>> live from the dw studios in berlin, this is the "journal." >> our headlines for you at this hour -- the blade runner leaves the court room free on bail. we go live to south africa for more. >> restoring faith in europe. the german president sets out his future for the vision of the european union. >> and the final day of campaigning in italy -- why sunday's national election has the world nervously watching. well, his decision kept all of south africa and much of the world in suspense today. a south african judge said yes to bail for oscar pistorius, the
paralympic star accused of murdering his girlfriend. >> the man known as the blade runner was forced to post $113,000, and over his passport, and turn over his gun collection to police. >> pistorius and his attorneys have three months to put together a defense. >> oscar pistorius was braced for the worst as he entered court, but his defense did a good job after he revealed mistakes in the prosecution case, the judge ruled that pistorius could go free on bail. no cameras were allowed in the courtroom while the decision was read. the olympics are stood in silence as the announcement was made -- the olympic star. supporters applauded the ruling. >> although we obviously are
relieved that oscar has been granted bail, this is still a very sad time for the family of reeva and for us all. we are grateful that the magistrate recognized the validity and the strength of our application. as the family, we are convinced that oscars version of what happened on that terrible night will be proved to be true. >> the prosecution says pistorius is a flight risk. he is looking at the possibility of years behind bars. that was not enough to keep him behind bars. pistorius left the courthouse in the jeep. he had to hand over his passport and collection of guns to the police. the trial is set to start on june 4. >> let's go live to pretoria,
south africa and up to a reporter who was in the courtroom as the decision was read out today. we've heard the audio. can you describe what you saw? >> [no audio] the granting of bail [inaudible] someone expected, but oscar pistorius [inaudible] when the actual reading came down, pistorius himself was largely impassive. it was really his family members who started celebrating the ruling. we were expecting something from him. perhaps he just had very little emotion to give at that point. >> if you could come to tell us what has the reaction in south africa been today?
>> i think it has been largely positive. there have been some organizations that have expressed disappointment. they called on pistorius not to be released on bail on the basis that south africa has seen far too much violence against women and children and maybe it could send a stronger message were he not to be granted bail. they have expressed some disappointment. there is certainly a certain segment of south africa who consider pistorius to be guilty of murder. there's perhaps a far larger segment who believe he is culpable for an unlawful death. many still hold onto him as an icon, as a man who overcame so much adversity, but there was
definitely a palpable sense of relief. >> philip, thank you very much. >> always a pleasure. >> in germany, the president has urged citizens to use the eurozone crisis as an opportunity to show unity and solidarity. the president delivered a speech friday calling on germans to think beyond the borders of their own country and to draw strength on the values that they share with the rest of europe. here's more. >> he set himself a tough task -- he wanted to speak up for europe at a time of political and economic crisis. the german president acknowledged the anger and disappointment with europe that many people feel. he said europe is at a critical point. >> this crisis is not just about economics. it is also a crisis of trust in the european political project.
we are not just struggling for our currency. we are struggling with ourselves. >> he said europe for him was the promise of peace and common values like freedom and the rule of law, but he said europe was ill equipped, saying it must grow closer but without putting itself under pressure. >> the key question with all changes should therefore be -- what could a democratic europe look like that dispels the fears of its citizens and offers them greater opportunities? in short, a europe they can identify with. >> politicians have a responsibility to explain the actions to their citizens, and he emphasized germany was interested in a common future, not in a german europe but in a
european germany. >> our political correspondent was at the speech of the president today. he gave us his take on the message. >> joachim gauck began his address by talking about ordinary europeans getting up and reading about the crisis of confidence in the eu, the lack of transparency and lack of democracy in brussels. he said this inevitably engendered notions like fear and dismay and the solution until frustration -- and frustration, so the real question was how to overcome this kind of emotions. as a former east german dissident, he said there is only one way to overcome those kinds of emotions and that is for people to get involved, to overcome indifference and complacency. on an economic front, it was interesting -- he admitted that germany has profited more than any other european country in the last 10 years of.
