there's been speculation about where this new merkel government will go, whether there will be new comfort for struggling euro zone economies. i remember just two days ago, more or less, the luxembourg foreign minister came out. i'm going to quote him because
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he appealed to germany to resort -- to show a little bit more understanding for the hardship other european countries are facing. did angela merkel respond to that today? in a sense, i suppose she did, but she called for a tightening of the fiscal rules, according to which europe is governed. she wants those rules to be made more binding. she even said eu treaties could be written to make them more specific, as she put it, i which she meant stricter, forcing european countries to meet their fiscal obligations. >> along these lines, the chancellor is in france right now. is this visit about her concerns that parents is not sufficiently committed to cutting costs? >> i supposed to an extent, yes, but there have been problems are quite sometime. we could go back to nicolas sarkozy still being the french president. he and merkel did not get on. people hoped the relationship would improve when françois
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hollande came into office. it did not. part of the reason was that françois hollande is someone who is tempted to try to spend france's way out of its woes, whereby at the same time, angela merkel, her mantra is really budgetary discipline. numeral eating of mines there. something has changed, though, and that is that the social democrats are now part of angela merkel's coalition, more or less the same kind of people as françois hollande's. we will have to see if the aim to kickstart the motor of europe succeeds. >> thank you very much. >> the new coalition government in germany has many things on its agenda. one of them is plans to continue the changeover to renewable
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energy. >> germany is a world leader in the use of green energy, and at already had plans to reform the surcharges levied to pay for a sustainable energy mix in the future. the main problem is that some do not have to foot that bill. next year, german industry will benefit from a rebate worth five billion euros. >> the european union has waded into the controversy, saying the exemption may be unfair. >> bad news from brussels for energy-hungry german industry. 2000 firms are exempted from paying the hefty surcharge on the power they use. the european commission says that may distort competition. >> we are not investigating the support for the nobles. the main focus is the reduction for energy intensive companies of the surcharge that serves to fund renewables. >> it's not only power guzzling
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concerns. breweries and average was also pay a knockdown price for power. the european commission is not against germany's green energy law in principle. it says some parts are justified. on his first full day on the job, germany's new energy minister said brussels was overstepping the mark. >> the commission is meddling in an area where there is no eu harmonization, using competition pools to interfere in national energy policy. >> it may be bad news for german industry, but berlin accepts things have to change. the coalition was planning to reform law early next year anyway. >> euro zone finance ministers say they have made progress toward creating a banking union that would police banks and tackle the problems. >> they appear to have agreed on one pillar of that banking union, which is how to wind down
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failing banks. there has also been consensus on how to shield ordinary depositors. >> in the future, european banks will have to guarantee private savings of up to 100,000 euros. it's a small but significant step towards an eu banking union. europe's finance ministers are now closer than ever to a deal on what is arguably the biggest european project since the euro -- a banking union. >> we have the supervisory body. we have the deposit guarantee, and we have a framework for widening up thanks that fail. we have created an essential enhancement to the currency union, a banking union. it will mean greater stability and provide better protection for citizens. >> the goal is to strengthen international confidence in the euro and europe's financial institutions and to keep taxpayers from footing the billl if banks fail. the idea is that banks will be
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responsible for their own rescue fund, a at the 5 billion euro pot of money to finance closures . it will take 10 years to get up and running. for now, if the current bailout fund is needed, germany is adamant that there will only be loans and no direct payouts using taxpayer money. >> the only route is via member states and the national compartments. that is the contractual agreement. no one has even raised the issue of changing the dsm treaty. >> a few issues remain, but if a final deal is struck tom a a banking union could be reality in just over a year. >> our correspondent has all of the reaction to that news from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> a banking union in the eurozone is assumed shape, but the feelings were mixed in the stock market.
