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tv   Journal  PBS  August 19, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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>> welcome to the journal. i am at the news desk. our headlights at this hour. the last american combat brigade in iraq leaves the country. ethnic roma expelled by france as part of a crackdown arrived in romania. one of the world's most important seed banks is fighting to prevent bulldozers from destroying its collection. captioned by the national captioning institute
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>> seven years after the u.s.- led invasion of iraq, the last u.s. brigade has left the country. during the occupation an estimated 100,000 iraqis lost their lives. the u.s. state department has described the end as a historic moment and vowed that america's long-term commitment to iraq is unwavering. 6000 troops will remain to the end of next year, training their iraqi successors. >> the withdrew under the cover of darkness. there was no fanfare and no ceremony. but the soldiers are looking forward to going home. >> we are going home. we won. it is over. america. i love you. i love you. >> operation in rocky freedom claimed the lives of over 4400 soldiers and almost 110,000
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iraqis. the country held free elections, a law and order are a long way off. as recently as tuesday, 58 were killed in an attack. the rocky politicians are divided about the withdrawal. -- iraqui politicians are divided about the withdrawal. >> we have to take control -- move from military to civilian control. we are supportive of the withdrawal. it will be taken over by the iraqi government. >> the process of the american troop withdrawal under the light of non-readiness of barack troops to fill the vacuum they will leave puts iraq facing an unknown destiny. >> 50,000 u.s. soldiers remain in iraq to train and advise the iraqi army. the new mission, officially
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called a rocky don -- iraqi dawn, starts in september. >> generally speaking, the americans are relieved to be able to pull troops out of iraq. that does not come as a surprise when you know the majority of americans today think it was a bad idea in the first place to go in. on top of that, the american military has lost 4400 soldiers. the war has cost $780 billion. it is not the only war, as you know. they have a war in afghanistan, too. they are relieved to be able to pull out a couple of soldiers, even though it may not be the best time. they have a feeling that the rockies -- iraqis should deal
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with their own problems. >> if the violence does increase and the iraqis cannot handle it, will u.s. troops be driven back into a combat role? >> we got a glimpse of that the other day, when defense secretary robert gates said he would be open to any discussion with the new government. that was not well received by the white house at the moment. iraq is a campaign issue for obama. he's said he promised to pull out. he does not want bring troops back in. i do not think america would look the other way if there were asked by the new iraqi government. they have invested too much time and money to let the country down. >> thank you very much for your assessment from washington. we will have more on the u.s. withdrawal from iraq coming up later in our in-depth portion of the show. stay tuned. in new york, u.n. secretary
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general been key moon has described the massive flooding in pakistan as a slow-motion tsunami whose destructive powers will accumulate with time. ban speaking to the u.n. general assembly, which is meeting at this hour to decide how to respond to the humanitarian disaster. relief agencies have received half of the 350 million euros that are needed for the immediate relief effort. larger amounts of aid have started arriving, like this shipment from the german red cross. the destruction of the country's infrastructure is making it extremely difficult to deliver supplies to where they are needed. passengers aboard a train in southwestern china had a lucky escape when the were evacuated just before part of their train plunged into a river from a flood-damaged bridge.
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pillars supporting the bridge collapsed under the force of the flood water just as the train crossed. rescue workers managed to evacuate the passengers 18 minutes before the carriage as were swept 200 meters down the river. france has expelled dozens of room and back to their home countries of bulgaria and romania, in an effort by the french government to crack down on crime and illegal immigration. the move is being criticized by the opposition and human rights groups alike, which have accused the government of xenophobia. opinion polls reflect a high degree of public support for the measure. >> they have been told to pack their bags and leave, and they are not the only ones. there are other flights this week and next month, and along with the plane tickets they have been given 300 euros. >> there is nothing for us -- no work in romania or france.
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the kids have to look through bins for food. they have to sort through rubbish. >> the interior ministry says about 50 camps like this one have been dismantled. in the past, many expeled roma have simply return to france. that is what some say they will do this time. but the french government wants to use by a metric ids to prevent this from happening. -- biometric ids to prevent this from happening. the plan to send them back to bulgaria and romania. >> we understand the french government position. at the same time, which support the right of every romanian systems -- romanian citizen for freedom of movement within the european union. >> as the first plane landed in bucharest, the eu said member states have the right to take
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security measures against foreigners. it is a complicated situation, leaving these will let in disarray. -- leaving these roma in dissaray. >> germany's military says they do not intend to take discipline against colonel georg klein. that officer ordered an air strike in afghanistan that killed many civilians. taliban fighters and civilians around the trucks were killed when the were blown up. troubling news on the jobs front. monica has that story. >> the number of americans filing new weekly claims for jobless benefits has jumped unexpectedly to half a million, the highest level in nine months. the labor department says they came in well above a forecast of 75,000. it is the third straight week in which claims have risen.