he said other countries have been complaining about that i am quite an angry shape or form. he said the only question was not a german europe but a europeanized germany. people had high hopes that it would sort of reinvigorate the european mission. gauck has considerable rhetorical capabilities, but it was not a great speech, it was a good speech. it was dutiful. there were fireworks. i do not think he captured anyone's imagination today. >> the speech came just as the european union announced its growth forecast for the eurozone. the latest figures make for fairly grim reading. >> looks like the eurozone faces another full year of recession with economic growth set to shrink in the countries which use the common currency. >> as economies weaken further in many eu nations, millions of people are expected to lose jobs
at a time when there's already record unemployment in europe. >> the european commission' says signs of europe's economy is bottoming out. >> sons this year is that there will be zero growth in the european union. ben and the dismal picture is having a negative impact on government finances. many european countries are likely to have higher deficits this year than had been expected. that applies to france, the u.'s second-biggest economy. new borrowing is expected to be well over the target of 3% of gdp. the ecb says france must get its deficit down. >> i believe it is in france's interest to stick to the target of a balanced budget in the medium term. only if the budget is balanced is there any room for maneuver
during an economic downturn. >> de e you expect france to see growth this year of just the 0.1%. like the eu as a whole, it is not expected to see growth above 1% until 2014. >> despite all the bad news from the eurozone, german businesses think the future is looking up. the business confidence index has gone up again in february. >> it is the fourth month in a row that the index has risen. it is at its highest level in nearly a year. and to service thousands of german companies about the prospects every month. >> german carmaker volkswagen made record-breaking profits but still sees a bumpy road ahead. they took in almost 32 billion euros last year, more than ever before. >> revenues from vw subsidiary portion did particularly well, but the ceo said that the company expected a tough year in 2013, especially because of
instability in southern and western europe. >> onto friday's market action now, and german blue chips rebounded on the final trading day of the week. the surprisingly strong ifo index prompted many traders to jump back into the market. our correspondence sent us this summary. >> good is often not good enough. vw presented stellar results and a the highest profits in its history, but shares fell sharply. one reason was the dividend vw is paying being not high enough in the minds of traders, and they are also not so optimistic with regards to this year. losses in shares put a little pressure on the entire market, but a strong ifo index saved the day. it was the second early indicators signaling a strong rebound of the german economy. the euro was lagging behind the pessimistic remarks of the eu commission on the eurozone economy worried currency
traders. >> we stay in frankfurt for a closer look at friday's numbers. the dax up by more than a full percent at 7661. euro stoxx 5 those doing much better -- 50 doing much better. across the atlantic, the dow once again flirting with 14,000, and the year of trading at a value of $1.3179 -- euro trading at a value of $1.3179. interior minister has been given the task of forming a new government after the resignation of the prime minister who lost support in an apparent power struggle between his party's moderate and hard-line wings. liberals in the country accuse the incoming prime minister of not doing enough to stop violence by radical islamists.
germany's defense minister might have jumped the gun on announcing with the u.s. plans to do in afghanistan. at least -- he says at least a thousand american troops will stay in afghanistan after 2014 when international troops are due to pull out. >> but washington says it is still considering its options. >> in brussels, defense ministers have been debating what will happen when troops finally withdraw from afghanistan. >> there was some confusion at the nato defense ministers meeting in brussels. germany said the u.s. defense secretary had said that the u.s. would be keeping up to 12,000 troops in afghanistan. but leon panetta said that was not the case. he said those figures were for the total international contingent, not the u.s. alone.
the u.s. is counting on substantial support from its allies, but no firm decisions have yet been taken on which countries will be supplying the soldiers. >> mr. panetta officially asked germany to take on a role in the north. of course germany already is lead nation in the north. >> nato soldiers on the ground will have to wait for a final decision. the many open questions will be addressed at a special summit in june. >> stay with us. when we come back, we will look at italy. italians go to the polls this weekend. we will look at what is at stake and who are the biggest stakeholders. >> could he be back? silvio berlusconi making a lot of people very nervous. >> stay with us. we will be right back.
>> welcome back, everyone. as we've heard, the markets have a close eye on those elections in italy. depending on who steals the vote on sunday or monday, the country could be set for big changes. >> the economic reforms from mario monti's technocratic government hang in balance. they have helped to bring down the country's deficits but remain deeply unpopular in many parts of the country. >> italy still faces high unemployment at its worst recession in over 60 years. let's have a look at who wants to take on those challenges. >> this man could be italy's next prime minister. his democratic party leads in the polls, but will he win on election day? the center-left party campaign has been lackluster at times, but it could still end up in government because the biggest party automatically gets a parliamentary majority. italian electoral law converts
narrow victories in two big wins. it awards ac bonus to the strongest party -- a seat ballista the strongest party. he's been campaigning as anti- berlusconi -- principal, honest. >> berlusconi is not going to win. he will lose this election. he is trying to salvage the and salvageable, the unstable, and put himself center stage. >> but the center-right has been gaining in the polls. berlusconi is just five points behind. he's promising to cut taxes and let tax dodgers off the hook. business has welcomed those policies. in italy, taxes are high and demand is falling. even if he finishes second, berlusconi could frustrate the new government. his party to block legislation
in the senate. he could make the italian parliament grind to a halt. the comedian has a very serious message for italy's politicians. his five stars movement wants italy out of the euro, and he rages against italy's leaders. >> berlusconi's yellow hair used to look like a roof over his head. you cannot even tell what color his hair is now. it looks like a dead cat. >> the outgoing prime minister might look more like a leader, but polls put his centrist coalition fourth. monti's austerity drive has made him unpopular at home. the economics finance minister says he will not be a finance minister in berlusconi is the government, but prime minister's hope he will partner up with mario monti after all because it could deliver italy's stable
government. >> well, the economy is the top issue in italy among voters. the youth unemployment rate stands at nearly 40%. job opportunities are scarce. those who do find work are not likely to be well paid. >> yes, and could a change in government even make a difference? some are not too sure. >> italy's political parties are fighting for every vote here on the outskirts of rome. that upsets the to set the -- giuseppe morelli. he says politicians and not the least bit interested in what is important to young italians. two years ago, he left for a better future. all he has found are dead-end jobs. >> we are exploited six hours at 500 euros a month, and there is no social security.
