>> welcome to the "journal" coming to you live from dw in berlin. >> here's a look at what is coming up in the next half-hour -- venezuelan supreme court upholds a delay in swearing in hugo chavez. >> germany's catholic church halts its investigation into child abuse by priests. >> and is this the next big technology breakthrough? 3-d printers this cult objects. -- that sculpt objects.
>> venezuelas supreme court has upheld the indefinite delay of president hugo chavez's swearing in for a new term and said his present administration can continue operating. they made the statement amid a fierce debate between the government and opposition over weather the constitution requires the new president to be sworn in on thursday. >> until the new president can be sworn in, officials in the current administration will have the job of governing the country. the court ruled they could continue to fully exercise their functions under the principle of continuity of government. >> the supreme court announced the decision in an eagerly awaited tv broadcast. a constitutional row broke out after it became clear that the reelected president would be unable to attend. >> it is possible for the reelected president to take his
oath of office before the supreme court at a date later than january 10, 2013. if he is unable to do so on that date before the national assembly. that is compatible with the constitution. >> chavez has ruled venezuela as president since 1999, but the ailing politician has had to return to cuba several times for repeat cancer treatment. >> he can no longer be the president of the public, so there must be a new electoral process. >> four leading members of his socialist party, the president of's illness was never a reason to consider replacing him. >> the president is currently functioning as the republic's president, head of state, head of the government, so at no point in time has he been absent.
>> the constitutional court's decision gives chavez time to prove he will be fit to govern after his latest bout of treatment. >> for the very latest, let's go now live to our correspondent who joins us from the venezuelan capital. the supreme court has ruled that the inauguration can be delayed. how is the opposition responding to that decision? >> they have actually said it is completely unconstitutional. it was no surprise then that this decision was going to be made, given that most of the magistrates of the supreme court's are appointed by hugo chavez. seven of these judges were thrown out of court last month because they have responded to some of the opposition, so that as a little bit of what we are hearing. also that they a
formalize that the president is in a to a ruling from there. >> what about the rumors that hugo chavez is doing far more poorly than the government is letting on? >> a lot of rumors are circulating about that situation. that is why the next step is for the opposition to ask the supreme court to form a group of doctors to verify that. honda the president of the supreme court said it is not a possibility. they are not going to do that, and lack of information is leading to a lot of speculation about hugo chavez's health conditions. >> oscar, thank you for joining us. in germany, the country's roman catholic bishops have fired the criminologists studying the sexual abuse of minors by
priests, prompting him to accuse the church of trying to sensor his work. the independent investigation was meant to shed light on undiscovered cases of abuse after some 600 people filed claims against priests. >> the scandals in germany were part of a series of abuse charges that also shook the catholic church in ireland, belgium, and the netherlands, and force pope benedict to issue a public apology. german church officials say they are looking for another specialist to continue the study. >> the first regulation surfaced in early 2010. a catholic high school in berlin acknowledged that educators had abused students in the 1970's and 1980's. information about cases in other catholic institutions soon emerged. the church responded by hiring a respected investigator to document the full extent of the abuse. initially, a german church diocese offered cooperation, but that support soon faded.
>> first, there was resistance in munich. then in rig it's a bird. it became clear they wanted more control for the church. >> the investigator accuses the church of censorship,laing that officials want to contro th sdy's the chuh has spoken only of a brchf trt with the investigator. it says itl lo for a replacement to continue the project. >> the diocese has already -- always been ready to help with this kind of project. we have said we are prepared to cooperate. that has not changed. >> the german catholic church has always said it wants to know exactly how widespread the sexual abuse of minors was in its institution, but it appears this dispute could delay a final report by years. >> for the first time in the course of the syrian civil war, the two sides have treated prisoners on a large scale. the rebels have freed 48 iranian hostages. they arrived wednesday at a hotel in damascus.
the iranians were captured by rebels in august and accused of being members of iran's revolutionary guard. in exchange, the syrian government set free 2130 prisoners. >> for the latest on the situation inside syria, we are joined now in the studio by an opposition activist who has come to syria from berlin. he is from the city of aleppo. first off, what can you tell us about the situation in aleppo? who is in control? what is the humanitarian situation? >> it is winter. it is cold. there's no food, no heat, no gas for cooking. the humanitarian situation is really bad, and people have been suffering for a long time, and no one cares to deliver any help to them. >> tell us about the purpose of
your visit to berlin. what has brought you to the german capital? >> we tried to get some humanitarian help. the german government is working on that, and they told us they had some involvement and within two weeks would be able to deliver some aid to refugees inside syria. and there's some critique inside syria. the opposition has been accused of being guilty of atrocities, including the execution of soldiers. what can you tell us and what is being done to prevent that? >> we are doing a lot to remedy the situation. the chain of command, they have created some kind of committed to attend for the mistakes they made. they've done well to be organized. >> thank you very much.
