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tv   Newsline  PBS  April 25, 2013 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT

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glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's friday, april 26. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo chemical weapons in syria u.s. president obama is reacting to pressure to react to a new development in the syrian war. it's likely syrian forces have used chemical weapons. >> the u.s. intelligence community assesses in some degree that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in the region, specifically, sarin. >> there's no confirmation about how and when chemicals were used
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or how many people were hurt and killed. the u.s. government is pressing for a full investigation by the united nations. president obama may face pressure to intervene if a red line has been crossed. u.n. peacekeeping troops are to join the french army in mali, west africa. they've united to support the state against rebels. they passed a resolution contempt being human rights violations. insurgents still control
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mountainous areas in is south providing a challenge for the new u.n. force. soldiers assembled in front of the palace. his late father lies inside the building. he beefed up the army considerably during his reign. >> translator: we hearby celebrate the 81st anniversary of the >> officers of dialogue from foreign powers were a sham. he vowed to retaliate against
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any foreign attacks. military congressmaners a comma show their strength. north koreans will observe another anniversary this summer, 60 years since stopped fighting in the war. now, senior u.s. and chinese officials have put their heads together over north korea. they agreed they need to find peaceful solutions to the nuclear standoff. u.s. deputy secretary of state william burns met on thursday with the chinese state counselor in beijing. burns also met the vice president. >> this is a moment of considerable opportunity in our relationship, and i look forward very much to discussing ways in which we can take advantage of that opportunity. >> u.s. diplomats have put pressure on china to dissuade north korea from making further provocations.
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chinese officials have held various high-level meetings with u.s. counterparts over the issue. japan's defense policy chief arrived on thursday in beijing. he's expected to meet with chinese officials to talk about setting up an emergency hotline among other things. the chinese have asked the japanese to keep the content of their discussions confidential. chinese patrol ships have entered japanese waters around the islands repeatedly in recent months. japanese defense officials say in january one chinese frig gat locked on destroyers. they denied it.
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an official spoke to nhk about the bird flu. >> translator: we've confirmed that most of the patients from shanghai went to marketplaces which were infected. there may be a large number of people who have been infected with the virus but are still healthy. we are surveying people who came in contact with patients monitoring their bloodstream for changes to antibody levels. >> an increasing number of areas in china are reporting cases of h7n9 infection. the number of people inif he canned now stands at 113. 23 people have died.
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they ruled malaria day to stop the spread of a new drug resistant strain. health authorities in four countries have reported cases of the mosquito borne illness. they will district mosquito nets and test kits to diagnose in the early stages.
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if the news strain spreads to africa the damage will be immeasurable. passengers could be flying aboard the dreamliner. 787 will be back in the air starting friday provided operators carry out repairs. they gave the green light to design changes to the battery system. the companies are expected to retrofit the planes, test them and put them back in the air in june. the faa grounded the dreamliner in january. a smoking battery and an ana aircraft forced the craft to make an emergency landing. and a fire broke out on the tar back in boston's logan airport. officials have yet to pinpoint the cause of the problem.
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japanese consumer and business leaders have been locked in a debate since is disaster at fukushima two years ago. how are energy trends changing? >> we've been reporting that res to generate electricity after the disaster two years ago and the trend hasn't changed. the volume of gas sales have hit a record high. that's because there's high demand for liquefied natural gas. analysts at the japan gas association said the sales volume rose more than 1% from a year ago. it's the second year in a row of report sales.
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industrial consumption jumped nearly 2% hitting a new high. analysts say they expect demand to continue. while the demand for natural gas remains constant, nuclear power is sluggish after the accident in fukushima. two leaders said french and chinese scientists will collaborate the reactor and fuel. french engineers will help build a
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let's check on markets now. stock prices rose slightly on thursday. for more on how stocks are trading let's go to ramin who is standing by at the tokyo stock exchange. good morning. investors are closely following the report but can you tell us a little bit about a few economic figures. >> very good morning. we had consumer price index coming out just before the nikkei and the topix open this morning. consumer prices in japan excludesing volatile food prices fell marking a fifth straight monthly drop compared to a year ago. that's an important factor right there. l let's have a look at the opening levels for friday. both indexes in the positive. we're approaching that 14,000
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leve if we break above that it will be the highest level since june 2008. the bank of japan will release report on price trends for the upcoming two-year period. bank of japan governor will give a meeting later today. japanese prices have ended higher. investors still looking to continue to buy exporters despite some of the earnings results which were weaker than consensus. i'm talking about canon and nintendo. some big names released yesterday after the bell.