i cannot save a penny. >> at the moment, he is working in a call center, though he is qualified for better work. he shows us his two-room apartment. he shares it with his girlfriend, his sister, and two other people. they pay 1000 euros a month for their cramped lodgings. that is reality for a lot of young italians. so it is no wonder that people here are fed up with politics. almost half of young people say they will not vote, at least not for the major parties. she tends to the left, but she does not feel at home with any party, really. >> none of them are interested in our everyday problems. all you hear from the politicians is empty talk. they have lost touch with the
concerns of young people. >> like most young romans, she still lives at home. her father is proud of her university degree as a translator, but she earns her money as a waitress. >> when i was her age, i had a job and a child. we had everything we needed, but it is different today. i cannot just tell her to get married and start a family. >> father and daughter agree -- italy needs more reforms, but without taking money out of the pockets of families. >> mario monti did in just a year which should have been done in italy a long time ago, but it was too much. it has broken our backs economically. >> she says she will not vote
for mario monti. the prospect of more austerity is just too depressing. giuseppe supports the freedom party. their candidate like many italians also does not have a full-time job. >> in a moment, we will see how germany's intelligence agency is picking up the pieces after failing to stop a right-wing terror cell. >> first, let's check some other world stories in the headlines. >> the united nations says it is concerned about the situation in northern mali. a united nations spokesman says there are still reports of atrocities being committed against civilians including the recruitment of children in sexual violence -- and sexual violence. >> torrential rainfall in greece has caused widespread flooding in the capital. a young woman died after being
trapped in her car on a flooded road. urologists say it was the worst storm in more than 50 years. and a french actor gerard depardieu has toward -- toured his new home country. he was granted russian citizenship personally by president vladimir putin after complaining of france's high tax rates. he will officially register about 600 kilometers east of moscow. well, they spent the last year doing damage control in addition to some serious rethinking. >> germany's domestic intelligence agency has been reeling ever since news emerged that it failed to link a decade- long killing spree of a neo-nazi sell. >> they have unveiled new plans for doing their job better. >> get back to the basics -- the core conclusion being drawn by germany's domestic intelligence
agency after its disastrous failure to pick up on the murderous right wing gang. the federal office for protection of the constitution wants to change the way it does business. >> until now, we only got the information that we were given. in future, it has to be the other way around. we have to hunt things down. we will be asking sources to supply us with the information we need. >> the authority also plans to centralize its data collection and compare information with other intelligence agencies. ghouls a to be tightened up after documents were shredded that could have shed light on the nazi terror cell. the aim is to make sure all violent extremists are dealt with, including those from the far right. >> i am pleased with these proposals. they match up with lots of the things we have been demanding, especially the pledge to keep a close eye on those ready to use violence. >> the german parliament should
also be better informed over the agency's activities and findings. the first reforms could be enacted this summer. >> to soccer now, and the weekend's action sees a battle for survival between two struggling teams. >> a single point separates the sides, and both see saturday's bull as a chance to escape the grim fate of relegation -- saturday's duel. >> drastic times call for drastic measures. training is being held in secret ahead of the big game. both sides are desperate to win to avoid relegation. >> we are excited about the game because we feel we have caught up. we are chasing them from behind, but after the 90 minutes, we want to have pulled ahead. >> they fought hard to avoid dropping down to the second division. the team has lost only one game since the winter break, but it
has only posted two wins all season. draws are not enough. they need a victory. often time, too, decided to close training to the fans and media. the players are under intense pressure ahead of the match. they have only won once in the last 12 games. it, too, is facing the possibility of replication. >> the players out there on the field have to give it all they have got because they can feel the pressure. challenging the team at every player. i do not want any excuses. >> the winner of this game will have a better chance of avoiding relegation. >> all right, finally, to outer space. nasa scientists have released spectacular footage captured last july of a solar flare. that is when super hot gas is discharged from the sun.
>> this time, they filmed what is called a coronal massive injection, a massive flare event in which debris can then reined back down on the surface of the sun. scientists placed in image of planet earth next to the flare -- see it there? to put all things in perspective. >> thanks for watching. we will see you again at the top of the hour. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--