>> it is 9:00 p.m. and you are watching live from paris on france 24. russia is trying to start a third world war, so says the ukrainian prime minister's as they warn of fresh sanctions. seven weeks on, the families aboard the missing flight demand answers as their grief turns to anger. and events are held to raise awareness of the preventable disease malaria which kills more than half a million people each year.
good evening. we begin with the latest diplomatic efforts to diffuse tensions in ukraine. angela merkel has been speaking by telephone to the russian president to voice a great concern over the situation and also to urge the implementation of a deal that was signed in geneva. the ukrainian prime minister accused moscow of trying to start a third world war. >> ukrainian special forces set up checkpoints a few kilometers from slaviansk. they know look poised to retake the town. a few kilometers down the road,
militants manning their own say they will not be scared off. >> the kiev government is a game. they are sending troops to exterminate their own people. i want to bloody the peaceful people. that is why we will stay here and fight for justice. >> a france 24 so heavily armed -- team saw heavily armed troops just a kilometer away from the border. the acting president has said russia wants to start world war iii. >> it is clear that russia wants to wreck the elections so that ukraine will not have a legally elected president. and second, to remove the pro-western ukrainian government and third to occupy ukraine militarily as well as [indiscernible] >> the local press had a date
for the invasion, the second of may. the foreign minister says kiev is waging war on its own people in the east. >> the west wants to take control of ukraine because of their political ambitions, not in the interest of the ukrainian people. >> as the war of words heats up the standoff continues in slaviansk with the rival groups of heavily armed troops just a couple of miles apart. >> the russian economy is feeling the heat from those tensions. the ratings agency standard & poor's had cut its rating for the first time in five years. washington says further sanctions may be imposed in order to put more pressure on moscow. here is what brock obama had to say. >> what we have been trying to do is to continually raise the
cost for russia and their actions while still leaving the possibility of them moving in a different direction. we will continue to keep some arrows in our quiver in the event we see a further deterioration of the situation over the next several days or weeks. >> president obama speaking there. the international criminal court has become an investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity in ukraine. the new government has referred a number of cases to the body cases that date back leading up to the follow the president viktor yanukovych. some 100 protesters were killed. for more analysis on that situation, we can speak to jeffrey sack, the director of the institute at columbia university who joins us from new
york. thank you for speaking to us professor. what is your position on events in ukraine? >> clearly russia is creating a lot of trouble and it is a very dangerous situation. i think president obama is correct to be ratcheting up the sanctions and i hope, i really hope russia does not make a terrible mistake and what would be ahistorical blender for russia to cross the border into eastern ukraine. i think being -- thinkgs would spin out of control. russia will pay heavy price if it continues this kind of provocation. we saw interest rates rising in russia, bond ratings being lowered because of the increased risk.
russia is not a strong economy. it will end up feeling a lot of pain from this. >> if russia does feel a lot of pain, how do you think the authorities might react? do you think they could be unpredictable if injured? >> i hope cool heads prevail and while russia has real interest in the ukraine, there is no doubt ukraine is not a plaything of the west and it is not really simply extricate ukraine in some way. ukraine flies between western europe and russia and it is going to stay there and will have interests in both directions. the russian government has to stop this destabilizing provocation, certainly the annexation of crimea was an intern -- a breaking of
international law. unlike think the consequences for russia will be a breakdown of economic relations with europe, the united states, and the world markets. i think that would be extremely painful for russia. it would be interest for all of us. >> you mentioned international law, can't moscow turnaround to the united states and nato and accuse them of double standards? many observers in moscow would say it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. >> i agree with that. i think u.s. actions in syria have violated international law. i believe what nato did in libya overstepped the mandate the u.n. had given it. i think coso though was an unfortunate precedent russia is now using.
i believe international law is what keeps us normal people save . not these politicians and the political leaders. there have been violations on both sides. not to mention the egregious u.s. behavior in iraq and afghanistan, full-fledged wars that had no justification. certainly the iraq war was the biggest of these horrible actions. so, yes, this is a case where russia is violating international law and a 10 point two the u.s. for having done the same thing. that is deeply troubling. rather than be a cynic that lives in a bombed out world, i would rather us reinforce our commitment to international law and both sides take responsibilities for their actions. russia must not destabilize its next-door neighbor.
