tv DW News LINKTV October 31, 2018 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
brent: this is "dw news," live from berlin. tonight, who wants to be the next german chancellor. the race to succeed angela merkel is gathering pace. today, friedrich merz launched his bid to lead germany's christian democrats. he was once sidelined by chancellor merkel. now he is back and hotly tipped to take her job. also coming up, uw heads to honduras to find out why so many people fear for their lives and are now walking to the united states, knowing that president trump has vowed
not to let t them in. and pakistan's top court frees a christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. but islamists are determined to get her back in jail and what the judges who freed her to be executed. ♪ brent: i'm brent goff. it's good to have you with us. tonight, we are getting a clearer picture of who could possibly try to become the next chancellor of germany. it has been barely two days since angela merkel announced that she will step down as leader of her party and not seek reelection as the country's chancellor. today one of her long-standing critics launched his campaign to take her place. his name is friedrich merz, and he says he has what it takes to unite a divided party.
reporter: meet chancellor merkel's old rival. the man she once ousted is back to challenge her. >> the cdu needs a fresh start and d renewal. the cdu needs a forward thinking political discussion, and i believe that means the cdu has to be clear about its core values. reporter: angela merkel had taken over friedrich merz's position as parliamentary leader of the conservatives 16 years ago. many say he has never forgiven her. he carried on as her second-in-command for a couple of years, then in 2009 he left politics. he returned to his day job as an attorney, joining in an international corporate law firm. he has also sat on the board of governors for several companies, including the world's largest asset management firm, blackrock. so far, merz is one of three contenders for the party leadership. he is considered the most conservative among them and would represent a clear break with merkel's style of politics.
although he hahas been a criticf the chancellor and h her govevernment since she took powr in 2005, he says now they could work together. >> i am convinced that angela merkel and i will get along under these changed circumstances. and d in a way that we both see fit. reporter: merz is a business-friendly conservative. his close ties to ththe private sector are c controversial andnd have madade him a target for criticism. the christian democrats will decide who will succeed chancellor merkel as their leader at a party conference in december. if merz gets the job, germany's conservatives will have to brace themselves for drastic change, not least because friedrich merz's ririse could spell thehed of angela merkel as chancellor. given their differences, she may not want to stay in office for much longer. brent: i'm joined now by melinda crane.
these events are taking place quickly. what would a friedrich merz christian democratic union party look like? melinda: he has not given us a lot to go on so far, but we do know he is business friendly, always has been when he was a politician and now as a corporate lawyer for the last nine years. he was also always a big advocate for tax reform, of making the tax code so simple and a tax declaration so easy it could be written on the back of a coaster for beer. so that probably implicates that he would implicate more friendly business policies. beyond that, he makes it clear that he wants to open the doors to let voters who have drifted away to the far right nationalist afd party return to the full. how exactly he would do that is not clear, because they do not care about business friendly policies. what they are interested in is migration, stopping it. we do know as a politician he
was very much in favor for stricter measures to assimilation to what was known as leading german cultural values. so, possibly we would see something along those lines but it is hard to say. what i do think we can say is that what people see in him is a return to the old glory days of the cdu as a mass party. whether he can accomplish that i think is very much an open question. brent: what about his foreign-policy positions? let's take a listen to what he had to say about european union reform proposals that were put forward by the french president. take a listen. >> i am certainly concerned that we do not have enough of an answer to the suggestions of emmanuel macron. i think he deserves a more substantial answer from germany. we have to speak about the
central questions of the future of the european union, and i know that the biggest challenge involves keeping the eurozone together. brent: so, is that good news or bad news for france? melinda: yes, that is a question you can pose. but the fact he raised it today, and in fact it was the concrete point in which he voiced a discrepancy with the current policy. essentially, germany during this coalition government has been asleep at the wheel. people throughout the european union feel that germany has not given the kind of leadership that it has. the fact that he referenced that point indicates to me that there are at least some of macron's proposals he does think are positive and would want to move forward on, perhaps common security and foreign policy for a start. so, i think that that is positive for france and for germany and for the eu. now, what else he would do on the foreign policy side is very hard to say. he called himself a convinced
