tv DW News LINKTV July 1, 2020 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
♪ >> this is "dw news" live from berlin. tonight, the first arrests have been made in hong kong under a controversial new security law. police attain hundreds of protesters wednesday cracking down on public displays of pro-independence flacks. under the new law, offenders face life in prison if convicted. also coming up tonight, russians sign off on president vladimir putin's constitutional refeform.
the changes could keep putin in power for years to come. ethiopia erupts in anger and violence after a celebrated singer is shot dead. ♪ i'm brent goff. reviewers on pbs in the united states and all around the world, welcome. police in hong kong have made the first arrests since a controversial new security law imposed by beijing came into force yesterday. as thousands of people defied a public ban to protest the law, authorities responded with water cannon and tear gas, taking hundreds of demonstrators into custody. under the new law, the symptom at -- the simple act of publicly displaying a pro-independence banner or flag has now become a criminal offense. >> despite the new law and a ban
on holding marches during the pandemic, hundreds of protesters showed up. it just took minutes for police to roll into action. one protester was arrested for holding the hong kong independence flag. dozens more were arrested later. at a news conference, pro-democracy lawmakers found themselves in a bizarre situation, now not allowed to speak english or address the media. >> i usually say a few words in nglish to the international community and the media, but now i can't because of this law. if i say anything to you, i will be arrested when i walked out. >> at a flag ceremony earlier in the day, the territory's leaders marked the 23rd anniversary of
the territory's return to chinese control after british rule. chief executive carrie lam hailed the new law as the most important development since the handover. >> the purpose of this piece of legislation is not just to punish. it is also to deter -- to deter people from committing such a serious offenses as cessation, terrorist actitivities, anand s. >> at the same time, chinese troops stationed in hong kong held a joint military exercise showing off their military might. brent: there has been some criticism of the new security law in hong kong. u.s. presidential candidate joe biden calling it a death blow to the territory's freedom, and today, britain summoned china's ambassador to communicate its concerns, but the beijing government insists it will
restore stability in hong kong after nearly a year of unrest. >> hong kong activists say freedoms are being eroded, but bebeijing says the law is necessary for the city to prosper, and that many countries welcome this. on behalf of 53 countries, there welcome the law of the people's republic of china on safeguarding national security at the session of the united nations human rights council. a principal within which a high degree of autonomy was supposed to be guaranteed in hong kong for at least 50 years when britain handed back its former colony to china in 1997. the e new lawaw is a flaanant bh of the agreement, according to the city's last u.k. governor. >> i think it i is very importat that we stand up together, not
starting a new cold war with chinina, but just making absolutely clear that we will call out china when it behaves badly. >> the u.k. now says it will uphold its historic -- an offer nearly 3 million residents sanctuary. washington says it is not only concerned about the safety of hong kongers but also that of americans. >> article 388 of the new law also purports to apply to offenses commimitted oututside f hohong konong by nonresidenentsf hongng kong. this likely includes americans. this is outrageous and an affront to all nations. >> the eu, meanwhile, has said it is discussing with international partners possible
measurures in response. the german foreign minister has called developments in hohong kg exceptionally worrying. these prorotesters arere worrie, totoo, but they have pledged to try as hard as they can to keep their voices heard. brent: for more, i'm joined by the chair of the china delegation in the european parliament. he is also the foreign affairs spokesperson for the germaman green party. it is good to see you again. international reaction to this security law in hong kong -- it has been very tame, almost muted, and that includes the european union. why hasn't brussels been able to come up with a concrete statemement in reaction?n? why haven't we heard anytything yet? >> firstst of all, on this d dai think we should all say thank you for the courageous defenders
of democracy in hong k kong, and exexpress our great level off solidarity with them. itit is a fact that the european parliament in its last sessision did adopt a resolution that spoke out very clearly, a and we idenentified meaeasures that shd anand could be taken if beijing indeed follows through withh ths imposition of a law contrary to the promimises to the citizens f hohong konong and contraryry alo inteternational law. a lot of t t steps that we have advocateted would be to take the pepeople's republblic of china o the internationalal court of justice becacause of t the brehf the sino british joint declaration.
brent: is that going to happen? the security legislation i is nw law, so china has gone through with what it wants to do. >> thehe security law is now -- yeah, enforced for 48 hours roughly. president von der leyen from the european commission has said she will deliberate with europe's partners f for steps to possibly be taken together, and i think that is a good approach. there has been a lot of critical language that will not be enough. we will have to put a price tag to this breach of obligations and of international law, and i'm positive that the eu will indeed move forward.
