>> live from the dw studios here in berlin, this is the "journal." >> here's a look at what we have coming up for you in the next 30 minutes -- >> dozens of people killed in a bomb attack in the heart of syria's capital, damascus. >> the oscar pistorius murder case takes a bizarre twist as the lead detective faces murder charges himself. >> and we talk to a member of the pussy riot punk band who says she would do it all over again. a powerful bomb in the syrian capital has killed at least 50 people and injured scores of others. >> the explosion took place near the ruling party's headquarters
in caused widespread destruction in what was one of the deadliest attacks in the city in several months. >> moments after the blast, the military headquarters in the city came under mortar attacks. the government is blaming terrorists. >> syrian state tv broadcast images of the attack. the car bomb hit a security checkpoint near the headquarters of the ruling party and the russian embassy. opposition activists say most of the victims were civilians, though that cannot be confirmed. the blast damaged a number of cars and buildings in the surrounding area. >> this is terrorism. this is a crime. >> a huge cloud of smoke rose above the city center. shortly after that bombing, there were reports of at least two other explosions in the syrian capital. state media have described the attacks as the work of terrorists. the syrian opposition abroad
like here in cairo believes the regime of the president has long been on the back foot. they are opposed to his latest offer of talks. >> it means nothing as long as our cities and people are being bombed and the regime continues to kill, imprisoned, and torture syrians. >> the latest wave of violence could further complicate efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting. the united nations estimates that around 70,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict so far. more and more people are fleeing the country every day. >> what can be done to bring the violence in syria to an end? the opposition syrian national coalition, as we heard, is meeting in cairo to try to find an answer. the coalition thursday said it is willing to negotiate peace deal under u.s. and russian guidance, but it said any talks will not include president assad. i asked our correspondent with the chances are that this meeting will produce anything.
>> basically, the syrian opposition is trying to put its house in order. the head of the national coalition was offered a few days ago talks with people of the regime that do not have blood on their hands. it is not everyone in the opposition agreeing with the opposition, especially the islamists and muslim brotherhood. the big question would be also if this proposal will be accepted by the various militant groups in syria where the syrian opposition outside really does not have control. >> thank you very much. >> i just past two years, syria has become the middle east coast and most troubled and dangerous region. >> its government is shrinking if not falling apart. militias are rising in power, and the entire world is well
aware that syria has chemical weapons and a strong alliance with iran. from lebanon to israel, from cairo to washington, worries are greater than ever that syria's civil war could send the entire region into disarray. >> researchers are looking at syria with trepidation. it is the most serious conflict in the world. 55,000 people died in violence this year alone and hundreds of thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries. >> conditions -- conditions have been improving slightly in libya and egypt, but in cairo, violence and protests have continued under the new government. the red markings denote countries currently in the group of armed conflict. the conflict between sudan and south sudan. troops from the two states are involved in violent clashes --
clashes over an oil-rich border region. there are also domestic conflicts in the states. there are other conflicts that receive less attention like in burma. fighting between rebels in the north and government troops has killed hundreds and caused tens of thousands to flee. there were no wars in europe in 2012, but the fallout from the syrian civil war is being felled -- felt as the number of refugees increases. >> sports where giant nike said all endorsements of south africa's blade runner, oscar pistorius, will be put on ice while the athlete is on trial for murder. it is just one more twist in this case. there is already a new head investigator in the murder case. he pushed to have premeditated murder charges pressed against pistorius and is now off the case because he is facing murder charges himself.
>> south africa's police commissioner was under attack. she put a new detective on the case after day three of the bail hearing. ma'am initially the process of establishing a team of highly skilled and experienced detectives in the south african police service. >> the decision was announced shortly after news of the charges against the first investigator came to light. he faces seven counts of attempted murder related to an incident in 2011. he allegedly fired on a minibus loaded with passengers to try to stop the vehicle. he is due to go on trial in may. oscar pistorius is by no means off the hook, but police have been forced to can see mistakes. prosecutors now say are unsure about claims that he is found at
the scene. questions were raised about police credibility. >> our police survey seemed to be very corrupt and not very efficient at what they do. that has a big impact on people's lives in general in this country. >> the court still has many questions to answer, and the trial proper is still a long way off. >> bomb attacks have killed 12 people and wounded dozens in southern india.% two blasts hit a crowded shopping area. police said the bombs were left on bicycles close to a restaurant and a bus station. >> there have been no claims of responsibility, but the regional head of government said the attacks were clearly aimed at stoking tensions between the city's hindus and muslims.