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the overall mood was very good. the optimism of german managers drove the market higher. the most important early indicator, the eco-business confidence, rose agan. -- the ifo business confidence. all signs indicate a stronger german economy. >> a closer look at those market numbers for you now. we sit in frankfurt where the dax rallied by about 1%, losing at about 9100 81. it was a little over 1% for the euro stocks. investors were positioning themselves ahead of the u.s. federal reserve's decision on whether to continue its monetary stimulus program. that decision is today. in new york, however, investors are playing it a bit more cautious. it's just under 1% higher.
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the euro is currently trending higher against the dollar. all right, we have to take a quick one-minute break, but we'll have a whole lot more news coming up. >> welcome back to the show. one of briton's most notorious criminals has died at the age of 84. >> he gained international notoriety as part of a now they only focus on the good things, positive things. they are in control, not the tax man. wouldn't you like to be in this position, never having to worry about taxes or mandatory withdrawal rules for your retirement income? so what's the downside? you have to pay taxes now. big deal. when people ask you your tax rate on your retirement income, in august 1960 three, the gang robbed a rail mill train. they bludgeoned the driver with
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a metal bar and got away with 2.6 million pounds in cash, most of which was never recovered. biggs was caught but escaped from prison and abated recapture for 36 years, living mostly in brazil. >> i don't regret the fact that i was involved in the train robbery, and as a matter of fact, i'm quite leased with the fact that i was involved in it. >> y? >> it has given me a little place in history, shall we say. >> he became something of a celebrity, letting himself be photographed with tourists, and had a child with a brazilian woman, which was enough to prevent his extradition to the u.k. but he went through his fortune quickly. as he got older, he suffered a series of strokes. in 2001, he returned to britain voluntarily for medical treatment and was sent to prison for another eight years. he was released in 2009 and enjoyed a bit of limelight until the end.
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>> britain is launching a radical change to its immigration policy, including limitations on welfare payments for jobseekers from abroad and a three-month waiting period before claiming them. >> worry has come that new welfare rights will spark a wave of migration. >> both groups will have full rights to work in the u.k. and across the european union starting january 1. >> a musical recital in central london. all the players study and work in the capital. all of them are from romania. soon, more of their countrymen could join them. many fear a huge influx of romanians and bulgarians in january. the musicians do not see a problem. >> something amazing that now we are allowed to come here freely and work freely.
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i think it will just enrich this country because we are really wonderful people that have lots to give. i think we just want to be excepted. >> the first time expanding, britain expected 14,000 eu migrants, but almost one million came. many from poland. >> at think polish immigration has been very successful considering the scale and speed that it happened, but a lot of people are still quite unhappy with it. they do not blame the poles themselves. they recognize they're just trying to improve their lives, but they blame the government for letting it happen. >> now britain wants to cap the number of migrants allowed to enter and make it harder for them to claim welfare, which would mean abandoning the principle of freedom of movement, but prime minister david cameron is determined. >> people are concerned about the scale of migration into the u.k., and i share that concern. it's one thing for people to come and take up a job offer, but the freedom to claim benefits -- that's not a freedom
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we should recognize. it is right to take this action as part of a long-term plan. >> earlier this year, the government rolled out its go home bands, telling illegal immigrants to leave or face expulsion. the project was deemed a failure, and the government admitted it was not a good idea. advocates of immigration say it does not damage britain. >> we know that eu migrants are more likely to be at work, less likely to take it benefits. >> an opinion that strikes a chord with the musicians from romania. >> to egypt now, where former president morsi is set to stand trial for conspiracy. that's a charge that could result in the death and ot if he is found guilty. >> morsi and 35 others who are accused with plotting with militant groups to the stabilized egypt. he is under investigation for allegations that palestinian
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militant group hamas helped free him and other members of the muslim brotherhood from prison in 2011. fighting between rival political groups in south sudan is reported to be spreading. the united nations says as many as 500 people have been killed after an alleged coup this weekend. >> south sudan's president says he is willing to talk to his archrival, the former deputy he accuses of meeting that drew -- that coup. meanwhile, thousands have taken refuge at united nations compounds. >> people displaced by the fighting in sudan. they are eating refuge at aces run by the united nations, which has a peacekeeping force in the country. new are rivals tell of the horrors they have witnessed. >> a lot of bodies all over the place. i had my cousin over there. i had a lot of friends i had
