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tv   France 24 Mid- Day News  LINKTV  January 31, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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♪ ♪ >> good evening, we begin in the ukrainian capital several weeks of unrest are showing no sign of coming to an after president viktor yanukovich backed out of talks with the european union with closer ties to russia. there was a wave of angry protests. amnesty to protesters but only that have a cat government buildings which they're currently occupying. the ukrainian police are investigating the activist that
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was serial beaten and tortured while being held. we are joined by our correspondent in kiev. gulliver, let's begin by talking about that report of abductions and the torture of that opposition activist that triggered outrage right across the world and presumably where you are, there is a great sense of anger. >> people in ukraine are extremely shocked at the pictures they have seen of dmytro bulatov. he was one of the leaders of the movement who organized motorcades to picket such places as the president's luxury residence outside of kiev. dmytro bulatov was missing for more than a week when he was found. initially there was joy at the discovery he was still alive, but the extent of apparent torture that he endured has not only shocked but got them extremely worried. there are a lot of activists who are currently missing
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unaccounted for. dmytro bulatov is a big man. even he is lucky to be alive and people are now very, very worried about what may be the fate of other people who have disappeared. another detail that has got people all the more worried and sort of puzzled by what is going on here is the fact that both dmytro bulatov and also another activist who was kidnapped, disappeared and then was discovered having been badly beaten a few days ago, both of said, they are abductors had strong russian accents. >> there are no signs that things are calming down any time soon, huge streets protests. it could be said that the opposite is true, things could be heating up even more. > well, there has been more or a less a truce in violence, but one extreme right wing group, the right sector which is quite
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prominent among the ukrainian protesters, the defense forces that they have constituted, they have said that ignoring completely the amnesty law that has been passed ignored by the protesters. if the authorities don't free those people involved in the movement who has been arrested by the fourth of february, that's tuesday, they will start fighting again. that was a sort of ultimatum delivered to the authorities by the group really that is furthest to the right within the defense forces that has been constituted around this movement. they represent probably about 10% only of that defense force, but that's not a negligible amount and not a negligible threat. >> thank you very much for updating us. now, after more than a week of negotiations in geneva, a first round of peace talks wrapped up today about syria. the program at the summit has been extremely slow.
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this is the opposition and representatives of syria's asaad regime continue to blame each other for the ongoing violence in the country. our correspondent has more. >> perhaps the only thing that syria's government and opposition agree on is that they say they're both sick and tired of the relentless violence, but their words ring hollow as bombs continue to rain down on their people. >> progress is very slow indeed, but the sides have engaged in an acceptable manner. this is a very modest beginning, but it is a beginning on which we can build. >> u.n. envoy said there was more common ground than they both recognized. he suggested they meet again in just over a week, but there seems little cause for optimism that more roundtable discussions will help bridge the gulf between them.
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>> i regret to tell you that we have not reached tangible results during this week. those moderate opposition, they're only terrorist organizations. >> key sticking points remain e role of syrian president asaad and a political transition. >> we cannot today take any step without first establishing a transitional governing body with political security and military powers in order to achieve the transitional process, the syrian people are waiting for. >> with every day that goes by, the humanitarian situation becomes more critical. civilians remain hungry and be seegged in homes as an aid convoy waits at the city gates for permission to enter. more than 130,000 people have decide since the start of the conflict in 2011 according to the syrian observatory for
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human rights. >> now, minister, dip low mats and defense officials are gathering in munich for a security conference at which that situation in syria and the unrest in the ukraine are very ch on the agenda, aamongst those in attendance with the secretary of state john kerry. they have an interest both of these crises and on sunday, another is expected to join that meeting to answer questions about iran's nuclear ambitions. baghdad international airport was struck by multiple rocket attacks this morning, but according to the iraqy civil aviation authorities, there was no casualties or serious damage. this is the latest attacks that have people worried it is slipping back into conflict. 1,000 people have been killed during the month of january, many more than a month earlier. at least 17 military personnel
