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tv   Journal  PBS  December 18, 2014 6:00pm-6:31pm PST

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>> he this is your world news. our headlines for you at this hour. at his into the year press conference, russian president vladimir putin puts the blame on other countries for problems at home. european union leaders agreed to tighter economic sanctions on russia and pushed for hundreds of billions of euros to stimulate economic growth in the du -- in the eu. cubans hope for a better future after the united states and their government move to restore normal relations. when you are russian president
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vladimir putin and a thousand journalists ask about your teetering economy what do you do? well, you blame the outside. at his into the year marathon press conference today, he accused the united states and saudi arabia pushing oil prices down in an attempt to put russia back in a box. >> but couldn't still enjoys high popularity numbers at home. he said he will not allow the rest -- the west to turn the russian bear into a stuffed animal. he promised a return to growth in two years time. we start with this report from moscow. >> the images of the beginning of his media extravaganza show him relaxed and confident. but when the talk turned to the currency crisis, vladimir putin started to look tense, despite his upbeat message. >> i give it two years. after that, our economy will definite grow because the global economy will also expand and more energy resources will be needed.
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grace many of the reform measures that he spoke about are not new. the president himself joked that the news conference could be wrapped up, but instead it continued for almost three hours. putin seemed to grow in confidence, particularly when the subject switched to foreign policy. >> the told us after the fall of the berlin wall that there would be no need -- no nato expansion eastward but they have started a virtual wall. the missile defense is next to our borders. it is a wall. >> there were also no change on the ukraine, with vladimir putin blaming kiev. should we implement the minsk agreements? yes, of course, but the ukraine side will not withdraw its troops from the places we agreed. >> when asked whether he could lose the support of the russian elite and be ousted in a circle
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-- in a palace coup, he cracked his last joke. we don't have palaces, so we cannot have a palace coup. the kremlin is well protected. rick nolan is joking about the state of the russian currency right now. during the three-hour press conference, the ruble continued to slide against the u.s. dollar and the euro. it has lost 45% in value this year. >> plummeting oil prices and economic sanctions over crimea are taking their toll. russia's central bank has hiked interest rates twice in a week, trying to stop a flood of money out of the country. >> the russian government is planning a huge capital boost to help the country's banks through the crisis. parliament is set to debate the plans on friday. they would allow some 13 billion euros to be pumped into the banking sector. russia's central bankers have
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already been intervening heavily on currency markets in a bid to stop the ruble's freefall. but analyst doubt the measures will work in the long-term. >> the russian central bank can raise interest rates to support the ruble, but that won't work. that will destroy the local economy. reign exchange reservewon't be enough to prevent the ruble's collapse. if things carry on, russia will go bankrupt. >> that would have serious consequences for the rest of europe. in particular, french and austrian banks would be badly hit if russia defaulted on its payments. >> europe does not appear to be too worried about economic sanctions on russia coming back to haunt the european union. >> on thursday, eu leaders meeting at a summit in brussels agreed to more sanctions. the latest round prevent european businesses from doing business on the crimean peninsula, which russia annexed
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from ukraine back in march. the sanctions are one of two big agenda items at the summit, being hosted for the first time by the european council's new president. >> he is a seasoned career politician. even he joked he felt like a debutante with stage fright. his first summit as european council president faces to herculean task. europe's moribund economy and increasingly testy relations with russia. >> we know that the situation is dramatic and very dynamic, and of course, the situation demands immediate reactions. >> leader's have set a green light on a multibillion-dollar -- multibillion euro investment plan. chancellor angela merkel welcomed the proposal. >> the first proposals
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are on the table but have to be fleshed out with concrete projects. >> the european strategic investment fund will receive core capital from the bloc's coffers. du and european investment bank will provide 21 billion euros in all. those loan guarantees and seed money will be used to offer loans worth 60 billion euros. that money is supposed to entice private investors to member states to invest in infrastructure projects intended to help kickstart economic growth. it is hoped that by leveraging the fun, this will eventually create re-hundred 15 billion euros in investments. critics say the scheme from the eu commission president is short on hard cash and full on financial engineering. but he says member countries have good reason to invest. >> contributions do not count against eu budgets. so there is almost no reason for member states not to contribute to the financing. >> but british primeinister
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david cameron made it clear from the start he is not planning to contribute a penny. >> our correspondent as covering the summit for us in brussels. at the end of the day, this economic stimulus package is basically an answer to what we are seeing in southern europe, where unemployment is really high. it is part of a crisis that has been confronting t european econom >> they are trying to attract private investment, because that is what has been lacking in the last couple of years, to kickstart european economies. it is a complicated process, as always, with the european union. at's why they are still talking about it right now, discussing things like what happens if a member state puts money in the fans -- in the fund to reduce the public deficit. this will take a while to hash out the details, but the bottom line is that if it does work, in the end am a to kickstart
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european economies, that will bring in more tax money for the member states and that is of course the best remedy you can have against high public deficits. in the end, against the repeat of the euro crisis. >> let me ask about the latest round of sanctions on russia. this new package passed with relatively little debate and little resistance. why? >> the foreign ministers past those sanctions against crimea. that was basically just a tightening of loopholes. the basic sanctions were in place. they just wanted to tighten the screws there. that's why this pass without great resistance grew you are right, the leaders are feeling the pressure, especially from those countries where there are tight connections with the russian economy. for example, finland, and the economic crisis in russia. a lot of leaders are scared that russia might be sucked into that crisis, so a lot of pressure here.
