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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 29, 2015 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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♪ >> this is "bbc world news." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, and mufg. >> it is a global truth, we can do more when we work together. at mufg -- our banking relationships span cultures and support almost every industry across the globe.
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because success takes partnership, and only through discipline and trust can we create something greater than ourselves. mufg -- we build relationships that build the world. >> and now, "bbc world news america." ♪ >> this is "bbc world news america." the torturous wait for news of hostages held by islamic state. families are distraught. in eastern ukraine, fighting is heating up again, making it almost impossible to get aid to people stranded by the war. >> not far from here, there are communities that are completely cut off. people who are living here cannot get out anymore. >> and, how would you like a chip in your hand? not a potato chip, a microchip.
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at this swedish firm, they are replacing everything from id cards to door keys. welcome to our viewers on television -- public television in america and also around the globe. there is uncertainty surrounding the fate of two hostages held by islamic state. jordan has demanded proof that their pilot is a life before they agreed to do a prisoner swap to free him. earlier today, the wife of the japanese journalist made a personal appeal for his safe return. our middle east correspondent has the latest. >> and other torturous day of waiting for the father of the jordanian fighter pilot captured last month. he was shot down over northern syria during the bombing
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campaign against islamic state. tonight, appeals were made as fellow muslims to set him free. >> forgiveness is a quality of the prophet. if you forgive your brother, the response will be very positive from all jordanian spirit >> twice, -- from all jordanians. >> twice i.s. threatened to kill the hostages if their demands were not met by sunset. >> members of the jordanian pilot' his family have been meeting here to share their hope and fear. now after two deadlines have passed for a prisoner swap deal the mood has turned to anguish and anger. >> ladainian officials worry that -- jordanian officials worry that public opinion is
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hardening against their involvement in the fight against islamic state. >> the suffering is not directing things in the past of being more supportive of this war against isis. on the contrary, it is making things worse for the regime and the government. >> more and more, the calls have been for jordan to leave the alliance. during the hostage ordeal, a man-made an -- a man made an -- oman made an offer to change -- exchange this woman for the pilot. she was involved in a bombing. there have also been negotiations to try to free the japanese journalist kenji goto. tonight, his wife made a heartfelt plea for his release. >> our baby girl, i hope our
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daughter will get to see her father again. >> it was here on the turkish border of syria that islam itic state wanted jordan to bring the prisoner. tonight, the prospect looks dimmer. >> for more on the hostage situation, i spoke with matthew levitt, the director of the washington institute's stein program on counterterrorism and intelligence. what is your reading at the moment? >> these situations are heart-wrenching. first, let's recognize this for the humanitarian disaster it is. there's a real problem in this idea, whether it is kidnapping for ransom or exchanging prisoners, because it incentivizes further such actions. it is not clear if isis intended to further go through -- to
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completely go through with the deal. it is not clear if this was posturing. some of the kidnapping for ransom, the sums they were asking for clearly suggests they were not intending to go through with the deals. but it puts isis on par with states, gives them the gym a c as the islamic state -- gives them legitimacy as the islamic state they claim to be. >> jordan would say this is a prisoner swap, and different from paying ransom. >> you have to feel for these families, but we do not prisoner swap with terrorist groups, and we don't recognize islamic state as a state. >> from the beginning one of the big questions has been how long the coalition will last. it seems there's a lot of frustration in jordan about being a member of the coalition. what happens to the coalition because of the situation? >> the coalition will make its way through this. but this type of an incident
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plays out on tv, in people's living rooms every evening. it has to be gutwrenching for your average jordanian. and the jordanians are literally on the front line. not just geographically and in terms of this pilot, but in terms of special forces and intelligence, doing really incredible work. we desperately need them. some of the other states, the united arab emirates, the saudis, they have had members of the royal family as pilots. there may now be reconsideration of who goes as pilots. i think the coalition will stay. >> will be pressure the intense from members of his public, why are we part of this anyway ? >> i do not, because the threat to jordan is much more acute than it is to the u.k. or the u.s.. they cannot go anywhere else. this is in their backyard. they have isis militants within their country. they were aware, before isis was
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even using this name, they were try to blow up the intelligence directorate in jordan, and other operations . they are very aware of the necessity. they have no choice but to fight isis. >> whatever happens in this situation, it seems this is a victory for isis. hard to argue otherwise, right? >> terrorists want more people watching and listening than they want dead and wounded. so yes, this is a victory in the sense that they are getting attention and being treated as a state on par with others. >> thank you. an agonizing time for families in jordan and japan. a hospital ward in mexico city was the scene of chaos today after a massive gas explosion. the blast, you can hear it there, ripped through a facility in the west of the city, destroying much of the building.
