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tv   Journal  PBS  July 11, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT

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>> welcome to the "journal." our headlines at this hour -- the eurozone debt crisis. it is in italy next? damascus, the embassies of the u.s. and france come under attack by supporters of the syrian regime. and he is cute, but he is also fast. meet the world's champion buddy hopper -- bunny hopper. eurozone finance ministers have been discussing options for
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resolving recent ongoing -- greece's ongoing debt crisis as a u.s. rating agencies claim there's no threat of default in the eurozone goes the third largest economy, italy. angela merkel called on the parliament in rome to respond by approving spending cuts, but so far, the italian government and lawmakers have yet to agree on a common way forward. suddenly, this man is in the sights of the markets. the italian finance minister. he has long been seen as an anchor of stability in the government, but a corruption scandal around a close adviser and disputes with cabinet colleagues have thrown his future in doubt. now investors are worried his latest austerity plan will not get through parliament, and those worries are driving up italy's borrowing costs. berlin is trying to calm things down. >> i have great confidence that the italian government will pass the budget. i spoke about parsley --
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precisely that with the italian minister on the telephone yesterday. it will make it clear that italy is committed to consolidation and tackling its debt. then there was a similar message from the german finance minister. >> i have no doubt whatsoever that italy will make the right decision. >> but the stakes are high. failure in italy could blow apart europe's approach of bailing out small countries like greece in hopes of protecting big ones. >> the threat today is for the whole eurozone, so we need to find a solution. >> ministers signed off on what they hope will be part of the new solution, the new bailout fund that will kick in from 2013, but as they all know, a lot could change before then. >> our brussels correspondent has been following the discussions by the eurozone finance ministers in brussels.
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can you tell us what has come out of today's debt crisis talks? >> the formal agreement on anything has now been pushed back into another meeting of finance ministers later this month, but they have been discussing a lot. of course, the focus has been on greece and the question of a second bailout for greece. is it possible? how much will be needed? when will it be triggered? and, crucially, should private bondholders take their share responsibly? should there be obliged to extend their lines of credit to greece to put off the evil day when they will need a second bailout and call in their dead? the ecb, the european central bank, thinks that is stretching it to try to get that agreement. but angela merkel has been determined that they should face up to the music, just like ordinary people paying their taxes. those are the issues. a 500 billion ros bailout, not needed until the autumn anyway. final agreement on that would be later this month.
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probably the fourth week of july. >> what is the feeling in brussels? when did this economic crisis become a political crisis? >> for some, it already has become that, but largely, it is economic now. the trigger point toward becoming a big political problem will be when -- if one or another country falls out of the eurozone or defaults. there was talk today about the default of greece. with that ever be acceptable to those having to bail out the country? if the default or the leaving of the eurozone, a country regaining its currency, which is quite possible in the case of greece. that would turn this into a political crisis. >> could we see eu action against u.s. ratings agencies, which have been described as a cartel by the european ratings commissioner? >> you could. everyone here is furious that the u.s. is passing judgment.
