tv DW News PBS February 28, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PST
berlin. the german government says it has been hit by a cyberattack. the suspects, russian hackers, and there could be a u.s. presidential connection. berlin confirming a government firewall was breached, and sensitive information stolen for the defense and foreign ministries. the hackers belong to the same group that attacked the democratic national committee ahead of the 2016 u.s. presidential election. also coming up, bands no more, the olympic committee lifts its doping command on russia after the tests at the pyeongchang tests came back negative. they draw a line at the state run doping scandal? one war and two different stories. russia has evacuated submitted
-- civilians from eastern syria but aid workers say people are trapped and are too afraid to leave. also in search of a soldier. our moscow correspondent travel to the ural mountains to get information about the russian mercenaries fighting and dying in area. you will find out why few people in this town are willing to talk. and a new survey reveals there has been a change in attitude among germans towards the united states. we will tell you why. ♪ brent: i'm brent goff. it is good to have you with us. reports coming in seven german government's -- coming in that the german government's computers had been hacked, the
foreign and defense ministries, may have stolen sensitive data. a hacking group with alleged leaks to the russian government -- links to the russian government broke in here in berlin. the attacks were apparently discovered in september but were only made public today. the ministry of the interior has confirmed the attacks did indeed take place. let's bring in our political correspondent oliver sallet. we have got the german government confirming the federal i.t. system has been attacked and breached. what sort of attacks are we talking about here? oliver: the german minister of the materia -- of the interior said it is isolated and under control. apparently the foreign ministry was concerned as well. we do not know exactly how big the damage is. what we know is malware was installed on the government reversed, and also data was
stolen. this attack might have started up to a year ago and was only discovered in december and published today. brent: we know the german media are rerting a group known as apt28 was behind the attack. what do we know? oliver: these groups in general are concerned or are considered among the most powerful and professional hacking groups. they believe there are about 150 groups like this operating internationally, and they are extremely well-prepared, well-equipped with financial resources, also with personnel and the necessary know-how to carry out these kind of attacks so security experts believe state actors are behind them or supporting them at least because otherwise they would not be able
to operate on such a highly professional level. with regards to that group you mentioned, a pt -- apt28, this is also known as fancy beer, and alleged russian group, and that might ring a bell because it is the same group considered in charge of carrying out or having carried out the attack on the server of the conservative party in the run-up to the u.s. elections in 2016, and the german government believes they are in charge of an earlier attack on the bundestag server in 2015, a year before that. we might have russia behind this attack. brent: we know german intelligence has warned repeatedly more cyberattack could come from russia, targeting the german government. we have been warned. do we know what type of data may have gone missing? oliver: we are talking about a data network that is used by the
government, by the various different ministries. the interior ministry obviously and the foreign ministry were targeted here today and the chancellory, the bundestag, and other important authorities. as you can imagine they are posting valuable and sensitive information. these people are not after money. they are after the information that is politically valuable. authorities are trying to figure out how big the damages, and their biggest fear is the whole data network of the government is concerned. brent: political correspondent oliver sallet on that cyberattack. thank you very much. the olympic committee has confirmed russia's olympic ban has been lifted with immediate effect, despite to russian
athletes failing doping tests at the pyeongchang winter games. the country was reinstated after all remaining tests came back negative. reporter: they had competed as neutrals and welcomed back as russians. now the country's olympic reinstatement means the flag, absent from pyeongchang, will fly again in future games. it lasted less than three months. the super -- this was unsurprisingly welcomed by russia's olympic committee. >> today's decision of the ioc is one of the most important for us because the russian olympic committee is once again completely reinstated in its rights and is now a completely full-fledged member of the olympic family. reporter: it was revelations from this man that had helped lead to the ban. the former moscow lab director
let information out on the sochi games. as a result clean athletes from russia were only allowed to take part in pyeongchang under the olympic flag. the red white and blue cap early out of sight. and although two of them including this person failed drug tests in south korea, the ioc agreed on sunday to lift the ban since no other athletes tested positive. the reinstatement was complete. brent: we want to unpack this story. i am joined by jonathan crane from the sports desk. was this a big surprise? jonathan: i don't think it was. there is always going to be a case of when and not if the russia ban was lifted. we have been building up to the since the ioc decided to allow 168 russian athletes to compete as neutral. this reinstatement was going to be on the cards sooner rather than later.
