>> a message from two members of the band "pussy riot" is calling for a boycott of the winter olympics to protest russia's human rights record. >> they were released today as part of an amnesty deal. vladimir putin called it a humanitarian act. "pussy riot" says it is a pr stunt meant to soften the image. they were jailed after performing an anti-vladimir putin song last year. >> she was released from a penitentiary, making her last of the "pussy riot" members set free. despite the amnesty, she remains defiant and is critical of vladimir putin who she called a tyrant. >> this is a cynical action. in reality, his act today is much more cynical. these remaining month could've
been spent where i was there he refused to free those people who really needed it. it is a disgusting and cynical act. >> they were due to be released last march. the conviction for hooliganism triggered international criticism of the russian justice system. earlier in the day, she was set free from a colony. she said vladimir putin's amnesty was a publicity stunt and not a humanitarian act. a third member was released on a suspended sentence more than a year ago. she believes this is aimed at improving the image ahead of the so see -- sochi olympics. >> the question is what will happen after the olympic games. i fear that nothing has really improved. this is just a temporary
humanization of the system. it has nothing to do with being humane. >> all three women vow to remain adversaries and refuse to be attended about possible repercussions. >> is this all a publicity stunt ahead of the winter olympics? we'll ask our correspondent in moscow. >> that is what many russians think. this amnesty comes a bit late. their prison sentence would have ended in march of next year already. this comes a bit late. this coincides with the winter olympic games. many believe here in russia. the kremlin tries to polish russia's image in the world ahead of these first ever to be had in the lynn -- in the olympics.
>> that was moscow. >> a situation in south sudan deteriorates with rebels claiming control of key oilfields. >> the lynn has not airlifted staff out of the town as fears grow the ethnic violence will spiral out of control. they're preparing for possible further evacuations. view an estimate 1000 people have been killed in the past week and 100,000 forced from their homes. a u.n. general ban ki-moon is excited to ask them to deploy additional peacekeepers. it was strength in the 7000 soldiers and police already on the ground. he vowed to bring those responsible for the violence to justice. here's what he said. >> the world is watching. attacks on civilians in the human peacekeeping were deployed
to protect them and must sees immediately. the united nations investigates reports with human rights violations and crimes against humanity. >> those responsible at the senior level will be held personally accountable. they will face consequence. >> thousand surrounded an election office on monday to block candidates from registering. there are said to hold elections early next year. >> they're demanding that the prime minister government to step down. she called for fresh elections in february to end of the country's political crisis. they say it is boycotting that poll. >> thousands of antigovernment protesters staged a sit in in front of a sports stadium on monday.
they were trying to stop them from registering their for february's elections. >> the reason for blocking the entrance is that we want political reform first. to set new standards for the next election and then an election. >> they did not prevent parties from registering. by the time protesters arrived at the stadium, some representatives were already aside. including officials from the governing party. despite the failure of their blockade, there's little sign that the opposition will stop protesting. the leaders are concerned that the prime minister could win at the polls. and that her brother would then return from exile and reclaim power. he fled the country was -- country amid charges five years ago. a claim that he is still pulling
the strings behind the scenes. they're going to end the toxin regime. >> exactly 100 years ago the united states federal reserve came into being. today it is the most important central bank in the world. >> they're trying to nurse the u.s. economy back to help with other stimulus measures. the policy stems from a century of actions and reactions to the country's economic situation. >> 16 years after the inception, they faced an unprecedented prices. the stockmarket crash lead the country into the great depression and was felt around the world. the fed lowered interest rates only slightly and kept them printing money at a normal rate. they say this made the crisis even worse. have a century later, interest- rate rises in the late 1970s was supposed to curb inflation.
they contributed to pulling the yes -- the u.s. into a recession. in the late 1980s, the fed chief to credit for managing a wall street crash and later the asian financial crisis. they came under massive criticism for failing to spot the 2007 u.s. housing bubble that led to global financial troubles. since that crisis, the department has tried to stir recovery. interest rates are close to zero. the printed $75 billion each month, keeping money flooding into the market. the upswing has been slow in coming. the fed aims to preside over increased stability in the 101st year. >> positive economic news from the u.s. has boosted european stock markets. they sent us this report. >> the german stockmarket was certainly in a good mood. a real good christmas cheer.
