tv DW News LINKTV April 29, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
from berlin. tonight, joe biden's blue-collar blueprint for america. delivering his first speech before a joint session of congress. biden promises big spending on infrastructure and families. he says america is returning to the politics of international cooperation, but warns the biggest threat to the free world is china. also coming up, germany's top court strikes down the government's climate change law, saying it doesn't go far enough to prevent a climate catastrophe.
and india sets another world record in daily new coronavirus cases, pushing its health system beyond its limits. plus, designed by a modernist giant. the five-year renovation of berlin's new national gallery is finally complete. we take a look at the history of this remarkable building. ♪ i'm brent goff. to our viewers watching on pbs, in the united states, and around the world, welcome. we begin with biden's $6 trillion plan. in his first speech before the u.s. congress, he made the case for what he calls a once in a generation investment in america. the president outlined proposals for massive investments in infrastructure and said the
country is reasserting its leadership role in the world, showing adversaries that democracy still works. [applause] reporter: joe biden spent decades in the u.s. congress as a senator. now, he was back with an ambitious program that could see him becoming a transformational u.s. president. [applause] >> good to be back. reporter: he began by drawing attention to the historic fact that for the first time ever, the two people behind him were women. >> madame speaker, madam vice president. [cheers and applause] >> no president has ever said those words from this podium, no president has ever said those words. reporter: then, a grim summary of his first 100 days, combined with a note of optimism. >> 100 days since i took the
oath of office, i inherited a nation, we all did, that was in crisis. the worst pandemic in a century. the worst economic crisis since the great depression. the worst attack on our democracy since the civil war. now, after just 100 days, i can report to the nation, america is on the move again. [applause] reporter: offering a wide ranging vision of jobs, prosperity, and a new year of big government with big spending plans. biden said he would pay for it all with higher taxes on corporations, on the super rich. >> continue to cycle growth, 20 million americans lost their jobs in the pandemic. working and middle-class americans. at the same time, roughly, 650 billionaires in america saw their net worth increased by
more than $1 trillion in the same exact period. my fellow americans, trickle down economics has never worked. and it is time to grow the economy from the bottom in the middle out. reporter: on international policy, biden focused on adversaries russia and china, linking america's ability to counter them to the success of his domestic policy agenda. >> america's moving, moving forward, but we can't stop now. we are in competition with china and other countries. to win the 21st century. what a great inflection point in history. reporter: the circumstances of biden's speech were unlike any previous presidential address. members of congress were mask -- wore masks and were seated apart because of pandemic restrictions. brent: my first guest tonight is the host and producer of the politics podcast 538, based in
new york city. good to see you again. we know the president had to hit the ground running, in terms of responding to the pandemic. what kind of grades are americans giving him for that? >> well, addressing the coronavirus pandemic is one of his rongest points with the american public. overall, about 60% of americans approve of the job he is doing addressing the coronavirus pandemic. that's quite high, especially considering we have really high rates and partisan polarization in the u.s. if you look at his approval overall, it is about 54% today on his 100th day and 42% of americans disagree. you can see that overall, more americans think he is doing well in addressing the coronavirus pandemic than approve of him overall. republicans and democrats are divided on practically everything these days. brent: where is his approval rating not as strong?
>> one of the areas is immigration, for example. that's become a hot butt issue that divides the parties pretty intensely. there's not a lot of common ground between republicans and democrats on that at this point. another area is going policy. -- gun policy. we have seen shootings over the past several weeks. democrats have been adamant about wanting to pass gun restrictnkns. republicans don't seem at all interested. that is another place where these hot button issues where people already have clear cut positions on, it's going to be impossible for biden to really pick up support in those areas. the economy, the coronavirus, jobs, things like that, he is doing significantly better. brent: the president last night gave his first speech before congress and gave the argument why this $6 trillion in spending
on these trans-formative policies would be worth every cent. is president biden in a position to deliver on what he's promising? >> that's a good question. about two dollars trillion of his plan has already been passed into law. -- $2 trillion of his plan has alrey been passed into law. as an urgent response to the coronavirus pandemic. now he has another two dollars trillion he wants to spend -- now he has another $2 trillion he wants to spend on social programs and another $2 trillion he's calling the american families plan. more social programs, childcare, universal pre-k, funding for education, and so on. he is trying to pass to other to trillion dollar -- two other to trillion dollar bills. -- $2 trillion bills. out of the four do -- out of the
four chill until his remaining, he may be able to support two out of the three. he's dealing with members of his own party and persuadin them that they should pass this remaining for trillion dollar package. brent: when he was a candidate of the presidency, he talked a lot about healing. bringing a divided country together. do you think there's been real progress there? >> republicans would tell you know. -- no. in general, he's governed as a more normal president than president trump did. he practices a politics that is more conciliatory towards the republican party and voters. he will reach out to republican voters often and say, look at all of these republicans who support some of my plans. if you look at the polling, lower income republicans, the majority of them favor the american rescue plan. he is getting support from sections of the republican party.
