tv DW News LINKTV September 5, 2018 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
brent: this is "dw news," live from berlin. tonight, suspects accused of carrying out a chemical weapons attack on british soil. u.k. prosecutors charged these two. prime minister theresa mayay thinks the suspects are agents with russia's military intelligence. also coming up, a growing international chorus warning the syrian and russian governments not to launch an attack on the rebel-held idlib province. the u.s. now doubling down,
threatening to retaliate if syrian forces use chemical weapons. and germany and turkey find themselves on the same side as they lobby to prevent a bloodbath in idlib. turkish forces are already at the border preparing for what could likely be another wave of refugees fleeing the fighting. ♪ brent: i'm brent goff. it's good to have you with us. britain has called a special meeting of the united nations security council for tomorrow to update the evidence that london claims proves russia was behind a nerve agent attack earlier this year. british prosecutors have charged two russians with the attack on former double agent sergei skripal and his daughter back in march. the british government believes the suspects are members of russia's military intelligence
and that their operation had the approval of the kremlin. reporter: these are the men british prosecutors have charged with conspiracy to murder. they are russian citizens, but police believe their names are probably aliases. the men are accused of attempting to murder former russian double agent sergei skripal and his daughter yuliaia with a military grade nerve agent. a police officer was also hospitalized following the attack in march in the english city of salisbury. another couple also fell seriously ill after coming into contact with the nerve agent. police believe it was through this perfume bottle. dawn sturgess of salisburyry lar died. >> this could have happened to anyone. it happened on brititish soil. they will face british justice. that is what we will fight for.
the international l communit obviously rallied around the government at the time. we want them to see what we have managed to achieve today, but we need further help. reporter: british police have released closed-circuit tv images of the two men arriving at london's airport two days before the skripals were targeted. this image of the men was taken at salisbury train station a day before the attack. and this, at the same station on the day of the poisoning. moments later, they're seen on closed-circuit tv walking through the e city. police say traces of the nerve agent were also found in their london hotel room where they stayed that weekend. in the house of commons, the british prime minister claimed the two men are russian military intelligence officials. >> we repeatedly asked russia to account for what happened in salisbury in march and they have replied with obfuscation and lies. this is including trying to pass
the blame for the attack on to our international partners and even onto the future mother-in-law of yulia skripal. they even claimed that i, myself, invented novichok. reporter: british prosecutors say they will not ask russia to extradite the men, but they have obtained european arrest warrants. the krememlin denies it played y role in the poisonings. brent: for more on the story we want to go to our very own birgit maass on the story in london. good evening to you, brigit. we just heard the head of the u.k. counterterrorism saying this crime was committed on british soil. the suspects will face british justice. we also heard the suspects returned to russia after the poisoning. so what chance do the british police have of ever getting their hands on these suspects? birgit: well, the british government, the authorities have concluded that it is futile to ask for a formal extradition request from russia for the two
suspects because they know from history that russia is very unlikely to cooperate with -- relations with russia over this case are strained. they are relying on the eu arrest warrant. if it is ever the case that these suspects travel into the eu, then there could be the chance that they could be extradited to the u.k. brent: let's talk a little bit about this perfume spray bottle. britain says that it poisoned dawn sturgess and her partner. is there a connection being made with that to the skripal case? birgit: yes. the prime minister has said in her statement that this was most likely the box that was used, the perfume bottle was used to smuggle the nerve agent into the u.k., and also the delivery method of putting it, spraying
it onto the door handle of the skripals. police, independently of that, are asking for more advice. they are asking citizens, anyone who has seen the box, who knows anything about the perfume bottle because they are looking for further evidence. so clearly this is the crucial piece of information that is new now. police have said for a long time they do not know the link between the two cases, but now they have disclosed this perfume bottle is the link. brent: there are some british lawmakers saying that this attack, this poisoning, is war-like behavior. when you hear that, you have to wonder, what does this mean for the future, if there is one, for british/russian relations? birgit: well, british/russian relationons have gone from low o lower in the past few years. since the death of the former russian spy here in london, and
now with the skripal case. the u.k. has already, theresa may has already extradited 23 russian diplomats who say they were coverups, russian spies. other allies havave followed, expelled russian diplomats. so, clearly it is really a very antagonistic relationship and it is not likely to get any better after this. brent: our correspondent birgit maass on the story for us tonight in london. birgit, thank you. here are some of the other stories nonow that are m making headlines around the world. france and britain have struck a deal to end the so-called scallop wars in the english channel. tensions over fishing rights boiled over in late august with several british and french ships ramming each other. french fishermen had accused the british of unfairly catching scallops in the area. german chancellor angela merkel is standing by her previous comments condemning anti-migrant protests in the eastern german city of chemnitz. after talks with the czech prime
minister in berlin today, merkel said the chemnitz demonstrations, quote, very clearly revealed hate. german far right leaders have accused merkel of exaggerating anti-migrant violence in the city. paraguay says it is moving its embassy back to tel aviv just months after opening a mission in jerusalem. paraguay's former president and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu inaugurated the building with much fanfare, but paraguay's new president opposed the move. israel says it will now close its own embassy in paraguay. tonight, more countries are warning the syrian and russian governments against attacking idlib province in what may be the final showdown in serious a seven-year war. -- syria's seven-year war.