>> pressure was high as the indian parliament kicked off its new session on thursday. the government is expected to introduce a new austerity budget that the country's unions do not like one bit. >> unions have condemned the measures as discriminatory against the poor. four out protesting -- they were out protesting to get the government to create more jobs. >> many streets in india were empty on thursday as people again walked off the job. employers estimate the strike will cost billions. production here stock. the company gave workers the day off to avoid unrest. discontent is growing in india. the country faces surging inflation, and growth has slowed to 5%. unions want to talk to the government about its reforms. >> we are taking part in the nationwide strike.
but the government has not made any moves to hold talks with us. >> bank clerks also joined the walk off. so did the owners of small stores. still, the indian government is not backing down. >> we employ the leaders not to go on strike. we will consider their demands as the financial situation improves. >> for some, that is not good enough. in delhi, riots broke out in an industrial neighborhood. strikers smashed factory windows, and when unionist died on the picket line. >> in germany, chancellor angela merkel has praised the european union's hard-fought budget for the next seven years. she told parliament the proposals agreed in brussels earlier this month were the best way to ensure economic stability in europe. >> the budget includes some
spending cuts for the first time. critics say it does not focus enough on boosting jobs and growth. >> angela merkel says all eu member states must cut costs. two weeks ago, the chancellor and british prime minister david cameron went out in brussels securing an eu budget cut of around 3%. now merkel has defended that decision. she says the crisis means everyone has to save. >> i will say it quite plainly -- it would have been hard to explain to people in europe, both to the states hit by the crisis and those bearing the bulk of the burden of solidarity why everyone in europe has to say except for europe itself. >> but the opposition disagrees. social democrats' candidate for chancellor peer steinbrueck says merkel advocates too much
austerity and too little investment. he also accused merkel of making common cause with europe's foes. >> you've made an unholy alliance with no sense of perspective. and with a leader david cameron who may want to leave the you. it is a strange alliance if your aim is to safeguard europe's future for the days to come. >> strong stuff, but the opposition is the least of merkel's worries. the european parliament has to pass the budget draft. merkel's critics are gearing up for a fight. >> europe's biggest insurer says it more than doubled profits last year. the company made just over 5 billion euros in 2012. >> the better than expected results, despite superstorm sandy, which cost the company about 500 million euros, but allianz said overall, losses
were significantly lower than in 2011. the company said results show that its business model is resilient enough to prosper despite turbulence from the global financial crisis. >> european shares suffered the biggest one-day plunge in two weeks. our correspondent said as the summary from frankfurt. >> a very bad day at the stock market. german shares have been heavily under pressure. traders suffered from lots of bad news. the minutes of the latest fed policy meeting have been the major troublemaker. traders fear that the fed may soon stop it's very generous monetary policy, but the cheap money is a big driver of the stock markets. weak economic data troubled or worried traders, dashing hopes of a quick recovery of the countries in recession, but the upcoming election in italy was also a reason to sell shares.
>> we say in frankfurt for a closer look at thursday's numbers. the dax finished the session down by nearly 1.9%. europe stoxx 50 -- will get that, bigger losses. in new york, the dow down by the 6.1%, and the year of trading at a value of $1.3178. >> all right, toy maker lego is getting a big boost, largely thanks to a controversial product called lego friends and and girls between the age of 5 and 9. feminists do not like the product. they accuse the company and gender stereotyping. >> despite that, the lego addition has been a huge hit, even selling out in some places. >> for decades, lego has been a fixture in households across the globe. the idea is simple -- plastic
bricks which can be stuck together. mathematicians say it is possible to make 915 million different shapes with just six bricks. it sees endless possibilities that have captured the imagination of so many children. in german toyshops, one in every six euros is spent on lego. the lego company has also managed to survive the financial crisis and has fended off competition from interactive electronic games. psychologists say children love lego because it allows them to use their imagination to create their own worlds. lego is now also looking to increase sales to china. the company is hoping that it will soon become a household name there as well. >> the miniature little girl playing with legs. >> my son does. we have some projects in progress. >> stay with us. we will be back with our project
>> welcome back, everyone. one year ago, russian punk band pussy riot staged an anti-putin protests. they ended up in jail, and they got the world's attention. >> it raised questions about the president's intolerance of dissent. 3 -- two of the band's three members are serving prison centers -- sentences. >> what has been released, and she said that she has no regrets. >> her involvement in pussy riot turn her life upside down. this is the church she and her friends entered last year. performed what they called a punk prayer to protest the close ties between the kremlin and the church. a short while later, three of
them were arrested. >> it was a logical consequence if you look at what has been happening in russia over the past several years. we have an authoritarian regime. the orthodox church has a lot of influence. it was clear there would be repercussions. >> they were treated like hardened criminals. they were charged with hooliganism, motivated by religious hatred. each was sentenced to two years in prison camp. they became icons for the anti- putin protest movement. katya change lawyers and was released on a suspended sentence. that is something she puts down to international pressure. >> what happened to us was not in vain. we attracted the attention of people all over the world, showing them how bad things are in russia regarding artistic
freedom, the legal system, and human rights. katya has watched this internet video over and over. she says she is in touch with her friends in the camp and knows how much tougher things are for them. >> i read the metro. i do not hide. to date, i've never been attacked by radicals. most of the people that lead on that they recognize me show a positive reaction towards me. >> her former lawyers say she could not deal with authorities who were trying to -- she cut a deal with authorities who tried to split the group. she vehemently denies that. >> understand she did not want to go to prison camp, but she then used her freedom to launch an attack on us lawyers. by doing that, she ruined pussy
riot. >> katya and a friend put on their signature balaclavas. they want to show that pussy riot is still alive despite pressure and lack of solidarity from other putin opponents. she says the group is still under attack. >> there is no dispute within pussy riot. i do not know where these rumors are coming from. quite the contrary -- we are fighting to free them. it is a struggle for our basic rights. >> the courts still play a central role in her life. she is currently fighting against state efforts to label pussy riot videos as extremist and block them on the internet, but what really bothers her is that one year after the punk prayer, surveys show most
russians feel pussy riot were given a fair sentence. >> the german government has also criticized russia over its treatment of dissidents, opposition, and protesters. yet, relations between the countries seem to be fairly good. are these and the words of criticism? we put this to the german government's commissioner for russia. >> we have offered to russia and organization partnership, but we have to consider that we have different conceptions of modernization. for germany, it is more than technical innovation in the old economy. it is comprehensive, includes the rule of law. includes a critical civil society, includes freedom of expression, includes fighting against corruption, so the door is open. we offer to russia this kind of cooperation, and our partner is not exclusively the kremlin.
