>> welcome to the "journal" on dw-tv. i'm anne o'donnell. >> and i'm ariane de hoog. here are our top story this hour. strong criticism from the u.s. and europe over israel's plan to build new settlements. >> the german government comes under fire for the alleged plan to sell tanks to saudi arabia's
authoritarian rulers. >> happy birthday, sms. it is the 20th anniversary of the text message. >> israeli ambassadors have been summoned to various european capitals to face criticism over israel's plans to build homes in the west bank. the u.s. also slammed the mood as -- move as "especially damaging." >> israel's prime minister remains especially defiant. they announce the plans to build homes on friday in response to the plan to upgrade palestine to a non-member state. in the israeli ambassador -- >> israeli ambassador daniel taub. paris and berlin called in
israeli envoys to express their opposition. they say that israel is sending an negative message in the midst of national -- international peace efforts. >> israel is undermining competency -- confidence. >> israel says it will build 3000 settler homes in eastern jerusalem and the west bank. also plans to accelerate construction in the area known as e1. that would further isolate palestinians in east jerusalem from the rest of the west bank, and create another obstacle to hopes for a palestinian state with jerusalem as its capital. numerous european nations have criticized israel's plans. eu foreign ministers will discuss the bloc's reaction at a meeting next week. >> we cross over to our
correspondent in jerusalem. should binyamin netanyahu be worried about this diplomatic outrage? >> we do not see much of worrying here. the israeli government does not seem impressed by the diplomatic pressure from the eu and from the u.s. the reaction so far was that there would be no backtracking. according to an official from the prime minister's office, he said there would be no change in the decision that was made. israel argues that they have the right to respond to the move by the palestinians last week at the un. it is quite an unprecedented move for the u.k. and other european states to some and israeli ambassadors to try to -- to summon israeli ambassadors to try to pressure them. it is always easier for them to maneuver around it.
i think it will be interesting to see if crime and not -- prime minister erdogan yahoo! will be -- it will be interesting to see what prime minister netanyahu has to say in the coming days. >> what is israel planning to build on? >> this is a very significant area we are talking about. it is an area east of jerusalem, it collects -- the next a large settlement to jerusalem. it would cut off east jerusalem from the west bank. it would make it impossible to have a connection between east jerusalem and the west bank. this has been married controversial, -- the e1 area has been very controversial. there is a red line for the international community that has been crossed, which is why we are seeing those strong reactions.
>> thank you for that. in that egypt top judges have agreed to -- >> egypt's top judges have agreed to oversee a referendum. this comes a day after they said it would boycott a referendum. >> president mohamed morsi granted himself sweeping powers. that prompted some judges to call for an indefinite strike. >> germany is reported to be considering the export of tanks and armored vehicles to saudi arabia, a country which is already -- has already used its weapons to put down a popular uprising in the country neighboring. >> they say that hundreds of boxer armoured patrol vehicles -- should the deal goes through, it would make the government an accomplice to islamist extremists, some said.
>> saudi arabia is reportedly looking to purchase several hundred of these boxer armoured patrol vehicles. "der spiegel" magazine says this was discussed last week at a meeting. a government spokesman declined to comment. >> confidentiality protect interest of potential buyers, as well as our relations with such countries. many requests are turned down. even if they are proved, they often do not ultimately lead to a deal. >> the blonde is where -- the bundeswehr currently uses the boxer as a transporter. it could be used to crush popular uprisings. germany's opposition is concerned that the saudi royal family, which rules the country as an absolute monarchy, could use the vehicle against its own people and opposes any deal. >> the guidelines on german arms exports forbids sales to regions
which disregard human rights, so saudi arabia does not qualify as a partner for arms deals. >> miss merkel conducts foreign policy holding a weapon in her hands. >> the government takes a different view. the defense minister argued that exports to saudi arabia could help stabilize the situation in the middle east. we spoke to a defense analyst. i asked him how likely it is that saudi arabia could use these german tanks to put down uprisings and crush dissent. >> the boxer tanks which are discussed today are an armored vehicle used for transport purposes, not so much for riot control. it is a german-dutch corp. project. it is used mainly for the transportation to protect
against insurgents in afghanistan. it is not designed so much for riot control or to control insurgencies, but more to protect the forces of germany and other countries in the field. >> the opposition is accusing the government of flouting court -- german guidelines. is that fair to say? >> the current policy guidelines for arms export in germany go back to the red green government a couple years ago. the current government is more or less responsible for the current guidelines. there is room for improvement. one of the points is that the arms export report is published one year after the actual decisions about certain exports. that can be accelerated. >> merkel says the strategy will
stabilize those encompassed in the middle east. what is your assessment? >> -- those zones in conflict in the middle east. what is your assessment? >> to be fair, we have to keep in mind that the german governments deliver weapons on purpose in certain regions, for example in the afghan, to the afghan security force. >> thank you for talking to us. >> my pleasure. >> russian president vladimir putin has discussed the syrian conflict with turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan. the two leaders have often been at loggerheads over the fighting in syria. russia is one of damascus' key allies and turkey is one of its most vocal critics.
