tv DW News LINKTV December 27, 2018 3:00pm-3:30pm PST
>> this is "dw news" live from berlin. a kurdish controlled town in northern syria braces for an onslaught from northern turkey. the people of been through a lot since syria's civil war started. now turkish forces may be poised to attack the city and oust syria's forces. also coming up, germany discusses a taxax onnuslims too pay mosques and imams, similar to the tax german catholics pay.
a woman takes on the mail dominic -- the male-dominated world of tunisian politics. we discussed the first woman to serve as mayor in capital city tunis. plus, the mobile library bringing the joy of books to children in the afghan capital, kabul. glad you could join me. reports from syria say the government of president bashar al-assad has sent troops to the north of the country. that is ahead of an expected offensive by turkey. turkish militias have been gathering close to the town currently held by syrian democratic forces, a largely kurdish alliance reported by the united states. the turkish president announced
that his country would attack. it's unclear when the operation will start, but the mood in the town is tense. >> is nothing remarkable about the streets of the town, busy with traffic and locals out doing their shopping. but the residents of this northern syrian town are no strangers to conflict. for several years, they suffered brutality of the so-called islamic state until the group was ousted by kurdish and arab forces. tonight, local residents fear a new assault on the city. >> people will no longer have homes. there are young children, and it's winter now. it's cold. the children could fall sick. some could die. everyone will be displaced because it's war, and we know the army arare ruthless. >> they are ready to join the turkish forces to oust the
syrian forces in control of the town. >einforcemements come from al sectionsns of the free syrian armymy. we are readydy for the launch of operations to regain control of the territories controlled by the kurds. >> turkey has didispatchedananks and armored vehicleses. it delayed itsffensiveve when the ununited states announced it was withdrawing its troops. for now, the americans are still in town, but local fighters can feelel the c conflict closing is batttt lines arere drawn. >> we are here on the outskirts of town. turkrkish and syrianan oppositin forces have control ovever a nearby neighborhood, and they sometimes fire at t us. the u.s. forces are still patrolling, and they have not stopped.
>> for now, residents can continue their daily lives as normal, but as the new year approaches, the prospect of a peaceful 2019 grows ever dimmer. >> i'm joined now by an international security analyst. welcome. why is turkey so intent attacking the kurdish fighters, bearing in mind the kurds are the main force fighting the so-called islamic state? >> you put your finger exactly on the dilemma we have here. one manan's freedom figighter is another man's terrorist. from the turkish perspective, the kurds are partt -- are probably part of the pkk, which they call a terrorist organization that wants to set up a kurdish independent state and from a turkish point of view, that is an absolute no go. battle lines are being drawn, and this will be different from the ones we've seen hitherto. >> battle lines are being drawn
as you point out, with the news now syria is seeing elite troops to the region. what is the danger the turkish incursion could escalate into a wider conflict? >> their israel danger for that. i think it could be aboutt shififting the tectonic c platef ththe entire middle eaeast. would is the rapport between turkey and russia? what is the report between the united states and russia? does sia play a role of itits own? and we have e not mentioned two players it, namely iraq and iran . it seems we are looking for a bridge -- for a major change of the entire paradigm. >> with that in mind, how does the u.s. fit into this? how does this withdrawal from syria fit in? >> the american withdrawal will lead to a vacuum, and vacuums have the tendency to be filled.
will it be filled by syria on behalf of russia? have the syrians their own agendas? will it be a russian agenda on behalf of syria? the vacuum the united states leaves behind will be very quickly filled by others. >> president trump says the united states will no longer be what he has called the world's policeman. is u.s. policy about to change? >> that at least is a danger. a man who is highlyly liked and respected in the alliancnce is defefense secretary -- is his defense secretary who resigned over the issue. this alliance did not start with president trump. it started earlier. we have to look at how we play the 21st century, the entire scenario of balancing global influence and we have not mentioned the chinese yet.
>> indeed. good to have your advice. thank you. let's get you up to date now with some of the other stories making news around the world. united arab emirates has reopened its embassy in damascus. the move is seen as a boost to syrian president bashar al-assad. the uae broke ties with damascus after the syrian civil war broke out and has backed rebel forces fightingng assad. forces in the democratic republic of congo have fired live rounds and tear gas to scatter demonstrators protesting the postponement of elections while fighting the ebola outbreak. the german military is drawing up plans to recruit foreigners as it struggles to fill its ranks. the proposal -- according to the
report, polls, italians, and romanians living in germany will be sought as recruits --poles, italians, and romanians. and germany is exploring the idea of the so-called mosque tax to fund mosques and imamams and make german mosques less dependent on support from abroad. >> the central mosque in cologne is the largest in all of germany. imams come largely from turkey and are paid by a turkish religious organization. the concept that imams and mosques could be offered alternative financing by germany appeals to many coalitions in the german government. >> i believe it is important that must associations in germany and islam are independent of foreign influence.
