hello, and welcome to the "journal" on dw. >> and i am steve chaid. here is a look at the top stories. >> is the third time a charm? agreed politicians hope so as to make a last-ditch attempt to form a coalition government. >> dozens are killed in twin explosions during rush hour in the syrian capital damascus. >> and barack obama becomes the first sitting u.s. president to say publicly that he favors the same-sex marriage. ♪ >> in greece, a third attempt is
now under way to form a new government following that crisis in country's elections last sunday. >> this time the leader of the center-left pasok party evangelos venizelos is leading the talks. the greek president, karolos papoulias, gave evangelos venizelos a mandate to try to form a government after two earlier attempts by the leaders of the center-right new democracy in the far left blocs failed. evangelos venizelos held talks with the leader of the small left-wing party on thursday. they say they want to form a government of national unity to steer it greece through its current sovereign debt crisis. >> we will be going to greece in just a little bit to talk to our correspondent there. but first, protests in madrid on deep cuts in the educational system.
the prime minister's government announced plans to shave a for a 3 billion euros from educational budgets. also raising university tuition fees. organizers from the country's national student union are saying that they expect similar protests in 50 other cities around the country. the additional cuts are part of a broader government plan aimed at stabilizing the nation's finances. ok, let's go to greece. we joined our correspondent live, brian williams, on the line from athens. the mood is somewhat optimistic that evangelos venizelos and the pasok will succeed in creating a new government. do you think he can be successful are you doing so? >> well, that miracles can happen. frankly, the two parties we're talking about -- [inaudible] it would require a remarkable change of mind at this late stage by the two biggest parties for any coalition.
>> there is support from a new poll out, showing that the anti- bailout left is leading in public opinion right now. how is that weighing on the coalition talks at this hour, do you think? >> i think the general mood is, yes, a lot of people were thinking that the two main parties, pasok and the conservatives, would come back strongly. i do not see any sign of that at the moment. one of the decisive things will be, if we do go to new elections, the turnout for the election just concluded was a very small. only 16%. 30% of people are more likely to vote in the second election, and that could be very decisive. >> germany and the eu are saying austerity is not by any means negotiable. our greek voters prepared to go back to the drachma?
>> every opinion poll says they want to stay in your opening. but i think it is going to require some gesture or some similar something like that to turn the situation around, for the greeks to accept the yesterday measures in some form. at this stage, i think a gesture is needed somewhere. >> brian williams with the latest. thank you so much. greece can rely on of the solidarity of europe, but if greece is not helping itself, there's nothing to be done to those are the words from the german finance minister as berlin warns that debt-fueled growth will end in disaster. >> berlin has been under pressure after the elections in greece and france to ease up on tough austerity measures for trouble eurozone nations and instead replace them with growth strategies. but in parliament today, the
chancellor again laid out her arguments for massive spending cuts. >> going for another contest of wills, the chancellor allied the many challenges facing next week's g-8 summit. for most again with the economic crisis in which most of europe remains mired. >> growth through structural reforms is sensible, important, and essential. growth through more debt would bring us right back to the start of the crisis. that is why we cannot and will not do that. >> the opposition accused the chancellor of worsening the crisis in europe with her emphasis on austerity. >> what you have is the wrong economic and financial policy. everyone is telling you so. the u.s. government, the oecd, most of the european union's member states, the international monetary fund, all are telling you so. >> merkel faced a barrage of
criticism, not least because of big regional elections looming this weekend. many important issues facing the g-8 summit were not mentioned at all. >> in other news, syrian state media reported that unidentified terrorists planted the two car bombs that exploded today outside a secret police building in the basket. but opposition spokesmen are denying responsibility and accuse the assad regime itself of gearing up the bombings which left 50 people dead and hundreds wounded. >> the biggest attack in the capital since the start of the syrian uprising in march 2011. it was sophisticated and coordinated. one blast was followed by a second larger one, maximizing casualties, damage, and terror. the u.n. security council has condemned the killings. >> the car bombs exploded almost simultaneously in central damascus during rush hour. the interior ministry said nearly a ton of explosives was used.
