of infrastructure livelihood. >> the bad weather has hampered relief efforts, and m many y are critical of the government's response. >> i would like to tell president zardari that our house is destroyed, and i am certain that the government does not care. it is outrageous. >> when hell does arrive, hungry crowds gather immediately, but -- when help arrives, hungry crowds gather immediately. authorities are pleading for more international aid. >> we spoke to the former german ambassador to pakistan
earlier. he is now the executive director of the german orient institute in berlin. we asked the criticism of the government response and whether president zardari's absence could do lasting damage to his authority. >> hi think his absence was really damaging, especially for himself because the opposition has immediately taken this up to criticize hand even more. even among the normal pakistan is, i think he has lost a lot of confidence and trust, which he probably had to a certain extent. and now, with this catastrophe spreading to other provinces, i think damage will happen to him. >> that was the former german ambassador to pakistan. flash floods and mudslides are also causing havoc in northern india. officials say 165 people have been killed in the state of jammu and kashmir. hundreds are still missing. the main city is worse affected
with many homes destroyed or buried. roads leading to the city are blocked. emergency teams have been airlifted in to search for disney -- survivors. in china, the death toll from a mud slide has gone beyond 700, and over 1000 people are missing. heavy rainfall caused a mass of mud and rocks like that and golfed parts of the town over the weekend. efforts are underway to keep a nearby lake from overflowing. the ancillary is dam threatening to burst and completely flooded the town. cleanup operations are underway in parts of central europe. now that floodwaters there are starting to receive. emergency services remain on high alert under heavy rainfall flooded rivers flowing through eastern germany, poland, and the czech republic. two rivers are still dangerously high.
>> the torrent has become somewhat of an attraction. the river in brandenburg rose to alarming levels, but the waters are now receding again. houses in some low-lying areas have suffered damage. on the whole loaf, the river's waters have brought less havoc than feared. >> it is bringing a heap of costs and stress, but we will deal with it. >> upstream, the sandbagging is still going strong. in an effort to reinforce the river dikes. but fire crews are confident their work here will soon be done. >> we know a bit about this river and about floods. we're optimistic that we have a stated, thankfully. -- that we have escaped it. >> further north, the situation is under control, too, thanks in part to a large porch dam which straddles both rivers. people have been carefully
controlling the flow of water there. >> a simple rule of thumb is what their threat to life and limb. this time it worked. >> generally, the authorities are wary of celebrating too soon. some parts of brandenburg can expect to be on high alert until at least wednesday. >> the smog that has plagued moscow lifted on tuesday. experts say the concentration of toxic gases remains high. the smog is a result of some 500 of the wild fires still burning across central and western russia. there has been fierce criticism of the government's handling of the crisis. prime minister vladimir potent has been visiting some of the worst hit areas. his approval ratings have plunged to 61%, at their lowest in four years. and we move onto peter who is going to tell us about the u.s. federal reserve's latest decision. >> and they're still concerned.
they reflect that in the meeting. the u.s. federal reserve is taking new steps to stimulate the economy in the u.s. in response to signs the recovery is running out of steam. in the policy statement, the fed said that it plans to buy a small amount of long-term government bonds in an attempt to drive yields lower. that could eventually result in lower interest rates on long- term housing and corporate loans. thereby helping consumers and businesses. it had announced the move at the end of a one-day meeting and left key interest rates unchanged at near 0%. the fed believes economic growth will be more modest than earlier forecast. german telecommunications giant, deutsche telekom, is buying back some of its shares, investing 400 million years until the end of this year in an effort to boost its share price. so far, the stock has brought relatively poor returns, and the
company chairman felt it was high time to compensate frustrated shareholders. the buyback is part of a promised dividends of some 3.4 billion euros a year until the year 2012. shares in deutsche telekom are among today's most active in frankfurt, closing slightly lower, in step with the broader market. our correspondent has more from the frankfurt exchange. >> it must have been a disappointment to the people at the telecom, the begin of the buyback program did not result in them being one of the favorite shares, and frankfort was far from the top of the list. it was not the worst share either. the traders here do say that this program will ensure that the deutsche telekom does not sink too far anymore. but for their share price rises that would meet expectations of the people who have invested in a door to telecom will only come
when a new strategy comes in with the prospects for better profits than the company is making right now. >> thank you. looking at several market indices in more detail, we stay in frankfurt were we see the blue-chip dax index closed the day down about 1% to 6286. the euro stoxx 50 leading your zone blue chips, closed down slightly. and we see new york, the dow jones industrials ended the session a short while ago, down about 0.5%. finally, the hero is trading from $1.3185. the recent slew of natural disasters has taken its toll on european insurers. the world's largest reinsurance company estimates the total of 440 disasters caused some 53 billion a year rose in damages in the first half of this year. that does not include the most
