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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  January 2, 2022 4:00am-4:30am AST

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here are the challenges there with me the hell robinson day. reminder of our top news stories, archbishop desmond tutu, has been described as a crusader in the struggle for freedom, justice equality and peace. during his funeral service in cape town, the anti apartheid hero died last sunday. the age of 90, his ashes sobbing in terms of george's cathedral where he preached against racial injustice figure, the rapid spread of the career of ours. overcome variance in the u. s. has led to a shortage of test kits. new york, washington dc. all the epi centers of america's cove at 19 outbreak recording the highest numbers of daily infections. to date, john henry has more from washington d. c. every country had trouble celebrating new years this year,
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but it was especially muted here in the us. new york was the biggest of all the celebrations usually, but this year, 15000 people came. they all had to be masked and vaccinated, but that's a fraction of the 1000000 who usually attend that celebration in new york city. also, there is a testing problem in the united states, so many people have either contract it on the kron or have been concerned that they have, that they've been flooding testing centers, president biden. his says bass has said, that's a problem that he will fix. he has made 500000000 free home tests available, but that still has not quite solved the problem. meanwhile, industries are being hit. the airlines, especially on saturday, globally, 4000 flights, were cancelled 2500. those were in the u. s. and nearly half of those were in chicago. that was partly due to a major snowstorm that hit the midwest. but it was also due to the fact that airlines are having staffing problems. they can't staff as many plains as they
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usually would because many of their crew members have refused to accept overtime over the christmas holiday rush. also, colleges are beginning classes for the 1st time, for many of them in a couple of years, online rather than in person. so the beginning of 2022 here in the u. s. is starting to look a lot like the beginning of 2021. you can do is reacting after one of the strict is locked down, the world schools will start up again after being closed for any 2 years. and time curfew will also be lifted. i feel that was the time i was worried about the future with govern. 19 then it became one of us maybe 4 or 5 months into it with way too long. acting like we are scared of it in terms of the measures and all of that. yet in reality, we are ready to live with. it doesn't look like it's about to go away. you can
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get me nice. i'm quite of mr. will never look down. people around him. i me inclusive, i run at least 6 people have been killed. 3 tropical cycling slammed into a mom. at least 6 people were killed. after the strong winds of the flooding began on thursday in the storms expected to continue until wednesday. it prompted warning for people to stay away from dangerous areas. is ready. forces have logged artillery and strikes in garza rafter rocket fi earlier in the day they believed to have had empty fields and the casualties have been reported it seen as a show of force after rockets below. shall garza and london off the coast of television. thousands of people have marched in cities across iraq to voice that anger at the us, 2 years after a talk. iranian general was assassinated. cassim cilla money was killed in the us.
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drones strike near baghdad airport at the behest of the former president. donald trump. at least 12 people have died and a son, pete is a religious shrine, and indian administered kashmir to teens or marking the new year at least 13 other people were injured and taken to hospitals. more than 1000 homes have been destroyed by wildfires in colorado. heavy snow help bring the fires under control, but freezing temperatures are making life difficult for those forced to sleep in shelters. you holiday stories on a website that out there or dot com more news in half an hour with me until and it's the bottom line to stay with us. i hi, i'm steve clements and i have a question. angle american stepped in to lead the west at
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a time when the united states was trying to shrink away from the world stage. but who will fill the gap next time, or even now, let's get to the bottom line. ah, for a time she was the most powerful woman in the world angle. america became germany 1st female chancellor in 2005. and she served for 4 terms, thing and power for 16 years, a whole generation. while the former us president donald trump closed america's borders to folks fleeing the wars in the muslim world, she opened germany for a 1000000 refugees. and while he deli dallied on the crone of iris, she gave a famous speech speaking as a mother. and as a scientist and telling the world to really take it seriously, she became the one people look to. and america started to fade into the background as a source of noise in chaos. and on russia, from countdown to president vladimir putin, while miracle didn't buy what he was selling. but on the other hand, the extremist right grew exponentially while she was leader in germany and all over europe. so what kind of mix legacy does she leave behind for her country,
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for europe, and for relations with the united states, and what does her moving on mean for america's own engagement in the world? well, despite the fact that merkel is famous for being a very private person, we're really fortunate to be talking to someone who spent years researching her and finding people to explain her world view. she has cotton mar time, former a, b, c, news correspondent in germany and author of the chancellor, the remarkable odyssey of anglo american khaki. thank you so much for joining us. look, you know, what i'm really interested in is those 4 years of america. first, under donald trump, when angle america stepped in your late husband, richard holbrooke said america would have been in strategic contraction from its responsibilities in the world. my question to you is, what would america look like today? if angle american had not stepped in? great question, steve, and let's deal with them one at a time and but 1st let me just you for having me on. it's always such a pleasure to talk you and you're always the most thought provoking interlocutor so