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they say it is time there was a european credit agency, overdue. but that is not an overnight solution. that will take months, if not longer. >> thanks ever so much. to satisfy banks and other lenders, the greek government's massive cutbacks in all areas of life as well as the sell-off of some of the nation's infrastructure has yet to stabilize the country's finances. italy's economy is more than twice the size of the combined economies of greece, ireland, and portugal. a financial crisis there could have widespread repercussions throughout the eurozone. here's a look at how italians feel about the developments in their country. >> from athens to rome, worries are growing that italy could be the next country to be drawn into europe's debt crisis. newspapers speak of days of fear. people on the street say they know where the blame lies. >> we are rapidly approaching a
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situation like greece is. i hope not, but i think we need a change of government. >> it is about time that financial speculators were locked up in jail. you should never believe the american reading agencies. and there is no more hope for this government in italy. >> the situation is serious. let's hope they manage to get it under control. >> after signs last week of a rift in berlusconi's government, political leaders are working to present a united front in a bid to calm market speculation. >> span also paying the price of that warnings coming out of new york. >> growing debt concerns in europe have pushed borrowing costs for spain to the highest level since the country joined the year appeared madrid insists it is no longer a sovereign debt risk, but analysts say a massive and aplomb of levels and expand on them but i -- make
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spain volatile -- massive unemployment levels make spain vulnerable to default. >> germany's ratings agency says in june alone, 17,000 spaniards were registered as job seekers in germany. the good institute in spain also reports that the number of applications, the german language courses at its cultural centers, has doubled over the last year. the future with a job in germany is looking more attractive for young spaniards. young people in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to find a job in spain. spain's unemployment rate for the under 25 tops 40%, the highest level in the european union. the rates in portugal and italy also lie well above the eu average of 21%. in germany, the rate for the same age group is just under 10%. during her visit to madrid in
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february, chancellor merkel specifically invited spanish specialists to come to germany, where the economy is facing a severe shortage of engineers and computer scientists. so it is not surprising that job applications are also coming in from other troubled eurozone countries like portugal. >> as leaders are stepping up efforts to curb the influence of the ratings agencies, bonds from some countries have taken yet another beating on monday. we got this summary of the day's trading summary. >> allianz and deutsche bank shares down here like a contagious disease, concerns are growing that more government bonds are european countries have to be devalued. the problem with countries like italy, for example, is that debt there is too high, but the economic performance is too weak. in other places of the world, the economy is overheated, like
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in china where prices have increased more than estimated. this leads to the speculation that soon, the government of beijing will dampen the economy again. >> let's take a look at some market numbers in more detail now. beginning with germany, where the dax closed today's session at 2730, down by just over 2%. across the atlantic, the dow jones industrials continued heading south, currently at 12,505. and the euro is currently trading for one u.s. dollar -- $1.4023. price of shares in german pharmaceutical group fall as in jest -- investors digest friday's news that it has lost protection for its biggest selling contraceptive pills. it is one of its main money
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spinners, with sales of more than 1 billion euros last year. the ruling by the european patent office opens the way for a generic version to compete on the european markets. rupert murdoch's bid to buy bskyb is dismantling. is coming under pressure because of the hacking scandal at the "news of the world" paper. the newspaper was closed down over the weekend. the bid has to go a full competition commission investigation. that came after news corp. dropped a commitment to spinning off sky news, which had been a condition for the takeover. public opinion of morocco's a media empire is at an all-time low in britain as new allegations emerge daily of data theft and hacking at other news court papers. >> thanks. the united states has condemned syria for refusing to protect the american and french
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embassies in damascus from attack by government loyalists. the u.s. state department said mobs assault of both the u.s. embassy compound and the ambassadors residents, but that no staff were injured. progress government demonstrators filled central damascus over the weekend, expressing their anger at the presence of the u.s. and french ambassadors in the city that has been the center of opposition to president al assad. member protests on the streets of syria, this time by supporters of the al assad regime. they took part in a rally against the ambassadors of the u.s. and france. they -- the show support for the democracy movement prompted an angry show from damascus. franz's foreign ministry said the crowds were well organized, while security forces did
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nothing to stand in the way -- france was a foreign ministry. the u.s. also condemned the day's events. >> it is clear what this is about -- this is about distracting your attention, the press' attention, the world's attention from the real story, which is the story of syrian people in cities across the country processing peacefully and demanding change. >> syria says it is reaching out to redeem opponents with a national dialogue, but the main opposition groups shun those talks for a second day on monday. they say they will not take part until the government ends its military crackdown and releases thousands of political prisoners. despite the crackdown, protests against the regime continue with reports of thousands turning out over the past two days. rights groups say at least one person was killed and 20 wounded when security forces opened fire. >> russian officials say nearly 130 people are thought to have perished when a tourist boat sank.