recent flooding on the german /polish border. >> the nice or river flooding has caused damage worth billions of years, but it is still much less in the historic flooding in 2002. munich re, a close vote -- cool leader in reinsurance, estimates the damages will be 10% of what they were in 2002. but analysts are reckoning in an overall increase in natural disaster liability. >> we had the largest data base of damage-relevant natural occurrences. the number and severity have increased in recent years, especially natural disasters associated with the weather. >> that means more liabilities for insurance companies, but they also expect it to mean more customers, especially in germany. >> fewer than 20% of homes across the country are insured against flooding, including
flash floods in places not near rivers. after an increase in events like these, i believe more people will become aware that this kind of insurance makes sense. >> first, insurers will have to pay off claims for the damage that is already covered. >> the french utility giant, gdf suez agreed to combine its glow burton -- global energy operation with the uk's international power. it would create one of the world's biggest electric utilities and help them gain a foothold in the lucrative british energy market. this announcement of the merger also came as both companies released their latest earnings. clearly, gdf can afford to expand now. >> the recent hard winter drove of electricity consumption and boosted the fortunes of the energy provider. in the year's first half, the company's earnings and profits
were well of on 2009. an asset to allow gdf to take them to international power. the new corporation will be the world's biggest independent power utility, and the company earned a combined total of 84 billion 2009. its biggest competitor earned 81.8 billion. and one from france posted earnings of 64.3 billion years after taking -- over british energy. it gives them access to markets in developing countries were international power already has a presence. >> thank you. the venezuelan president, hugo chavez, is in colombia for talks -- is in columbite note for talks with the leader. it is to reestablish diplomatic relations. he the show was part of ti's but, last month after claims that he harbored left-wing colombian guerrillas on venezuelan territory.
in the past, you push of us has a disk cullum by applauding with washington to overthrow its socialist government. analysts see both leaders are keen to restore bilateral trade ties with $7 billion a year. anyone in germany does not want his or her house or apartment to be visible on the internet map service, st. you, is to file a complaint with the bugle soon. it is planning to introduce street view by the end of the year after a delayed the launch to respond to concerns about whether the service might violate strict german privacy laws. >> google has been out and about in germany for years now. cameras create panoramic images as three levels for the internet. despite staunch criticism privacy watchdogs, the street view navigation service goes on line in germany this year. >> we have taken a number of steps to ensure people's privacy and data protection.
our product automatically blocks our people's faces and number plates on cars. >> be in london, new york or paris, mcdgoogle users can experience the city personally. germany says unhappy citizens can have their homes or businesses taken out. but complaints must be launched online and with the next four weeks. >> it all happened in such a hurry. they're going live with this program next weekend and giving people a maximum of four weeks to take action. but no one knows how. >> the federal minister for consumer protection has been urging citizens to write to google, outlining their complaint. germany's consumer affairs minister may have a tough job on her hands. she has promised to ensure that each complaint is acted on.
>> well soccer, now, and germany faced in denmark in a friendly match nine wednesday. it is the first match the team has played since the end of the world cup. the could is giving a break to many who went to the tournament. that includes the man who has been contesting the position of team captain. neither he nor his rival will be playing on wednesday. that provides only a temporary respite from the question of who should be capt. come september. >> prior to the world cup, he was the indisputable captain of the german squad. but an ankle injury shattered his dreams of playing in the tournament. the defender captained the team in south ever come. now you like to keep the job. >> the coach has taken notice. >> he clearly said he would like to continue taking on the responsibilities of capt., but he also knows that the final decision rests with the coach. it is important for me to have a
serious discussion with both players said they do not think i favor one over the other. >> it does not appear to be there player is a clear favorite to where the captain's armband, and attention is fueling further speculation. the two will not be playing on wednesday against denmark, so the coach still has time on his side to contemplate the matter. but a capt. will have to be chosen by september 3rd, when germany takes on belgium in its first 02012 qualifier. >> a former british army captain has become the first known person to walk from the origin of the amazon river to its mouth. the germy -- the journey of some 6,400 km. he and his guide ended their two and a half year journey in brazil by plunging into the atlantic to celebrate. on the way, the two survived monkeys, promised, and insects.
the 34-year-old made the journey to raise awareness about damage to the amazon and said it was an adventure. i will say. quite an adventure. stay tuned. we will be right back. >> you invest time, ideas, and energy. you always give your very best, and you are mobile. just like us. dw-tv on your i phone. ♪
>> welcome back. the whaling season has begun. commercial willing was banned in 25 years ago by unofficial moratorium, but several countries still do it. japan claims it kills whales for research purposes. norway and iceland argue that whale hunting is part of their tradition, important for their economies and insists that they are carrying in out in a sustainable way. they face pressure both from anti-whaling activists who have resorted to a near military tactics in their campaign and from the international whaling commission. it represents 88 countries, many of whom would like to see willing phased out altogether. but at a meeting in june in morocco, the commission failed to reach a compromise.
