general assembly in new york sought out going iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad take the podium for the eighth and final time -- saw outgoing iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad. >> he defended his country's right to civilian nuclear research. his speech came a day after president obama told the general assembly that washington would do whatever is necessary to prevent iran from getting nuclear arms. >> ahmadinejad used his final appearance on the united nations stage to criticize israel once again. >> continued threats by the uncivilized zionists to resort to military action are a bitter reality in my great country.
>> western nations, which accused iran of developing nuclear weapons, usually walk out during his speeches, but the seats filled up with this man took the stage -- the egyptian president addressed the assembly on the need for international negotiations rather than military intervention in syria. >> we need a solution that preserves the unity of this brotherly state, involves all factions of the syrian people without mitchell, religious, or sectarian division. >> he also said it was outrageous that palestinians are still being denied their right to an independent state. the dig at israel was no doubt appreciated by iran. >> for more, we go now to our correspondent, who is standing by at the un general assembly. tough talk from a mood ahmadinejad in his final address as iranian president, but
nothing new, really. >> the question is how bad these grants will be against israel and the united states. there were some side blows, but i would say for the state usually is in, he was kind of mild. he wants to establish a new world order that he is suggesting with all countries being equal, everybody living in peace and harmony -- that is at least what he said, but if you go into details, it does not make much sense. >> the egyptian president also took to the podium today, saying he opposes military intervention in syria. how was his speech received? >> it was very well-received, and it was a very well structured speech. it was a historic moment. first democratically elected civilian president of egypt speaking in front of the general assembly. he touched upon all the important topics, including
syria, but what might have come as a surprise to some was that his most important topic is priority topic, was one that was more or less neglected this year as opposed to last year, which was the palestinian problem. he said that was the most pressing problem in the world. criticized israel without mentioning it, that they oppose the foundation of a palestinian state. also criticized israel again without mentioning it, for the assumed possession of nuclear weapons in the region, so you could really tell that the tone between egypt and israel is changing. >> syria was also on the agenda of the security council. was there any progress made? >> what they call a high-level security council meeting today with all the foreign ministers will start pretty soon, but it is not just about syria. the german share wants to take a step back and discuss the whole middle east and try to find some kind of common ground because of all the bad news that came out
of the security council in the last months -- the german share wants to take a step back. they want to send out a positive signal. even if more democracy or more freedom of speech in arab nations -- it would be a small one, but at least they could take a step back and find a foundation to that is the goal for this high- level security council meeting today. >> max, we thank you very much for that. >> we will have more on the united nations and the situation in syria coming up later, but first, the general strike in greece -- the first one since the new government took power this summer, has brought much of greece to a standstill this wednesday. >> a diverse range of workers are taking part, from doctors to air traffic controllers. banks, schools, and shops are all closed, and public transportation has been shut down. a 24-hour walkout is to protest the latest round of spending cuts of more than 11 billion euros.
3000 police have been deployed to central athens. >> the main square of athens was a battleground again. a group of young demonstrators set garbage alight and threw molotov cocktails at police. officers hit back, dispersing the crowd. demonstrators fled. the protests started peacefully with tens of thousands of people showing up. the unions who organized the all greek workers. millions live in athens, but on wednesday morning, the streets were quiet. shopkeepers pulled down their shutters. railway workers walked off the job. the top national earner, the
shipping industry, stood still. unionists had spent days had prepared for the rally, complaining that a steer the cuts had hung greek workers out to dry. >> we have been subjected to all the reductions. i think even when euro away from us, we will be finished. >> greeks complain they feel the pinch of government spending cuts. >> that are forcing me to quit my job early, without my wanting to. they are forcing me to take a reduction in salary and benefits. everything will be cut. >> greece's government says it has to make the changes. otherwise, the country will go bust. many greeks are angry about its austerity program. wednesday's rally may raise the temperature further. >> there was more gloom for the eurozone, but this time, it was in france where unemployment has broken through the 3 million mark for the first time in 13 years. >> the unemployment rate is now more than 10%, almost twice as high as here in germany.
