>> hello and welcome to the "journal." i meggin leigh. >> un steve chaid -- i'm meggin leigh. >> and i'm steve chaid. the new international peace envoy says the conflict in syria is worsening dramatically. >> german business confidence falls for the fifth time in a row. >> a senior politician in germany create controversy by calling for germany's military to be equipped with killer drones.
>> the international envoy for syria, lakhdar brahimi, has told the un security council that the country possible war is worsening and that syria faces a growing food prices. he has been on the job now for just three weeks -- food crisis. he has been on the job now for just three weeks. >> he said there is little prospect of finding an immediate solution to end the conflict. his briefing to the un security council comes as the violence inside syrian cities such as aleppo continues. >> 3 children were killed in an explosion in aleppo, all members of the same family. activists say least 60 people died in attacks across the country on monday. syria is under the spotlight at the un headquarters in new york. special envoy lakhdar brahimi briefed the security council ahead of his address to the general assembly.
>> good afternoon to you. i think there is no disagreement anywhere that the situation in syria it is extremely bad and getting worse, that is a threat to the region and the threat to peace and security in the world. >> he wants to return to syria soon to flesh out ideas for a new peace plan. until that happens, says the german foreign minister, the only alternative is to pursue the failed peace plan put in place by his predecessor, kofi annan. he does not expect a quick solution. >> we all know how difficult the situation is in syria and in the region. but if we give up now, with our political efforts -- give up now with our political efforts, we would give up the people, the
families. >> funding a revolution to the syrian civil war will be high on the -- finding a resolution to the syrian civil war will be high on the agenda. >> in this -- >> , did the job added that come in the event of an attack, iran -- mahmoud ahmadinejad added that, in the event of an attack, iran would defend themselves. libya's military has taken control of two powerful militia groups in benghazi. army officers are now in charge of the heavily armed february 17 brigade and another militia. >> the announcement came a day after the libyan military in the capitalof tripoli moved in on paramilitary groups there. a number of groups have operated freely since the overthrow of muammar gaddafi a year ago.
the government and military haare capitalizing on the shift in mood. almost two decades of autocratic rule by the president of belarus is set to continue following sunday's parliamentary elections. >> but, according to western observers, the government was returned to power by a poll that was neither free nor fair. the government in minsk has dismissed the criticism and opposition's boycott of the vote as well. >> as the central election commission announced its bolt -- its results, one member said, ironically, it seems that opposition parties do not enjoy the trust of their electorate. at monday morning's press conference, the commission was quick to quash talk of low voter turnout. >> the elections were valid in all prisons throughout the republic of belarus -- in all
precincts throughout the republic of belarus. i would say voter turnout was more than 70% total. >> however, opposition leaders are skeptical that so many people turned up at the polls. they have called for a boycott, saying that election officials would make sure that the president remained in power. >> these elections were not competitive from the start. a free election depends on people being free to speak, organized, and run for office. we did not see these in this country. >> despite the criticism, the president praised the elections as open and fair, saying western countries could learn from belarus. he also lambaste it opposition leaders as cowards, out of touch with the people -- lambast died
opposition leaders as cowards, out of touch with the people. but opposition leaders say that our form can only be brought about -- >> opposition leaders say that any reform can only be brought about by help with -- by russia. we talked about the extent of russian influence. >> vladimir putin is actually the last standing ally of the president of belarus. it is the main stabilizing factor for his regime. lukashenko was in a very deep crisis last year. his state was close to bankruptcy. the system almost could not pay wages anymore. lots of state workers were laid off. only due to the billions of loans from russia was bankruptcy avoided. as long as russia is helping out with money, lukashenko doesn't really have to care about the sanctions at the european union, for example, has imposed -- sanctions that the european union, for example, has imposed.
>> we turn our attention to china. there has been another convention -- conviction in the scandal that has rocked the nation's leadership. a former police officer has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. been a the relationship turned -- >> the relationship turned sour. he fled the u.s. consulate and given permission that led to the toppling of julybo x -- of bo xilai. >> a taiwan-based company which assembles components for apple computers has closed one of its factories in northern china after a massive fight among its workers erupted at a company dormitory. >> around 2000 workers were involved. foxconn says the trouble started when a personal dispute got out of control. comments posted on the internet
came -- claim that factory guards had severely beaten workers, which prompted a further escalation of violence. it is not clear how long this shutdown will last. we will check on the mood among german business leaders in just a minute. >> the mood is not very good. first, let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. >> flooding and landslides that killed at least 33 people in northeast india. heavy rain has caused rivers to overflow. more than 1 million people have had to flee their homes. authorities have sounded the alarm for the region. thousands of villages have been evacuated. >> chinese surveillance boats had sailed close to the islands in the east china sea claimed by both china and japan. tension has risen since tokyo bought the islands earlier this month from their private japanese owner. beijing now says it plans to conduct surveillance in the area, using unmanned drones.