we are not always the fastest because it's not so easy to bring 27 sovereign member states together, but we take the right approach -- i'm convinced of that. brent: there are those who will say china is doing everything or is doing what it is lawfullyly entitled to do. it does have a right to introduce laws to stop subversionon and f feign interfrference in hongng kong, doesn't it?? >> well, we canan have a legal argument,, but you don't hahaveo trust me. trust the human rights experts of the united nations. they have criticized this law. or consider that, as has been mentioned before, article 38 of this law threatens anybody and everybody around the globe that takes a stance that authorities
think would be considered -- should be considered seditious by them. how could beijing possibly assume that it would be their legal right to export that totalitarian system through all the countries aroround the glgl? come on, that's a joke. brent: chair of the china delegation in the european parliament, joining us tonight from h here in berlin. we hope to talk to you again soon if and when we do see action from europe. thank you again for your time tonight. >> thank you. have a good evening. brent: here are some of the other stories that are making headlines around the world. the united states has bought most of the world's supply of a drug proven toelp recovery
with covid-19. german unemployment numbers rose slightly in june to 6.2% as the overall number of new cases continues to slow. 40,000 workers registered themselves as unemployment during the month. germany's labor department credits its short-term work scheme, which keeps workers on the payroll for the relatively low numbers. germany has takeover -- germany has taken over the rotating leadership of the united nations security council. germany's time at the helm is set to be dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, one of the first challenges will be to make sure that the eu's financial framework is approved by all member states.
>> we want to solve the most important problems that are the basis for quickly getting out of the economic downturn into which we got a as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. this has to happen in solidarity. no one should be left behind. in europe, everyone needs to do well because only ththen will we be able to profit from each other. we have to ensure that above all, europe becomes united and is seen as a united force against the background of competition between the major powers -- the united states, russia, and china. we will only be able to defend brent: that was the germann foreign minister speaking earlier today. a vote on constitutional changes in pressure came to a close today. early results have signaled strong support for president vladimir putin's reforms. with a nearly 1/3 of the votes counted, nearly 70% of russians have voted in favor of the
changes, which could see vladimir putin run for two more terms as president. >> president vladimir putin is probably the only person who came to this moscow polling station without a mask. today is the last day of the russia-wide vote. the kremlin even declared a bank holiday so as many people as possible could take part. the constitutional reform has already been legally approved by the country's national and regional parliaments. putin turned to a parliament vote to approve the move. the changes will allow vladimir putin to continue running for president. theoretically, he could remain in the kremlin until 2026. this man says, "no, i don't need a new czar." "i like it. when things change in pressure, we end up worse off than before."
at some voting stations, voters were only required to show their passports. while voting was still in progogress, the first results we published. the procedure is highly questionable. the vote itself, the whole process, was invented for this purpose. a referendum like this was not even provided for in the constitution. going by already published preliminary results, it looks like a majority favors the amendments. brent: for more on this vote, let's go to our moscow correspondent. we know the russian parliament had already approved the constitutional amendment, so why was this vote so important for president putin? emily: the parliament had approved the amendments, and the constitution has been out for several weeks, but the vote was important for putin to show he has the backing of the public.
after all, this vote and these amendments determine his political future. since he was reelected, in 2018, the debate here in russia between political observers has been how he might stay in power and if he does not stay in power, who he might hand over power to, so in a sense, this -- these amendments to the constitution and this vote kind of decide that whole question, and some observers say this vote was actually rushed through now because surveys show trust in vladimir putin is falling, and the lockdown measures over the coronavirus have hit the russian economy hard, and this vote in a sense is kind of a referendum on putting himself, so it was important to hold it now. brent: we understand there have been reports of violations and irregularities in this vote.
what more do we have? emily: authorities in russia took a lot of measures to ensure the safety of this vote during the pandemic, including spreading out the election over seven days, allowing online voting, allowing peoplele to voe at home, and independent monitors here. they say a lot of those measures actually make it easier to manipulate the vote, so if the vote is spread out over seven days, that means fewer people are at the ballot box. that means it is easier to carry out ballot stuffing. polling stations outside with the ballots visible to view, there have been stories about the online voting that has been taken -- taking place in moscow because people have gone and voted twice. there have been several reports
about that here, once online and once at the polling station. essential election commission says there have been basically no big violations and that many of the report on violations are fake. brent: emily, thank you. in ethiopia, at least 80 people have been killed in protests following the fatal shooting of a popular singer. he was known for songs advocating for the rights of the country's minority ethnic group. he was regarded as a voice against political and economicc repression, and supporters turned out in thousands after he was killlled. many of them blame security forces and say the shooting was politically motivated. why has the death of a singer