young people are especially affected, and there is no sign of any improvement. several major employers have announced massive redundancies. the eurozone bailout fund is designed to prevent future debt crises from spiraling out of control, but its introduction has been beset by pretty big problems. the german government has approved an amendment to the treaty to set up the fund. >> that satisfy demand for germany's constitutional court to limit berlin's contributions to 190 billion euros and ensure germany's parliament receives regular briefings on the fund. the gsm -- esm is due to come into effect in october. high-frequency trading is a practice which involves enormous numbers of transactions carried out in a matter of seconds, using high-tech computer programs. >> high-frequency trading
increases volatility and can cause severe aberrations and generally destabilize markets. because of that, the german cabinet has agreed on draft laws aimed at ending the practice. >> once again, chancellor angela merkel's conservative government is pushing for financial regulation. the draft legislation agreed to by the german cabinet would contain potential market instability caused by high- frequency trading. that is when computers buy and sell millions of euros of securities within seconds. the proposed rules would clamp down on a rapid, dramatic fluctuations in the market in several ways. >> registration requirements for high-frequency traders, transparency that would allow regulators to recognize abuses faster, the ability four market regulators to suspend trading if there are recognizable aberrations. >> members of the opposition say the draft legislation does not go far enough. they want a limit on how fast
traders can resell securities, but berlin argues that sort of regulation could threaten the livelihood of the market. >> traders in frankfurt welcomed the potential ban on high- frequency trading. our markets correspondent has more from frankfurt. >> there will be a speed limit on the trading highway. the german government decided to regulate the high-frequency trading, which is a very fast computer trading program, and traders on the frankfurt floor appreciate it. they say that high-frequency trading is to blame if it comes to crashes sometimes, but the markets went down mainly because of new concerns about the euro debt crisis. the demonstrations in spain and the strike in greece led to the fact that the dax fell sharply. >> we stay in frankfurt for a closer look at wednesday's
numbers. the dax was down by 2% at the closing bell. euro stoxx 50 down by 2.7%. across the atlantic, the dow down by 1/3 of 1%. the bureau also weaker against the greenback, trading at a value of $1.2857 -- euro also weaker against the greenback. >> the former leader of the amc's youth arm has been charged with money laundering, allegations which he denies. >> he was released on bail after a hearing. police had to use a razor wire to fence off hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside the courthouse. they claim the charges against him are politically motivated. to india now where officials in the northeast of the country say floods have forced to million to flee their homes.
>> at least 18 people have died. government spokesman says more than half the state has been inundated. water levels in the state's main river are continuing to rise. residents of lower-lying areas have been reinforcing in basements. a rescue operation is under way to move people to higher ground. >> onto sports now. in german soccer, as the country's top teams try to assert themselves early in the season, the reigning the champions are clearly in the spotlight. >> but they are hardly in top form. last night was a prime example when they battled against frankfurt. the match ended in a 3-all draw. >> the game could not have been more dramatic. dortmond took an early lead. frankfurt looked beaten, but quickly struck twice to claw their way back into the game.
the first came from the 49th minute. just two minutes later, the equalizer. only three minutes later, dortmund still back the lead, but frankfurt were not about to admit defeat. anderson equalized to make the score 3-all. frankfurt maintain their unbeaten run, depriving the reigning champions of two runs. it is the second successive game that dortmund had failed to win. >> in other bundesliga action, bayern-munich played host last night. that a strong showing showed why they are once again among the title favorites. >> two goals gave bayern an
emphatic score line. if they had not hit the post twice, it would have been higher. the former coach seriously tried to get his players to stand up to the ramp and hosts, but a pullback of the chance to put beayern ahead. wolfsburg or punch drunk by now, and the second letter when in 10 minutes later, bringing the goal tally to 5 this season. all in all, an easy win. >> music fans around the world are remembering american coroner and the williams, who died of cancer at the age of 84. williams was best known for his classic "moon river."
>> welcome back. the civil war in syria is dominating many of the speeches at the united nations general assembly in new york, but few have any illusions there will be a quick diplomatic solution to end the conflict. >> germany wants to see more international sanctions imposed on the assad regime, and to accomplish that, germany's foreign minister is redoubling his efforts at the united nations. >> president obama's cavalcade is about the only thing moving forward at the u.n. behind the scenes at the general assembly, things are at a standstill. this time, the special envoy and
german foreign minister are in talks, but still, no results. >> you see the pictures of people in refugee camps, and you can only express frustration and anger at the political deadlock in new york. >> but some politicians and diplomats at the general assembly say it is not fair to condem the united nations for failing to act on syria. >> i think as an outsider, you always think, "just do something," but it is really not that simple. >> there's a huge humanitarian crisis. the refugees need to be taken care of. >> some ambassadors on the security council have little positive to say about the u.n.'s role in syria.
they're frustrated by gridlock in the council and in the wider un. >> the fact is that so far, everybody has failed, from the secretary-general to security council. >> that view is shared by many people outside the un. with the crisis in syria deepening, faith in the united nations is being put to the test. >> the un, of course, has been involved in dozens of peacekeeping operations of the past half century, and the global community is at the moment very divided on how to proceed on syria. >> the un record on interventions is mixed. while some missions have been successful, there are other painful memories of times when the u.n. failed to act on its peacekeepers failed to protect those most at risk -- or its peacekeepers failed to protect those most at risk.
