tv DW News PBS November 13, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PST
anchor: this is "dw news" live from berlin. kurdish forces say they have dealt islamic state a major low. peshmerga fighters and northern iraq raise the flag over sinjar. they say they have beaten jihadist militants and retake in a strategic town after a two-day assault. we will manage it, german chancellor angela merkel takes to nationwide television staunchly defending her increasingly unpopular migration policy, saying quote, i'm fighting for my vision. it german police find the remains of eight dead babies at
a house in bavaria. they're looking for the former occupant, thought to be the baby's mother. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] anchor: welcome to dw. after two days of fighting islamic state militants, kurdish peshmerga forces say they have retaken the key town of sinjar. the president of iraqi kurdistan says the next step is mosul. reporter: these pictures from kurdish television leave little doubt that kurdish fighters are in control of sinjar, though there may still be pockets of i.s. resistance. around 7000 kurdish troops are involved against an estimated 600 i.s. militants. the president of the kurdish region in iraq said i.s.'s occupation of the town had been a symbol of injustice against the kurdish people.
he said the liberation of sinjar would have a great effect on liberating mosul. u.s. secretary of state john kerry cautioned that the fight for sinjar was not over yet, but he had a warning for i.s. >> your days are numbered. and you will be defeated. there is no future, no passion forward for daesh, which just not lead ultimately to its elimination, it's destruction. reporter: the objective is to cut a key i.s. supply line. an attempt to retake sinjar a year ago failed to dislodge i.s. the pentagon has all of anything to chance this time. it's been supporting the kurds with airstrikes and on the ground advisors. >> most of these folks, as i understand it, are behind the front lines, advising and working directly with peshmerga
commanders. there are some advisors who are on sinjar mountain, assisting in the selection of airstrike targets. reporter: sinjar lies on a major highway, and on the edge of kurdish areas here. if peshmerga can hold the city, they will cut off a route for i.s. strongholds. when i.s. captured sinjar last year, the yazidi people fled to the nearby mountains. fear of genocide was a key factor that prompted the u.s. and its allies to enter the fight against i.s. retaking sinjar might be a sign that the tide against i.s. is turning. anchor: the u.s. military says it is reasonably certain that it killed the islamic state militants known as jihadi john. an american don't strike -- drone sttrike targeted the british national.
videos of the murders were posted online and have become a symbol of i.s.. brutality for more, let's cross over to our washington correspondent, richard walker. good to see you. the u.s. government has been commenting on those drawn strikes targeting jihadi john. what else have they been saying? >> we've had briefings on this subject both from the pentagon and white house during the course of friday. as you just adjusted, they are not 100% confirming that they did manage to kill mohammed -- kill the man. the phrase they're using is that they are reasonably certain at this point. you can understand why they're being cautious with their language in this spirit you can just imagine how embarrassing it would be for them if jihadi john turned up in a social media video in a few days to say to the world, i'm still alive. it's quite interesting in the white house briefing that they were key to stress the motivations behind this
airstrike, to stress that this was not some form of retribution for his apparent role in the killings of those hostages that we just heard about last year, but rather that he was being targeted as a strategist who is trying to recruit followers to the islamic state cause via social media. that an interesting sign that the united states is at least purportedly taking the propaganda war aspect of its efforts against islamic state extremely seriously. anchor: social media is a major tool used by islamic support toe kurdish peshmerga fighters to recapture sinjar from islamic state. is there hope that today could be a major turning point in the struggle against islamic state? >> certainly the kurds are presenting it in that kind of way. for the white house, certainly more cautious language. but they are ready to talk about what he said in his briefing in
