>> hello and a warm welcome to the "journal" here on dw. >> here's what's coming up in the next half hour -- secrets exposed. journalists unveil how the world's rich and powerful hide money from taxes. >> u.s. forces in the pacific region are on high alert as north korea steps up its nuclear rhetoric again. >> and masterpieces of painting are to go back on display as the dutch national museum reopens after a 10-year revamp.
>> a team of international journalists have blown the lid on what is a huge web of tax havens. some hundreds of thousands of the world's mega rich could be involved. >> according to the report, they have park money in covert companies and offshore accounts without disclosing the information and therefore avoided some hefty tax fees. the global media poll -- probe was published in papers and web sites around the world on thursday, and it sparked a wave of anger. >> it is estimated trillions of dollars are sitting in offshore havens, and the big banks are believed to be helping. >> the cayman islands may be best known for beaches and weather, but there's another reason some of the world's wealthiest keep coming back. people here pay no taxes. with the help of international banks, trillions of dollars have been funneled into tax havens like this, but today's revelations could have some of the super rich quaking in their
boots. league records reveal the identities of more than 130,000 people with secret accounts in places like the caymans and the british virgin islands -- leaked records. the documents expose a complex system of fraud and corruption. >> anyone who puts their money into a tax haven is probably trying to hide something. why else would you spend a lot of money setting up an account unless you have something to hide? >> german journalists were part of the international investigative team that sifted through the millions of files over the past 15 months. the laundry list of suspected tax evaders includes deceased german playboy gunther soachs as well as prominent politicians. a provincial governor and daughter of the former philippine dictator. the amount of money tucked into
offshore accounts is believed to be astronomical. according to estimates by the tax justice network, it could be as high as 25 trillion euros. that is enough to buy every individual in the european union a brand new, top-of-the-line mercedes. politicians are already reacting to the news. in greece, the government has announced it will investigate hundreds of offshore accounts. in germany, the finance ministry has requested access to the files. >> 4, we now talk to the "guardian's" investigation at issue. what was the most shocking investigation uncovered? >> the most shocking information was the sheer breadth of the countries across the world in which these secret accounts were being held. from france to canada to mongolia to india to pakistan, everywhere in the world, the
money was pouring into these secret accounts held in the british virgin islands. >> what will the implications be? >> i believe that we have damaged if not destroyed the confidence of rich people that they can hide their money in these places. they call them tax havens, but that is not really the right name. the right name is secrecy havens. places like the british virgin islands, promising they will never reveal the identities of the owners of the companies. the fact that we have been able to start naming names is going to shatter the confidence of rich people that they can hide their money. >> it could in fact be the most comprehensive project of its kind. how did it come about? >> it came about because the director of the icij in washington, which is a network of investigative journalists --
he obtained a hard drive -- a computer hard drive with more than 200 gigabytes of data in it. this data is the internal records of the key in corporation agencies that set up the secret companies, and inside that vast, mass of electronic material, it has enabled the group of journalists working together to unearth the names of some of the people behind those companies. >> thanks very much for the information. >> ok. >> now for a closer look at the possible next steps in this story, we are joined by a financial expert at the tax justice network. a lot of these offshore accounts are simply using existing loopholes so the people that are
involved are actually not doing anything illegal. is that so? >> that is not correct. some parts of the scheme are legal, like i companies used as loopholes, but if you set up a trust, to not reveal your sources, that is illegal because part of the law is you have to reveal the owners. there's a lot of stuff going on which is probably not legal. >> how about closing these loopholes? if it were easy, it would have been done already, but what can be done to initiate that? >> it is not easy for various reasons. there are certain interest among different countries. virgin islands belong to the british empire, and they still have an interest in keeping up their financial industry. other companies like, for example, mauritius and others may be tried just to use their sovereignty to harm other
countries. there are things going on, but still, we hope it will be also strengthened now by these revelations. >> we are talking about billions of euros sitting there in companies in offshore accounts. whose money is it? what is happening with it now? >> a large part is rich individuals. parts are corrupt elites, which we have seen from dictators taking a lot of money from their people. there's also money from multinational corporations, which is also an important part of this money, but we are not sure which is the most important part in this data set. i think it is more about private individuals. there are also minor cases of people who are not super rich
but still use this. the biggest part is really rich people and entrepreneurs and others who have inherited a lot of money, and they try to hide their money. >> thanks very much for joining us today. moving on, cut hackers have broken into north korean government web sites? that appears to have been the case today. p'yongyang's flickr and twitter accounts posted doctored pictures of leader kim jong un. >> this comes amid spiraling tensions on the korean peninsula as the north continues to launch threats at seoul in the u.s. >> washington has condemned the threat and is planning to install a missile defense system on form. >> it is unusually quiet on the border crossing between south