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. so that will leave the world stage. an extraordinary legacy, she leave the template for a new way to gover, which is how shall i put it? an ego free way to govern, whereby the leader of europe, the most powerful state germany, focused on the people not on herself. there isn't a single, i'm sorry to say this. there are mostly men, politician who is as lacking and hubris as she was. and this had an enormous impact on, on her ability to get things done. because she was always the last person to leave the go shading table because her feelings were not involved. she, she didn't get upset when, when either either or trump tried, tried to fake their way and bluster their way through and ago she ation or in trump's case cost candy's at her saying don't say i never gave you anything. she
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just kept that, that absolute unmovable facade and, and, and restaurant soldiered on. so ego re, because she was at the table, be it on, on your brain. she left the lake or how the world should deal with, with what looks to be close to renewed russian aggression into your prey. because she was in charge of halting that aggression in 2014. basically, obama hand it off the leadership of the west to her at that time because he'd given up on who he said, this man does nothing but lie to be. well, he lied to her too, but miracle did not the luxury sitting right next door to the big bare change from from trying to bring him to hold him to account. so she leaves you
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already. you already referred to her remarkable humanitarian intervention in 2015. and let me just say that those 1000000 mostly middle eastern refugees have been integrated into a formerly mostly christian homogeneous society. and this is a back burner issue. so again, she has left a model for, for a how to do that if the world will heed her her lesson. so, you know, she did, she did all this without saying, look at me, look at what i've done and thereby demonstrated that you can get a whole lot done if you don't insist on taking credit for you know, so in terms of the shape of the world now, you know, i miss medical already just a few days into the post period because she gave us all a sense of call and things will be taken care of because i am
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here and i will look after things. there is really no one who duplicates her. remarkable journey and i'm sure we're going to talk about that. there are many good politicians in germany. one of them is her successor, but, but it's her extraordinary personal journey, which is what i set out to capture in, in the chancellor that, that makes her unique. and she now enters history. it's an incredibly fascinating book, not only by what you discovered in research, but also by her hostility to anyone who talked about her and shutting them down, cutting them out of her life. and you know, the inforced, humility, if you will, that she wanted around, you know, her life and circumstances. so i find it incredibly well done. well,
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research work because you did it under very difficult circumstances. but when you, when you get into that journey the she took, i had a meeting recently with an ambassador from a former soviet communist country in eastern europe. and, and he said, you americans tossed around the word socialism and communism to casually to describe the debates going on. he says, i lived under communism. you have no idea how bad that was and what the dimensions were. of that her dad was a pastor who willingly moved into east germany to be in that world. and i, and i'd love to kind of hear about the see that god planted an angle, a miracle, a being in that situation and how that remarkable journey affected who she became. right, right. well steve, you just get it on the head. it was for formation. this the double influence of 35 years spent in a, in a police state, the police data of east germany and,
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and being the pastor's daughter. so a very strict family, a faithful lutherans where responsibility was instilled in her need to look after the less fortunate, which again we saw play out in real time with for refugee policy was which shocked all her fellow european neighbors who did not come for her a chance to faded and i have to say that if i had an advantage in, in piercing the, the enigma mac, all the deliberately constructed and it was that i to grew up in a communist totalitarian state hungry and my case. and i was the child, the medical prisoners, and i was, i was very conscious of the fact that, you know, you had to keep your own counsel and you didn't know if your next door neighbor was,
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was informing you. in the case of medical, it turned out that one of the people she most trusted her lab partner, because as you know, she's, she's a visit. this by trainee. was full time in former, so no wonder that she keeps, she keeps to herself and, and is deeply suspicious and doesn't like to open up and certainly doesn't open up to, to journalists or, or biographers. she frankly doesn't think it's any of our business. what she does outside the chancellor e. but, but to me, that was the part of the story that was most interesting, far less interesting or the machinations of the byzantine world of german politics . really interesting was how this triple outsider, so a man in a male political culture, a scientist, and from the east. how did, how did she gain control of the politics?