we could have seen them brought -- marching under their own flag had it not been for the failed doping test. a lot of members fear a backlash, nervousness about reinstating russia, so if they have been impressed by the baker -- they had been impressed by the behavior in pyeongchang. brent: for those that did compete, they were clean. is that enough for the ioc to be fine lifting this? jonathan: right from the start of ioc had been not preventing clean athletes whose lifelong dream was to compete in olympic games. punishing russia as the country, let's not forget the reason for this state-sponsored date -- doping uncovered by that man, a huge scandal. it has been dragging on for years, overshadowed the only pyeongchang, it was also rio a few years ago. and in the reports that helped
show this, 1000 athletes over many sports implicated. ioc said it undermines the integrity of the entire olympic movement. brent: what does lifting the ban mean? it does not mean doping has stopped in russia. what does it mean for the next olympics and the russian athletes? jonathan: as far as russia is concerned, it is business as usual. they seem keen to draw a line at all of this. we saw president vladimir putin is welcoming the russian athletes to the kremlin, presenting those who did win medals, honoring them. as far as russia is concerned, these are russian athletes that one those medals. they were not neutral, no matter what anyone else said. i has been a problem for those people who advocate clean sport because for them the punishment was not harsh enough. they wanted a blanket ban of athletes. they will be disappointed that this reinstatement has come very quickly. brent: that is a good point. jonathan crane from our sports
the syrian government has stepped up its airstrikes in the east after a temporary truce ended. 600 people are feared to have been killed in the last week, including many children. earlier today russian president vladimir putin said his troops have managed to evacuate some civilians, but unitarian workers say people are too afraid to leave. reporter: a so-called humanitarian corridor in eastern guta is seemingly empty of actual humans. imbalances stand ready to treat the wounded, but provisions are plentiful. those who want to leave can do so after a month or 20 days, or they can stay for two years because there is a school and everything they need is here. they get new supplies every 60 days. but people seem too scared to risk the journey. airstrikes were reported during the first five hours of the cease-fire.
but russian president vladimir putin said a few hundred did make it through. >> we have managed to get out quite a bit for those who wanted to leave, but the second group that was prepared could not leave because the militants did not give them an opportunity to do that. reporter: putin's face haunts these stations. he blames the rebel groups are the cease-fire, but others say it with the syrian government to blame. >> the regime did not say a word about it, and moreover is continuing its siege and logs -- large-scale military operations with large-scale civilian operations. all of this is a complete violation of resolution 24.01. brent: the u.n. has been in talks with russia. perhaps some of the people whose lives have been shattered by the
conflicts n start to stream down these county road's to get the aid they so desperately need. brent: here are the other stories making headlines around the world. students have returned to the florida high school that was the site of a mass shooting. two weeks ago and asked -- an ex-student killed 17 people. this has renewed the fight over gun control with students calling for limited access to guns. at least 10 people up and killed in sectarian violence in northern nigeria. locals are flooding conflict between christian farmers and muslim herders. there were 10 people killed who are responsible for an attack on a village on tuesday. at least several people have been killed after a train collision in egypt. a further 15 people were reportedly injured in the grass. the cause of the accident is
still not clear. still to come on the show, the reporter jan kuciak who was found dead with his girlfriend in his home yesterday was writing a story on links between the italian mafia and the slovak government. in search of a shoulder -- a soldier, traveling to the ural mountains to get information on the russian mercenaries who are fighting and dying in syria. the creators of ask have got their own headaches. javier: it is the case that we sometimes have headaches because we are under pressure to perform. that is happening to buyers. shares in the life sciences company tumbled 3% after it announced disappointing results for 2017. bayer faces challenges on multiple fronts including
control -- come out of its control. reporter: if they are investors were hoping for good news, they did not get much as if multiple delays and the approval of a 62 billion euro chemical deal with monsanto were not enough, 2017's consumer drug sales were stagnant. >> we are not satisfied with the development of consumer health. on the one hand competitive forces in the usa require extra investment in our brand. and then in 2017 the unusual situation in china where several over-the-counter drugs became prescription only products. reporter: they are'-- bayer's problems are stacking up. it needs to sell more of its business. the u.s. fda is threatening to
