tv DW News PBS April 12, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
♪ brent: this is dw news live from berlin. u.s. president donald trump holds back on his threat to bomb syria. yesterday he made it seem as if a missile strike with imminent. now he says he will make a decision fairly soon. also on the program, the world's biggest carmaker replaces its chief executive, matthias muller. another one takes over in the week of the diesel cheating scandal. the wake of the diesel cheating scandal. and israel remembers the
holocaust, the murder of 6 million european jews by the nazis. the president of israel, the presidents of poland and other countries were at the march of the living for the -- this year there was tension. ♪ i am phil gayle. welcome to the program. u.s. president donald trump says decisions will be made fairly soon about how to respond to the suspected poison gas attack in syria. fears of confrontation between the west and syria's main ally russia have been growing since he said on wednesday missiles will be coming. here is what he said today. mr. trump: we are looking seriously, closely at that whole situation. we will see what happens. it is too bad that the world puts us in a position like that,
but as i said, we have done a great job with isis. we have absolutely decimated isis. now we have to take some further decisions, so they cultivate fairly soon. -- they will be made fairly soon. phil: russia's military for serious government has taken control of the less rebel stronghold in the east. this includes the town of duma. people are being evacuated from the town. reporter: convoys of buses are making their way out of douma, carrying out of the town rebel and their families and their hopes of victory against the syrian government. this is what is left of eastern guta after years blockaded and bombarded by syrian government forces. people here are too scared to enter the buildings. >> when i look around, all the apartment entrances are blocked
because of the minds inside. i can't get in. i see wires and things that trouble me. reporter: as smoke rises over the city, russia said the area is under the control of the syrian government. but it is russian military police who are patrolling the streets in line with the surrender deal struck with the rebels over the weekend. moscow has broadcast pictures said to show residence celebrating. it says the situation is normalizing. but for several international powers, these images of saturday's active poison gas attack in duma give no hint to normalcy. the u.s., britain, and france are considering military action in syria in response to the list attack. serious rally -- syria's ally russia and iran have threatened
to retaliate. turkey and other powers involved, the u.n. has said this conflict could spiral out of control. as u.s. warships make their way to the region, there are mounting questions about where this crisis will leave. phil: regardless of u.s., french and british decisions, germany's chancellor has rolled out german participation in any missile strike on syria. >> germany will not participate in and a possible military action, but no decision has been made on this, but we acknowledge and support that everything has to be done to signal that the misuse of chemical weapons is unacceptable. phil: president emmanuel macron of france said he has proof the syrian government used chlorine gas. he did not say whether france with planning military action but said he had spoken several
times with the u.s. president about the most effective response. reporter: carrier and land-based french jets will likely play a central role in any strike against syria coordinated by nato allies, the u.s., britain and france. for the french president emmanuel macron, it could be a question of when. he insists he has proof the assad regime used chemical weapons against its own citizens in the town of douma, and he said france was to remove syria's -- chemical weapons capabilities. >> france will not allow exhalation or anything, but we cannot let regimes do anything they want, especially crimes against international law. reporter: on the state the streets of paris, opinion is divided whether france should take part. >> what the syrian dictator is inflicting on the people is frightening. as far as france is concerned,
an intervention is legitimate. >> the russians should say clearly to assad, you should stop and get out. then we would avoid a conflict, but if we strike, the russians will be obliged to respond. >> there will never be strikes. because france and europe are scared of russia. the russians provide us with gas. reporter: britain's royal air force and likely join the strike on syria. >> all the indications are the syrian regime was responsib, and we will be working with our closest allies on how we can ensure that those who are responsible or held to account and how we can prevent and deter the unitarian catastrophe that comes from the use of chemical weapons in the future. the continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged. reporter: british ministers have been holding a special cabinet meeting to possibly join against