this is never been that high before. it is only a few points shy of the 9500 mark. the thing that was responsible for giving that pushed up to this level were remarks by christine lagarde. she is headed the international monetary fund. it is a well respected institution. she said because of the recent economic data the imf was about to push forward the economic forecast for growth in the united states. it is well for the world economy. it would affect positively the german stockmarket in the end. the trader is set. >> from the floor of the frankfurt stock exchange. here's a quick look at the numbers for you. >> in germany, the dax ended monday's session 0.4 nine percent higher. it is a new closing high. the euro stoxx 50 finishes up 0.71%.
in new york, the dow was up .38%. the euro, trading against the dollar at 1.36. >> they have landed an important contract to supply turbines to the first wind farm project in the united states. that is right. it comes a week after they secured a contract to supply about 450 wind turbines to five projects in iowa. they'll also be responsible for service and maintenance. severe weather warnings and flood alerts aren't plays as a powerful storm sweeps across britain. at least one person has dated -- died as when the battered the coastlines and large stretches of the mainland. it is causing travel chaos for thousands of people hoping to make it home for christian dutch christmas. many have been left stranded.
it is that time of the year. have you finished your christmas shopping? >> it is the final stretch year. the stores are packed with people trying to find last- minute gifts. it means big bucks for retailers. >> stores are pulling out all the stops to draw in shoppers. sales are down. french consumers are tightening their belts. lacks the christmas lights are as bright as ever. they're not answering as merrily as many would like. sales are down. this your christmas is quieter than normal -- normal. people are buying less pure they're buying one or two items. in the past to book more into the christmas spirit. there has been a decrease in the average spend this christmas. researchers say many consumers are staying home due to the
economic malaise. unemployment has hit a record 11%. growth is stagnant. economists say parents are cutting the christmas money because they expect to be earning less in the future. they say the outlook for 2014 is not too bright. >> it is a huge deal for apple. china mobile customers will be able to buy iphones for the very first time. analysts say the agreement between apple and the world's largest mobilephone operator could be worth billions. >> they have an estimated 760 million subscribers. the tie off a slightly to prompt a tie off. apple's iphone has been losing market share to cheaper rivals. germany's new defense minister has promised troops stationed in afghanistan but are military equipment. this is on an unannounced visit. on monday she said no expense would be spared in securing the
safety of german soldiers -- soldiers. they have complained about the lack of proper equipment in afghanistan. >> after this came to a close, she was given a taste of the lives of german soldiers in afghanistan. rescue missions, wounded comrades. this is the last combat unit left. what is important is that the soldiers are protected as they go about their work. they are here in this country to protect the people from terror and to establish democracy. >> she took time to speak to troops who will not be able to be with their families for christmas. soldiers ran to the visit. >> it fosters trust. the fact that she is interested in that she has come here so
soon after taking office. she's interested in how we live. i am not sure how much she was taught about us. being your gives her the best insight. >> the active role is coming to an end. the priority now is helping the afghan forces prepared to take will control. >> i think they will still be happy to take help here it we will help them with air patrols. they're not quite there yet. >> the defense minister maybe most of her time visiting troops but steered clear of the problematic euro pop. the inventor of the ak-47 assault rifle has died at the age of 94. he developed the ak-47 for the soviet army back in 1947. the weapon has killed more people than any other firearm in the world. he said pride was mixed with the
pain of seeing this by criminals and child soldiers around the world. >> we're going to take a short one minute break. do not go anywhere. get a lot more coming back. keep it here. >> welcome back. is the nearly three years since serious civil war beget and. there appears to be no end in sight. we hundred people were killed in the red bull -- the rebel stronghold. the pilot seems to be escalating. the situation on the ground is still very dangerous for journalists and for their fixers. they translated and help reporters cover the crisis on the ground. we will take a closer look through >> they can play without fear another her parents have fled to turkey from northern syria. they were not running from the bombs. it is because the father was a revolutionary fighting again --
>> he was an agent for intelligence. they consider him a journalists. i am their agent. >> this is what he look like in march. on the ak-47 machine gun he would escort russian journalist trying to film and aleppo. he is a media activist. he knew his way around the city and where it was safe to go and where not. it was well-connected new week and talk to and who he cannot talk to. this would be impossible to work in such places without risking one's life. in recent months, al qaeda groups have been targeting media activist. the result is that there are no
more journalists in northern syria and no independent reporting. >> today there was a massacre and aleppo. they kidnapped and took our man and aleppo. what we will do we do not know. >> anwar was more than a guide. he also fought for islamist brigade. it fight alongside other islamist insurgents such as the other front. they are linked to al qaeda. they repeatedly target other groups arming the syrian regime. including other islamist. with so little unity, he is pessimistic about his chances of succeeding. >> we have many riddles. it is the easiest.
if you go back to the revolution, we canceled. when he began the change to have another or whatever, now it is finished. >> this year it documentary was made about how he became an islamist. he hasn't to realize that al qaeda does not care about syria. it just wants an islamic state. >> i am feeling sad. after all this effort and struggle, we get nothing. klaxon he is now embracing the more moderate form of islam. he keeps his beard trimmed short. does not want to have anything to do with the extremists of that still has countries revolution.
