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tv   DW News  PBS  December 24, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PST

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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you're watching dw news live from berlin. iraqi forces push deeper into the heart of ramadi. they are close to retaking the strategic city from the islamic state. progress has been slowed by booby-traps and snipers. pilgrims arrive in bethlehem to attend midnight mass. the service will be held after deadly attacks in the west bank. several people were killed on christmas eve in the ongoing violence. more than a million refugees arrived in europe this year marking their first ever christmas.
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on tears in germany are making sure everyone is included including the chairman. thanks for joining us. coalition players have been pounding positions in ramadi held by the so-called islamic state. airstrikes are some -- providing support and from government troops. >> iraqi government forces are trying to liberate the last district in the center of ramadi that is still in militant hands. one official said troops were just half a kilometer from the city's government building complex. when the current offensive started earlier this week. army leaders said they are confident of success within days
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but the operation has been hampered by suicide bomber's and minds. this is the southern district liberated on wednesday, and government troops found a large part of it had been laid to waste by militants. following the liberation of the area, bombed a fusil teams started removing and diffusing jerry cans filled with explosives and bombs planted on roads and in houses. it has been in i.s. hands since may. retaken by the army in the islamist group still controls part of the country. >> gathering to celebrate midnight mass. phil: this year, it is led by
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jerusalem's religious leader. the last 12 months has seen a surge in violence in the rest -- in the west bank. >> the latin patriarch, through the separation barrier. on his way to the town where tradition says jesus was born. thousands waited for his arrival. bands marched and played music. and the patriarch kicked off the festivities i wish everybody peace and love this christmas. our message this year is mercy. especially those that of lost their homes.
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we need to love each other and we need to be united. i wish everybody a merry christmas. the celebrations are break from the ongoing violence in the region. the general situation we are living here makes the happiness and complete. we want to practice the forgiveness and peace that we see in the world. in israel, a wave of violence began a mustard months ago and shows no sign of dying down. palestinian man stabbed two security guards. another try to attack soldiers with a screwdriver. 20 israelis have been killed in the last three months.
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they canceled visits to the holy land but the violence is not stopping them from keeping their traditions alive. phil: many refugees are from different religions. more on this report. caring for people who fled their homeland in search of a better life. >> christmas might be due but it is still lots of fun. his father tells us that after long and trying journeys, the children are relieved to be here. >> we're staying and they are having a very >> they have been
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collecting toys and suites for christmas gifts. thousands of presence have been handed out. the volunteers want to show that people in the welcome in germany , wherever they come from. >> it is important that we talk to each other and we find out what we can do for them. they're hoping to be able to hand out more presence over the christmas holidays to make more children happy. phil: seen as a time to promote peace. but for some, that is a full-time job. german troops of to carry out their duties through christmas
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but are so marking the festival with help from friends and family back home. >> rehearsing for christmas service, joy and peace in short supply with the taliban gaining ground in the south. the german contingent is based in the north. >> protecting our forces is the top minority -- priority. if it was so peaceful, we would not be needed. we would not be here. >> new protective walls are being set up around here. moral support from back home arrives by mail. this evening is special.
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on christmas eve, we all have supper together and we skype with our families. >> we try to communicate almost every day. >> there are 700 german soldiers here in the contingent is set to grow. and extending the mission until the end of next year. phil: soldiers killed in afghanistan are returned to the united states and flown to the air force base in a state of delaware. troops were killed when a suicide bomber packed with explosives joined patrol units. the attack came a year after nato ended the combat operations.
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there were multiple tornadoes in mssissippi, tennessee, and indiana. dozens of homes of homes and been damaged or destroyed. >> the call that a particularly dangerous storm system, a 20 that ripped through northern mississippi. 20,000 -- 20 houses were damaged or destroyed. the twister touched down in a rural area. many people were lucky to escape with their lives. >> the roof came off and it was picking me up off the floor. i could hear the sirens from town. the senate like 10 jets taking off.