>> just before the talk, shells landed in a syrian border town. in germany, chancellor angela merkel's christian democrats have begun meeting in hanover for a party conference looking ahead to next year's elections. >> merkel's party has been grappling with consensus -- contentious issues, including whether to give same-sex part ners the same privileges which married couples enjoy. and to reelect chancellor kohl as the next party chairman -- chancellor merkel as the party chair. what is in store for this congress? >> something like a coronation. angela merkel is expected to be
announced as the candidate, with the -- with something like you expect to see in the chinese congress. she is expected to receive 90% backing or more. she remains germany's most popular politician. there are no rivals insight within the party. she is the undisputed leader of the cdu. you might even say she is the cdu's main message that begins -- and at the meeting that begins tomorrow -- cdu's main message at a meeting that begins tomorrow. >> are there any controversies? >> same-sex partnerships, the question of whether there should be a mandatory quotas for women on the boards of major corporations. the party program is relatively short on content. therefore, it is relatively
short on controversy. there is an underlying question with some of the themes, like the ones i just mentioned, about just how modern the christian democrats truly want to be. beyond that, relatively low. >> the think it will be smooth sailing all the way to the next elections -- do you think it will be smooth sailing all the way to the next elections? >> just because the euro crisis is not on the agenda does not mean it cannot royal the waters -- roil the waters. there is also the very crucial question of who the next coalition partner will be, if it wins a large share of the vote in september. the current junior coalition partner, the free democrats, are looking quite weak, possibly might not make it into the next parliament. that would leave the cdu looking around for the next order. that could provoke real
controversy. >> thank you very much. >> the doha climate talks. to have reached -- talks appear to have reached the boiling point. >> they are failing to find common ground at this u.n. conference. delegates in to seal an intern -- delegates came to seal an interim pact. >> environmental groups holding a silent protest at the conference. after a week of talks, there has been little progress. the kyoto protocol expires at the end of the year. the question now is whether or not it will be extended and which countries sign up. another issue is how much more money developing countries should get to help them deal with the effects of climate change. in the coming days, it will be up to environment ministers to thrash out these and other points.
>> certain points can only be resolved by the ministers themselves. providing financial support to poorer countries, for example. how much are we willing to do by 2020 to protect the environment? >> scientists say climate change is happening much faster than previously thought. the evidence, such as spermatic pmelting of -- the dramatic melting of sea ice, is mounting. >> the eu is at itswhen we had n board, supporting the same goal. we need to keep at it. >> officials are now making the final preparations before the ministerial-level talks begin. critics say too much time has been wasted. now the pressure is on for leaders to take a more cooperative approach. in a prince william and his wife, the duchess of cambridge, are expecting a baby. that is, better known as kate middleton.
pimm she was admitted to hospital with acute morning sickness -- and she was admitted to hospital with a cute morning sickness. the news comes 20 months after the royal couple got married. the baby will be third in line to the british throne, after prince charles and prince william. >> they cannot even sneeze and it makes news. we will be back in just a moment with a daring new plan to save greece.
>> welcome back. greece has announced a plan to buy back bonds as part of its effort to reduce its debt load. >> the success of the plan is essential to unlocking the next payment of eight athens, but it is still uncertain whether it will work -- of aid to a thens, but it is still uncertain whether it will work.
>> german finance minister wolfgang schaeuble and his french counterpart, pierre moscovici, went in front of parliament. >> things have to move fast. there is no reason to worry. the calculations are realistic. i hope it works. >> there is no plan b. >> the finance ministers brushoff warnings that the programs might not reduce greek debt enough. spain has formally asked for almost 40 billion euros in aid for its troubled banking sector. >> a strong indication that we have been successful in stabilizing the eurozone. spain now leads -- need less than originally assumed. the situation has improved. >> another trouble spot is cyprus. the country needs a bailout of between 10 billion euros and 17
billion euros. officials are waiting for our report on the island's banks. >> we now turn to our brussels correspondent. can you give us more details on how the buyback plan came about? >> the buyback program is supposed to help greece reduce its debt within a short period of time. that is a vital condition for the next tranche of funds that greece needs can be paid out. they gave the green light last week to pay out the money. they said they needed to have the greek debt burden reduced. the country is now trying to do that. it has put 20 bonds out on the market earlier this year. it is offering to buy them back at a very attractive price for investors. if that is successful, then international lenders can pay out some 35 billion euros next
week. >> a luxembourg finance minister has said there is no plan b. what if the greek that is not reduced enough -- greek debt is not reduced enough? >> there will be a big problem with the imf. head of the imf, christine lagarde, has been insisting on a sustainable that level for greece -- sustainable debt level for greece. your of the program is not an option. everybody here is -- failure of the program is not an option. everybody here is saying the program will succeed. >> thanks for that update. athens is going for a bond swap to cut some 20 billion euros off of its debt load. we talk about how that went down on the frankfurt stock exchange. >> the buyback offer, which the
greek government made to private investors, it is much better than the market price of these government bonds was during the last few weeks. that is why many in the markets believe that maybe investors will accept to take part of this deal. the overall movement on the stock trading floor monday was a bit mixed, not so good economic data from the united states came in. on the other hand, chinese economic data looked quite good. it indicates that the economy in china is expanding again. that means that german companies can hope for new orders from china again, and the markets here can hope for new chinese money to be invested soon into german assets. >> let's take a quick look at some market numbers. the dax ended the day almost 1/2 of 1% up. the euro stoxx 50 closed up at 2582. the dow jones is currently going down about 1/4 of 1%.