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many of them were children during rescue efforts continuing at the site, but the emergency affairs minister says there is almost no hope of finding any more survivors. the boat was overloaded with more than 200 people when it went down in bad weather. the russian president has ordered a review of public transportation across the country. to cypress now where blast in a sea shipment of iranian arms has killed least 12 people at a naval base. among them, the commander of the cyprian navy. explosions also triggered power and water outages in the surrounding area. the base is located near -- in the south of the island. the defense minister of cyprus has resigned, and a government spokesman says the army chief has also stepped down. >> these aerial shots showed the extent of the disaster. buildings have been detonated, cars blasted through the air.
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dance plumes of smoke are visible from miles around. witnesses report hearing the explosion 100 kilometers away in the capital. the blast knocked out the neighboring power station. it normally generates over half the island's electricity, and there could be power shortages for months. the huge explosion also damaged nearby homes and a holiday resort. >> today is a dark day for the nation. we are shocked by this event. not just by the damage, but by the loss of life and the injuries suffered by many of our people. >> the dump was storing 98 containers of munitions, which suffers constant -- confiscated from the ship in february, 2009. fizzles suspected the vessel of running arms from iran to gaza. -- officials suspected. the cause has yet to be established.
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been marking the 16th anniversary of the massacre with a burial of more than 600 victims. 4500 have been laid to rest at the memorial site just bought -- thus far. they are part of what bosnians say are the 8000 men and boys killed by an ethnic serb forces in 1995. former bosnian serb commander is currently awaiting trial on charges of genocide. to sports now, a russian writer has -- rider has failed a doping test. he tested positively for htc on july 6. cycling present governing body says it hopes the team will remove him from the race. he is legally free to continue competing until the results confirmed in a controlled sample test. more sports now and a story about the poetry of a perfect
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jump -- a bunny jump that is. a spectator sport gaining popularity were the athletes are as cuddly as they are competitive. here's more. >> meet snoopy, a champion bonnie hopper. two years old, and on this course, no one can catch him. he faces a host of rivals in a high-stakes battle to find the fastest bunny around. there are three glasses -- easy, medium, and hard. the hurdles are different heights. 25, 35, and 40 centimeters. so the rabin has to jump more than 40 centimeters. >> that is too much like hard work for some contestants. others are happy finding their own levels, and a few just ponder the meaning of it all. but snoopy has no such concerns and sales his way through the course, leaving the others far behind. bunnies of the world, take note.
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this is a champion rabid. >> were all of those rabbits? >> i'm not so sure. >> i will be right back with more news. stay with us. >> 18.8 million passengers around the world and of the same question -- which is the best airline in europe? turkish airlines was voted the best.
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>> welcome back. thanks so much for staying with us. french and spanish forces in afghanistan are among those starting to leave the country this month with a withdrawal -- the complete withdrawal -- of the mainly western troops set for 2014. canada and its combat mission last week -- and its combat mission last week in germany is set to bring back some of its forces by the end of this year. at least 30,000 u.s. soldiers are to be withdrawn by next summer. today, the conflict in afghanistan shows little sign of being resolved. civilians and military casualties continue to mount, and opinions are divided over whether afghan forces will be ready to take over security operations in three years' time. we have this report.
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>> american soldiers are a regular sight in the provinces. but the withdrawal has already begun. afghan forces are taking on more responsibilities for security in their country. it is a dangerous task, especially in the unruly areas of the south and east of the country. >> we are ready for the mission. we are well trained, and we will make sure that the people in our city are safe around-the- clock day and night. >> we will make sure that terrorism will not spread here anymore. >> the u.s. is pulling about 1/3 of its troops out of afghanistan by next summer. nato wants the handover to take place quickly. although there are questions about their abilities, the afghans say they are up to the task.
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that international troops and the afghan government have been very active in our province. there have been a lot of reconstruction projects. foreign soldiers have been making their presence felt. people feel safe. we are ready to take control of our destiny. >> afghan military personnel hold talks with american officers. for months, they have been planning for the start of the u.s. withdrawal. communication is still the biggest problem. but there is broad agreement on the plan of action. the u.s. has increased the pace of training of their afghan allies in recent months. the afghans need to be qualified before they can provide security. u.s. forces trained afghan policeman or retrain a pilot in five weeks. training provided by the germans in northern afghanistan last four months. but i set demands that the basic standards should be similar.