take their products off the shelves for quality control issues, and brexit quds force other firms to do the splits in europe, doubling up on regulatory approval on both sides of the channel. bayer's executive putting on a brave face at the conference, but they have at least one reason to be cheerful. sources quoted by news agency reuters said the e.u. will soon approve monsanto. but analysts putting bayer under the microscope can see other headaches for 2017 to continue this year. javier: police and protesters have clashed in athens before the auctions of foreclosed properties. these are one of the main conditions of the bailout loan program which expires in a few months. demonstrators from the leftist popular unity party said the auctions are tantamount to stealing poor people's homes. thanks have repossessed many
properties -- banks have repossessed many properties after increased taxation that have left greeks struggling to make ends meet. it looks like selling toys is not child's play. following the collapse of toys "r" us in the usa, now it looks like the same will happen to the u.k. branch. administrators have gotten -- have not managed to find a buyer, so they will begin winding up british stores in the coming weeks. 3200 workers are affected. reporter: all 105 of the toys "r" us stores in the u.k. are opened, but their days are limited. thousands of customers hang in the balance. many say they will miss the shops when they are gone. >> it is one of the two best as well compared to other toy stores. most of the time it has everything in stock. i will be disappointed. reporter: in the 1980's they
geared their strategy to big-box stores. in the face of massive online competition, the shift of consumer patterns, they've sold a branch left behind. it was not just toys "r" us that is suffering in the u.k.. >> it is pretty tough for the retail sector at the moment. we are seeing a softening of them are demand. we are seeing the absolute to cincinnati to understand who your consumer is, and we are seeing a cost explosion through a variety of different areas of retail businesses, and finally a significant structural change to retail today. reporter: the chain collapsed in its home country of the united states last autumn. now in the u.k. it is looking like game over as well. javier: that is all from the business desk. brent: backed -- thank you very slovenian officials have resigned following the murder of a journalist and his fiancee.
jan kuciak was investigating possible leaks between officials and the italian mafia. the deaths have left slovakian's worried about crime invading the country's politics. reporter: journalist jan kuciak's final story was the most explosive in his short career and may have cost him his life. the story details alleged links to in the italian mafia and officials working for the prime minister's office. it was published by his colleagues days after the body of kuciak and his fiancee martina kusnirova were found dead in their bratislava home. >> i am 99% convinced of the murder is connected with his writings about a link between the italian mafia and slow back politics. -- slow back politics -- slovak >> politics. one of them, a chief advisor to the prime minister.
another, the state security department chair. both have denied links to the killings. the prime minister, seen here, has cautioned against judging the pair without evidence. he has offered a reward of one million euros for information about the murders. so back he is culture minister also resigned, ashamed something like this could happen in his country. >> as culture minister, i cannot deal with the fact that the journalist was killed during my term in office. reporter: he said. in brussels, they held a minute of silence to honor the journalists. kuciak sought out the truth with determination and did not answer to anyone. >> the police declared he was almost surely killed to stop his investigation. reporter: many of kuciak's grieving supporters want his work to be continued. >> i am a student of journalism,
and jan has been an enmeshed -- has been an inspiration to me. i think the journalist involved should not get geared right now. reporter: kuciak's reporting could have more impact on slovakia than he never -- ever could have imagined. brent: at the end of last year, russians president vladimir putin said he would stop withdrawing troops -- start withdrawing troops from syria. the airstrikes from the north, they play a major role in turning the tide in favor of bashar al-assad's government forces. the total number of russian troops who served remains unclear, but in december and the defense ministry said 48,000 soldiers had gained combat experience since the beginning of the mission. but total number of russians who have fought in syria is likely to be much higher. one reason is russian mercenaries are thought to be fighting alongside pro-syrian
forces. our correspondent emily sherwin travel to a small town in the ural mountains where a number of locals are said to have enjoyed a private military company. emily: it is about as far as you can get from syria, but in this russian town, people are waiting for news about seven locals who reportedly went to fight in syria. they allegedly worked as mercenaries, which is illegal in russia. the topic is sensitive. many people say they know nothing about the men. in fact we are repeatedly met with rejection. this building is home to the mother of one of the fighters. she had agreed to speak to us that canceled the interview after being told her son had been killed. a local gives us the address of the wife of another mercenary -- when we tried to speak to her, she insists she is someone else, but she also warns none of us is going to talk to you.