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emergency workers searched for survivors who may have been trapped in the wreckage. casualty numbers have been changing throughout the day. there are reports two people were killed. >> police are guarding the roads, not letting anyone through unless they belong to the medical or rescue services. earlier today, they were ambulances helping hospitals, and firefighters with pickaxes and shovels helping with the rescue mission while people wait for the update. what we know is that a gas truck was sitting by the building, very common here in mexico. a lot of gas comes from trucks, and you see them around the city. the exposure was massive. there have been dozens of injuries, and some people dead. people here are shocked. they say this is a public hospital for people who do not have the money for private medical care. >> casey watson in mexico city. the european union decided to prolong existence actions
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against russia and pro-russian separatists because of fighting in eastern ukraine. clashes intensified, despite subzero temperatures putting a lot of strain on local communities. our correspondent has been talking to the wounded and the refugees in one eastern ukrainian village. >> the wounded have been pouring in here from the front lines. ukrainian troops from the fighting in a key town pro-russian rebels have been battling to surround. alexander was hit by shrapnel. a conscript, he tells me there has been clashes for days now. >> we will keep shooting. we can win. >> but they need spare parts. he warns that they will not hold up long like this. here is what the ukrainian military are facing. this video was posted online by
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the separatists. they are attacking ukrainian positions. the rebels talk of a new offensive. moscow denies it, but nato says they have received reinforcements from russia. caught in the middle are the civilians. it took doctors for hours to remove all the shrapnel from irina after a shell landed meters from her home. she just came back to the east because there was meant to be a cease-fire here. her dad tells me it is a miracle that she survived. he wants both sides in the conflict to talk and end all this. war won't solve anything, he says. the renewed fighting has already created a new wave of refugees. while some are safe, many people are still trapped, liked irina's mother, sheltering, terrified in her basement.
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>> my mother says she cannot bear it anymore. there has been shelling all the time. children killed. she says she wants to hang herself or take pills. it is impossible. it is very scary. she cannot take it. >> the town has become a key battleground as ukraine's war wages once again. government troops insist they will hold the line but the cost to soldiers and civilians is mounting. sarah rainsford, bbc news in eastern ukraine. >> the cease-fire is not holding in east ukraine, and sanctions on russia do not seem to have quelled the fighting, either. let's look at other news around the world. a gunman was arrested in the netherlands after forcing his way into the studio of the state broadcaster nos. he was demanding to be allowed to go on air. a reporter from the broadcaster said the man was carrying what appeared to be a pistol, and he claimed to be from a hacker collective. he was detained without a struggle when the police arrived. the world health organization
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says that the number of new confirmed cases of ebola in west africa last week fell to below 100. that is the first time since last june. it is said that the response to the epidemic is now moving from reducing transmission to actually ending the outbreak. scientists say the virus in guinea, however, has mutated since the first identified cases last month. the loss of a malaysia airline plane that disappeared last maonth has been declared an accident by authorities. all 239 people on board are presumed to have died. no traces were found of the plane, despite a massive underwater search. american and afghan military officials say that three united states defense department contractors have been killed in a shooting incident at kabul airport. an afghan soldier is reported to have carried out the attack. an investigation has now begun.
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earlier, afghan authorities said 16 people were killed by militants in the eastern province of laghman. funeral services were held today for argentine prosecutor alberto nisman who was found dead in his flat earlier this month just hours before he was due to give congressional testimony on the 1994 bombing of a jewish center. 85 people were killed in that blast. investigators have yet to determine whether nisman committed suicide or was murdered, in a case that has cap divide -- captivated the nation. >> hundreds of police were deployed around the cemetery, at the request of alberto nisman's family to keep the prying eyes of the press and onlookers at bay. security was incredible tight. this may have been a private funeral, but it has been a very public tragedy. the death in on expense circumstances of a public prosecutor, who blamed the
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government of serious wrongdoing. it has captivated argentina. chaotic scenes here outside the cemetery, where alberto nisman's body is being brought for burial. questions remain unanswered, not just about his own death, but about his investigation into the 1994 bombing of a jewish community center where 85 people were killed. >> whoever it was that killed him, why wasn't nisman protected? if we can't keep a public prosecutor safe, who will look at for the rest of us? >> alberto nisman knew that his life might be in danger. but he said he was looking forward to testifying in congress on his damning report into one of the worst crimes in argentine history. hours before he was due to take the stand nisman was found dead in his buenos aires flat. 85 people died when the jewish
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cultural center was destroyed by a huge car bomb in 1994. suspicion long focused on iranian involvement. nisman went further, accusing the senior argentine officials of seeking to absolve iran of any blame in exchange for lucrative trade agreements. was nisman killed for getting too close to the truth? investigators are still searching his flat for close. but there are more questions than answers. among those drawn into the cases the prosecutor's former aide. he has been openly implicated by president cristina fernandez de kirchner for landing the prosecutor his gun. in this game of claim and counter-claim, argentines are increasingly polarized. >> you have people who would believe everything, i would say and people who believe nothing no matter what kind of ebvvidence you show them. >> as mr. nisman's body was laid
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to rest, demonstrators continue to blame the government for his death. bbc news, buenos aires. >> a mysterious death of a prosecutor in a case that goes back decades. you are watching bbc america. still to come, a story of immigration, love, and loss. one journalist tells the tale of his mother's difficult transition to the united states. the drugs firm astrazeneca has launched a program to develop a new generation of medicines to tackle genetic diseases. our correspondent has more. >> with this profound new knowledge, humankind is on the verge of gaining immense new powers to heal. >> a revolution in medical science whose imprecations far surpass even -- implications far
