assessment of talks with her greek counterpart in berlin. alexis tsipras is here on his first trip as prime minister. ben: at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries over dealing with greek -- the greek debt crisis. anchor #2:-- sarah: the new greek government says it won't take any measures that way down the troubled economy. reporter: alexis tsipras said concrete to offer but put on a brave front. this was a meeting designed to bridge the rift between germany and greece. tsipras had complained of being snubbed by berlin before. here, the onus was on what the cheat of countries had in common. -- what the two countries had in common. >> germany has a close and friendly relationship with eece and the greekpl thare pley of peoe li in y who have a greekkgroun
reporter: tsipras played along by sounding his readiness to implement reforms to the greek economy. he also sought to tone down recent rhetoric on war reparations. >> that is not a material issue for us and it is not one related to the current crisis and the need to find a quick solution to it. it is a bilateral issue and first and foremost, an ethical one. reporter: earlier demonstrations in front of merkel's chancellery had done their best to smooth those bilateral relations. they called for an end to greek-german bickering. that message seems to have reached the two leaders even if seems like this probably worked on display inside. ben: our reporter -- probably weren't on display inside. ben: our reporter is standing
by. the two leaders have a lot of mopping up to do. reporter: certainly, both sides tried very hard. citrus -- tsipras cited merkel from an earlier phone conversation. they tried hard to talk with each other instead of about each other. that had been part of the problems in recent weeks, the heightening of rhetoric. you never heard that from the german chancellor herself. also tsipras was restrained on that. alexis tsipras spoke about the reforms that now needed to be tackled. he also said that it would be up to the greek government to choose the priorities and also push for more social justice. chancellor merkel stressed that the european project was such a large responsibility for all political generations that, over
this issue, it should not be risked. ben: they are getting down to the nitty-gritty of this list of reforms that no one has seen yet? reporter: this list -- there was no mention of that list in the press conference but certainly elements of those proposals that are expected to come out of greece are certain to be discussed in the chancellery behind me over that dinner conversation. there is no way around that. again, the procedure of those being proposed and being given the green light by the institutions, as the troika is now called -- needless to say, the relation is crucial in this crisis. ben: one issue is this delicate one of war reparations. what's been said about that? reporter: basically on that particular issue of reparations, chancellor merkel reiterated the
german position that that was a closed issue. at the same time, there was talk of some historic responsibility for atrocities committed by the nazis. super's stressed that today's germany was very different from nazi germany -- citrus -- tsipras stressed that today's germany was very different from nazi germany. ben: thank you for the update. sarah: let's go to athens, where anthony is on the story for us. as we heard, nothing concrete came out of this. still, did tsipras get what he wanted on some level? reporter: i think it is too early to say. no doubt there will be a working dinner. obviously, these two leaders will get into the nitty-gritty details, no doubt, about these reforms as well. but there was a clear concerted effort by both leaders, and this is what separates wanted -- what
tsipras wanted. to reboot relations between athens and berlin and to tone down the rhetoric that could have aggravated the situation between these two countries even further, potentially even leading to an accident, as it is being called, in creating a worsening predicament here for the greeks. this did go down, seemingly at least, very well for tsipras. he said he managed to lay some common ground. we can now help bridge these differences. it remains to be seen how all of this, these positive atmospherics will play out, and what impact they will have in these that talks -- these debt
talks eventually. sarah: how is this visit being viewed in greece? what are people saying about it? reporter: they are minding it very closely. the media is playing up to it. it is breaking into scheduled programming to bring every little development. there is great anticipation as to what alexis tsipras will be able to bring back to greece. many groups are happy that they are seeing the prime minister of the country finally going to germany and openly expressively stating this issue of war crimes reparations regardless as to whether there is any monetary response to it, but more playing up to this moral issue, an issue that has plagued greeks for many years. that it is something, of course, two months after this government was elected, and now many greeks want to see results and action
forward as far as the most pressing problem, which is the economy here. they want to see what he will be bringing back from germany and of course, how that will be played out within the party here, the ruling party. there are many in the far left that are opposing a lot of these reforms -- sarah: we have to leave it there for now. thank you so much for weighing in from athens. ben: she was talking about a reboot of relations there. what about the reboot of the political landscape in france? marine le pen's far right national front has been denied a thought -- first-place finish. sarah: they took second place to the conservative ump alliance under former president nicolas sarkozy. ben: and fresh blood to france will hollande's -- two francois hollande -- to francois
hollande's party. reporter: france is divided into three main camps, the conservatives around nicolas sarkozy, marine le pen and the socialists of manuel valls. the are being -- these elections are being seen as a bellwether for the next presidential elections. >> i voted for the national front. they should get even more votes. if you want to know why, you should take a look around you. the rise of the national front and this mentality -- that worries me. reporter: all suggested the far right national front would win but it's leader -- win but it didn't. marine le pen still called it a triumph. it came in second. former president nicolas sarkozy and his conservative ump and its allies were the winners with 29%. >> our compatriots have turned
away from the left in huge numbers because they feel they have been lied to the past three years. reporter: president francois hollande's socialist party took under 22% and came in third another blow for the beleaguered government. a runoff vote will be held next sunday. sarah: to israel now, where prime minister benjamin netanyahu has the look we apologized to the country's arab community for electric -- has publicly apologized to the country's arab community for election campaign statements. ben: he made a rallying cry to conservative voters, accusing left-wing organizations of busing arab israelis to the polls in droves. our reporter is in jerusalem for us. tell us how much pressure was he under to make that apology. reporter: i think there was a lot of anger here, especially from the arab community in israel.