currently, the fact is that most of the money comes from foreign states, and that's not good for our society or islam in germany. >> the turkish community gives the plan a cautious welcome. >> i support the was for independence in germanyny and al areas because in germany, we have a federal constitution that covers all religions. >> but the structure of the muslim organizations in germany is more differentiated than that of the christian churches. in order to implement a mandatory tax on all matters, it would first be is asserted to centralize all communities. >> this is why the new idea or approach is to think about how muslims can be represented, so that they have a democratic advisory committee and create something new together with the liberals and conservatives. this responsibility could be initiated by muslims, but at the same time supported by the
government. >> the interior ministry plans to begin discussions on the mosques tax idea with german muslim communities. >> u.s. president donald trump was in iraq yesterday for a surprise holiday visit to u.s. soldiers deployed in the region. together with first lady melania, the president was on the ground in the country for three hours. we have this report. >> the reception was everything he could have hoped for. it was donald trump's first visit to a military base in a combat region. just a week after a controversial move to pull u.s. forces from syria. >> first of all, at he is, att ease. let's have a good time. what a job you have done. ii made e it clear that ouour mn in syria w was to strip isis of
its military strongholds. we are not nationbuilding. rebuilding syria will require a political solution, and it is a solution that should be paid for by its very rich neighboring countries, not thehe united states. let them pay for it, and they will. they will. >> coming hot on the heels of a government shutdown at home, and, of course, christmas, this unannounced visit was meant to be a mood lifter, as much for the troops as for trump himself. with tears, signings, and selfies, and their three-hour stopover, he and the first lady mingled with the soldiers taking the fight to the so-called islamic state. trump was then briefed by military leaders where he again pressed the case for other countries to take over the fight against isis.. >> we've knocked them out. with knocked them silly.
i will te you, i hahad me very gogood talks with president erdogan who wants to do it. others will do it, too because they are in the region and should be sharing the burden of cost, and they are not. >> the president using a refueling stop for one last chance to take his mind off what awaits him at home. >> to mexico now where thousands of migrants remain in the border city of tijuana hoping the u.s. will recognize the bids for asylum, and they are trying to make the best of a bad situation. this also growing discontent at the group that organized the caravan from central american countries. >> christmas piatt -- christmas paella.
it's hard to be so far from your family, but this gesture of warmth and humanity helps people feel that they are welcomed guests. these migrants risk their lives to get to the u.s., but now that they are in tijuana, they have to stay and wait until their asylum papers has been approved across the border. this is the new agreement between the countries. advocates for the migrants criticize the approach. >> mexico was the most difficult part of the migration route. the border to the u.s. can be crossed in one or two days, but in mexico, they were on the road for 30 days and e experienced violencece, kidnapping, robbery, and abuse. >> reducing the violence and hopelessness that driveses manyo flee their homee countries. that's the goal of aid that the u.s. and mexico want to spend in the migrants' home countries. >> we want people to have a better home to go back to you
and stay in. >> a preacher who works with migrants criticized the group that organizes caravans. he says the migrants are exactly what trump wants to help drum up support for his border wall. into one of, -- in tijuana, there are still within 6000 migrants waiting to enter the not so promised land. >> the capital of tunisia has its first elected mayor -- first elected female mayor. tunis is regarded as a relatively progressive muslim country, but even so, she faces resistance in a system that has long been dominated by men. >> she's visiting a construction site in tunis' old city. she has come to make sure everything is going to plan.
>> i wanted to expand the service but keep the old lands. we cannot exchange all of them. >> according to the plan, t ty have to bebe exchangeded. there are simply too many cars in tunis, and not only in the old town. the mayor hopes these reconstruction measures will believe at least some of the congestion. this 54-year-old is married with kid of children. she studied pharmacy. now she has to focus on building sites and traffic flows, but she is a politician. it is her job to delve into new subjects quickly. she likes leaviving the office d meeting the inhabitants of tunis. on the next corner, a discussion breaks out with sanitation workers.
>> we don't have equipment, material, or machines. our colleague here knows it, too. and we don't have enough garbage trucks, and is not enough staff, but we have so few rights. >> you have trade unions that defend your rights. we sit down with them every day with all the unions. we met the trade unions, and they got everything that they wanted. >> tunis town hall is locacated away from the hustle and bustle of the old town. over the past 150 years, the mayor has always been nominated. she is the first person to be elected to the position and the first woman mayor ever. >> even though we have relatively progressive laws and equal rights are anchored in
law, equal opportunities for men and women still do not exist. there is still a patriarchal mentality, especially in certain positions linked to power. >> women in tunisia have more rights than those in other parts of thehe arab world.d. after the revolution, more laws were promoted to permit equality. >> she's now entering the battle, the big war. tunisia is fragile. the situation is critical. >> from what i understand in the news, there has not been anything negative about her. she's just doing her job like anyone else, regardless of if they are a man or woman. >> after work, the mayor and staff go for a walk on the square. not far away is the prime minister's official residence. there is speculation she could become tunisia's first female
president. >> it is too early to o y. i'm not e even thinking about tt at the moment. i've got a lot of responsibility for the next five years. >> there's a lot at stake --- if she has done her job well, the citizens will vote on this in five years' time. >> us 2018 draws to a close, we're looking back at some of the highlights of dw's year. one story featured a mobile library bringing books to children in couple -- kabul. take a look. >> every day, it towards the afghan capital's residential neighborhoods. for teen up to three hours, children can discover worlds otherwise little-known to them and get lost in a good book.