>> a genocide unfolds before the eyes of the world. bosnia one year later. thousands are massacred. u.n. peacekeepers do not intervene here either. syria 2012. president bashar al assad orders his army to bomb civilians, and once again, the u.n. security council fails to protect civilians. >> the security council has a hard time living up to people's expectations. when it does not intervene, as is the case in syria, people accuse it of inaction, but when it does, it is accused of having double standards and selectively intervening in some crises but not in others. >> unlike in syria, the security council did intervene in libya to prevent a bloodbath in benghazi.
in march 2011, the ordered in international military operation to protect civilians, the beginning of the end for libyan leader muammar gaddafi. but the u.n. does not only make peace -- it also orders peacekeeping operations. these presume that both sides want to lay down their arms. >> studies show that if peacekeeping missions are sent in, peacekeeping missions as 60% to 80% more likely to hold. one current example of a successful un peacekeeping force is the mission to liberia. >> nearly a decade ago, the security council sent in thousands of peacekeepers to liberia. a civil war had devastated the country. just two years after that, ellen johnson was elected president, the first woman to lead an african state.
former dictator charles taylor was put on trial for war crimes. for the u.n., it was a success story, but in syria, the legitimacy of the security council is in jeopardy. russia and china had vetoed an intervention. no one thinks that getting rid of their veto right is an option, but there are other suggestions for reforms. >> you could consider making countries that veto resolutions publish a justification of their vote or of restricting veto rights in instances where major violations of human rights are being committed. >> but even the smallest reform will take time. too much time to help thousands of people suffering in syria. >> inside syria, a gun battle erupted earlier today around headquarters of the syrian army in the heart of damascus. the clashes there followed dole bombings -- dual bombings.
>> both the free syrian army and a radical group in lebanon have claimed response ability. >> the bomb struck around 7:00 a.m. local time. the second explosion reportedly went off just 10 minutes later. online footage is said to show the general staff command building after the bombings, which sparked a gun battles in the streets. authorities said a massive fire broke out after the explosions. the streets around the complex were littered with glass and debris. state media reported that suicide car bombers were responsible for setting off the blast in the heart of the city. the information minister said in an interview that the explosions had caused some damage but that no army commanders had been injured.
the rebel free syrian army pledged to launch a fresh assault and also announced that it is moving its command center to syrian territory for the first time. the group had been based across the border in turkey. >> germany is creating new, clear rules on the religious circumcision of boys in an effort to ensure that those who carry out the procedure are not prosec a regional court caused r in germany's jewish and muslim communities in june after ruling that circumcision amounts to criminal bodily harm. the justice ministry says the draft law aims to remove the uncertainty caused by the verdict. our political correspondent joins us now to talk more about this story. give us the details of this draft legislation that has just been put forward. >> key proposals are firstly that parents must be informed of the full implications and the risks of any circumcision on
their mail sons before it can actually go ahead. i of the procedures due to take place with children who are over the six months of age -- if the procedure is due to take place, then it must be carried out by a doctor. if the child is under the age of six months, it can be qualified by somebody appointed by a faith community. that is to say, if that person is killed to carry out this procedure. the operation must also be carried out under sterile conditions, and it must be as painless as possible, though not necessarily under anesthetic, which is an important point orthodox jews, who rejected the use of anesthesia. it could lead to legal clarity on this troubled issue. meanwhile, the head of the central council of jews in germany said it was a step in the right direction, but he cautioned, "it is now time to
win over those who are opposed to circumcision." that could be a reference to child welfare groups, who have been very active on this issue. they have hinted that if the legislation does go through parliament, they might then take it to germany's constitutional court. it is not over yet, and it could take a while before it is resolved. >> thank you very much for that. the island state in the caribbean is a top destination for those seeking to stash their savings away from prying eyes of the tax authorities. the oecd has criticized the tiny state on several occasions, saying it promotes tax evasion >> it is still trying to find enough cash for its own public coffers. germany says its new offer could also lead to criminal activity.
>> the island federation has natural riches that many europeans and be, but that alone does not amount to monetary wealth. in the 1980's, the caribbean country devised a business model to attract foreign capital. investors who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on island real-estate are eligible to apply for citizenship. the advantage of the passport is visa-free entry to western countries, including those in europe's border-free zone. that has germany worried that criminals could essentially buy their way into europe. the spokesman from the german foreign ministry says his country may take up the matter with its european union partners if and when it has concrete reasons to suspect the program is being abused and could trigger breaches of security. one consequence could be an entry visa requirement for citizens.
the islands, which are part of the british commonwealth, say they take into the program seriously. the commonwealth has already blocked the eligibility of an iranian investors, after an attack on the british embassy in tehran last year. for now, german authorities are keeping a close eye on property investments in this caribbean paradise. >> and you are up to date here at this hour on dw. thanks for joining us. >> more news at the top of the hour. catch us then. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
on the record. the japanese prime minister tells the u.n. general assembly that japan will stand firm in territory disputes. he says that japan is not willing to compromise in disagreements with his neighbors. he said his country will defend its sovereignty. noda did not name countries but he spoke at a time of heightene