tv DW News PBS March 15, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
>> this is dw news live from berlin. tonight, taking action against russia. president donald trump does the unexpected with the very expected. trump says he will impose fresh sanctions against moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. show of solidarity with the u.k. as london accuses russia of a chemical weapons attack, carried out last week. also coming up, thousands of syrians flee besieged ghouta as government forces closing.
the battle, one of the deadliest in the country's seven year civil war. and a protest in rio de janeiro after the gunning down of a popular counselor. she frequently criticized police killings of poor people in the shantytowns. and, its winters are freezing with night that seem to go on forever. but according to the u.n. it is the happiest place on earth. which country could that be? stay with us to find out. ♪ brent: i am brent goff. it is good to have you with a spear tonight u.s. president donald trump is to impose new sanctions on russia, in response to allegations moscow meddled in
the 2016 presidential election. the sanctions target 19 individuals and 14 organizations. usa signed a joint expiration with france and germany in support of britain's stand up with russia over the attempted murder of a russian former spy and his daughter in britain. >> british prime minister theresa may is one of the few vendors to salt -- one of the few visitors to salisbury these days. visitors are staying away in the wake of the poisoning of a russian double agent and his daughter. may visited the restaurant where the chemical attack took place and put the blame squarely on moscow. >> it is right that the u.k. government reacts in a robust way to what has happened here in salisbury. that is exactly what we have done. we will be expelling 23 russian to our undeclared intelligence officers. that will have an impact on their intelligence network.
there will be other measures we are taking. >> british allies are showing support. france, germany and the u.s. have signed a statement repudiating russia. president donald trump thinks moscow probably carried out the attack. nato's top military commander sees this as a wider pattern of russian misbehavior. >> at sea, on land and in the air, russia's increasingly modernized military is operating at levels not seen since the cold war. at the same time, moscow is using indirect activity to expand its objectives. russia has demonstrated a willingness and capability to use political provocation, spread disinformation and undermine democratic institutions. >> but russia is firing back, accusing minister -- acute in britain -- accusing britain of dishonesty. the foreign minister says it would be ridiculous to launch an attack against another state
ahead of the fee for world cup. >-- fifa world cup. >> i can't explain the motives but it don't think they are honest. if they were, britain would answer the questions we are asking and follow the procedures of the chemical weapons convention. >> britain says it is willing to share the evidence it has collected during the foreign minister says they will make results from cells. available to an international team of observers to dispel any doubts. brent: there is a lot to unpack in this story. i'm joined by our political correspondent, and from washington, our correspondent there. carsten, u.s. president trump scenes from her -- seems firmer today and the british position against russia, firmer today than he was a day or two ago. why are we seeing this turnaround? >> it looks like british prime
minister theresa may has managed to impress on president trump the importance this affair has for the u.k.. and she also apparently has been able to convince him that the evidence the pressure was behind this attack is credible. because, as you have indicated, donald trump in the past has been very cautious or even reluctant to claim russia -- to blame russia president putin for anything related to russian meddling or other misdeeds. but that seems to have changed now, and as we have heard, president trump says he now believes the russians were behind us and takes it very seriously. brent: what more do we know about this joint statement today. they put it in black and white for the world to see. >> it is a very strong statement , the simple fact that it is written by the heads of states
of france, germany, the u.k. and the united states, condemning the first offensive use of a nerve agent in europe since the second world war, they write. they also condemn it as an attack on the sovereignty of the united kingdom. and they are also pretty much certain russia is behind this attack. they say there is no other logical explanation that can be taken into consideration, and the fact that russia refuses to cooperate makes the country even more suspicious. also, what this would mean is, is a breach of international law. it would also mean a breach of the chemical weapons treaty and a threat to the security of the fear that this might not be the last attack of its kind of there is not a proper response. brent: is there anything to read into the fact that we have a multilateral statement coming out. we don't have a statement going through the european union, and we are not hearing from nato. >> first of all, it would be quite a logistical issue to have a response that quickly, issued
