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tv   Newsline  PBS  March 31, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT

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it is the top of the hour and this is nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. south korean prosecutors have arrested former president park geun-hye after receiving court approval early friday morning. the seoul central district court questioned park on thursday for more than eight hours. following the session, the court's judges decided to issue an arrest warrant. prosecutors have been investigating 13 criminal offenses she allegedly committed, including bribery, extortion and abuse of power. the judges noted that the charges are based on solid grounds and that park could have
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destroyed evidence had she not been detained. park was transported to a jail on the outskirts of seoul. she's the third former south korean president to be arrested and the first in 22 years. prosecutors can keep park in custody until april 19th. but local media are reporting she may be indicted before april 17th when the presidential election campaign officially begins. prosecutors are concerned if she's still being held that could influence the election on may 9th. nhk world reports on people's reaction to the arrest of the former president and how she's faring behind bars. >> reporter: park geun-hye is being held inside a detention facility behind me, the same facility that's holding at least two other people at the center of the corruption scandal. her longtime friend, choi soon-sil and the vice chairman of samsung electronics.
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the arrest, of course, is what everyone is talking about. it's the lead item on newscasts and on the front page of every newspaper. among the public, there seems to be strong support for the court's decision. >> translator: park committed huge crimes and disrupted the country, so it's natural that she's been arrested. park has to reflect on her behavior in jail. >> translator: it's a pity for park, but she had to be arrested because she has not been honest. >> translator: she shouldn't have been arrested. it's very sad. i don't believe she received any money. >> reporter: park's life has changed very much from what it was as president. she'll have a new wardrobe. inmates have to go through a physical check before changing into a prison uniform. local media report park will likely be given one small
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privilege. she can expect a slightly bigger cell for solitary confinement, but the concessions end there. she will have to eat the same meals as everyone else and follow the same daily routine. kim chan-ju, nhk world. a south korean ferry raised from the ocean bed is now resting in port. nearly 300 people died when the sewol ferry sank in one of the country's worst maritime disasters. most of them were high school students. nhk world reports. >> reporter: relief for family members as the sewol ferry arrived in port. >> translator: now it's time to find our children. rather than crying and being sad and depressed, we should be
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finding our children. so now i'm going to find my child with my own hands. >> reporter: authorities raised the vessel from the sea floor last week. it was loaded onto a transport vessel and carried to shore. officials will now resume looking for nine people who are still missing. they will clean the inside of the ship and make sure it's safe enough to go in. the plan is to move the ferry out of the water and on to the shore. that's expected to happen next thursday. jeong won hyeong, nhk world. malaysia and north korea have finally struck a deal on the divisive issue of what to do with the body of kim jong-nam, the assassinated half brother of the north korean leader. the body has been sent to pyongyang and the malaysians held there have been allowed to return home. the nine malaysians arrived in
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kuala lumpur early friday morning. the two countries had prevented each other's citizens from leaving until they announced the swap agreement on thursday, bringing an end to a diplomatic row that lasted nearly seven weeks. >> when the government enforced the travel ban which prevented from leaving, we were very concerned, especially since we had committed no wrong. >> now that the autopsy process has been completed and the body has been returned to the democratic people's republic of korea, as per the family's request. >> two north koreans linked to the killing were allowed to fly back to pyongyang via beijing. they are a senior diplomat of the country's embassy and an employee of the state-owned airline. a cargo item apparently containing the body of kim jong-nam was taken by plane to beijing. a chinese foreign ministry
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spokesperson said the body was loaded on the same flight that the two north koreans took. malaysian police said on friday that they took statements from three north koreans wanted for questioning over the murder before they were allowed to leave the country. it's not clear how the third north korean, ri ji u, known as james, left malaysia. >> investigation into the matter of kim jong-nam is still ongoing, okay. it has not stopped here. >> malaysia and north korea have been at odds over the investigation of the february murder at the busy international airport. pyongyang denies any role in the killing. it says the victim was not kim jong-nam but another man named kim choi. observers say the deal shows the north's desire to mend ties with malaysia. the southeast asian country is an important base for pyongyang's activities in the region. north korea accuses the united