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we are hearing they are not going to change anything on the sanctions just now. >> max hoffman for us in brussels. max, thank you very much. changing gears a little bit now, and hollywood film depicting a crisis in north korea is close to becoming the center of a real crisis tied to north korea. >> in an unprecedented move, sony has pulled its new film "the interview." washington says the signs are there that north korea is behind the hacking attack and calls are getting ever louder to label this blockbuster an international dispute or even an act of war against the united staes. >> "the interview was quote is a satirical comedy, but is now the center of what could be the most damaging -- it deals with recruiters -- reporters
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recruited by the cia to assassinate the leader of north korea. sony had its computer systems hacked in november. investigators believe the attack was coordinated bit -- by north korea. it has been described the race -- release of the movie as an act of war. the hackers, who call themselves guardians of peace him had threatened to attack cinemas showing the film. that led sony to drop the movie. analyst say the cost of the attack could be much greater than just the losses on the film. legal suits are pending over leaked information. >> world leaders have welcomed news that the united states and cuba are moving to restore diplomatic relations. >> washington broke all ties with the communist nation back in 1961. u.s. president barack obama said
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that the isolation policy simply failed and it is time now to turn the page. >> cubans have also greeted the surprise announcement. they could have a much brighter future ahead of them following decades of economic hardship. exxon rise -- >> sunrise over havana's famous waterfront boulevard. the people are hopeful that future will bring more prosperity. >> it's great news, the country's economy is going to grow. relations are going to improve on the following 56 years of revolution. this is the best that could happen to our people. >> the cuban and american presidents both praised pope francis for his help as a mediator. he played a major role in brokering better relations. >> today we are all happy because we have seen two countries which had moved away from each other for many years take a step closer to each other yesterday.
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>> the eu parliament president said he hopes it will help revitalize cuba's relationship of the european union. >> i believe this step is long overdue. anyone who saw the handshake between barack obama and ronald castro at nelson mandela's funeral last year could see something was happening there -- raul castro. >> presidents obama and castro could soon meet in person. their paths will cross at the summit of the americas in panama this april. >> here in germany, it is perhaps the most sensational political scandal in years. this thursday, a former member of parliament went public about accusations against him over child pornography. >> he said what he had done was wrong, but nevertheless, still legal. however, huge questions still
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remain, including, where top politicians involved in a cover-up of the story last year to prevent it from impacting the national election? >> it was massive media interest, the sort of attention usually only reserved for the chancellor herself. sebastian kept out of the limelight for almost a gear him as saying he had been the target of death threats. back in berlin, a former lawmaker was eager to defend himself. some things are legal and others are not legal. in hindsight, i certainly make mistakes. and i admit it was certainly wrong to order those steps, but it was legal. only a court can determine whether he committed a crime by downloading the images. his trial is due to begin in february. regardless of the outcome, his political career is over.
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this is my last major appearance in berlin. the politician no longer exists. the other major political casualty in the case resigned as a cabinet minister over charges he tipped off leadership at the federal criminal police had information. he concedes he was wrong, but says it was by his own party leaders. now committee will determine exactly how the confidential information reached sebastian. in the past, it cost the grand coalition some headache. is it still likely to create some major political repercussions? sebastian levels harsh accusations against the former head of the federal bureau of investigation all keeping the spd chief's out of the line of fire. >> will take a break. and we come back, the latest on yet another kidnapping in nigeria.
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back in just over 60 seconds.
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>> welcome back, everyone. at least 35 people have been killed by suspected boko haram militants in northeastern nigeria. officials say more than 100 women and children were also kidnapped in the attack, which took lace in a remote village. okafor rom says it wants to create an islamic state -- boko haram is said to have killed thousands of people in the region in the last five years. in april, the group abducted over 200 girls from another school nearby. >> let's go to our correspondent joining us via skype from lagos. what more do we know about ths latest kidnapping? >> eyewitnesses said that the terrorists came in the evening
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hours and forced all the women and children in the village to get into pickup trucks. they also used a lot of petrol bombs to set the whole village on fire afterwards. so basically the same thing that we have seen in past attacks of boko haram, including the kidnapping of almost 300 schoolgirls in april. eyewitnesses also said that there was a very strong vigilante group in the village, but they simply had no chance against the heavily armed fighters of boko haram. also, the incident obviously already happened on sunday, but the information took so long to emerge because all the regional phone network collapsed and the survivors went into the bush and stayed there for several days before they could inform anybody of the attack. >> you mentioned those schoolgirls who were abducted.
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is there any new information about them? >> unfortunately, there is no information about those girls. there are a lot of protests still going on all over nigeria to put pressure on the government to negotiate with boko haram to release them, but the problem is that the boko haram leader, there is no way those girls will ever be released again. they had been forced to marry fighters and they have been forced to convert to islam, and they are not in one place anymore, but in several different places. so a military operation is not really an auctio option. our correspondent reporting from lagos in nigeria. thank you very much.