the united states has urged the assad regime not to resort to chemical weapons, while the united nations is warning of a potential bloodbath. idlib is the last major stronghold of the rebels and it is also home to about three million people. reporter: with nowhere left to go, civilians in idlib are struggling to find ways to keep their families safe. having witnessed a massive military buildup over the last week, this father is preparing for the worst. >> i am making protective masks for my children and others in the area, because people fear there will be a chemical attack. reporter: in this densely populated region, others are seeking safety underground. >> most people in this village have a cave connected to their house. these caves were abandoned during a truce that lasted six or seven months. now people are again prereparing for an o offensive and stockping food inside, so if an attack takes place, we can go into the
caves. reporter: fearful residents are bracing for bloodshed. as the syrian government masses its troops on idlib's borders. the firsrst strikes hit t the rl enclave on tuesdayay. syria's ally russia released footage purprporting to showow russssian warplanes attacking wt it calls terroririst targets. but human rightsts groups say several civilians were killed. international calls are mounting to avoid an all-out onslslaught and an ensuing humanitarian catastrophe. brent: i am joined tonight by the journalist and author who has reported extensively from inside syria. her third book explains how the syrian conflict became the geopolitical crisis that it is now. it is good to have you here at
the big table. how close are we to seeing a humanitarian crisis in idlib? >> i think we are pretty close. there will be a pretty big attack in idlib in the days or weeks to come. i do not think this is preventable. people do not have anywhere to go anymore from idlib. the turkish border is closed and i think we will see hundreds of thousands of people trying to reach there and be stopped. so they will be there waiting. brent: so you do not think this fighting is preventable, yet in tewo days we are going to see a major summit between iran, turkey and russia. is that just a lot of talk and no action? >> i do not think this will help anything. because russia in the first place has never been able to stop president assad when he has really decided to conquer an area. we have seen these tactics for several years. all the opposition areas have been retaken by the same
strategy, surround the city, bomb it, starve it, then conquer it. either stay on or submit to the assad rule, or leave to idlib, the expelled to idlib. now that chance is not there anymore and russia will not stop beside. this is the last huge battle. president putin has invested a lot of money into keeping him in power. this is important. he will let him go ahead. brent: what about if turkey is successful in convincing russia not to go full throttle with this offensive. do you think it is then possible that al-assad will then say, ok, if i do not have russia would hundred percent behind me, i will pull out the chemical weapons if i have to. do you think he would do that? kristin: no. for him it is very important to take the whole of syria and to politically cleanse it.
the idea is he will not leave people there who stood up against him. by peaceful means or military means. the idea is not fighting against terrorism. the fight is not against these terrorist groups. he was always punishing the civilian populations for living in an area that he decided in a position of. brent: you do not think the chances are good that he would resort to chemical weapons this time? we have seen it in the past. kristin: yeah, i mean, everything is possible. we have seen the assad regime using them several times. we have seen international investigations that prove this, especially the last attack in april 2017. at time there was more than 80 dead. this could be repeated, we do not know.