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sony returns a profit after aggressively selling some loss making assets. >> all the talks is about the earnings reports. it has gained attention so where is it trading this friday morning? >> let's have a look. the yen has gained just a touch. it did gain pushing the dollar below 99 at one point but right now 99.31 to 33. euro/yen also relatively unchanged. there might be a focus on the upcoming gdp data later today friday in the u.s. there's a still list of names due out. honda motors, ntt which has
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electronics and some utility sec sector shares. japan will be on holiday monday. back to you. >> thank you. that's all for me for now. i'll leave you with
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now thousands of myanmar rohingya muslims are in thailand. instead of finding safety, the refugees now face being expelled when their permission to stay expires in the next few months. nhk has the story. >> reporter: the thai authorities have stepped-up patrols in the south of the country. they are enforcing the so called -- they are providing food and water for the boat people and back out to sea and away from thai waters. >> translator: what we are doing is based on humanitarian principles. we can't permit them to stay on thai soil. the rohingyas came without an invitation. so we need to see whether they
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will cause harm to our homeland or not. >> reporter: it was silently abandoned at this fishing village. there must have been tense moments on the rough voyage on this rickety old vessel. they spent almost three weeks at sea without adequate food or water. the islamic symbol was with them throughout the journey. known as a stateless people, the rohingyas have been denied citizenship. they have also been denied into bangladesh. the u.n. estimates as many as 27,000 rohingyas may have fled their country. at least 500 of those died at
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sea. nearly 9,000 reached thai waters. about 2,000 are being detained. officials told nhk there is still a chance they will be sent back to myanmar. it's a possibility firmly opposed by the u.n. refugee agency. >> if that were to happen, it would be infringing on some international laws, basically the rule of, that people should not be sent to a place where their lives or their freedoms could be in danger. so we would strongly urge the authorities not to send people back to myanmar until we can find solutions for them. >> reporter: unsure of what lies ahead, the survivors are living
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uncertain lives. this is a mother of four. her youngest boy was born on the boat on their sixth day at sea. >> translator: when i gave birth, i had no one to support me and no medicine or food at all. i washed any new born baby with salty seawater. >> reporter: after surviving the trip. she was separated from her husband. she doesn't know where he was taken. >> translator: i left my parents and relatives in myanmar and fled with my family. but we were separated here, and i don't know where my husband is. our hope is simple. i just want to go to a place where i can feel safe. >> reporter: despite the very basic desire for life free from unrest, the rohingya people still don't know where they can call home. nhk world, southern thailand.
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the ability to control computers and other machines merely through brain power. it used to be science fiction but now it's inching closely to reality. the technology seen as the future for people who have lost the ability to move their bodies either from sickness or accidents. researchers around the world are working to develop this field. at one japanese university, researchers recently began ground breaking clinical trials. >> reporter: this man is an associate professor at osaka
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university's school of medicine. he is trying to apply the technology to medical treatment. this is flexible so there is no damage to the brain, itself. this is part of a system created to help people who have lost the ability to use their muscles whether from illness or accident. this man is 61. six years ago he was diagnosed with als, a disease that causes the progressive degeneration of the muscles. he used to work as a researcher for a major chemical manufacturer. within a year, he was unable to get out of bed or move. now he can't even breathe on his own.
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his only functioning muscles are those moving his eyes and lips. he was keen to take part in the trials. he wants to see practical application of this new technology. this is how the technology is supposed to work. when he thinks of moving his arm, that generates an electrical impulse in the brain. the signal is picked up by the electrodes and then analyzed by the computer. the resulting data is sent to the robotic arm, which then carries out the movement. he wants surgery to have the electrodes implanted. the second series is ready to be put into place. unless it is in exactly the right place, they will not pick up the brain activity exactly.
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the operation lasts five hours. it is successful. 90 days after the surgery, the first tests start. this is a moment of truth for the new system. the first step is to see if he can control this robotic arm. >> translator: grip the ball. yes, you're doing well. now release it. >> reporter: after a lot of practice, he is finally able to move the robotic arm with 80% accuracy. the next test is to see if he can write out words on the computer just using that part of his brain. he'll be trying to move the cursor over the keyboard on the screen and then get it to stop on the right characters. first he tries to write five
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characters japanese for hello, but he just can't get it right. so the doctor makes small adjustments to the programming. finally, he gets it right. [ applause ] >> translator: well-done. that's amazing. >> reporter: it may be just five small characters, but it's a huge step. >> translator: our goal is to reach the point where people can control their own wheelchairs and go wherever they want and to get computers to speak for them. we want to give them the ability to engage in everyday activities. >> reporter: bmi technology opens up the possibility for patients with disabilities to move around and to communicate with others.
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the researchers are continuing their trials so that they can use technology to actually help patients. time now to gate check on the weather. people in hong kong are getting heavy rain. >> more rain is expected to come. the hong kong area will be seeing the heaviest rain today. the ground is saturated. on the other hand northern china will see clear conditions. that unstable weather is expected for japan. we have a low pressure system containing cool air in the upper atmosphere, but the ground is
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going to be quite warm. because of the temperature difference we could see hail, thunderstorms and even tornados in central and eastern japan. so you may want to bring an umbrella. temperatures are not going to be too bad in tokyo. it 22 degrees. we are in the most colorful season of the year. i want to show you this video. 2,000 rhododendron bulbs are in bloom. it got warmer early this spring, so they blossomed earlier than usual. the garden is free of charge, and visitors will be able to enjoy these flowers until the end of may. as for china then, very warm for this time of year. 30 degrees and 31 in chongqing. now in north america it's mostly tranquil, but there are a couple things to talk about.
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the risk of severe weather will continue into the east coast of the carolinas. and rain is intensifying over the southern plains into your friday. hail and gusty winds are also expected. towards the north, temperatures are warming up. 12 degrees in winnipeg and 19 in bismarck, north dakota. flooding is going to be a risk along the red river valley. across the east, lots of sunshine on the northeast. finally, in europe, then, we can see the comma shaped clouds over here. underneath it, heavy rain and thunderstorms.
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in algeria, more than 80 millimeters has been reported. it looks like the system will move to the north slowly. heavy rain thunderstorms and hail likely across the western peninsula. parts of france, and italy will be targeted by a duststorm due to strong winds. toward the north then we have a cold front swinging through. that's going to produce cool down temperatures, for example in london, 12 degrees, ahead of the system warming up to 22 in berlin and 28 in vienna. but those temperature also cool down across the weekend. here's your extended forecast around the globe.
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♪ ♪ and that concludes this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thank you very much for joining us.
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>> "california's gold" is produced in association with kcet los angeles and is seen statewide on california public television. this series is endorsed by: [ music ] >> it was a major attraction and from all accounts a magical place, a place where you could take a leisurely boat ride past waterfalls and exotic birds. or stroll pathways and see peacocks and flamingos up close. and there were animal shows too, with clapping seals and parrots that went down a slide. everybody loved thisce


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