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>> the united nations has made its biggest ever appeal for a to help those affected by the syrian civil war. >> at a conference here in berlin, the human call for more than $8 billion in aid. the money is needed to help 18 million people inside the country as well as refugees. >> some 200,000 people have died in the war and nearly half of the syrian population has been displaced. >> these buses are carrying refugees from an embattled city to a camp in northern iraq. the civil war in syria has made millions of people homeless. resources are scarce amid the united nations says the camps are only fun until january. $3 billion are needed to get the refugees through the winter. that's according to the u.n. high commissioner for refugees. germany's foreign minister has called the syrian crisis the greatest humanitarian challenge of our time.
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>> the reality on the ground is beyond human imagination. 12 million people who have lost their homes are fighting for their survival. half of them are children. >> the situation is indeed dramatic. the world food program was forced to temporarily suspend food aid to 1.7 million syrians because it had run out of money. germany's development ministry announced immediate aid but called on other european -- other european countries to step up. >> it's unacceptable that we have to ask the international community month after month to do their part to prevent people from dying in the refugee camps in jordan, syria, and iraq. >> the u.n. launch europe to commit to over $8.5 billion in aid to secure long-term support for the syrian refugees in their
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host countries. fixed most of the refugees who have fled the conflict have made their way to neighboring countries such as turkey, lebanon, and jordan. >> more than 600,000 syrians have already crossed the border to jordan. any live in desperate circumstances there. now being made are worse by the onset of winter. i do is report shows how some of them are still trying to build a future. >> the teacher lives right next to the school. his home is a tent. the school is to portable buildings. ahmed teaches mathematics and arabic. he doesn't get paid. without him, the syrian children would not get taught at all. the children play in the streets. they should be in school and did some have been here for over three years. what kind of future do they and syria have? >> he works for free, even though he needs money.
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temperatures can drop to below freezing here and he only has this gas cooker to heat his tent. but still, he prefers it. jordan's biggest refugee camp is home to 80,000 people. in terms of population, you could say it's the country's fifth largest city. life is hard here. tents, trailers, and makeshift huts are squeezed together into three square kilometers. most refugees have been living here for months. though they might not be able to return to syria for years. those who can try to leave the camp to find homes in nearby settlements. only there to they have any chance of earning some money. officially, the refugees are not allowed to work. but living conditions in the villages are often worse than in the camp itself. this family at least has a house of sorts.
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all nine of them have come from homs. there, they were well off, but their house was destroyed by a bomb, and they spent a year in the desert before fleeing to jordan. their savings have dried up. he cannot find any work, so he has to send his 13-year-old daughter out to earn money. child labor is not closely monitor. any syrian children work illegally on farms. the farmers are willing to take the risk. children are cheap, around six euros for a whole day's work. but he would rather be in school in syria. >> none of the children here in the village go to school. the whole family goes out to work. >> i feel terrible about it. i'm sitting around here without a job and my daughter has to work. she's only 13 years old.
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for proud syrian father, it's a situation that's almost unbearable. >> business news now. germany's economy has gained steam at the end of the year, according to the munich-based institute. german business confidence has improved, despite the crash in the ruble. the research institute found optimism in boardrooms across the country, thanks to the falling price of oil and a weakening euro. the key indicator climbed i almost a point in december over the november survey. books onto the markets and european shares rocketed higher thursday, staging their biggest one-day advance in three years. our correspondent sent us this summary from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> the german market and other markets him of the mood was fantastic. for once driven by the federal reserve, the fed is not in a hurry to raise interest rates for the first time.
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the chairman said despite the recovery of the u.s. economy, the flooding of money will go on. another reason for the good mood was the stronger german business confidence for german companies to lower oil prices, a nice gift, lowering production costs and driving up domestic spending power and helping the entire german economy. >> and soccer news now. bundesliga teams are getting ready before the final winter break. >> there were some surprise performances this season. but what we are seeing is not a surprise munich at the top of the standings. >> the bavarians are making it look easy, cruising from one victory to the next as they expand their lead atop the bundesliga standings. they have chalked up 13 wins with no losses and have conceded just three goals. the team appears even stronger this year under the coach.
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>> when it comes to our style of play in the things our coach has given us to implement, we have taken another small step forward. we are coordinating our moves better. >> at least two top-notch players for each position it injuries have kept bastion out for most of the season and philip has been replaced since november. germany's world cup players quickly return to form, despite a shortened summer break. >> usually we have a bumpy start, or at least for the first half of the season. that is not so easy. but this first half went really smoothly. the team and the coach deserve a lot of praise. >> the coach has played a key role in the clubs success. he has managed to eke more and
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more potential out of his squad. did your team show it was playing close to perfection today? >> no. >> why not? >> did you see the first half? >> i thought it was great. >> no, we didn't play well. >> rivals have their work cut out for them. the club has shown this is clearly a cut above the rest. >> thanks for watching, everybody. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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