by the 27 eu member states, and everyone who has followed european politics knows that this is quite a long and complicated process. there are many debates to be held. that does not have to be the case here right now. simply, these four countries mentioned were quicker, of course, but there will be a summit of the foreign ministers of the european union in brussels on monday, and this will certainly be discussed their, on the sidelines. and we might even have a declaration there, as well. the big question of course is, will there be new sanctions imposed on russia by the european union? this is a tricky issue. we all remember the annexation of crimea, and we know certain eastern european countries are not keen on opposing further sanctions. so that, we will certainly have to see. we have right now on the table is this very strong statement issued by the u.s. and by its major european partners here, and what we also see is that
they are able to speak with one voice when it comes to foreign policy. brent: it is interesting, although the fact that this looks like a chemical weapons attack on british soil would make me think maybe nato might even invoke article five. but you can see their time to distance themselves from any talk about that. carsten, let's take the story a little further. u.s. is now imposing sanctions against russia because of russia's meddling and 2016 presidential -- meddling in the 2016 presidential election. some people may be saying, what? yes, the president says it will be happening, just a little later than expected. carsten: yes, and it is not just the election. there are also some other taxes that are being dealt with here. so the u.s. has now slapped new sanctions on five russian entities and 19 individuals, most of them connected to the russian intelligence agency.
and this is for a number of attacks. treasury secretary steven mnuchin mentioned the meddling by the russians in the election, but also destructive cyberattack's on u.s. computer systems and targeting critical infrastructure. for instance, computer systems that control america's electric rate. and of course, that is a big issue if the russians are trying to attack the american infrastructure. electricity, of course we are also dependent on it these days. that is a major concern. so the treasury secretary, the american finance minister, saying we will try to target these people and we will make sure they don't have access to the american financial system. that might hurt some of them, those who have international interests here. and if that is enough to deter the russians from future attacks, is the question. brent: our correspondent in
washington and our correspondent here in berlin. to both of you gentlemen, thank you very much. people are fleeing the syrian on cave of eastern ghouta -- syrian enclave of east intern ghouta, and there is no let up in the bombardment by russian and syrian forces that began weeks ago. >> they are carrying their children. they are old, they are frail, and their remaining worldly his actions. that they have left much behind. houses, farms, and in some cases loved ones, still trapped in the rubble. evidence of the five-year siege is in plain sight. according to observers, over 10,000 eastern ghouta residence fled the rebel-held enclave today. >> we tried to leave eastern ghouta because we weren't allowed because was controlled by terrorists.
the rebels did not allow us to come to you. we have been negotiating with them for three days. we wanted to leave three months ago but they didn't allow us. they start this. -- they starved us. the exodus from eastern ghouta comes as the syrian war enters its seventh year. fighting here has intensified over the last month as the russian military and syrian regime troops pounded the town. according to russia's foreign minister, there is no indication this will change anytime soon. >> we will continue to fight against the terrorists. we will destroy them. we will help to destroy them in eastern ghouta, where the syrian army is operating with our support we will indeed make humanitarian exceptions, as our defense minister stated yesterday. those who want to exit and received a manager in help will be able to do so. >> in syria, those who have
managed to flee eastern ghouta may now enjoy a respite of the siege. but they face a new set of problems, being displaced in their own country. if and when they can return home, they will be returning to ruins. brent: earlier we spoke to nore odom, and we asked him where he is -- asked him if he is safe where he is. >> they have targeted shells at the building and the neighborhood. there bombing the town -- they are bombing the town. for one hour the used chlorine gas in the neighborhood. brent: that was journalist noor
adam reporting from eastern ghouta. here are the stories making headlines around the world. police and local media in miami say several people have been killed after a newly-install pedestrian walkway collapsed over a highway. at least five the vehicles were crushed beneath it. the bridge connected florida international university with a student housing area. it had been in use for less than a week. slovakia's prime minister has resigned over his handling of the inquiry into the murder of a journalist. his coalition partners threatened to force a snap election if he did not step down. the murdered journalist had been investigating alleged links between slovakian politicians and the italian mafia. ♪ >> it is set up to be one of the biggest corporate takeovers ever.