syria. the trimester would not be the approval of parliament to give the go-ahead for strikes. phil: decisions from the united states germany, france, and britain there at the end, that cabinet meeting has finished. let's find out what they are thinking. our london correspondent, welcome. what did they decide? reporter: the meeting lasted two hours. at the end of it, the statement was put out that was slightly open. it said it was highly likely that the assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack. it talked about the need to take action to deter the further use of chemical weapons and about coordinating the international response with france and the united states. it didn't specifically mention military action at all, but it didn't rule it out. and i think the conclusion is rather an open statement. perhaps the key decisions have
not yet been taken in washington , and london may be waiting to see exactly what the united states has in mind before committing fully to it. phil: the editing them -- united kingdom already has a beef with russia over the screen is all poisoning -- the sergei skripal poisoning. will that make the decision any easier to take military action? reporter: as you say, the context is very difficult with russia. that may strengthen her hand, although people will be very worried about the risk of escalation. this comes back to the central point. it doesn't appear very clear so far whether the u.s. intends a rather symbolic strike, with britain can join such would be easier, or something more ambitious, which would raise the risk of confrontation with russia. i think that would be a much
more difficult operation for britain to join, given that theresa may will at some point have to go to parliament and in parliament she has no majority really. phil: domestic considerations will weigh heavily on her, not only at the parliamentary majority but also the shadow of the memory of the last iraq war. reporter: exactly. that has scarred british politics. the iraq invasion of 2003. consequently when david cameron asked parliament for approval to bomb syria, parliament refused. we have got a very difficult situation for theresa may. on one hand she will definitely want to join in and support the united states. very important for her internationally to solidify the transatlantic relationship, particularly if france is going
to get involved. it will be embarrassing if she can't join in. on the other hand if this is something, risky and ambitious, then she has run her own risks at home if she tries to join such an operation. phil: a reporter of the new york times, thank you. the international chemical weapons of the opcw has confirmed a russian agent and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent. this has sparked many reactions from other countries. they say russia is behind the attack. reporter: the highest levels of nerve agent measured on the door of sergei skripal's house in salisbury. the independent experts called in by the british government took their own samples. the former russian double agent and his daughter yulia were found slumped on this park bench in the city beginning of march.
inspectors from the international watchdog opcw also has fearful from the streetball -- skripals tested, and they confirmed the conclusion of the british authorities as accurate. while the report did not explicitly name novichok, the body said the agent use was of high purity. scientists basis that defense research laboratory quickly identifies the substance as novichok, a highly toxic agent developed in soviet russia. even though the watchdog's report made no assessment who was behind the murders, the british government feels indicated. the british foreign minister boris johnson issued a statement saying there was no doubt what was used and no alternative explanation as to who was responsible. moscow says it will not accept the report's conclusions as long as experts do not have access to the samples. london is printing death planning to be the skripal's
case to the u.n. phil: funerals for the people killed in a plane crash that didn't -- most of the victims were folders and their family members or this is the worst in algerian history. authorities have declared three days of mourning. police in somalia say a bomb attack has killed five football fans in a packed stadium's a port town in the city's south. they say the bomb was buried in the sandy floor of the stadium when a local match was taking place. a terrorist group has claimed responsibility which wounded a number of people. violence in gaza has left two people dead and one more injured. houston and medical officials say an israeli airstrike killed the head of mass government. -- the hamas government.
