>> hello and welcome to the "journal" on dw. >> here's what's coming up in the next half hour -- >> in the u.s., president obama makes a last ditch attempt to find a budget compromise. >> in the angry and protests in the streets of regain rate. doctors warn the victim's condition is getting worse. >> and running the sydney yacht race for a sixth time. >> within the next hour, president barack obama is set to meet with top republicans to discuss the nation's looming fiscal clit. white house aides have indicated that obama will discuss measures
for avoiding the rest of the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that will bite if lawmakers fail to come up with a plan. >> pessimism remains the prevailing mood in washington as the january deadline rapidly approaches. neither democrats nor republicans have any new proposals for a workable compromise. >> the starbucks coffee chain has urged its workers in washington, d.c., area to write "come together" on the cups, a plea for party leaders to work out a compromise, but some customers say that is not enough. >> i mean, i like with starbucks is riding on the cups. i wish they would write, like, something else, like "republicans, stop being stupid." >> i think the solution will probably be neutered and not very effective, but ultimately, i think they will avoid the fiscal cliff. >> but neither side appears
willing to give in. democrats, for example, are frustrated that republicans will not agree to raise taxes on the wealthy. >> the majority of rich people in our great country are willing to pay more. the only people who disagree with that are republicans who work in this building. >> republicans say that democrats want to spend too much money. so, as much of the united states digs out from yet another series of snowstorms, many average citizens are asking themselves what it will take to get politicians in washington to stop squabbling and come up with a compromise that will help put america's fiscal house in order. >> are both parties determined to go over the fiscal cliff together? let's bring in our washington correspondent for more on this. what can you tell us about the meeting coming up in less than an hour? what will the president talking about with the republican leadership?
>> there are only six people who really know what is going on, and what will really happen at the white house, and they will not talk, but i expect them to talk about higher taxes for the wealthy. are the republicans willing to accept that? they will also talk about entitlement spending cuts. are the democrats willing to accept that the government will spend less money? if this is the case, then they might find common ground. one important issue, of course, is going to be the members of the tea party. they are saying compromise is a bad word. of course, it will be difficult for them to find a compromise, to bring them into the boat. >> we had the meeting today. we have the special session on sunday. do you expect a compromise, or are we going over the cliff? >> this is really difficult to predict, but i will look today
when they come out of the meeting weather they are willing to say, "well, we are looking forward to the next meeting." will they continue to talk? will they make jokes maybe? i think this might be an optimistic sign. if they come out and just say, "well, we are looking for a solution and the other side just do not want to compromise," then the blame game will start, and we probably will go over the fiscal cliff. >> thanks so much. >> the deadlock in washington has been weighing on investor sentiment today. in europe, it was the last trading day of the year, and what a year it has been. our correspondent has kept an eye on the trading floor all year for us. he sent us this report from the floor of the frankfurt stock exchange. >> the year has ended a very successful 2012, also for the
frankfurt exchange, which is why you see tables and chairs where there usually are not. there will be a celebration here shortly, and there is something to celebrate -- the dax performed to the tune of about 30%-plus this year, and many shares went up. only a few lag behind. the best shares almost doubled in value. when you look at the second tier, there were some that more than doubled in value. demand mostly responsible for that, according to -- the man most responsible for that according to everyone here is mario draghi. he promised the european central bank would do everything in its power to preserve the euro, and that really release energy and restored some confidence also for the bureau. in 2013, people see more share market. the dax could reach a new record highs. people do expect it to be a bumpy road again. the growth percentage-wise
probably not quite as big as it was this year. >> let's take a look at the numbers now on the last day of trading in frankfurt. the dax ended the day just over 0.5% down. euro stoxx 50 lost more ground than that. as for the dow over in new york, it is down 0.6%. the euro shedding just a little bit of ground against the dollar. >> in other news now, the united states says it deeply regrets the passage of a new law in russia that bars american citizens from adopting russian children. president vladimir putin has signed the law, which places new strains on bilateral relations. >> the new law comes in response to american legislation that withholds visas to russians accused of human rights violations and freezes their u.s. assets. >> most bills signed by president putin have not been subjected to so much public scrutiny, but the ban on
americans adopting russian children is controversial, so putin's strategy is to appeal to russian patriotism. >> as far as i know from opinion polls, the vast majority of russian citizens have a negative opinion of foreigners adopting our children. russia can and must look after its own children. >> at the same time, a russian judge acquitted a former prison doctor. human rights activists say he is responsible for the death of a russian lawyer in 2009. the lawyer was imprisoned after accusing russian officials of the $230 million tax fraud. since his death, relations beween the u.s. and russia have increasingly soured, culminating in the adoption van --over 700,n