>> just like the relatives of the mercenaries, the russian government has largely kept silent about them and even denied their existence. the foreign ministry took over a week to respond after a recent airstrike reportedly killed up to 200 russians. >> reports about the death of dozens and hundreds of russian citizens, it is a classic case of disinformation. according to preliminary data, we could be talking about the death of five people, presumably russian citizens, as the result of an armed clash which we are currently investigating. reporter: this analyst thinks the russian government is using mercenary groups to keep official military losses low. >> this strategy has been beneficial for the russian government because it can show it is doing its job, but like the americans and the rest -- british, russian can say those are not our soldiers.
no soldiers have died. we don't know who these people are. ask whoever sent them there. reporter: in the run-up to the presidential elections, news about the death of russian soldiers is inconvenient for the government here. even from two drove the, this small town in the urals, seven people joined a private russian military company to fight in syria. the population is over 2000. although no relatives wanted to talk on camera, other people were willing to talk. >> he was a good boy. he was not a thug who did not care about anything. he was a good boy. maybe he wanted to earn money towards an apartment. there is not much work here. >> i think the government is behind all of this. it is not like these guys decided to go there themselves and just went.
someone must have sent them. reporter: it is not clear when and if the man in syria will return here. for now the town and the government are both keeping their silence. brent: germany has traditionally have a warm relationship with the united states but a new survey shows things have changed significantly since the election of donald trump. whereas trump's predecessor barack obama had a 90% approval rating among germans, trump enjoys the confidence of 11% of the people here. the survey also has new revelations about americans and towards the germans. reporter: these days the relationship between rush -- germany and the u.s. resembled that of a poorly communicating couple. one partner is unhappy and the other doesn't notice. a study by the research center shows that when only 22% of
americans think relations are poor, and germany more than half do. the main reason for this may be president trump. as the study shows, there is a stronger relation between how germans view the president and how they see the u.s. as a whole. when former president barack obama's ability in germany's -- in germany was -- president trump been 11% in likability. >> i think obama was different and wanted to have different relations. >> with president trump it is indeed the case that the tradition of trusting relations have ended. >> if he follows his america first course, that is what has made relations worse. >> but the dislike is not mutual. angela merkel is very popular with most americans. her popularity has increased
constantly with all americans since 2012. 64% of democrats feel that chancellor merkel is trustworthy. her approval ratings have even been rising steadily in republican groups. the study states americans mainly value u.s.-german security ties, where germans focus on democratic values. perhaps these differin interests are what make transatlantic relations so complicated. brent: indeed. here is a reminder of our top stories. hackers have attacked in germany's foreign and defense ministries and stolen data. the hackers are aeged to belong to the russian group accused of attacking the democratic national committee ahead of the u.s. presidential election in 2016. the international olympic committee has reinstated russia's olympic never ship. this comes after the remaining tests of the athletes at the winter olympics turned out negative.
russia had its membership suspended after evidence came from a huge statewide doping scandal. after a short break i will be back to take you through the day. stick around for that. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption coent and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪
(tanks rumbles) - [george bush] a new breeze is blowing. (mournful music) (civilian unrest) in a world refreshed by freedom, seems reborn. (civilian unrest) for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. (suspenseful music) (explosion) - [narrator] the collapse of the soviet union in 1991 sent shock waves around the globe, heralding what many hoped would be new and more peaceful world order. but the post-communist chaos of the 1990s