>> in ad is about, the president of -- in addis ababa, the presidents of sudan and south sudan have been trying to reach an agreement on border security. south sudan would be allowed to resume exports of its oil through sudan. here in germany, the outlook for europe's largest economy has darkened with the closely watched ifo index falling for the fifth time in a row. >> it it gauges out germany's top business managers view the economic perspective for the next six months. experts had expected an improvement. >> the economic crisis and tough austerity measures in the southern eurozone member states such as spain, portugal, greece, and italy, as well as slowing growth in china and other emerging markets are leaving their mark on german businesses.
exporters and manufacturers are worried. the 7000 companies surveyed are not just worried about the current climate. they are also increasingly pessimistic about the future. >> expectations are clearly down and we do not see any impetus for a turnaround. >> some economists fear the overall lack of confidence is a sign of a looming recession. in the bundesbank's's monthly report, the german central bank rights that it is convinced that the economy is not heading for a downturn, even though growth is slowing. >> on to the markets, the ifo reading combined with profit- taking, prompting investors to sell. our correspondent sent us this summary from frankfurt. >> the week of -- the weaker- than-expected reading of the
ifo index dragged down the week. shares dropped. not many thought that the index would drop -- would bottom out. now they think the german economy will face some difficulties in the near future. there have been many rumors and speculation that the euro area members could leverage the rescue fund, esm, to 2 trillion euros. germany's finance inister said this would not be very realistic. on the other hand, the euro has been weakened by these rumors. >> the dax fell by one half of 1% to finish at 7413. euro stoxx 50 was down by 3/4 of 1%. the dow is trading slightly higher, 13,586 points.
the euro is trading at about you of 1.2930. -- at a value of 1.2930. >> another big discussion is the pros and cons of genetically- modified food. proponents say it can help eliminate allergies or grow food stricken by drought. >> others argue that gm crops and foods can have a very harmful effects on the human body, including causing cancer. >> this rat is riddled with cancer allegedly caused by genetically-modified corn feed developed by the biotech giant monsanto. french scientists say their research proves dell inc.. eu agricultural ministers gave a cautious -- approves dell inc. -- french scientists say their research proves the link. the u.s. agricultural ministers gave a cautious reply. -- the eu agricultural
ministers gave a cautious reply. although the issue was not on the agricultural -- not on the agenda, it has once again highlighted differences over how the eu deals with the cultivation and import of fm crops. -- gm crops. some countries want to reopen the debate. >> it must be possible for a nation or government to say we do not want genetically- modified ackermann to because our people do not want it. this study -- genetically- modified agriculture because our people do not want it. >> the corn can be imported as food ingredients, yet another example of how complicated this debate has become. >> portugal's government says it is considering new income tax increases to meet debt reduction targets. the new proposal follows serious
resistance to an earlier proposal to raise workers' social security compensation -- contributions while raising taxes. >> they shattered the broad consensus around austerity measures enacted in return for last year's bailout. >> the portuguese price -- the portuguese prime minister met with business representatives to seek a new solution. union opposition to his plan has been especially fierce. >> we hope to highlight of printed solutions. -- highlight alternative solutions. the people who foot the bill and make the sacrifice are sick of the austerity measures. it is time to start spending again. >> the government plans to increase employees' social contributions from 11% to 18% while sinking taxes for corporations. he has proposed further tax hikes to bring badly needed cash into state coffers.
>> welcome back. drones -- the aircraft that have proved so lethal in pakistan and afghanistan -- are now being touted as crucial to protecting deployed bundeswehr troops. >> plans are gaining support from those who want more independence from u.s. military technology. here is a closer look at how they actually work. >> the unmanned drone looks like a giant insect. it uses satellite navigation and can stay in the air for up to 40 hours. it can recognize small objects
from an altitude of 2,200 kilometers. its infrared cameras detect heat. its radar sees through clouds and sandstorms. the pilot can be thousands of kilometers away. it flies -- they can fly it with a joystick, as if playing a video game. the predator drone is used for combat. since 2007, the predator has carried out attacks in afghanistan, pakistan, and iraq. their video cameras can watch over entire towns. they can read a car's number plate from a kilometer away. the combat drones' carry missiles and other munitions capable of tracking and striking moving targets. >> let's get some more background to this story. for that, i am joined by our
political correspondent, peter craven. tell us why military drums are such a topic of discussion suddenly in germany -- military drones are such a topic of discussion suddenly in germany. the mother is a small fleet of drones, primarily for reconnaissance -- >> there is a small fleet of drones, primarily for reconnaissance. there is a group of voices calling for the german army to be equipped with armed drones, which would allow the book is where to better protect its men and women -- the bundeswehr to better protect its men and women in combat zones. there are others who say, look how these work. we know these are used for precision targets on the ground, like insurgents and terrorists. there is collateral damage. civilians are killed. these operations are triggered
by pressing a button sometimes hundreds of kilometers away, maybe more. they talk about terms like moral hazard or lack of moral accountability. >> we know that the browns have been used and supplied by united states -- we know that the drones have been used and supplied by the united states. who would be manufacturing them for germany? >> there could be some from israel. they could be imported from the u.s., but there are some that say that would make germany too dependent on the u.s. germany has signed a declaration of intent to manufacture its own drones, but it does not look like they will get into the sky until 2020 at the earliest. it appears that germany is willing to invest as much as half a billion euros in this project. >> peter craven, thank you.