caused so much outrage? i put the question to a reporter from our africa a desk. >> he e was known for his resistance song, a song much more focused on political and economic operation of normal people, , and it has been -- he has been widely celebrated as a superstar. especially during 2018, during the protests, his songs were widely used as a tool to unite people for the protests. finally, the protest pushed the regime to cocome up with some reformrm. ththat is not only t the case wh what i is now the o outrage, but also follolowing those days,s, e
sesecurity fororce arresested prominent politicians, including a man considered the informal leader of the p ptesters, and also a long time advovocate of minority rights, and other activists and people. brent: germany's defense minister has disbanded part of the country's elite special forces unit after links to far-right extremism were identified. the minister saying the group had "a toxic leadership" that fostered extreme right sympathies. an overhaul of the organization is planned and around 70 soldiers will be redistributed among other units. the ksk was formed back in 1996
to focus on antiterrorism operations. concerns over the group's affinity with far-right extremism have been growing for years. for more on this, let's bring in our political correspondent. good evening to you. the ksk, germany's elite military unit, is linked to farm right extremists -- far-right extremism. is this a coincidence, or do they have a serious problem with far-right extremism? hans: i think you cannot call it a coincidence. this is an elite boards comparable to the delta force in the united states, so it does attract people who are interested in weapons and military matters, and i suppose that lays the groundwork for something of a more conservative and possibly even going into the right wing spectrum political views in this unit, but the indications that there have been
these tendencies in the unit have been known for many, many years, and the incident, which really sparked most outrage, was a party that happened in 2017 -- in other words, three years ago -- a party in this unit where some members of the unit used hitler's signals, sang songs referring to nazis, playing music from that era, and there were no consequences at all within the unit, so they do certainly seem to be a problem within that unit.. brent: we learned more from germany's defense minister. let's listen to what she said. >> [translating] the analysis of recent events regarding cases of far-right extremism has made clear that alongside its excellent military performance, the ksk has in recent years, at least in part, cut itself
adrift. parts of the ksk have been led astray by an unhealthy elitism on the part of some of its officers, and the toxic leadership has arisen, which helped the development of extremist tendencies and an unacceptable lax handling of equipment and munitions. brent: we just heard the defense minister use the words "lax handling of equipment and ammunition." what does that mean? hans: it really is a euphemism. what she's talking about is the unit is missing close to 60,000 pounds of ammunition and 60 kilograms of high explosives that are unaccounted for. you could say that is bad keeping of books. they did not keep track of what was used in their training, but also very recently, a soldier
from this unit had his house searched, his private quarters searched, and there, a whole cache of weaponsns, explosives, ammunition, and of nazi material was found. if you combine those pieces of information, the head of the german army today said that leads one to think that this is the missing equipment, and it could be used for terrorist attacks. experts are very worried. print: that leads to the next question -- is there a danger of right-wing terrorism in the ranks of the german army? hans: we have to put it in perspective a little bit. we are talking about 70 people in a unit that comprises more than 1000, so it is a very small group, but there have an incidence of right wing sentiment, of right-wingers using the german army for training and trying to get equipment from the german army
for several years, and we have to remember that germany is particularly sensitive about this with its nazi past, so it is very careful to keep its army from becoming a right-wing terrorist army. at the same time, the number of right wing crimes in germany have increased in recent months. here, too, the sensitivity is particularly raised. it is very worrying in terms of german society and the german army. brent: as always, thank you. the coronavirus lockdown showed many of us here in europe how much we take household free border crossings for granted. workers who were allowed to cross those borders during the lockdown were subjected to strict controls. the experience has shown a line on how much germany depends on its neighbors for that easy access. >> sometimes it is the seemingly
mundane things that best illuminate what it means to be part of the european union. driving through the border at the crack of dawn. >> europe really is important to me, and i have to say, i really profit from the open borders and the freedom of movement. i like traveling, and i entered several countries with my family. -- i have been to several countries with my family. i worked in belgium and it is super easy. i hop over the border and simply work as normal. >> she is 18 years old. since the lockdown restrictions were lifted, she has been able to cross the border freely to train to be a pastry chef. she no longer has to produce her work contract at the border. every week, the 25 bakers here
makes a ton of flour, 200 50 liters of cream, and hundreds of kilos of fruit to create tempting treats. yet, despite the huge quantities involved, this is far from an industrial production line. the focus is on individual craft . it is precisely this kind of training that she could not find in germany. for the young apprentice, britain's departure from the european union and increreasingy anti-european rhetoric coming from both right and left is a source of worry. >> i cannot understand it because i mainly experience the advantages. also, this is truly the longest period of peace that europe has ever had. >> during her break, she has time to consider how political developments could threaten one of her personal dreams.
"i dream a bit of england, of a small cafe in england. brexit is a really stupid situation for me." but she remains optimistic. for her, the everyday reality of the eu, devoid of flags, anthems, and pump -- pomp, is what matters the most. brent: in a few minutes, i will be back to take you through "the day." stick around. ♪
on the twenty third anniversary of the end of british rule of violent protests rocked the streets of hong kong. . t. the- no security law please the rest scores of people. the biggest women to start moving into the west bank but for now israel delays its annexation of parts of the west bank. stillions flock. to demonstrate the british prime minister is one of many calling for the plans to be scrapped. the rift widens between chris and ankara