transatlanasist. brent: we know he is leaving in the polls right now but he does have competition. melinda: absolutely he does. at least two others have from their hats in the ring. and who knows more -- whether m ore hats will come. among those are the chancellor's own designated successor, currently the general secretary of the party. she would keep the party essentially in the central part of the political spectrum. so, not such a sharp turn to the right. and then there's currently the health minister, significantly younger than the other two and quite conservative as well. young voters seem to like him and at the moment he is trailing behind the others. but it is early days. brent: melinda crane, thank you. here are some of the other stores now that are making headlines around the world. the e saudi journanalist jamalal khashoggi wawas strangled to deh
immediately after entering riyadh''s consulate in istananb. that is according to the city's chief prosecutor. he says that khashoggi's body was then cut up and disposed of. saudi arabia's attorney general has now left turkey after talks on the killing. the rebel leader has returned to south sudan to celebrate a peace deal with his longtime rival, the president. the world's youngest nation was plunged into c civil war in 2013 when the president sacked him as his vice president. the country has seen a string of failed cease-fires and peace deals ever since. as the u.s. city of its bird continues to grieve and very it's dead after the synagogue shooting, a grand jury has charged the suspect on 44 different counts, including hate crimes. 11 people were killed in that attack on saturday. the united states says it is
sending up to 7000 troops to its border with mexico as a convoy of central american migrants travels north. thousands of people have been walking for more than two weeks in a search for a better life in the u.s. they are leaving honduras, a country plagued by poverty, sexual violence, and brutality. dw has been to the capital to find out more about the life these people are leaving behind. reporter: every friday, armed gangs forced these barbarous to cut their hair. -- barbers to cut their hair. the barbers closed to escape, but lived in constant fear for the lives. that is why they abandoned their homes and set off to the u.s. >> i had to go to the gang members to cut their hair.
but i could not keep doing it, out of fear. i spoke about it with my cousin and we decided to flee. we are afraid and just want to work in peace. reporter: as well as violence, economic problems are pushing people to migrate. almost three quarters of all hondurans live in poverty, according to some estimates. more than half of these of employed live in extreme poverty. >> weah searching for a better homeland and opportunities to work. we want to move our families forward. people cannot bear the situation any longer. the crisis has been getting worse for years. >> it is happening because of the political situation. that is why people are fleeing now. may have nothing to eat. -- they have nothing to eat. >> they are fleeing because there's no work.
how can donald trump treat them as murderers? reporter: poverty in honduras is on the rise, even know the government has invested more in social programs. this woman has tried seven times to reach the united states. only once did she make it across the border, only to be deported. but her situation is so desperate that she plans to try again. >> i just cannot go on like this. even if i could find a job, i would not earn enough to support us. the pay is just too low. i have three children who need to be fed. reporter: on her last journey, she was fleeing an abusive husband. she took her three children on the arduous trip. they suffefered hunger andnd ilillness. evenentually they were arrestedy mexican authorities and deported.
>> this is a bite wound. i reported it to the police and suck protection and mexico as i fled with my three children. he notified the migration authorities and we spent eight months in detention. reporter: women suffer other types of violence. they are victims of domestic and sexual abuse and are threatened by gangs who try to recruit their children. that is why 20% more women than men are fleeing honduras, according to a migration expert. >> they are pressured into prostitution or are forced to live with people involved with organized crime. it is a symptom of the vulnerability of women. reporter: migrants are refugees. it is hard to dry line in a country where desperation --
for them, escape seems the only option. brent: a court in pakistan has freed a christian woman who was sentenced to death for blasphemy. the mother of two was condemned to hang in 2010 for insulting islam's prophet mohammed. thousands of islamist activists has blocked roads and ransacked property in protest, with one group even calling for the death of the judges who overturned the sentence. reporter: she has spent most of the past eight years in a prison cell and solitary confinement. yet she has always maintained her innocence. the christian farmworker and mother of two was convicted inn 2010 of blasphemy. she was accused of insulting the prophet muhammad, after muslim women from herer village objectd to her drinknking water from thr shared glass because s she was christian. she ththen became the first womn
to be sentenced to death by hanging under controversial's controversial -- pakistan's controversial blasphemy law. but now the verdict was overturned. the ruling was met by angry protesters, hard-line islamists. >> the only punishment for a blasphemer is beheading, they shout. and we will not obey the suppression. reporter: the leaders of one islamist party have even called for the death of the judges who ruled in favor of her release. her story began in a rural pakistani village. but what started here has stirred intense emotions around the world. in the past, islamists have murdered some of those who spoke out in her favor. today's reactions show that their anger has diminished little since her arrest.