>> support in to pass sentence to 14 islamist militants -- courts in egypt have sentence 14 islamist militants to death. this -- they have been grouped since hosni mubarak -- they have been gripped by tension since hosni mubarak was toppled from power over a year ago. >> the extreme is and in that area is growing. -- the extremism in the area is growing. >> they hold their water for hours. it si contaminated -- it is contaminated. the government in cairo has done nothing to improve the water supply. the bedouins say they feel like second-class citizens.
he claims that, with enough water, this could be a verdant countryside. the plants would grow, he says, not whether. of the 75 great plans he has planted, only 0 have survived -- not wither. of the 75 grape plants he has planted, only 10 have survived. in the power vacuum left by hosni mubarak's ouster, source -- soldiers have been coming under attack. suspected militants overran a border checkpoint and killed 16 egyptian soldiers. egypt swiftly retaliated, targeting extremists. bedouins are not believed to be among them. the government sent a clear signal by sending tanks into the region. the northern sinai is a powder keg.
we find a man who claims to have witnessed the attack. >> they wore masks and were heavily armed. there were not from here. they were bigger than the people from the sinai -- and they were not from here. they were bigger than the people from the sinai. >> it is estimated at 1600 islamist militants lived in the sinai. egypt is hunting them down. carotenes are not welcome. assign a terrorist activity -- camera teams are not welcome. a sign of terrorist activity. the residents were apparently lawmakers. -- bombmakers. >> they made tnt or something like it. the soldiers shelled the hut. two terrorists died. >> the bedouins feel they are being marginalized. discontent is growing.
>> i have 10 sons. they are all unemployed. they did well in school and some have a university education, but what can they do? >> the potential radicalization of the bedouins and the volatile border with israel make for an explosive combination. in a frequent sign of protest from a gas pipelines are -- signed a protest, gas pipelines are set alight. the barren lands of north sinai have become a fertile breeding ground for extremism. >> back to germany now. one of the main reasons germany has managed to avoid the worst of the eurozone debt crisis is that it has actually adhered to the fiscal discipline it has been preaching to other more troubled economies. reforming benefit programs has been central to its economic program. >> the biggest reforms haven't
of cutbacks to pensions and increasing -- have involved cutbacks to pensions and increasing the retirement age from 65 to to 67. the ong the retirement age from 65 to 67. the ongoing drop in the birthrate is causing problems. >> there are divided over how to repair germany's pension system -- they are divided over how to repair germany's pension system. many retirees are struggling to make ends meet. benefits are not keeping up with rising costs. they want to attack the problem head on. party leader -- this party leader blames stagnating wages for weakness in the pension system. >> to address the problem of poverty among the elderly, we must first tackle the problem of low wages. the first step toward setting up a more secure social net for retirees is a well-paid work force. >> he argues that anyone who
pays into the pension system for 45 years should be able to retire without deductions, regardless of age. the party's left wing says that would be unfair to mothers who spent years at home and to those who spent years studying and therefore did not contribute for the full 45 years it. it is a tricky issue. money is tight. the social democrats hope to decide on a platform by november. >> time for some entertainment news. america's multibillion-dollar tv industry has held its annual awards ceremony to show pieces its best productions. it was the 64th edition of the emmy awards. >> the biggest winner of the night was the series "homeland." it took home a slew of accolades. >> the post-9/11 psychological thriller pick up all of the top drama awards, including best
drama, best writing, best actress, best actor. >> hello. i am damian lewis, -- damien lewis, one of those pesky brits. i don't really believe in judging art, but i thought i would show up just in case. [laughter] >> claire danes! [applause] >> our all-star team of writers, especially, for taking the drama to the very brink and just a little bit beyond, and subverting our expectations in the most masterful way. >> u.s. politics also featured highly in the tv movie category. "game change" won numerous awards and gave its star her first emmy. >> i feel so validated.
sarah palin gave me a big thumbs down. [applause] >> best actor in a tv movie went to kevin costner. it was also his first emmy award. >> "modern family." >> the show about an eclectic group of relatives continued its reign as best comedy series, winning the category for the third year running. >> we will be getting those shows in about a year's time, dubbed in german, if we're lucky. thanks for joining us.
welcome to "newsline." . it's tuesday, september 25th. japan coast guard officers are raising a red flag about an issue they are facing at sea. they say fishing boats and patrol vessels are floating outside japanese territory waters off the senkakus islands. coast guard spokesperson say officers spotted between