many who survived were left in shock. nearly all those killed and injured were civilians. >> it is in a humane act. we have nothing to do with this. >> we had -- the bombs went off outside a nine-story complex used by the syrian intelligence service. regime staged the bombings itself to undermine the u.n. observer mission. supporters of the government took to the streets of damascus after the attack. assad and his supporters describe those involved in the uprising as terrorists. the head at the u.n. mission said attacks of this kind would help no one. >> my very clear message to anyone, to anyone that is engaging in this kind of violence is that it is not going to solve any problems. >> the number of observers is to reach 300 by the end of the
month, but as violence spreads in syria, many are asking if the unarmed monitors will be able to help calm the situation. >> voters in of jerry are going to the polls. elections are being billed as the fairest in many years. the main competitors are two government-affiliated parties facing a three-party islamist block. no one party is expected to dominate the legislature. some 500 international observers are monitoring the pauling. the last elections were in 1991 and ronald after an islamist party was set to win. 10 years of civil war ensued. spain's fourth largest bank will be partially nationalized. that is the word as madrid says it is taking a controlling 45% stake in debt. >> it currently has about 32 billion euros of toxic real estate assets on its books, making it one of the most heavily exposed banks to a construction boom that went bust in spain.
it was formed when seven of the nation's regional savings banks merged. >> bankia is the largest of the eight banks the spanish government has rescued so far. madrid will convert 4.5 billion euros into bankia voting shares, giving the state control. the bursting of spain's real estate bubble during the global financial crisis led to massive mortgage defaults, and that left the banks with no money. many were restructured. some were merged. and a number of state guarantees were issued, but all to little effect. the spanish government's latest banking sector reforms aimed at sorting out the mess once and for all, with an emergency state aid if need be. a figure of 35 billion euros is being touted, and there is talk of setting a bad bank to absorb the country's stocks that debt. but the financial markets are skeptical. investors want spain to balance its budget without issuing new debt, and spanish bond yields
are at record highs already. madrid is expected to announce details of its banking reform on friday. >> there was some investor relief this thursday as european equity markets rebound from declines in early trading to finish the day with modest gains. conrad pole sentence this summary of the session. >> the partial nationalization of a spanish bank caused great demand for stocks in the financial sector all over europe. the fact that the spanish government is standing in for risks made many market participants was concerned about potential new market turbulence and potential new losses. big gainers on the stock market is thursday were some of the shares of the solar energy sector. many of the companies in germany had experienced an extraordinary boom at the beginning of the year, because many homeowners had rushed to buy and install
solar energy technology just before the german government had scrapped the subsidies for solar energy plants. >> let's take a look of the market numbers, starting off in frankfurt with the dax. finishing up by more than 0.6%. 6518. the euro stoxx 50 doing better, finishing at 2247. on wall street, the dow up by more than 0.25%, 12,869. even the euro is gaining, trading at $1.2950. german finance minister wolfgang scheuble says there will be no relaxation of fiscal discipline and despite a continuing an expected rise in tax income for the government. experts say the government is on course to take in about 30 billion euros more than expected over the next four years. wolfgang scheuble is trying to play down the surplus, saying it is not as spectacular as it
sounds, but it will reignite debate over tax cuts. >> the rise is not spectacular, but it is not bad news either. federal, state, and local government income will rise steadily until 2016. in 2011, the state collected 248 billion euros in taxes. fiscal experts believe tax income for the current yield -- year will rise slightly, reaching 252 billion. by 2016, the forecast tax income should reach 290 billion euros. >> the tax forecast shows that we have got the right mixture of budgetary consolidation, reducing the deficit, and growth stimulus measures in our financial policy. >> the government wants annual tax cuts of up to 6.1 billion euros. the bundestag, the second chamber of the german parliament on the debates that on friday.