the white house about important progress being made. i think you will see that the pressure has been rising on the united states to show some form of progress in its battle against islamic state, not least is a couple of months ago vladimir putin so dramatically intervened in the conflict in syria. now we have this diplomacy going on in vienna, there's a refugee crisis getting worse by the day in europe. the pressure on the united states to show that it is still not being kind of left behind as the situation spins out of control is extremely high. anchor: richard walker in washington, thank you for bringing us up to date on this story. now, to some of the other stories making news around the world. in iraq, a suicide attack in baghdad has killed at least 26 people and wounded dozens more. islamic state has claimed responsibility for the attacks which targeted a memorial
service held for a shiite militia fighter. the militia fighter was killed in battle fighting islamic state in the country's west and bar province. a gunman has opened fire on a passing israeli car in west bank, killing two and wounding several others. israeli police sources say the victim were father and son. friday also saw the deaths of two palestinians in clashes with israeli troops and hebron and ramallah. funerals are being held in beirut for victims of thursday's twin suicide bombings which claimed 44 lives and wounded more than 200. islamic state has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted a shia neighborhood, where hezbollah enjoyed strong support. she's fighting for her vision, a vision that encompasses providing aid and comfort [no audio] while finding solutions for root problems that spot the exodus in
the first place. german chancellor angela merkel faced intense questioning during a nationally televised interview that and it just a few minutes ago. despite sinking poll numbers and internal combat within her coalition, she insists that the refugee crisis is under control. >> the chancellor is in control of the situation and of the german government, but we are in a truly special, a real challenging situation, and we have to get back to a place where external borders are protected, and that is what i'm working on. anchor: our political correspondent has been following that interview and joins me now in the studio. simon, welcome to the program. it seems that the germans saw a very steadfast angela merkel in that interview. >> absolutely. she's is saying she's on the right track. angela merkel has a detailed secret plan for what to do about this migration challenge, if i can call it that, then it
remains a secret plan tonight. she has been setting out a broad overall approach. she says it's necessary to strengthen the eu's external borders to reduce ultimately the number of people coming at all. she says it's very important to talk to turkey. she has got outlines of a plan, but she hasn't revealed any new arrangements or details of how she's going to tackle this difficult problem, and that has been a problem for her over the last few weeks, a lot of people saying she doesn't know what she's doing. anchor: has she shown any progress towards a coordinated response with other eu countries? >> she has talked about that a lot, and the aim is still that the eu countries will share the burden of migrants coming here, and that they will get a coordinated approach in many other ways, but you can see that it's difficult. slovenia a country today putting up a new fence to keep people
out. there are very different approaches around the european union that merkel is putting a lot of emphasis on this relationship with turkey. she says a lot of people are coming to turkey or from camps in turkey. it's very important -- she has been criticized because of doubts about the regime. she says we must do that and she's talking up a big eu-turkey summit. she has big plans, but do they go to the heart of the problem? anchor: merkel is being criticized by all sides of her coalition. do you think her days as chancellor are numbered? >> there has been much speculation about whether angela merkel's throne is wobbling. that's because you've got senior ministers openly disagreeing with aspects of her policy, the finance minister, interior minister making no bones about that. angela merkel says in this interview, these are just details. we have disagreements, but we get it all out in the end. she says that the cabinet knows
what it's doing and they will move forward. angela merkel still a very popular politician. i don't see a real threat to her chancellorship at the moment. anchor: simon young, thank you for joining us today. turkey has excepted 2.5 million refugees, mainly from syria. most of them find shelter in crowded camps in tent cities. many are desperate to make it to europe. we spoke with two syrian refugees in istanbul. reporter: the square has become a central place for refugees in turkey's biggest city. human traffickers pickup customers hoping to reach the eu. mohammed has thought about making the trip himself. he fled syria two years ago when he was 18 to avoid conscription in the syrian army. as always, he finds men selling lifejackets for the trip to greece.