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have been killed in yemen today after suspected al qaeda militants launched a series of surprise attacks on a checkpoint. it has been plagued by troubles in recent years and is home to al qaeda in the ararean peninsula which carry out regular and deadly attacks across the region. the international red cross says at least 30 people have been killed in the capital of the central republic. they have been gathering bodies and it's extremely concerned by what it called an unprecedented level of violence. after 10 months, the country has been in a state of chaos after rebels overthrew the government and installed one of their leaders. the french army is saying that an operation is underway in the north of the country to retake a strategic town which was seized by rebel fighters. now it's the latest twist to a long running legal saga. the 26-year-old american, new
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york knickerbockers, was today found guilty once again by an italian court for the 2007 murder of the british exchange student meredith kercher who was found with her throat slit. knox was today sentenced to 28 years behind bars, but she says she won't go back to italy to do any more jail time. >> found guilty of murder for the second time yet amanda knox says she is innocent and she'll do everything she can to prove it. >> i'm going to fight this it's not very end and right and it's not fair. i really hope that people try to understand that, like, when you have overzealous prosecutors and when you have a biased investigation and coercive investigations like these things happen. >> new york knickerbockers and ex-boyfriend raffaele sollecito were both convicted in 2009 for the murder of meredith kercher
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in 2007. the british student was found stabbed to death in the house her and knox shared in italy. knox and sollecito received 28 and 25-year sentences respectively but both were acquitted in 2011 after a lengthy appeal. that was challenged in 2013 and their acquittal was overturned on thursday by italy's highest court. raffaele sollecito has remained in italy since his acquittal. he was intercepted near the austrian border on friday where police confiscated his passport and driver's license considering him a flight risk. for the family of the victim, the drawnout legal process has been an ordeal but they say they need to see justice done in order to come to terms with meredith's death. >> we hope to obviously the end of the trial we are nearer to the truth and an end so we can start to remember meredith, who she was and draw a line under
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it as it were. >> knox has said she won't go back to italy willingly, but the country could call for her ex tradition. if they request their return, they have to go through the u.s. state and justice departments. experts say, however, that u.s. authorities are very unlikely to hand her over to the italians. >> now, a sign of the tough economic times, an annual report says that some 3 1/2 million people in france live in what are zroibd as incad adequate housing. the findings have prompted the french housing minister to have new plans to eradicate slum dwellings. our correspondent has the latest. >> this building is more than 50 years old. inside it's as if nothing has ever been changed, repaired and certainly not redecorated. this woman has lived here for 17 years. there has been no hot water in the flat now for three months, but she has long given up on any hope for any kind of repairs. >> the flats had three
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different landlords. they would say the same thing, they need to visit the flat first. they never come. >> a door that lets in the cold, peeling wallpaper and crumbling plaster, everything is falling apart. she stopped paying her rent a year ago, 550 euros for 55 square meters. she is now being threatened on conviction like others in her neighborhood awaiting renovations promised for years. she is one of 3.5 million french people currently living in inadequate housing according to a report published this friday. there are 85,000 in makeshift dwellings and over 140,000 living on the streets. it noted france's housing policy had improved, but there was an inadequate response to immediate needs. france's housing minister announced a new fund to attack
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housing. >> they will implement a mission which will help locate elected officials wipe out slum housing. >> across the channel an n.g.o. report said around 18 million in the u.k. can't afford adequate housing conditions based on criteria set by a nationwide survey. elsewhere in europe, romania has the highest level of inadequate housing with 69% of lodgings lacking their defined minimum. >> now to a near miss in northern italy where following a landslide in a rocky region, a huge boulder rolled down a steep hill flattening a bar but narrowly missing a farm house in the process. if that wasn't lucky enough, an escape forever the residents of the farm house, a second boulder came crashing to a building, but it ground to a halt on its own one meter from the house. now, the average life expectancy for men in russia is
