tv DW News PBS September 14, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
brent: tonight, a petition for a pardon. activists launch a campaign on for the u.s. president to pardon whistleblower edward snowden. for some, he is a hero revealed the scale of u.s. government surveillance. for others, he is a traitor who leaked state secrets. we will talk to and activist who says since noted -- who says no to not face any charges. also, a rare sight from syria. children enjoying themselves as the cease-fire brings an end to the bloodshed. russia says it wants to extend the true spirit -- the truce.
and the controversial american leader in modified crops. it is the biggest merger anywhere in the world this year. ♪ it is good to have you with us. let him come home, mr. president. that is the message that human rights groups said the u.s. president barack obama today on behalf of edward snowden. this part of a campaign to pressure the white house to pardon the whistleblower. politics in the big-screen tonight, wasting no time merging. director oliver stone's new film "snowden" opens on friday. today he said that his request for a pardon is about something much bigger than him. here's what he had to say. >> this really is not about me.
it is about us. it is about our right to dissent. it is about to have the country want to have, the kind of world we want to build. it is about the kind of tomorrow that we want to see. it tomorrow where the public has a say. brent: earlier we spoke to lewis clark, the president of the government accountability project, that is a washington-based group that pushes for greater whistleblower protections. we asked him how realistic is the prospect of president obama granting snowden a pardon before he leaves office? >> i think it is quite realistic, that is the power of the president. the president can do it. his former attorney general did think there should be a public interest defense on behalf of a person like snowden.
he thinks there should be negotiations and discussions going forward. he might not support a pardon, but that is within the power of the president to do. as long as he has four more months coming can certainly take that action, and i hope he does. brent: the petition for a presidential pardon spread rapidly on twitter today. lots of people weighing in. here is just a sample of some of the reactions. here, a young woman tweeted, come on president of the u.s., pardon snowden. he is a good man who did a good thing. lots of people are tagging potus and addressing barack obama with that. potus stands for president of the united states. this user wrote, edward snowden's leaks reveal the u.s. government breached its own
constitution and international law and he deserves a full pardon. some shared their doubts. here, someone wrote as i watch events unfold over the past few years i moved from probable traitor to certainly hero on snowden. and even though we have seen more positive reactions, not everyone wants to see edward snowden pardoned. here, a woman tweeted, mr. president, do not pardon edward snowden. he is a traitor, he needs to stay in russia. he made his bed when he betrayed our country. the u.s. plans to lift economic sanctions against myanmar and restore preferential trading conditions aimed at helping one of the world's poorest countries. president barack obama announced the decision with myanmar's leader. she is in watching -- in washington for the first time
since taking power. any sanctions would help me in mark his transition -- ending sanctions would help myanmar transition. russia has announced they want to extend the cease-fire in syria. the truce, which was brokered by russia and the u.s., has been enforced since monday. russian monitors have reported numerous cease-fire violations but there have been no reports of civilian casualties since the cease-fire began. reporter: scenes like this and aleppo posted to a social media website were basically unthinkable just a few days ago. but now families are taking advantage of this low in the fighting to try and return to some type of normalcy. it is also the third day of the muslim holiday. >> we are happy that there are
no warplanes. because of the cease-fire, we can go to the swings and be happy. reporter: the cease-fire agreement allows for humanitarian aid deliveries and the resumption of talks that could and five-year-old war. but supplies from turkey are having a hard time getting through. that is because the syrian government is angry -- is angry that turkey had units on its soil. the syrian government said it will only accept aid deliveries if it has a say in their distribution. at least 25 tons of's the, rice and flour made it through. more than half a million syrians had been living under siege. as they enjoy this respect, reports suggest the cease-fire has already been violated at least 60 times, but so far with no loss of life. brent: tonight, germany has
closed its embassy in turkey due to a terror threat. the country's foreign ministry in berlin confirming that the diplomatic missions as well as german schools will be closed during a public holiday until friday. in march, germany shut its embassy following a terror attack that killed dozens and the turkish capital. all three syrians taken into custody by police in northern germany in tuesday have appeared in court and will remain in detention. federal prosecutors are accusing the trio of being members of so-called islamic state and coming to germany to carry out acts of terrorism. the three men arrived posing as refugees. they had been monitored by authorities for several months. german authorities believe they are part of the same islamist network that carried out last november's paris attacks. there's more tonight on germany's growing investigation of terror suspects. the interior authorities are now looking into some 60 suspects