but the deal with monsanto has run into his neck. according to bloomberg, u.s. officials are worried about the german chemical company and the american seed and fertilizer producer, would be better for competition. talks between the two companies are ongoing. bloomberg reports buyers are working to ease concerns in washington. the companies are not commenting on the report. for more, let's bring in our wall street correspondent. sophie, china has given thumbs up to the merger. according to insiders, the eu is about to give its go-ahead. what is the holdup in the u.s.? sophie: the biggest concern is that the new mega company would simply have to much power in the market. so now the u.s. department of justice wants bayer to sell, and doesn't think the german chemicals company should
purchase, according to people familiar with the matter. bayer has artie said it will work with the justice department. they have threats to sell certain seed and herbicide assets to the competitor, basf, to address the eu regulatory concerns. but bayer has offered to sell its vegetable seed company to the same company. it is not enough for u.s. officials, but they are working on it, it seems like it. >> how is the market responded to this report? sophie: in a strongly negative way. wall street had its worst day in two years here. bayer investors also lost a lot of money. they were hoping to see this deal happening as soon as possible.
and there are similar deal amongst competitors, for example the one between dow chemical and dupont. so now is going to be a gambling game, more or less for them, to match the perfect timing. >> sophie, thank you so much. u.s. president donald trump's decision to spare canada and mexico from hefty terrace on steel and aluminum was not an act of selflessness. he hopes it will give him leverage in the next round of nafta talks, which will be held in washington next month. here is the current status of negotiations. >> good news for canada and mexico. donald trump's new economic adviser, larry kudlow, as a strong supporter of the north american free trade agreement. but nafta negotiators still have massive hurdles to overcome.
while some of the u.s. administration's demands are plausible, such as the u.s. trade deficit within nafta, others remain contentious. trump wants to limit duty-free exemptions from cars, two vehicles that draw 85% of their components from nafta companies, with at least half from u.s. based manufacturers. he's calling for an end to canada's poultry and dairy tariffs which can be as heist 270%. another point of cont ention, canada subsidizes its lumber industry. that's why the u.s. imposed a new 27% duty on canadian lumber. despite those stumbling blocks, canada believes a deal can be reached. >> canada knows that there is a win, win, win outcome regarding nafta for the u.s. and canada and mexico. we are working very hard to do that. will we continue to stand up for
canada interests, canadian jobs? >> mexican officials are under pressure to stand up to trump as well, but are unwilling to alienate a major trading partner. another sticking trading point, aside from automotive issues, is canada's exemption from -- are border issues. >> you wilunilver will abandon london and make rotterdam its new home. unilever says the choice after 88 years of two parent companies was to make it more focused. the maker of ben & jerry's ice cream launched a review of its dual headed structure in 2017 after fighting off a takeover
from craft. the move simplify the company's structure and helped enable takeover deals. back to brent now, and tensions are running high and rio de janeiro. brent: that is exactly right. in rio de janeiro they are protesting in the streets after a murder. mario franco was a highly regarded local politician known for her work in the poor -- work with the poor. franco frequently criticized police killing of shantytown residents. rios police force is one of the most deadliest. human rights groups say more than 1000 people were killed last year. i'm joined now on the phone by dominique phillips, a journalist and rio de janeiro covering this story for us. dominique, tell us more about maria franco, and why her work was so important.