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the dire straits of the u.s. labor market occurs as the u.s. tries to pull out of its worst position in the decades. the sensitivity index dropped to its lowest since july last year. manufacturing in the region fell. it is a different picture in germany. the strong economic recovery has prompted the central bank to increase its growth forecast for 2010. traders remain skeptical. we get the day's action from frankfurt. >> the bundesbank is very optimistic for the future of the german economy. they raised their forecast for economic growth up to 3% for this year. maybe it was a little too early. as an export nation, germany is very dependent from other economies, especially the u.s. economy, which showed weakness today. jobless claims were rising and
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the leading indicators showed the u.s. economy has got a bumpy road ahead to recovery. it has not been only the u.s. economy that investors were worrying about. france caused worries because there are rumors that france could lose its aaa rating. france is not only a very important eu member state, but also the most important trading partner of germany. >> all the gloom for european shares closed in-territories. the blue-chip index closed down by almost 2% 6075. the eurozone up 50 pretty much down 2%. in new york, investors were stunned by the jobless claims data, down by almost 01 0.5%. the euro is also losing ground against the u.s. dollar,
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currently at $1.2819. german authorities have filed against noa bank. the institution is no longer allowed to sell financial products. it was offering ethical and environmentally correct investments and giving clients a say on whether money was used. it had attracted 50,000 customers. the moratorium prevents noa from doing any business not related to discharging its debts. the taiwanese economics manufacturer and maker of mini apple gadgets says it is firing workers to keep up production as it cuts maximum overtime hours. earlier this year, there were concerns about working conditions, although the company maintained there were not job-
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related incidents. all the same, they are trying hard to put a new shine on their image. >> at the company rally, young workers are chanting slogans and wearing t-shirts. the electronics manufacturer has been working to improve its image and to help people forget less happy things. scenes like this morning -- mourning father whose son killed himself this year. the suicides of more than nine workers detention to the working conditions. executives say they have learned their lessons. >> for a long time, i think we were blinded by our success. >> in future, they intend to build smaller factories closer to where workers live. there are increasing low wages.
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>> it used to be that we never got a real break. now, we get a little time to catch our breath. >> a parade is aimed at underscoring the notion of change, but many chinese and western human rights activists wonder whether the company has really changed its ways. >> i do not think today's events can achieve anything except provide a bit of theater. i think basically what they need to do is treat their workers like decent human beings and pay them a decent wage. >> that might possibly save the bother of organizing displays of joyous workers like this one. >> logistics representatives have been meeting at the transport forum to discuss the pace of the economic recovery. german trucking and shipping companies are having trouble keeping up with demand as the recovery boosts container traffic in german ports. it rose 30% at the beginning of
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this year, almost reaching the record obtained in 2008. >> germany's biggest container shipping line hit stormy seas last year and almost went under, but this past quarter has seen a major turnaround for the company. it made a quarter of a billion year rose profit, the best performance in its 163-year history. following the shock of the economic crisis, there has been a recovery in the industry. shipping lines can now charge a lot more. however, it is not just prices shooting up. freight volumes are also increasing. german ports are on course for a record turnover. the only cause for concern is that the crisis did not knock out competitors. everyone's books are paul and new players are on the market. there is a lot at stake in the event of another global downturn. >> back to meghan. >> thank you, monica.
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a new study by the german institute for economic research put berlin at the very bottom of a list of comparing educational standards in regional states. many students in the capital did not reach the required reading standards. the federal straights -- states that stressed the teaching of science and technology at a young age did best. the study concluded that although there was sufficient funding in education, resources could be put to better use. in russia, one of the world's largest seed banks is locked in a battle with property developers who want to take much of its land. a recent court ruling gave developers the go ahead. now supporters of the seed banks have asked the russian president, dmitri mcgann of, to intervene and stop those bulldozers. >> plums, potatoes, and old varieties of grain. the experimental station is home to the genetic diversity of
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360,000 different crops. plans to develop luxury houses would mean the collection of trees and bushes would be dug up. >> this facility is unique. there is no place to relocate the plants. even if you did, you would kill them. >> founded to conserve plant genetic resources, the institute survived the second world war intact. staff would have starved to death back them rather than eat the contents of the seed banks. supporters of the pavlov station have launched a campaign to save the invaluable collection of crop diversity. >> all these plants are registered in an international data base. researchers know that. if they need a simple, they can just ask for it. >> scientists say seeds conservative could be essential in developing new crops better adapted to climate change. dmitry medvedev has ordered a
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review of the closure. >> i will be back after a short break with the in depth, and looking at the early withdrawal of u.s. combat troops from iraq.