nearly 10 years ago. brent: i'm joined tonight from london by the chairman of the british pakistani christian association. it is good to have you on the program. you are in contact with her family who lives in the u.k. what was t the family's reaction today? guest: the family dodoot live in the u.k., thehey are still l in pakistan. their reaction is one of great joy and elation in seeing she is now free. we are aware that when she left the cell, she asked people, is this for real, and my actually going to leave? it was a shockck and surprise fr her, although she had been adamant she would be released.
but today is a day of huge joy for the pakistani christian community. brent: she is technically now a free woman. can she realisticalllly stay in pakistan, or would that be too dangerous for her? wilson: it is impossible. therere is no way this woman can remain in papakistan. you are e seeing imageges of the right, of the protests. these willll soon become major riots. we have seen the country brought to a standstill over the change in the of made for lawmakers. this is much more seeker. the ananimosity towards her is o intense, two politicians were shot dead in 2011 in the space of three months. she cannot live there. countries in the west have to
open their doors. there is no need for an assessment. it is very apparent that she is an asylum seeker. brent: that is a grim assessment of the situation in pakistan. do you see any chance of pakistan' blasphemy l ls being changeds as a resusult of whwhat happened today? wilson: absolututely not. the veryry fact that she hadad o sufferer until a supupreme court appepeal is appalliling, but its not uncommon. there areetill otherer blasphemy victims in p pakistan.n. two teenagers accused of social media blasasphemy. ananothther paiair accusedd of shredding the koran. the prime minister himself has endorsed these laws, saying he supports them. until thehese for coney and,
committee -- they are clearly used for a tool for persecution. the national curriculum demonizes them as minorities, even going as far as saying christians are spies for the west. brent: wilson, we appreciate you taking the time e to speak withs this evening. thank you. wilson: thank you. brent: over to christoph now. the industrial giant planning a major investment here in berlin. christoph: it is a piece of good news for the german capital. siemen's is putting 600 million euros on the table to finance and innovation center in the city of berlin. it is meant to be part of what some hope will become a german silicon valley. the investment would be biggest of a single company in berlin since world war ii. the announcement comes only one week after they withdrew a
similar protests. reporter: berlin pulled out all the stops to get the signgnaturs ththat would make this p possibe and bring siemen's back to his birthplace, revitalizing a part of town that already bears the siemens name. > around 600 million euros would be invested in berlin in the coming years. that alone is spectacular. it will lead to a lot of infrastructure, innovation, job creation. all that will be an entirely new image for the siemens campus, bringing in the area into a new age. reporter: it only took eight weeks to go from the idea to the signing. the innovation center will house officers, research labs, and high-tech production facilities for startups. and in a city currently locked in an accommodation prices --
crisis, 50,000 meters we set aside for affordable housing. >> that means we're looking at how we can build a campus that is not elitist, but inclusive. that is something we have worked on and considered. we look at the most varied of locations around the world and said, where can we really to find the future of work, and then we came back to our place of origin. reporter: siemens in berlin is already home to their largest production site, with some 10,000 employees. the new innovation center is expected to be completed by 2030. christoph: u.s. carmaker general motors has reported third-quarter earnings and they are better than expected. earnings stood at $2.5 billion, up from a loss of $3 billion one year ago. gm sold fewer cars in north america than in the previous year but benefited from sales of higher-priced suv's and trucks in china.