korea and the north korean industrial zone. for a second day, south koreans have been told they may leave but cannot come back. many south koreans who have returned home say the atmosphere has changed. >> things looked bleak there. i saw a north korean soldiers wearing steel helmets when i crossed the border. the workers look worried. >> north korea has repeatedly threatened to completely shut down the economic zone since the crisis began, and state tv says the military has been authorized to carry out a nuclear strike. analysts, though, say despite all the bluster, north korea is still a long way from developing a warhead that could be dispatched on a missile. the south korean defense ministry says p'yongyang has already moved a medium-range missile to its east coast, but it lacks a nuclear warhead. and despite the nearly daily threats coming from north korea,
there are no signs that the north is mobilizing its troops. the u.s. has withdrawn fighters from south korea, but it is keeping them in the region. it also says a missile defense system it is planning to deploy it in the coming weeks will boost security overall. >> facebook has introduced software you can download to make facebook the hub of your smart as based phone. >> ceo marge zuckerberg excess the goal is to put people before apps. home will allow users to slide between pictures, status updates without opening any apps. smartphone maker htc said it will offer a phone pre loaded with facebook home at the end of the month. >> central bankers around the world were in full focus on wednesday. the bank of england left its main lending rate unchanged, and the european central bank in frankfurt also left its rate
unchanged at 0.75%. the hope is that the low rates will encourage businesses to invest in new economic activity. but that was not enough for traders. traders did not like the news one bit. they wanted one thing, and that is more stimulus measures. since they did not get it, they sent stocks lower on the frankfurt stock exchange on wednesday. in new york where trading is still under way for the dow jones industrial average, it is little changed. traders are waiting for friday's all-important monthly jobs data out of the united states, and the euro is currently higher against the dollar. >> the controversy surrounding the upcoming year not to trial in munich continues to grow. the only survivor of a right wing gang accused of killing 10 people goes on trial. >> there are no turkish media with accreditation to cover the case. the turkish government is
demanding that munich officials rethink that policy. >> the turkish media are weighing legal action to get an official seat in the courtroom. >> the editor in chief of the turkish newspaper in germany has hardly put down his phone recently. he is threatening to go to the german constitutional court. it is just one possibility he is exploring to insure turkish reporters can attend the trial. >> we are, of course, reviewing our legal options. then our lawyers will decide, but we still hope that the court will find a solution by next week. >> but the munich court has refused to budge. it is adamant the 50 seats for the media were handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. the court says the turkish media applied too late and that changing the rules is now legally impossible. take the's ambassador to germany
says he will travel to munich to lend support for the victims' families, but even he has not been given an official court room seat. >> i will, of course, be on location. i will be with these people no matter what. concerning the trial, the decision lies in the hands of the court. >> the pressure is on to find a solution before the trial opens on april 17, but ultimately, a decision on the bureaucratic dilemma they rest with germany's highest court. >> for more, we are joined by our correspondent at our parliamentary studios in berlin. the court that hand out the seats, as we just heard, on a first-come, first-served basis, and yet, this is causing so much controversy. >> the chief justice of bavaria keeps saying this is a routine murder trial. evidently, his intention is to guarantee judicial impartiality, but critics say it is anything
but routine because there's a parliamentary committee of inquiry in berlin currently investigating why the security services allowed the series of murders to continue for 10 years without even recognizing that they had a political motive. >> some might say anything but routine and also pretty insensitive given the circumstances. what chance is there that the court could potentially change its mind on this? >> there is huge pressure on the court at the moment to change its mind, particularly from the media in germany, and that is the point you just mentioned. it requires particular sensitivity, this case. there is a chance that the court will be swayed by the fact that, for example, the german president also recently met with relatives of the victims and promised maximum transparency. that is what this is about -- transparency in a politically sensitive trial. >> thanks for the update. >> we will be right back with more news after a short break. >> back in a minute.
>> welcome back. it has been two years since two nations over through their longtime government, and the country has been experiencing growing pain ever since. >> one young activist took the conflict into her own hands when she posted pictures of herself with words written across it chest. now, the whereabouts of the activists are unknown. >> this is the picture that is causing controversy. this 19-year-old posted the image of herself online last month. the message written across her chest says, "my body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone's honor." her naked chest use as a poster
to promote women's rights. the picture has gone by law on the internet and sparked a debate around the world. it has become a talking point throughout to any ship. the actions are mixed. >> i do not consider this kind of protest appropriate. god entrusted her with that body. she must protect it. if she wants to voice opinion, there are other ways to do so. >> some people write an article. others take to facebook. she chose this method of making her voice heard. she used her body to express her opinion. i do not know what her life is like. maybe she had no other choice so she decided to do it in this way. what is the big deal? >> in recent months, a tunisian has seen an increase in the number of assaults against women. human rights activists are concerned, and women's groups have come out in support. >> personally, i probably would
not have done it this way, but i do understand this kind of radical protest. she wanted to shock the public to draw attention to the increasing violence against women. even if this is an unusual way of doing it, nothing is more important than the right to express yourself. >> radical islamists could not disagree more. speaking on national television last month, the salafist creature defended his fatwa, calling for the activist to be stoned to death. he refused our interview. but not all clerics are this extreme. >> in this case, stoning is not the answer. the koran teaches us that god will publish the unchaste in this life and in the afterlife. as humans, we cannot simply interfere with god's will.