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>> welcome back. the u.s. military is on track to cut its numbers in iraq to 50,000 by the end of august, when the combat mission launched by former president george w. bush and and operations switch to assisting iraq's armed forces. most u.s. forces shifted their training to helping iraqi forces and police over a year ago. or next report will look at the course of the conflict that has cost the lives of thousands. some 4500 americans have died in combat, but around 32,000 u.s. soldiers were wounded, and more than 100,000 iraqi civilians have been killed in fighting over the last 7.5 years.
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>> when u.s. and allied forces invaded iraq in the early hours of march 20, 2003, it marked the beginning of the end of saddam hussein's regime. >> this hour, american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger. >> the american-led forces quickly advanced across the country toward baghdad. three weeks later, coalition forces have occupied the iraqi capital. in one of the a comic images of the world -- of the war, soldiers help citizens tear down a statue. >> major combat operations have ended. in the battle of iraq, the united states and our allies have prevailed. [applause] >> by the time u.s. troops
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captured the iraqi president in his hideout in 2003, his regime had ceased to exist. but resistance to the u.s. occupation was already growing. it was fueled by images showing the abuse of iraqi prisoners by their american captors in the notorious abu re-bughraib priso. in january 2005, iraqis participated in their first democratic election in decades. they began drafting a new constitution. but the violence continued to rage out of control. by the end of 2006, the u.s. military was reporting more than 960 attacks every week. a change in strategy and the troops surge in 2007 helped quell the violence, but americans had already grown tired of the war. within weeks of taking office,
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president announced a timetable for withdrawing. >> let me say this as plainly as i can. but august 31, 2010, our combat mission in iraq will and. >> it is a promise barack obama has kept. the retreating american troops leave behind a country where stability remains an elusive dream. >> american has withdrawn its combat troops, saying it has with -- it has achieved its goal of bringing democracy to the country. for some analysis, we spoke to our middle east analyst. we first asked him what state iraq is in today. >> i think iraq finds itself in a difficult situation. it is far from being a democratic state. there were elections have a year ago for the parliament. today, there is no government
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available, because the different factions cannot really agree upon the new head of government. the situation is very complex. i do not think the invasion has tackled the major issues. it was very positive that saddam hussein was toppled, but the situation that has developed since then has not solved all problems, but has created new ones that are very complex. the basic issue at stake is the fact that there has been a central government since saddam hussein who could control this huge country, which is more and more falling apart, at dividing along ethnic or religious lines. >> 50,000 u.s. troops are staying behind to help the next government when it emerges. what do they have to do? >> officially, it is their task to trained iraqi policemen and soldiers. unofficially, the soldiers are there in order to protect
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american interests, to protect the iraqi central government, especially when it comes to the permanent rivalry between the united states and iran. iran is the most influential player in iraq, mainly due to the majority shi'ite population. historically speaking, there have been very strong ties between these groups. iran does not want the united states to be successful in iraq or other parts of the middle east. should there be a violent confrontation between the united states and iran, it will be fought in iraq. this is the main reason, in my opinion, american troops are still there. there are additional troops in to wait, catarrh, and other parts of the region. -- in kuqait, qatar, and other parts of the region.
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pessimists say the country is on the verge of collapse because the ethnic populations are not willing to live together peacefully. >> thank you very much for that. the u.s. invasion into iraq seriously damaged its relations with the islamic world. it also undermined america's standing among many european allies who were otherwise staunch supporters of u.s. foreign policy. the bush administration exacerbated those wounds by brushing off european opposition. as for the reasons for going to war, weapons of mass destruction, it was european skeptics like the german chancellor and russian president who proved to be right in the end. there were among many europeans who refused to believe secretary of state: paul's claims that america might -- might face the threat of a mushroom cloud over
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new york. >> when [unintelligible] it was the end of the coalition of the willing. less than two years later, the last european soldiers have pulled out of the country. from the beginning, it europe had been divided over the war. germany's foreign minister voiced skepticism in munich just before the invasion. >> i cannot go to the public and say, there are reasons to go to war. i do not believe in them. >> germany refused to support the war. so did france. many other european countries provided military support and soldiers. poland had troops serving in iraq until october 2008. the coalition divided iraq into three troop deployment zones, with the americans controlling most of northern and western iraq.
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2500 polish troops, supported by soldiers from other countries, took command of an area south of the capital. britain, based in basra, at controlled the southern part of the country. they were the largest european troop presence. but the war was never popular with european voters. spain was the first to withdraw its soldiers after a center-left government was elected. germany agreed to train iraqi police refused to provide direct military support. in the summer of 2009, britain completed its withdrawal from iraq. british prime minister gordon brown agreed with his predecessor, tony blair. giving testimony in an inquiry, they insisted the intervention had been necessary and justified. but their labour party paid a high price. it is now an opposition party.
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>> that was our in-depth look at the iraq war as american troops drawdown. stay tuned.
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