it is the totality of the russian society. >> that was the german government's commissioner for russia. >> hospitals in germany run by the catholic church may now prescribed emergency contraception to rape victims. this change follows a shocking recent case in which two catholic hospitals refused to treat a rape victim. the new policy was announced at the regular spring meeting of the german bishops' conference. catholic hospitals now have the leeway to describe a type of morning after pill that impedes contraception. -- concepcion, rather. drugs that would abort or dislodge a fertilized egg to remain taboo. >> let's talk about the implications of this change. people in our religious affairs correspondent. how significant is this move by germany's catholic bishops? >> i think it is very significant. the case you referred to
occurred in west germany in cologne where the archbishop is known for being very conservative in his theological views. he has been very opposed to contraception over the years, and i think he himself was deeply shocked that his opposition to was viewed negatively by a rape victim who was denied contraception. he has apologized, and the church has clarified that rape victims will now routinely receive the morning after pill. >> how will this move by germany affect the vatican and the pope's successor? >> i do not think there will be any difficulty with that. apparently, he did call the vatican to clear up his position with the secretary of state. this appears, therefore, to have implications not just for germany. it could -- i will go out on a limb here a little bit -- it could be adopted worldwide.
>> you said he called the vatican to make sure everyone is on the same page here. that speaks to how important the issue of contraception remains for the catholic church. >> it is very important, not least because the two growth areas of the catholic church -- asia and africa, of course -- are faced with a population explosions and also because, of course, contraceptions in the form of condoms are also used in aids prevention. those are both areas where there was a huge problem with the aids pandemic. it is an issue that will continue worrying theologians and challenging them. >> all right, thank you very much. >> the united nations says more than half of the languages spoken in the world are likely to die out within a few generations. >> only if you hundred languages have genuinely been given pride of place in education systems.
>> to mark the united nations international mother language day, we take a look a one language which exemplifies the challenges at hand. >> this group is getting ready for the cost above the book fair. among them is a writer and poet who writes in arabic as well as his mother tongue. he was very pleased by the government's decision to recognize a to assess implementation has been slow. >> in government offices, nothing has changed. there is still discrimination against our language, even though the constitution specifies otherwise. both are equal official languages, but word has not reached government offices. there are still some difficulties again and again. >> activists have been protesting for months. they want the introduction in
all government offices now. fair enough, it would seem, as speakers of the languages would make up a majority of the population, but authorities say it will take some time. >> we should not jump the gun. the new rules should be considered thoroughly and comply with the sense of the constitution. but we still want the new laws to be implemented very soon. >> people here believe they have been patient long enough and want their language and culture to finally be respected. but currently, the state has more pressing concerns, such as high poverty and unemployment. m all right, it is time for some glitz, glamour, and pop music. he loves that. the brit awards were on show in london last night.
they are britain's version of the grammys. >> there was lots of music to be heard, of course, and plenty of awards given out. some of the biggest ones went to a rising star from scotland. >> she has had a standout year. she has topped the charts and closed the london olympics. now she has shown that the brits, grabbing best female solo artist and best album, but she says she is a very unlikely pop star. >> this is an album i wrote because i did not have the confidence to say these things in person. >> ben howard has also taken him two gongs. he won best male , and best man when to mumford and sons. adele won best single.
she kept her speech brief after being cut off last year for talking too much. >> i love you all. thank you so, so much. >> the brits are an annual celebration of the best of british. now, riding high around the world, reason enough to put on a bash. chemical elvis. >> a lot of anti gravity hairdos' there. see you next time. - captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--