children will suffer from the band. they are often raised in orphanages. for most of the children so far adopted by americans, it was the chance of their lives, but the legislators who support the law defended their decision. >> yes, this may be a step towards cold war, but this is about respect for our country. >> the bill also bans political organizations that receive funding from u.s. sources. human rights groups will be the worst affected. >> russia's foreign minister says moscow has invited the main syrian opposition coalition to talks. >> meeting with his egyptian counterpart, the russian foreign minister called on the syrian opposition to meet with the syrian president's government to end the 20-month civil war. the opposition says it will not negotiate with the assad government. this comes one day before the united nations special envoy is
expected in moscow. >> the condition of an indian medical student whose gang rape triggered mass protests has deteriorated. doctors treating her in singapore say there are signs now of organ failure. >> most rates and other sex crimes in india go unreported and offenders are rarely punished, but the brutality of this assault has triggered public outrage and demands for both better policing and harsher punishment for rapists. >> now, another new rate case that led to suicide has underscored further the need for action -- another new rape case. >> this woman is mourning the loss of her daughter. six weeks after being gang raped in her village in india, the 17-year-old girl succumbed to her despair and took her own life. her suicide note lists the names of the four perpetrators. for weeks, local police would not register the case. instead, they tried to force a
settlement between the rapists and the girl's family. >> for almost 14 days, no action was taken in this case. no case was registered. neither was any arrests made. attempts were also made to hush up the case by arriving at a compromise. it went through two further departments before it reached us, and in the process, nothing happened. >> it is a sad reminder of a society that has turned a blind eye to sexual violence for years. it% of the victims are women. another gang rape, this time of a 23-year-old woman in delhi, has triggered a wave of protests and forced the prime minister to hold an inquiry. he is promising laws to protect women and to crack down on sex crimes. in the meantime, the rapists of the 17-year-old in northern
india have finally been arrested. >> will the indian government's announcement of stiffer penalties for rapists address the mounting public anger? we put that question "the guardian" newspaper's correspondent in delhi. damage to the extent -- to extend, it is what they have been asking for. some demonstrators are calling for the death penalty for rapists. others have been calling for greater measures of security. but one of the problems is that in india, you often get this cycle whereby you have a crisis, you have an incident, you have public outrage, the government announces a wave of measures, and they're just is not a mechanism there to try to implement -- there just is not a mechanism to try to implement what the government promised. we have seen this before. there are other problems, which is the attitude to rape among
government figures, among the authority figures, and among society at large. >> afghan war victims have filed a class action suit against germany in a court in the western city of bonn. >> those claims are related to an air strike ordered by a german officer in northern afghanistan in 2009, which killed 90 civilians. germany had given some compensation to the victims' families without admitting responsibility. >> lawyers representing survivors of the air strike are demanding higher compensation -- more than 3 million euros in total. they complain the settlements arrived at immediately following the attack were too small. as far as the german government is concerned, the case is closed. >> 5000 u.s. dollars was paid in over 90 instances. this money was transferred to an
account in afghanistan. the account was specifically designed to compensate these families. >> on september 4, 2009, a u.s. f-15 fighter jets bombed two fuel tankers, killing more than 90 civilians. a german officer called in the air strike based on faulty intelligence. the political repercussions were extensive. the german defense minister at the time was forced to step down for his handling of the affair. >> coming up later in the program, a look at how the eurozone crisis is making life miserable for greece's rural population. >> but first, here are some other stories making headlines. thousands of sunni muslims are continuing their protests against the iraqi government, demanding the resignation of the prime minister, accusing him of sectarian politics. that's after bodyguards of the
sunni finance minister were arrested on terrorism charges last week. >> the president of the central african republic has appealed to france and the u.s. for help against a rebel coalition that has vowed to topple his government. france has declined to intervene against the rebels who have already taken several towns and are now advancing on the capital. >> heavy snow has paralyzed large parts of eastern canada. in montreal, traffic came to a virtual standstill. police are telling people to stay at home, as some areas are expected to receive almost half a year of additional snow. well, we are going to a short break. after we come back, we will look at europe's crisis year 2012. >> we will find out how it will be a year to forget for one of germany's top swimmers.
