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tv   DW News  PBS  May 1, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT

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♪ brent: this is "dw news," live from berlin. tonight, a standoff in armenia. protesters demanding change and the political leaders who say enough is enough. today, the country's ruling party blocked the bid by the leader of an antigovernment movement from becoming prime minister. he was the only candidate. tonight, as tens of thousands gather outside parliament, nikol pashinyan is calling for a general strike across armenia on friday. also coming up, the international atomic energy agency dismisses claims by israeli prime minister benjamin
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netanyahu that iran is failing to comply with the nuclear deal. he says there is no credible proof to back up israel's accusations. and south korea takes down its propaganda loudspeakers in the first concrete steps since the historic summit with the north last week. plus, countries around the world mark international labor day. tonight we focus on the situation in china and on one former worker's fight for his rights. ♪ brent: i'm brent goff. it's good to have you with us. tonight, a standoff in armenia. protesters are demanding change in the political leaders are saying enough is enough. today the country's ruling party blocked a bid by the leader of an antigovernment movement from
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becoming prime minister. he was the only candidate standing for the position. tonight, tens of thousands of gathered outside parliament and nikol pashinyan, that candidate, is calling for a general strike across the country tomorrow. earlier i spoke to nick connolly, he is covering the story for us. i asked him to describe the mood in the capital. nick: while most people have gone home ahead of that general strike, not only that, he has pledged to block roads into the airport and into the borders, an all-out attempt to force a standstill. the day started off in surreal fashion. thousands of people in the square seemingly very confident this was a done deal. we talked to them about what they thought would happen in for them it was a matter of sitting out long enough before he came
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back victorious as prime minister. obviously as we saw, the ruling republican party has been in control of armenia for more than two decades was not going to give up its power without some fight. brent: for the world watching the story, it is hard to believe what we're seeing. a nine hour marathon roman session today. then the only candidate for prime minister is not allowed to take that position. what are people telling you? are they angry, are they disappointed, resigned? nick: i think it is just a question of confusion now. this all happened very late in the evening. we are now nearing midnight here, and the parliamentary session went on until about 9:00 p.m. here. people seem to be willing to carry out tomorrow blocking streets, as already happened in previous weeks. the extraordinary thing you have to remember is after the
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resignation of the long-term prime minister, it seemed like the republican party was going to give up his positions without too much confrontation. they did not advance their own candidate, and for a while the city would not stand in pashinyan's. way. but it seemed too easy. it took hours rather than a matter of 60 minutes as was initially thought. then at the end of the day, telling everyone they didn't think he was up to the job. brent: they say they don't think he is a for the job --up for the job. do they have legitimate grounds for not endorsing this candidate, especially when you consider there is only one candidate? nick: obviously on paper, constitutionally they have the majority in parliament, although pashinyan supporters would say
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that is not legitimate because they say elections have been manipulated in recent years and that this has been a pattern in post-soviet armenia that pressure brought on social servants. they would argue that he has been too light on detail of what he wants to do. he talked about freedom, a new armenia, without giving many details about how to protect the country, also what he would do about the economy. having said that, this kind of public support on the streets is really unprecedented. they have certainly never managed to fill the republic square behind the. this is support on a different level and i think it will be is a -- a question of how we can keep that support going. brent: he certainly has the support right now. we are looking at pictures right now of the protest from today. we're talking about tens of thousands, if not more than 100,000 people.