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states and south korea of making up a false story about the man's death. a powerful explosion apparently targeting a shiite mosque in northwestern pakistan killed at least 22 people on friday. dozens were wounded. the blast occurred in the city of parachinar as people gathered for friday prayers at the mosque and the busy central bazaar. the explosion damaged vehicles and shops nearby. no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. parachinar is located near the border with afghanistan. it's a key city in a region that once was a stronghold of pakistani taliban and sunni militant groups. it's been racked by sectarian violence in the past. in january a bomb attack in a vegetable market in the city killed more than 20 people. in indonesia, hardline islamists marched on friday in the capital, jakarta, calling for the jailing of the city's christian governor. he's facing accusations of blasphemy as he seeks a second
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term. protesters gathered outside the presidential palace in jakarta. president joko widodo has urged tolerance as religious and political tensions run high ahead of the gubernatorial runoff election on april 19th. >> translator: ahok is no longer capable of serving as jakarta's governor. we'll continue protesting until he's arrested and jailed. >> the rally was the latest demonstration by hardline islamist groups calling for the ouster of governor basuki purnama, better known by his nickname, ahok. he's known for his tough talking style and the strict line he takes against corruption. he's popular with jakarta's middle class, but he faces a tight race with his muslim rival, a former education minister. no candidate secured an absolute
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majority in the first round of voting in february. growing intolerance is putting pressure on minority groups and casting a shadow over the future of the world's largest muslim majority nation. emerging economies. powers still struggling with poverty. citizens demanding democracy. the threat of violence, the push for peace. the shadow of conflict. get news and insight on southeast asia every weekday live from bangkok, only on nhk "newsline." china has urged the united states to play its part in resolving their trade imbalance. u.s. president donald trump and the chinese president are scheduled to meet in florida next week. trump has said on social media that the u.s. can no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses. he wrote that his meeting with xi jinping will be very
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difficult. translator: the u.s. can help ease the imbalance by lifting restrictions on exports of civilian technology to china. we also call on washington to create better conditions for chinese investment in the u.s. i believe these will ease the trade imbalance. >> he also said the issue of north korea will likely be on the agenda. he said china is urging the north to halt its nuclear and missile programs. he added that his country is asking the us and south korea to call off their joint military drills. pyongyang has conducted a series of missile launches and appears to be preparing to carry out a sixth nuclear test. a court in taiwan has acquitted 22 protesters on all charges stemming from their occupation of the territory's legislature in 2014. the demonstrators, including former university students, staged sit-ins that lasted for three weeks. they opposed a service trade agreement with china that was supported by the nationalist party. the protesters were arrested and charged with inciting the
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illegal occupation of official buildings. but the taipei district court handed down a not guilty ruling on friday. the court said the demonstrators, expressing their opposition in an attempt to ram the agreement through parliament. the court added that the damage caused by their civil disobedience was minor compared to the gains brought about by their protest. it also noted that there was an appropriate reason for the defendants' actions. european council president tusk has announced the guidelines on britain's exit from the eu. tusk suggests a step by step approach will be necessary in the negotiations with britain over its withdrawal from the block. tusk said negotiators should first discuss the terms of the withdrawal. he said once sufficient progress on a separation settlement is achieved, trade talks could then begin. tusk made clear that it's necessary to resolve issues such as the rights of eu citizens living in britain and the share of the eu budgetary expenses
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that britain will be asked to pay. on wednesday, british prime minister theresa may triggered the formal withdrawal process in a letter to tusk. may said cooperation between the uk and eu in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened if britain leaves the bloc without a new deal, but tusk argued that no parties in the negotiations want security issues to be used to gain an advantage. >> i know theresa may well enough and i know her approach to this issue. this is why i rule out this kind of interpretation and speculation that security cooperation is used as a bargaining chip. it's -- it must be a misunderstanding. >> the guidelines will be discussed by the remaining 27 eu partners and adopted at an extraordinary summit in april. the israeli government is
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approving the construction of a new settlement in the west bank. it's the first development by israel in the occupied zone in more than two decades. the move is likely to trigger strong protests from palestinians. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and key cabinet members made the decision on thursday. the settlement will be built on a location nearly 30 kilometers into the palestinian side. israel hasn't approved a new settlement there since the 1990s but it has built more houses in existing settlements. many countries deem the settlements illegal under international law, something israel disputes. u.s. president donald trump urged netanyahu in february to hold back on settlements. trump sent an envoy to israel and the west bank in march in an apparent effort to resume stalled peace talks.