when it comes to actually republican lawmakers, there's relatively little unity there. but at least there's not the same kind of mudslinging that we saw during the obama and trump ministrations so far -- administrations of so far. in the first 100 days, often president's experience something of a honeymoon. brent: we appreciate you unching e numbers for us. thank you. here in germany, the country's highest court has ruled climate protection laws are too weak and do not go far enough to protect the future generations. current legislation sets goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions until the year 2030. now i plan will have to be devised for the years getting with 2031. that beginning with 2031 -- beginning with 2031. reporter: her family runs a farm. they experienced the effects of climate change firsthand. >> it's very striking that we go
from a very wet fall and winter to an extremely dry and warm spring and summer. we go from one extreme to the next. reporter: she wants politicians to do more to protect the environment, so she decided to challenge germany's climate protection law. this sets a long-term goal that germany should be climate neutral by 2050. to reach the goal, by 2030, it should significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. but the law does not lay out a plan for the years after 2030 . reporter: the constitutional court has ruled this is a serious burden to future generations, violating their fundamental right to freedom. the government now has until the end of next year to reform the law. the economy minister says work on the changes will begin soon. >> we must ensure that the path to climate totality is made a reversible. -- iireversible.
reporter: with the green party rating strong in the polls and elections nearing in september, it could be more directly involved in rewriting the law. >> in the next legislative period, we will do everything in our power to ensure we follow the paris accord, strengthen the climate protection law and launch a program that will have an immediate impact in the next for years -- few years. reporter: environ mental groups including greenpeace back to legal challenge. this ruling is a first important step for them in the right direction. brent: i am joined now by a climate activist involved in this legal challenge. it's good to have you on the program. we hear all the time from environmentalists that climate protection laws could be stronger. why do you say this verdict his groundbreaking for germany -- is groundbreaking for
germany? >> it's not just groundbreaking, it is an earthquake. i think, i am pretty sure that in the next weeks and months, we will feel more short waves in a lot of different respects. brent: how s >> you mentioned the election. at the moment, there's no political party running for the new parliamen with a program that would fit what the court is requesting. another point is that climate policy was made basically by a group from within the government. the cost additional court said this is not the right way. -- the constitutional court
said this is not the right way to create new legislation. brent: you say there's no political party at the moment running the election. what about the green party? is the green party not the party that is supposed tprotecthe environment, by its own nature? >> um, i would expect they act as so, but it should take a close look at the programs they have for the election. r example, the amount of renewable energy they plan an addition is not enough to cover the energy needs. for example, the atomic power plants. so there's a lot more that needs to be done than what is offered at the moment. brent: would it actually be
doable? is it something that could be put into effect? >> absolutely. just to give you one example, the climate protection law says -- it gives the path until 2030. it is lacking information as to what happens further on. calculate myself, for example, -- calculating myself, for example, if you take the substitutions spent on fossil energy, it's about 50 billion per year. euros. if you take that and build solar type energy on plenty of roofs in germany, we could reach the goal of the climate
protection law within three years. just three years. if we continue investing that money year by year. so the are technologies, there are possibilities to do it a lot faster. brent: okay, we appreciate your time and insights tonight. i'm sure we will be talking again. thank you. let's take a look now at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. germany is to begin returning priceless sculptures looted from nigeria. british soldiers took what is known as these objects in the 19 century, then sold to museums around the world. they are considered some of africa's greatest treasures. alexei navalny has appeared in public for the first time since ending a week under strict. the jailed opposition leader was seen via video leak for a court hearing. at the same time, navalny's
political network announced it is disbanding. at least four people have been killed in clashes on the frontier between the central asian nations of toshiko stan and kirkus stan -- kirkus stan -- kirkus stan -- kirkus stan. turkey has imposed its first national lockdown to lower third wave of covid-19. non-essential businesses will close. domestic travel will be restricted. schooling will be moved online. turkey currently has the highest infection rate in europe. staying with the pandemic, india's health care enough oxygr the sickest patients. the virus is spreading across india faster than in any other global hotspot. you may think that campaigning and voting would be suspended, but in the indian state of west bengal, people are going to the polls despite the risks.