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surpass even the discovery of antibiotics. >> they were high hopes for the human genome project. 15 years on, there has not been much progress. now, one of the biggest drug companies in the world believes they have found a way to develop the medicines the human genome project once promised. >> it is simply a game changer in how we do by medical research -- biomedical research. we have had precise technology to do exactly what we want to do. >> the company has joined forces with the nearby sanger institute, which was one of the places where human dna was first decoded. think of this ivy as a strand of dna, and the leaves as individual genes. in diseases, some of the genes go wrong. the idea of the research project is to sniff out some of them and test different drugs on them
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to see which one solves the problem. recently, researchers developed a molecule that work just like that, and the technique is quick and cheap. >> we could develop new treatment for heart disease and cancer, and for diabetes. >> it is the first time there has been such a concerted effort to sniff out pacific disease genes in order to discover new drugs and begin to develop medicines we hope for after the decoding of the human genome. bbc news cambridge. >> now, if you are anything like me, your workday often starts with a mad scramble to find your office security pass and your keys all too often forgotten on the table back at home. one swedish firm has the answer -- dispense with those id cards,
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and get a microchip implanted in your hand. i know it sounds rather creepy. but quite a few employees have signed up for the scheme. our technology correspondent went to stockholm to test it out. >> stockholm where a nondescript building has been converted into a high-tech office space. but look under the skin, and you will find something really futuristic. he does not need a pass to get in. another swipe at his hand to access his office. what's going on? >> i got the chip implant. so the doors open. >> where is the chip? >> right inside here. it, i think it can do a lot of other stuff. >> the new offices will soon host a shifting population of 700 entrepreneurs and employees and they will all be offered the chance to get shipped -- chipped
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if they wish. as long as -- as well as opening doors, it will also let them log onto computers and pay for food in the cafe. it is only fair that in the name of research i myself get chipped. i still have reservations about it. let's go. >> were done. -- we are done. >> the technology still has teething problems. i had quite a struggle to activate the photocopier. among the people working here, i found some enthusiasm, but also caution. >> at the moment, i will not be chipped. i do not feel it is necessary for opening doors or connecting with machines. >> can i get your contact ? >> the man behind the scheme, his business card can be accessed by his chip, says the aim is to learn lessons. >> we want to understand this
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technology before big corporations and governments come to us and say, everyone should get chipped. the google or facebook chip. >> another feature of this unconventional office, dogs are welcomed. >> i have been chipped, and him too. >> while we are used to having pets chipped putting it under our skin might be a step too far. >> nothing like that appeals to me but i might be squeamish. for decades, roger cohen has told other people's stories for the "new york times," but now he told stories of how his jewish parents immigrated to the united states, stopping other places including south africa. at the heart of the story is his mother june, who succumbs to mental illness. here is his story. ♪ >> she always craved the sun in
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south africa. when i say south africa, i think of my mother. i see her smiling on the beach laughing in the sunlight. in any other context, the manic depression comes. my mother is, she was born in a little mining town in south africa. she died 15 years ago. she had suffered from mental illness. i found about 10 years ago two suicide notes from 1978 and 1982. both times, she survived. i realized that i knew very little of what had happened to her. i thought i could tell a story that was at once intimate, of my family, of my mother's of people and then break down, and a wider story of wandering, of immigration, of the cuesta to belong, request for identity --
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of the request for identity, jewish identity. those are the threads that go into the story. we think of immigration always in terms of new possibility in the united states, opportunity. but it is also lost. it is also leaving something behind. i feel that it marked my family, in particular my mother, and i wanted to explore that. i know that my mother craved south africa. she was plucked out of a very tightknit jewish community in johannesburg. she meets a young doctor, my dad, who came to britain at the end of world war ii, worked for a while. hated apartheid, so they emigrated. i was born in london. we go back for two years, then we leave definitively. and my mother immediately breaks down. i found out 50 years on that, in a psychiatric institution
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outside london, she had electroshock treatments. i compare it to a tree struck by lightning. electric shock treatment than was not like today. it was strapped down, a violent jolt, and after that my mother was fragile. i came to a deeper appreciation of what she went through, and why her spirit at the end proved so powerful. why for 15 years now, she died at the end of cancer, her presence in me has rather than diminishing, grown. ♪ >> roger cohen there remembering his mother, june. his story of immigration, loss, and mental illness. that brings the show to a close. you can have much more of the day's news on our website, including the latest on hostages held by islamic state. you can find me and the bbc team on twitter. from all of us here at "bbc world news america," thanks so much for watching.
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the latest news on our website. ♪ ♪ >> make sense of international news at >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation newman's own foundation giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, and mufg. >> they say the oldest trees bear the sweetest fruit. at mufg, we believe in nurturing banking relationships for centuries.
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because strong partnerships are best cultivated for years to come, giving your company the resources and stability to thrive. mufg -- we build relationships that build the world. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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