tv DW News PBS March 7, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PST
at least know what was used to poison of former double agent and his daughter. counterterrorism investigators have determined a nerve agent was the substance that left sergei skripal and his daughter critically ill. investigators are treating the incident as an attempted murder. syrian government forces seize at least half of eastern ghouta, despite u.n. efforts to stop the fighting there. there has been heavy bombing and conflicting reports of who is really in charge of the rebel enclave near damascus. sending a signal against far right hate crimes. a german jobs -- judge it gives lengthy prison sentences to a neo-nazi group responsible for
attacks against refugees. plus, headbangers in hijabs. we take you to indonesia for the teenage girls smashing stereotypes with their devotion to heavy metal. ♪ brent: i'm brent goff. it is good to have you with us. british counterterrorism police say it was a nerve agent used to attack a former russian double agent and his daughter last weekend. police believe sergei skripal and his daughter yulia were targeted and they are treating the incident as an attempted murder. there is speculation of russia could be behind the attack.
investigators pieced together what happened on a bench in a quiet british town last sunday. reporter: the significance of the south berry attack is clear, as the emergency committee met wednesday morning. all sides indicating this was an attempted murder. this is sergei skripal doing his shopping a few days ago in his adopted hometown, southbury. police have confirmed that the former russian spy and his daughter were victims of a deliberate attack. >> having established a nerve agent is the cause, we believe the two people became unwell, were targeted specifically. reporter: it is still not clear who was behind the attempt to kill the former russian agent. skripal was accused of spying for britain in 2006. he was brought to the u.k. as part of this by swap. -- the spy
swap. no details about the nerve agent have been released, but experts say this kind of substance is difficult to produce and not available to the public. london has threatened a robust response if the trail of the poison leads back to moscow. brent: i am joined now by alastair hay, a toxicologist at the university of leeds in northern england. it is good to have you on the program. police believe a nerve agent was used to attack this former spy, mr. skripa, and his daughter. what clues or evidence with there have to be to determine a nerve agent was used? alastair: they would not be making this claim unloved -- unless they had good laboratory evidence. the laboratory they asked to do the work is a chemical defense institute in the u.k., a very --
that they are very highly rated, internationally. that would also be matched to the signs of the individuals were displaying when they were taken to the hospital. largely, the laboratory evidence. brent: the laboratory evidence. without knowing what the nerve agent was, can we talk about the types of affects a nerve agent would have on the body in this type of attack? alastair: yes. nerve agents can poison individuals by any one of a number of routes, inhalation, ingestion, or skin penetration. they work by blocking the message from the nerves to the muscles. that results in muscle spasms. the muscles are not expanding and contracting as they do normally. this inhibits breathing. it causes peristalsis, failure
of gut motility. the muscles in the eyes don't work, so you get pinpoint pupils. and problems in the lungs, which inhibits breathing. there is a range of symptoms, difficult to deal with, but clinicians can treat. there are specific protocols for nerve agents. brent: we are talking about an attack with a nerve agent. what is usually the likely cause of death, or what can make somebody critically ill? based on what you are describing, someone could easily suffocate. alastair: yes, and that is usually how people die. a 60 asian is how most people are killed. -- asphyxiation is how most people are killed. there could be throbbing
headaches, altered vision, upset stomachs and guts, weakness in the limbs. all the different muscles are not working properly. brent: alastair hay, a toxicologist at the university of leeds in northern england, shedding light on this story about the attack on a double agent -- former double agent and his daughter, in england. mr. hay, thank you very much. alastair: you're welcome, goodbye. brent: in syria, there are conflicting reports over who is in control of eastern ghouta. what is clear, the rebel forces are falling to bashar al-assad. regime forces have seized around half of the region. the syrian army and its allies claim to be in control of the entire area. what has not changed, civilians
called to the firing line, and the united nations failed in its efforts to stop the bloodshed. reporter: a childhood from hell. they must dig children from the rubble after yet another bombing raid. and take them to safety, if anywhere in ghouta is it safe. the high commissioner for human rights says it is urgent to reverse course and will -- referred them to the international court. >> this month it is eastern ghouta, in the words of the general, hell on a earth. next month or the month after, it will be someone else that is -- and faces an apocalypse. an apocalypse carried out by people in the government, with apparently the full backing of some foreign supporters. reporter: they reinforce syria's
irregular troops and the government itself is backed by iran, and especially, russia, which says it is coordinating with the regime to offer aid. and to help people get out. >> we managed to evacuate 13 civilians, including children. we plan to evacuat1000 wounded people, but rebels did not give us a chance. old people and children are used as hostages and human shields. reporter: many observers blame russia for blocking u.n. resolutions or for helping the syrian regime violate them. hell on earth has no end in sight. brent: to find out more about how civilians in eastern ghouta are coping, we spoke with panos moumtzis, he is based in the
mom, jordan. panos: people are hiding in basements, with little food, with constant fear, not knowing if they are going to live another day. that needs to change. if the routes are open, aid can get in, medical supplies, people should decide what they want to do. of course people love their homes, and if it is possible, they would like to stay where they are. but if it continues, they would rather be in a safer place. the security council, what is important is to apply its own resolutions. the resolutions have no meaning if they are just a piece of paper. we have to see action in this area, and it is not just about ghouta. it is multiple occasions. it is multiple occasions. 2.9 million syrians today live in one region, a region where we systematically do not have full access to go in and bring them
assistance and ensure and support a normal life. the security council to be effective, resolutions must be applied. brent: that was panos moumtzis, the regional u.n. humanitarian coordinator speaking to us from him on, jordan. here are some more headlines. saudi arabia's crown prince has arrived in the u.k. for an official visit, but the event has sparked controversy, critics staging a protest over saudi arabia's involvement in yemen's civil war. it calls for the u.k. government to take a stronger stance on human rights abuses. a senior religious official and his bodyguard have been killed by a suicide bomber in the half -- in an afghan city. he was the head of religious affairs in a province.