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the 2011 nuclear accident in fukushima forced thousands of people to leave their homes. the evacuation orders were issued. gradually some parts were reopened to resident. the evacuation zone is down one-third of its largest size. this man and his wife have been waiting on the moment when they could return to their farm. the evacuation order has been lifted for most of the town of namie. the mayor is happy to be back
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but has some concerns. >> translator: some townspeople are coming back. some are finding it difficult to do so. and still some have decided not to. i hope you will keep this in mind when carrying out administrative work. >> sharing those concerns are this couple. they decided not to return to the town as most of their friends and relatives have opted not to. >> translator: i don't feel secure about returning home without our neighbors being there. >> they are also worried that the health care available in the town isn't adequate. government officials say they will do everything to encourage former residents to return. they plan to restore gas, electricity and other infrastructure and create more jobs by attracting companies. japanese prosecutors have apologized for the first time for holding a criminal trial of a leprosy patient in a segregated courtroom in the
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1950s. the discriminatory practice continued for years even after the disease was found curable. lawyers representing former hanson's disease patients met with the prosecutors on friday. they are seeking a retrial for a patient who was executed in 1962. he was convicted in segregated courts for a murder he denied committing. he has case is among 95 trials held at sanitoriums, prisons, and other facilities outside normal courts between 1948 and 1972. the prosecutors acknowledge their responsibility for taking part in the trials but said they will not file for a retrial. >> translator: i believe the prosecutors, as federal officers, have an obligation to eliminate the discrimination and prejudice that the has instilled. >> in april last year, the supreme court apologized for the first time for the segregated trials.
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japan's government and businesses have designated the last friday of each month premium friday. business managers have been advising people to leave work early on that day in the hopes of stimulating personal spending to boost the economy. march 31st is the second premium friday of the campaign. an event was held at tokyo national museum. to mark the occasion people were seen enjoying a glass of sake and a movie. the last day of march was also the end of the japanese fiscal year. so some people said they had too much work to do and couldn't leave early. a tokyo-based electric equipment firm is recommending its workers take a half day of paid leave on premium fridays. >> translator: i have two daughters on spring vacation, so we'll go shopping and see a movie.
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>> translator: i have a deadline for checking paperwork. it's difficult to leave the office early at the end of the month. >> a survey of more than 2,000 workers suggests only 17% of them left work early on the first premium friday in february. one major reason was they felt it's important to take care of their customers. the campaign continues, but its success will depend on how many more firms are willing to take the plunge. starting april 1st, the maker of subaru cars, fuji heavy industries, will have a new name. a plate bearing the new company name, subaru corporation, was unveiled at a ceremony held in tokyo. the firm decided on the change at a shareholders meeting last june with the aim to enhance its brand value. >> translator: changing the company name to subaru expresses our determination to make a new step starting today.
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>> the company started as nakajima aircraft and became fuji heavy industries in 1953. this year marks 100 years since its foundation. subaru's cars are sold in more than 90 countries. japanese electronics firm toshiba is consolidating its losses and getting out of the u.s. nuclear power business. its former subsidiary, westinghouse, has filed for bankruptcy protection. nhk world has been looking at what went wrong. >> reporter: this is the nuclear power plant in georgia designed by westinghouse. construction is going on around the clock with about 5,000 workers on site.