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not only of her own country for 16 years, that's for election? who can, who can match not today in a democratic way, but that, that she, she, she managed to transform that country. so she didn't just hold on to power. she very quietly transform a country which she now has left a different society than, than the walk around the one she found. she, she achieved marriage equality, she expanded opportunities for women and, and of course, has made germany the most refugee friendly country in the world is really the, when you think about it, knowing as much as you do about about german history and the dark chapter of the 3rd, right, that she, she, she really has succeeded to making germany not only the economic powerhouse of
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europe, which it was well on its way to becoming but the moral center. that to me is the most astonishing. i mean, who is buying for that role? really not, not, not the united states. well, you know, we measure time oftentimes in terms of leaders. and so during the time of miracle we had for american presidents, we had george w bush. we had brock obama. we had donald trump and we haven't had joe biden. do you have a sense of how she read the trip? you know, the strengths and weaknesses of the american leader? she was dealing with. who does she like the most? well, 1st of all, she reveres america. she, she attributes to america per 2nd chance as, as a, as a free woman. and as a politician because she, she was a scientist only because she had chosen science as a safe place to park her or her brilliant mind. and she is really in and out of the
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reach of the police state. so she had she had on our wall a picture of a bush, the elder and a reagan who were her cold war heroes. she had a personal, she had great personal report. this may surprise your, your viewers with george w bush and they click and, and that had real time results. they only overlap for 2 years, but, but they continued to be friends. she had a rocky relationship at the beginning with bark obama, although they are much more liked than she and george w bush. they're both cerebral and they're there. they're both people who don't really love politics or politicians. but she found him to be at the outset. rather arrogant and into much of a hurry and she was offended that he wanted to give
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a speech before he was even elected president on linds most like clinic warner, which is the brandenburg gate. so she'd be told that he took that very well. and ladies and staff were having chosen that, and then of course, she discovered that he'd been tapping her or private phone, her cell phone, whether he'd given the instructions for that or, or, or others in the mean. i mean, i just want to go out there, i just want to stop there for a 2nd. she found out the u. s. president was spying on her. right. that's. and how did she take that now? well, you can imagine when i interviewed the american ambassador in berlin at the time, john emerson. and he said that that was a waste year between berlin and washington result of that that really unnecessary tapping which by the way, got them nothing because macro being suspicious. she never say anything and through
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our cell phone beyond what, where are we going for dinner. 8 so they got nothing and they succeeded in, in deeply offending her. she, when obama visited her on a kind of make up call, she took him out to the balcony, which riches off or her former office in the chancellor. and she pointed to the remnants of the wall there, the terrible wall that had kept her prisoner for 35 years. and she said, now do you see why this? this has so upset me and my people, because we live behind behind, we were prisoners, right? the state a copy, one of the reasons i wanted to talk about this book was not just because of angle apparent medical who stepping out and, and his history now. but her relevance of some of what she did in dealing with the challenges of the day. and as we look at $170000.00 plus troops,
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a mass on the ukrainian border from russia as we look at human rights violations in china. sin john. the rise of teaching ping, not only in chinese history, but his power in the world. i'm really interested. she dealt with both of these leaders. she took blandness to an art form, but she also took doggedness into a political art form. and i felt the palpably in your book, and i don't see anyone engaging either, is asian ping or vladimir putin in the same way that she did. am i wrong? no, you're not wrong. no, no. the dog is it is what, what remains to be seen, whether, whether anyone has that but, but don't forget that, that we, the united states are in steady or hands. then then we were
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under, under trump, and she, she exhaled when, when biting was, was elected because because of course, the trunk was not serious in negotiating with either. or she thinks she medical has paid more calls to beijing than any other head of state. since 2005, when she 1st identified that, that china was ascendant and would be the challenge for, for the west. she's paid a call every year. she's cultivated, a leadership up and down the food chain. she knows who to talk to about what. and although she does not believe in confrontational diplomacy, and she would never call out either cheap, cheap thing or, or put them in front of the press, for example, because she thinks that,
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that's just, you know, male boss. know where she is tougher when the door is closed and she does call out or did call out a cheap thing on, on the weavers and on hong kong and makes it very clear that you're going to force our hand. you're going to force us to be much tougher if you proceed down down this road. but she, you know, steve, she's, she's, she's not an idealist. she does not think that the arc of the moral universe been store justice. she's a, she's a realist, not a i wouldn't say she that she's a kiss and jerry politician. but she does believe that that humanity is capable of terrible crime. evil. i mean her or her parents generation somewhere under, under the nazis. and she herself,
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suffered under the german communist. so she's she, she deals with the world as she finds it and believe i would describe her as a determined optimist for her. the image of this is an image she uses frequently rolling that rock up the mountain, lonely dive, it fall on his head every every few feet and then keeps going. that for her is not a a pessimistic image. it's what she does. it's what, and again this goes back to her lutheran foundation of the quiet work of salvation. right, right. that's what she did, right. as chancellor for 16 years. well, not only is germany and europe on the united states being tested by seizing, paying, inviting, reputed. they're being tested internally. and while she was in office, the alternative for germany,