as for the people, this is not the major threat. the major threat is the bombardment of the area. this is what people are really afraid of. brent: it looks like we have had seven years of a nightmare in syria and for people on the ground, everything has been in vain because bashar al-assad will stay in power, there will be no political change, and there will be more people refugees, and turkey will settle the border and they do not want them. kristin: nobody cares for syrians, really. everyone is busy with their own interests. turkey is very busy with controlling kurdish autonomy in the northeast of syria. this is a major idea of president erdogan. he will accept him staying in power. he prefers the assad regime rather than the pyd, these fighters. so everybody really greed to the
fact that bashar al-assad will stay in power. brent: so he is going to win? kristin: he won militarily. it doesn't necessarily mean peace. he will keep on routing syria by fear, which means people are not allowed to say anything. his prisons are still filled with people. the amazing europe should do right now is not to normalize relations with this regime. to help the activists in the first place, human rights, that are inside idlib right now because they were expelled from these other areas. brent: they were forced there. kristin: yes. they founded underground schools, libraries, women centers. the last thing europe should do is work with these people so they are kind of responsible for these people, and take them to safety. brent: i think you have the
material for a fourth book considering how things are going to d develop. kristin helberg, as always, it is good to have you on the show. thank you. the german foreign minister has been in turkey and -- after the meeting he said germany is working with turkey to prevent that humanitarian catastrophe in idlib. he was in ankara to improve relations between the countries. also on the agenda was the release ofof seven gererman cits whwho were detained in turkey on political charges s after the failed coup in the country two years ago. let's go now to dw's julia hahn following the story for us in istanbul. good evening to you, julia. eclipsing these bilateral talks is this countdown to this major offensive in idlib, home to three million people. i mean, the two men, what have they said about this impending military campaign?
julia: when it comes t to the current situation in syriaia in ididlib, the twowo ministers are basically on the same page. they agree that a major offensive on idlib has t to be prevented, as you alalready mentioned,d, becauause it couldd to what they call a humanitarian catastrophphe. millions of civilian lives arere atat risk, andnd turkey, especi, fears another wawave of refuge trying to cross itits border tuturkey alreadydy hosts more tn three million refufugees from syria. this number r could go up p by another r million or e even re,o this would be e a huge finanancl burden for turkey. so i guess he was not happy to hear the german minister sayay that berlin is considedering to boost its humanitarian assistance to countries like turkey, should such an offensive really happen. brent: the turkish government has released we know two prominent german journalists
from prison, but several other germans are still in detention on political charges. how likely is it, julia, that the german foreign minister will be able to secure their release? julia: well, he repeatedlyly sad hehe would openly talk aboutut h human rights issues here in turkey. he alslso said hmementioned thee cases. germany says these people are in jail here in turkekey for polititical reasons. turkey, on the o other hand, sas it needs to go after what it calls terrorists or terrorist susupportersrs, and its judiciay would come up with an independndent decisionon on this matter. but i guess here t there is much more going o on behind the scens than we actually know, or the two ministers would talk about in a press conference. brent: briefly before we run out of time, we know recep tayyip erdogan is facing an economic crisis in his country. relations with the u.s. have soured. does this mean erdogan needs better relations with germany more than ever? julia: welell, i don't think he would publicly admit that, but
yes, i think that is part of the explananation why turkey is seekining to mend ties with europe, and especially with germany, seeking to reanimate an old friendship, so to say. and watching the language of the two ministers s today, the turkh minister said he is s thrilled o cooperate with germany. this of course is a cocompletely new tone after the crisis between turkey and germany lasat year. soso it is almost like a charm offensive we are seeing right now. brent: julia, thank you. christoph is here now with business news. fin tech is making big gains. that is not good for the banks you and i usually do business with. christoph: the old economy is starting to feel the heat. germany's second-biggest lender is said to be pushed out of the blue chip index by a company which has only been around for look -- less than 20 years. it was founded in 1870 and has been in it since the beginning.