one time he almost went with a trafficker, but then backed out. but just barely eking out a living himself, he has regrets that he stayed. >> imagine the different life here. i had hoped to send money back to my family and syria, but i don't even make enough to support myself. reporter: mohammed shows us where he lived until recently. he's picking up the rest of his belongings. and he's moving in with some friends because he can't bear to be in the four-man room any longer. he paid 110 euros a month and had no privacy. an absurd amount, he admits. but, only having a refugee registration, he doesn't have many options. >> this is only a piece of paper, not a residence permit. it means i'm registered with the turkish authorities. they have my fingerprints in
case i make any trouble. to me, this is worthless. it doesn't matter if i have it or not. reporter: she has established herself in istanbul. the dentist is actually working in her profession. she fled damascus three years ago but has used her savings to open her own office. still, she doesn't have a license to practice here. the turkish authorities look the other way. they could shut her down at any time. >> turkey has helped us a lot. it was the first country to open its borders to us. i am grateful for that. still, it's frustrating that i'm working here illegally. but, i don't have any other choice. reporter: and what will mohammed do?
when he has time, he comes to the banks of the bosporus to think. >> i see my future in europe because i could make something out of my life there. i could apply for asylum, study, and be free to build a better life. reporter: mohammed plans to give istanbul a few more months, but it his situation doesn't improve, he says he will move on. anchor: star wars fans in belgium can expect some chilling sites starting tomorrow. an ice sculpture festival will showcase famous figures from the saga ahead of the december release. visitors can mingle with frosty jedi's and sits in scenes carved out of 500 tons of ice. an international team of 30 sculptors spent a month creating the figures which are on view through the end of january.
♪ anchor: welcome back. you are with "dw news." the president of iraq semiautonomous region says kurdish forces have retaken the town of sinjar from islamic state militants. thousands of peshmerga fighters entered the town from three directions early on friday. it looks as though the man known as jihadi john has been killed by u.s. airstrike during the pentagon launched an attack targeting the islamic state execution are believed to have beheaded several hostages in i.s. propaganda videos.
police have found the remains of eight dead babies at a private home in a small town halfway between munich and berlin. they are now looking for a woman who used to live at the property. she is thought to be the children's mother. here is more. reporter: on thursday a resident in the small germantown discovered the body of a baby in the apartment she just recently moved into. police later recovered what appeared to be the bodies of seven other babies. authorities say they still don't know when the babies died and what caused their deaths. the whereabouts of the 45-year-old woman who used to live in the apartment is still unknown. it is a town of just under 300 residents in rural bavaria. the tragedy has shocked locals to their core. >> there is grief and as i've already said, shock about what seems to have happened here. reporter: wallenfels is a small community. everybody knows everybody else.
it is a community where people help each other out. many people are now asking if this could have been prevented and if we could have helped somehow. forensic investigators are now examining the bodies of the infants. they warn per luminary results will take several days to come. anchor: time for some business news with gerhart. reporter: cabin crews due to and their weeklong strike at midnight. germany's biggest airline says it had to cancel another 940 flights, affecting more than 100,000 passengers, on friday pretty lufthansa is expected to go back to its regular schedule on saturday. despite the massive disruptions, the airline seems no closer to an agreement with the cabin crew union ufo, which has it's been k for lufthansa and its passengers. the strike by the flight attendants has dragged on for
seven days. the company has canceled a total of 4700 flights, affecting more than half a million passengers. pilots and ground staff held a demonstration at frank for airport on friday. they support cabin crew union demands for its 19,000 members. they want transition payments for early retirement and they are threatening more walkouts if management does not compromise. strikes could resume anytime if there is no movement from management. lufthansa says it is losing at least 10 million euros a day from the longest strike in its 60 year history. many passengers are unhappy. the company does not want to give in to the demands of the union. >> competition is tough. we compete with a lot of low-cost carriers and there are many heavily subsidized airlines as well. we have a problem. we need to cut costs.