the human rights group and the international says a number of reported judicial executions around the world felt during 2017, but the group is warning the number of people put to death by the state is not known. some countries treat their execution statistics as a state secret, thailand or example, but others carry them out in full view of the public. reporter: iran, responsible for carrying out more than half of the world knows executions last year. that is according to amnesty international's latest figures. in dozens of those cases, that meant public exit version. in iran, drug trafficking and blasphemy are among those crimes punishable by death. at least five people were executed in iran for -- when they were still under 18. just four countries responsible for 84% of recorded executions last year, iran, saudi arabia,
iraq, and pakistan, but the country suspected of being the world's leading executioner is china. it is thought to have put thousands to death last year, more than the rest of the world put together, but because data on the death penalty there is a state secret, exactly how many is a matter of speculation. but not counting china, 2017 saw the total number of executions worldwide fall by 4% from the previous year. amnesty international says that reaffirms a global trends towards abolition of the death penalty. last year a further two countries, guinea and mongolia am adjoined the 104 have abolished capital punishment. for a second year in a row, the u.s. did not feature among the top five global executioner's, slipping from position seven to eight. this is due in part to ongoing
legal challenges over the use of legal -- lethal injection. as litigation in several states progresses, executions could resume. phil: you are watching dw news 5 from berlin. israel has been marking the holocaust remembrance day. the presidents of israel and poland led commemorations of the most story is camp auschwitz, but there was tension. we will explain why. the world's top carmaker has a new chief executive officer. we have that news. javier: we are talking about volkswagen. rumors have been circulating, now it is official. he will lead that company make to the new era, where they can you record performance while restoring confidence and damaged reputation. reporter: the volkswagen group has a new man at the top. with immediate effect, the new ceo is haverty's.
-- herbert diess, once in the company getting big on electric cars. if they fall behind, they could lose ground in critical markets like in china and this position has gone over well with many employees. >> i work for volkswagen and was at the meeting. i can only say that he has done a great job at vw so far. reporter: the company now plans a massive restructuring program in china and in six other is this branches. the cap -- program aims to better structure the company and make it more manageable. what is to become of muller? he will remain with vw until 2020. he had been earning 10 million euros a year, and both sides seem unwilling to break his contract.
phil: a big story for the auto industry. let's cross over to the city where the company headquarters are. stephen beardsley is standing by and has been following the board meeting for us. thank you for joining us. we do know that this man is not new to volkswagen. he has been in the country for three years. what can you tell us about their new ceo? stephen: the word is he is a numbers man, a cost daughter, and that comes with implications for unions in germany who had feared job losses for any more strict cutting from volkswagen. diess came from bmw almost three years ago, and he came two months before the diesel scandal hit volkswagen. at the time he arrived, it was that he had his eyes on the top position, that he now has been confirmed will take over. but of course he came upon time.
his star fell a little bit as he got into a bit of a heat with the unions for his cost-cutting tendencies. we have heard since then he has been closed to some of the families that are the biggest stakeholders and movers behind volkswagen, and he has offended back to the topic we don't know what his stamp will be on volkswagen, but we look forward to hearing more about it. hopefully tomorrow. javier: let's take a look at the bigger picture because we know volkswagen has been doing well actually under muller the former ceo. they had record profits and especially in germany analyst and the press have been consistently saying this move came as a big surprise. why the big change and now? stephen: it is a fascinating question. that is the question everyone wants answered hopefully tomorrow. as you said, muller is seen as
having done a good job by all measures. volkswagen stock is back up. record sales, record profits. its position in china is solid, the u.s. has improved, and it is in many ways back to where it was almost. is reputation. we will see. consumers haven't lost their tastes. they are still buying, and mull er has moved forward on an electrification efforts. and under him, the biggest fears of what volkswagen could face through the diesel scandal never came to fruition. 40 billion euros to 60 billion euros in penalties is what was expected, and it was only 25 billion euros so far. so why now? the word you hear the most often is this was wanted by both sides. there was a push for a change. the diesel scandal is behind volkswagen, but miller himself was ready to go.