>dom: she was a counselor for a left-wing party. that all remain her -- already made her unique political voice in rio. she was a proponent for people living in these impoverished communities. she also denounced police abuses , because as you mentioned there of the problems here in rio. she also denounced the killing of young man when he was taking his girlfriend back from an evangelical church. brent: have the authorities said who they suspect is behind her telling? >> no, they haven't. they have said they
suspect it is an execution. i talked today to a local politician who was very close to her. he said it looks very much like an execution. there is a dispute between local police. they said they can handle the investigation, but the central government and brazil is trying to persuade them to accept federal police help. so there is confusion about whether local police will handle the investigation or whether the federal police will get involved as well. brent: protesters have taken to the streets in rio. what do they hope to achieve by protesting? can they get justice? >> i am not a demonstration. this is the second one today. there is a few people -- there is a few thousand people here.
they are demanding justice and a very angry about what has happened. a lot of leftist groups as well, and they're angry about the intervention. but there is still a serious issue about police killings. polis killings were up 57% from the previous january. the death has reverberated across brazil. the current president, the former president, the mayor of rio, even european parliament deputies have been up in arms about it and are commenting on it about the repulsion over it. so it is certainly a high-profile case of these people hope it will lead to some kind of change. brent: dom phillips reporting for media. we apologize for the quality of that line, there.
every year the u.n. ranks the happiest countries in the world, with nordic nations tending to dominate. this year is no different, with finland now officially the world's happiest nation, up from fifth place last your. the survey looks at factors such as life expectancy, income, social support and corruption. the finns beat norway and denmark, who were also in the top five. germany came in 15th. >> icy days. long winter nights, and a wide social safety net. is it the stuff of happiness? the finns seem to have at least some of the answers. >> well, our politics and economics, i think basic stuff is quite good in finland. so it makes a great like base. it's probably what we're doing so good here. >> that sounds strange. are we finns really that happy?
we have all the services that we need here. daycare is nearby, and the parts as well. we can play and slide down hills if we want, just like here. >> the study also says being happy seems to be contagious. i found a high correlation between -- it found a high correlation between the happiness of citizens and immigrant newcomers. what explains the companies with less fortunate rankings, like the u.s., which fell for places to number 18? >> i think it is generally the uncertainty and political unpredictability. people don't know what to expect in their future. i don't that is my guess. >> for now, the finns and their nordic neighbors know what the future likely holds, more sterling scores on quality-of-life indexes, even if there's heat indexes don't always play along. brent: as you heard, the united
states fell from 14th to 18th place in the happiness index. we asked jeffrey sachs of the columbia university school of public health when he thought that happened. >> we are in a full social crisis in the united states. last year i reviewed the evidence that trust is falling and what we call social capital is coming apart, that americans don't believe in the government. and how could you, frankly, these days? but at the same time, this year i reviewed three epidemics in public health that are also signs of disaster. america's of the most obese country in the world, and has an addiction to sugar and processed foods by our awful fast food industry. second, the opioid addiction, prescription drugs that are killing americans. this crazy environment of ours where drug companies advertise
like commercial entities and have gotten people hooked on these opioids, addictive drugs. and third is, we have an epidemic of massive, depressive disorder, or conventionally, depression. we are seeing more mental illness, more depression, more disorders. so we have got to get our act together. i keep telling americans, look at scandinavia. let's learn something. brent: that was jeff sachs from the columbia university school of public health. finland is not just home to the world's happiest people, it is also home to some of the planets most risk-taking skies. -- most breathtaking skies. the northern lights were seen dancing over the northern circle last night. and if you were wondering what causes this beautiful spectacle, it is collisions between
electrically charged particles from the sun that enter earth's atmosphere. here is a reminder of the top stories before you go. u.s. president donald trump is to impose fresh sanctions on russia, in response to allegations moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election. at the same time, the u.s. has joined other nations to support great britain in its stand up with russia. after a short rate, i will take you through the day. stick around for that. ♪
♪ ♪ this week on "wealthtrack," part two of our exclusive annual outlook with wall street's number one-ranked economist ed hyman and noted global value investor matthew mclennan. the state of the economy and world markets is next on "consuelo mack wealthtrack." ♪ ♪ you can help your clients keep good going. additional funding provided by -- thornburg investment management