>> welcome back. in just three days' time, we will be seeing up the old year and welcoming in the new, but before that, we will be taking the chance to reflect on some of the main events of the task 12 months. >> in europe, it was all about the debt crisis. greece and spain were the worst hit. >> eventually, it was the european central bank's controversial bond-buying program that manage to come down the markets -- calm down the markets. >> germany's finance minister says he thinks the worst is behind us. is he right? >> the wildfires in 2012 were the worst spain had experienced in years, but it was not the only disaster the country had to deal with. the financial sector was also in flames. right from the beginning of the year, it was clear that the eurozone had a tough time ahead. credit rating agencies handed
out significant downgrades to spain and portugal in particular. europe's firefighting coalition of finance ministers hoped a fiscal pact with tight budgetary controls and national debt breaks would need future crises in the bud, but some economists were more realistic. >> the fiscal pact was basically superfluous. we already knew that all the countries were trying to cut back. weather or not they continue making cuts in 2018, which is what the fiscal pact promise, is of little interest to the markets. >> agrees also posed a challenge to the eu finance ministers, who approved a 130 billion you're out -- billion euro bailout -- greece also posed a challenge to
the eu finance ministers, who approved a 130 billion euro fail appeared more and more, the focus on firewall plans for 2013, releasing 800 billion euros in october, but that attempt to extinguish the problem came too late for the spanish financial markets. one bank sounded alarm in may. it was nationalized and needed funds to survive. other banks went through similar problems. risk premiums for spain rose until the end of july, so european finance ministers agreed on a new mode of attack -- on july 20, they announced a 100 billion euro bailout to calm spain's blazing financial sector. over the summer, a new idea developed to prevent such disasters in future -- to set up a common bank supervisor in frankfurt. the plan was endorsed just before christmas. >> no one knows what shape it
will take, but there's a promise our financial system will become more stable, which is keeping the markets stable today. >> in september, the european central bank director, mario draghi, announced plans to cut the borrowing costs of debt- burdened eurozone countries by buying the bonds. the financial markets were appeased. >> the financial markets' biggest headache was that the eurozone would collapse, and the only one who could prevent this was mario draghi. >> europe's politicians seemed quite satisfied at the end of the year. >> we have a long-term vision for our union. >> the euro is an important measure of this vision. it is still around, and it is worth almost as much as it was at the beginning of the year, but the eu faces problems in 2013 as well -- a new election in italy could put silvio berlusconi back in power, and
france's francois hollande has to tackle urgent issues at home, so there is plenty of work for europ's firefighters next year. >> the past year, we have often brought you images of very angry protests in greece that were mostly against the harsh austerity measures imposed by the government in return for a bailout funds from lenders. >> without this, greece would certainly have gone bankrupt, but it still a long way from clear that the bailout and the reforms they are tied to will get the economy back on the road to recovery. >> meanwhile, the suffering continues for the greek people. the situation is especially dire in rural villages. >> we are on our way to a village on the border with bulgaria. most of the village's 500 inhabitants are muslim -- a minority in the orthodox christian country. the village also claims the dubious distinction of being the poorest village in greece, with
an average income of roughly 6000 euros a year. >> everything is being cut. i am getting 50 euros less. my wife is getting something now, so i only get 440 euros. >> tobacco is the main crop year, but next year, subsidies are to be cut. this man says he has only 2000 euros left a year, and petrol now costs three times as much as before. >> money? what money? 1 kilo of this cost me two euros and 50 cents for pesticides and fuel, and we only get four euros for a -- it. >> the mayor says unemployment is also high in the nearest city. >> we've had problems with heating in recent years in our schools and in our community hall, but particularly in schools.