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a party of extreme islamic bo be extreme anti immigrant groups earned 2012 percent of the electorate in 2017 and grew. we've seen the rise of populace in the united states and elsewhere. do you have any insights about her views on those group? how that i mean, and her concern about it? you know how if she were still in power, maybe now out of power, that that element needs to be confronted? yes, yes. and, and you know, she's by no means a perfect politician. when she has her blind spot, that one of them was that she didn't deal strenuously enough with the rise of the far right in or in her former region of east germany, which is where it's mostly located. and by the way, that is also the, the coven of the anti backs. the anti backs are population, is also in the least. and these 2 things are, are related and social media,
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and this information lanes and enormous role in that region. that this information coming largely from russia, which is not far, but she didn't deal sufficiently with the fact that, that not everybody in the east was as ready to adapt to the ways of the west as she was she just immediately rolled up her sleeve and chose the new profession left left science or, or politics and began her now legendary ascent a large, a large number of her peers did not. and they feel that she has. she does not acknowledge them sufficiently, if not about the economy. because although the east is still a bit behind the west, it has enormous infusion. so support from the west. but it's about you haven't recognized us. you haven't acknowledged our suffering during during half
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a century of communism. and, and that's where that was fertile territory for the far right. but let me just quickly say that the far right is not us. and in germany, i think that of all the european countries of all the countries in the west germany would be the last to fall for populism because they have so so process their own dark history. so worked through that but, but the east is behind the web in that, in that process. and very late in her days in the trans flurry, she began to acknowledge her eastern roots, her and the fact that that well, perhaps you should have spent more time kind of making those people feel that that she hears them and that she sympathizes with. it was, it was the identity for dodge land is
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a child of the medical era. in our last couple of minutes coffee, i just want to ask a question about your own observations about the world in america. when you grew up in hungry, you grew up in a communist country. you know, you, you have had a partners in life who straddle the world and you with them seeing all kinds of leaders all over the world. and i guess my question to you is, you look at this time, you just set americas in steady or hands. but there seems to be this lament around the world that america is not back where it was. trust is not where it is. the solvency of alliance is not, is not what it was. and i just be sure your insight in what it would take to restore american engagement in the world and the kind of principled way that angle america wanted to see. yes, well we do have a model now to follow and i'm, i say only has been just that i hope that people in the by ministration read a book or a good model follow. and by the way, she's, she is a ruthless politician when she's no pushover. she's, you know,
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to call. 1 her would be mommy, as, as i'm do is to completely missed the fact that that she is deep strategic thinker. she sees not a new cycle. she thinks not tomorrow's headline, but in how things fit in a historic pattern. and, and all, you know, these are, these are important lessons that she leaves behind, but i'm as concerned as, as you are both about what is happening and in our country. and, and, you know, we, we could, we could go on for a long time discussing the origin. so, how we got here? well, we'll, we'll leave it there. i mean, if it extraordinary book and it's very rare to read a book, a biography of a foreign leader that matter is as much to america in this case in reading it, it just extraordinary. but i highly recommended the book is the chancellor. the
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remarkable odyssey of angle americans and the authors conte more time. thank you so much for being with us today. thank you steve. it's been a great pleasure. thank you for having me. so what's the bottom line angle america really mattered for the west, but now she's history. america. tripped and stepped back from its leadership role in the world. and germany stepped in france as a manual macro stepped up later. but it's clear that the world's leading democracies are just less compelling than they once were. medical successor may really prove to be a strong force in the world. we hope. so. macros is up for election next year, and we're going to see if he remains, or if he's replaced by someone who's in we're looking. what is clear is it liberalism as a political ethic? when that means human rights and civic justice, liberty freedom are more fragile in the west. now, more than they've been in decades to preserve democracies and liberalism, these nations are going to need to generate more angle of miracles. but let's be honest, that's really hard to do. and that's the bottom line. ah,
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a generation my cousin was laying down there. i'm to was claiming she was helpless. the woman or after indoors as go through cycle of pain for what fat my night meets the women affected by f g m. and those re shaping perception thing. people will abandon the site eventually, but sometimes take al jazeera correspond. the conte lily abrasion with al jazeera was gains rare insight into the diverse culture of somalia as it fullest to different couple of embarking on lead life together with you. wedding some money
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on m as in lou, don't you know just bear with me. so robin in doha reminder of our top is stories. archbishop desmond to to has been described as a crusader in the struggle for freedom, justice equality and peace. during his funeral service in cape town, the anti apartheid hero died last sunday at the age of 90. his ashes of being interred george's cathedral, where he preached against racial injustice. the years, the rapid spread of the corona virus on macomber into the u. s. was led to a shortage of test kits. new york and washington d. c. all the epi centers of america's cove at 19 outbreak.

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