>> this is the "journal," coming to you live from dw in berlin. >> in syria, an air strike on a gas station claims dozens of civilian lives. >> the house of representatives averts a fiscal showdown for now. >> more strong numbers from the german jobs market. more people are in work than ever before. we start in syria or the ongoing conflict has taken another dramatic turn for the worse -- where the ongoing conflict has taken another dramatic turn for the worse.
>> government warplanes bombed a gas station in a suburb controlled by rebels. >> there are conflicting statements about the exact figures. syrian activists say at least 50 people have been killed. >> this on verified video is said to show what was once -- this unverified video is said to show what was once a petrol station. eyewitnesses said that petrol had been delivered shortly before the explosion. drivers had lined up to refill their tanks. lines were long because of the fuel shortage. rockets were fired after the air raid. no verifiable death toll is available. the syrian government has blocked international journalists from most of the area. the assad regime has been relying increasingly on its air force. opposition forces attacked a military airport in the north of the country on wednesday.
the u.n. now says that over 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict. about 15,000 more than previously thought. >> i think the number is very striking in that it is more than anyone really thought. of course, we have all seen the pictures of devastated cities, aleppo, homs, damascus, so it should not be a surprise, but it does underline the failure of the international community, including of the un, to stop this conflict. >> the united nations has expressed concern that the rising toll of atrocities committed by both the government and rebel -- concern at the rising toll of atrocities committed by both the government and rebel forces. >> the u.s. has narrowly avoided economic meltdown. they have passed a deal to prevent huge tax heights -- hikes and spending cuts.
under the current agreement, taxes will rise four american households making nearly half a million dollars, -- will rise for american households making nearly half a million dollars. talks on deep spending cuts have been delayed for almost two months. >> the u.s. pulled back from the dreaded cliff. 257 representatives voted for the deal. 167, most republican, voted against. a short time later, president obama stepped before the press. at his side, vice president joe biden. biden was instrumental in getting both sides to compromise. >> thanks to the votes of democrats and republicans in congress, i will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2% of americans while preventing
a middle-class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession and obviously could have had a severe impact on families all across america. >> the deadline that congress imposed on itself had already passed, but it did not cause any real harm because important ro financial markets remained closed on new year's day. automatic tax increases could have pushed u.s. back into economic recession -- pushed the u.s. back into economic recession. tax rates will go up for only those earning over $400,000. in herington is -- inheritances over $5 million will also be heavily taxed. president obama immediately left washington to rejoin his family in hawaii, but the next battle
is already in view. in the next two months, congress will need to raise the debt limit to allow treasury to borrow more money and it must agree on spending cuts to reduce the deficit. >> for more analysis, we are joined by our washington correspondent. lawmakers have voted what many -- have averted what many believe would have been an economic disaster. what is the public reaction? >> i think the vast majority of americans would like to see a little bit less trauma and maybe a little more willingness to compromise on a bipartisan -- drama and maybe a little more willing this to compromise on a bipartisan basis. >> how have the democrats and republicans responded? >> the no one really likes the deal -- >> it is interesting. no one really like the deal. when you talk to republicans, they say president obama has imposed his will on us.
we had to agree. this is very bad. he broke our party unity. some of the republicans passed the bill, others opposed it. it is very interesting when you talk to democrats. they do not like this compromise. they say that -- especially progressive democrats. they say that once president obama promise that everyone would have to pay higher taxes who was earning more than $250,000, but now it is more than $400,000, so he did not keep his promise. >> this was not the only deadline. what can we expect later this year? >> we will expect even more trauma -- drama. i think the next battle is going to be how to raise the debt ceiling. president obama said he is not willing to talk about that, he is not willing to compromise on that. i think this is wishful
thinking. he asked to do that because the congress has to agree on that and the republicans -- he has passed to do that -- he has to do that because the congress has to agree on that. >> to find out how global exchanges have responded, we will hear from frankfurt in a moment. first, this report on the first trading day of the year, starting in asia. fanfare for the start of the new trading year in south korea. analysts here are optimistic, despite the eurozone's continuing debt crisis and concerns about flat economic growth in developed countries. news that washington had sidestepped the fiscal cliff boosted markets across asia. >> people are very relieved this morning because the u.s. is very likely to fix their own problems in the next few days. >> the kospi index had a rise
of 1.7%. the hang seng climbed above 23,000 for the first time in more than a year-and-a-half. most analysts are still urging caution and say that many of the world's economic problems remain unsolved. >> 2013 is likely to be a year of high risks and high returns compared to the previous year. in the latter half of the year, stocks will rise due to a recovery in the developed world. >> stocks in the new york also made a strong debut in the first day of trading in the new year as investors showed relief about congress' last-bit effort -- last-ditch deal. the news triggered a worldwide market rally. it was a good day for traders in frankfurt. the dax got off to a flying
start. >> what an upbeat start to the new year here at the frankfurt exchange. people were not euphoric, but they were very much relieved that the result in washington. the politicians compromise over the so-called fiscal cliff question. there was a great relief over that. one could not have imagined what the outcome would would be, not only for the markets here, but also for the economy worldwide if the results had been different. people know that the next weeks will also be difficult with negotiants coming up over debt ceiling in the united states -- the negotiations coming up over the debt ceiling in the united states. but those thoughts are on the back burner over the joy of the moment. >> let's take a look at the joya dass numbers. equities worldwide joined in the rally -- at the joyous numbers.