>> overall, there are just 57 school children here and in the neighboring villages. most of the other residents are pensioners. the population has shrunk as people have left to seek better fortune elsewhere. >> the children have gone to the netherlands. there's no work here. >> the problem is our fields are too small. we cannot plant anything else other than tobacco, like wheat. >> but all the villages are glad for one thing -- they have enough wood and water to keep in through the winter. they hope that next year, the eu will be able to help them out. >> it may have been a big year of crisis in the eurozone, but it was a big year of sports as well with the olympics in london this summer. >> the record holder in the 400 meter freestyle had the big dream to win the olympic medal this year, but it was not to be.
then it defeats can break you or make you stronger -- >> defeats can break you or make you stronger. he has made up his mind to ford, even if this year's olympic games are still a sore point. >> i still cannot watch it. when i think that, i mainly feel disappointment that i did not achieve what i was aiming for, what i was capable of, that i was held back somehow. i had hoped to swim my best possible rates, and i blame myself for not achieving that. >> london was supposed to be the high point of biedermann's year, even his career, but others took home the medal, and paul biedermann was left with the bitter taste of defeat. >> it is hard. you have looked forward to it so
much. you put so much into it. now it is back to everyday life and another three and a half years before the olympic magic is back. i found it hard to start training again. >> but he soon recovered his bike -- bite, the willingness to test himself against the best, and he bounced back at the short course world championships in december. since he has moved in with his girlfriend, the two are trained together. paul biedermann at least in sure he wants to be on the starting blocks at the next olympics. >> my goal is definitely to start in rio in 2016. that is my wish. i hope my condition will allow it. >> by then, he will have just turned 30, almost certainly making 2016 his last chance to go for olympic gold. >> to the world of sailing now, and wild oats 11 has been celebrating its sixth win.
>> next year, they are hoping to equal another record, but for now, they are just happy to bask in a very hard-1 victory -- hard-won victory. >> it was a picture-perfect end to a dramatic race. wild oats improved on its record time as the skipper and his crew cruise across the finish line 50 nautical miles ahead of the competition. it was a slick victory in australia's prestigious sydney to hobart yacht race. >> pretty bumpy conditions is always dangerous, but everybody's looking out for each other's back, and that is what it is all about. >> the wild oats will not waste much time soaking up their victory. next year, they will get a
chance to tie the record of seven victories in the grueling race. >> a german-american aerospace engineer has died of a sudden illness at the age of 79. he emigrated to the u.s. in 1962 when he began his long career at nasa. he was later hailed as an institution at the agency. he received numerous awards for his work on the apollo program, skylab, and the space shuttle, and he even served as an adviser for the "star trek" films. >> finally, it is that time of year in germany when the city streets start getting very loud at night. >> extremely loud. fireworks have gone on sale across the country, which means long lines immediately formed in front of fireworks factories where consumers can get better prices than they can in regular retail outlets. last year, germans shot of some 110 million euros worth of
rockets, fire kravitz, and other pyrotechnics to ring in the new year -- of rockets, firecrackers and other pyrotechnics. >> it has started already in the street just outside deutsche welle. i heard the banks just before we came on -- i heard the bangs. >> and you will hear a lot more. thanks so much for your company. >> stay with us. we will have more news for you in 30 minutes time. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--