reporter: the vuitton services operations will be back to normal on saturday. -- lufthansa says operations will be back to normal on saturday. >> iran is a world's biggest producer of saffron, 90% of the orange-yellow, very expensive spice is produce their. that is despite international sanctions. iranian exporters hope when and if import restrictions are lifted, the saffron business could take off. here is the whole spicy story. reporter: the weather has been perfect this year in northeastern iran, at least perfect for the crocus flower. the thousands of workers plucking the violet blossoms have to be quick. even a short delay can mean losses. this season, farmers can expect a harvest of three kilograms of pure saffron spice per hectare. that amounts to about 36,000
euros. technical advances are set to improve harvests. pulling the tiny filaments out of the crocus flowers is delicate work. the spice known as saffron is made up of these reddish thre ads. only 1/10 of a gram gives the dish its characteristic taste and color. where is it all being shipped to? sanctions are still in place against iran. but there are ways of getting saffron to the world. >> the sanctions made experts complicated and difficult in the past years. our exports to america were stopped, yet america kept obtaining our saffron indirectly, mostly through spain. that involves more costs. we think when sanctions are removed, we will benefit and expand our markets and buyers will be able to acquire our products with fewer middlemen involved.
reporter: saffron from iran. due to international sanctions, some of it is still labeled as a spanish product. the iranian producers hope someday they will be able to declare it as their own. >> a christian group in the u.s. state of kentucky is building what they believed to be an exact replica of noah's ark. you can see it right here behind me. you know that big boat from the bible with all the animals on it. it will be part of an amusement park and cost the organization $91 million. they hope to have it ready by july year. but the state of kentucky has withdrawn its support, saying the project could be less about attracting tourists and more about religious indoctrination. reporter: the massive structure going up in northern kentucky will be the center of attention at a controversial american themepark when it opens next summer. it's a giant wooden boat, but the operator -- what the
operator says is a full-sized replica of the biblical ark that no and his family built to escape the flood. -- noah and his family built to escape the flood. >> the scope is huge. it's a big project. i think we figured the timbers if you laid them foot to board foot would stretch from here to philadelphia, pennsylvania. reporter: the builders of the ark are part of a group that promotes what is called young earth creationism, a believe that the earth is only 6000 years old, as suggested by a literal interpretation of the bible. but the group's leader thinks this arc will appeal to a much broader audience. >> is going to be the biggest timber frame building in the world. i think people will come to see it in the engineering.
reporter: by the sight of the rain clouds overhead, this arc cannot be completed to soon. >> they definitely don't need a bigger boat. that is it for me for this week. my colleague will have your next business update. anchor: thank you, gerhart. the world of athletics has been shrouded by a doping scandal since the summer. just copy the world anti-doping agency to commission an independent investigation into the russian athletic federation. his findings were released on monday. the iaaf will meet tonight to discuss russian athletics' fate. how did it get this far? reporter: august 1, 2015, the date that shook the world of athletics. a german broadcaster and the "sunday times" published a report revealing a database containing the details of 12,000 lead tests from 2001 -- blood
tests from 2001 to 2012. the iaaf was accused of failing to follow up on these tests. the president at the time called the findings a declaration of war. he has changed his tune since. >> we really do need to make sure that we have systems in place and a culture that remains absolutely nonnegotiable about the importance of keeping our sport clean for the athletes. reporter: still not convinced, then passed -- fast forward to november and another explosive revelation, this time by an independent commission set up by the world anti-doping agency. some of the findings include the disposal of samples at a moscow lab before the arrival of an audit team, a deeply rooted cheating team among the doctors, coaches, and lab staff directly
involved with the team, intimidation, a security service says, and the widespread cover-up of positive doping tests. met with a defiant russian response, the country's top officials called it politically motivated and claim to be singled out. >> this is an attempt to cast a shadow over all russian sport. it's unacceptable. i can assure you that russian support is today one of the world's leaders. reporter: days later the country's leader urged for "operation instead -- open cooperation instead. the shift came hours ahead of the iaaf's meeting to decide the fate of the russian athletics federation. anchor: before we go, here's a reminder of the top stories we are for you. the president of iraq semiautonomous kurdistan region announced that kurdish forces
have fully retaken te town of sinjar from islamic state militants. thousands of peshmerga fighters entered the town from three directions early on friday. in a nationally televised interview, german chancellor angela merkel has refused to define limits on the number of asylum seekers germany and europe should accept. this as new polls show a majority of germans are upset with the mass influx of refugees. critics accused her of poor management, but she insists the migration crisis is under control. we will see you again at the top of the hour. bye for now.
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