the company is also increasing its cost-cutting efforts by offering buyouts to 18,000 white-collar workers. now let's bring in our wall street correspondent jens korte here. jens, gm is ramping up its cost-cutting efforts, it is importing -- reportingng high profits. wall street is very excited, i assume. jens: the stock of gm popped up by a good 9% just here in the wednesday session. the u.s. car industry in general actually did face some major headwinds with tariffs on steel and aluminum. costs increase for carmakers. that was also true for general motors. we are in an environment of rising interest rates, meaning if u.s. consumers want to finance their new vehicles, it becomes more expensive. but still, general motors was able to actually achieve the
highest selling prices in their corporate history for their vehicles. that was one of the main factors that the u.s. market overall, that even if gm sold fewer cars but for far higher price. that is why they beat estimates and the stock saw this huge increase. christoph: wednesday was the last day of trading in october and overall it has been a brutal month for stocks. tell us why and give us an outlook. jens: yeah, what a month it has been. so, we did see especially high tech s stocks under heheavy selg pressure and for the month the nasdaq composite was down by a good 9%. even if we saw a little rally on wednesday and also on tuesday, it still was for the nasdaq, the worst month since november, 2008. so, basically since the financial crisis.
the worst month in 2.5 years. there was a lot of talk about rising interest rates. some companies could not fully convince. that is why we saw a pretty turbulent month. christoph: the scary month of october drawing to a close. jens korte in new york, thank you. panama has begun issuing a new tourism card that will allow cubans to travel to the central american country as private citizens without a visa and buy goods. available to cuba to own or work for small businesses, it would benefit some 13% of the country's residents. reporter: the panamanian president introduced the new measure last week, making it easier for cubans to travel to and buy goods in panama, provided they can prove they have ties to a private business in cuba. currently there are some 592,000 cuban workers in the private sector. >> we feel the tourism card will
economically strengthen -- and permit following the country's rules and regulations and other systems. it will make visits to panama easier because many cubans are traveling. they travel to other countries, they return to their country, and they are setting up their own businesses. they are moving forward, and this facilitates the process. reporter: the tourism card comes at a time when cuba is seeking more international investments and credit due to a liquidity crisis in the decreased in aid from venezuela. direct foreign investment in the country has averaged in the hundreds of millions of dollars in the last few years, but the government is seeking an annual $2.5 billion in investment. panama city resort tourism card is supposed to help entrepreneurs in cuba gain more financial freedom. christoph: back to brent and india is thinking big.
brent: the world's tallest statue unveiled today in india. the prime minister inaugurated the monument in a ceremony honoring a man credited with united -- uniting india in 1947. it has also been mired in controversy. locals are angered at the high cost of the statute and the damage to the environment. >reporter: with pomp a and tight security, the prime minister inaugurated the statue of unity. 180 meter tall bronze clad, towering over the western state. india's ironman was the country's first deputy prime minister. after india gained independence in 1947, patel played a key role
in bringing the country stays togethther. -- states together. >> brothers and sisters, this, the world's tallest statue, will keep on reminding the whole world and our future generations about that person's courage, capability, and resolve. reporter: this s so-called symbl of u unification was nearly fofr yearin t the making. now w 's ununveiling is b being overshadowowed by protests andnd acaccusations of political point scoring. the statue is part of the hindu nationalistt party's effort to rebrand what it calls forgotten leaders. but criritics see this as an effort to appropriate a national hero figure ahead of next year's national election. the $400 millilion projeject has uprooted many residents. 185 families, most local tribes,
were forced to leave their homes. ahead of the inonoculation, locl chiefs called for him to stay away, and there are reports of activist leaders who have been detained. despite protests, authorities hope this site will be at popular tourist attraction in this remote corner of india. and they are rushing to ensure the area has enough hotels, restaurants and other infrastructure to cope with the anticipated rush. brent: after a short break i'll be back to take you through the day. stick around. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]