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so if these people are all in support of having this new prime minister, what happens tomorrow with this general strike? nick: if a general strike happens that it will be closures at the roads. at a moment we are at a moment of brinkmanship. republicans, everyone seeing he was going to blink first. procedurally the next step will be another vote next week. we could have pashinyan potentially up against the candidate from the republicans. if they are unable to elect an interim prime minister then we will have snap elections. brent: i know it is very loud where you are, despite being late in the evening, but what is your prediction based on what you have seen of who will leap -- blink first in the standoff? nick: it is very hard to judge. so far pashinyan is given no indication he's willing to step down and he is very clear he has the mandate of the people and it
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is time for the republicans to go. it was very impressive cross-section of the public on the streets. it was not just a question of young male activists, it was old people whether kids out, showing they were not scared of the police. that is stefan was something that is very striking about this protest, the lack of fear, the broad diversity of people out. pashinyan will be hoping that takes into the premiership. brent: nick connolly in the armenian capital tonight with the latest on what looks like a country bracing for a general strike on wednesday. nick, thank you very much. here are some of the other stories now that are making headlines around the world. police in nigeria say at least 28 people have been killed by suicide bombers in the northeastern city of mubi. the two bombers detonated explosives at in my. -- at a mosque. the attacks have all the hallmarks of boko haram. an australian court has ruled
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that a vatican treasurer must stand trial on multiple charges of sexual abuse that date back decades. he is the most senior catholic official to be tried on such charges. the 76-year-old has pleaded not guilty. an abandoned high-rise building in sao paulo, brazil has collapsed following a huge fire. amazing images. at least one person was killed. the 26-story building was frequently occupied by squatters and it is feared there may be more casualties. riot police in paris have used tear gas and water cannons against left-wing anarchists marking international labor day. rioters torched shops and cars. but the main rally organized by labor unions remained peaceful. tens of thousands turned out to protest president emmanuel macron's economic reforms. on this labor day, a much different seen in china. human rights groups say that china's cozy relationship with hyper capitalism and roaming
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gaps between the wealthy and poor reveal that beijing is ignoring its own proletariat. four workers with complaints, the only recourse is the country's one official trade union. we are introduced to a railway worker whose efforts to promote greater workers rights has made him a target of repression. >> these tracks still give me a feeling of comfort, even if they are just a distant memory. reporter: almost every day for 20 years, he is on the spot. he worked as a train driver until one day, he slipped and fell and broke his spine. the real way refused to treat the incident as a workplace accident, and he says the company systematically violated labor laws. >> we worked so much that was
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not time to think about things. reporter: today he is partly paralyzed. he receives no pension or compensation, but he has long stopped worrying about just his own fate. he documents how workers rights are ignored. he says it is not unusual for train drivers to work up to 200 hours overtime each month without pay. he is trying to organize workers. >> the official union sue not represent worker's interest. as soon as someone stands up, unions try to muzzle that person. reporter: lee has made contact with others outside china. lee was already at the airport and was checked in when he was turned back at the date -- date. he was under -- back at the gate. he was under surveillance. his social media accounts are
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regularly blocked. >> someone needed advice. whoever reaches out to me has shown where the boundaries lie and is threatened. only a few are brave enough to contact me directly. reporter: the police arrive. someone informed them about his meeting with a journalist. is ab to is >> leave my apartment immediately. reporter: the policeman leaves. a small victory. the policewoman real names -- remains. instead of focusing on the foreign reporter, li demands she help them fight for his rights. his is a constant struggle. brent: helena is here now.