the opposition says the extra cash would be better spent on paying off the national debt. >> staying here in berlin, as expected the german parliament has voted to extend the mandate of its troops serving with the international naval force in somalia. the military will now be able to detect pirate bases on land as well. that is the distance of up to two kilometers from the sea. >> the bundeswehr says the name and it is essential if it is expected to combat piracy effectively, but germany's opposition social democrats did not back the decision. >> the german navy ships have patrolled the seas off the horn of africa since 2008. they form part of the european union mission which has thwarted hundreds of pirate attacks on shipping in the region. the military said it would be more effective to bomb a pirate bases on land. the government agreed. >> it is right for us to use
weapons and forced to make things more difficult for the pirates. >> germany's opposition social democrats disagree. they voted against widening the military mandate. they said it increased the risk for military personnel and civilians, and they said the two kilometer operating range was arbitrary. >> this expanding of the mandate brings with it some new means to fight pirates, assuming that pirates did not adapt. but it implies risks as far as our goals in somalia are concerned. >> the government had enough votes to pass the extended mandate against the will of the opposition. but in doing so, it has ruptured the cross-party a court on foreign-policy questions, and that could affect military missions in the future. >> we will be back in just one minute with a closer look at this situation in algeria on the
>> welcome back. the polls closed in algeria as voters weigh in on their new parliament and to the current prime minister has described the election as an important moment for algeria's democracy. >> the arab spring, one year ago, but algeria under pressure to reform its one-party system, which is ruled with an iron fist since the nation declared independence from france half a century ago. >> officials responded with a promise, that a steady transition towards democracy will take place, but many remain skeptical that they will ever see any substantial reforms. >> at the beginning of the arab spring last year, algeria also appeared to be caught in the
wave of change. in the capital, hundreds protested against social injustice, echoing movements in tunisia and cairo. one in five algerians live in poverty, burdened with rising food prices and high unemployment. , yet algeria is one of the richest countries on the african continent. making billions in oil and gas reserves. but most people do not share in that wealth, nor do they enjoy broad political freedoms. last year, they took their disenchantment with the regime to the streets. [chanting] >> we want a free and democratic algeria. we're here to tell the regime that we want a free algeria and a democratic algeria. >> the police crackdown was swift and brutal. several protesters were killed and hundreds wounded. but the demonstrations did not swell into the mass movement
seen in egypt or tunisia. in algeria, it was often dozens of activists facing down hundreds of police. perhaps one reason lies in algeria's recent history that endured a bitter civil war in the 1990's. fighting between government forces and islamic rebels claimed more than 150,000 lives. >> entire regions remained destabilized, so the population is not willing to take part in any new experience. there is a multi-party political system which is not as authoritarian as those in tunisia, libya, or syria were. >> in 2011, the president tried to placate the groundswell of discontent by promising more jobs, housing, and democracy. but one year on, algerians are still waiting for those reforms. the government has allowed political parties to contest elections alongside the ruling national liberation front.
but regime critics suspect a calculated move to divide the islamists, the country's only credible opposition. >> i think they will certainly benefit from the developed in the region but not to the same extent as morocco, tunisia, or egypt. >> algeria still sees sporadic protests, but the hope for reform in the fear of instability and appeared to have insulated the country from a regime change. the president's 13-year rule has survived the arab spring, for now at least. >> for the very latest on of the voting has been going, let's go to our correspondent in algiers. can you fill us in, how was the turnout for this vote, and is there any idea where is headed? >> yes, i was out today at polling stations, and turnout seemed to be pretty low. i spent half an hour in a polling station in the capital, and in that time, not one single
voter came in to cast their ballot. we do not have any idea yet of what the turnout was or which parties have managed to gain seats in parliament. but the feeling is that the islamist party will have gained some seats in this vote, which is in line with what we have seen in morocco and tunisia at this point. >> we will stay on the theme of his long radical islam has been making inroads in algeria for years now, but the islamic salvation front was banned from these elections. how is that going to affect the vote? >> yes, radical islam has reared its head. as the report mentioned, there was a terrible election in 1991 as far as the government was concerned, and they annulled the results because they said the islamists would rip up the constitution and take the country in the direction it did not need to go.