>> still to come, a big birthday here in germany. first, a look at other stories making the news. egypt has sentenced three leading activist to three years in prison for roles in recent protest. they are the first to be in prison for police permission for demonstration. shiite pilgrims have converged on the city of kabbalah for a major religious the pool -- festival. this is been marred by secretary and violence. japan's emperor is celebrating his 80th birthday. thousands of people gathered in front of the imperial palace to congratulate him. the world oldest monarchy surprised many last month when
officials announced that he wanted to have a relatively modest funeral. to another landmark birthday at this time in germany. how much of it is celebrating his 95th birthday. he is consider one of the most important postwar chancellors. he was head of government from 1974 to 19 82. a time when germany faced threats from the left-wing red army faction. today when he talks, people sit up and listen. we take a look back at his life and career. >> ho he says his partner has helped give his life new meaning after the death of his wife and 2010. they were married for 68 years. i called her sometimes when i'm half asleep. when i wake up in the morning. then i realize she's not here anymore.
>> many germans remember his effective management of the 19 62 flood crisis when he was a minister. it helps fix his reputation as a doer and propels a clinical crew to new heights. seven years please stand by. please stand by. he resigned in the wake of a spying scandal of 1974, he received overwhelming support to succeed him. his chancellorship fell in turbulent times. then came his biggest challenge, the hijacking of the flight 181. his risky decision to storm the aircraft eight off and all of the passengers were rescued. after his two terms as chancellor, and enjoyed helmut schmidt.
he still makes regular public appearances. he's wheelchair-bound. his mind is as vigorous as ever. he remains one of the great political authorities of the day. >> here in berlin, it is beginning to feel like a lot like xmas. and around the world, many christian workers are getting ready to celebrate the holiday. they're traveling to the holy land which the bible says was the birthplace of cries. they will be lined up to see christianity's oldest and holiest of churches which is currently undergoing restoration. >> this is the new workplace. the roof of the church of nativity in bethlehem. they are testing be beings that have supported the church for centries. the elements have taken a heavy toll.
>> we are trying to replace only the parts which will not withstand the load anymore. we want to leave the structure as close as we can to the way it was before. we use wood that we found in italy, the same age as they would here and with the same characteristics. >> the family has been involved in the restoration of churches and historic buildings for generations. for him and is not just a job. it is a labor of love. >> we have to check materials from different eras. it hurt to see this church in such bad condition. we are happy to be involved as the reservation -- renovations get underway. >> inside, they use buckets to catch dripping water. the three religious denominations have been arguing over the renovations for years.
now the palestinian authority and other countries are paying for it. >> the churches under palestinian control. we cannot afford to let it fall into disrepair. >> the church draws visitors from around the world. right now their cake -- taking the construction work. >> it could be much better. it is shiny. it is quite all right. >> it creates it here. it is a holy place for me. i hope to enjoy it. >> every day long lines form as pilgrims wait for their chance to climb down the steps they need the church to the grotto. this is the place where, according to christian tradition, jesus christ was born. high above them, he and his team
continue their renovation. they often work at night so as not to disturb the daytime activities inside. in one corner, precious mosaics are being covered with a special solution and with pieces of gauze to protect them from the damp. >> i hope the world pays more attention to this wonderful place so it will continue for the time to come. hopefully other institutions and nations will help out to protect this beautiful masterpiece. >> is the renovation work goes well, the church will be a central part of christmas celebrations for generations to come. >> finally, a bit of sports news for you. shaun white is helping to claim
gold again at the sochi olympics in february. besides the half pipe, he also wants to do well in a new discipline called slope style. he suffered a setback during the world cup in colorado. he only managed a third-place finish. he was recording his second victory of the season. competitors there are evaluating on the creativity and ability to form difficult tricks. he won the women's event. that is all for now. thank you for watching. please stay with us. ♪
>> this is "france 24." i am mark, and these are the headlines. the last member of pussy riot is released from a russian prison. she joins her punk partners, calling their release a publicity stunt by vladimir putin. he u.n. is looking for 5,000 more peace keepers in south sudan. they say there have been summary executions. a catastrophic ice storm hits toronto in canada,