it's longevity is something ishares with most of the valuable german companies in the index. a look at the top five by market value. they are hardly spring chickens. most of them were founded in the 19th century with the exception of a software provider for business. in the u.s., most of the leading companies were founded in the past few decades, and most are technology firms. the outlier, warren buffett's conglomerate berkshire hathaway. it seems like in germany the tables are starting to turn, with newbies showing the old elite how it is done these days. reporter: at munich airport, chinese travelers are known as avid wires a luxury goods just before departure. since recently they have also been able to pay with alipay or wechat, chinese payment systems.
it processes the transaction to the wire card company. germany's wire card takes a 1.6% commission for the service. >> to begin with, it looks relatively easy. ali trader has to do is integrate a little software. you also have to look very closely at the security angle. when you hear about how much data gets stolen, we have to look after the data. that means we have to make the corresponding tests and get it all set up. reporter: and wire card is growing along with it. the company employs 5000 people. these i.t. specialists at its headquarters are discussing their expansion plans for the u.s. a short while ago, wire card acquired a transnstion bankiking -- the boom is boosting wire card profits all over the world. retailers lineup for the
company's software solutions. >> i think we have always known very well that we need to move into markets. we have been expanding rapidly. we have to offer solutions where the customer only needs one partner. and by focusing firmly on that approach, then i think we have a good point as to the direction to take. reporter: cementing its market position, wire card also offers a host of other services including risk management, call centers, and customer loyalty schemes. christoph: the head of twitter says his company was caught offguard and ill-equipped to deal with the millions of fake accounts spreading lies and disinformation ahead of the 2016 u.s. presidential election. testifying before the u.s. senate, he says it is time to question the fundamental incentives built into social media platforms.
facebook's chief operating officer said her company was also slow to act in dealing with interference in the elections, but it is now cracking down on fake accounts and hate speech. for more let's bring in our wall street correspondent jens korte. jens, top social media executives admitting things went wrong in the past. how did that go down on wall street? jens: we saw losses, especially when it came to the stock of twitter which lost about 6% in value. facebook lost about 2% and is down from its all-time high in early july a good 20%. -- by a good 20%. with the hearing showed is it is difficult and probably costly to make the necessary changes. facebook, for example, said that they are using more artificial intelligence to prevent fake content. so it's not an easy task, that
is probably why wall street reacted negatively. christoph: google did not send any representatives, despite being asked to do so. what did investors make of that? jens: well, first of all, congress wasn't too pleased by google not sending one of their top executives. they offered to send a top lawyer, but that was not good enough for washington, and that is why they placed an empty chair there. so, we will see if that was a wife decision from google to not send a top executive. the stock also traded lower, but not as much as facebook or twitter. one senator said before he wanted to ask google questions about their chinese business, and this had nothing really to do precisely with what was debated here wednesday on
washington. christoph: social media giants in the crosshairs. jens, thank you. brent: european soccer is launching a new competition starting tomorrow. the nations league. the aim is to get rid of meaningless friendly's, but the tournament is complex. so here is a rundown of how it works. try to keep up. all 55 european teams are competing. the competition runs on and off for the next three months. teams will be split into four leagues, a to d, and groups into threes or fours. it ends with promotion and relegation between the leagues. group a playoff for the title next june. four qualifying spots for euro 2020 are up for grabs. germany, still haunted by the world cup debacle in russia,
face world champion france in their opening game tomorrow. >> this year we're playing against the netherlands s and france, two top opponents. so i think the nationsns leagues a good thing. we can qualify for t the final four. we can also get relegated. this is a competition, and competition is always good for the players. that is how we are taking it, and personally i think it is good. brent: finally, visitors to the tight on safari park in crimea got more than they bargained for when one of the lions decided to literally get on board. take a look at this. footage should -- shows the lion climbing onto the bus and over the driver before turning its attention to the other passengers. the clip has gone viral and it shows cats can get in the mood
for a cuddle. i just wouldn't try that at home, if you've got a lion. amazing. all right, a reminder of the top stories we're following. british prosecutors have charged these two russians with the nenerve agent attack on a former spy and his daughter. prime minister theresa may said the suspects are agents of russia's military intelligegenc. britain will update the un security council on the investigation. after a short break i'll 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 ncicap.org]
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