equities worldwide joined in the rally. european shares hit a 20-month high. check out the euro stoxx 50. the dow jones is lapping up the attention. the euro is trading down at the moment. >> now to other news, portuguese -- the president of portugal has asked the country's constitutional court to review the government's disputed budget for this year. he said he was concerned about whether it fairly distributes the burdens of portugal's economic reforms. it includes tax increases and welfare cuts. he signed the budget, despite opposition. he said that was to avoid harming the country's economy. >> the economic exports and the chancellor have warned about of times ahead. when you look at the nation's unemployment, the picture looks pretty good.
>> 2012 ended with more people working than ever before, and that after six years of consecutive games. >> the number of people in worked in germany is higher than ever, despite soaring unemployment in many other european countries. new figures show a stable german job market. the number of employed has been rising steadily. in 2012, 41.5 million people were employed. there are signs that the trend will continue in 2013. according to a survey, medium- sized german businesses plan to create 150,000 new jobs over the next 12 months. but there is also a downside. increasing numbers have to survive on low wages. many in germany work at what are termed mini jobs, earning a maximum of 450 euros per month. >> there is a danger of solid work being replaced by in
significant amounts of employment. we see signs of that happening -- replaced by insignificant amounts of employment. we see signs of that happening. >> many are waiting and -- many waiting and cleaning positions are only offered on a one-job basis -- on a mini-job basis. even though it is clear that the wages are not enough to make ends meet. >> inflation clock in at a low 2% according to the federal statistics office. >> down from 2.3%. 1.6% inflation is expected this year and a mere 1.4% the next. venezuelas president hugo chávez is said to be fully conscious, but in a concept -- in a complex state after cancer surgery. the opposition has been urging
them to come clean about the president's health. >> he is due to be sworn in for his third six-year term as president on january 10. if he is not able to take office, new elections will have to be held within 30 days. >> vice president nicolas maduro is seeking to quash the rumors that chavez is near death. after visiting the hospital in have been that, he says the president has lots of energy -- in havana, he says the president has lots of energy and is aware of his condition. >> he is absolutely conscious of the complexity of his condition following the operation. and he expressly asked us to keep the public continually and truthfully informed. as difficult as that might be under the circumstances. >> three weeks ago, java's
underwent his fourth year of operation in cubac inhavez -- chavez underwent his fourth cancer operation in cuba. shortly before he left, he named vice president nicolas maduro as his successor. many in venezuela have been praying for chavez. as controversial as he is among the west and among the wealthy of venezuela, he enjoys much support. if he is incapacitated, the constitution calls for new elections. in that event, his supporters may try to delay the ceremony to buy time. >> we will be following this story for you on dw. back in a minute with a look at the big national election issue of funding and energy revolution -- funding an energy revolution.
>> welcome back. solar power is on the up here in germany. there are about 1.3 million installations across the country with enough capacity to power 8 million homes. >> is a 45% jump from 2011. -- it is a 45% jump from 2011. it is not all sunshine in the german solar industry. last year saw extreme bankruptcy's at firms that could not a meat -- extreme bankruptcies at firms that could not compete with china's. >> the nation is trying to ditch nuclear power and fossil fuels for renewal bulls like wind and solar.