the so-called islamic state has taken responsibility, but did not offer any evidence. the high court in the eastern german state of saxony has given prison sentences to members of the so-called freital group carried out arson attacks against refugee shelters and political opponents. the hefty prison sentences they were given today are a sign some say germany is taking far right hate crimes more seriously. reporter: a closely watched session at the court in dresden. the judge's sentences were almost exactly what the state prosecutor had called for. >> the eight defendants have been charged for to 10 years in prison for being members of a terrorist organization, attempted murder, using
explosives for grievous and orderly harm, and property damage. in one case, a four year juvenile prison sentence has been handed down. reporter: the so-called freital group had targets including the car of a local left party t politician andwo -- party politician and two refugee shelters. it was only by chance no one was killed. >> the court saw these attacks as cases of attempted murder, as did we. so we feel validated. reporter: local prosecutors in saxony one of handled by the local juvenile court, but they confirmed the investigation as a terror-related case. it set a precedence -- precedent
that xenophobic crimes will not be tolerated. brent: -- >> brexit was never going to be smooth sailing, but now the president of the european council put out the strongest warning yet against british cherry picking. donald tusk saying brexit will make trade with the u.k. more complicated and costly. reporter: donald tusk does not support -- the president of the european council was all smiles as he presented a draft of tough guidelines for future economic relations with britain. he emphasized trade will only be more complicated and costly after brexit. >> i fully understand and respect theresa may's political objective to demonstrate
enterprise. brexit could be a success and was the right choice. but, sorry, it is not our objective. reporter: tusk's trade deal offers companies limited scope to offer services and that you single market. philip hammond immediately responded to say any settlement without the services deal could not claim to be fair and balanced. >> a busy day for officials. the european union is ready to strike back against donald trump's trade tariffs. it targets typical american products. but make no mistake, they are targeted to hit republican politicians where it hurts in their districts. reporter: motorcycles, jeans, and whiskey, could experience higher charges in europe. the e.u. announced they would
slap tariffs on certain u.s. products if president trump moves ahead on threatened import taxes. he said he would levy penalties of 25% on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum imports, putting thousands of e.u. jobs in jeopardy. he argues the tariffs are a matter of national security. but, one called the move deeply unjust. >> we should make it clear, the european state is against the tariffs announced by the united states, because it is not related to dumping or subsidies cases, it is really to close the market of the united states, and this goes against the wto. we need reaction from the inside. reporter: u.s. steel and agricultural products are also on the e.u.'s list. but they have denied
countermeasures could create a trade war. >> the city of cape town pushed back the date it expects to run out of water. they expect days zero to take place at the end of august instead of july, as previously feared. the south african city is facing its worst drought. there are dark clouds on the horizon in the positive sense, the rainy season is to begin in may. with any luck, cape town may avoid the zero altogether. a brave investor to jump on the volatile bitcoin bandwagon. the cryptocurrency comes with considerable risk. apparently, many teens are not listening. they have grown up with tech and see bitcoin and other currencies as an opportunity rather than a threat. reporter: for him, it all started when he bought his first bitcoin at age 15.