and this absolutely will have a very deleterious effect on the russian economy if it does so. >> do think be ukrainian prime minister was going too far when he accused russia of trying to spark world war iii? do you think that is being unduly alarmist? >> i do not think they are trying to spark world war iii. they are trying to achieve objectives and they are being very provocative in what they are doing. i think the dangers are evident and what i absolutely agree with president obama is that a military threat or response from nato is not called for right now. and would be extremely dangerous. and all of us have to realize we are approaching the hundredth anniversary of the start of world war i. we don't want to replay an
anniversary date by some horrific blunder. what does need to be done is to remind russia that it is bound by international law and by specific treaties to protect the sovereignty and integrity of ukraine. it has to honor those and if it does not it is going to find capital leaving russia, bond ratings getting written down the russian economy suffering. who could want this? nobody wants this. i want to see a strong russia. it is not going to happen if russia is so threatening that normal economic relations are not possible. >> briefly, russia is not going to take the sanctions lying down. they are going to react. they are not going to do nothing. how can russia hurt us in europe and you in the united states?
what sort of things might they do to reciprocate? >> the first thing i hope is that russian leaders reflect and while they may rattle the sword maybe they will be sister from crossing into eastern ukraine, which would be a wise measure of restraint. there is some evidence they feel some restraint, but the evidence is admittedly murky. we don't really know. that is what they want, that ambiguity. we do not know what they will do. if they do cross the border, all bets are off. it becomes dangerous. russia might say they are going to force cut off gas flows. europe would adjust far more easily to that then russia would because russia absolutely lives on these revenues. europe does not depend on
russia's gas in some fundamental way. russia demands on russia's gas. >> professor jeffrey d. sachs thanks for sharing your thoughts with us here on france 24. let's move onto some other news now, it has been seven weeks since the malaysian air flight banished without a trace -- the malaysian flight vanished without a trace. there is no explanation what happened to the 239 aboard. two thirds of them are from china and their sense of grief and despair has now turned to anger. >> they spent the entire night in front of the malaysian embassy in beijing holding signs in anger and despair. families of chinese passengers aboard the flight say they fieel the trade by
authorities. they have pledged to stay here until an official comes out to answer their questions. >> right now, we do not know how long we can stay here. the government, the embassy has not sent a single person to communicate with us. it is inhumane. it happened on their watch, but they are making things difficult for us relatives of the passengers. >> police had cordoned off the area, blocking roads leading to the embassy. relatives lashed out at airline bosses, forcing security guards to form a human line to separate them. tensions reached a boiling point. it has been seven weeks and families are without any news of their loved ones. >> i have been asking, begging malaysia and malaysia airlines to bring my son back. i miss my son.
>> the player and -- the plane is believed to crash after changing course from its flight path. according to authorities, the search for the missing airlines flight could drag on for years. an underwater search appears to have failed. >> today is april the 25th which means it is world malaria day. it aims to raise awareness of this treatable and preventable disease which kills more than half a million people each year. france 24 kate moody tells us more. >> mothers lineup with their children in southern niger to test out a new malaria treatment. researchers hope this prevention , administered once a month could help combat the deadly disease, which kills one child every minute across the african continent.