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but at this nearby convenience store, they noticed a change. >> normally it's more busier than what it is right now. kind of slow because last week they laid off a couple hundred more people, so it's steadily going on. >> reporter: richard was a mid-level manager on the construction team. he was suddenly dismissed last month. >> they started with upper management and went to middle manager and probably reviewed everybody, looked to make cuts you know, in personnel. >> reporter: goldbeck says some 450 workers were laid off around the same time he was. the layoffs were another sign of a serious problem dogging the project. when toshiba bought westinghouse in 2006, nuclear power was undergoing a renaissance. westinghouse had a long history in the business and toshiba deferred to its expertise. construction of the plant started in 2013. it was supposed to take three years but it's only 30% done. safety standards have changed since the fukushima daiichi nuclear accident in 2011.
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westinghouse extended the completion date another four years. the slowdown is partly due to the modular construction method. the plant is built in sections at factories in other states. and assembled at the site. this is meant to save time and cut costs, but in this case, there was a shortage of workers with the right skills. >> how are you? >> reporter: as one state official said, the completed modules were below standard. >> they did not meet the standards of excellence that either toshiba or westinghouse or the company expected or that the nrc would approve. and so they had to be redone and they were redone on site. >> reporter: complicating the delay were the terms of the contract. when westinghouse signed a deal in 2008, it agreed to cap construction costs. any additional expense would be borne by westinghouse.
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the financial burden on westinghouse and toshiba multiplied when construction took longer and costs mounted. one expert says management should have seen it coming. >> my guess is it was corporate arrogance, that they believed, well, we've designed this new design and we'll be able to build this plant quickly and cheap, relatively cheap, and they weren't, and they were wrong, and now toshiba, as the owner of westinghouse, is bearing the pain. and i think that's fair. >> reporter: westinghouse says the plants will be built. having filed for bankruptcy protection, it is now looking for investors to help it refinance. that frees toshiba from a loss-making business but not from a mountain of debt. nana yamada, nhk world.
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japan's population is aging, meaning more elderly drivers are on the roads and a growing number of them are causing fatal traffic accidents. but as our next story tells us, robots could be riding to the rescue. >> reporter: driving under the influence of age, as shown in these in-car videos. here, a car driven by a 74-year-old woman overshoots the stop sign. and almost hits another car. the driver of this car is 64. he fails to spot bicycle coming from the right. professor hirofumi aoki researches traffic accident prevention at nagoya university. his team has analyzed in-car video and test drive data on
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over 1,000 elderly people. as people age, they tend to experience a deterioration in their peripheral awareness, field of vision and motor skills. >> translator: we're developing technology that can reduce the risk of elderly drivers getting into accidents. >> reporter: professor aoki and his team are developing a robot. it sits on the dashboard next to the driver. the robot's arms show which direction to turn the steering wheel. it gives the driver plenty of time to avoid hazards ahead. it's always on the lookout for pedestrians and immediately gives the driver an alert. >> translator: it really helped me with its gestures. while i was looking at the road, i could see it as well, and this gave me a better understanding of what was there.
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having the robot made me feel safer. >> reporter: the next step will be to install sensors and cameras in an actual car to serve as the robot's eyes. testing is due to start in april. eventually, the robot will even be able to assess the driver's physical condition. health-related data will be projected onto the windshield, including blood pressure and stress levels. >> translator: yes, let's do that. >> reporter: while driving, a display will give information on suggested routes. >> translator: this robot will watch over drivers and keep them alert and safe. we are speeding up our efforts to develop this technology so that elderly people can continue driving for as long as they want. >> reporter: aoki hopes his dashboard robot can go into production soon.
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let's take a look at the weather forecast for the weekend.
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that's all we have for now on nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo. thank you for watching, and have a good day.
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♪host: this week, "global 3000" is dedicated to women.we head to south africa's hippest hubs to meet young,female tech-whizzes. in india, we pay a visit to thekhasi, where women run the show. and in saudi arabia, we meetwomen for whom working means nothing less than freedom.freedom is an alien concept for women here.they're not allowed to drive. they need male consent totravel, or even just to own a passport.but for several years, women in saudi arabia have beencampaigning for equal right, filming themselves behind thewheel, and training for football matches.they've even ventured into


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