posing as asylum-seekers. he stressed that germans should not be suspicious of all refugees, however. reporter: were the three syrians really committing -- planning to commit an active terrorism? one appeared in court yesterday while the other two were brought before the investigating judge today. the federal prosecutor says the three men came to germany by order of the terror organization islamic state. the interior minister stress there is no uniform will file a potential attackers in germany. >> there are individual perpetrators who are controlled remotely. others act on their own, perhaps they are inspired a terrorist structures outside of germany. reporter: authorities are now investigating the suspect's links to i.s. without concrete plans to attack, they will only be liable criminally if they can prove
they are members of a terrorist organization. the president of germany's secret service emphasized the role of the internet and planning and carrying out terror attacks. we are concerned about a new type of perpetrator who only seems to be acting alone. these assailants are directed virtually abroad via instant messaging. this kind of scenario is especially challenging for security agencies, as is the deking sleeper cells. there are networks and social media such as facebook the target potential assailants. the internet is the main platform for jihadists. brent: the terror threat is not helping the state of the european union. the eu commission chief's warning of an excited to crisis and the need to take action and for lawmakers to reconnect with citizens. his message comes as the eu comes to struggle to redefine its future after britain voted
to leave. while calling for structural reforms, he remained upbeat that the brexit will not kill the eu. reporter: no sign of his dry sense of humor today. the captain of the european project focused on hard facts as he tries to steady the ship after britain's a shocking vote to leave. he made an effort to take the wind out of the sails of eurosceptics right from the start. >> the commission does not intend to get rid of the nationstate, although this is often claimed. we do not want to destroy, we do not want to undermine. we want to construct a better europe. reporter: he went on to explain how that could be accomplished. he unveiled a raft of economic proposals including a plane to raise the european investment fund to a total of at least 500
billion euros by 2020. >> first of all, he took the commitment to dabble the investment plan. second, because he he took the position to apply the flexibility inside the package. reporter: the creation of a common military force is another key proposal he put forward, but eurosceptics claim that shows to -- >> people are saying we asked for a better deal, you did not give it to us, so we voted to leave. my sense is across europe, people are saying, can we have a decentralization of hours? -- of powers? >> our responsibility is to make
from brexit a success for europe , for all the citizens of europe. reporter: the most passionate speeches in favor of europe came from the mp's themselves, a message they will carry back to their home countries. brent: european parliament president said the eu cannot go on the way it has in the past. our very own brussels bureau chief called up and asked him whether change is imminent. >> is this the week when the european union reinvents itself? >> that would be a nice event. thed kingdomt the europe union. a dramatic situation for both united kingdom and for us. to reinvent the european union is unnecessary. if we explore the potential of the lisbon treaty, a consult a
lot of problem spirit -- it c ould solve a lot of problems. >> do you think the politicians, has what it takes to give them the signal that they need? >> not all of them. i am fed up, also, with a lot of developments, their strategy to fight against populists by read nationalization. d of them concessions is wrong. what we need -- to give them concessions is wrong. tax evasion, tax fraud, trade relations, security corporation. these are international questions where you need more cooperation, not less. >> are those the topics to win the hearts and minds of the people of the eu? >> i want to regain trust of the
citizens, then the hearts and minds. it probably is not the heart and mind, it is this dramatic loss of trust. not only public or private institutions, newspapers, tv channels. look to your mailboxes, to your websites, what people write to institutions, churches. the problem is an increasing number of citizens believe public institutions are unable to protect my interests. the first set is to regain trust. >> if you had to choose to topics, what would they be? >> fight against tax evasion. they must pay taxes as ordinary citizens do. secondly, -- >> thank you very much. brent: that was the european
♪ brent: welcome back. our top story, activists have kicked off a campaign to urge u.s. president barack obama to pardon the whistleblower edward snowden. they argue the former nsa contractor served the public interest by leaking state secrets and should not face charges for his actions. for u.s. secretary of state colin powell has criticized both major american presidential candidates in e-mails obtained and leaked by unidentified hackers. powell says the hackers stole a lot of his e-mails.
some of those e-mails criticized hillary clinton's aid were trying to equate her use of a private e-mail server with powell's own e-mail practices. he also referred to donald trump as a "national disgrace." brazil's former president has been charged with corruption and money laundering. brazilian prosecutors had been investigating whether he received kickbacks as part of a scandal involving the state run oil company. they say he received almost one million euros in describe -- in bribes. it is the first time brazil's most popular politician has been formally charged in connection. we're going to stick with the world of business.