>> she last appeared on tunisian tv three years it -- three weeks ago with her face blurred. in the meantime, more than 100,000 people have voiced their support on line. they signed a petition, demanding that the syrian government protect her life and liberty. >> a big breakthrough for science that has to do with dark matter. >> more on that in a moment, but first, a look at other stories making headlines around the world. france's upper house of parliament has begun debating a bill to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. the law has already passed the lower house. it is president francois hollande's first big social reform, but it faces a lot of opposition from catholics and conservatives. >> thousands of mourners have turned out in the west bank for the funeral of two palestinian youths shot dead by israeli forces. the incident led to clashes between palestinians and israeli
soldiers, which have continued for a second day. >> italian police have arrested a priest accused of stealing 4 million euros. he ran a church, clinic for years. the church is now deep in debt. police say he embezzled millions to buy a villa in tuscany. >> it has puzzled the world's scientists for years -- dark matter. it is thought to make up about a quarter of our universe, but its presence has actually never been confirmed. that is, until now. >> a team of researchers say they had detected signals that could be caused by dark matter. it is not much to go on yet, but it is a victory for scientists trying to solve one of the biggest challenges in physics. >> astrophysicists sometimes referred to dark matter as the sculptor of the universe. they say the universe would fall apart without this mysterious
and elusive material. its gravity keeps the relatively light weight stars on course, but you cannot see dark matter, and no one has so far proven its existence. for the last three years, the international space station has employed a stated the i detector to track down dark matter, and scientists now appear to have the first physical trace. >> we have to examine if the positrons could have come from somewhere else. that will still take some time. in a year or two, we will know more. >> but a few years is nothing compared to what this might mean for science as a whole. researchers in geneva are continuing their work, and the same goes for labs deep beneath
the earth's surface, where cosmic rays no longer interfere. he and his colleagues say that if they actually succeed in identifying dark matter, it would be like discovering a new continent, but one that was there all along. >> the u.s. state of north dakota is not exactly a tourist hot spot in the u.s., so why are people flocking there? >> it is all about oil reserves the by in the ground being tapped through a controversial technique known as fracking. >> north dakota has doubled its oil production in the last few years thanks to the new technology, and it has generated a lot of cold, hard cash. >> patrick smokes his spare ribs in any weather. you want it delivered to the oil field where you work? no problem. he only opened his business recently, and it is already booming. another success story thanks to north dakota's oil bonanza.
>> people relate to it like a gold rush, and it is in a sense, but a lot of people will come in and think all the money will just come to them, and it is not like that. you have to work. what is out here is the opportunity to make money. >> dickinson, north dakota, is littered with oil rigs. they are part of the reason the state is currently producing around 800,000 tons of oil per day. many people believe this is only the beginning. they say there's enough oil here for the boom to go on for the next 20 years at least. so people are making a beeline to north dakota. jobs seem to be everywhere. he spends most of the day delivering parts and tools to the drilling towers.
>> my experience so far is it is just getting really crazy. there are so many people here for the little amount of population that was already here. today is a good day for driving. normally, you could get stuck behind 3, of york, five cars. >> and he gets pretty cold here in the great plains. he is visiting his next customer. the oil-drilling facility looks like a small factory. >> nowadays, they have these automatic locks. technology is crazy nowadays. >> there is a real building boom going on in dickenson as well. everywhere you look, something seems to be going up -- schools, restaurants, but mostly places to live. houses and apartment complexes to hold the crowds of people coming to live here.
many of the oil workers live in giant barracks where the rules are pretty strict. >> there's no drugs, alcohol, guns, no visitors, no dirty boots, ok? >> no dirty boots? >> no dirty boots. >> conditions are pretty basic, but most workers will not be here long. as soon as they have saved up enough money, they will be moving into places of their own. >> now we have something for all of you museum lovers out there. you might want to make your way to amsterdam for this new opening. van at a museum is opening its doors. it has been a rough road to get here with flooding, asbestos, and internal fighting. the renovation was supposed to take five years. it ended up taking 10 and costing much more than originally planned -- around 400 million euros. >> was it worth all that money and the weight? let's have a look. >> alarms sound in a shopping
center, and an oddly-dressed steve is on the run. the chase is on. no, it is not a real crime -- just performers reenacting an old dutch painting. not just any painting, but the highlight of amsterdam's rights museum, rembrandt's night watch. the original is now hanging in its new place in the building. it has been moved to reflect the museum's concept -- art in its cultural context. paintings and sculptures are no longer being kept in separate rooms. pieces from the same time and place are showcased together to tell a common story, a living history of the netherlands. >> we hope that as many people as possible come to enjoy a
hundred years of celebration of dutch art and history. >> the museum displays 8000 works of art in 80 galleries, and the renovated building is an architectural wonder. visitors still have to wait a week it for themselves. that is when the museum opens its doors again to the public. >> it is certainly out of the box or out of the frame, you could say. i could not help myself. >> wonderful. i wonder if they do it every time. we will be back with more at the top of the hour. we will see you next time. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--