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only 64 years, which puts the country in the bottom 50 on the planet. according to a study carried out by the medical journal, vodka is a significant reason for the premature deaths of russian adult males. our correspondent has that story. >> a bar in moscow and the drink of choice, vodka. it is well below freezing outside, minus 19 degrees celsius. hard liquor helps keep out the cold. the problem, though, is when to stop. russian men drinking three or more bottles a week have a 35% risk of dying before the age of 55. >> look, doesn't france have an alcoholism problem with wine? doesn't alcoholism from drinking beer exist? if you ask me about vodka, well, vodka is a pleasure to me. >> the problem is made worse by binge drinking and by a
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constant supply of often dangerous counterfeit liquor. one of the concerns is the high amount of ethanol in vodka. 40% of working age russian men die because they drink too much. consumption lcohol in russia is high. it is comparable with that in france and other countries. however, the type of drinking, drinking a lot of vodka or another hard liquor in one go is typical of russia and ukraine, type of our part of the world. >> the passion for vodka is killing russian men in the thousands, fueling a high death rate. >> well, it's time now for a check of the top business news stories. marcus is here. marcus, a rather rocky end to the week for the markets, wasn't it? >> yes, indode. rocky end for the markets when
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it comes to the week and also for the month. let's just see if i can get that out right. we saw a sharp drop for stocks on both sides of the atlantic earlier. this is worries about slowing growth in emerging markets are weighing on stocks. over in the united states this hour, the indices are still in the red, but they have caught back some of their previous losses. shares in amazon and barbie maker mattel. the nasdaq down .1 of a percent this hour. european stocks ended friday well below the flat line weighted down by a weak inflation figure from the eurozone, inflation came in at 0.7% in the eurozone, well below the official target and it's sparking cause for the european central bank to intervene to stimulate the eurozone economy. overall european stocks had their worst month since august during january. now, there is a saying among investors as january goes, so
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goes the year and there are warnings of more stock market weakness ahead. earlier i spoke to alistair, market commentator at i.g. in london. he told me the decision by the u.s. federal reserve earlier this week to continue unwinding its stimulus of the economy will make things interesting. >> it will be very interesting to see how well the equity markets can absorb this change in the fed's policy. it is a sizable change. there has been the sort of safety net below the equity markets which has given traders and investors the confidence to keep buying the dips and keeping moving equity market prices higher. with that safety net being taken away, it will be interesting to see how confidence traders can still be. yeah, i think we're going to see a more nervous first quarter and it will be interesting to see if there are ny other sectors, investment sectors to hold their hands up to be viable alternatives. >> britain's membership of the
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union european was a hot topic when the british minister hosted the french president this last friday. he wanted to keep the u.k. in the european union but tepid in britain renegotiating its membership. he has promised to hold a referendum on the u.k.'s membership in 2017 after the next u.k. election. the two leaders saw eye to eye prime ast one thing, minister cameron with hollande to cut costs of doing business. >> i'm a british conservative. we do agree that we need structure reform and changes in our economy to improve growth, to improve employment, and to give our people the best chance of having that security and stability of a regular pay packet so they can provide for their families. >> now president hollande, he wants to cut payroll charges
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and in return, he wants companies to speed up hiring. it's become a centerpiece of his intent to turn the french economy around. what do french businesses make of this responsibility packet as president hollande has dubbed it? luke brown has been fineding out. >> 2 million socks like these roll off this production line each year, but that's only 10% of this company's total output. the rest is made in china, turkey, and italy. in all 116 employees working in this factory, the socks have been made for 150 years. for the owners, it's investment in technology that is crucial today. >> this machine doubles up the loading and the stitching. we calculate that saves 10% in time and we gain 10% in productivity. >> made in france label for these socks is seen as a guarantee of higher quality for the export market. the factory bosses want to double production in france and the government promises to cut red tape and payroll taxes are
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welcome. >> it's needed. it could persuade us to accelerate bringing jobs back to france. using french workers is part of our efforts to develop products which have something extra. >> cutting payroll charges is a eystone of francois hollande's plan. they pay one of the highest rates in the world. in paris, this chicarito shoe shop has been making its own footwear for five years employing four people locally. for this small business owner, the government's plan to trim payroll taxes by 5% is not enough. >> i think that a 5% reduction in social charges will help big businesses, which is a good thing, but it doesn't address the problem faced by france's biggest group of employers, small independent businesses. >> france's labor reforms won't be confirmed until the spring. the government is under pressure to reverse the