bayer finally saying yes to monsanto. javier: that is right. it was a struggle but bear finally got a yes. they are famous for their aspirin but they also make seeds and has a whole division for crop sites. they have sealed a deal to take over monsanto. the $66 billion deal make bayer 's largest producer of seeds and testifies -- pesticides. the trust authorities will have to approve the deal, many environmental activists are already concerned. reporter: monsanto is possibly one of the most hated companies worldwide. small farmers accuse it of driving farmers to ruin with their rigid business methods. it is also accused of destroying the environment with herbicides and genetically manipulated seeds. monsanto laboratories are
responsible for almost all the genetically manipulated crops today. the company is present around the world and delivers the matching chemicals needed to grow their plants. but engineered crops can be a threat to buyer diversity and the health risks of the new plants are unknown. optimizing seeds by genetically manipulating them is the best way to make farming more productive. they say it is about a new approach to farming. >> we are entering a new era in agricultural, one in which growers are demanding new solutions and technologies to be more profitable and even more sustainable. reporter: bayer also thinks genetic technology will help feed the world and that it is one of the multibillion-dollar companies of the future. that is why it was once his a such a high price. >> this is about value creation and growth.
our employees will be part of a leading innovation engine for the next generation of farming. for bayer, this will significantly strengthen our decision as a leading life science company in the world. reporter: the entire industry is in flux. china's chem china has set its sights on another company, and dow chemicals are also busy negotiating a merger. a handful of giant corporations control almost all of the world's seed stock. that doesn't of power alone is enough to make many nervous. javier: let's analyze this mega-deal. jens, good to see you. when bayer made its first and second offer, many critics said the price was too high. how risky is this deal for the company?
jens: well, i mean the price is quite impressive, a total of about $66 billion. obviously the offer was too good for monsanto to refuse. yes, there is certainly some risk involved, especially if you look at the industry overall. the prices have been falling for quite some time. monsanto itself just reported falling profits and revenue. there was a reason why monsanto is the seller and not the buyer. on the other side, there are also some chances for bayer just to name one. monsanto is trying to get further into digital agriculture, so that could be also a chance for this big new corporation. javier: we just saw it, there are three megamergers in the making but none have been granted approval by antitrust authorities yet.
what does this mean for the likelihood of my central and bayer -- monsanto and bayer merging? jens: it will not be easy to get the approval of regulators. we see some massive consolidation in the overall industry and consolidation usually means further down the line, higher prices for farmers but also eventually consumers. regulators will have a close look. there is only a 50-50 chance that this deal will eventually go through. just look at the stock price. bayer offers $128, but the stock of monsanto is only about $106.17. some skepticism that this will go through. javier: thank you very much for the latest.
if the bayer monsanto deal goes through, it would be the biggest german deal in history. you'll discover a big merger can be a big mistake. if you do not believe me, maybe the name dimon chrysler brings about -- rings a bell? reporter: back in 1998, diamer bought chrysler for $40.5 million. the deal did not deliver the promised synergies. the two companies were unable to integrate. in 2007, they sold chrysler for just $6 billion. in 2006, germany's linda fgr -- together they have become the world largest industrial gaseous
company. they subsequently sold all of its non-gas activities to focus on two areas -- industrical and medical gases and engineering. since the takeover, sales and almost doubled. two years ago, bayer bought -- the pricetag, $14.2 billion. the move made bayer's second-largest player and over the counter drugs worldwide. they produce medicines for flu, cold and allergies. javier: that is it from the business desk. back to brent. brent: sports now, and european football's governing body has elected slovenian aleksander ceferin as its new president after a painful period for the
organization. before her president banned over an ethics violation, also ex-fifa boss sep blatter. reporter: aleksander ceferin does have uefa's top job. the road to success thanks to a coalition of smaller nations. he knows he has a tough task. >> thank you for your savannah state -- fantastic support. it is a great honor, but at the same time, great responsibly. reporter: he is not well-known in football circles. the former european footballer of the year exited the uefa stage after given special dispensation from fifa. the new man in the hot seat was quick to distance himself from suggestions he only got the job
because of the fifa chief. >> i think he was a good secretary of uefa, then everything else concerning those elections, which were happening today, was the imagination. reporter: part of his -- he will host -- brent: here's a reminder of the top stories. activists have kicked off a campaign to urge u.s. president barack obama to pardon whistleblower edward snowden. they argue the former nsa contractor served the public interest by late -- by leaking state secrets internet face charges for his actions. bayer has a sealed a deal to take over the controversial u.s. at toro company monsanto.