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>> the tornado went right over me. and i don't know why i'm still standing here talking to you. >> authorities were trying to assess how many people had been affected. >> going door to door, making sure we can eliminate the possibility that there is someone that needs help. >> authorities say it may take some time before the true number of casualties becomes known. it is one of the strongest tornadoes the area has experienced in years. phil: police in beijing have declared a security alert after
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four embassies issued warnings for their citizens to be alerted for possible threats against westerners. >> chinese police have stepped up patrols in response to a security warning. the district is popular with experts. for others, it's an assurance. >> is increased security for us to have this -- to have these guards you're working. >> foreign embassies have urged their citizens to be vigilant. they have received information in the area. the foreign ministry says it is responding. >> will take it note -- we have
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taken note of the report. these departments always attach great importance to public security and spare no effort to protect chinese citizens. >> police say there will be frequent security checks throughout the christmas and new year's. phil: russia plans to build six nuclear power plants. vladimir putin made the announcement after a trade summit. he said russia and india will successfully cooperate and a new type of fighter jet. the country's signed contracts reported worth $7 billion. in germany, they thought it might hurt the christmas retail boom.
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there's little need for woolly hats and down jackets but it did not stop the end of year spending spree. >> you could probably pick the flowers yourself. the mercury has hovered around 15 degrees celsius. there are cherry blossoms in time for the holiday. many people splurge on fancier food for christmas dinner. germans may be regarded when it comes to -- as tight when it comes to spending on food. and this year, more of the usual. >> people are spending a lot of money. business is better than usual. city centers were also bustling on christmas eve, full of people looking for gifts.
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for some, last-minute shopping has become a tradition. the 24th is always the day i do my shopping. it is wonderful to shop without stress. it doesn't appear to be entirely stress the -- free. this particular holiday season does not seem to have hurt balance sheets. it's actually more like easter. but we're really pleased with the christmas season. a lot of people visited munich city center. despite this warm temperature situation, we are satisfied. monday after christmas is straight back to work. retailers will likely see the spending spree continue. phil: a reminder of the top
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stories we are following. army commanders now say they are close to retaking the strategic city from the islamic state. the progress is slowed by suicide bombers and snipers. who have more for you at the top of the next hour.
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>> this was the birthplace of the german nation. as if by a miracle, it has balls and great fires.
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some 1200 houses built over six centuries have survived. the german tribes offer the royal crown. he is said to them laying birds snares when the messengers found him in his favorite spot. and he was known as henry the fowler. for generations, german schoolchildren have learned the origins of the german right.
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the windows of the magnificent town hall proudly tell the story. on the outside wall, the goddess pulls her bounty over the town. it depicts the town's most imposing buildings. the castle and the heart of the old abbey church, the basilica that dates from the 12th century.
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>> a namesake of his appropriated the church as a shrine.
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the crypt once lay the coffin of the first great german king. but nothing remains. no trace of the founder of the dynasty that ruled most of the western world. but the frescoes have survived almost unchanged. they show scenes from the old testament. very few of whom would be able to read or write. the memorial in the crypt has survived history. they depicts the convent that existed here before they became
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rich and important. there are all kinds of bizarre stories surrounding the town. a soldier serving with the u.s. occupation force sent the treasure home in a series of little parcels. 45 years later, it was found under his bed. here in the castle, henry's widow set up a foundation for unmarried noble women. the daughters of the nobility could be educated. only the keep survives.
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the castle museum is gradually assembling the furniture. they fell on hard times. a rather gruesome curiosity is this boxed. a relative medieval justice. it is said after being on the losing side in a raid, it was locked up for months.
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the town is one of the most extensive heritage sites. credit together around the castle rock, the houses represent a unique concentration of german and urban architecture. almost at the last moment, the town was saved from decay. restorers hard at work here. next the historic square right below the castle stands the fine gallery.
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they own one of the largest collections of work by the great german american painter. and it stands in what may well be germany's oldest half tempered house. it uses only concave under tiles. instead, they are filled with lime. the castle rock, a gather of low pitched slum dwellings once stood, built from the stones of an abbey. it is all that remains of the abbey.
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the church, small and intimate. the octagonal scene in fresco depict the site and his blessing is set to help anyone that has swallowed a fishbone. the magnificent altar with a protestant message, surrounding the word.
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some parts of the church date back to the 10th century and unfold part of the earliest part of the settlement but the earliest congregation is too small to support it today. an extraordinary site. mummified bodies from the middle ages. the crypt remains virtually unchanged after almost a thousand years. the only building to have survived in its original form.
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10 centuries crowded into a few square kilometers. the preservation of which is one of the great challenges to our global culture. for only when the stones come alive will or children have a future. [singing in german]
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♪ n$
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