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perception that compile made in france may be a sign of quality, it is also a break on investment and hiring. >> we have a few more stories to tell you about. the consumer commission has raised a warninging finger over britain's plans to build a new nuclear power reactor. the commission says they could break rules on state aid. the cost of the project is around 16 billion pounds and the british state has agreed to guarantee 10 billion pounds worth in debt. microsoft is nearly the end of a five month search for a new chief executive. sources close to the matter says the company is about to name the internal candidate. he is currently head of microsoft's cloud competing business. there has been lots of speculation on who would step into current c.e.o.'s shoes at the top of the world's biggest software company. and volkswagen has overtaken
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general motors as the world's second biggest carmaker. all of its 12 brands sold 9.73 million vehicles last year. that's just over g.m.'s annual figure of 9.71 million vehicles. the biggest carmaker under 10 million cars in 2013. that's the business news for now. back to you. >> thank you very much indeed, marcus. be back at half past nine with the top stories and africa news as well. before that, we have web news. >> hello and welcome to today's web news where we took at look at some of the stories making the online headlines. coming up on today's show, ukraine's activists, the campaign to stop gun sales on social networks in the u.s. and the man who gave himself one
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ear to land a dance. the ukrainian automaker which has become literally a driving force of the anti-government movement which has seen protesters occupy central kiev for two months now. as we can see from this youtube video, activists often protest from behind the wheel. hundreds of cars made their way to the kiev suburbs to picket viktor yanukovich's residence. protesters see the president's villa as a symbol of play didn't government corruption. some of these activists have also been using their vehicles to take protesters who have been hurt during clashes with police to hospital. it has been reported that police have been stopping ambulances to arrest the demonstrators onboard. others have been using their cars to hinder the arrival of police reinforcements. this amateur video appears to
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show 20 or so vehicles faking a breakdown to block the pass of what activists describe is a convoy of buses carrying anti-riot police. there have also been allegations of police intimidation and violence. the city has been widely relayed on social media platforms and is showing police officers attacking a car of activists patrolling the streets of kiev. several activists have been arrested over the past few weeks and the group's spokesperson, dmytro bulatov, went missing last week and asn't been seen since. in the united states you can buy shotguns, revolvers and assault rifles on social networks. there are all matter of ads on facebook and instagram leading users to second hand firearms without having background checks or providing a criminal
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history. it's a phone and demanding action that groups want to stamp out with the help of a campaign launched on monday. social networkers can share their support under the #by addressing messages to the powers to be at facebook and instagram urging them to stop his unregulated gun trade. tweets highlighting if you sell firearms without background checks, they could fall into the wrong hands. there is an online petition addressed to the c.e.o.s of facebook and instagram to change their user policies and prohibit all trades and sales of guns on their platforms and in particular private sales between anonymous parties. the campaign instigators say the platforms should be have he same policy as craigslist
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which prohibits the buying and selling of firearms. ebay has a similar ban, but allows the sale of some gun accessories, but only under ertain conditions. johnny benjamin from london started campaigning under the find mike #mid-january determined to find a complete stranger who stopped him from committing suicide six years ago, an anonymous good samaritan named mike. it went viral and one of the millions to people to see it was the mike in question. his real name is neil. he and johnny have since met up. you can see them reunited in this extremely touching video ecently released online. the chinese new year celebrated on january 31 this year, a
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search engine has released this interactive map to paint a picture of the 3.6 billion passenger trips expected to be made over the 40-day holiday period as people crisscross the country to spend time with their family. to no great surprise,gg99ññwççú
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01/31/14 01/31/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! we believe and ending the stop and frisk that has unfairly targeted young african-american and latino men. we believe in our obligation, the most fundamental one that there is an government, to keep people safe. in the values and strategies that keep people safe, that really give us wafting


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