627,000 deaths were reported in 2012. it has dropped by half over the past decade. >> we can defeat malaria today. it has been shown in many countries when we invest in malaria, we can defeat the disease and protect the population within probably 15 20 years. the disease can be wiped out from the surface of the globe with proper funding. >> malaria is present in about 100 countries, mostly in africa but also asia and south america where the mosquitoes that carry the disease thrives in warm weather. traditional prevention it's like medication and nets are effective, but there are fears insects have become resistant. >> they are able to transmit the
disease. >> scientists are trying to develop a vaccine, but they need more funding if they hope to meet the goal to eliminate malaria from 10 countries by the end of 2015. >> time now for a check of the top business news. marcus carlton joins me. we are going to take a look at russia and the action it is taking to mitigate the fallout from the crisis in ukraine. >> western powers are threatening new sanctions against russia and that the same time the russian central bank has raised interest rates for the second time in two months. the benchmark rate was increased to seven and a half percent by the central bank. it is concerned with inflation and it is seen as an attempt to defend the russian currency which has fallen this year. the central blank -- bank
acknowledges it is causing uncertainty for the russian economy. the interest rates hike coincides with the downgrade of russia's credit rating by standard & poor's. it has cut its rating to triple b minus, one notch above junk. the s&p quoted an outflow of capital in the first quarter and also warned the rating could be cut again if western sanctions against russia over ukraine worsened. there are warnings that the downgrades could hurt russia at a sensitive time for the economy when growth is already slowing. we spoke to be financial consultant about how it could hurt russian businesses in particular. >> it will harden the situation for the companies to finance themselves on the international market. it will increase the risk and it
will make it more difficult for these companies, especially given the fact russia is now at one notch from the speculative junk category. >> unease over the situation continues to weigh on global stock markets and concerns as well about the standoff between the west and russia. in the united states, markets are lower this hour with about 40 minutes left in the trading week. we have seen some disappointing earnings reports from ford. we will take a look at that in just a moment. the nasdaq is down almost 1.8%. in europe, the indices also closed in negative territory. the dax was the hardest hit. the cac 40 down as well. the london ftse was in negative
territory, but it did not fall as much as the other main markets in europe. a stock that was not trading was in the spotlight here in paris. shares were suspended on reports that general electric wants to buy part of the company. reuters is reporting ge is in talks to buy alstom. the deal was discussed when the board of the struggling company meant on friday afternoon. the turbine division is 70% of their annual sales and itt's train making business would not be part of the deal. alstom any deal would attract scrutiny from the french government. this is what the economy minister said in a newspaper interview. he said he would find other
solutions for the company rather than sell parts of the business to general electric. that is the story to watch in the days to come. the number of jobseekers was stable during the month of march according to the latest figures on the french labor ministry. it was 1600 more people looking for work in comparison to april now above 3.3 million people. as you can see. as i said, 1600 more job seekers during the month of march. hiring remains sluggish, but the unemployment picture is stabilizing. let's talk about a few other corporate stories we have been watching. weakness in the united states dragged down 40 during the past quarter. the carmaker made 998 million dollars, 40% less than during the same period last year. u.s. sales fell by three percent
and sales in asia and the european markets they actually picked up. they were higher than last year. has officially closed. it has completed the sale of its mobile phone company to microsoft. nokia the total price was 5.4 billion euros, more than originally sent out when the deal was first announced in september last year. the deal was supposed to have closed earlier, but it took them longer than expected to get regulatory approval worldwide. the french billionaire is buying a controlling stake in monaco telecom, paying 322 million euros. they are focusing its business on the americas and the caribbean. he will be holding 55% of the
operator. the government of the principality holds on to the remaining 45%. that is the business news for now. back to you, tom. >> thank you very much, markus. >> hello and welcome to today's web news. we will be taking a look at some of the stories making headlines. coming up, somali refugees announced an anti-terror operation in kenya. web users help find a missing new york woman and two french base jumpers take on the world's tallest building. hundreds of somalis have been arrested in kenya. web users have been sharing photos on social networks. this is the beginning of april, seems like this have become commonplace in the neighborhood of the capital nairobi. the arrests are part of an anti-
terrorist operation launched in response to a wave of attacks across kenya over the past month. those arrested are taken to a stadium in nairobi which has been take -- turned into a police station where hundreds are held. the film reminds viewers the aim of the security sweep is to identify potential terrorists from the armed islamist movement al-shabaab. web users are concerned with the interrogation methods and have taken to twitter to voice opposition. they urge the government to end the ethnic profile and harassment of somalis in kenya and women and children in particular. somali kenyans who have suffered from the repression also are speaking out to a tumblr blog,
citizens say they want kenya to be safe and they should not be seen as terrorists because of their ethnic origin. when josh goldberg's mother left her apartment and did not return, he posted a message to the reddit platform explaining his mother has alzheimer's and have gone missing and he needed to find her. his appeal came with several photos of her and was shared online, giving the story a happy ending. a few hours after his message appeared, one user aaw the story and came by her on the streets of manhattan later that day. after checking it was the missing mom, he contacted the police department and then her son shared the good news.
josh goldberg has returned to reddit to express his thanks to the good samaritan, and thanking all of those who responded to the platform. this is not the first time users have tracked down a missing person. there is now a thread on the platform devoted to this, messages are posted on a regular basis asking for web userss' assistance in finding lost loved ones. there has been debate on spain's social network after the public prosecutor opened an investigation into the @h
m pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i'll take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality. because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, than the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose. the internet is perhaps the most open network in history and we have to keep it that way. >> that was president obama in