they make up about 20% of the society here. many have called his remarks on election day just plain racist. we understand many here wanted to hear that apologies. this comes -- that apology. this comes after remarks by netanyahu of not wanting to see a palestinian state under his watch. that also stirred a lot of reaction especially in the international community. he also tried to backtrack on those remarks. it is not yet clear how -- what the impact will be. the american administration is looking into how to deal with the conflict after the election. ben: netanyahu has secured enough support to form a new government. is it clear what have the government will follow -- what path the government will follow? reporter: the path is what the party leaders recommended to the president as who they want to form the next government. we understand netanyahu has the
backing of the orthodox parties and the center-right party. it is expected that mr. netanyahu will be able to form the next coalition government. it looks like it will be a further shift to the right. we also don't have the centrist party that there was last time in the government. they will not take part in his government. we will see a further shift to the right. we expect the government to be formed by mid april. ben: a shift to the right. thank you. sarah: speaking of the right in the u.s., texas senator ted cruz has become the first politician to announce his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election. ben: the republican made it official at a christian university on the east coast. the staunch conservative, he vowed that, if elected, he would repeal obamacare. he would usher in a flat tax and
get the budget deficit under control. he criticized the obama administration's strained relations with israel. a number of other republicans are expected to announce their candidacies in the next few weeks. singapore has begun the seven-day morning period for its founding father who died on sunday. sarah: lee kuan yew became -- lead the nation to become one of the world's most prosperous. he died after a long hospitalization. all told, he led singapore for 34 years, retiring in 1990. under his rule, living standards rose as the city became a hub for trade and finance. but singapore's harsh authoritarian system of government has long been criticized by human rights advocates. and japan's cherry blossom season has officially reached tokyo three days earlier than predicted. all eyes were on one tree at the
city's -- shrine. ben: it is just one of 59 trees whose blossoming determines the advancing of spring. five flowers opened on this tree and authorities declared the "blossom bloom," even locals 10 days to picnic under the cherry trees before the flowers wither. well i was wondering why you had that color on. now i know. sarah: i like to match the cherry trees. have you ever seen them? ben: i have not. hopefully, i will go there at that time of year. sarah: there's always next year. ben: thank you for joining us on the "journal." benjamin netanyahu has apologized for his campaign speech. we also have news coming in from the chancellery of talks between angela merkel and alexis tsipras. more on that later. stay tuned, more news coming up
sarah: welcome back to the "journal." thanks for staying with us. leaders boasted they were on the verge of retaking tikrit. it was viewed as a major victory in northern iraq. ben: but the offensive has halted. there is a vast network of booby traps and roadside bombs. iraq is putting its elite forces on the front lines, in hopes of pushing i.s. out. reporter: members of the elite golden brigade are on training maneuvers in baghdad. the military touts these special forces as the toughest fighters in the iraqi army. the best of the best aggressive, highly motivated. covered by snipers, this unit cautiously enters a warehouse.
they are undergoing training in urban warfare, houston house fighting. -- house-to-house fighting. most of these soldiers have seen fighting. i.s. forces remain entrenched in tikrit, stubbornly resisting all efforts to force them out. >> our anti-terror units possess skills in familiar to regular soldiers -- skills unfamiliar to regular soldiers. we can respond much quicker. we have modern weapons. reporter: iraq has invested a large amount of men and material in its effort to recapture tikrit. i.s. took the city last year as more than 10,000 soldiers fled. the elite teams are now at the forefront of the government offensive. >> tikrit links the northern and central provinces.
once we defeat the terrorists, we will be better equipped to advance north towards basel -- mosul. reporter: the army offensive in and around tikrit has been underway for weeks. i.s. fighters in the city are surrounded and shiite militias have joined in the struggle. the iraqi army is ill-equipped a. the irani and-backed militias are an important source of manpower and -- the iranian-backed militias are an important source of manpower. the relationship between militia fighters and regulars is strained but necessary. the majority of iraqis are shiite. an alliance comes naturally to one of iraq's most important clerics, an influential politician.