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germany is losing patience with the u.s. when it comes to brinksmanship and trade tariffs. helena: it might be losing patience but it might -- has to have more patienc 30 days to find out if permanent exemption will be granted. german economists say raising tariffs is the wrong way to go about things as it would end up hurting jobs in germany, europe and the u.s. delaying the decision as trump did just hours before the midnight deadline, is also a big problem, especially as businesses have no way of planning for the future. reporter: a sigh of relief for the european steel industry, at least for now. for the next four weeks the eu can continue to sell steel and aluminum to the u.s. without additional tariffs. back in march, donald trump signed off on plans to impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% --
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10% on aluminum. he then granted countries a temporary waiver. that exemption ended may 1. washington accuses the eu of unfair trade practices. trump says if no deal is reached in the next four weeks terrorists will be back on the table. analysts say now is the time for the eu to take decisive action. >> the eu should do three things. first it has to admit that they have a problem. i think it is important to be honest. second, it needs to send a clear signal it will not run away from a trade conflict. in other words, send the americans a statement. the third thing is to offer a concrete proposal. reporter: the german government said simply that it has duly noted the extension, and does not accept -- expect a permanent exemption from the tariffs. >> i would have preferred to received a permanent waiver with immediate effect. this did not happen, so now we
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should use every opportunity to reach reasonable agreement. reporter: but getting both sides to agree on what is reasonable will not be an easy task. helena: let's get the view from washington now. our correspondent carsten von nahmen is standing by. a lot of surprise at this delay instead of a real sigh of relief. 30 days from now, what would trump consider a win? carsten: i guess for donald trump, unconditional surrender by the europeans would be the preferred outcome. the president has been ranting for some time now that the european union is unfair towards the united states, and you might have very few firm convictions. but the idea that others are taking advantage of the united states and that previous u.s. leaders have been too weak to do something about it, that is a
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conviction that he has held for many years. but the people around him of course are ready to compromise to some extent. the commerce secretary said today that some food for discussions were going on with the europeans about reducing overall tensions in the trade relations. but i think even wilbur ross and others in the u.s. administration want major concessions from the europeans, they believe they are in the stronger position and europeans have more to lose. helena: which means of course in much of handwringing for the european union as well as canada and mexico, once again. we saw merkel and macron head over to washington. their charm offensive did not have the desired effect. can we now expect them to make an offer? carsten: the official position of the european union has always been that they will not make any concessions under the threat of punitive tariffs.
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but of course it is possible that behind closed doors, the deal might be reached, which would include that there will be some concessions from the europeans, but officially those would only be agreed then after the u.s. says, ok, the exceptions for the europeans will be indefinite, then a few weeks after that there will be the official announcement of the agreement. but i am just speculating here. but that of course is always a possibility. helena: and all the while china is still feeling the sting of those tariffs. commerce secretary wilbur ross heading there this week for trade discussions. is it too optimistic to think he might come back with some kind of resolution? carsten: well, wilbur ross said himself today that he was not hopeful that something might come out of it. again, the americans believe, the u.s. administration at least
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believe that they are in a stronger position because they have a trade deficit with china. china wants to sell its goods, so they can dictate the terms. but that might be overoptimistic. the chinese government has a more long-term perspective. helena: our correspondent carsten von nahmen in washington. good to talk to you. facebook is to allow users to delete their browsing history. ceo mark announced the new feature on my post on his account, saying the measure will allow users to see information of the apps and websites they have used and to clear that data from their account. the announcement comes as the company holds its annual developers conference with zuckerberg announced that facebook will also roll out an online data -- dating set of features on the site. the social media platform is under intense pressure to be more transparent after it emerged cambridge analytica had
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access to data of millions of users without their consent. brent: facebook friends. helena: some people are saying isn't that what facebook was used for anyway. brent: i thought that was tinder was now, the competition. tonight the international atomic energy agency says there is no credible evidence to suggest that iran is currently working to gain nuclear weapons, or that it has had any such program in recent years. this, after israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu unveiled documents yesterday which he said show iran lied about its nuclear intentions in the past and is still pursuing its weapons program today. the u.s. is backing israel. u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo says that israel's information shows the international nuclear deal with iran was quote, built on lies.
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some observers believe that netanyahu's presentation is not attempt to encourage -- is an attempt to encourage donald trump to pull out of the iran deal. but what do iranians themselves think? dw has been talking with a prominent political science professor at the university of tehran. reporter: u.s. president donald trump is threatening to pull this country out of the nuclear deal. how is that seen in tehran? >> people are very concerned about this. ordinary people who are reeling -- really feeling the bite, the pressure, the bitterness of t sanctionshe. -- of the sanctions. many people believe it will be us, ordinary people, who will feel the pressure of the
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sanctions. reporter: you have already mentioned they will be reaction from tyrannical -- from toronto if trump terminated the deal. what would it look like? >> other than restarting the nuclear industry, i really don't see any other reaction that the islamic government would be able to do. what are they going to do? bomb saudi arabia? bomb the united arab emirates? what are we going to do? reporter: what do you think will the influence be on iranian domestic policies if the nuclear deal was terminated now? >> unfortunately, the withdrawal of the united states from the deal would mean more sanctions, would be more belligerence,
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foreign policy towards the west, towards europe, towards the united states. it would mean that the hard-liners in iran would gain more power. so that's why i say that democracy, human rights would suffer as a result of any confrontation. and i hope the german people would press the government to realize that iranians are being punished because of something -- they have not done anything wrong but they are being punished in the middle of this feud between our leaders and president trump. reporter: thank you very much. >> you're welcome. brent: i am joined tonight by adnan tabatabai. he's in iran government analyst.