if so the hunt goes on, and endangered whale species face another risk. >> whale hunting has a long history and continues to the present day. that is despite the moratorium on commercial whaling introduced in 1986 by the international whaling commission. but the iwc is a voluntary group and has no powers of enforcement. before 1986, more than 6000 whales are killed annually by hunters. that sank to a few hundred a year with the introduction of the moratorium. but the numbers have been rising again. and last season, 1578 whales were hunted down. japan hunts the most whales, killing 1000 animals a year. there is little demand for the meat, and most of it goes to canteens and hospitals. whale hunting is not a case of
necessity in japan. aid is a matter of principle, and it is back to the highest level. >> i am not a big eater of whale meat. but there is the whole issue with the whaling commission and with the media, and it is unfair to me. that is always energy for japanese to handle this issue. >> japan exploit the provision in the moratorium which permits while hunting for scientific purposes. norway objected to the moratorium, so it is not bound by it. in 1993, it restarted commercial hunting of minke whales. the norwegian government send quotas which are never fully exhausted. iceland restarted the commercial hunting of whales in 2006. it allows the killing of a small number of minke whales and fin whales. the latter is more controversial as they're listed as endangered.
iceland argues the whaling industry provides jobs. >> the wailing will allow at least 300 jobs here, which is the same as 40,000 jobs in england. >> the iwc permits some subsistence whaling bite and digits -- indigenous groups like the inuit in the arctic. >> we spoke to a whale researcher and greenpeace activist and asked him what the current status of the whale population is worldwide. >> the population of whales -- the size is still unknown. it is a big question how many whales still exist in our big oceans. we know that the largest living being ever on earth has been reduced to a few thousand. maybe 5000. not more really left in the
whole world. and they have difficulties to find each other. so we know we have a huge decline of some populations, and the rest is still unknown. that is another reason why i think the hunting should really stop. >> what would be the consequences for the world's oceans of commercial whaling does continue or even increases? >> the threat to is not only coming from commercial whaling. there is a by catch which is the biggest problem. hundreds of thousands of whales, a big, large, and small are killed in the fishing fleets. climate change is a huge problem. it will influence their feeding behavior and their food availability. noise pollution in our oceans is an additional problem. what would happen if you continue with the hunt, which is a threat you can easily take away, and it has been the great
world why did you should stop the hon. it is unknown. you know these animals play a very important role in the ecosystem of our planet and our oceans, but we do not know what happens if we continue to threaten these animals and the populations by human activities. first thing is to stop whaling and also make sure the other threats are looked at. >> thank you very much for that assessment. >> whales are not only threatened by hunting, but they're also under stress from marine pollution and from underwater noise. whales are extremely sensitive to their environment, especially to sound. loud noise caused by trafficker submarines, for example, disorients them. that can affect the animals sense of direction and cause them to go astray, stranded or beached in areas from which they cannot swim away. wills are unfortunately not alone in responding with distress to the rising number of
maritime intrusions. on germany posey baltic coast, scientists are carrying out its research and purposes to learn more about their extraordinarily precise sonar orientation systems and how to preserve them. >> this is the baltic sea, home to a population of a few thousand porpoises. the porpoise is one of the smallest marine animals reaching just two meters in length. it has limited eyesight but does have a very effective sonar location and communication system. these two are researching that system in denmark. the scientist and animal trainer are among the people in the world with permission to study captive wales. an experiment they spent a year in developing recently produced results. >> in this experiment, the purpose is learn to say yes or
no. i can find an object using my sonar. if they find the object, they have to press a pedal. if they do not, they have to stay in the ring. >> the researchers attached electrodes to the purpose is brain. the animals have to find something they cannot see. they do so using click signals. [clicking sound] >> the purpose has to process huge amounts of information. >> the purpose can produce up to 500 clicks the second, and it commits these clicks 24 hours a day. we do not yet know how it sprain manages to cope with this flood of information. >> because of this sonar system, porpoises and whales are very sensitive to underwater noise. international shipping it,
submarine sonar, military exercises, construction work will disturb the animals and are believed to be one cause of wales beaching. but marine pollution harms them as well. whales often come into contact with vast amounts of plastic trash floating in the oceans. >> industrial plasticizers are really harmful agents, which are entering the oceans more and more. and once they are there, they hardly ever come out. i any end, their character the top of the food chain, to the whales. >> partly due to their size, whales have few natural enemies. man remains the biggest threat to wales. >> this -- the fight to save whales and other marine life has been the focus of our "in-depth" report this hour. thanks for joining us. stay tuned for more news and