>> i read books in two languages here. >> the mobile library was started with the help of donations. the founder studied at oxford and wants to promote critical thinking. >> we are trying to park the car inside the communities where it is far better, much more secure, but i think overall the security problem in the country, you cannot stop our work. >> this nine-year-old eagerly waits for the bus to come by each day. >> i enjoy coming here because there's so many exciting things
to read. i like stories about goats best. i don't have any books at home. >> her father always picksks his daughter up from the bus. the family fled here from northern afghanistan, thinking they would be safer in the capital. >> after the blast, we finally found the mobile library, but except to go to the bus, we do not let the children out of the house. >> afghanistan has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world at more than 60%. one in three children cannot read or write, so she also reads to the children a lot. >> if i am hopeful, these children can be helpful, and together, we can make something, have improvements in this country, so i'm hopeful.
>> in the hope of renting another bus and bringing more books to more children. >> a recent rule change increases the ranking protection for new mothers. serena williams has praised the change. the e women's tetennis associatn ranks s players according t to a point system. former world number one williams was not seated at this year's french open. the new rules mean players coming back from childbirth or injury can use their previous ranking to enter a total of 12 tournaments over 83-week period. -- over a three-week period. >> some people were getting extremely excited about the spirit that riproaring post-christmas rally on wall street, the biggest ever points boost. today, investor fears are
returning as quick as that, wiping out most of those gains. the new york stock exchange sliding back into their territory falling more than 2%. some traders call wednesday's search a dead cat bounce, a brief interruption of an otherwise downward trend. the picture in frankfurt, too, the dax dropping to a two-year low. in asia, the markets were mixed. our financial correspondent fills us in on thursday's session. >> the rally on wall street was short-lived. it never reached these shores. traders aghast at what they were hearing about the u.s. president apparently thinking of firing the chairman of the fed. they were shocked. post-christmas rally sometimes seen in good years. nobody really betting on that. i don't know anyone who is.
tomorrow would be an abbreviated day. also, that would make it more difficult trading. the people i talked to hear, most of them more than pleased to close the books on this very difficult 2018. >> there were reports today that a delegation from washington will travel to beijing next month to book trade talks. it would be the first face-to-face discussion since u.s. president donald trump and his chinese counterpart xi jinping agreed on a 90-day truce. >> chinese industry appears to have suffered most under the trade dispute far. in november, industrial earnings fell almost 2% from the same period last year. the first such declines in three years. analysts to the trend will continue in the years ahead. that makes beijing ready for concessions. the government has begun importing again and is in constant contact with the white house. the chinese and u.s. teams have kept close communication.
other than maintaining consultation through telephone, both sides have made delegates for face-to-face cononsultation. in the last meeting of both countries' leaders, they agreed to postpone the first round of tariffs a and counterterrorist, originally slated for january for another three months. the past yeaear has already seen hundreds of billions of dollars of goods covered with new fees by bothh sides. some have even n profited froroe new trade barriers. for example, the port of los angegeles. american firms have been buying proactively from china as a hedge against each new potential round of tariffs, boosting container ship arrivals. they come fully loaded and return to china mostly empty. >> a french construction firm will pay 3.7 billion dollars for a majority stake in london's gatwick airport. briggs it made the deal possible.
-- brexit made the deal possible. the cost of the airport had fallen due to concerns over a post brexit economy, but it was confident would pay off with a weakened pound paying for more visits to britain. venezuela's government is still trying to fix a broken economy. it has been trying everything from printing more money to creating its own cryptocurrency, but it's done little more to solve the problem of hyperinflation. the state now plans to tamper with the cocoa sector. traders and growers are alarmed. >> disk account trader -- this cacacao tradeder has had to deal with kidnappings and robbery, but now he has another headache -- the government. >> the governor says he wants to
create a company to export cacao. if he is the only one buying, it creates a mononopoly. it would mean a fixed price, and that would be devastating for growers. there has to be a market where eveveryone buys s and you sell o the fixed -- you sell to the best price. >> other traders in his region have had similar experiences in recent months, but the government says it only wants to catch thieves at the checkpoints. >> our aimim is to break up the gangs and when we speak to the producers, they realize we are speaking the truth. a lot of it is just about tilting trust. they were used to a different government that did not get involved, that did not do anything. but the traders are skeptical, and some of them prefer to hold
onto their harvest rather than sell it, and that means even fewer exports for venezuela. >> a reminder of the top story we're following for you, residents of a cruise control town in northern syria are bracing for an attack by turkish supported forces. turkey has vowed to clear kurdish militias from the town. syrian forces are moving into the town to support the kurds. more news next hour.