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>> the security situation is the most important requirement for every step we take in the beginning phase of transformation. the most important task is to guarantee security in afghanistan and secondly, to develop the afghan security forces to appoint -- to a point where they will be capable of taking over security responsibilities. >> the germans are saying for the moment. their withdrawal starts at the end of the year. what form that will take is still unclear. the debate is ongoing. german forces will make their first hand over to afghan troops on july 20. but they will remain in charge in the turbulent areas. the germans still need support from u.s. attack in medivac helicopters. the aircraft will remain in northern afghanistan until the end of the year at least. meetings with tribal elders take place on a regular basis.
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the mission is about encouraging a political solution to the afghan conflict as well as a military one. analysts say the two approaches need to go hand in hand. >> a lot of afghans see this as the beginning of the end of the interests of the international community in their country. that sends a shiver down the spines of a lot of people. there will be little notice -- little noticeable effect on the military situation in the short term. even if nato starts the hanover now, as they keep saying, it is not clear when the process will end. sometime in 2014. >> only recently, taliban fighters launched an attack on the prestigious inter- continental hotel in kabul. responsibility for security in the capital had already been transferred to afghans, but neither police nor the army was able to defeat the attackers. helicopters called in to help
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end the siege after five hours. since the incident, the hotel has become a symbol of evidence in the face of terrorism and is the worst moment for the beginning troop withdrawal from afghanistan. >> the u.s. military and its allies started bombing afghanistan within weeks of the 911 attacks and brought down the taliban regime with air strikes and a massive ground assault within months. the international security assistance force was set up to stabilize the country after the fall of the taliban. we now take a look back at the afghan mission in the past decade. >> their mission was to draw out the taliban and deny al qaeda the most important base. planned to last just a few weeks, the war in afghanistan still goes on a decade later. president george bush gave the order to attack. >> these carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations. and to attack the military capability of the taliban
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regime. >> the terrorist mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks were based in afghanistan. united nations spoke of a threat to world peace. >> from the american point of view, there was no alternative. in a situation like this, an american president is expected to act decisively, and that he -- that means the use of military force. >> nato and vote its mutual defense costs for the first time in its history. member states sent thousands of soldiers. most came from the u.s., britain, france, and germany. german troops were sent to northern afghanistan. operations seem to be going slowly at the start. hundreds of taliban and al qaeda fighters were caught. but the head of al qaeda, osama bin laden, escaped detection for another decade. as 2002 drew to a close, the
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emphasis shifted towards the impeding invasion of iraq. the taliban regrouped. >> in my view, that was the biggest mistake the americans made in the war in afghanistan since 2001. >> the taliban buy in small units. they said booby traps and suicide bombings were more effective. a new generation of television militants saw their chance. by 2006, the insurgency was in full force. the international security assistance force, isaf, found it increasingly hard to stabilize the country. american combat troops were deployed in the north for the first time to battle a resurgent taliban. >> was clear is that the whole strategy in all -- in the north has had little success. that means that the german troops there remain in great danger. the more than 130,000 foreign soldiers are stationed in afghanistan. 90,000 of them are from the
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u.s.. president obama inherited the afghanistan war, but he says progress has been made and that the death of osama bin laden has weakened al qaeda. >> i just want to say a few words -- we are being successful in those emissions. the reason we are in a position to draw down 10,000 troops this year and a total of 33,000 troops by the end of next summer is precisely because of the extraordinary work of our men and women in uniform. >> in summary, this terrorism analyst says the taliban has been driven from power for 10 years. >> but the country is a long way from being stabilized, and that was the main goal. given the growing indications of a looming internal afghan conflict, we are looking at a complete failure of the mission. . >> the taliban are still confident of victory. after the withdrawal of western
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forces, they are likely to gain influence, and al qaeda is thought to have shifted its operations to pakistan. >> thanks so much for joining us.
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