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it is good to see you. we have got two competing narratives going on. one that says iran is deceptive and not complying. we have another one same nuclear deal should be kept on life support and that iran is adhering to the terms. is there a way of saying which one is going to come out on top? adnan: there is. we have the international atomic agency which has the mandate to be the watchdog of this agreement and they have been approving for 10 times now that iran is in compliance. so there should not actually be that much of a discussion. brent: i want to ask you about the reaction from iran to the announcement from netanyahu yesterday. we saw the foreign minister from iran saying that this is a case of netanyahu crying wolf. then we have the head of iran's
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nuclear agency warning that the country can enrich uranium at a level higher than it could before the deal was reached. i mean, with that kind of talk, isn't the country threatening that it will -- if the deal crashes, that it will immediately go for nuclear weapons? adnan: i think that kind of messaging, particularly from the atomic energy organization of iran, is a signal that there would be costs if the u.s. were to walk away from the deal, if the deal was to fall apart. i think this is what this signal is about. obviously iran can resume enrichment, but would also have to live with the consequences that that would bring, and that would probably be sanctions again. brent: how much of this is about iran and its supposed attempt to get nuclear weapons, versus iran's influence in the middle east?
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of course i'm talking about in syria and lebanon. adnan: i generally believe that the issue the opponents of the agreement have with the nuclear agreement is not about what it actually delivers, basically securing iran's nuclear program to be narrowed down. the issue they have is with iran being elevated into higher political levels and having iran no longer being the pariah in the region. but that has not happened. so there were attempts to stop that kind of normalization of iran, exceptionalization is in full force again. it is much more about these political dimensions and also about iran's role in the region, not so much about the nuclear fallout, i would say. brent: adnan tabatabai joining us tonight from the german city of duesseldorf giving us
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valuable insight. thank you very much. adnan: my pleasure. brent: south korea has asked the united nations to oversee the mothballing of a new theater -- nuclear test site used by pyongyang. both sides have started taking down speakers that blare propaganda across the border. this is all a first step that could signal a long-term fall on the divided peninsula. reporter: for years, south korean loudspeakers have blasted propaganda and pop music at north korean border regions. now they are being permanently removed. north korea is reportedly doing their own with their own south-facing speakers. since 2015, the clocks of north and south korea were out of sync by half an hour after north korea created its own time zone. later this week the north will reset its clocks to match seoul time. these measures of reconciliation are the first signs that last
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week's inter-korean summit was more than just words. in the coming weeks, the inter-korean border could again become the site of historic talks. u.s. president donald trump suggested the so-called peace house as a possible location to meet with north korean leader kim jong-un. >> there is something that i like about it because you are there, you are actually there. where if things work out, there is a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country. i will say this, the good news, everybody wants this. it has the chance to be a big event. reporter: it is likely that trump will not offer kim any concessions unless kim agrees to dismantle north korea's nuclear weapons arsenal. while disarmament remains a just -- distant goal, kim has already promised to scrap his country's main nuclear test site. south korea, ever skeptical of
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north korea's promises, has asked the united nations to oversee the shutdown. >> president moon said the un's support would be important not only for the improvement of inter-korean relations, but also for the success of the upcoming u.s., north korea summit. reporter: the first steps toward peace on the korean peninsula have been significant, but largely symbolic. the real work of ending seven decades of hostilities is still ahead. brent: 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 content and accuracy. visit]
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