some business news now, and despite the overall weakness within the eurozone, new forecasts see some moderate growth for germany's economies. >> the german institute for economic research is predicting gdp will rise by 0.9% this year, a marginal increase on 2012. the think tank expects gdp to grow even more strongly in 2014 as exports begin to gain strength. it is forecasting growth of over 2%, thinking that it will also be helped along by a stable -- stable labor market adding to consumer demand here in europe's largest economy. on to wednesday's market numbers now, and european shares finished higher. our correspondents and as the summary of the european trading session from frankfurt. >> demand on the stock market in recent weeks and months was basically driven by hope for a continuously generous monetary policy. now hope even comes up for real economic growth.
this hope also is fueled by a very positive kickoff of the earnings report season in the united states. a kickoff by alcoa, the aluminum maker. this optimism was translated here at the aluminum exchange into rising stock prices, and especially in demand were shares of the german the cap companies. the share index rose to a new record high on his wednesday. alabama we stay for a closer look at wednesday's numbers. -- >> we stay for a closer look at wednesday's numbers. across the atlantic on wall street this hour, let's check that out -- up 5.4%. the euro trading down just a tad against the greenback at a value of $1.3056.
peugot says sales dropped last year. the automaker was hit by a drop in demand in europe where it sells about 2/3 of its cars. >> sales across the continent have slid as the eurozone crisis deepens, especially in spain and in italy. the company says it will intensify investment outside of europe and is aiming for half of its sales to come from overseas within two years. >> coming up, scientists are warning that the united states is facing severe drought for years to come. >> first, let's take a look at other stories making headlines right now. >> the government of the central african republic has begun meeting with rebels. officials say the negotiations are centering on the revision of a peace agreement signed back in 2007. the various rebel groups say they want to the president to
resign. >> each of its president has been meeting with leaders of various palestinian factions. later, he met with the hamas leader. morsi is pushing for a reconciliation 20 two groups, which have been feuding since 2007. >> ireland's prime minister says he wants his country to drive the economic recovery in europe. he was speaking at a press conference marking the start of ireland's six-month presidency of the european union. he said one of ireland's priorities would be dealing with the scale of irish banking debt. >> in the u.s., dozens of people have been injured in a ferry accident in downtown new york city.
the ferry smashed into its peer -- pier in lower manhattan. >> investigators are looking into exactly what went wrong. staying in the states, it is official -- 2012 marked the warmest year on record in the united states. the government in washington charged with monitoring weather says the country saw a record drought which at its peak parched 61% of the nation, destroyed crops worth billions of dollars, and slowed shipping on the mind of mississippi river -- mighty mississippi river as water levels reached new lows. >> representative -- rice has been growing in this part of southeast texas for centuries. it is water intensive, and the field has to be irrigated using water from local rivers and lakes, but the drought of recent years has been threatening the
farmer's livelihood. >> we have not had water for the lakes, and when they are at a certain level, they will not allow us to get water or the producers to the water because the lakes are so low. >> local authorities have tried to ease the situation by rationing water, but with so little rain, the largest cities in the region may soon be left high and dry as well. no official figures show farmers in north america can expect more hot, dry weather in years to come. 2012 was the hottest year since records began over a century ago. scientists say that is a clear indication that the region's climate is changing. it is not just farm owners, but also many farm workers who face an uncertain future as the world's weather patterns change. >> if we do not get water, i do not have a job. and there's six other guys who work here with me, and we are all in the same boat. >> experts say those prayers are not likely to be answered. they predict temperatures will
>> welcome back. >> 2013 is a big election year in germany. chancellor angela merkel is in a strong position to win another four years in power. >> but if her conservative christian democrats come out on top, they will likely be forming a new government without their current liberal ftp coalition partners. on wednesday, merkel held her first cabinet meeting of the new year, and some of the faces seen here may not be around in 2014. although her conservative party has been gaining in the polls, the free democrats are under intense pressure. unless there numbers improve, they could be out of the
bundestag after the election. >> with so much at stake and with all the parties gearing up for the battle at the ballot, we bring you this special report on what we can expect in the coming months. >> who will be the next tenant of the german chancellery? the election campaign is gathering pace. eight months remain to win over voters. angela merkel is hoping to lead conservatives to a third term in office. peer steinbrueck wants to unseat her, but the former finance minister faces a huge challenge. angela merkel's approval ratings are sky-high, giving a huge boost to her christian democrats. >> this coalition is the most successful german governments since reunification. >> merkel has been bouyed at home by her handling of the debt crisis, rewarded for her stance
on austerity but silent on how much saving the euro could cost taxpayers. most opposition toward european policy is in her own ranks. the social democrats backed the european bailouts. >> germany's future is in europe, and we must invest in that future as we invest in reuniting germany. >> polls suggest many voters would welcome a return of the grand coalition between the spd and cdu with merkel as chancellor. social democrats have consistently backed the government and parliament on the bureau, which makes it difficult to attack merkel on this issue. instead, the spd are putting social justice at the heart of their campaign. >> we need a new balance. we need a renaissance of the social market economy, and we need to make that economy better serve the common good. >> but steinbrueck's credibility