the euro is trading $1.3660. we turn our attention to syria, where the human cost of the civil war is not limited to loss and destruction inside the country. some half a million summer -- syrians are refugees in neighboring countries. >> for those studying abroad in europe, the anxiety about the safety of their loved ones can beat all consuming -- can be all-consuming. >> this man is torn between remaining where he is and returning to war-ravaged syria. he has been studying medicine in germany for five years and is now doing his residency. he is having trouble concentrating on his professional career. his family can no longer support him financially. that means he spends long hours at the hospital perform
ultrasound, x-rays, and supervising therapy. he also has a part-time job on the side. it is an exhausting routine that leaves little time for anything else. >> when i finally get home, i just want to lay down and do nothing. but that is also difficult. i watched the news -- i watch the news. i try to contact my parents to make sure they are still alive. >> hthis group is well aware of the concerns. they look after foreign students at the university. >> the major problem is financing their living expenses, but there is also the psychological burden that often hinders their studies.
>> the german academic exchange service involves -- seeks to provide aid with support from the foreign ministry, but their budget of 1.5 million euros is almost used up. the program expires in february. >> the interior and foreign ministries are working together on a viable solution. they will provide serious students with the right of residency status. they could then apply for federal financial aid, including student loans. essentially, they would have access to the same benefits as german university students. he would like to finish his degree before returning home. most serious students will only consider returning wednesday assad regime is gone. they are raising awareness of the horrors occurring daily in syria. the students expressed their desire for democratic syria, with freedom of expression, like here in germany.
it is late when he finally returns home. his first task is to find out whether there has been violence in his hometown. facebook is his most vital and accurate source of information. online, he sees that a group of young people has attacked a memorial to the presidential family. >> war is being waged in syria. why isn't anything been done about it -- being done about it? why does intervention come so fast in other countries and a solution? nothing like that is forseen for syria in the near future. people say there will be peace, but i don't see it happening. >> he has considered volunteer work in the syrian refugee camps. on the worst days, he feels like throwing in the tall and returning home -- the towel and
returning home. >> who can imagine modern life without it? the text message. the sms, short-message service, is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. >> almost since its inception, it has been blamed for everything from destroying grammar and spelling to create a public hazard from walking texters. >> what is beyond debate is that it has made communication much faster. >> no matter where we are in the world, the sms message can always find us, as long as there is network coverage, that is. a blessing for some. for others, a curse. whether imported or trivial, the key is to keep it short. there is a limit of 160 characters. this software developer said the very first one across the world on december 3, 1992 -- sent the very first one across the world
on december 3, 1992. but it was not until the 10th anniversary of text messaging that i realized it was a big thing. here we are, 10 years later, and text messaging has gone on to even bigger and better things. >> sms messages are popular among top politicians. even the german chancellor angela merkel can sometimes be spotted reaching for her mobile phone. images from last march say it all. it was apparent here that she received the an sms from the then defense minister, tendering his resignation. the german chancellor is not the fastest texter. that awards go to someone from manchester in the united kingdom. she can write an sms message in just under 26 seconds -- 6 seconds. >> bet i could beat her. there is something nicer about
receiving a letter. >> a letter from napoleon has been auctioned off for about 187,000 euros. in it, napoleon boasts how he would blow up the kremlin in his campaign against russia in 1812. an essay by the emperor brought in a record 375,000 euros. >> some bundesliga soccer news. hoffenheim have parted ways with their coach, markus babbel. >> hoffenheim managed only one win in the last 10 games. they have had their worst season since their promotion to germany's top-flight four years ago. a trainer will take over as head coach until the mid-season bric starts later this month. >> you are watching the "journal" on dw. on'-- don't go away.