reporter: a woman begs, she pleads, as she tries to find oxygen for her desperately sick mother. >> my mother is very seriously ill. for the past two days, we've many hospitals -- in so many hospitals. reporter: across india, oxygen is still in short supply. in the capital, delhi, volunteers have set up an oxygen center in a car park. >> people are suffering, begging for oxygen. we arranged for cylinders from anywhere we could. we stood in lines for whole nights and sometimes got beaten up by the police. reporter: russia is the latest
country to join an international relief effort. >> i fear that there's been an output of solidarity with india, an offering of assistance from various countries. over 40 countries have committed to provide us with many of the items they need -- we need most urgently. reporter: india is the world's biggest producer of vaccines. but these two are lacking, as people scramble to get their shot. >> how many people are suffering here? do you have no mercy for them? reporter: despite all this, millions have been voting in the state of west bengal. the infection rate there is the highest since the pandemic began. political parties have been
criticized for holding crowded election rallies, just when india is recording the deadliest days so far for any country during the pandemic. brent: dw's reporter has more on the crisis in delhi. repoer: as ind continues to post record highs in daily case numbers, delhi is the worst hit city. over tony thousand new cases every day -- over 20,000 new cases every day for almost two weeks now. facilities like this one behind me are at capacity. yet new patients continue to come. many are search and oxygen, beds, and medicine. the death tol is rising. there are long queues even outside crematorium's. -- crematoriums. vaccinations are a crucial element in the fight against the coronavirus, but already there are concerns that the
availability of vaccines and affordability -- concerns of the availability of vaccines and affordability. many were unable to book a slot to get their jab because vaccination centers do not have enough doses right now. the indian government has allowed manufacturers to send directly to private hospitals at a higher price. this has raised concerns with when vaccines become available. that everybody will be able to afford them. brent: two days before nato begins withdrawing troops from afghanistan, germany's foreign minister visit at the capital, kabul, he says germany is committed to maintaining civility, but talks between the taliban and the government are faltering, and many women fear their hopes of a better future are in jeopardy.
reporter: makeup and hair styling are her passion. the 24-year-old discovered it here, in this salon in kabul. they are too young to have experienced the tyranny of taliban rule, but they worry that if they regain any power, afghanistan's women will lose their hard earned freedoms. >> if we could be sure that we will have peace and our people will be safe, we would accept wearing the hijab. but only on the condition that women will not face restrictions, that we will be able to work and study. we don't want the old afghantan. i've never seen the taliban, but i fear them. reporter: the salon's owner was born as a refugee in iran. she returned to her homeland to start a career. >> i didn't achieve what i have now easily. i worked very hard for it. if the taliban really come to power and don't allow us to
work, i will have no choice but to return to iran again and live as a migrant. reporter: 20 years after the u.s. led invasion ousted the taliban, girls are in school, women are in parliament, government and business. but now, the u.s. and nato are withdrawing their troops. washington is pressing for a power-sharing deal between the afghan government and the taliban. activists want your entries the gains will not be rolled back, that women have made. >> people are yelling and screaming and saying, for god's sake, do something with a taliban at least, take some kind of assurance from them, that, you know, or some sort of a mechanism to be put in place, in order to see that they are not going to be, you know, leaving the road they are supposed to be taking on their road to peace. and deviating from that. reporter: taliban control of
afghanistan is greater than at any time in the past two decades. the militants have outlined the freedoms women would retain if they came to power. including work in certain professions. but there is fear that after the last foreign troops leave, no one will have the leverage to ensure they make good on any promises, and women will once again be relegated to the margins of society. brent: here in berlin, renovations are complete at the renowned new national gallery. the building is a cultural landmark for the city and a masterpiece of modern architecture. extensive restoration work has returned the gallery to its former splendor. reporter: after more than five years, the renovation of berlin's gallery is finally complete. and for now, the famous and iconic museum can be admired in its simplest form. as a temple of light.
on the surface, not much seems to have changed. >> in terms of openness, this is a unique structure. no museum in the world is like it. that was one reason to preserven it. we stuffed lots of technical equipment into the ceiling, where it can't be seen. reporter: the guiding principle for the renovation was as much a s possible. he was a modern giant of modern architecture. he was committed to design the museum in the early 1960's. 1200 metc tons of steel were lded together on site intone pie to form the roof. draulic jac lifted it into place atop eight pillars. a masterpiece of eineering that still caus jaws to drop. it was the last building of his
to be completed. the crowning glory of his career. ♪ the gallery opened in 1968 and became a cultural landmark. first of west berlin, then of the reunified berlin. it hosted one spectacular exhibition after another and maintained its own make this event -- own madness affect collection of art -- magnificent collection of art. a comprehensive renovation was in order. this david architect was a fan before he took the renovation job. -- this architect, david, was a fan before he took the renovation job. >> the elements being very identifiable and come principle, everybody can understand how the building works
-- comprehensible, everyone can understand how the building works. reporter: it was in an men's undertaking. 14,000 granite plates had to be removed, restored, and reinstalled. the entire structure was completely stripped down. it was meticulously inventoried and reassembled like a vast puzzle. ♪ cleared of all unnecessary intrusions, the architect's concept is now restored to its former minimalistic glory. ♪ brent: nothing minimalistic here. china's launched the core module of its first permanent space station. a rocket carrying the module blasted off on the first of 11 missions needed to complete the project. it should be completed next year. th chinese orbiting station will rival the only other continuously manned facility circling the earth, the international space station. you're watching dw news.
here's a reminder of the top stories this hour. joe biden delivered his first speech as u.s. president to the joint houses of the u.s. congress. he unveiled details of a $1.8 trillion package to boost education and reduce income and equality. tonight, the first 100 days of the biden presidency -- is biden becoming the fdr of the tony for century? we'll be right back. -- of the 21st century? will. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]