all the main -- renewables like wind and solar. all the main political parties agree, but there are challenges. >> tens of billions of euros will have to be built -- spent on new power plants and grids. >> renewables 1/account 14 of energy -- renewables account for about 1/4 of energy production. the process could take decades. the economics minister and the environment minister are overseeing the transition away from nuclear power. >> we are determined as a government, coalition, and society to work together with the business sector to achieve this energy revolution. >> one key to its success is building new networks. in may of 2012, chancellor kohl
visited the grid operator -- chancellor merkel visited the grid operator. >> what is important is that we combine the expansion of renewable energy, transmission through the network, the security of power supplies, while maintaining the goal of affordability. >> most of the wind power is generated in the north. more and more wind farms are offshore. the energy has to be transported south words in order to support -- southwards in order to support industrial activity. >> my message to state leaders is that the transition will only succeed if there is a unified policy and if we come together on the goals and the speed of the transition. >> some citizens, such as those on the north sea, are on the
front line of the energy revolution. here, 170 residents are investing millions into 25 wind turbines. the energy they create can power 35,000 homes. the people are their own energy supplier. >> in a way, it is democratic energy production. we all have a say on what equipment use and what bank to use to finance it. >> experts say that, in 2013, more germans will start to generate their own electricity. >> people are getting involved. day care. that is a great thing, not only for energy production, but also for participation. >> but the costs of expanding wind and solar power are carried by consumers, and energy prices are on the rise. that's a hard sell in an election year. >> at the end of the day, the costs must be affordable for the
national economy and for individual citizens, businesses, tradespeople, and for the middle-class. >> if discontent over the cost grows, will politicians lose their will to push it through? >> the energy revolution cannot be reversed. there is broad consensus that phasing out nuclear while staying true to our environment responsibilities is the right thing to do. the dispute is whether or not the process is working well. >> energy is certain to be a big issue in the upcoming federal election, but the transition away from nuclear has the support of politicians, society, and, increasingly, business. >> the going out of business for some -- 500 custom officers --
customs officers will have to find new jobs. since 1888, hamburg has had a free enterprise and zone -- free enterprise zone. >> all goods were subject to separate customs checks. now the hamburg senate has voted to withdraw its privileged status. truck drivers picking up freight from the port can now drive straight in. for the first time in 124 years, the port is just like anywhere else in germany. >> for the german customs, the free port was always a bit of an unmonitored zone. i have worked here for 25 years. it is a bit sad. >> hamburg's free port was inaugurated in october, 1888.
it took years for the imperial government and the city to agree on a customs treaty. it gave local traders the rare privilege of not paying duty on the used -- goods they brought in. they could export them again without paying duty. independence day is had recently slowed things down -- in recent times, it independent status had recently slowed things down. >> it had become more of a hindrance than help. >> now the city authorities have more freedom to decide how to use the area to best serve 21st century needs. >> now to a store that shocked the german public in 2012 and continues -- to a story that shocked the german public in 2012 and continues to cause
skepticism about the organ-donor program. >> police have launched an investigation in leipzig. >> three doctors have been suspended for bumping patients up the transplant list. patients can wait for years to receive organs. critically-ill patients go to the top of the list. there were doctors who exaggerated patient records in order to improve their chances of receiving a new organ quickly. >> it is a very disturbing finding, one which i deeply regret. at the time, i had no doubt that we at the leipzig university clinic or following medical procedures correctly -- were following medical procedures correctly. >> more than 12,000 people are on the transplant list. about three people die every day.
organ donations went down in 2012. a german patients' rights group has demanded quick action to calm people's mistrust of the system. >> people are suspicious. they ask more questions than they used to. organ donations used to be simpler, more positive. today, people are more likely to ask whether everything is done correctly. >> allied signal's prosecutor's office is reviewing the case. -- like a -- leipzig's prosecutors' office is reviewing the case. >> the brothers grimm have celebrated their 200th anniversary. >> "cinderella" and "snow white" are just a few of the store is immortalized in the brothers grimm. they are finding new life in india. >> and he gobbled her up.
the woodcutter saved her. >> she is 4 years old and already familiar with the story of "little red riding hood and the big bad wolf." her mother runs a bookshop. she can read the fairy tales and the time she likes. >> the best thing is these stories do not talk down to you. they are introducing an idea. they take you on a beautiful journey and then they bring you back to the present. at the same time, you have learned so much without ever having felt you'd have been given a lecture. >> the stories are popular in india, which has a strong culture of storytelling, but they also have a darker side. >> they are also dark and sad. what they teach you is that you can sit in your bed and read the story in a safe place and know that life is also about up and down, good things happen and bad
things happen. as a child, you can learn that, just because it is bad does not mean you cannot be safe. >> [reading in germa >> f se schoolchildren, reading fatais part of learning german. toda this schl has invited a professor to join the class. he says that even though the stories are not easy to read in german, there -- they are still a good place to begin learning the language. >> they tell you about german culture. they let you experience of foreign culture. -- a foreign culture. folks stories are a good place to start before going on to read german literature. >> the professor has translated "little red riding hood" into hindi.
not many people know these stories are german, but he thinks they sound best in the original language. >> [reading in german] >> when he is finished -- when she is finished with "little red riding hood," there are countless other tales for her to dive into. >> lovely story. >> they were so scary, terrifying. but stay with us on dw. >> we will have an update later on. bye. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--