>> i did not spend much money in high school. i saved it all. my plan was to put it all into investments. reporter: four years on, he has a diverse crypto portfolio and helps other to invest. although analysts around the world dissuade people and especially youngsters from trading in cryptocurrencies. most banks in australia are banning customers from buying bitcoin with credit cards. >> we have grown up with tech, we can use the internet quickly, do our own research, make our own opinions about things. reporter: in spite of all the risks and recent downturn, more and more teenagers invest in cryptocurrencies. they talk about it during recess. that is why a brisbane high school hosted a session for students and parents about safe
online crypto trading. >> you need to be fully aware to make informed decisions. reporter: top tips for future investors, do your research, take chances, consider the warnings. >> now to west africa, a pivotal votes. brent: voters in sierra leone cast their ballots to pick the country's next president. a from a field of 16 candidates, one person will have the difficult task of trying to turn around an economy hit by a number of crises in recent years, including any bola breakout. the vote might have to go to a runoff. unlikely any candidate will score the 55% required to win outright in the first trial. some are tipped to come out in front, but third parties are trying to make their mark on
this election. our correspondent in sierra leone is adrian kriesch. he sent us this report from a polling station in the north of the country. adrian: they are in the northern part of the country. you can see it is a little tense. people are not happy they had to wait for a long time. how long have you been waiting? >> this morning, i am here for quite a long time. adrian: a lot of people seem to not be happy about the process, right? >> yes, because of long processes, the actual time. they said 7:00. that is the problem. adrian: let's talk to the person in charge of this polling station. how are you? how is it going here? i see a lot of people are waiting in getting angry. why does it take so long?
>> [indiscernible] adrian: you did not expect so many to show up? >> we know that they registered. adrian: why does it still take so long? >> [indiscernible] it takes longer than expected. adrian: people are voting for the mayor, the local town so, the parliaments, but most importantly, for the president. this is where the voters are coming for the presidency elections. this is the list of 16 candidates in total. the most promising candidates we find on the list, as well. number one is samura kamara, the party that has been in power for 10 years. and the current president, ernest bai koroma, to succeed him. the most promising candidate of the opposition party, the slpp,
the candidate of juluis maada bio, of former military head of state. those two parties have been running the country since independence. also a third big promising opposition party. many believe there will be a runoff because a party needs more than 55% of the votes to get the direct seats. the elections are considered crucial for sierra leone, a country that went through many crises in the past. until 2002 there was a civil war. 2014, a massive ebola outbreak that killed 4000. then the economy collapsed. before that, double digit growth. after that, the economy declined in double digits. and the mining industry so important in this region collapsed during that time. many believe if the elections are going smooth, it will be an important milestone for the
future of the country. brent: that was adrian kriesch reporting from sierra leone. we want to turn to indonesia and a heavy metal band ready to make noise. their head banging risks -- riffs, hardly music to the ears in the muslim country. the band members are all female. hate mail and death threats have not cap -- have not stopped the teenagers. turn up your speakers now. >> this is not your typical heavy metal band. these hijab-wearing girls call themselves, noisy voice. they are reporting their first album in jakarta. this is called school resolution -- revolution.
and it means a lot to the lead singer. >> when i record this song i sing it with all i have got. the lyrics are how i got picked on at school because i am different. i'm not afraid to speak my mind. many think i am weird, an outsider. in the song, i let those feelings out. >> the band members are 16 and 17 years old. in indonesia, many girls this age are already married, but these three are accessed with making music. >> i used to be really shy. i still am, but am a lot more confident now. i can play this guitar -- bass guitar. there are not a lot of people my age you can do that. reporter: they are excited. there were about to get on a plane for the first time. they are going with their assistant and music manager to a
concert in bali. >> bali is a beautiful place, i think. that will be a great experience for us. reporter: their rise to fame is -- is like something from a hollywood film. three years ago, they founded the ban in a rural town. now they are making tv appearances, recording an album, jetting to bali for a few days. it is both scary and exciting. >> very excited. reporter: at first, their parents did not allow them to make music. heavy metal is not exactly what conservative muslim parents want their daughters to do. but, the girls did not give up. >> my parents are still worried.
but by now they realize we are successful. that is why they allowed me to come on this trip. although they did warn me to be careful. >> my parents said, be good, and don't forget to pray. reporter: after landing in bali, the girls rushed to the sound check. they say they need to let off steam, just like all teenagers. music is their way of showing they are different and rebelling. >> we found ourselves in our music. we love heavy metal music. [indiscernible] reporter: at first, they covered songs written by other bands.
but now, they compose their own music. >> with our songs, we fight the broken system, discrimination and inequality. our generation cares about these subjects. many of our friends escape through casual sex and drugs. we have music. ♪ reporter:s transform into rock 'n roll professionals. vigorous vocals and loud guitars, hijab heavy metal, the opposite of the submissiveness. the band wants to be role models for girls. they say islam and heavy metal can go hand-in-hand. brent: hija heavy metal, you saw
(soft music) - [narrator] china is the second largest economy in the world, and it's expected to replace the us as the top economy in less than a decade. beijing is increasingly looking beyond its borders toward investments in asia and across the world. their ambitious plans could make china the epicenter of global trade. washington must find new ways to adjust to china's global expansion. china: the new silk road. next on great decisions. (soft music) - [announcer] great decisions is produced by the foreign policy association in association with thomson reuters. funding for great decisions is provided by