since then, the government and its security forces have managed to stamp out any serious islamist rebellion here. but as we are seeing possibly from the results of this electio, some moderate islamist parties may have gained some seeds. >> why do you think the arab spring has not come to algeria? >> for exactly the reason your report points out. people are haunted by the memory of those black years, those 10 years of brutal violence went so many hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. there were rapes and the headings on the streets. i think there is a collective trauma in people's minds that things would have to get really, really bad in algeria for them to return to that level of violence and bloodshed. >> thank you so much on the update on the voting. in just a moment, we will bring you u.s. president barack
obama's statement on same-sex marriage. >> but first, other stories making news around the world. >> russian president vladimir putin will not be attending the g-8 summit next week in the u.s. in the kremlin says he's too busy forming a new government. he called president obama to tell him he would not be coming. prime minister dmitry medvedev is set to go instead. >> chinese authorities have arrested a supporter of the legal rights activist chen. the supporter reportedly had been passing out pamphlets calling on citizens to reject communism to members of chen's kylie have also been reportedly harassed and some are now under house arrest. >> barack obama has become the first sitting president in the united states to come out and give its backing to legalizing gay marriage. his remarks were in a televised -- televised interview on a u.s. television statement.
public opinion is tending towards support for same-sex unions, with a gallup poll in the states showing 50% of people favoring them and 48% rejecting the. >> this issue is set to become a hot-button issue and an extremely divisive one in november's election to the obama pose a republican challenger mitt romney has reaffirmed his stand that marriage should only be between a man and woman and that gay marriage undermines the family and society. >> the most beautiful day of one's life. but for same-sex couples in many u.s. states, there can be no marriages of it. 28 states have banned same-sex marriage, so for gays and lesbians, the president's words were a hardening boost. >> for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and of firm -- affirm pet i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> no president ever with this
far on the gay marriage issue. obama may be entering a political minefield, but he has also thrown down the gauntlet to his republican challenger. >> i have the same and you on marriage that i had when i was governor and that i have expressed. i believe marriages a relationship between a man and woman. >> voters are divided. the issue he epitomizes the cleft that runs through u.s. society, and opinions it -- opinions tend to be strongly held. >> i am not a fan of obama, but i would have to say he many good decision. >> he will do anything to get a vote. >> his remarks can get a central position during the election campaign, yet the decision remains with the individual states, not the federal government. still, gay activists have called it a historic moment. >> a retrospective of the photography of america and lewis also has opened in bonn but critics and his work is more on target than ever, not only for the u.s. but for other countries. he rocketed to fame in 1960's
with his photographs of houses in california. >> the show features 425 of his images. the show the artist at his pointed best as he takes on what he called the illusion that there can be growth without cost to man and the environment. >> he has been looking at the american dream through a skeptical lens since the 1960's. he photographed prefabricated construction, industrial parks, the intersections of technology and nature. it is about the stability of technology. and the environmental costs. people are not his subjects. rather, they are creations. >> the people in my work are really the viewers of the work. it is you and the people in the room. you are the people in my work. >> his photographs expose the downside of a naive belief in
progress, the force that overalls people and goods. in 1986, he left the u.s. for paris. he has been a hit in europe, especially germany. >> his attitude is very critical, but he uses a pleasing visual language. that is what is subversive about it. and what i find so valuable. it is political attitude, but he does not point his figure -- finger. >> his later work is on a large scale in features strong colors, tableau is of high technology that he makes opaque and suspect in this series features footage from surveillance cameras in gigantic collages. like all of his work, these are intended to make the viewer stop and think. >> and the olympic flame was lit this thursday at the side of the ancient games in greece. the torch, in line with tradition, was ignited by the sun's rays.
after a brief embarrassing moment when the plane was actually blown up by the wind, actress is dressed as high priestesses of danced around and handed the flame to a greek athlete to begin to really. they will pay the fine across degrees before it is flown to britain next week. the relabel cross all of britain. if all goes according to plan, reached london for the opening ceremony on july 27. >> sounds very promising. >> hope it does not go out again. >> stay with us. we will be back at the top of the hour with more news. ♪ captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪
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