has been dented. when in government, he backed extensive welfare cuts. one out of government, he earned over 1 million euros from speaking engagements. he has tried to play down the matter and move the focus to traditional social democrat issues. the party wants to close the growing gap between rich and poor. it is pledging to introduce a minimum wage and boost the rights of temporary workers. pollsters are predicting a hard- fought battle between the two main candidates. angela merkel appears to have the upper hand. >> there's no clear appetite for change as there was in 1998. after 16 years of the center- right coalition, voters had really had enough, and you could see that in the election results. this time, there's more ambivalence, but merkel's conservatives are unlikely to be able to govern alone, and support for their free democrat
coalition partners has slumped. they might not even make the 5% threshold needed to enter the bundestag. there is speculation in cooperation with the greens. disagreement remains on how to move to renewable and who should pay for it. the greens say they are not interested in governing alongside the conservatives. >> we want a coalition of social democrats and greens because despite all our differences, the spd is the party whose policies overlap most closely with ours. >> both contenders go into the campaign with a coalition partner in mind. they have until the end of september to convince the voters why they should run the country. >> for more on the road ahead, we are joined by our political correspondent, and young. according to the latest opinion polls, chancellor merkel looks pretty much unbeatable. how good our chances of staying
in power? >> i think they are very good indeed. as we said in the report, there does not seem to be many german voters who would like a change at the top. angela merkel's huge popularity continues, even though many people do not like the rescue packages that have been introduced to shore up the euro. it seems they think things would be even worse if merkel were not there. only if the greens and social democrats develop a real momentum -- for instance, by winning a key regional election in 11 days' time and winning some key policy arguments as well -- can they hope to replace merkel in the chancellery. >> how about the chances of peer steinbrueck? he was popular during his time as finance minister, but he is not pulling that well right now as a chancellor candidate. >> that's right. since steinbrueck was named as
the social democrat candidate, he has made a few gas and and some negative headlines by suggesting that the chancellor's pay should be increased at a time when public sector pay generally is being frozen. even many social democrats still link him primarily with tough welfare cuts. on the other hand, he does have some positions that appeal to germans generally. such as he talks about curbing the power of banks. but at the moment, he is not far enough apart from the conservatives on the big issues like the euro and the transformation of germany's energy industry to make people think that he is the alternative that they need. >> what about the role being played by the smaller parties? people are already looking at things in terms of possible coalition make ups. how do you think this will shake out? >> the real question is will the junior coalition partner make it back into the bundestag after the election? they are very divided on the moment, particularly on the
question of who should lead them, and it looks like voters will punish them by withdrawing support. the greens, on the other hand, have been riding high. there has been talk of a combination, but i think there's too much opposition to that. perhaps the result will be a renewed grand coalition. it has been tried before. it was a success last time under angela merkel, and crucially, the polls suggest most germans would like to see that happen. >> thank you very much. >> techies are in their glory this week, taking in the latest innovations on review at the annual consumer electronics show in las vegas, nevada. >> if you think you'd tech, think again. we have a look at a printer that is sure to put your old one to shame. >> las vegas, the gambler's paradise. visitors are betting on the next
technology breakthrough. they think they have a winner. they look like microwaves, but they can help a new industrial revolution. what was once made in a factory can now be produced cheaply in your living room. by chance or model figures from the latest sci-fi movie. the machines can scan and print anything. the design is modeled on a computer, and the printer puts the material together layer by layer. it is a breakthrough, especially for new items only produced in small batches. and costing around $1,500 each, it is a price tag that consumers can now afford. >> we are really about innovation in this space. it is like being back at the beginning of the personal computer revolution in 1980. i think it will actually be bigger than personal computing. >> human implants can also be
printed, spelling an end to costly lab production. hearing aids can be tailored to the year. the liquid acrylic is printed and hardened using a laser. the low-cost offer huge opportunities, especially in developing countries, but the new technology has a dark side. functional products can be printed at home -- guns that are unregistered and potentially lethal. it sounds far-fetched, but this scene from the crime series "csi" no longer belongs to the realm of fiction. >> you think our killer printed a gun? >> multiple guns -- identical, disposable, untraceable. >> the ar-15 is a notorious weapon, used by the gunman in the recent newtown massacre. one part, the lower part has a serial number. now it can be printed in 3-d, allowing anyone to dodge the law and a symbol an -- and assemble
an ar-15. >> i believe in universal a bishop of the firearm. >> it falls apart after the sixth shot, but the semi- automatic rifle could still be deadly and undetectable in security checks if all the metal elements are swapped for plastic. -- swapped for plastic. >> all the good things in the world that a good, creative, productive, that help make the world a better place, that is really where the focus should be. >> pioneers dream of the democratization of industrial production, but they know once 3-d printing spreads out -- throughout our networked world, it will be extremely difficult to control. >> visitors are flocking to the northeastern chinese city of harbin for the annual snow and ice festival. the art work starts out as massive blocks of ice, which are
then transformed by some very talented craftsmen craftswoman into delicate sculptures. plenty of power tools swing into action, as well as some surprising household items. this is a very temporary exhibition, of course. the warmer weather is likely to melt the art work away in just a few weeks. >> wow. chainsaws. ice picks. >> no 3 the printer is in sight. >> that will not work for the eyes. you cannot print ice. that is all for us. thanks so much for joining us.