it is a difficult job for him. he didn't want to leave. he was happy at porsche, and this has been a stressful 2.5 years. in the face of volkswagen at its lowest moment. this is a multiple agreement -- mutual agreement. it is not a bad thing. it is time to move on from dieselgate. javier: it is not really over yet. there is still legal action not only in the united states but especially in europe where we have not seen any real consequences yet. can the company just close chapter and leave dieselgate behind like that? stephen: yeah. i think anyone would tell you that. as you know from a legal perspective, you have ongoing cases are the u.k. is mounting an enormous class-action lawsuit. in the u.s. there are issues. in europe there are massive questions. and then of course the effects, the second tier affects including this new outlook on
diesel as a synonym for dirty instead of clean your that is a big ripple effect as well -- instead of clean. that is the big ripple effect as well. and here in the city, what we have heard from people is that there is the big cultural question within volkswagen. has the corporate culture really changed from a time when someone could deceive consumers about how much emissions their car was releasing and expect to get away with it? how did that happen in the first place? that was one of muller's biggest tasks to change the culture, but that is a major undertaking for a firm as big as this. when you talk to employees here, there is this desire to know how will this not happen again? how can we be convinced this is not going to be the case in the future? javier: it will be a big task in question to answer. some announcements tomorrow. stephen beardsley, thank you very much. to some other news making the
business headlines, the world trade organization project global trade will grow faster than expected this year, but there is a catch. speaking to the press, the wto head said they expect rate to expand 4% this year, but they worry those predictions would go out the window if the u.s. and china make good on the tit-for-tat trade war. they encouraged both sides to show restraint and find common ground through dialogue. on to the other headlines, french president emmanuel macron is sticking to his ambitious reform plans even in the face of crippling rail strikes and other protests. he spoke with a tf1 television network, so it was widely watched. he was not deterred by the heavy resistance to his plans but asked people to remain calm and to be open for dialogue. his popularity has declined sharply since his election last
spring. he has initiated a series of tough labor reforms to create more jobs. that is that from the business desk. back to fill and a sad anniversary. phil: israel has been marking holocaust remembrance day. they remember the 6 million murdered by nazi germany. there were commemorations at auschwitz, the site of the most notorious death cap. the polish legislation about the holocaust has caused controversy, so there was some tension. reporter: a march in memory of the victims of nazi terror. at the front the president of poland and israel. more than 10,000 people including youth groups from around the world have come to auschwitz. the route leads to the death camp. the young people visited the camp to -- to familiarize themselves with the horrible details of what took place. >> it is very sad to stand here
knowing my great-grandmother student died here as well as my great-grandfather. an indescribable feeling. >> survivors accompany the groups and rount their dramatic experiences. and what her mother and brother-in-law were healed -- killed here. >> have to remember what happened, and this is like the biggest cemetery in the world of the jewish people. reporter: the dispute between poland and israel over the so-called holocaust law is causing uncertainty. penalties could be imposed on anyone who claims the polish people or state or not the war crimes. israel feels -- fears polish compasses may no longer be identified as a result. >> i would like to say once again with all my might that was never the intention of polish petitions to create such a rule which would block bearing witness to the holocaust. reporter: the polish constitutional court is
reviewing the law. the meeting of the two heads of state at this site of nazi terror good point towards a amicable revolution -- were agreement. phil: newly crowned bundesliga champions are agreeing to new terms with a coach for next season. this is according to the bill's newspaper and sport bild magazine. he is niko kobach, the current coach of frankfurt who played for buyer -- bayern. the president of the international biathlon union has stepped down after an investigation was launched into an alleged cover-up of doping cases in the 2014 winter olympics in sochi. the norwegian has moved aside after austrian police raided the headquarters of the ibu in salzburg on tuesday evening. the world anti-doping agency says it has provided information
on what prompted the rate -- the raids. a moment to remember for fans of a former -- formula erasing -- it is holding its first ever race in the eternal city. pope francis took time to bless a formula e car. this time he is a racing fan. he took time to meet some drivers and their family members before the main event saturday. and a reminder of our top story this hour. donald trump has promised a decision on syria fairly soon. his confrontation with russia's main ally -- syria's main ally russia, he said wednesday missiles will be coming. volkswagen's chief executive matthias muller has stepped aside to make way for a new boss, another insider, diess. it is their latest management shakeup in the wake of the diesel cheating scandal.
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