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been there with for a couple of days. now they are all gone. >> international concerns are growing. the u.s. has ordered nonessential embassy staff to leave. john kerry made a plea for calm. >> political differences need to be resolved by peaceful and democratic means, and those have been hard fought for. the government should respect the rule of law, and the people of south sudan should be able to realize their full potential in peace. >> on monday, the president said there had been a coup attempt from within the military, but that it had and successfully put down. since then, though, fighting has continued and has even spread beyond the capital. the government has blamed the uprising on the country's former vice president, who was sacked from his position in july. he has denied leading a rebellion. his whereabouts are unknown. the government says it is now ready to talk to him in what could be the first sign of a
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softened stance. >> back to germany now, and the high-profile neo-nazi terror trials continuing in munich. the far right group known as the indus you is alleged to have murdered at least 10 people between 2000 and 2006. >> the court has been hearing testimony from a man whose son allegedly helped to mastermind the killings. he shot himself in 2011 to evade arrest. he said he had tried to stop his son from getting involved in germany's far right scene. >> our correspondent has been following this trial for us in munich. we asked for more details from the statement. >> one of the most eloquent and certainly the most unruly witness that we have seen in these proceedings so far. one pushed by the presiding judge into a line of questioning that he did not particularly want to follow, he accused him of being arrogant, of being a
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know it all. the presiding judge discontinued with the proceedings in the interest of actually getting some more acts, getting to the core of how it could be that the man who was relatively privileged compared to many of his friends could drift into this right-wing scene. there, his father felt quite strongly that he had done everything possible to prevent this from happening, but then, the situation emerged that his son put up a photograph of a well-known not see figure, and that remained completely unchallenged by his family. a lot of contradictions there. we also saw a pledge that he felt very strongly for the victims, but then, counting his son and the other allegedly murder as one of them, so a lot of contradictions and some questions can certainly be asked how far from certain -- reality from certain facts of this man
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is. >> albright, to the world of sports now, and the eu has launched an investigation into whether spanish football clubs have received an appropriate state aid. several clubs receive tax privileges including madrid and barcelona. >> there have been accusations of a conflict of interest because one of the official supports a club under scrutiny. >> the investigation focuses on the crème de la creme of spanish football. at issue are possible tax privileges granted to real madrid, barcelona, and others. the european commission is also looking into land swaps, loan guarantees, and construction ending involving other clubs. spain's executive minister has rejected the allegations, saying he believes the commission will find no laws were broken. >> we absolutely trust in the professionalism of the competition board, and we also trust the commissioner.
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>> but the eu's competition commissioner may be part of the problem. he's a fan of the team, though he denies his probe could be prejudiced by a conflict of interest. the pro -- the club is under investigation for state reports it received to construct a new stadium that opened this season. if the european commission does find state aid to have been in violation of eu rules, spanish football clubs could be ordered pay back the money. >> who would have counted on this comeback? 14 years after his entire men from professional tennis, boris spector is back. >> he will be head coach for the current world number two. >> novak djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players of all- time. he has dominated the sport in recent years and bent over 100 weeks ranked world number one. he's 16 grand slam titles so
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far, the same number as boris becker won back in his prime. in a statement on his website, the serbian champion says, "i am really looking forward to working with boris. he is a true legend. his tennis knowledge is invaluable, and his experience will help me win many more tournaments." becker's return is surprising. he led the german davis cup team from 1997 to 1999, but since then, he has avoided the professional tennis circuit. headlines about his private life have kept him in the spotlight, and he also took up competitive ogre playing. >> that is all for now. thanks so much for joining us. >> we will see you next time. -- he also took up competitive poker playing. >> that is all for now. thanks so much for joining us. >> we will see you next time. captioned by the national captioning institute
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back coming up in the program major has lost out to a deal with brazil. not hundreds killed and thousands forced from their homes as erupts. all of that still to come. a matter of weeks before the winter olympic games kicks off in the russian resort of sochi.


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