>> iran was the first country to support us unconditionally. without ulterior motives. there are around 100 iranian military advisers in iraq. we have thousands of american advisers. reporter: iraq needs all the help it can get, especially when it comes to specialized recruits such as snipers. i.s. is prepared for the house-to-house fighting to come into greek and other cities across northern iraq -- in tikrit and other cities across northern iraq. ben: the people rebuilding after cyclone pam caused catastrophic damage. sarah: 65,000 people left homeless. there is an acute shortage of food and water. international agencies estimate the relief operation could last months. our reporter sat down with then watching -- with vanuatu's
president to ask of the international aid coming into the country was sufficient. >> this is really a setback for the nation. it is a setback after all the years that we, the government and people of vanuatu, worked so hard to build the state to where it was. this cyclone is really a setback for the government. currently, the situation -- at this stage, we have not got exact reports of the extent of the damages here or how many casualties there are throughout the country. about 90% of buildings have been destroyed. reporter: still, a lot of people, scientists politicians
are denying that there is climate change. what you experience here on ben watt to -- on vanuatu is that the sea level is rising. what does that mean for the future of your country? >> climate change is part of what is affecting us now. the weather pattern has changed. it is not as it was before. when you look at the early part of this year, it is very high compared to previous years. when you look at all the islands, from the shoreline people who used to live there -- it will be difficult for the government to move them to higher ground. reporter: tourism is very important for you. what should the tourists know, thinking about flying to vanuatu? should they stay home?
reporter: tourism -- >> tourism is important revenue. vanuatu is a paradise. much of it has been destroyed. but the government and people of vanuatu will build a new paradise. we will make sure that it will remain a tourist attraction and tourist destination. reporter: mr. president, thank you very much for all the information. sarah: speaking with the president of vanuatu. ben: moving onto business news, germany's largest bank, deutsche bank, in hot water again. they are investigating the firm of -- for manipulating the libor rate. sarah: deutsche bank is already embroiled in negotiations with the u.s. justice department over the ratesetting scandal.
new york regulators are also investigating deutsche bank for possible sanctions violations related to business dealings with iran. so, more bad news for deutsche bank, here is what our markets analyst had to say about it. analyst: bad news had become almost common at deutsche bank. last year was expensive and significantly reduced the overall performance of the institution. the stock gained today rather than losing what your particular set of plans for the future -- than losing due to a particular set of plans for the future. deutsche bank could get rid of private consumers and focus more on capital markets and on corporate customers therefore simulating the model of oldman sachs in the united states ash of goldman sachs in the united states. -- simulating the model of goldman sachs in the united
states. sarah: we will stay in frankfurt for a closer look at those numbers. as javier mentioned, germany's stacks lost -- germany's dax lost on the day. the tao is in positive territory. -- the dow is in positive territory. ben: sports news. and mclaren says -- mclaren says he will race if he passes a final fitness test. sarah: he has been cleared to travel to asia after passing a memory and reflex test. if he passes, alonzo will race. he suffered a crash in barcelona and missed the march 15 australian season opener.
moving on to the bundesliga -- a shock result on sunday. the runner week -- the runaway league leaders bayern munich went down 2-0 to gladbach. ben: that will hurt. much of the blame for the slipup has been put on the normally rocksolid keeper, manuel neuer. reporter: from world champ to world chump. this was an afternoon manuel neuer would rather forget. hermann picked out raffael who slotted it through neuer's hands. the home side looked lethargic and out of ideas. gladbach were quick to counter. the back line was scattered. raffael pounced making it 2-0.
neuer was beaten too easily. gladbach's superhuman effort sends them up to third. bayern's superhuman keeper was left looking anything but. ben: let's look at the results. schalke beat 1-0. stood guard grabbed a vital win -- stuttgart grabbed a vital win. hamburg lost 1-0 on friday. just eight games to play for the season. the table looks like this. byron is still on course -- bayern is still on course for a 25th title. finally, a sad scene on the beaches of western australia where a school of pilot wheels have breached themselves --
pilot whales have reached themselves -- have breached themselves. sarah: 12 of the animals have died. volunteers have full six of them out of the sea using boats and a sling. ben: a beautiful part of the world. also a very harsh heart of the world. sarah: very sad story. ben: thanks for tuning in. we will be back at the top of the hour with more news for you.